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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Isa. 9:6 "Mighty God, Eternal Father"

Isa. 9:6 

(From the RDB Files)

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
 
All Christians, I believe, accept this son as being the Christ.  Some will tell you that since the meaning of this symbolic name includes the words "Mighty God, Eternal Father," then Jesus is  the Mighty God and the Eternal Father."


But there are at least two other ways this personal name has been interpreted by reputable Bible scholars. (1) The titles found within the name (e.g., "Mighty God") are intended in their secondary, subordinate senses.  (2) The titles within the name are meant to praise God the Father, not the Messiah.

First, there is the possibility that the words (or titles) found in the literal meaning of the name apply directly to the Messiah all right but in a subordinate sense.  In other words, Christ is "a mighty god" in the same sense that God's angels were called "gods" and the judges of Israel were called "gods" by God himself (also by Jesus - John 10:34, 35), and Moses was called "a god" by Jehovah himself.  This is the interpretation of Is. 9:6 by the WT Society at this time (1986).

Yes, men and angels were called gods (elohim - Hebrew; theos - Greek) in a proper, but subordinate, sense by Jehovah and his inspired Bible writers.  Although they were given this elevated title in a proper sense (not false gods), it was obviously with the clear understanding that it in no way implied a comparison with the Most High, Only True God.  (A bank employee calling his boss, the head of the bank, "the president" would certainly not imply an equality of position, power, etc. with "The President" [of the USA].)
  
The word "god" as understood by those who used that term simply meant a "mighty one" - see Young's Concordance.  In fact the word "Mighty" as found at Is. 9:6 (Gibbor in the original Hebrew) is also applied to the angels at Ps. 103:20 (see a modern concordance such as the New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible).  It is interesting that the  ancient translation of the Old Testament that Jesus frequently quoted, the Septuagint Version, renders Is. 9:6: "and his [the Messiah's] name is called the Angel [aggeloV, messenger] of Great Counsel."   


The very early (ca. 160 A.D.) Christian Justin Martyr quoted Is. 9:6 also as "The Angel of mighty counsel" - "Dialogue With Trypho," ch. LXXVI.

So, just as "Lord" was applied to anyone in authority: angels, masters over servants, husbands, etc., so, too, could "god" be applied to anyone (good or bad) who was considered a "mighty person."  Of course only one person could be called the "Most High God," or the "Only True God," or the "Almighty God"!  [See the sidebar: "God and gods"]

In the same way, "Eternal Father" could mean that the Messiah is one who has been given eternal life and through him God has brought eternal life to many others.  (We might make the comparison that the Heavenly Father has brought men to life in this world through their earthly fathers.)  This would be intended in a clearly subordinate sense and not to take anything away from the ultimate honor, glory, worship, etc. due the Most High God and Father in heaven - Jehovah.


At any rate, even trinitarians do not confuse the two separate persons of the Father and the Son.  They do not say the Son is the Father.  They say the Father and the Son are two separate individual persons who are equally "God"!

Therefore, since we obviously cannot take "Eternal Father" in the literal sense to mean that Jesus is the Father,   we cannot take the rest of that same name (esp. `Mighty God') in its literal highest sense and say that Jesus is Mighty God, etc., either.

In addition to the distinct possibility of the use of the secondary subordinate meanings of the titles such as "God/god" as explained by Bible language scholars, we can see by the actual renderings of some trinitarian Bible translators at Is. 9:6 that they believe such subordinate meanings were intended by the inspired Bible writer.


Instead of "Mighty God," Dr. James Moffatt translated this part of Is. 9:6 as "a divine hero;" Byington has "Divine Champion;" The New English Bible has "In Battle Godlike;" The Catholic New American Bible (1970 and 1991 revision) renders it "God-Hero;" and the REB says "Mighty Hero."  Even that most-respected of Biblical Hebrew language experts, Gesenius, translated it "mighty hero" - p. 45, Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon.

Also, The NIV Study Bible, in a f.n. for Ps 45:6, tells us:



"In this psalm, which praises the king and especially extols his `splendor and majesty' (v. 3), it is not unthinkable that he was called `god' as a title of honor [cf.  Isa 9:6]."  (Bracketed information included in original footnote.  Emphasis is mine)
    
In addition, Rotherham has rendered "Eternal Father" as "father of progress," and the New English Bible translates it: "father of a wide realm."

The above-mentioned Bible translations by trinitarian scholars which apply the words in the name at Is. 9:6 in a subordinate sense directly to Jesus clearly show that they do not believe this scripture implies an equality with Jehovah the Father.

But, some may ask, if ‘a mighty god’ were intended in this name, why is “God” given a capital ‘G’ in most translations of this name?

The answer is that in English translations of names we often find the major words within a name (or title) are capitalized. This is similar to the way book titles, names of buildings, ships, etc. are written in English. ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ ‘The World Trade Center,’ ‘The Empire State Building,’ ‘Allure of the Seas’ (cruise ship), etc., are modern examples.

........................
 
And second, another way competent Bible scholars have interpreted the meaning of this name is with the understanding that it (as with many, if not most, of the other Israelites' personal names) does not apply directly to the Messiah (as we have already seen with "Elijah," "Abijah," etc.) but is, instead, a statement praising the Father, Jehovah God.
 
Personal names in the ancient Hebrew and Greek are often somewhat cryptic to us today.  The English Bible translator must fill in the missing minor words (especially in names composed of two or more Hebrew words) such as "my," "is," "of," etc. in whatever way he thinks best in order to make sense for us today in English.


For instance, two of the best Bible concordances (Young's and Strong's) and a popular trinitarian Bible dictionary (Today's Dictionary of the Bible) differ greatly on the exact meaning of many Biblical personal names because of those "minor" words which must be added to bring out the intended meaning.
 
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, for example, says the name "Elimelech" (which is literally just "God King") means "God of (the) King."  Young's Analytical Concordance says it means "God is King."  Today's Dictionary of the Bible says it means " God his king" -  p. 206, Bethany House Publ., 1982.  And an online meaning is given as “My God is the King.” - http://www.kveller.com/jewish_names/display.php?n=Elimelech&k=840 


And, “God is my King.” - http://www.jhom.com/calendar/sivan/symbolism.htm .


I haven’t found any scholar/translator who says the name of Elimelech should be translated with its literal meaning of “God King.”



  Those missing minor words that the translator must supply at his own discretion can often make a vital difference!  - For example, the footnote for Gen. 17:5 in The NIV Study Bible: The name 'Abram' "means `Exalted Father,' probably in reference to God (i.e., `[God is] Exalted Father')."- Brackets in original.

This is why another name the Messiah is to be called by at Jer. 23:6 is rendered, `The LORD [YHWH] is Our Righteousness' in the following Bibles: RSV; NRSV; NEB; NJB;  JPS (Margolis, ed.); Tanakh; Byington; AT; and  ASV (footnote).  Of course other translations render it more literally by calling the Messiah "The LORD [YHWH] Our Righteousness" to help support a `Jesus is God' doctrine. Some of these (such as the NASB) actually render the very same name at Jer. 33:16 as "The LORD [or Jehovah] is Our Righteousness"! - [bracketed information is mine].


(Unfortunately for "Jesus is Jehovah" advocates, the very same name given to the Messiah at Jer. 23:16 is given to a city at Jer. 33:16.)


But perhaps most instructive of all is the name given to the prophet’s child in Isaiah 8:3 shortly before his giving the name found in Is. 9:6.


Is. 8:3
Maher-shalal-hash-baz: Literally, “spoil speeds prey hastes” or “swift booty speedy prey.” Translated by various Bible scholars as: “In making speed to the spoil he hasteneth the prey” - - “swift [is] booty, speedy [is] prey” - - “the spoil speeded, the prey hasteth” - - “Speeding for spoil, hastening for plunder” - - “There will soon be looting and stealing”- - “Speeding is the spoil, Hastening is the prey” - - “The Looting Will Come Quickly; the Prey Will Be Easy” - - “Take sway the spoils with speed, quickly take the prey” - - “Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey” - - “Swift the Spoils of War and Speedy Comes the Attacker” - - “Make haste to plunder! Hurry to the spoil!” - - “Make haste to the spoil; fall upon the prey.”

And John Gill wrote:

“‘hasten to seize the prey, and to take away the spoil.’ Some translate it, ‘in hastening the prey, the spoiler hastens’; perhaps it may be better rendered, ‘hasten to the spoil, hasten to the prey.’”


Therefore, the personal name at Is. 9:6 has been honestly translated as:

"And his name is called: Wonderful in counsel is God the Mighty, the everlasting Father, the Ruler of peace" - The Holy Scriptures, JPS Version (Margolis, ed.) to show that it is intended to praise the God of the Messiah who performs great things through the Messiah. 

‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, ‘Wonderful, Counselor [IS] The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ The two letter word ‘is,’ is usually not stated in Hebrew. Rather, the ‘is’ is understood.” - https://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2016/04/prophecy-about-jesus-mighty-god.html 


The Leeser Bible also translates it:
 

“Wonderful, counsellor of the mighty God, of the everlasting Father, the prince of peace” 

Also, An American Translation (by trinitarians Smith and Goodspeed) says:
"Wonderful counselor is God almighty, Father forever, Prince of peace." 

‘Wonderful in counsel is God the mighty, the Everlasting Father, the Ruler of Peace’ (Hertz 1968).
 

Of course it could also be honestly translated: "Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God is the Eternal Father of the Prince of Peace."
   
And the Tanakh by the JPS, 1985, translates it:

[a]"The Mighty God is planning grace;
[b] The Eternal Father [is] a peaceable ruler."
 
This latter translation seems particularly appropriate since it is in the form of a parallelism.  Not only was the previous symbolic personal name introduced by Isaiah at Is. 8:1 a  parallelism ("Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz" means  [a]"quick to the plunder;   [b] swift to the spoil" - NIV footnote) but the very introduction to this Messianic name at Is. 9:6 is itself a parallelism: [a]"For unto us a child is born;  [b] unto us a son is given."  It would, therefore, be appropriate to find that this name, too, was in the form of a parallelism as translated by the Tanakh above.

So it is clear, even to a number of trinitarian scholars, that Is. 9:6 does not imply that Jesus is Jehovah God.
 











  







 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

CLEAR CHALLENGES FOR THE TRINITY DOCTRINE
(with added material)

"trinity ...1. [cap.] Theol. The union of three persons or hypostases (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) in one Godhead, so that all the three are one God as to substance, but three persons or hypostases as to individuality. 2. Any synbol of the Trinity in art. 3. Any union of three in one; a triad; as the Hindu trinity, or Trimurti." - Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Co., 1961. (underlined emphasis added by me.)

………………………………..

Athanasian Creed: "And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other, none is greater or less than others; but the whole three persons are co- eternal together; and co-equal. So that in all things as is aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

"HE THEREFORE THAT WILL BE SAVED MUST THUS THINK OF THE TRINITY."
....................................................
"Trinity, the Most Holy

"The most sublime mystery of the Christian faith is this: 'God is absolutely one in nature and essence, and relatively three in Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who are really distinct from each other." - p. 584, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, 1976.
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The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
"1. The Term 'Trinity':
"The term "Trinity" is not a Biblical term, and we are not using Biblical language when we define what is expressed by it as the doctrine that there is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence." - p. 3012, Vol. IV, Eerdmans, 1984.


………………………………....

Challenges from scripture itself:

(A) Please carefully and thoroughly search to find a vision, dream, or clear description in scripture wherein God is shown as more than one person.

(This is really not that difficult. Either there is a vision, dream, description, etc. somewhere in scripture clearly showing the one God as three persons or there isn't. Either way, it should not be difficult to ascertain and admit truthfully.)

………………………………............

(B) Please show where in scripture God is ever described using the word "three."

(Either God is described somewhere in scripture using the word "three" as part of a description of Him, or He is not. Either way it should not be difficult to ascertain and admit truthfully.)

……………………………….............

(C) Please find a clear, direct, undisputed statement (equivalent to 'Jesus is the Christ' or "YHWH is the Father" which are found repeatedly in clear undisputed scriptures) which declares:
'YHWH is the Son,' or 'YHWH is the Firstborn,' or, 'YHWH is the Messiah (or "Christ"), or any other equally clear, undisputed statement (or personal name) that 'Jesus is YHWH' (the only God according to scripture).

……………………………….................

Since the Father is clearly, directly, and indisputably called "God, the Father," many, many times, and the Son and Holy Spirit are said by trinitarians to be equally the one God (in ‘three distinct persons’):

(D) Please give equally clear, undisputed scriptures where Jesus is called "God the Son," (equal to those which declare "God, the Father" – Ro. 15:6; 1 Cor. 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 11:31; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 4:6; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; etc.)

and,

………………………………....................

(E) Please give equally clear, undisputed scriptures where the Holy Spirit is called "God, the Holy Spirit."

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(F) If Jesus and/or the first century Christians (considered a sect of Judaism at that time) truly believed that Jesus was God, How could they possibly be allowed to teach in the temple and synagogues as they were?

………………………………...................

(G) If John truly believed the new ‘knowledge’ of Jesus being equally God, why would he summarize and conclude his Gospel with, “But these [the Gospel of John] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…”

……………………………….................

(H) When the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were attempting to gather evidence to kill Jesus, why did they have to hire false witnesses? And why did these same priests and false witnesses never say that Jesus believed (or taught) that he was God? Instead the high priest finally said to Jesus: “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” - Matt. 26:59-63 NIV.

Obviously these officials had never heard anyone accuse Jesus or his followers claim that Jesus was God!

………………………………...............

Challenge from creation itself:

Ro. 1:20, NASB - "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

(I) Please show where in nature mankind would clearly see the three-in-oneness (or just threeness) of God from the beginning. (This would have to be something as clear and important as the single sun in the sky which has been recognized to support life from the beginning. Or the man made in God's image, was made with a single personality, a single body, a single head, a single heart.)

I believe any objective observer would admit that the answers to these simple scriptural challenges (A-H above) should be abundantly, clearly, indisputably available if the trinity (or ‘Jesus is God’) worshipers are correct.

To look for rare instances of unclear, disputed scriptures which have to be interpreted to fit a trinitarian concept (developed after the death of the last Apostle and the completion of Scripture) and convince yourself that they are "proofs" is a tragic error.

God has always existed as God and, therefore, His people should have always known who He was and worshiped him in truth.

To believe that God withheld this information from his people (or made it something to be interpreted from unclear references) from the beginning (and throughout all Scriptures) is a tragic error.

………………………

Let's examine, one by one, what should be found in scripture (if the trinity were true) as listed above.

(A) Please carefully and thoroughly search to find a vision, dream, or clear description in scripture wherein God is shown as more than one person.

Here is what I have found when searching the scriptures for visions of God:

Even though God has caused a representation of himself to be "seen" in dreams and visions, we still don’t know exactly what he "physically" looks like. Still, we should get some idea of the essential knowledge he wants us to know about himself from these inspired visions. We know that he always represents himself as a single person seated on a throne.

For example, at Ezekiel 1:5, 6, 26-28 we see God as he showed himself to Ezekiel in a vision.

"and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man, but each of them had four faces..." - Ezek. 1:5-6, NIV.

Now if this had actually been the description of God, "multiple-oneness God" fans would have had the best proof ever for their passion: we would finally have some real evidence for a multiple-oneness God: a four-in-one God (a "Quadrinity")! But these four persons, each with four faces, represent God’s attendants (cherubim), not God. Each one represents 4 different aspects by its 4 faces. Can you imagine what would be said by trinitarians if God were similarly described as three persons each with three faces?!

The point is that God could (and did) show a clear representation of "multiple-oneness" in vision to his inspired prophet, but he never represented himself in such a manner!

Notice that each of these living creatures was in appearance like a man. And every aspect that differed from that of "a man" was carefully described.

Now notice the rest of the vision:

"Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a [single] throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a [single] figure like that of a [single] man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist [singular] up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of [Jehovah]." - Ezek. 1:26-28, NIV.

Remember, we just had a description of spirit persons each of whom looked like a man (except for having four faces). Now we have a description of another person who looks like a man. The differences from the appearance of a man are also noted but do not include anything that would make us think he was, in any way, anything more than a single person! Not three persons, not three heads, not three faces, etc. (In fact, nowhere in the entire Bible is the word "three" associated with a description of God!)

This simply would not be if God were truly three persons! God is a single person, the Father alone, Jehovah.

Now let’s see Daniel’s vision of God:

"the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head [singular] was white like wool. His throne [singular] was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze." - Dan. 7:9, NIV.

Notice that, again, he looks like a single person.

And then,

"one, like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days [seated on the throne] and was led into his presence." - Dan. 7:13, NIV.

So we see a single person seated on God’s throne and another person (the Messiah) being led into God’s presence.

Now let’s see the Apostle John’s vision which parallels Daniel’s vision:

"At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper.... In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures.... Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty...’ [and] ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, ... for you created all things, and by your will they were created....’ Then I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides.... Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain.... He came and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne." - Rev. 4:2, 3, 6, 8, 11; 5:1, 6, 7, NIV.

Again we see a single person on the throne who is God Almighty (Jehovah). And, again, we see the Christ approach God on his throne. And we see this one on the throne again at Rev. 19:4.

"The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: ‘Amen, Hallelujah! ["praise Jehovah "]’" - NIV.

Another important vision of God is that of Stephen.

"But Stephen, full of Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’" - Acts 7:55, 56, NIV.

Again we see God (not "God the Father," or "the Father," but God) as a single person and Jesus as another person (not God, however). And never (in any vision, dream, etc.) do we see the "person" of the Holy Spirit! God is the Father alone - a single person - Jehovah.

God simply has not revealed himself in clear, undisputed scripture as anything but a single person, the Father. The Jews never understood him in any other way. Jesus did not reveal him in any other way. The NT writers did not reveal him in any other way (other than through generalizations, "mystery" solving, and allegorical interpretations which allow a reader to find whatever he is looking for). And the very first Christians (up into the second century at least) did not understand God in any other way.



If God were three persons, it would have been revealed clearly and repeatedly from the beginning. This is essential knowledge of God, and all worshipers of the true God have needed such knowledge from the beginning. God would not have withheld it from his chosen people throughout the thousands of years of his Prophets and inspired scripture writers.

…………………………………..

The second point asked for was:

(B) Please show where in scripture God is ever described using the word "three."

Using Concordances for the KJV (Strong's and Young's Concordances) and the NASB (New American Standard Concordance of the Bible, Lockman Foundation 1981) I have found absolutely no scriptures which use the word "three" in describing God.

Isn't the word "three" at least as important as the word "one' (which is used for God in scripture) for the knowledge of the God whom we must worship in truth (Jn 4:24) - -that is,  if the trinity doctrine were actually true?

Not only is the word "three" never used in conjunction with God anywhere in the Holy Scriptures (which simply could not be if God were really a "trinity"!), but it isn’t even as scripturally important as many other numbers ("one," "seven," "twelve," for example)!

There are "very few traces of ‘three’ in the cultus and the religious conceptions of the Israelites .... This relative rarity of a connexion between ‘three’ and religious notions, which prevails in the OT, should not be [supplied] from other sources. The thunder call, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jahweh (the?) one’ (Dt 6:4, cf. Is 41:4 44:6 48:12 ), drowns the voice of those who refer us to the triads of gods that were adored by the Babylonians, Assyrians, (Anu, Bel, and Ea, etc. ...), and other nations of antiquity. .... But the original meaning of the OT text must not be modified to suit either heathen parallels or later stages in its own development." - pp. 565, 566, Vol. 3, A Dictionary of the Bible, Hastings (trinitarian), ed., Hendrickson Publ. (trinitarian), 1988 printing.

"Although three has widely been thought a sacred number [by trinitarians, of course], specifically religious uses of it in the Bible seem to be relatively few." - p. 687, Vol. 2, The New International Dictionary of the New Testament (trinitarian), Zondervan Publ. (trinitarian), 1986.



If there were even hints of a trinity to be found in Scripture, the one word we would regularly see with religious significance would be "three." The fact that it is relatively insignificant throughout Scripture should be enough in itself to refute any idea of a trinity!

………………………………………

In challenge (A) above we find that All the visions and dreams in all scripture which show God, show him as one person only, and in challenge (B) we discover that the word "three" is never used in describing God anywhere in clear, undisputed scripture.


Third:

(C) Please find a clear, direct, undisputed scriptural statement equivalent to 'Jesus is the Christ' or "YHWH is the Father" (which really are found repeatedly in clear, undisputed scriptures) which declares:

'YHWH is the Son,' or 'YHWH is the Firstborn,' or, 'YHWH is the Messiah (or "Christ"), or any other equally clear, undisputed statement (or personal name) that 'Jesus is YHWH' (the only God according to scripture).


This challenge, (C) above, is mostly confined to the OT Scriptures, since it requires use of the only personal name of God: YHWH (transliterated ‘JEHOVAH’ – Ps. 83:18, KJV or "Jehovah" - Ex. 3:15, ASV; NEB; MLB; LB; KJIIV and MKJV; Byington; Young’s; and Darby or ‘Yahweh’ – Ex. 3:15, AT; JB; NJB; World English Bible).

God is named YHWH, which is rendered in most English Bibles as "LORD" (all capitals), 'Yahweh,' and/or 'Jehovah.' The KJV uses 'JEHOVAH' at Ps. 83:18, but 'LORD 'in nearly all the other 6000+ places it is found in the Hebrew manuscripts.

There is no other God but YHWH (Is. 45:5, 45:21; 46:9; Ps. 83:16-18). [See end note]

There are clear direct, undisputed statements that YHWH is the Father (e.g., Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O Jehovah, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." - ASV).

There are a number of personal names in scripture which mean "God is YHWH" (Elijah); "YHWH is God" (Joel).

But more important, there are a number of personal names in scripture which mean "YHWH is the Father" (e.g., Abijah; Abia; Joab). These names are also clear, direct undisputed statements of who YHWH, the only God, is: the Father.

So my scriptural challenge here, (C), is to

Please find a clear, direct, undisputed scriptural statement which is equivalent to 'Jesus is the Christ' or 'YHWH is the Father' (which really are found repeatedly in clear, undisputed scriptures) which declares:

'YHWH is the Son,' or 'YHWH is the Firstborn,' or, 'YHWH is the Messiah (or "Christ"), or any other equally clear, undisputed statement (or personal name) that 'Jesus is YHWH' (the only God according to scripture).

Yes, it would most likely be found in the OT, but that is where the scriptures are which we have referred to! The OT is, of course the largest part of the Bible and is the only scripture known to Jesus and his followers during his lifetime on earth.

Nevertheless, it could still be found in personal names in the NT (as it was in the OT), since the only uses of God’s personal name found in still-existing NT manuscripts are in personal names and the phrase ‘Hallelujah’ (‘Praise Jehovah.’):

Some of the names in the NT which contain God's personal name: Uriah; Abijah ('The Father is Jehovah') NKJV, ASV; RSV, NRSV, JB, etc.; Jehoshaphat; Jehoram; Uzziah; Hezekiah; Josiah; Jeconiah; Ananias ['Jehovah is Gracious'] - "a common Jewish name, the same as Hananiah." - Today's Dictionary of the Bible, (Ananias, 'high priest at Jerusalem, A.D. 60' - Young's) - Acts 23:2; 24:1.

So people (including a high priest) were still being given personal names which had YHWH's personal name as part of their meaning in NT times. Also 'Elijah' (which means ‘God is Jehovah’) is used 30 times in the NT.

And in Luke 1:5 Zechariah; and Abijah NKJV, ASV; NASB; RSV; NRSV; JB; etc. This is the name of one of the 24 priestly divisions and named by Luke as such in the NT in connection with Zechariah the priest, John the Baptist's Father. This priestly division of Abijah (which means 'The Father is Jehovah') existed until the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

Therefore, there is no reason why personal names, even in the NT, should not have had the meaning of "The Son is YHWH" or the "Holy Spirit is YHWH" (just as so many were named "The Father is YHWH"). Except of course, the obvious one:

No Christian or Jew believed such a thing!

There are no such statements or meanings of personal names in any of the scriptures!


The one true Most High God simply has not revealed himself in any scriptural vision, representation, or dream as anything but a single person, the Father. The Jews never understood him in any other way. Jesus did not reveal him in any other way. The NT writers did not reveal him in any other way (other than by generalizations, "mystery" solving, allegorical interpretations, or disputed translating of trinitarian theologians). And the very first Christians (up to the second century A.D. at least) did not understand God in any other way.

If God were truly three persons, it would have been revealed clearly and repeatedly from the beginning. This is essential knowledge of God, and all worshipers of the true God have needed such knowledge from the beginning. God would not have withheld it from his chosen people throughout the thousands of years of his prophets and inspired scripture writers.

………………………………………..

The fourth request for clear undisputed evidence of a trinity (or Jesus being 'equally God') asked for in Msg #1:

"Since the Father is clearly, directly, and indisputably called "God, the Father," many, many times, and the Son and Holy Spirit are said by trinitarians to be equally the one God (in ‘three distinct persons’):

"(D) Please give equally clear, undisputed scriptures where Jesus is called "God the Son," (equal to those declaring "God, the Father" – Ro. 15:6; 1 Cor. 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 11:31; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 4:6; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; etc.)"

You could add "God, the Christ," "God, the Messiah," "God, the Firstborn," or any other term used exclusively for Jesus. But, surely, if the trinity were true, we would find the term "God, the Son" used equally as often as "God, the Father"!

Using a Bible concordance (Strong's, Young's, or an on-line concordance will do) and looking under "Son," you will find exactly zero uses of "God the Son."

Jesus is never called "God, the Son"!

………………………………..

The fifth request for undisputed, clear, repeated evidence of a trinity (or that a person other than the Father is equally God with him) as requested in message #1 was:

 

(E) Please give equally clear, undisputed scriptures where the Holy Spirit is called "God, the Holy Spirit."

 

Again, when one searches through a good concordance ("spirit" or "holy"), he finds that there is never an instance of 'God, the Holy Spirit' to be found in scripture!  Nor any other clear, undisputed, repeated evidence that the HS is equally God.

…………………………………

(F) If Jesus and/or the first century Christians - considered a sect of (the single-person God) Judaism at that time - truly believed that Jesus was God, how could they possibly be allowed to teach in the temple and synagogues as they were?

 

Ac 13:14 - 44 -
But going on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.
After the reading of the Law and the Prophets the synagogue officials sent to them, saying, "Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it." ….

Ac 14:1 -
In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks.

Acts 17:1 Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ."

Ac 18:4 -
And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

Ac 19:8 -
And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading {them} about the kingdom of God.

………………………………..........

Teaching in the Temple

Mt 26:55 -
At that time Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as {you would} against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.

Mr 12:35 -
And Jesus answering began to say, as He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?

Lu 21:37, 38 -
Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet.
And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him. -

Ac 5:42 -

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

If there had been any suspicion that the Christian sect believed in or taught a three-person God (or any other Most High God equal to YHWH), they would never have even been allowed inside the temple or a synagogue. They certainly would never have been considered a sect of Judaism (as they were).

………………………………...........

(G) If John, the last NT writer, truly believed the new ‘knowledge’ of Jesus being equally God, why would he summarize and conclude his Gospel with, “But these [the Gospel of John] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…” John 20:30-31.

Why in the world would he completely ignore the greatest Christian ‘revelation’ of all (‘God is three persons’) - unless it is not really true?

……………………………….................

(H) When the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were attempting to gather evidence to kill Jesus, why did they have to hire false witnesses? And why did these same priests and false witnesses never say that Jesus believed (or taught) that he was God? Instead the high priest finally said to Jesus: “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God” - Matt. 26:59-63 NIV.

Clearly the priests and the High Priest were unaware of any hint that Jesus or his followers believed Jesus was equally God!

These events were somewhat paralleled by the treatment of Paul by the Jewish leaders (Acts 23-26 -- note esp. 24:14). And yet he was never accused of believing or teaching that Jesus was equally God!

……………………………….................

The final statement or challenge was:

 

"Ro. 1:20, NASB - ‘For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.’

"(I) Please show where in nature mankind would clearly see the three-in-oneness (or just threeness) of God from the beginning. (This would have to be something as clear and important as the single sun in the sky which has been recognized to support life from the beginning. Or the man made in God's image, was made with a single personality, a single body, a single head, a single heart.)"

And the answer is that there is nothing of real consequence that clearly shows a threeness in God's creation which would be obvious to men from the beginning.  There are a number of very important 'onenesses' in God's creation which have been very obvious to men from the beginning, but no threenesses.

………………………………

 

End Note:

In the introduction to the New American Standard Bible (NASB), we find that it is intended to modernize the American Standard Version (ASV) which it praises highly for its accuracy (p. vi).

Furthermore, it admits that where the ASV has transliterated the Hebrew name of God (YHWH) as "Jehovah," the NASB has returned to the older practice of replacing the name (transliterated by OT scholars as "Yahweh" or more often,"Jehovah") with "LORD" (all capitals).
.........................................

Deut. 4:35. "To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD [YHWH], He is God; there is no other besides Him. NASB
Deut. 4:35 Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that Jehovah [YHWH] he is God; there is none else besides him. ASV
......................................
Deut. 4:39. "Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. NASB
Deut. 4:39 Know therefore this day, and lay it to thy heart, that Jehovah he is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. ASV

...............................
2 kings 19:19, NASB "Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God."
2 Kings 19:19, ASV Now therefore, O Jehovah our God, save thou us, I beseech thee, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou Jehovah art God alone.
..................................

Ps. 86:10, 11, NASB 10 For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God. 11 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.

Ps 86:10, 11, ASV 10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone. 11 Teach me thy way, O Jehovah; I will walk in thy truth: Unite my heart to fear thy name.
........................................

Psalms 83:18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth. NASB

Psalms 83:18 That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth. ASV
..............................................
Isaiah 45:5, NASB "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.
Isaiah 45:5 ASV I am Jehovah, and there is none else; besides me there is no God.
....................................

Isaiah 45:21, NASB Is it not I, the LORD ? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.
Isaiah 45:21 ASV who hath declared it of old? have not I, Jehovah? and there is no God else besides me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none besides me.

............................................
Isaiah 45:22, NASB Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.

Isaiah 45:22 ASV Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.


 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Mystery of the Trinity

The Mystery of the Trinity

An honest, clear statement of the Trinity Doctrine would be:

"For there are three persons who compose the only true God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And these three persons are the One God."

It isn't a difficult statement for anyone to write, let alone an inspired Bible writer. But you will never see that (or anything close to it) in the inspired scriptures.

“...speculative thought began to analyze the divine nature until in the 4th century an elaborate theory of a threefoldness in God appears. In this Nicene or Athanasian form of thought God is said to consist of three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all equally eternal, powerful and glorious.” - Encyclopedia Americana, 1944, v. 6, p. 619, “Christianity.”

The Trinity is considered to be "one God in three Persons," yet many sincere believers have found it to be confusing, contrary to normal reason, and unlike anything in their experience. How, they ask, could the Father be God, Jesus be God, and the holy spirit be God, yet there be not three Gods but only one God?

This confusion is widespread.

“It is held that although the [trinity] doctrine is beyond the grasp of human reason, it is, like many of the formulations of physical science, not contrary to reason, and may be apprehended (though it may not be comprehended) by the human mind." - p. 116 Encyclopedia Americana, ‘Trinity.’


Many who accept the Trinity view it similarly:

“The Vatican Council further defined that the Christian Faith contains mysteries strictly so called (can. 4). All theologians admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is of the number of these. Indeed, of all revealed truths this is the most impenetrable to reason. Hence, to declare this to be no mystery would be a virtual denial of the canon in question.” - Catholic Encyclopedia, ‘The Blessed Trinity,’ 1917.

Paul VI in the Credo of the People of God expressed the same faith in the words already quoted in previous catecheses: "The mutual bonds which eternally constitute the Three Persons who are each one and the same Divine Being, are the blessed inmost life of God thrice holy, infinitely beyond all that we can conceive in human measure" - p. 4, L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, July 11, 1968.

“…it is necessary to recall that in Catholic belief the trinity of persons within the unity of nature is a mystery which ultimately escapes understanding;” - p. 900, Dictionary of the Bible, Macmillan Publ. Co., 1965.



“The Holy Trinity is one of the great mysteries of the Orthodox Faith. With our finite and limited minds, we are unable to comprehend the Holy Trinity at all….” -

http://www.orthodox.net/articles/holytrinity.html



“Scholars across the millenia of the Christian Era have spent their ingenuity to no avail in attempting to explain the Trinity of God. …. A relationship contradicting human reason at the a priori level.” - p.630, Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, Bethany House Publ., 1982.


A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge says: "Precisely what that doctrine is, or rather precisely how it is to be explained, Trinitarians are not agreed among themselves."

"The Trinity is a mystery . . . . , which could not be known without revelation, and even after revelation cannot become wholly intelligible." - Theological Dictionary, by Catholic scholars Karl Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler.

However, contending that since the Trinity is such a confusing mystery, it must have come from divine revelation creates another major problem. Why? Because divine revelation itself does not allow for such a view of God: "God is not a God of confusion." -1 Corinthians 14:33 (RSV)

With that Scripture in mind, would God really be responsible for a doctrine about Himself that is so confusing that even Hebrew, Greek, and Latin scholars cannot really explain it?

Furthermore, do people have to be theologians 'to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent'? (John 17:3, JB) If that were the case, why did so few of the educated Jewish religious leaders recognize Jesus as the Messiah? The disciples of Jesus were the humble common people, not the religious leaders. His faithful disciples were, instead, humble farmers, fishermen, tax collectors, housewives. Those common people were so certain of what Jesus taught about God that they could teach it to others and were even willing to die for their belief. (See Matthew 15:1-9; 21:23-32, 43; 23:13-36; John 7:45-49; Acts 4:13)


If the nature of God truly is a "mystery", then scriptures like John 17:3 become very confusing: "And this is the way to have eternal life...to know you, the only true God," (NLT)

God is not so cruel as to tell us that we need to know Him in order to gain eternal life but then not be able to receive it because His very nature is a "mystery"!

Also, given that Man was made in God's image (Gen. 1:26), then shouldn't Man naturally understand God's nature? If man is made in God's image, then why does Man not display any kind of a tri-nature about him whatsoever? Certainly if God possessed such a tri-nature, and such a fundamental tri-nature aspect is conspicuously absent in Man, how then could it be said that Man was made in God's image? He could have easily been created with three personalities. But God expressly made him in his image with one mind, one personality: one person.

“When the writers of the New Testament speak of God they mean the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. When they speak of Jesus Christ, they do not speak of him nor do they think of him as God.” - John M. Creed, Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, in his book, The Divinity of Christ, p. 123

The real mystery is why the Trinity Doctrine is still such an accepted teaching in 95 per cent of Christendom despite the relative ease to demonstrate its pagan and unscriptural history and convoluted reasonings.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Prov. 8:22-30

Prov. 8:22-30 "Wisdom" and Christ

To further show that Jesus is the first creation of God ("beginning of creation"), we should carefully examine Prov. 8:22-30. The understanding that "Wisdom" in these verses is, in reality, figurative of Jesus in his pre-human existence has always existed in the majority of churches that call themselves Christian. It was commonly noted in the writings of the Church Fathers of the first centuries of Christianity (including such noted scholars as Origen, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, etc.) Many Bible scholars (trinitarians included) have even said that this connection was made in the New Testament at 1 Cor. 1:24.

For example, trinitarian scholar Edmund Fortman writes:

"Paul applied it [Prov. 8:22-30] to the Son of God. The Apologists [Christian writers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries] used it to prove to Gentile and Jew the pre-existence of the Word and his role in creation." - (See CREEDS 5-16: quotes from the writings of Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Justin Martyr which equate the Son with "Wisdom" speaking at Prov. 8:22-30 and admit that he had been created by God as the beginning of God's works - Prov. 8:22.)

Trinitarian scholar Dr. W. H. C. Frend agrees:

"By the time he wrote to the Corinthians in c. 53, Paul had developed in his mind the equation of Christ with the divine Wisdom incarnate (`Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God' [1 Cor. 1:24])." - p. 102, The Rise of Christianity, Fortress Press, 1985.

We even find the extremely trinitarian New Bible Dictionary, 1982, p. 1257, saying:

"it is not unexpected that Paul would view Jesus ... as the Wisdom of God. That Paul saw in Christ the fulfilment of Pr. 8:22 ff. seems apparent from Col. 1:15 ff., which strongly reflects the OT description of wisdom."

And the Gospel writers, according to the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, also may have made the Jesus/Wisdom connection: Luke 11:49 speaks of "a word of the wisdom of God" and the parallel account in Matt. 23:34 ff. "is understood as a word of Jesus." Also, in connection with the Gospels at Matt. 12:42 and Luke 11:31, this trinitarian reference work says:

"This can be understood most easily by thinking of the heavenly wisdom whom men despise: in Jesus this wisdom has finally appeared." - p. 1030, Vol. 3.

The very trinitarian The Ante-Nicene Fathers admits:

Prov. viii 22-25. This is one of the favourite Messianic quotations of the Fathers, and is considered as the base of the first chapter of St. John's Gospel. - ANF 1:488, f.n. #10, Eerdmans, 1993 reprint.

And even that staunchest of trinitarian supporters (and probably the most influential and honored of trinitarian scholars), Augustine, made the "Word/Wisdom" connection with Jesus about 410 A. D. in his famous De Civitate Dei (The City of God), Book XI, Chapter 24.
Why, even at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A. D. Arius quoted this passage as proof that Jesus was not equally God:

"[Arius] had a sharply logical mind and appealed to biblical texts which apparently backed up his arguments - for example, John 17:3....and Proverbs 8:22." - p. 157 (165), Eerdman's Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977.

And his trinitarian opponent, Athanasius, although sometimes also attempting to appeal to scripture, never refuted this usage of Proverbs 8:22 -

"Athanasius....did not refute Arius by rejecting the relevance of Prov. 8:22." (Even though he attempted to show that Jesus had not been created by quoting Ps. 110:3.) - p. 165 (173), Eerdman's Handbook.

In other words, when Arius quoted Proverbs 8:22 and applied it to Jesus, trinitarian Athanasius didn't dispute that application! Even Athanasius recognized that Wisdom in that scripture was intended to describe the Messiah! We even find Athanasius quoting a letter written by Dionysus, Bishop of Rome (259-268 A.D.) wherein he writes:

"if the Christ is Word and Wisdom and Power, as you know the Divine Scriptures say he is ..." - p. 32, Documents of the Christian Church, Bettenson, Oxford University Press.

Throughout Christendom today trinitarian translators in their reference Bibles refer Revelation 3:14 (which is certainly speaking about Jesus) to Prov. 8:22. For example, the King James Version, Collins Press; the NASB, reference edition, Foundation Press, 1975; and the RSV (with references) published by the trinitarian American Bible Society, all refer Rev. 3:14 to Prov. 8:22. And the GNB (with references) also published by the American Bible Society refers Prov. 8:22 to Rev. 3:14.

It is not surprising that so many Bible translators make this reference. The scholars who have produced the best, most-used texts of the original New Testament Greek used by Bible translators today agree that Rev. 3:14 quoted or borrowed its Greek phrasing from the ancient Greek Septuagint version of Proverbs 8:22 ! These (most, if not all, trinitarian) Bible scholars and their texts in which they have made this connection are:

(1) The Student's Edition of the New Testament in Greek, by Westcott and Hort, p. 613.
(2) The Greek New Testament, 3rd ed., by the United Bible Societies, p. 844.
(3) Novum Testamentum Graece, by Dr. Eberhard Nestle, p. 665.
(4) Novi Testamenti Biblia Graeca et Latin, by Joseph M. Bover, p. 725.

If Rev. 3:14 meant "the source of God's creation" (or "the ruler of creation"), it would be senseless to refer it to Prov. 8:22 where "Wisdom" ("Jesus") says that Jehovah "created me at the beginning of his work" - RSV. All these trinitarian sources, by referring Rev. 3:14 to Prov. 8:22, are clearly showing, instead, that the one who who calls himself "the beginning of his [God's] work" is the same person who calls himself the beginning of God's creation!

Similar references between Jesus' pre-human existence and Prov. 8:22-30 can be found in many trinitarian Bibles at other verses, also. My trinitarian KJV, for example, refers John 1:1, 2 to Prov. 8:30. My trinitarian NASB refers John 1:2, 3 to Prov. 8:30.

Even the trinitarian Today's Dictionary of the Bible, 1982, p. 389, in discussing the Greek word logos (often translated "Word" at John 1:1) tells us:

"Logos - Gr. for the term used by John as a name for Christ. It is he alone who so uses the term in the Prologue to his Gospel [John 1:1-17] and in the Apocalypse [Revelation]." And, "logos has a verb form ... meaning `to reason.' So, denotatively, the term has two Greek meanings, the primary unit of thought, speech and writing - word; and reasoning."

This same article goes on to describe the specialized pagan philosophical/religious meanings that were used in the "Golden Age of Greece" and concludes that it is unlikely that John would have used such paganistic meanings: "It is more likely, however, that John derives his Logos Christology from the personified Wisdom of proverbs 8." (Although this is a trinitarian tactic to avoid crediting Philo's Logos concept as the source of John's Logos concept, it is nevertheless true that Philo himself used the Wisdom of Prov. 8:22-30 as one of the important sources for his development of the popular early first century Jewish Logos concept. - See the LOGOS study.)

And, on p. 654, this same mainstream trinitarian publication says:

"`Wisdom' in [Proverbs 8:22-30] may be regarded not as a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a divine person, considered by many to clarify what John means by his use of logos (word) in [John] 1:1-17."

And the trinitarian New Bible Dictionary, 1982, which in its preface stresses its dedication to the "convictions for which the Tyndale Fellowship stands - the triunity of God....," states on p. 1256,

"The personification [of `Wisdom'] continues in Pr. 8 and reaches its climax in vv. 22 ff., where Wisdom claims to be the first creation of God and, perhaps, an assistant in the work of creation (8:30; cf. 3:19; the difficult amon, `as one brought up' in [the King James Version], should be translated `master workman,' as in RV, RSV,....)."

And on p. 1221 this same reference work (which Christianity Today describes as "true to the Bible as God's word" and "destined to become a standard that will be turned to often by students and ministers alike") tells us that "the Word" [Jesus] is "personified as `Wisdom'" at Prov. 8:22 !

And staunch trinity-defender of the 19th century, W. G. T. Shedd, admits that "Wisdom" of Prov. 8:22, 23 is certainly the pre-existent Christ! - Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1, p. 317.
It is therefore extremely obvious that the identification of "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 with Jesus is not the invention of the Watchtower Society as some anti-Watchtower trinitarians imply!

So, if you accept the view of the majority of those in "traditional" Christendom throughout the Christian era, you will accept the understanding that "Wisdom" at Prov. 8:22-30 refers to the Messiah.

And if you accept that, then it is clear that the Messiah was created (at least there was a time when he was brought into existence by the Father, Jehovah) before the rest of creation. Note the following trinitarian translations of Prov. 8:22 -

1. "The LORD [Jehovah] created me at the beginning of his work" - RSV, and NRSV.
(Footnote in NRSV says "Or [created] me as the beginning [of his work].").
2."The LORD made me..." - MLB).
3."The Lord formed me..." - Living Bible.
4. "I was made in the very beginning." - Good News Bible.
5."Yahweh [Jehovah] created me..." - Jerusalem Bible and NJB.
6."The LORD created me..." - New English Bible and REB.
7."Jehovah framed me first" - Byington.
8."The LORD created me..." - The Reader's Digest Bible, 1982.
9."I was the first thing made, long ago in the beginning." - Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read
Version, World Bible Translation Center, 1992.
10."The Eternal [Jehovah] formed me first of his creation" - Moffatt.
11."The Lord made me the beginning [arkhe] of his ways for his works" - The Septuagint,
Zondervan, 1976.
12."The LORD created me as the first of his creations" - Holy Bible From the Ancient Eastern
Text (George M. Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta), Harper and Row
Publ. (Be sure to examine Prov. 8:23-25, 30 in all translations also.)

The Jewish Bibles also translate it similarly:

1."The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old." - JPS, Margolis, ed., 1917.
2."The LORD created me at the beginning of His course as the first of His works of old." - Tanakh, JPS, 1985.

Why, even that popular trinitarian study Bible, The NIV Study Bible, translates Prov. 8:22 as "the LORD brought me forth as the first of his works" and explains in a footnote for Prov. 8:22:

"brought ... forth. The Hebrew for this verb is also used in Ge 4:1; 14:19, 22 (`Creator')." - Zondervan, 1985.

And the trinitarian The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology tells us:

"Created prior to all the [other] works of creation (Prov. 8:22-31), [Wisdom] discloses to men the original order inherent in creation." - p. 1029, Vol. 3, Zondervan, 1984.

The trinitarian A Dictionary of the Bible, Hastings (ed.) tells us about Wisdom in Prov. 8:

"Wisdom is spoken of in such a way as to make it impossible to believe that only the Divine attribute of wisdom is meant .... It is something outside of, yet standing alongside of, God, created by Him.... Wisdom is further represented as `playing' like a child before Jehovah in His habitable earth, in all the glow of conscious power and as taking special delight in the sons of men." - p. 281, Supplement, 1988 printing.

It is also very clear from scripture that the rest of creation from Jehovah (who alone is the Father) was accomplished through the hands of his first (and only direct - "only-begotten") creation, who was like a master worker for Jehovah. (Remember the trinitarian sources which refer Proverbs 8:30 to John 1:1-3.)

Notice how these trinitarian Bibles render Prov. 8:30:

30 I was beside him, like a master worker" – NRSV.
30 I was beside Him a master builder" – MLB.
30 I was by his side, a master craftsman - Jerusalem Bible and NJB;
30 I was beside him as his craftsman - NAB (1970 & 1991);
30 I was master-workman at his side. - Byington;
30 Then I was the craftsman at his side. - NIV;
30 Then I was beside Him [as] a master craftsman; And I was daily [His] delight, Rejoicing always before Him - NKJV.
30 Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him - NASB.
30 I was right beside the Lord, helping him plan and build. I made him happy each day, and I was happy at his side. - CEV.
30 Then became I beside him, a firm and sure worker, then became I filled with delight, day by day, exulting before him on every occasion; - Rotherham.
30 Then I was by his side, as a master workman: and I was his delight from day to day, playing before him at all times; - BBE.
30 "I was beside him as a master craftsman. I made him happy day after day, I rejoiced in front of him all the time," - GodsWord.
30 Then I was by him, [as] a master workman; And I was daily [his] delight, Rejoicing always before him, - ASV.
30 Then I am near Him, a workman, And I am a delight--day by day. Rejoicing before Him at all times, - Young's Literal Translation.
30 even I was a workman at His side; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him; - MKJV.
30 then I was at His side, like a master workman; and I was His delights day by day, rejoicing before Him at every time; - LITV.
30 I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times; - Douay.
30 I was a skilled craftsman beside Him. I was His delight every day, always rejoicing before Him. - Holman Christian Standard Bible.
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, - English Standard Version.
30 was beside Him as the leading workman. I was His joy every day. I was always happy when I was near Him. - New Life Bible.
30 I was beside him like a skilled worker. The Lord was happy every day because of me. I made him laugh and be happy all the time. - ETRV.
30 Then I was the craftsman by his side. I was a delight day by day, Always rejoicing before him, - Hebrew Names Version.
30 Then I was by him, [as] a master craftsman; And I was daily [his] delight, Rejoicing always before him, - Updated Bible Version 1.9.
30 I was with him ordring all thinges, deliting dayly and reioysyng alway before hym. - The Bishop's Bible (1568).
30 I was with him, ordringe all thinges, delytinge daylie & reioysynge allwaye before him. - Coverdale (1535).
30 Y was making alle thingis with him. And Y delitide bi alle daies, and pleiede bifore hym in al tyme, - Wycliffe (1395)
30 I was by Him (harmozousa- "arranging all things – f.n.) – The Septuagint, Zondervan, 1970.
…………………….

([Prov.]8:30; cf. 3:19; the difficult amon, `as one brought up' in [the King James Version], should be translated `master workman,' as in RV, RSV,....)." - p. 1256, New Bible Dictionary, 1982.

……………………..

"525 [Amon] m. - workman, architect, ... Prov. 8:30, used of the hypostatic wisdom of God, the maker of the world." - p. 58, Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, Baker Book House, 1979.

…………………….

"525 amon (54c); from 539; an artificer, architect, master workman:--artisans (1), master workman (1)." - (#) is number of times this NASB word was translated from the original language. - Hebrew-Aramaic & Greek Dictionary: http://www.studybibleforum.com/htm_php.php3?do=show_marg_and_gh&b=20&c=8&v=30
(also see New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, - p. 1490, #525.

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"I. [Amon]: artisan Je 52:15; Prov. 8:30; ['all undisputed instances have been cited']" - p. 19, A Concise Hebrew And Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Eerdmans, 1988.

It may be that figures of speech and personification sometimes appear to be carried too far for our tastes today. But if this scripture only shows a quality personified, but not actually a person (as some anti-Watchtower publications claim), how can we explain that "Wisdom" (at Prov. 8:22-30) came into existence before the rest of creation?

The scriptures show that Jehovah (and only Jehovah) has always existed (Ps. 90:2). Since he is from eternity and has obviously always been wise, then Jehovah's own personal wisdom has always existed; it never was created or produced. And since wisdom cannot exist apart from a personality who is capable of using it, and, since the "Wisdom" of Prov. 8:22-30 came into existence before the rest of creation, it cannot represent the wisdom of any other creature (whether angels or men) but a "firstborn Son"! 

Therefore, this "Wisdom" (at Prov. 8:22-30) must picture a person who was created "at the beginning of His [Jehovah's] work." The rest of the angelic "Sons of God" were created later (but still before "the beginning" of the creation of the world - Job 38:4-7) through the efforts of this Firstborn Son, "Wisdom," the "Master Worker" who came to be at Jehovah's side.