This is the first of a series of 60 answers to 60 questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses found at the website JW Lies.
QUESTION #1 – How do you explain the direct correlation between Hebrews 1:10-12 and Psalms 102:25-27? They both say the same thing almost word-for-word and there are even cross references in your Bible linking them together. In Hebrews, it is about Jesus, but in Psalms it is about Jehovah.
ANSWER: The Psalm states, simply: “Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.” Obviously, the pronoun “you” is in reference to Jehovah God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. However, over 1,000 years after the Psalm was penned the apostle Paul quoted the Psalm in the context of explaining the position of Christ relative to Jehovah. That is readily apparent in the context.
Trinitarians are fond of playing parlor tricks with isolated verses to dazzle the inexperienced and those with limited knowledge. But in order to avoid being taken in by their deception it is always advisable to read the immediate and extended context in order to gain a broader understanding. In this case, read the entire 1st chapter of Hebrews and the “correlation” becomes readily apparent.
Before considering the context, though, keep in mind this very basic element of truth; namely, that from the time of the rebellion in Eden when God originally foretold that a “seed” would come forth from “the woman” who would ultimately crush the head of the serpent, it was unknown who this messianic seed would be. All during the days of Israel and the prophets the identity of the seed was a mystery. But when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptizer, then God began revealing that Jesus, the so-called Nazarene, was the foretold Christ, the Messiah and the Son of God.
Paul’s letter to the Hebrews goes into great detail to explain the position the mysterious seed occupied both prior to his coming to earth and after he was exalted. The opening words of his letter reveal a truth that had been hidden for thousands of years concerning the role that the Messiah played in the creation of the universe. Paul wrote: “Long ago God spoke to our forefathers by means of the prophets on many occasions and in many ways. Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Any intelligent reader whose mind has not been indoctrinated with a lot of theological gobbledegook ought to be able to discern that Paul does not state that Jesus is God. No, rather, God appointed Jesus as his spokesman, an heir and made the systems “through” him. Surely, the Most High God does not appoint himself to a higher position or reward himself with special privileges that he already had. That is nonsensical. Not only that, Paul revealed that after God resurrected Jesus he ascended to heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Clearly, two entities are presented —the Majesty on high and his Son at his right hand.
It is very important to note that prior to the revelation of Christ there were only sparse hints of the sacred secret concerning the identity of the coming one. For example, in the creation account in the first chapter of Genesis Jehovah spoke to a then-unknown, nameless entity, inviting him to join in creation; hence, we read: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness…” Later, after the Flood Jehovah again spoke to a person separate and distinct from himself, saying to him: “Come! Let us go down there and confuse their language in order that they may not understand one another’s language.”
The 8th chapter of Proverbs also hinted at the existence of a “helper” who was employed by God. Speaking as the personification of God’s wisdom before the earth was created, the proverb states: “When he set a decree for the sea that its waters should not pass beyond his order, when he established the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him as a master worker. I was the one he was especially fond of day by day; I rejoiced before him all the time; I rejoiced over his habitable earth, and I was especially fond of the sons of men.” — Proverbs 8:29-31
Even when Jesus was on earth and walked among the Jews he did not clearly reveal his role in creation —only that he knew the Father intimately, having been by his side in heaven before coming down to the earthly realm. (John 8:23) It was not until Paul began writing his epistles that the sacred secret was fully unveiled concerning the position Jesus occupied prior to his coming down. No doubt some of the original Christians may not have fully realized the privileged life Jesus enjoyed prior to his becoming human. But that knowledge should cause us to appreciate all the more the sacrifice he made.
But as regards the “correlation,” Paul did not in anyway imply that Jesus was the Creator. His saying that Jesus laid the foundations of the earth is perfectly in keeping with the fact that Jesus was invited by God, indeed, empowered and authorized by the Creator himself, to do God’s work for him. And, as pointed out, the opening words of the letter to the Hebrews clarifies Jesus’ position as the agency through whom God made all things.
Since its inception in 1881 the Watchtower Society has consistently taught that Jesus is the special Son of God who created all things and who is God’s appointed heir.