Monday, 28 October 2013

Jesus Is Jesus Not Michael

Maybe now they will stop calling me Michael.
Sometimes you have to wonder where people get an idea from. Sometimes you have to wonder how that idea gets believed by 7 million Jehovah's Witnesses based on a couple of verses.

The idea in question is that Jesus is none other than Michael the Archangel. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus and Michael the Archangel are one and the same. They get this idea from a couple of verses in the New World Translation which was translated to fit the idea. They use the following:

"because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first." (NWT, 1Th 4:16)

Whereas the King James Bible uses:

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" (KJV, 1Th 4:16)

It is a minor change but it is enough for the Jehovah's Witnesses to warrant it as evidence that Jesus is Michael the Archangel. Changing "call, with an archangel’s voice"  to "with an archangel’s voice" implies that it is not the voice of an archangel but Jesus with the voice of an archangel, and obviously if he sounds like an archangel he must be one.

But the Jehovah's Witnesses don't stop there. They have some more evidence. In their publication "What Does The Bible Really Teach?" they state:

"At times, individuals are known by more than one name. For example, the patriarch Jacob is also known as Israel, and the apostle Peter, as Simon. (Genesis 49:1, 2; Matthew 10:2) Likewise, the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth." (What Does The Bible Really Teach?, page 218)

Odd, because their own argument shoots down their own idea. The two quotes they mention are:

"And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father." (KJV, Gen 49:1-2)

"Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;" (KJV, Mat 10:2)

Both verses that are selected by the Jehovah's Witnesses to prove that individuals, in the Bible, are known by more than one name state the name change. Genesis does not change Jacob to Israel and expect you to have to work it out - it tells you that Jacob is changing his name to Israel. Likewise, Matthew doesn't make you guess that Simon is called Peter it tells you plainly "Simon, who is called Peter". No need to work out what their names mean to create a link. No need to draw conclusions from a suggestion that is not stated. It is there, plainly that name changes happened. Other examples are:

"Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee." (KJV, Gen 17:5)

"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be." (KJV, Gen 17:15)

Once again no guesswork, no hint, but just plainly saying Abram shall now be known as Abraham and Sarai shall now be known as Sarah.

So surely, if Jesus was Michael the Archangel would it not make sense that there would be a verse somewhere in the Bible saying that God had changed his name from Michael to Jesus?

But wait there is more to this odd idea. The Jehovah's Witnesses have a 'smoking gun' piece of evidence which they use. They prove without a shadow of doubt the Jesus is Michael the Archangel with the fact:

"Michael lives up to the meaning of his name - 'Who Is Like God?'" (What Does The Bible Really Teach?, page 218)

Michael means 'Who is like God?' so therefore he is Jesus. I'm betting that the Jehovah's Witnesses are glad that there is nobody else called Michael in the Bible.

If it is alright to use a suggestion to prove an idea then surely it is also alright to use a suggestion to disprove the same idea. So if the Jehovah's Witnesses can use 1Th 4:16 to suggest that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, anybody else can use one of the 19 verses in the book of Matthew to suggest that Jesus is not Michael simply because in those 19 verses Jesus refers to God as "my father" or "my heavenly father". As there is no mention in the Bible of Michael the Archangel calling God his father this suggests that Jesus and Michael are not the same person.

But that is merely a suggestion. To prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is definitely not Michael the Archangel we can look at Heb 1:5-6:

"For example, to which one of the angels did he ever say: “You are my son; I, today, I have become your father”? And again: “I myself shall become his father, and he himself will become my son”? But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”" (NWT, Heb 1:5-6)

Their own Bible says that God never called an angel his son. And then goes on to say that 'all God's angels do obeisance to him'. But to completely dismiss the idea just carry on reading Hebrews 1:7-8:

"Also, with reference to the angels he says: “And he makes his angels spirits, and his public servants a flame of fire.” But with reference to the Son: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness." (NWT, Heb 1:7-8)

So after saying previously that God has never called an angel son it goes on to state angels will be one thing and the Son of God is another. If Jesus was Michael the Archangel then he'd be both and the distinction between the two would be a worthless point to make. So it states there is a distinction between the angels and the Son; and therefore Jesus can in no way, shape, or form, be Michael the Archangel.

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