These are great so far. How would you respond if they said the concept of the trinity didn't exist in the first few centuries of the church?The term may not have existed, but the concept certainly did: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." 1 John 5:7.
This is in the KJV, which is the only version outside of their translation that they tolerate.
Does Orthodoxy not acknowledge this to be a 17th century addition to the scriptures? I thought that was a well-knownfact but then I was surprised to see in my Orthodox Study Bible.
Actually, several western fathers (Tertullian and Cyprian, for example) quote the Johannine comma, and it appears in some versions of the Vulgate from that time. So it was a very early, albeit regional, variant that eventually was transcribed into Greek manuscripts, the earliest of which we have
from many centuries hence, but one can hardly say that it was unknown by the Church before that time. Indeed, additions like the woman caught in adultery or the longer ending of Mark were going on well after the apostles' passings; this is no different, and no reason to deny the passages' inclusion as Scripture...not that I think that that's what you were doing, but still.
Regarding the OP: I've posted this several times on the forum, so what's one more time?
I always like showing them how their own Bible
proclaims the divinity of Christ:
Rev. 1:8: “I am the Al´pha and the O·me´ga,” says Jehovah God, “the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty.”
So, all right, Jehovah God calls himself "the Alpha and the Omega." Keep that handy.
9 I John, YOUR brother and a sharer with YOU in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in company with Jesus, came to be in the isle that is called Pat´mos for speaking about God and bearing witness to Jesus.
10 By inspiration I came to be in the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a strong voice like that of a trumpet,
11 saying: “What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven congregations, in Eph´e·sus and in Smyr´na and in Per´ga·mum and in Thy·a·ti´ra and in Sar´dis and in Philadelphia and in La·o·di·ce´a.”
12 And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me, and, having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the lampstands someone like a son of man, clothed with a garment that reached down to the feet, and girded at the breasts with a golden girdle.
14 Moreover, his head and his hair were white as white wool, as snow, and his eyes as a fiery flame;
15 and his feet were like fine copper when glowing in a furnace; and his voice was as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars, and out of his mouth a sharp, long two-edged sword was protruding, and his countenance was as the sun when it shines in its power.
17 And when I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet.
And he laid his right hand upon me and said: “Do not be fearful. I am the First and the Last,
18 and the living one; and I became dead, but, look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of Ha´des.
So now we obviously have Jesus, the Son of Man who died and lives forever, who has the keys of death and Hades, calling Himself "the First and the Last." Not exactly the same title as "Alpha and Omega," not word for word, anyway, so let's go from the beginning of the Apocalypse into the final chapter:
Rev. 22:13: "I am the Al´pha and the O·me´ga, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
Now, that verse is in a paragraph that JWs say is Jehovah God speaking, though the text gives no clue that that's happening, and even though the passage is surrounded by two things that are clearly spoken by Jesus. Nevertheless, they have a statement here that even they say is attributed to Jehovah God which equates the One Who Is Alpha and Omega with the One Who Is the First and the Last.
Christ is divine, and not even the JW Bible denies it.