OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 01, 2014, 07:04:09 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Immortality of the Soul and Jehovah's Witnesses  (Read 7276 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
MichaelArchangelos
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Inquirer
Posts: 103



« on: August 09, 2007, 03:52:24 AM »

I was talking to some Jehovah’s Witnesses today at the university market day, where they have a stand. I have met this particular lady before, and I first went over to say hi. I told her that although I don’t agree with their theology, I applauded them giving out books that refute evolution.

However, she started talking about the immortality of the soul, and how that is a false doctrine carried over from paganism. I told her that I’d read Fr. Seraphim’s book The Soul After Death, which tells about what happens to us when we die. I explained how when you die, your soul leaves your body, and I quoted several of the experiences that Fr. Seraphim talks about, plus one that isn’t in the book. The one that is the most convincing is that of a blind woman who could see when she left her body, and accurately described what was in the room. They still didn’t believe me. They claim that your soul is you – man is a soul. They use Genesis 2:7 as proof: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” They also quote Numbers 31:28 to show that animals are souls.

The lady showed me Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Does this mean that the soul will die in a spiritual sense, i.e., being cut off from God? What is the Orthodox interpretation of this?

Then she quoted Ecclesiastes 9:5 “For the living will know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and there is no longer any reward to them; for their memory is lost”. I don’t know enough about the Orthodox teaching on the state of anticipation to refute this. Do the dead in Hades know anything? Do they have full memory of their past lives?

Lastly, this lady talked about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. She quoted John 11:11 “Lazarus our friend sleepeth”. I looked up this passage in the original Greek, and it reads “Λάζαρος ὁ φίλος ἡμῶν κεκοίμηται”. While I am taking an ancient Greek class at university, I couldn’t determine what form of the verb “kekímite” was, so I couldn’t look it up in the dictionary. Does anyone here know enough Greek to recognize the verb and point me to the dictionary form? I presume (although this is just a guess) that the same word means “rest” as well as sleep. Rest has no connotations of not being conscious.

They also told me that “True Christians” would not fight in the army. They told me that in the early days of Christianity, soldiers who converted had to leave the army and find a new job, and that history attests this. I thought that there were some saints who were soldiers. Can anyone back me up on this?

Thanks for any help you might be able to give. What they’ve said has worried me a bit.

In Christ, Michael.
Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2007, 04:07:56 AM »

The verb is κοιμάω.


I don't fool with JW's any longer.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 04:08:49 AM by Αριστοκλής » Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
MichaelArchangelos
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Inquirer
Posts: 103



« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2007, 06:25:38 AM »

The verb is κοιμάω.


I don't fool with JW's any longer.

Thanks for that. I looked it up in my dictionary, and it can mean 'rest' as well as sleep.
Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007, 06:35:21 AM »

Thanks for that. I looked it up in my dictionary, and it can mean 'rest' as well as sleep.

Yes, rest, as in permanent rest.
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
MichaelArchangelos
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Inquirer
Posts: 103



« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007, 08:05:32 AM »

'Rest' is a better way to put it than sleep. If you're sleeping, then you're not conscious of anything around you. If you're resting, then you aren't necessarily asleep - you could just be lying down but still awake. The soul is 'resting' in that it is freed from all bodily infirmities and is in the state of anticipation, awaiting the Last Judgement. It's not 'asleep' in that it isn't conscious of anything going on.
Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2007, 08:18:04 AM »

I'm not disagreeing with you, but merely giving the intent of the Greek word as normally used then.
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
MichaelArchangelos
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Inquirer
Posts: 103



« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2007, 09:01:35 AM »

Thanks for that.
Logged
TinaG
I am not a pessimist - I'm just grimly realistic!
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 870


If only my family were this normal !


WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2007, 09:09:21 AM »

I'm no good at all arguing theology and cross-referencing from the scriptures, but I know enough about JW's that if you're going to do that, make sure you aren't using the JW version of the Bible.  It's called the New World Translation and has been selectively altered to prove their anti-Trinitarian beliefs among other things.  The best way to argue points from the scriptures is to try and get them to use a good version of the Bible, KJV or something similar.
Logged

On the spiritual path somewhere between the Simpsons and St. Theophan the Recluse, but I still can't see the Springfield city limits sign yet.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2007, 09:14:55 AM »

I was a little bit under the influence of JW a few years ago, when I moved to small-town Mississippi from Seattle and was experiencing a kind of "withdrawal pains" (my wife and daughter and our Ukrainian community with its Orthodox parish were left behind in the Pacific Northwest). I started "church-shopping," and a JW elder even came to my office and read the Bible with me. Being myself very bookish, I was impressed with their "academic" approach. Our meetings continued even when my wife and daughter finally moved to join me in MS. When I visited the local Kingdom Hall, however, I was shocked that their so-called "discussion" of Scripture is, actually, a propaganda exercise, it is absolutely "scripted," conducted under a very stringent guidance of their "governing body" through their "Watchtower" magazine.

As far as the soul and body are concerned, I just very strongly believe that the human being *IS* a "soul" (as opposed to, "has" an ethereal non-material "part" called "soul"), and that he/she - this soul - never dies. We all are immortal souls, immortal beings.
Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2007, 09:17:11 AM »

I'm no good at all arguing theology and cross-referencing from the scriptures, but I know enough about JW's that if you're going to do that, make sure you aren't using the JW version of the Bible.  It's called the New World Translation and has been selectively altered to prove their anti-Trinitarian beliefs among other things.  The best way to argue points from the scriptures is to try and get them to use a good version of the Bible, KJV or something similar.

I think that regardless of the version of the Bible, JW cannot show a single verse in Scripture that would plainly say that Christ was ever "created."
Logged

Love never fails.
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2007, 09:22:08 AM »

As far as the soul and body are concerned, I just very strongly believe that the human being *IS* a "soul" (as opposed to, "has" an ethereal non-material "part" called "soul"), and that he/she - this soul - never dies. We all are immortal souls, immortal beings.
You won't get a JW to admit this (as it's steeped in Trinitarian theology), but they are partially right about our being souls as opposed to having souls. Just as Jesus is God, as opposed to being a part of God, so are souls are us, and our bodies are us as well. A person is not part soul, part body--that person is the soul, body, and spirit. Humans are trinity, as God is--that's what Moses meant when he said we are created "in the image of God" (Gen. 1:27).
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
jmbejdl
Count-Palatine James the Spurious of Giggleswick on the Naze
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Church of Romania
Posts: 1,480


Great Martyr St. John the New of Suceava


« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2007, 09:46:31 AM »

You won't get a JW to admit this (as it's steeped in Trinitarian theology), but they are partially right about our being souls as opposed to having souls. Just as Jesus is God, as opposed to being a part of God, so are souls are us, and our bodies are us as well. A person is not part soul, part body--that person is the soul, body, and spirit. Humans are trinity, as God is--that's what Moses meant when he said we are created "in the image of God" (Gen. 1:27).

They're also partly right when they say souls are not immortal, because there is only one who is truly immortal, God. We are bound by time, even if we shall live for ever we have a beginning, and besides which nothing created has any inherent existence, let alone immortality apart from the fact that it is sustained by God. In other words we are not, in any way, immortal by nature and nor is any part of us, but we can be through God.

James
Logged

We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2007, 09:49:34 AM »

I absolutely agree with the two above posts. --G.
Logged

Love never fails.
recent convert
Orthodox Chrisitan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian (N.A.)
Posts: 1,909


« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2007, 09:50:23 AM »

Did not our Saviour say to the Sadduccee? "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." (Matthew 23:32, KJV) To this day, the bodies of these blessed patriarchs "sleep" but they are alive in soul in paradise awaiting the resurrection. Our Saviour was addressing the issue of the resurrection in the context of the scripture to a individual who did not even belief in an afterlife. To believe in an "eventual" afterlife preceded by some nonexistence is a form of Sadducceesim.
Logged

Antiochian OC N.A.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2007, 10:28:51 AM »

Did not our Saviour say to the Sadduccee? "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." (Matthew 23:32, KJV) To this day, the bodies of these blessed patriarchs "sleep" but they are alive in soul in paradise awaiting the resurrection. Our Saviour was addressing the issue of the resurrection in the context of the scripture to a individual who did not even belief in an afterlife. To believe in an "eventual" afterlife preceded by some nonexistence is a form of Sadducceesim.

I believe we are all inevitably confused in these issues because our entire thinking is bound by the earthly concept of "time." There is no "time" in Heaven though, at least not in our human perception of it (like, I see an event and I remember about another event that preceded it, and I am waiting for a yet another event that will follow it). God sees everything at once; He is extemporaneous, beyond "time," and so is the entire heavenly "realm." So it makes very little sense, generally, to try to imagine any "sequence" of life and "afterlife" of a human being (soul). I just know that I am a "creature," I was created and thus have a "beginning," and I will not "die" (in the sense that I, a "soul," a being, will never completely disappear). Instead, I will be (or, rather - am?) united with my Creator in His "new heaven and new earth, new Jerusalem), OR will be (or, rather, am? - if I am not faithful?) separated from His love in "hades." The rest is, I am afraid, technical human reconstruction attempts, futile by definition. Smiley



[edited name=Heorhij date=1186669779][/edited]
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 10:30:17 AM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
recent convert
Orthodox Chrisitan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian (N.A.)
Posts: 1,909


« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2007, 11:24:36 AM »

To H reply# 14: Not to argue with the content of your post but everything I said is what I heard preached in our church except my final inference re: Sadducceeism. While timelesness may await us in the eternal, we are still in the temporal and must experience all phases according to the teaching of the church. We should be able to articulate our faith in basic  (loving and non condescending) terms to a non Orthodox. Speaking of "sequences", there are some New International Versions (NIV) of the Bible that translate our Saviour's statement, "..before Abraham was, I AM"  John 8:58 (KJV) to "I existed" which puts a tense into God declaring himself. Perhaps the Jehova's Witness in the OP is carrying such a (NIV) Bible which may be clouding the doctrine.
Logged

Antiochian OC N.A.
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2007, 02:05:47 PM »

So would the word kimisis in " Koimisis tis Theotokou" (The Repose of the Theotokos-August 15th New Calendar) mean rest or sleep or death? I've always been taught that the word death in relation to saints and Christ is not a word to be used.
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 29,973


black metal cat


« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 02:16:50 PM »

Just to reiterate what others have said, and add a couple notes: in Orthodox theology, the soul is only immortal in the sense that God sustains it for eternity, immortality is not an inherent attribute of man; sleep or rest doesn't necessarily mean sleep as we perceive it; there are Biblical examples of awake people in heaven; there were some soldiers in the early Church, though a few Fathers were very much against the idea, there's a few books on this subject out there, taking up opposing positions; evolution pwns creationism.  Wink
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 02:17:32 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

"But science is an inferential exercise, not a catalog of facts. Numbers, by themselves, specify nothing. All depends upon what you do with them" - Stephen Jay Gould
recent convert
Orthodox Chrisitan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian (N.A.)
Posts: 1,909


« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 02:17:48 PM »

So would the word kimisis in " Koimisis tis Theotokou" (The Repose of the Theotokos-August 15th New Calendar) mean rest or sleep or death? I've always been taught that the word death in relation to saints and Christ is not a word to be used.
I do not confess to know Greek but the basic catechesis received would say "sleep." We just sang our hymns in veneration to the Theotokos last night in Paraklesis and these also indicate she is praying for us although her body rests or "sleeps" awaiting the resurrection.
Logged

Antiochian OC N.A.
Sloga
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 830



« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 03:55:34 PM »

I believe I once heard that only 200 000 "chosen ones" ie JWs will at the end of time go to Heaven. But obviously theres a multiple million of them, so what happens to the rest?
Logged

Христе Боже, Распети и Свети!

"In the history of the human race there have been three principal falls: that of Adam, that of Judas, and that of the pope." Saint Justin Popovic
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,335


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2007, 04:02:57 PM »

To H reply# 14: Not to argue with the content of your post but everything I said is what I heard preached in our church except my final inference re: Sadducceeism. While timelesness may await us in the eternal, we are still in the temporal and must experience all phases according to the teaching of the church. We should be able to articulate our faith in basic  (loving and non condescending) terms to a non Orthodox. Speaking of "sequences", there are some New International Versions (NIV) of the Bible that translate our Saviour's statement, "..before Abraham was, I AM"  John 8:58 (KJV) to "I existed" which puts a tense into God declaring himself. Perhaps the Jehova's Witness in the OP is carrying such a (NIV) Bible which may be clouding the doctrine.
The New International Version of the Bible published by Zondervan is still sufficiently faithful to traditional Christian doctrine to be used to refute JW doctrine, so you probably won't find any JWs carrying one or arguing from one.  JWs actually have their own version of the Scriptures, the New World Translation.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,335


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2007, 04:05:36 PM »

I believe I once heard that only 200 000 "chosen ones" ie JWs will at the end of time go to Heaven. But obviously theres a multiple million of them, so what happens to the rest?
The number was actually 144,000 in accordance with the number given in the Apocalypse of St. John.  Because the JW cult has grown so big, the Watch Tower Society has backed away from this claim and no longer teaches it, AFAIK.
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2007, 04:10:13 PM »

I believe I once heard that only 200 000 "chosen ones" ie JWs will at the end of time go to Heaven. But obviously theres a multiple million of them, so what happens to the rest?

Actually, 144,000 (mentioned in the book of Revelation). According to the JW theology, those will be resurrected in "heavenly bodies" (1 Cor. 15) to live in heaven, while the "multitudes" will be resurrected in earthly (albeit perfect) bodies to live on Paradise Earth.
Logged

Love never fails.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,335


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2007, 11:31:02 PM »

However, she started talking about the immortality of the soul, and how that is a false doctrine carried over from paganism. I told her that I’d read Fr. Seraphim’s book The Soul After Death, which tells about what happens to us when we die. I explained how when you die, your soul leaves your body, and I quoted several of the experiences that Fr. Seraphim talks about, plus one that isn’t in the book. The one that is the most convincing is that of a blind woman who could see when she left her body, and accurately described what was in the room. They still didn’t believe me.
As much as I respect Fr. Seraphim's saintly piety, even I am quite skeptical of the monastic experiential tradition Fr. Seraphim apparently represents.  Maybe the experiences of a few holy, and maybe even not-so-holy, men and women, but hardly anything worthy of being cited as doctrine in an argument with JWs.  Anecdotal evidence is not sufficient to support any scientific theory, nor is it sufficient as a source for Orthodox dogmatics.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 12:33:01 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Didymus
Peace and grace.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: HG Coptic Bishop Anba Daniel of Sydney
Posts: 563


St. Thomas Didymus the Apostle of India


« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2007, 11:59:52 AM »

The following is my understanding or how I would reply to the Qs you posed:

In regards to Ezekiel 18:4 you are correct in saying is meant in a spiritual sense.
Ecc 9:5 means that the physical dead body which lies in the ground knows nothing.
Let the JW know that the name of the rich man who talked with Abraham was Dives as St. Irenaeus mentions. This was a real event Christ related not a parable.
Christians refer to the departure of the soul as sleep as the saints will awaken at the end of time anyway. As the liturgy says, "There is no death for your saints but merely a departure." Hence they are not dead but their bodies are asleep.
Many Christians were soldiers such as St. Maurice the Theban and St. Abu Sefain. I can't recall who but somebody around the 200s used to bar soldiers from Holy Communion until a certain number of years after they had been out of the army for a certain number of years. I believe Pope Shenouda III was conscripted when he was young.

PeterTheAleut, with all due respect, it is interesting that you use the word "sufficiently" as the NIV alters numerous verses to conform to the doctrine of soul sleep and other heresies. Personally, I won't use the NIV because it is too similar to the JW's New World Translation.
Logged

...because I was not with you when the Lord came aforetime.
...because I am blind and yet I see.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,861



« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2008, 08:53:32 PM »

The JW translation of Luke 9:30 "Also, look! two men were conversing with him, who were Moses and E·li´jah." Problem, according to Deuteronomy, Moses was dead, and according to the JWs would be in no shape to converse, not existing.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2008, 01:21:08 AM »

The JW translation of Luke 9:30 "Also, look! two men were conversing with him, who were Moses and E·li´jah." Problem, according to Deuteronomy, Moses was dead, and according to the JWs would be in no shape to converse, not existing.

Good point.
I wonder if any former JW's who might be able to shed some light on how the JW's interpret this passage.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Theophilos78
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: pro-Israeli Zionist Apostolic Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Adonai Yeshua
Posts: 2,043



« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2008, 05:23:03 AM »

The JW translation of Luke 9:30 "Also, look! two men were conversing with him, who were Moses and E·li´jah." Problem, according to Deuteronomy, Moses was dead, and according to the JWs would be in no shape to converse, not existing.

Good point.
I wonder if any former JW's who might be able to shed some light on how the JW's interpret this passage.

I am not a former JW, but long time ago I had a heated debate (almost an argument) with a JW at a Protestant forum. The topic was the immortality of human soul again. My opponent brought up a few verses from the book of Ecclesiastes. I reminded him that the author of this holy book was not interested in life after death as he focused on  the brevity of "this" life and based his arguments on observations. Ironically, the writer denounces people who confide in their riches (slavery to materialism) and contends that their final material (body) will perish when they go to the grave. A similar argument is reiterated by David in the book of Psalms. 49th Psalm condemns some people's attachment to their wealth and likens such people to sacrificial animals perishing eternally.

I quoted from the book of Samuel the account of the witch of Endor to show my opponent that some passages in the Old Testament implied the immortality of human soul. However, he simply said that this narrative was essentially symbolic and the spirit coming from below as Samuel was a demon imitating him. Thus, Saul was supposedly deceived by a naughty spirit of illusion.

Later I quoted from the New Testament the narrative of the Lord's transfiguration and highlighted Moses and Elijah's conversation with Jesus. The JW argued that the people appearing with Jesus were two angels that took the form of Moses and Elijah! (The JW base most of their arguments on the concept of illusion and imitation very much like the followers of the early heresy named Docetic gnosticism. Gnostics claimed that Jesus appeared to be human although He was not a true human. JW suppose that Jesus looked like God, but He was not God).

Finally, JWs always change the place of the comma in Jesus' statement in Luke 23:43. According to their uncanny interpretation and translation, Jesus allegedly said "“I tell you the truth today, you will be with me in paradise.” However, the context of the verse debunks this theory and supports the reading "“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” When challenged, JWs generally say that they have the right to change the place of the comma because the original manuscripts of the Gospels had no punctuation.

@brotherialmisry: it seems that I am going to be banned at the CAF! My account is under review Cheesy



Logged

Longing for Heavenly Jerusalem
AlexanderOfBergamo
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Traditionalist Christian
Jurisdiction: The Original First Millennium Church
Posts: 706


« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2008, 08:31:53 AM »

Hi brethren!
I'll try and contribute to this discussion.
“Lazarus our friend sleepeth”. Try and tell them that those who sleep are not unconscious, because they still "dream". When we dream our brain, our memory, and thus our soul still "work" and exist. We could say that those who are asleep in the Lord dream of the future joys of the Kingdom of Heaven, while the evil ones dream the nightmare of their future damnation and tremble for this; and they can also dream of their past lives too. Add to this comment a good explanation of the Parable of Lazarus and the rich man. They will try to say that the conversation between the rich man and Abraham is set in the life to come after the resurrection, but that's inconsistent, in fact:
1) How could the rich man ask Abraham to warn his own relatives of the sufferings of hades if the Judgment has already come?
2) How could the rich man even *talk* if, according to JW's theology, the fire of Gehenna *literally* destroys the soul once for all?

By the way, you can add to the list of soldiers honoured as saints many others such as st. Alexander of Bergamo (whence my nickname) and also saints Serge and Bacchus, very honoured martyrs and patrons of the army. On the service of devout people in the military, you can easily quote this answer of John the Baptist to some soldiers who wondered what they had to do to be saved:
"Also, those in military service would ask him: “What shall we also do?” And he said to them: “Do not harass anybody or accuse anybody falsely, but be satisfied with YOUR provisions.” (Luke 3:14; I copied this DIRECTLY for their translation, so that they can't say it's our "false" versions who translate like this  Grin). As you can see: no imposition to leave the army, but only to serve the military with consciuosness!

Hope this helps. God bless you and help you apologizing the Orthodox Faith from those heresies!
In Christ,   Alex



« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 08:38:26 AM by AlexanderOfBergamo » Logged

"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
Marc Hanna
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox - Coptic/Armenian
Jurisdiction: Canada
Posts: 319



« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2008, 12:18:13 AM »

G2837
κοιμάω
koimaō
koy-mah'-o
From G2749; to put to sleep, that is, (passively or reflexively) to slumber; figuratively to decease: - (be a-, fall a-, fall on) sleep, be dead.

In the text the verb is present passive third person, not much to the translation.  You must decide from context whether it is literal or figurative; and that depends on your theology.

The NIV's translation in John 8:58 is wrong!  The words are "εγω ειμι", translated "I am" - present/active with the emphatic use of the first person personal pronoun.  English does not have a proper way of translating the emphasis here except by the capitalization of all the letters; however, in Greek the subject is contained in the verb, so to say "I am" in normal speech would simple be,"ειμι," but in this case our Lord applies the emphatic use of "εγω."  This use is and was known to the Jews to be the Divine name of God from Exodus 3:14.  This passage is a declaration from Christ Himself that He is indeed God.
Logged
new illumined
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Seeking Orthodoxy (Former Jehovah's Witness)
Jurisdiction: United States
Posts: 62



« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2008, 10:12:26 PM »

I am looking for information to help me with my faith into the Orthodox Church but I certainly don't mind being used as a reference source anytime a question comes up regarding the doctrines of the Witnesses.

Yes I can shed some light on this. But perhaps someone can refute what the JW's teach on this. I would like to become more grounded in the Orthodox faith and uphold the truth. Nevertheless;

In the Gospel of Luke we have the story of the transfiguration but that same story is also recorded in Mathew's Gospel with a few more details. In Mat 17: 9, Mathew writes: "Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead"-OSB.

Now, they lock in on the word vision, and say that it was not a dream but a vision and not being real. They define the Greek word here, which I can't remember what it is, and say that it was a vision or illusion before the eyes of the apostles. They agree that this transfiguration happened and that the apostles were awake and not dreaming but they say it was, well, in my words, a show. The correct understanding of the Witnesses though is they do not believe this was done by angels but that it was a vision based on Mathew 17:9

They use the Greek word for vision in the text to relate this point.

Of course they have a different interpretation of the symbolic meaning of it all but that is another topic and I for one would like if someone could explain to me this idea behind their reasoning. Is it sound? And what is the Greek word here and is it to be understood, as they are using it?

God bless

T&C
Logged
Marc Hanna
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox - Coptic/Armenian
Jurisdiction: Canada
Posts: 319



« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2008, 12:15:07 PM »

G3705
ὅραμα
horama
hor'-am-ah
From G3708; something gazed at, that is, a spectacle (especially supernatural): - sight, vision.

Their theology is unsound.  A "vision" is typically something that is real and of a supernatural nature; otherwise it is just a dream or a hallucination.  The JW's often base their theology and definitions on modern understandings and in modern context, completely ignoring what the words meant in their original context.

Take an example here: Acts 7:31-32

And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.  When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,  Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.

In this passage the same Greek word is translated as "sight".  Does this mean that the event was not real, and that God did not really speak to Moses?

Take also Acts 18:9

Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

So, did the Lord not actually speak to Paul because it was a vision and visions aren't real?


The truth is, JW's flop back and forth in their exegesis as it fits their theology.  In truth, they practice EXOgesis not EXEgesis.

I hope this helps a little.

Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,861



« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2008, 12:49:06 PM »

I am looking for information to help me with my faith into the Orthodox Church but I certainly don't mind being used as a reference source anytime a question comes up regarding the doctrines of the Witnesses.

Yes I can shed some light on this. But perhaps someone can refute what the JW's teach on this. I would like to become more grounded in the Orthodox faith and uphold the truth. Nevertheless;

In the Gospel of Luke we have the story of the transfiguration but that same story is also recorded in Mathew's Gospel with a few more details. In Mat 17: 9, Mathew writes: "Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead"-OSB.

Now, they lock in on the word vision, and say that it was not a dream but a vision and not being real. They define the Greek word here, which I can't remember what it is, and say that it was a vision or illusion before the eyes of the apostles. They agree that this transfiguration happened and that the apostles were awake and not dreaming but they say it was, well, in my words, a show. The correct understanding of the Witnesses though is they do not believe this was done by angels but that it was a vision based on Mathew 17:9

They use the Greek word for vision in the text to relate this point.

Of course they have a different interpretation of the symbolic meaning of it all but that is another topic and I for one would like if someone could explain to me this idea behind their reasoning. Is it sound? And what is the Greek word here and is it to be understood, as they are using it?

God bless

T&C

I would ask then, who was Christ "conversing with?"
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,418



« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2008, 06:00:52 PM »

I don't know what they think they're making of John 11, because in context it is clear that the disciples understood verse 11 to mean literal sleep, and Jesus then corrects them in verse with a flat "Lazarus is dead." If one is trying to draw a conclusion about death from this, it is that the soul does live after death, for else death could not be like sleep. Presumably this part is about trying to argue against praying to saints and not about immortality per se.


Logged
new illumined
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Seeking Orthodoxy (Former Jehovah's Witness)
Jurisdiction: United States
Posts: 62



« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2008, 12:06:41 AM »

G3705
ὅραμα
horama
hor'-am-ah
From G3708; something gazed at, that is, a spectacle (especially supernatural): - sight, vision.

Their theology is unsound.  A "vision" is typically something that is real and of a supernatural nature; otherwise it is just a dream or a hallucination.  The JW's often base their theology and definitions on modern understandings and in modern context, completely ignoring what the words meant in their original context.

Take an example here: Acts 7:31-32

And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.  When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,  Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.

In this passage the same Greek word is translated as "sight".  Does this mean that the event was not real, and that God did not really speak to Moses?

Take also Acts 18:9

Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

So, did the Lord not actually speak to Paul because it was a vision and visions aren't real?


The truth is, JW's flop back and forth in their exegesis as it fits their theology.  In truth, they practice EXOgesis not EXEgesis.

I hope this helps a little.



Yes, this really makes sense to me. They seem to cover over other examples when it suits them in a different way.

Thank you for that post. I will review those scriptures again.

NI
Logged
Marc Hanna
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox - Coptic/Armenian
Jurisdiction: Canada
Posts: 319



« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2008, 02:05:06 PM »

This is a real challenge for many christians; when some one argues something that is contrary to sound doctrine they use our own scripture against us with an explanation that is convoluted but very convincing.  By using truth, ie, scriptural references, mixed with a lie, ie, their contemporary explanation, we are faced with the very same situation in which Satan deceived Eve:  because Eve had no practical knowledge of death and had never contemplated it, Satan was able to twist the truth; no, Eve would not instantly drop dead if she ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but yes, she would have death imposed on her from that day forward.
Logged
antiderivative
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Northeastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: A jurisdiction
Posts: 349


« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2008, 09:45:44 PM »

Quote
However, she started talking about the immortality of the soul, and how that is a false doctrine carried over from paganism.

When one is a Jehovah's Witness, every "false doctrine" is Constantine's fault, and no doubt came from paganism.
Logged

signature
heavymg
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 25


« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2009, 06:39:04 PM »

After long talks with a JW a while ago, I have come to the conclusion they suffer the same as every other Protestant.

SOLA SCRIPTURA

This is their problem. Sure, they know the words of the Bible back and forth, but they have absolutely no way to understand them correctly without Holy Tradition.
Logged

IC XC
NI KA
Clemente
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Europe
Posts: 239


« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2009, 11:50:24 AM »

First post here. Hi everyone and God Bless!

I have become interested in Orthodoxy precisely because of the Orthodox view of the mortality of the soul apart from God (which I think was the OT view and the view of the vast majority of the ECFs during the first and second centuries).The JWs are wrong and heretical about just about everything but on this they may be closer to right. In any case, the unconditional immortality of the soul appears to be more a Platonist view than an early Christian one, although the Catholic and most of the Protestant churches embrace this view.

Is conditional immortality as such accepted doctrine in the Orthodox Church or just posited by some Orthodox priests!
Logged
Tags: Jehovah's Witnesses immortality Millerite Arianism 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.128 seconds with 65 queries.