Jehovah's Witnesses misrepresent the Trinity
A couple of weeks ago, some Jehovah's Witnesses came by and gave me the September 1, 2009 edition of the Watchtower magazine. On page 28, there's a short one page article called "In What Way are Jesus and his Father One?" I think this article illustrates very clearly why it is that Jehovah's Witness have such a difficult time understanding the Trinity and why they constantly misrepresent it.
At the beginning of the article, it says, "Some quote this text to prove that Jesus and his Father are two parts of a triune God." Then at the end of the article it says, "Thus, when Jesus said, 'I and the Father are one,' he was speaking, not of a mysterious Trinity, but of a wonderful unity--the closest bond possible between two persons." Everything that comes between the beginning and the end, then, was meant to demonstrate that the Trinitarian interpretation of John 10:30 is incorrect.
What is striking for this trinitarian is how the article attempts to prove its point. It says that Jesus' statements in verses 27 to 29 "would have made little sense to his listeners if he and his Father were one and the same person." After paraphrasing the verses, the articles says, "No one would conclude that this son and his father were the same person." Citing Matthew 24:36, the article asks rhetorically, "If Jesus and his Father were really one person, why did Jesus pray to God and humbly admit to not knowing things that only his Father knew?"
So basically this article attacks modalism as if it were the Trinity. The authors of this article are very confused, and they are confusing the many Jehovah's Witnesses who read it. According to modalism, the Father and the Son are the same person. But that is not the Trinity. In the Trinity, the Father and the Son are distinct persons. So a trinitarian would totally agree with this article when it says,
This strong bond of unity, however, does not make God and his Son, Jesus, indistinguishable from each other. They are two individuals. Each one has his own distinct personality. Jesus has his own feelings, thoughts, experiences, and free will. Nevertheless, he chose to submit his will to that of his Father.The Jehovah's Witnesses who left this article said they would come back this Saturday for a chat. I was thinking about asking them if I could video tape the conversation. Wouldn't that be neat?