“No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him.”
Question #4 – According to the Bible, Jesus is ‘God’ with a big ‘G’ (Isaiah 9:6, John 20:28, etc). The Watchtower teaches that Jesus is ‘a God’ or ‘a separate God’, but not God himself. Doesn’t this directly contradict multiple scriptures such as Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 44:8, Isaiah 45:21-22, and so on?
ANSWER – First, just to be clear, in the original languages of the Bible there were no large and small case letters. It is up to modern translators to apply such devices as the text warrants.
In the context of Isaiah Jehovah is claiming that from his perspective —being Almighty God —he does not recognize any of the idol gods of the nations as being legitimate gods. They are not his peers, nor did he create them.
In the opening words of the 46th chapter of Isaiah Jehovah even names one particular god from the Babylonian pantheon of gods —Nebo, who, not coincidently, was part of the Babylonian/Assyrian trinity, being the mythological son of the god Marduk and his virtual wife, Sarpanitu. Nebo’s worshippers imagined him to be the source of wisdom and intelligence. However, Jehovah chided Nebo for his powerlessness, for having to be carted around on a donkey and for going into exile himself when Cyrus conquered Babylon.
As Isaiah and other prophets relate, God has no equal. Although there are other gods —gods being defined superhuman entities —they are not in any way superior to Jehovah. Certainly, there is no way that human craftsmen can fabricate any device that can approximate his glory. Jehovah exists far above the human realm and even dominates the spirit dimension with his presence.
That is why the letter of James states that the demons, who pass themselves off as gods, know quite well that Jehovah exists, but that knowledge makes them bristle up in revulsion and dread. (See footnote of James 2:19 in the NWT Reference Bible)
That there are gods other than Jehovah, though, at least those who claim to be gods, is acknowledged by Jehovah God himself, as Jeremiah 10:10-11 states: “But Jehovah is truly God. He is the living God and the eternal King. Because of his indignation the earth will quake, and no nations will endure his denunciation. This is what you should say to them: “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under these heavens.”’
If there is only one God, a living Deity who created the heavens and the earth whose name is Jehovah, why are there so many gods that compete for our worship —including the Catholic trinity god? Why is there so much confusion? The answer is, there was a rebellion of godlike, powerful angels —Satan being the first of many. Satan coveted the worship Jehovah received from the first two humans. He wanted to be Jehovah. So, he devised a scheme to steal it.
As time went on other sons of God joined the Devil in rebellion. They came down to earth to mate with human women —producing a freakish race of Nephilim. God moved to thwart their scheme to pollute the human race by causing the earth-wide cataclysm known as Noah’s flood.
The Deluge forced the materialized angels to dissolve their flesh and return to the spirit realm. Since then they have become known as the demons. It is these demons who pretend to be God. They seduced the Israelites into worshipping them instead of Jehovah, as Deuteronomy 32:16-17 states: “They incited him to fury with foreign gods; they were offending him with detestable things. They were sacrificing to demons, not to God, to gods that they had not known, new ones that came along recently, to gods that your forefathers did not know.”
Those same demons were masquerading as gods during the first century when Christianity was established. That is why one of Jesus’ foremost disciples wrote in one of his letters: “No; but I say that what the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers with the demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:20)
So, there are false gods —not just idols, but intelligent, powerful spirits, that are determined to steal God’s worship. Obviously, the false gods are still very much in existence to this very day.
But not all gods are false. Not all the gods wish to steal God’s glory. Not all the gods are in competition with the true God. There is one special god who is completely loyal and subservient to Jehovah. True, he did not exist before God. No one did. So, in that respect he is not a god in the same sense as the self-existing, Eternal God. Nonetheless, he is a god – the only-begotten god.
Although it is impossible to comprehend, Jehovah God has always existed. He is timeless. He simply is and always has been and always will be. I know, it is mind-blowing to even contemplate, but he was alone for all eternity too. But just because something is beyond our finite comprehension does not mean it is not true.
Evidently time has no meaning to God. Time only began when God first created. That is why John 1:1 states: “In the beginning…” Anyway, the Existing One obviously became a Creator. And his first creation was a god, in his own image. That is why the apostle John wrote the following concerning Jesus and his unique position relative to God: “No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him.” —John 1:18
θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.
Contrary to the wanna-be gods, before Jesus came down to the earth he was Jehovah’s firstborn, his only-begotten son, whom God then empowered to create everything else. Truly, in every sense of the word the firstborn is himself a god. But, he is a god —not due to his simply being, as in the case of Jehovah —but because God fathered him, begetting him to be a god, the only one of his kind; hence, the only-begotten god.
Of course, no trinitarian can possibly explain how God begot himself or why that would even be necessary. The truth expressed at John 1:18 is so devastating to the trinity myth that trinitarian Bible producers have merely stricken “only-begotten god” from their Bibles, substituting “son” instead and many also ditching “only-begotten” too. Some translators are even compelled to add that the son is God even though there is nothing in the Greek to support that sort of rendering. For example, here is how the verse is rendered in the NIV: “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” Shamelessly, an NIV footnote notes that some manuscripts say ‘only son’ – neglecting to inform the reader that the earliest manuscripts say something entirely different.
Actually, the Catholic Church gave them a helping hand. Long ago, shortly after Constantine hijacked Christianity and incorporated it into the Roman Empire, before English even existed, scribes employed by the empire to copy Greek texts changed John 1:18, removing “god” and substituting “son.” Ironically, trinitarians frequently accuse the Watchtower of changing the Bible, but the truth is, the Catholic Church originally took the liberty of editing the Greek texts to suit their purpose to make Jesus God and shove Jehovah out of the picture. In effect, one of the most powerful truths that testifies to Jesus being a god in relation to the true God has been stolen, no doubt by the same thief who seduced Eve into stealing God’s fruit and who covets all that belongs to God. So, the early English translators can be forgiven, since the Greek texts they were working from were riddled with these types of forgeries.
However, in more recent centuries other manuscripts that predate the fourth century have been discovered. And other manuscripts, such as the the Codex Sinaiticus, were written by copyists who were not under the influence of Constantine’s priests. And in every instance, without exception, every manuscript produced before the fourth century or independent of Catholic influence, says that Jesus is the “only-begotten god.”
One would think that the trinitarians would embrace John 1:18, since it says that Jesus is God, but it is the only-begotten aspect that causes them trouble. Surely, modern translators who produce versions such as the New International Version, which is very popular with evangelicals, are aware of the issue, but due to their overriding bias they continue to perpetuate the fraud and render the verse as “son” instead of “god.” In this respect the trinity god is no better than Nebo, not being able to stand on his own two feet either, so-to-speak; requiring human assistance in its behalf to prop it up for lack of scriptural support.
Thankfully not all translators are dishonest. For example the Rotherham Bible is true to the most ancient authority, rendering the verse as: “No one, hath seen, God, at any time: An Only Begotten God, The One existing within the bosom of the Father, He, hath interpreted [him]”
(Since in the original text there is no definite article, as in John 1:1, it is perfectly proper to render the expression as “only-begotten god” —small “g.”)
As regards God’s declaration in Isaiah, that he recognized no other god, that none were created before of after, it should be obvious that Jehovah was speaking of the gods who were opposed to him, who were/are his enemies – not his only-begotten god/son. Not only that, but Isaiah was written before the sacred secret concerning Christ was unveiled. However, when Jesus came to the earth then it was revealed that God had a special son, who himself is a god, in whom Jehovah has concealed all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)
A sobering reality we should not lose sight of is this: The judgment upon the fake gods has not been carried out yet. Christ has been appointed as God’s executioner to destroy the Devil and his demons and exterminate their worshippers. The irony is, during the day of Jehovah Christ will use his God-given powers to destroy all those “liking and carrying on a lie,” as Revelation 22:15 states, which would obviously include the masses of trinity worshippers who lyingly claim that Jesus is God and who deny that his Father, Jehovah, is the only true God who begot him.
Resource – Examining the Trinity blog