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Mars Hill Apologetic Discussions
Sam Shamoun and Hector Heinz Schmidt
Biblical Monotheism and Job 9:8
Shamoun is a Christian layman and contributor to For an Answer.
Hector Heinz Schmidt is a Jehovah's Witness who runs the following
Heinz has responded to Sam's paper, which was essentially Sam's response to Greg Stafford’s section on biblical monotheism in Jehovah's Witnesses Defended. Sam's paper can be found here:
reply can be found here:
Sam wrote a very lengthy rebuttal to Heinz’s response, which you can find here:
then tried to respond back! You can find some of it in his initial
response, as well as here:
What follows is Sam's latest reply.
HECTOR HEINZ AND JOB 9:8
aim of my paper is to deal with some of Heinz’s response to my use of
OT passages which say that Yahweh alone created the cosmos. Heinz’s
comments will be in blue. Heinz begins:
does bring up Scriptures where Jehovah says he created alone. We
know that Jehovah, was not really alone at the time of creation because
Job 38:6, 7 tells us: "When I laid the foundation of the earth ...
all the sons of God shouted for joy". The angels shouted for joy
when Jehovah, through His Son, "laid the foundations of the
misrepresents my argument. Here is what I originally wrote in my
response to Heinz:
apologists claim that this passage does not prove that Jehovah created
all things by himself, but that the context is refuting the false notion
that the pagan gods of the nations were responsible for creation. It is
in this light that Jehovah claims to be alone in creating the cosmos.
Yet this reasoning cannot be sustained in light of the following
speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the
stars. He ALONE stretches out the
heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.” Job 9:7-8 NIV
reiterates the point of Isaiah 44:24 and yet no mention of pagan gods
can be found throughout the context. Therefore, the reasoning employed
by JWs cannot be sustained since with or without the context of false
gods, the OT is in agreement that Jehovah alone created all things.
is quite clear to anyone reading my comments that I was saying that
Yahweh created the cosmos without the assistance of anyone. I wasn’t
claiming that Yahweh was necessarily alone when he created the cosmos BY
HIMSELF. As I said in response to Stafford, which Heinz supposedly has
Trinitarians do not deny the possibility of angels existing during the
formation of the universe. The Trinitarian point is that Scripture
ascribes creation to Jehovah alone, not that Jehovah was by himself when
he alone created the universe.
also misapplies and misunderstands Job 38:6-7, since he thinks this
proves that there were angels present at the time of creation. By
creation, I take Heinz to be referring to the heavens and the earth. The
problem with Heinz’s reading of the passages is that Job 38 says
nothing about angels being present when God created
the heavens. It only says that angels were present when God laid
the foundations of the earth:
were you when I laid the
foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who
determined its measurements--surely
you know! Or who stretched the
line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted
for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth from the
womb; when I made clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling
band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said,
‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud
waves be stayed’?” Job 38:4-11 RSV
is safe to assume that angels were around when God was fashioning the
earth since they would have come into being during the creation of the
heavens. This view is supported both by the overall context of the
scriptures and extra-biblical references which can be read here: http://www.forananswer.org/John/Jn1_1_ov1.htm
any case, Heinz’s appeal to Job 38 does nothing to refute the point
that Yahweh ALONE created the cosmos.
erroneously assumes several things:
assumes that Prov. 8:22 refers to the preincarnate Christ
assumes that the Hebrew verb qanah means create, as opposed to possesses, to get etc.
it is beyond the scope of this article to deal with these issues, we
will have to defer this discussion for a future article. For now, we
recommend Ray Goldsmith’s refutation of the JW use of Prov. 8 in his
dialogue with JW Wrench, titled:
The debate can be found here:
The debate can be found here:http://jude3.net/whatnew.htm
we would like to show how Heinz’s method of exegesis can be used to
prove the very opposite of his assertion.
In trying to connect the Lord Jesus with the Wisdom of Prov. 8,
Heinz failed to see how this undermines his own position:
It is the Bible that calls Jesus "the firstborn of all
creation," "the beginning of God's creation," the
"only-begotten Son" and links Jesus to the "created"
Wisdom of Proverbs (Col 1:15; Rev 3:14; Jn 3:16; Prov 8:22-30 cf. Lu
11:47/1Cor 1:24 RSV).
connects Prov. 8 with 1 Cor. 1:24 to prove that Jesus is God’s created
Wisdom. We would like to quote the passage in order to show our readers
what Heinz missed:
to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the
POWER of God (christen theou dunamin) and the WISDOM of God.” NWT
is called God’s Wisdom AND Power, which is quite significant. The
Scriptures state that God’s power is both eternal and divine:
his invisible [qualities] are clearly seen from the world's creation
onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even
his ETERNAL POWER (he te aidios
autou dunamis) and Godship, so that they are inexcusable."
Romans 1:20 NWT
as his DIVINE POWER (tes
theias dunameos autou) has given us freely all the things that
concern life and godly devotion, through the accurate knowledge of the
one who called us through glory and virtue.” 2 Peter 1:3 NWT
Heinz’ exegetical method we are forced to conclude that Jesus is
God's power is
divine and eternal.
Jesus is God's
is divine and eternal.
Heinz is to remain consistent then he must accept this conclusion, since
both premises in the syllogism are biblically valid. Otherwise, for
Heinz to reject this only shows that he is rather inconsistent in how he
handles the biblical data and is simply reading into the Holy Bible his
post-biblical 19th century JW theology.
to quote a passage that says that Wisdom was there when God created all
things doesn’t help Heinz in the least. God’s Wisdom is an essential
part of his eternal Being, originating from within Himself. In fact, the
Scriptures also teach that God used Wisdom to create ALL THINGS. See for
instance the following citations:
the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs
2:6 NET Bible
The NET translators’ note 26 says:
Lord by wisdom laid the foundation of the earth; he established the
heavens by understanding. By his knowledge the primordial sea was broken
open, and the clouds drip down dew.” Proverbs 3:19-20 NET
LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast
thou made them ALL; the earth is full of thy creatures.” Psalm
Lord is the one who by his POWER made the earth. He is the one who by his WISDOM fixed the world in place.” Jeremiah 10:12 NET Bible
facts demonstrate that Wisdom is uncreated, which provides additional
evidence that Jesus is eternal, and hence God! Again:
God’s Wisdom is
eternal and the agent of creation.
Jesus is God’s
is eternal and the agent of creation.
it was passages such as these that led the early Church to conclude that
Christ was eternally begotten or generated; i.e., that Christ existed
eternally with the Father, while at the same time deriving his Deity and
divine existence from the One who generated him.
The use of the term, "alone", "by myself" etc do not necessarily mean the same thing to those in power, even in the Bible. What do I mean?
Let us look at Daniel 4:30 and Isaiah 63:3. Daniel 4:30, "The king reflected and said, 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built.' " NASB.
"The king was saying, 'Great Babylon! Imperial palace! Did I not build it alone.' " Jerusalem Bible.
king spake and said, Is this not Babylon the great, - which I myself
have built," J.B. Rotherham
is the interpretation, O king. It is the decision of the Most High that
this has happened to my lord the king. You will be driven from human
society, and you will live with the wild animals. You will be fed grass
like oxen, and you will become damp with the dew of the sky. Seven times
will pass by for you, before you
understand that the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms and gives
them to whomever he wishes. Now in that they said to leave a taproot
of the tree, your kingdom will be restored to you when
you come to understand that heaven rules. Therefore, O king, may my
advice be pleasing to you. Break away from your sins by doing acts of
righteousness, and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.
Perhaps your prosperity will be prolonged.’” Daniel 4:24-27 NET
“But at the end of the appointed time I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven, and my sanity returned to me. I blessed the Most High, and I praised and glorified the one who lives forever. For his rule is an everlasting rule, and his kingdom extends from one generation to the next. All the inhabitants of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he wishes with the army of heaven and with those who inhabit the earth. No one slaps his hand and says to him, ‘What have you done?’ At that time my sanity returned to me. I was restored to the honor of my kingdom, and my splendor returned to me. My ministers and my magistrates were seeking me out, and I was reinstated over my kingdom. Tremendous greatness was restored to me, greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, for all his deeds are right and his ways are just. He is able to bring low those who live in pride.” Daniel 4:34-37 NET Bible
next example actually proves that Jesus and the Angel of Yahweh (whom we
feel is the preincarnate Christ) is Yahweh God!
63:3 says: "I [Jehovah] have trodden the wine press alone, and of
the peoples there was no man with me." Again, it was not Jehovah
who personally punish these people. It was His angel acting on the
Jehovah's authority. (2 Kings 19:35, 36)
on we will show that the Angel is Yahweh God. Here, we would like to
quote Isaiah 63 in order to see how this provides additional proof that
Jesus is Yahweh God Almighty:
is this one coming from E'dom, the one with garments of glowing colors from Boz'rah, this one who
is honorable in his clothing, marching in the abundance of his power?
'I, the One speaking in righteousness, the One abounding [in power] to
save.' Why is it that your
clothing is red, and your garments are like those of one treading in the
winepress? 'The wine I have
trodden BY MYSELF, while THERE WAS NO MAN WITH ME from the peoples. And I kept treading them in my anger, and I kept tramping them down in
my rage. And their spurting blood kept spattering upon my garments and
all my clothing I have polluted. For the day of vengeance is in my
heart, and the very year of my repurchased ones has come. And I kept
looking, BUT THERE WAS NO HELPER; and I began to show myself astonished,
BUT THERE WAS NO ONE OFFERING SUPPORT. So
my arm furnished me salvation, and my rage was what supported me.
And I kept stamping down peoples in my anger, and I proceeded to make
them drunk with my rage and to bring down to the earth spurting
blood.'" Isaiah 63:1-6 NWT
repeats this here:
"… 'And Jehovah got to see, and it was bad in his eyes that there was no justice. And when he saw THAT THERE WAS NO MAN, he began to show himself astonished that there was no one interposing. And his arm proceeded to save for him, and his OWN righteousness was the thing that supported. Then he put on righteousness as a coat of mail, and the helmet of salvation upon his head. Furthermore, he put on the garments of vengeance as raiment and enwrapped himself with zeal as if a sleeveless coat. In accordance with the dealings he will reward correspondingly, rage to his adversaries, due treatment to his enemies. To the islands he will recompense due treatment. And from the sunset they will begin to fear the name of Jehovah, and from the rising of the sun the glory of him, for he will come in like a distressing river, which the very spirit of Jehovah has driven along. And to Zion the Repurchaser will certainly come, and to those turning from transgression in Jacob, is the utterance of Jehovah. 'And as for me, this is my covenant with them,' Jehovah has said. 'My spirit that is upon you and my words that I have put in your mouth- they will not be removed from your mouth or from the mouth of your offspring or from the mouth of the offspring of your offspring,' Jehovah has said, 'from now on even to time indefinite.'" Isaiah 59:15b-21 NWT
According to these last two passages God had to work out salvation by himself since there was no one, no man, qualified to help him. Now compare this with the following depiction of the risen Lord:
I saw the heaven opened, and, look! a white horse. And the one seated
upon it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. His eyes are a
fiery flame, and upon his head are many diadems. He has a name written
that no one knows but he himself, and
he is arrayed with an outer garment sprinkled with blood, and the
name he is called is The Word of God. Also, the armies that were in
heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in
white, clean, fine linen. And out of his mouth there protrudes a sharp
long sword, that he may strike the nations with it, and he will shepherd
them with a rod of iron. He treads too the winepress of the anger of the wrath of God the
Almighty. And upon his outer garment, even upon his thigh, he has a
name written, King of kings and Lord of Lords." Revelation 19:11-16
Here, Jesus is described in the same exact way that Isaiah describes Yahweh and does exactly what the prophet says God alone was going to do! In other words, Isaiah saw and wrote about Jesus!
Did Jehovah personally chastise the Babylonians or did He use the Medes and Perians to accomplish His will? (Daniel 5:26-28, 30-31) All these acts were done by Jehovah's authority; and by His alone.—Ezekiel. 36:33, 36.
this again, is where agency comes in, such as was mentioned in the
first reply to Sam. Nave's Topical Bible rightly says under
*Worship,* "to be rendered to God only."
Heinz again commits the fallacy of false analogy since God using creatures to accomplish his purpose is not at all analogous to God creating the cosmos.
Furthermore, Heinz’s appeal to the concept of agency doesn’t help him at all. Agency doesn’t account for a person calling himself Yahweh God, receiving the worship of God, and doing the works that God alone can do.
“The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16 Net Bible
Just because the Apostles functioned as Christ’s agents didn’t mean that they could call themselves Jesus Christ when speaking to others, receive worship, or claim to be the preexistent Logos. Agency simply means that since they were Christ’s emissaries, having his authority, when they said or did something it was if Christ had personally said or done it. More on this later.
Heinz continues with his false analogies by bringing up the issue of worship:
Ex 20:3-4, " Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image..."
Ex 34:14, 17 "for thou shalt worship no other god: for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God...Thou shalt make thee no molten gods."
...and interestingly, Deut 29:26, "and went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods that they knew not, and that he had not given unto them."
It is of no small note that the Bible also uses the same word (Shachah) used in exclusive WORSHIP to Jehovah, to others as well.
the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel"
Dan 2:46 KJV, RV, ASV
It is rather tiresome to see Heinz consistently bring up irrelevant points that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. We are not talking about whether the word shachah is used in a BROADER sense to refer to the honor and reverence that is shown to superiors. We are talking about creation and who exactly brought it into being.
we are not aware of any passage which says that shachah is to be given to God alone, which leads me to my next
point. It is interesting that Heinz does not tell his readers that there
is another word that is used for worship, namely the Aramaic word pelach.
This is often rendered in English as “serve” as the following
example in Daniel shows:
said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, who has
sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set
at nought the king's command, and
yielded up their bodies rather than serve
and worship any god except their own God.’” Daniel 3:28 RSV
the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under
the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most
High: his kingdom is an
everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:27 ASV- Cf. 3:12,14,17-18;
6:16,20[17,21 LXX]; Ezra 7:24
all the examples above, the LXX uses latreuo
for pelach. According to
the Lord Jesus, latreuo is to
be given to God alone:
Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! for it is written, “You shall
worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve (kai
auto mono latreuseis).”’” Matthew 4:10 RSV
Daniel states that all the nations will render unto the Son of Man, whom
the NT identifies as the Lord Jesus, the very pelach/latreuo/service
that only God is to receive:
saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there
came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was
presented before him. And to him
was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and
languages should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and
his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14 RSV
Bible Works (5.0) version of the LXX and the Rahlfs edition of the LXX
both have latreuousa in Daniel
7:14. The Aramaic word here is yiplechûn.
It should be noted that the Rahlfs edition of the LXX contains two
different readings of this verse. Rahlf's version of Daniel has a
translation from one codex on the top of the page (syro-Hexaplaris) and
another on the bottom (a Theodotion translation). The Theodotion
translation (bottom of the page on Rahlf's translation), which
Brenton’s LXX follows here, contains a form of the verb douloo,
which means to serve or slave. The Bible Works 5.0 version of the LXX
also contains this variant reading. Yet, the same Aramaic word and both
Greek words latreuo and douloo are
used in the Aramaic and Greek versions of Daniel 3:28. There we saw that
Daniel's three friends ‘yielded up their bodies so as not to serve
or worship any god except their own God.’ So, regardless of any
textual variant in the LXX, the Aramaic word used in Daniel 7:14 refers
to the service that is not to be given to any god except the true God
Yahweh. And yet it is given to the Son of Man!
more on Jesus receiving latreuo,
please read the following: http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Jesus_Latreuo.htm
Heinz next erroneously assumes that angels received worship:
An angel even receives worship(NKJV, ASV) at Joshua 5:13-15 c.f.Ex. 23:23.
Angels were even allowed to use God's name. In Exodus 3:2 [Acts 7:30-32], "the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush" Ex. 3:2. Yet later on we read that this same angel used the name Jehovah for himself [v. 16], even the "I AM"[v.14] you find so important to your theology. As Ex 23:20, 21 says,
"Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Take ye heed before him, and hearken unto his voice; provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgression: for my name is in him."
as representatives of God, angels were allowed to use his name, and to
act as God. You will find other examples of angels in similar situations
at Gen 16:13, 21:17; 22:15,16; 31:11, 13, Jg 6:12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22,
23; 13:6, 21, and Deut 5:24.
of these citations ascribe worship to angels, nor do they teach that
angels were allowed to use God’s name and act as God. The references
all refer to a PARTICULAR messenger of God who just so happens to be
Yahweh God also (as Heinz himself notes in anticipation of my response)!
This accounts for why this angel could receive the worship due to God,
have God’s name, and act as God SINCE HE IS GOD!
Heinz’s explanation leads to contradictions with the following NT
the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited
to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are
true words of God.’ Then I fell
down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your
brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.’ For the
testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'" Revelation 19:9-10
John am he who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw
them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to
me; but he said to me, ‘You
must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren
the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship
God.’” Revelation 22:8-9 RSV
passages pose considerable problems for Heinz. If it were true that
angels can receive the worship due to God since they act as his
representatives, implying that the worship is really being directed to
God, then there would have been no reason for this angel to forbid John
from worshiping him. This is especially the case when we take into
consideration that this angel is identified as the angel of God and
Christ, and therefore stands in their place as their representative:
the angel said to me, ‘These words are reliable and true. The Lord,
the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent HIS angel to show his servants what must happen soon.’”
Revelation 22:6 NET Bible
Jesus, have sent MY angel to testify to you about these things for
the churches. I am the root and the descendent of David, the bright
morning star!” Revelation 22:16 NET
very fact that the angel REFUSES to be worshiped, despite being God’s
representative, demonstrates just how untenable Heinz’s explanation
seeks to undermine my position regarding the Angel of Yahweh, since he
apparently realizes that if I am correct then Heinz’s JW Unitarian
view of Yahweh is exposed as being com[lately and thoroughly unbiblical:
should be noted that Sam will say that the "Angel of the LORD"
is also a member of the Trinity, or even Jesus. This may be true some of
the time, but not always. Consider a few examples:
is correct regarding what I will say since the OT shows beyond any
reasonable doubt that this particular Angel is not a creature, but
Yahweh God Almighty who appears visibly (often as a man) to his
servants. At the same time, the Angel is shown to be distinct from
another who is also Yahweh God. These OT appearances of the Angel of
Yahweh provide evidence that there is a plurality of Persons existing as
the one true God, Yahweh. We invite our readers to carefully go over all
of Heinz’s citations to see this for themselves.
provides an alleged “counter-argument” to my claim:
the angel of the LORD is the LORD himself (or a member of the LORD...I
can't believe I just said that) then how did he not know the answer to
the question he posed to the LORD? The
text indicates that the Angel really is perplexed over the present state
of Judah. He does not know what the LORD knows and so poses the
aforesaid question to Him.
Heinz’s logic is correct that the Angel asking a question proves that
he is not God, then he must be consistent and conclude that Jehovah is
not God either since he too asks questions from others:
Jehovah said to Moses: ‘How long
will this people treat me without respect, and how long will they not
put faith in me for all the signs that I performed in among them?’”
Numbers 14:11 NWT
Jehovah went on to speak to Moses and Aaron, saying: ‘How
long will this evil assembly have this murmuring that they are carrying
on against me? I have heard the murmuring of the sons of Israel that
they are murmuring against me.’” Numbers 14:26-27 NWT
he went on to say: ‘Therefore HEAR the word of Jehovah: I certainly
see Jehovah sitting upon his throne and all the army of the heavens
standing at his right and his left. And Jehovah proceeded to say, “Who
will fool A’hab the king of Israel that he may go up and fall at
Ra’moth-gil’ead?” And there was talk, this one saying
something like this, and that one saying something like that. Finally, a
spirit came out and stood before Jehovah and said, “I myself shall
fool him.” At that Jehovah said to him, “By
what means?” To this he said, “I shall go forth and certainly
become a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” So he
said, “You will fool him, and, what is more, you will come off the
winner. Go out and do that.”’” 2 Chronicles 18:18-21 NWT
Zechariah 1:11-13 no more disproves my position that the Angel is Yahweh
God than the preceding passages disprove the deity of Yahweh God!
more amazing is that, as a JW, Heinz believes that God exercises
selective foreknowledge, i.e. that God can choose to not know certain
view that God's exercise of his foreknowledge is infinite and that he
does foreordain the course and destiny of all individuals is known as
predestinarianism. Its advocates reason that God's divinity and
perfection require that he be omniscient (all-knowing), not only
respecting the past and present, but also regarding the future. For him
not to foreknow all matters in their every detail would evidence
imperfection, according to this concept.
if Yahweh can choose to be ignorant of certain things without this
nullifying his Deity, then why should the Angel beseeching Yahweh on
behalf of Judah prove that he is not fully God? One can argue that the
Angel, much like Yahweh, was exercising “his infinite ability of
foreknowledge in a selective way and to the degree that pleases him”!
that said, I do not believe that the Angel was asking a question due to
being perplexed or ignorant of God’s purpose or plan. Rather, I take
the Angel’s question as more of a request for God to show mercy to his
covenant people. In other words, the Angel was functioning as Israel’s
intercessor, beseeching God to show grace and kindness to Judah. This is
why the text goes on to say that Yahweh comforted the Angel ‘with
good words, even comfortable words”, and why vv. 14-15 say:
to me, the messenger then said, ‘Cry out that the sovereign Lord says,
“I am very much moved for
Jerusalem and for Zion. But I am greatly displeased with the nations
that take my grace for granted. I was a little displeased with them, but
they have only made things worse for themselves.”’” NET Bible
reading further into Zechariah one will find explicit evidence that the
Angel is in fact Yahweh God:
he showed me Joshua the high priest standing
before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to
be his adversary. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan; yea,
Jehovah that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand
plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel. And HE answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying,
Take the filthy garments from off him. And
unto him HE said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from
thee, and I will clothe thee with rich apparel. And I said, Let them
set a clean mitre upon his head. So they set a clean mitre upon his
head, and clothed him with garments; and
the angel of Jehovah was standing by. And the angel of Jehovah protested
unto Joshua, SAYING, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: If
thou wilt walk in MY ways, and if thou wilt keep MY charge, then thou
also shalt judge MY house, and shalt also keep MY courts, and I will
give thee a place of access among these that stand by. Hear now, O
Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee; for
they are men that are a sign: for,
behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch. For, behold, the
stone that I have set before Joshua; upon one stone are seven eyes:
behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith Jehovah of hosts, and
I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith
Jehovah of hosts, shall ye invite every man his neighbor under the vine
and under the fig-tree.”
Zechariah 3:1-10 ASV
Angel here is identified as Yahweh who rebukes Satan and has the ability
to forgive Joshua of his sins, a divine function. This is not the only
place where the Angel is said to be able to forgive sins:
am going to send an angel before you, to protect you in the way, and to
bring you into the place which I have prepared. Take heed because of
him, and obey his voice; do not
rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my
name is in him. But if you diligently obey him, and do all that I
speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will be an
adversary to your adversaries. For my angel will go before you, and
bring you in to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the
Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I will cut them off.”
Exodus 23:20-23 NET Bible
NET translators say in footnote 47:
The word is Ea*l=m^ (mal'ak),
"messenger, angel." This angel is to be treated with the same
fear and respect as Yahweh, for Yahweh will be speaking in him. Cassuto
says that the words of the first clause do
not imply a being distinct from God, for in the ancient world the
line of demarcation between the sender and the sent is liable easily to
be blurred. Cassuto then shows
how the "Angel of Yahweh" in Genesis is Yahweh. He
concludes that the words here mean "I will guide you" (pp.
305-6). Christian commentators
tend to identify the Angel of Yahweh as the second person of the Trinity
(Kaiser, p. 446; and Kaiser, Old
Testament Theology, p. 120). However,
in addition to being a
preincarnate appearance, the word could refer to Yahweh-some
manifestation of Yahweh himself. (http://netbible.org/cgi-bin/netbible.pl#note_47;
bold emphasis ours)
in regards to the Angel embodying God’s name, in footnote 50 they
This means "the
manifestation of my being" is in him (Driver, p. 247). Driver
then quotes McNeile as saying, "The
'angel' is Jehovah Himself 'in a temporary descent to visibility for a
special purpose'." The Talmud identified the Angel as "Metatron,"
who stood nearest the throne of God. (http://netbible.org/cgi-bin/netbible.pl#note_50;
bold emphasis ours)
OT also implicitly testifies that the Angel knows all things that occur
in the earth:
the sake of altering the face of the matter your servant Jo’ab has
done this thing, but my lord is wise as
with the wisdom of the angel of the [true] God so as to know all that is
in the earth.” 2 Samuel 14:20 NWT
is therefore evident that a careful and accurate examination of the data
leads to the inevitable conclusion that this Angel is Yahweh God
next tries to pull a fast one on his readers:
we have the angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph, while Mary was
pregnant (Matt 1:20), and while Jesus was a child (Matt 2:13). If Jesus
is the Angel of the Lord, then how many members of the trinity are
equivocates here since he assumes that this NT Angel of the Lord is the
same entity mentioned throughout the OT. Heinz is apparently assuming
that since both are called the Angel of the Lord then they are somehow
one and the same?! The error in Heinz’s reasoning should be apparent
to all since it is not simply the title which implies that they are the
same entity, or that the Being is God, but rather the ascription of
divine characteristics which would demonstrate these facts. For
instance, the OT states that:
The Angel is
called Yahweh and God.
The Angel calls
himself Yahweh and God.
The Angel is
performs divine functions.
there is nothing in Matt 2 that implies that THIS Angel is God or is the
same Angel of the Lord mentioned in the OT. Just because the same title
is used doesn’t mean that Matt had the same Being in view.
to show you the level of dishonesty that goes into these theories, read
the follwing from Charles Ryrie: "That He [the angel of the Lord]
is a member of the Trinity is indicated by the fact that the appearances
of the Angel of Yahweh cease after the Incarnation." (To Ryrie the
"Angel of Yahweh" is the same as the"Angel of the
Lord"...see index). p. 236, Basic Theology, by Charles Ryrie.
only do the above 2 Scriptures contradict him, but so do the mention of
the "angel of the Lord" at Acts 5:19; 8:26; 12:7, 23. Can we
believe ANYTHING these people say regarding the Trinity, if they are
even willing to lie about it?
from Heinz’s ad hominem slurs, it is quite evident that Heinz really
has nothing to offer by way of response. Amazingly, Heinz attacks Ryrie
based ON HIS OWN MISREADING AND MISQUOTING Ryrie’s book. Heinz has
conveniently quoted Ryrie out of context. Here is the FULL quotation
taken from p. 239 (not 236!) so as to see what Ryrie actually wrote:
His Activity as Angel
His identity as Angel of Yahweh.
Clearly the Angel of Yahweh is a self-manifestation of Yahweh, for
He speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and claims to exercise
the prerogatives of God (Gen. 16:7-12; 21:17-18; 22:11-18; Ex. 3:2;
Jud. 2:1-4; 5:23; 6:11-24; 13:3-22; 2 Sam. 24:16; Zech. 1:12; 3:1;
12:8). Yet He is distinguished from Yahweh (Gen. 24:7; Zech. 1:12-13).
That He is a member of the Trinity is indicated by the fact that the
appearances of the Angel of Yahweh cease after the Incarnation. This
is confirmed by the Old Testament statement that the Angel of God
accompanied Israel when they left Egypt (Ex. 14:19; cf. 23:20) and the
New Testament statement that the Rock who followed Israel was Christ (1
Cor. 10:4). (Ryrie, Basic Theology [Victor Books, 1982], p. 239; bold and italic
Angel of Yahweh
discussed in chapter 40, the Angel of Yahweh is a Christophany, a
preincarnate appearance of Christ. The
Angel speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and exercises the
prerogatives of God (Gen. 16:7-12; 21:17-18; 22:11-18; Ex. 3:2; Jud.
2:1-4; 5:23; 6:11-24; 13:3-22; 2 Sam. 24:16; Zech. 1:12; 3:1; 12:8).
Appearances of the Angel cease after the incarnation of Christ which
supports conclusions that He was the preincarnate Christ. (Ibid., p.
130; bold emphasis ours)
his section on the Triunity of God, Ryrie writes:
The Angel of Yahweh
THIS MAY REFER TO ANY OF GOD’S
ANGELS (1 Kings 19:7; cf. v. 5), sometimes that Angel is referred to
as God, yet distinguished from Him (Gen. 16:7-13; 18:1-21; 19:1-28; Mal.
3:1). This points to personal distinctions within the Godhead. Since the
Angel is called God, He could hardly be only a prophet, functioning in
pre-prophetic times as the prophets did in later times as the prophets
did in later times (as Edmund Jacob suggests in Theology
of the Old Testament, pp. 75-76). (Ibid., pp. 51-52; bold and
capital emphasis ours)
Ryrie is also aware of the NT appearances of AN angel of the Lord can be
seen from his comments regarding the activity of angels during the
earthly life of Christ:
At His Birth
predicted His birth (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-28)
angel announced His birth to the shepherds and was then accompanied in
praise by a multitude of angels (Luke 2:8-15).
During His Life
Warning. An angel
warned Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath (Matt.
Direction. An angel
directed the family to return to Israel after Herod died (vv. 19-21).
(Ibid., pp. 131-132)
citations show that Ryrie is clearly aware that there are other angels
who are called the/an angel of the Lord. After reading Ryrie’s
statements IN CONTEXT, it is quite clear what Ryrie meant regarding this
Angel ceasing to appear after the Incarnation. After the birth of the
Lord Jesus, you will not find any angel speaking as God, identifying
himself as God, and/or exercising the prerogatives of God. We therefore
challenge Heinz TO PRODUCE NT CITATIONS WHERE AN ANGEL SPEAKS AND ACTS
AS GOD, AS WELL AS CLAIMING TO HAVE THE VERY PREROGATIVES OF GOD IN THE
SAME WAY THAT THE ANGEL OF YAHWEH DOES IN THE OT.
light of the foregoing, it is quite obvious that Heinz has either
deliberately twisted Ryrie’s words and/or misunderstood what he
actually meant. Therefore, can we believe ANYTHING Heinz says regarding
the Trinity, when he is willing to lie and twist primary sources to suit
next quotes Elwell:
is distinguished from God in that God refers to the angel (Ex 23:23;
32:34) and speaks to him (2 Sam 24:16; 1 Chron 21:27) and the angel
speaks to Yahweh (Zech 1:12). The evidence for the view that the angel
of the Lord is a preincarnate appearance of Christ is basically
analogical and false short of it being conclusive. The NT does not
clearly show make that identification." Evangelical Dictionary of Theology
by Elwell, p. 62
we had noted in our initial response, Heinz is fond of committing the
fallacy of appealing to authority (argumentum
ad verecundiam). We had stated that one way a person commits this
fallacy is by appealing to certain experts, while failing to note that
other experts disagree with those cited.
In other words, since experts in the field disagree on an issue
to appeal to one group of experts proves absolutely nothing.
fact of the matter is that biblical scholars do not all agree over the
precise identity of the Angel of Yahweh, something which can be seen
from Elwell’s book. For example, contributing author T.E. McComiskey
understand the angel of the Lord as a true theophany. From the time of
Justin on, the figure has been regarded as the preincarnate Logos. It
is BEYOND QUESTION that the angel of the Lord MUST
BE IDENTIFIED in some way with God (Gen. 16:13; Judg. 6:14;
13:21-22), yet he is distinguished from God in that God refers to the
angel (Exod. 23:23; 32:34) and speaks to him (2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Chron.
21:27) and the angel speaks to Yahweh (Zech. 1:12).
evidence for that the angel of the Lord is a preincarnate appearance of
Christ is basically analogically and falls short of being conclusive.
The NT does not clearly make that identification. It is best to see the angel AS A SELF-MANIFESTATION OF YAHWEH in a form that would
communicate his immanence and direct concern to those whom he
ministered.” (Elwell, Evangelical
Dictionary of Theology [Baker Book House; 2nd edition, May 2001], p.
62; bold and capital emphasis ours)
J.C. Moyer disagrees. Under the heading Theophany,
the same volume we find contributor Louis Goldberg disagreeing with
Williams! The former writes:
of the Lord.
(Heb., mal’ak yehwah).
Supernatural being who bears a message on behalf of God. In many
passages in the Old Testament, the angel of the Lord is identified with
God, while in other instances a distinction is made between the Lord and
the angel. In general, however, the terms ‘the angel of the Lord,’
‘the Lord,’ and ‘God’ are interchangeable.
The angel of the Lord is the messenger of both good and evil. He comes to Hagar after she has fled from the abusive Sarai (Gen. 16:7-14) to assure her that God has heard about her misery and that her descendants will be too numerous to count. She names him ‘You are the God who sees me’ (v. 13). The angel of the Lord pronounces a curse on the people of Meroz, because they refused to come to the help of the Lord (Judg. 5:23).
angel of the Lord executes judgment on behalf of the Lord. He puts to
death 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in their camp, thereby saving Jerusalem
from decimation (2 Kings 19:35).
angel of the Lord both commissions and commends God’s servants. The
commander of the Lord’s army commissions Joshua to undertake the
Lord’s battles for Canaan, just as Moses had been commissioned to
confront Pharaoh (Josh. 5:13-15; cf. Exod. 3:5). The angel of the Lord
appears to Abraham. He stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac and commends
him because he has not withheld his only son from God (Gen. 22:11-18).
Abraham identifies the angel as God, calling the place ‘The
LORD Will Provide.’
angel of the Lord carries out a ministry of reconciliation. He asks how
long God will withhold mercy from Jerusalem and Judah (Zech. 1:12).
connection between the angel of the Lord and the preincarnate
appearances of the Messiah CANNOT BE DENIED. Manoah meets the angel of
the Lord, and declares that he has seen God. The angel accepts worship
from Manoah and his wife as no mere angel, and refers to himself as
‘Wonderful,’ the same term applied to the coming deliverer in Isaiah
9:6 (Judg. 13:9-22). The functions of the angel of the Lord in the Old
Testament prefigure the reconciling ministry of Jesus. In the New
Testament, there is no mention of the angel of the Lord; THE MESSIAH
HIMSELF IS THIS PERSON.” (Ibid., p. 23- http://bible1.crosswalk.com/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary/bed.cgi?number=T33;
capital emphasis ours)
means that instead of quoting authorities, one must prove their case
from the Holy Bible. Once this is done, it becomes rather evident that
the Angel is indeed Yahweh God.
concludes with some comments from the NIV Study Bible:
Christian interpretation has held that this 'angel' was a preincarnate
manifestation of Christ as God's messenger-Servant. It may be, however,
that, as the Lord's personal messenger who represented
him and bore his credentials, the angel could speak on behalf of the
(an so be identified with)
the One who sent him (see especially 19:21; cf. 18:2, 22; 19:2). Whether
this 'angel' was the second person of the Trinity remains therefore
uncertain." NIV Study Bible, Genesis 16:7]
Again, this is simply another example of appealing to authority and simply demonstrates that scholars are not unanimous in their views. Yet, do note the NIV’s statement carefully:
Amazingly, Heinz failed to quote the one source that is far more authoritative for him as a JW then all the others he has cited; a source which concedes the plausibility of the Traditional Christian interpretation. Insight on the Scriptures writes:
Hence, even the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society concedes the possibility that the Angel is none other than the preincarnate Christ!
For more information regarding the biblical evidence which supports the view that this Angel is Yahweh God, and that he is indeed the preincarnate Christ, we recommend the following articles: