Deity of Jesus and Personhood of the Spirit in the New World Translation

The scriptures below can be used when talking to a Jehovah's Witness about the deity of Christ or the Holy Spirit. All Bible quotes will be from the New World Translation (NWT), 2013 version, unless otherwise indicated. All the information below can be accessed directly from jw.org. In fact, direct access is recommended, so that the truth of what is shown is not questioned. Despite the many corruptions in the NWT, God still allows the full deity of Jesus to shine through, hallelujah! Popup text is from the ESV and KJV for easy comparison.

First pairing:

Psalms 102:1-2Psalms 102:1-2 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you! Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!

KJV: Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
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O Jehovah, hear my prayer; Let my cry for help reach you. Do not hide your face from me in my time of distress. Incline your ear* (*Or “Bend down and listen.”) to me; Do answer me quickly when I call.

To whom is the psalmist talking about in this Psalm? (Jehovah). The psalmist is still talking about Jehovah as we continue in verses 25-27 below:

Psalms 102:25-27Psalms 102:25-27 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.

KJV: Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
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Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; Just like a garment they will all wear out. Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will pass away. But you are the same, and your years will never end.

Hebrews 1:8Hebrews 1:8 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

KJV: But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
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But about the Son, he says: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.* (*Or “justice.”)

Who is the author of Hebrews talking about? (Jesus) And who is talking? (Jehovah God)

So what does Jehovah God say about the Son in verses 10-12?

Hebrews 1:10-12Hebrews 1:10-12 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

KJV: And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
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And: “At the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; and just like a garment, they will all wear out, and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as a garment, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never come to an end.”

So... what was by divine inspiration said about God in Psalm 102:25-27 was said about the Son in Hebrews 1:10-12.

Jehovah's Witnesses will say that the Father used the Son to create all "other" things, but with these scriptures, either the psalmist is calling Jesus "Jehovah" in Psalm 102 OR God is calling Jesus "Jehovah" in Hebrews 1:10-12, because this single individual, whomever you believe him to be, laid the foundations of the earth - called Jehovah in Psalm 102:25-27 and called the Son in Hebrews 1:10-12.

Second Pairing:

Jeremiah 17:10Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

KJV: I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
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I, Jehovah, am searching the heart, Examining the innermost thoughts,* (*Or “deepest emotions.” Lit., “kidneys.”) To give to each one according to his ways, According to the fruitage of his works.

Who is talking? (Jehovah)

Revelation 2:18Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

KJV: And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
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“To the angel of the congregation in Thy·a·tiʹra write: These are the things that the Son of God says, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame and whose feet are like fine copper:

Who is talking? (the Son of God) Keep this in mind, as it is still the Son of God talking in verse 23. There is no change in speaker.

Revelation 2:23Revelation 2:23 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

KJV: And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
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And I will kill her children with deadly plague, so that all the congregations will know that I am the one who searches the innermost thoughts* (*Or “the deepest emotions.” Lit., “kidneys.”) and hearts, and I will give to you individually according to your deeds.

So in Jeremiah it is Jehovah who is the one who searches the hearts, to give to each one according to his ways, and in Revelation it is Jesus (the Son) who is the one who searches the innermost thoughts and hearts, and gives individually according to one's deeds. Note Jesus did not say "I am one of two, or I am one of the ones - he simply said, "I am the ONE who searches... The Son says he is the ONE who does what Jehovah says he does.

Third Pairing:

Jeremiah 31:33-34Jeremiah 31:33-34 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

KJV: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
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“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them, and in their heart I will write it. And I will become their God, and they will become my people.”  “And they will no longer teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Jehovah!’ for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them,” declares Jehovah. “For I will forgive their error, and I will no longer remember their sin.”

Who is talking/declaring? (Jehovah)

Hebrews 10:15-17Hebrews 10:15-17 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

KJV: Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
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(Moreover, the holy spirit also bears witness to us, for after it has said:  “‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,’ says Jehovah.* ‘I will put my laws in their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.’”  Then it says: “And I will no longer call their sins and their lawless deeds to mind.”)

In Jeremiah, the statement was declared by Jehovah, but in Hebrews, the statement is said by the Holy Spirit. This has to be the case per the language of the text in Hebrews. Either "it" is referencing the Holy Spirit, who is doing the speaking, or "it" is referencing a unnamed noun as no other antecedent is given for the pronoun "it." The pronoun "it" can't simply be out of the blue - it has to reference the noun given in the context of the passage (the antecedent noun), and that noun, by lack of any other choice, is "the holy spirit."

By the grammar of the text, it could be said that the Holy Spirit calls himself Jehovah as well, and then continues with what it is saying.

If "it" is not the Holy Spirit, then it is a completely unknown entity, as no other option is given in the text. One can rightfully make the argument that the Holy Spirit is simply quoting Jehovah from Jeremiah, but if this argument is made, then it must be asked, "Can a mere force bear witness to us, and speak to us? Are these actions not those of a person?"

Fourth Pairing:

Colossians 1:15-17Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

KJV: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or 5 principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
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He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist,

The 1984 edition of the NWT is [slightly] more honest, as it says, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist,"

The [brackets] around the word "other" are there in admission that the word "other" is not in the original Greek - with the 2011 version, they have hidden this truth even more by removing the brackets. I know some say that "other" is added for clarification - but this can not be true, for it doesn't clarify the meaning of the Greek but completely changes the meaning of the original passage. Also, if this is the excuse (that it is for clarification), we must ask, was God mistaken when he inspired this text and we need to fix God's error in his writing? The JW organization uses Revelation 3:14Revelation 3:14 (ESV, KJV & NWT)
ESV: “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation.

KJV: And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

NWT: “To the angel of the congregation in La·o·di·ceʹa write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God:
to justify this changing of the text, but this verse is showing Jesus was the originator of the creation - not the first one created. Adding "other" simply changes the meaning of the original passage. Either God messed up and inspired the verse incorrectly so that His inspired word would not be valid through the centuries, or the meaning needed to be changed to support a doctrine that disagreed with the actual, original, God-inspired text.

Interestingly, even today in the The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, Copyright 1984, as found on JW.org, it is clear to see that the "other" simply doesn't exist. I suppose they have to leave this this way because most first month Greek students would easily figure it out by looking at the Greek text. Note that "(things)" is added in the interlinear as clarification.

From JW.org (as of 8/13/2022)
Colossians 1:15-17 from JW.org
Colossians 1:15-17 from JW.org
From the 1969 print edition:
Colossians 1:15-17 from the 1969 print edition of the Kingdom Interlinear
Colossians 1:15-17 from the 1969 print edition of the Kingdom Interlinear

Additionally, while the JW leadership likes to say that Jesus was "firstborn" in the sense of "the first one created in a chronological order of things created," but created and born are not the same thing. Cain was the first one born, as his parents were created. Regardless, this is not how the Bible uses the term, especially prophetically in reference to Jesus. The NWT uses this term (firstborn) as showing Jesus' sense of preeminence above all other things. This can be seen in Psalm 89.

God Jehovah, in speaking about David both as David himself, but much more so as a type of the future Christ, in Psalm 89, declares the following:

Psalms 89:20-27Psalms 89:20-27 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.

KJV: I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
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I have found David my servant; With my holy oil I have anointed him. My hand will support him, And my arm will strengthen him. No enemy will exact tribute from him, And no unrighteous man will oppress him. I will crush to pieces his adversaries from before him And strike down those who hate him. My faithfulness and loyal love are with him, And in my name his strength* (*Lit., “horn.”) will be exalted. I will put his hand* (*Or “authority.”) over the sea And his right hand over the rivers. He will call out to me: ‘You are my Father, My God and the Rock of my salvation.’ And I will place him as firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my loyal love for him forever, And my covenant with him will never fail.

Was David the first born of Jesse? Not at all! He had several older brothers! Psalm 89 shows us how the Bible uses the term "firstborn" in reference to a position of authority or, as seen in this Psalm, for a type of Christ, because it is speaking a truth about Christ's majesty and eternal rank. If this is the truth of how the inspired scripture uses this word, by calling David the "firstborn," how much more so would this be the truth with the anti-type, Jesus himself?

Additionally, before the time of Abraham there was no nation of Israel. God made the nation from Abraham's seed, but as we know, Israel was God's preeminent nation, the nation He held above all others. In Exodus 4:22, we have the following:

Exodus 4:22Exodus 4:22 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son,

KJV: “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn.

You must say to Pharʹaoh, ‘This is what Jehovah says: “Israel is my son, my firstborn.

So again, we see that in scripture, "firstborn" has nothing to do with birth order and even less to do with creation order; the term has to do with position.

Fifth Pairing:

Isaiah 6:8Isaiah 6:8 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

KJV: Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
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Then I heard the voice of Jehovah saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said: “Here I am! Send me!”

So, Jehovah speaks, and Isaiah answers, and then in verses 9-10, Jehovah continues speaking:

Isaiah 6:9-10Isaiah 6:9-10 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

KJV: And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
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And he replied, “Go, and say to this people: ‘You will hear again and again, But you will not understand; You will see again and again, But you will not get any knowledge.’ Make the heart of this people unreceptive, Make their ears unresponsive, And paste their eyes together, So that they may not see with their eyes And hear with their ears, So that their heart may not understand And they may not turn back and be healed.”

Acts 28:25-27Acts 28:25-27 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: “‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

KJV: And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
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So because they disagreed with one another, they began to leave, and Paul made this one comment: “The holy spirit aptly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your forefathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “You will indeed hear but by no means understand, and you will indeed look but by no means see. For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn back and I heal them.”’

I love how under the divine inspiration of Jehovah, Paul says that it was the Holy Spirit who spoke through Isaiah, saying (the text above)... whereas in Isaiah, it was Jehovah who spoke through Isaiah. This shows beautifully that the Holy Spirit is not just a mere force, but the person who spoke through Isaiah, whom Isaiah identifies as Jehovah and Paul identifies as the Holy Spirit.

Sixth Pairing:

Matthew 16:27Matthew 16:27 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

KJV: For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
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For the Son of man is to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will repay each one according to his behavior.

So, Jesus is the one who will repay each one according to his behavior. This agrees with John 5:22. Further, we see in John 5:22 that the Father judges no one. Judgment belongs to Jesus. Jesus is the one who will judge and repay each according to his behavior.

John 5:22John 5:22 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,

KJV: For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
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For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son

Revelation 22:12-13Revelation 22:12-13 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

KJV: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
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v12: “‘Look! I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me, to repay each one according to his work.
v13: I am the Alʹpha and the O·meʹga,* (*Or “the A and the Z.” Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.) the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

So, we know in verse 12 that this is Jesus, as we know from the previous verses that the father judges no one and gives all judging to the Son and it is the Son who repays each one according to what he does. In verse 13 we then know that Jesus must be the Alpha and Omega as the speaker has not changed. In fact, throughout the rest of the chapter, we know it is Jesus who is speaking - this is made clear multiple times. The final confirmation is the response in verse 20 (“Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”)

Isaiah 41:4Isaiah 41:4 (ESV & KJV)
ESV: Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he.

KJV: Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he.
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...Who has acted and done this, Summoning the generations from the beginning? I, Jehovah, am the First One; And with the last ones I am the same.”

So, if Jehovah is the first one, and Jesus is the Alpha, how are we to interpret this? By the definition of "first" that the JW organization wants to give, should we ask who created Jehovah to be first, before the rest were created? We must realize that these are both titles of superiority, and that both First One... and Alpha and Omega refer to their eternal states. If not, then we must assume that both have a beginning, as both are noted to be "first" by the divine inspiration. Also, since Jehovah has stated that he is the first one, if Jesus is not of the exact same deity as Jehovah, then he blasphemes by taking the position that Jehovah ascribes to himself in Isaiah 41:4.

A Review of Andy Stanley and The Grace of God