Is It Proper to Worship Jesus?

Article ID: DJ922 | By: Edmond C. Gruss and Jay Hess

This article first appeared in the Volume 23 / Number 4 / 2001 issue of the Christian Research Journal. For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org

SYNOPSIS

Consistent with their denial of the deity of Christ, the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Christ should be worshiped. Such worship is viewed as unscriptural and a form of idolatry. What most Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t know is that for more than 60 years Watch Tower founder C. T. Russell (d. 1916) and his successor J. F. Rutherford (d. 1942) taught the worship of Christ, a belief that would be expressed even after Rutherford’s death. In 1944, the Watch Tower Society’s charter was amended and Article II stated that one of the purposes of the Society was for “public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus.” After changing this doctrine in 1954 by prohibiting the worship of Jesus, efforts were made to hide this portion of the charter whenever it was cited in Watch Tower publications.

In the Bible, worship and prayer are consistently linked; consequently Witnesses must also deny that Jesus can be addressed in prayer — contrary to what Russell taught. Clearly, in Scripture Jesus was — and should be — worshiped, and Jesus invited His followers to address Him in prayer — which they did. The testimony of Jay Hess records how a once-dedicated Witness apologist concluded Jesus should be worshiped, which resulted in his disfellowship by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. After further investigation of the Scriptures, he concluded, “I have made Jesus my Lord and my God.”

The title of an article in the 8 April 2000 Awake! asks, “Is It Proper to Worship Jesus?” In keeping with the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ denial of the deity of Christ, the expected answer is given: “Yes, reverent adoration should be expressed only to God. To render worship to anyone or anything else would be a form of idolatry, which is condemned in both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. — Exodus 20:4, 5; Galatians 5: 19, 20.”1 The article concludes, “Accordingly, true Christians do well to direct their worship only to Jehovah God, the Almighty” (emphasis added).2

The book Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life (1995) warns the reader:

Unless we are careful, we may do something unacceptable to God. For example, the apostle John fell at the feet of an angel “to worship him.” But the angel warned: “Be careful! Do not do that! All I am is a fellow slave of you and your brothers who have the work of witnessing to Jesus. Worship God.” (Revelation 19: 10) Do you therefore see the need to make sure that your worship is not contaminated by any kind of idolatry? — 1 Corinthians 10:14. (emphasis added)3

In response to a reader’s question about the disciples’ worship of Jesus in Matthew 28:9, the 1 November 1964 Watchtower states, “Trinitarians who believe that Jesus is God, or at least the second person of the triune God, do not like to have Jehovah’s witnesses say that it is unscriptural for worshipers of the living and true God to render worship to the Son of God, Jesus Christ” (emphasis added).4

How might one respond to these statements?

IT IS PROPER TO WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST

It would come as a surprise to most Jehovah’s Witnesses that the statements and claims cited above have not always characterized the movement and its publications. In fact, the Watch Tower Society leadership encouraged the worship of Jesus Christ for much of its history. In his article, “The Name of Jesus,” in the November 1879 Zion’s Watch Tower, Watch Tower founder C. T. Russell’s associate J. H. Paton wrote of Jesus, “His position is contrasted with that of men and angels, as he is Lord of both, having ‘all power in heaven and earth.’ Hence it is said, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’; [that must include Michael, the chief angel, hence Michael is not the Son of God]…” (brackets in original).5 Paton’s position on Michael would later be rejected by Pastor Russell, and the Witnesses still identify Jesus Christ as Michael the archangel.6

In “A Living Christ,” published in the March 1880 Zion’s Watch Tower, we read:

He still is Lord, and as such we worship Him….

To worship a false Christ would indeed be sin, but to worship Christ in any form cannot be wrong, for when He bringeth the first Begotten in to the world, He sayeth, “Let all the angels of God worship Him…. (Heb. 1:6, 10, 12.)” (emphases added).7

In the October 1880 Zion’s Watch Tower article, “Why Did Christ Come in the Flesh?” J. H. Paton wrote, “He was the object of unreproved worship even when a babe….Even the angels delighted to do Him honor….‘And let all the angels of God worship Him.’ Heb. 1:6. He never reproved any one for acts of worship offered to Himself….” (emphases added).8

Speaking on prayer to a group of his followers, Russell said the prayers of the mature Christian “are usually thank offerings and communion seasons — telling the Lord (the Father or the Son, either or both, for the Father, as well as the Son, loves us; — John 16:27 — and we have promise of communion with both; — John 14:23 — both are to be worshiped and loved equally, for ‘all men should honor the son even as they honor the Father;’ John 5:23….” (first emphasis added; second in original).9

In the 15 July 1898 Zion’s Watch Tower, under “Interesting Queries,” we read, “Question. The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty? Answer. Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so.” While denying His deity, the answer continues, “It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father, and his agent in the creation of all things, including man” (emphasis added).10


Do you like what you’re reading? Take a look at this.


In the article “Gifts to Our King” (addressing Matt. 2:1–12), the 1 January 1906 Zion’s Watch Tower explained:

In one respect many of Christendom could learn numerous important lessons from these wise Gentiles….They worshiped him in three senses of the word: (1) They fell before him, prostrated themselves, thus physically expressing their reverence. (2) They worshiped him in their hearts and with the tongue gave expression to their rejoicing and confidence. (3) They opened their treasure-box and presented to him three gifts appropriate to royalty: the myrrh representing submission, frankincense representing praise, gold representing obedience” (emphasis added).11

Watch Tower founder and president Charles T. Russell died on 31 October 1916, and on 6 January 1917, Joseph F. Rutherford succeeded him. What did the books of Russell’s prolific successor state concerning worship of Jesus Christ? Would it be denied and identified as a “form of idolatry”? These books cover two decades (1921–1940). (Emphasis has been added to quotes from the following Rutherford books.)

The Harp of God: Rutherford quoted Matthew 28:1–10. Verse 9 reads (without comment or correction): “And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him.”12

Deliverance: “Crucifixes were erected, and the worship of the people turned to these rather than to let them intelligently worship the Lord Jehovah and the Lord Jesus Christ.”13

Light, vol. 2: “His power and authority extend throughout the universe, and, he being Jehovah’s right arm, the great Jehovah commands: ‘Let all the angels of God worship him.’ — Heb. 1:6.”14 “All the restored human race will discern the blessedness of God, and will delight to worship him and the great King. Christ Jesus is the ‘King of Kings’ (Rev. 1:5).”15 “Because of his faithfulness God raised him up out of death and then announced that all the angels of heaven should worship him and that every knee to him shall bow and every tongue shall confess that he is Jehovah’s anointed one and the high officer of the Most High. — Phil. 2:11.”16

Vindication, vol. 3: During the Millennium, “the princes will lead the people in their worship of Jehovah and of Christ.”17

Preparation: In his commentary on Zechariah, Rutherford wrote that after Armageddon, Christ, as the great High Priest and King of Jehovah, will convert the world in truth and in fact. All who live must worship and serve Jehovah and Christ Jesus, and at his name every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that he is the Christ, to the glory of God. (Phil. 2: 10,11)…The kingdom and the dominion and the greatness thereof under the whole heaven shall be given to Jehovah’s King-Priest, and all must worship and obey him.18 “ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH” who obey will joyfully come unto Jerusalem and worship Christ and Jehovah of hosts.”19

Jehovah: “The people are here warned of a wicked conspiracy formed by Satan … : To put America into the League of Nations, control the money and all other property, rule the people by the hand of their one-man dictator, destroy the freedom of speech and press, and stop the true worship of God and Christ.”20

Riches: “Those honest-hearted ones who have left Satan’s organization are now on the Lord’s side, and they want that fact to be known and they make it known, and they worship the only true God, Jehovah, and his King.”21 “Whether any creature gets life in heaven or on earth, he must acknowledge and worship Jehovah as the only true and almighty God, and Christ Jesus his King and Chief Executive Officer….”22

Salvation: “The people of all nations who obtain salvation must come to the house of the Lord to worship there; that is to say, they must believe on and worship Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus Christ, his chief instrument (Philippians 2:10, 11).”23

Religion: Religious leaders “oppose freedom of assembly and freedom of speech and freedom of worship and urge their fanatical and benighted dupes to indulge in violence against those who peaceably assemble for the true worship of God and Christ.”24

The 15 August 1941 Watchtower explained with reference to Jesus’ obedience unto death, “For this reason God has highly exalted him and given him a name above every name, and commands that all creatures in heaven and earth shall worship the Son as he worships the Father. — Phil. 2:5–11” (emphasis added).25

The Jehovah’s Witnesses did not question the doctrines in Rutherford writings because they believed that “those books do not contain the opinion of any man.”26 About six months after his death, it was claimed, “During the past twenty years he [God] has equipped them with his revealed Word in print, in the form of books, booklets, magazines, tracts and leaflets.…”27

At that point in time, the worship of Jesus Christ had been promoted in Watch Tower publications by founder C. T. Russell and immediate successor J. F. Rutherford for over 60 years. Would this teaching, rejected and characterized by more recent Jehovah’s Witness writers as “a form of idolatry” and as “unscriptural,” continue in the Society after their passing?

THE WATCH TOWER CHARTER AMENDED

Resolutions amending Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 10 of the original 1884 Watch Tower charter were adopted on 2 October 1944, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This action is a significant event in the history of the movement.28 Article II of the amended charter is pertinent to the subject of the worship of Jesus Christ. The original charter was printed in the 1 November 1917 Watch Tower (see figure 1).29

Article II as amended is reproduced in its entirety in the 1945 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It states among the “purposes of the…Society are…for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus; to arrange for and hold local and world-wide assemblies for such worship…” (emphasis added; see figure 2).30 The wording, “worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus,” is exactly what had been stated in Watch Tower Society publications up to this time.

While denying the deity of Christ, the 15 October 1945 Watchtower, in agreement with the amended charter, explained:

Now, at Christ’s coming to reign as king in Jehovah’s capital organization Zion, to bring in a righteous new world, Jehovah makes him infinitely higher then the godly angels or messengers and accordingly commands them to worship him…. Since Jehovah God now reigns as king by means of his capital organization Zion, then whosoever would worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah’s Chief One in that capital organization, namely Christ Jesus, his Co-regent on the throne of The Theocracy (emphases added).31

The 1 September 1948 Watchtower affirmed: “When he returned to the spirit realms from which he descended to earth, Jesus Christ was again seen in the midst of God’s holy messengers or angels in heaven. This paved the way for fulfilling the scripture: ‘And when he again bringeth in his firstborn into the world he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him’ (Heb. 1:6, Am. Stan. Vers.).”32

“Make Sure of All Things, published in 1953, was the last Witness book that affirmed the worship of Christ as stated in the charter: “Christ to Be Worshiped as a Glorious Spirit.” This heading was retained in the 1957 revision of the book.33

THE WATCHTOWER REVERSES ITS POSITION

While there may have been an earlier hint, the new antiworship doctrine was first clearly stated in the 1 January 1954 Watchtower, where, in contradiction to what was just published in “Make Sure of All Things, it concludes, “No distinct worship is to be rendered to Jesus Christ now glorified in heaven. Our worship is to go to Jehovah God.”34 Yet, the next year, the Society’s “application for an amended certificate of authority” to operate in Illinois (dated 7 February 1956) included “Exhibit A,” which reproduces almost all of Article II, including the statement of purpose: “for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus…”(emphasis added).35

How would this doctrinal contradiction in the amended charter, which speaks of the “worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus,” be hidden in Watch Tower publications? It is quoted in the 1 April 1953 Watchtower with a number of lines omitted before this statement, and then the section is picked up again after the words “such worship” (see figure 3).36 The book Qualified to Be Ministers (1955) quotes a portion of article II and skips over the section in question after the ellipsis it quotes the words immediately following: “…to arrange for and hold local and world-wide assemblies for such worship” (see figure 4).37 The reader is left wondering what “such worship” means.

When Article II is reproduced in the 1969 Yearbook and the 15 December 1971 Watchtower, there are again obvious attempts to hide what the charter states. The Yearbook quotes the Article in its entirety, but substitutes ellipsis for “and Christ Jesus” (see figure 5).38 The Watchtower also quotes the entire Article but at this point says, “…for public Christian worship of Almighty God [through] Christ Jesus…” (emphasis added; see figure 6),39 which changes the meaning of the charter.

The official Watch Tower history book, Jehovah’s Witnesses — Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, discusses the amending of the charter in 1944, but none of the changes are quoted.40

PRAYER AND WORSHIP

What is the connection between prayer and worship? May prayers be addressed to Jesus Christ?

Current Denial

The Witnesses now explain, “Prayer is part of our worship and for this reason should be directed only to the Creator, Jehovah (Matt. 4:10).”41 “Though some claim that prayer may properly be addressed to others, such as to God’s Son, the evidence is emphatically to the contrary” (emphasis added).42

Past Affirmation

As with worship, prayer addressed to Jesus was not always denied, as these excerpts by, or concerning, Watch Tower founder C. T. Russell show (emphasis has been added†):

It is undoubtedly proper enough for us to address petitions to our Redeemer and Advocate, who loved us and gave himself for us….Although we are nowhere instructed to make petitions to him, it evidently could not be improper so to do; for such a course is nowhere prohibited, and the disciples worshiped him. — Matt. 28: 9, 17.43

[Pastor Russell] sought to show that it is a mistake to suppose that the Lord Jesus may not be addressed in prayer, as well as the heavenly Father…44

The general sentiment of Scripture seems to imply that there will be nothing wrong in our addressing a petition to our Lord Jesus direct if any so desire at any time….The body of Christ, should be permitted to address him, and thus we read in our lesson that the apostles worshiped the ascended Jesus — they recognized his greatness and dignity and honor as the Messiah….The Lord’s own words are appropriate here: he says, “That all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father — John 5:23.”45

I have found myself in prayer addressing the Lord Jesus himself, for I find nothing in the Scriptures to contradict that, for they say to honor the Son as we honor the Father.46

The Meaning of John 5:23

Three New Testament scholars comment on the verse Russell cites. Robert L. Reymond writes, “With these words Jesus claimed the right to demand, equally with the Father, the honor (that is, the devotion and worship) of men!”47 Craig S. Keener explains, “God sometimes gave others honor as his representatives (Ps 2:11–12), but no one was ever to be honored to the same degree as God (Is 42:8; 48:11; cf. Ex 20:5). Jesus’ hearers could easily construe Jesus’ statement here as a claim to deity.”48 Finally, A. T. Robertson writes, “Jesus claims here the right to worship from men that the Father has. Dishonoring Jesus is dishonoring the Father who sent him (8:49; 12:26; 15:23; 1 John 2:23). See also Luke 10:16. There is small comfort here for those who praise Jesus as teacher and yet deny his claims to worship.”49

Prayer to Jesus

The earlier Watch Tower position regarding prayer to Jesus was based on clear Scriptural evidence. As translated in the Witnesses’ New World Translation (1984 ed.), John 14:13–14 reads, “Also, whatever it is that YOU ask in my name, I will do this, in order that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son. If YOU ask [footnote: “ask me”] anything in my name, I will do it.” (see figure 7). The addition of “me” in verse 14 “has the support of the earliest MSS (including p66); all of the translations since the NEB (1961) followed this reading.”50 Steven T. Byington’s The Bible in Living English (1972), published by the Watch Tower Society, also reads, “If you ask me anything in my name I will do it.”

In these two verses, Jesus not only states that He would answer the prayers of His followers but also that these could be addressed to Him. They accepted and exercised His invitation (see Acts 1:21–24 [cf. 1:2, 21]; 7:59–60; 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 12:8–9).

JESUS WORSHIPED ACCORDING

TO SCRIPTURE

Theological bias is very evident in the Witnesses’ New World Translation when the Greek word proskuneo is translated. As Ron Rhodes points out: “When used in reference to Jehovah, the New World Translation correctly translates the word as ‘worship’ (22 times). But when proskuneo is used of Christ, it is translated ‘obeisance,’ ‘reverence,’ and ‘homage.’ The fact is, Christ was worshiped as God (proskuneo) many times according to the Gospel accounts — and He always accepted such worship as appropriate.”51 The Watch Tower Society itself once taught this!

For many years, Hebrews 1:6 was quoted in Watch Tower publications: “And let all the angels of God worship him,” and proskuneo was translated as “worship” in the first edition of the New World Translation (1950) and subsequent editions (1953, 1960, 1961, 1970): “And let all God’s angels worship him.” In 1971, it was changed: “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”

In Revelation 5:13–14, the entire creation joins in the chorus of worship and praise of both God and the Lamb: “‘To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.’ And the four living creatures went on saying: ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped” (NWT).

THE TESTIMONY OF JAY HESS

After 23 years as a dedicated Jehovah’s Witness, this article’s coauthor, Jay Hess, was disfellowshiped. He had been an active Witness apologist: debating critics, researching, and publishing answers to “opposers” of the movement. Two subjects that interested him the most were the charge that the Witnesses were false prophets and the doctrine of the Trinity. Concerning the latter he explains:

I tried to address every Trinitarian argument. One that captured my interest was whether Jesus was to be worshiped…. Through many hours of research I came up with an explanation that said Jesus could be worshiped and yet he was not God. How good I felt to have an answer that, I thought, defended the Society’s position! Oddly enough, this is what eventually led to my being ejected from the Witnesses.52

During the week of 19 March 1990, in one of the Theocratic School meetings, it was “announced in all congregations that Jesus was not to be worshiped.”53

Soon after, the Society started to investigate me and my friend [with whom he had shared his view] about our claims that Jesus should be worshiped. A religious court (“special committee”) was set up and we were charged with “causing divisions” by telling JWs that we worshiped Jesus. We were both found guilty. The court punished my friend by announcing to the congregation that he was found guilty but would be allowed to stay in the organization. I appealed their decision…. I was found guilty again and disfellowshipped on February 3, 1992.54

Hess concludes, “Continuing my Bible research has led to my understanding of the errors of the Watchtower teachings. Although I lost my family and my former culture, Jesus has opened my eyes and allowed me to see the One I was seeking to worship (John 9).”55 In a letter, Hess expresses his present faith: “I have made Jesus my Lord and my God (John 20:28).”56

Ironically, Jay Hess was disfellowshiped for believing a doctrine that had been taught by Russell and Rutherford, affirmed in subsequent Watch Tower publications, and included in the Watch Tower charter. Moreover, if Christ is God, not to worship Him is scripturally wrong. Church historian Philip Schaff states the historic position of the church: “Finally Christ cannot be a proper object of worship, as he is represented in Scripture and has always been regarded in the Church, without being strictly divine. To worship a creature is idolatry.”57

Finally, since the worship of Christ Jesus was not rejected as unscriptural and as a form of idolatry until 1954, how can it be claimed that 1919 saw the “restoration of pure worship” in the movement?58 Furthermore, while still involved in such “idolatry,” why would Jehovah choose such an organization as his “sole visible channel, through whom alone spiritual instruction was to come”?59

Edmond C. Gruss has written several books and a number of articles on the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the cults, and the occult. To receive a short article by Jay Hess on how to tactfully challenge the next JW who comes to your door, send a SASE (#10 size) to: Witnessing, 21137 Placerita Cyn. Rd., Newhall, CA 91321.

Notes

1 Awake! 8 April 2000, 26

2 Ibid., 27.

3 k nowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1995), 49.

4 “Questions from Readers,” The Watchtower, 1 November 1964, 671.

5 Watch Tower Reprints, November 1879, 48.

6 C. T. Russell, “The Arch-Angel,” Zion’s Watch Tower, June 1883, 490. “Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God’s Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return.” (Insight on the Scriptures, vol. 2 [Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1988], 393.) For a rebuttal, see Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993), chap. 7.

7 Watch Tower Reprints, March 1880, 82–83.

8 Watch Tower Reprints, October 1880, 144.

9 “Our Chicago Convention,” Watch Tower Reprints, 1 and 15 September 1893, 1580–81.

10 Watch Tower Reprints, 15 July 1898, 2337.

11 Watch Tower Reprints, 1 January 1906, 3703.

12 The Harp of God (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1921), 161; 1928 ed., 163.

13 Deliverance (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1926), 204; later eds., 215.

14 Light, vol. 2 (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1930), 166.

15 Ibid., 251.

16 Ibid., 321.

17 Vindication, vol. 3 (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1932), 295.

18 Preparation (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1933), 328–29.

19 Ibid., 331.

20 Jehovah (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1934), 24.

21 Riches (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1936), 325.

22 Ibid., 332–33.

23 Salvation (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1939), 151.

24 Religion (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1940), 302.

25 “The Way to Life,” The Watchtower, 15 August 1941, 252.

26 Riches, 353–54.

27 The Watchtower, 1 July 1942, 203.

28 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1974), 246–47.

29 “The History and Operations of Our Society,” Watch Tower Reprints, 1 November 1917, 6162.

30 1945 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1944), 32. For $6.00 (money order) a copy of the amended Charter is available from: Office of Recorder of Deeds, 101 County Office Building, 542 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2947. Allegheny County Pennsylvania Charter Book, vol. 70, 171–76 (recorded 27 February 1945).

31 “Jehovah Hath Become King!” The Watchtower, 15 October 1945, 313.

32 “A Healthful Means of Gain,” The Watchtower, 1 September 1948, 260.

33 “Make Sure of All Things” (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1953), 85.

34 “Questions from Readers,” The Watchtower, 1 January 1954, 31.

35 Allegheny County Pennsylvania Charter Book, vol. 75, 678–79 (recorded 28 February 1956). The Recorder of Deeds indicates that this was the last amendment to the charter (note postmarked 26 July 2000).

36 “Do Not Loiter at Your Business,” The Watchtower, 1 April 1953, 216.

37 Qualified to Be Ministers (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1955), 304.

38 1969 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1968), 50.

39 “A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation,” Watchtower, 15 December 1971, 760.

40 Jehovah’s Witnesses — Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1993), 229.

41 The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life (Brooklyn: Watch Tower, 1968), 152.

42 “Prayer,” Insight on the Scriptures, vol. 2, 667.

43 “To Whom Should We Pray?” Watch Tower Reprints, 15 May 1892, 1410.

44 “Our Chicago Convention,” Watch Tower Reprints, 1 and 15 September 1893, 1580.

45 “If I Go Away I Will Come Again,” Watch Tower Reprints, 15 December 1906, 3911.

46 C. T. Russell, quoted in L. W. Jones, ed., What Pastor Russell Said (Chicago: Chicago Bible Students, 1917), 540–41.

47 Robert L. Reymond, Jesus, Divine Messiah (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1990), 89.

48 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 277.

49 A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, vol. 5 (Nashville: Broadman, 1932), 86.

50 Philip Wesley Comfort, Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 123.

51 Rhodes, 168.

52 Jay Hess, “In and Out of the Watchtower,” Free Minds Journal, January–February 1995, 10.

53 Ibid.

54 Ibid., 11.

55 Ibid.

56 Bethel Ministries Newsletter, May–June 1992, 5.

57 Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 5th ed., vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), 662.

58 “Keeping Up with the Truth,” The Watchtower, 1 March 1956, 147.

59 “Finding Freedom with Jehovah’s Visible Organization,” The Watchtower, 1 October 1967, 590.