Question #40: Grammatically use John 1:1 to refute the JWs view of the deity of Christ.
Answer: It is true that “the Word was God” phrase in Greek does not have a definite article before “God.” Thus JWs (Jehovah Witnesses) can and have translated the phrase as “the Word was a god” in their New World Translation. My 3-fold refutation is as follows:
1) It can also be translated as the KJV translators did (the Word was God) and properly have done so because…
2) the preceding Theos (God) in the same sentence is with the definite article ton (“the”). So, properly translated, “the Word was with the God, and the Word was God.”
3) If JWs want to be consistent, then they should also translate verses 6, 12, 13, and 18 as containing “a god” since Theos in these verses nowhere carries the definite article!
One-Minute Theology with Chaplain T features the question and answer portions of the Systematic Theology courses that were part of my seminary work at Piedmont Baptist Graduate School. I will be posting one Q & A everyday until my ordination council meeting set for February 2014.
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