03 October, 2012

Discussion with a Jehovah Witness

Part I

(John Trunkwalter) "The Roman Catholic Church came in as the result of the bible fortold apostascy.
(2Thessalonians 2:3) 3 Let no one seduce YOU in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first . . .
this was talked about in the book of acts."

(Cristoiglesia) Really? So you are calling the Bible false teaching by this statement. By what authority do you make such unsupported statements? The entire New Testament speaks of the Church and its relationship with Christ. Nowhere in the Bible does it make any statements about the Church falling into apostasy. However, I do know the true source of your fanciful history. The Jehovah Witnesses came out of the Stone-Campbell-Millerite movement of the mid-19th century along with other heretical sects all claiming to be the restored church. Your cousin religions are the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Christadelphians and Church of Christ and the schismatic sects that came from these. The Jehovah Witnesses have spawned many schisms such as the Iglesia Ni Cristo and the Church of Christ International. Most of these heretical sects do not accept the fact that Jesus is God which places them firmly outside of Christianity. Some are Arians like the Jehovah Witnesses others are Sabellians or Modal Monarchists.

These groups came from the Protestant movement and have nothing to do with the Church founded by Christ except their spurious claim to be Christian and a restoration of Christ's Church claiming that the Church fell into apostasy shortly after the death of the disciples. Such statements and beliefs are contradictory to the Bible and more directly they are contradictory to the teaching and assurances of Jesus. If such claims were true it would mean that for 1800+ years the Church ceased to exist until so called Prophets like Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell and Ellen G. White founded their heretical sects. The truth of the Bible, the Church and history is completely different from your claims. Jesus said that the Church would never fall into apostasy by stating that "the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church". You are claiming that Jesus either lied or was incompetent in establishing His Church. He was neither. You are claiming that the Bible is a false teacher when it claims that the Church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth". These things are taught by Jesus and the Bible so that Christians will not fall for false teachers that claim otherwise.

As 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is saying "Let no one seduce you" which is truly what you are trying to do. The Apostasy spoken of has been spoken of in different ways through history. The earliest commentary says that it is the destruction of Rome as a power in the world when the nations of Rome depart from the unity of the Roman State. Others state later that it is referring to the last days when the antichrist comes to persecute the Church. Others predicted that it would be Christians falling away because they could not endure the sound doctrine of the Church. This would relate to the Protestant rebellion of the 15th century. No one claims that such an apostasy occurred immediately after the death of the original apostles. Such a supposition is pure folly with no support biblically, patristically or historically. Where is the evidence to support your claim that the Church came about as the result of such an apostasy? Of course there is none.

(John Trunkwalter) "(Acts 20:29, 30) 29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among YOU and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among YOU yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.
And this is what happened the church made up doctrine that dishonered God like the 3=1 trinity and the apostacy was in full bloom."

(Cristoiglesia) The verse you provided does not illustrate apostasy of the Church but instead it illustrates that there will be false prophets and teachers that will try to draw people away for Christ's own Church. Your own sect is an example of this and the Bible describes false prophets like the Jehovah Witnesses and others as ravening wolves that go from house to house seeking prey which are those weak in faith and knowledge. The Trinity is the fundamental teaching of the Church and to cease to believe in the Trinity is to cease to be Christian as this is the fundamental and essential belief of Christianity. The Trinity is the undeniable and consistent teaching of Christ, the Church, the Bible and the early Church fathers. Those that believe or teach otherwise were condemned at the Council of Nicaea to an eternity in Hell. Clearly Arians are not Christian and you are one in an evil modernist Arian sect and a counterfeit church to the Christian faith. The Watchtower throughout its short history has been led by false teachers and prophets

(John Trunkwalter) "What Jehovah`s Witnesses are is a restoration of the truth.
(1Timothy 4:1) 4 However, the inspired utterance says definitely that in later periods of time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons,"

(Cristoiglesia) The only trust Jehovah Witnesses have is in their publishing company and not in any Church founded by Christ containing His promises for veracity.

Christ using construction vernacular says the following:

Upon this rock I will build my Church speaking to St. Peter.
Christ is the cornerstone and the 12 disciples are the foundation
He says that He will be with His Church
He says that the Church will endure until the Parousia
He says that the Church will be free of apostasy
He says that He will be with His Church for all time and does this by sending the Holy Spirit to guide the Church and by sharing His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity with His Church through His miracle of the Eucharist.
He says the His Church is the “bulwark and ground of the truth”.

Can Charles Taze Russell or the Watchtower Publishing Company make such promises when founding their sect? Of course not, only Christ’s promises have veracity regardless of the intent or sincerity of any man.

(John Trunkwalter) "(Daniel 12:4) 4 “And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of [the] end. Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge will become abundant.”

(Cristoiglesia) Yes,in this time of the end through the Holy Spirit true Knowledge has become abundant. The Catholic church is on its way Down and you see it,all you have to do is watch the news."

The Prophet is saying that his prophecy will not be understood until the apocalypse.

(John Trunkwalter) "(Revelation 18:4-8) 4 And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if YOU do not want to share with her in her sins, and if YOU do not want to receive part of her plagues. 5 For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. 6 Render to her even as she herself rendered, and do to her twice as much, yes, twice the number of the things she did; in the cup in which she put a mixture put twice as much of the mixture for her. 7 To the extent that she glorified herself and lived in shameless luxury, to that extent give her torment and mourning. For in her heart she keeps saying, ‘I sit a queen, and I am no widow, and I shall never see mourning.’ 8 That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong."

(Cristoiglesia) This is a prophetic warning to Christians to get out of Rome when it falls. The fact is that upon this fall Christians were saved by the other congregations founded by St. Peter and St. Paul. They fled to places like Antioch which was the bishopric founded by St. Peter.

(John Trunkwalter) "as for How could God and Christ be saperated Christ was God`s First born son."

(Cristoiglesia) Yes, this verse is stating that there was no other savior before Christ as Christ is God's only begotten Son and the Lamb of God. There is no separation between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as they are one God.

(Colossians 1:15) 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
Notice not only is he the firstborn but also he is part of creation."

The first[2] born of every creature. St. Chrysostom takes notice against the Arians, that the apostle calls Christ the first-begotten, or first-born, not the first created, because he was not created at all. And the sense is, that he was before all creatures, proceeding from all eternity from the Father; though some expound the words of Christ as man, and that he was greater in dignity. See Romans viii. 29. (Witham)

(John Trunkwalter) "(John3:16) 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son,
Christ is a Begotten son. no where in the Bible does it say he is eternaly begotten."

(Cristoiglesia) Joh 1:1-2= In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:14-15= And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

Isa 44:6= Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘ I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

Part II

(John Trunkwalter) “Hey Joe, Its time to talk about was the Alpostle Peter the rock on which the Catholic church wac built?
The apostle Paul showedJeus Christ was the Rock on which the True Christian Church Is Built.
1 Corinthians 3:11 Common English Bible (CEB)

11 No one can lay any other foundation besides the one that is already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:4

Common English Bible (CEB)

4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.

Peter also showed the foundation conerstone was Christ which was chose by God.
1 Peter 2:4-8

Common English Bible (CEB)

4 Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable. 5 You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple. You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Thus it is written in scripture, Look! I am laying a cornerstone in Zion, chosen, valuable. The person who believes in him will never be shamed.[a] 7 So God honors you who believe. For those who refuse to believe, though, the stone the builders tossed aside has become the capstone. 8 This is a stone that makes people stumble and a rock that makes them fall. Because they refuse to believe in the word, they stumble. Indeed, this is the end to which they were appointed.”

(Cristoiglesia) Yes Jesus is the cornerstone of the Church. Let us look at the teaching of our Lord about His Church. Using construction vernacular He said that He was the King, High Priest, and Cornerstone of the Church. The beginning of a firm/solid/ foundation is always the cornerstone which holds together the elements of the construction.

He appointed St. Peter as the prime minister of the Church fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah that the Messiah would ordain an enduring office of prime minister and that that prime minister would be given the keys to the kingdom. This is exactly what He did when appointing St. Peter. The keys represented his office and the authority of that office which was to have the power of the king in ministering to the kingdom and the authority to teach and proclaim the will of the king. (Isa 22:20-25)

The disciples are called the 12 foundation stones (Rev 21:14) of the Church continuing illustrating the permanence of what God is building. It is not a foundation of sand that is temporary but is of an enduring nature to last until the Parousia and strong enough to withstand the tumultuous attacks of hell that would surely attempt to prevail against the Church using every method of attack from within and from without. Even the world would hate that which our Lord had built just as it hated Him. This enduring leadership is the foundation of a Church that can truly be called the "pillar and foundation of the truth" because that which Christ has ordained shall never pass away or be absorbed into the world but will for all time remain heavenly as the ark for humanity where all may be saved just as the ark of Noah was the type for the Church which must endure within the evil of the world to bring the faithful into the promised land of heaven.

Last of all, the Church stands as testimony to the veracity of Christ and His promises to humanity. The Church is the fulfillment of Scriptures in its enduring quality as well as it being that pillar or bulwark of truth in a world filled with lies, temptation and sins that will murder souls to Christ and decrease the harvest. Its unity in His will with faith and oneness of its mission to proclaim the Gospel after 2000 years is a miracle in itself but also it proclaims the divinity of our Lord where in His prophetic vision, competence of His leadership as the builder of His Church and His promises of His Church makes it truly a city on a hill that cannot be hid (Mat 5:14) frustrating its detractors and more truly the "gates of hell".

(John Trunkwalter) “Peter`s name in the Bible Greek is Pet-ros-a masculin noun meaning a peice of rock

Rock in greek is Pevtra, a noun-feminine-meaning-a rock”

(Cristoiglesia) I truly appreciate the efforts to defend the Watchtower opposition to Christ’s Church using the original languages as a weapon against what Christ and the disciples have founded. The defense of  the following verse:

Matthew 16:18: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church."

Of course this is the verse where our Lord appointed Simon as the leader of the disciples, head of the Church on earth and the Pope. It is believed by some Protestants that they can defend their position of Simon not receiving the authority from Jesus by using the original Greek.

The claim made is that there is a difference between the Greek words “petra” and “petros”. Now, if this discussion between Jesus and Simon had occurred a few centuries earlier before Attic Greek had ceased to be and lost in antiquity it might be a valid argument. However, in the first century when this discussion occurred the Greek language was Koine Greek instead. In Koine Greek there is no difference in the meaning between “petra” and “petros” except in Koine Greek “petra” is feminine and “petros” is the masculine form. So what I am saying is that one is making a great error in interpretation to assign the Attic Greek meanings large stone and small stone, which was used in ancient Greek poetic writings, when that language was gone for centuries in usage.

Now, let us look at the Aramaic which is the familial language spoken by Jesus and the disciples which is the language which this discussion recorded in the Scriptures in Koine Greek occurred. We know that Jesus spoke in Aramaic because His words on the cross are in Aramaic (Matt 27:46). In fact, the book of Matthew was originally written in Aramaic according to most scholars including myself. Also in the St. Paul’s letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians we see the word Cephas a total of eight times which is the English equivalent of kepha. Kepha always means rock. So, in Matthew 16:18 it would read using the Aramaic “You are Kepha and on this Kepha I will build my Church.” There is no big rock and pebble as evidence was given in the then dead Attic Greek. So in the original language Jesus does not offer a contrast but instead He clearly is calling Simon the rock.

If one is not yet convinced that the rendering in Attic Greek is improper let us look at Matthew 16:18 with the Attic Greek interpretation and see which one makes the most sense…. “Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father in heaven. And I tell you, you are just a little pebble and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Instead of the Koine Greek “you are Rock (Petros) and upon this rock (petros) I will build my Church. He goes on to give Simon Peter the keys to heaven showing the authority of the rock named Peter. As the King of Kings Jesus is making Peter His prime minister of His kingdom and we can see the foreshadowing from Isaiah 22: 21-22 and the leader of the flock from John 21:15-17. It shows in Isaiah the passing on of the keys from one to another for authority of the kingdom just as the authority of the papacy is passed on. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph


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    1. It is clearly apparent that you cannot support your egregious claims against biblical teaching.

      Matthew 16:16-18 (NRSVCE)

      16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,[a] the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter,[b] and on this rock[c] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

      Matthew 16:16 Or the Christ
      Matthew 16:18 Gk Petros
      Matthew 16:18 Gk petra