Is Jesus' Real Name Michael?
Ron Brown, Contributing Writer
When talking with Jehovah's Witnesses, you will usually come
upon the topic of who Jesus is; and rightly so, for in Him
our salvation lies. But this is a serious problem for Jehovah's Witnesses because
they do not believe in the same Jesus the Bible teaches. They teach that Jesus was Michael the Archangel, the first creation
of Jehovah, before He came to earth and returned to the identity
of Michael after his resurrection (Aid To Bible Understanding,
p. 1152). They say he was not the second person of the trinity, uncreated,
co-equal with the Father.
In dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses, arguing about the meaning
of Greek words, or the place of the definite article in John
1:1, does not always change their mind. Is there an easier way to prove who Jesus is not!
First, show them that according to the Bible, Jesus cannot be
Michael the Archangel, thus leaving them to wonder who He is. Then take them through the scriptures that teach the deity of
Christ such as John 1:1; 20:28.
In showing that Jesus is not Michael the Archangel, the first
approach is to show that Jesus is prayed to, something that
would be blasphemous if He were an angel. In Acts 7:59, according to their own Kingdom Interlinear Translation,
Stephen makes a direct prayer to Jesus. Also in Revelation 22:20, this is a prayer to Jesus accepted
by Jehovah's Witnesses themselves. So ask them, can an angel be prayed to? Of course, not and they
know it. They have no answer.
The next approach is to show that Jesus is worshiped, because
if He is, they either teach angel worship or they have to admit
that He is not an angel. In Hebrews 1:5 there is a distinction made between Jesus and
angels. The question is asked "For unto which of the angels
said he at anytime, Thou art my Son...?" A rhetorical
question that has only one answer - none! In verse 6, God goes on to say "...let all the angels
of God worship him" (Jesus). Only they translate the
word worship "do obeisance," trying to deny the fact
of his being worshiped. What we need to point out to them is that (excepting Acts 10:25)
they only translate it "do obeisance" when it concerns
In Revelation 22:8 the same word for worship is used by John
concerning an angel. The angel rebuked him and said worship
God, the same words in the Greek. The Watchtower also translates the same Greek word, proskuneo,
as worship in Luke 4:7-8; John 4:21-22; 12:20, Acts 7:43, and
Revelation 4:10; 11:1; 13:4, 15; 16:2; 19:20.
Why then, when it concerns Jesus, do they translate it "do
obeisance?" As documented in their well-written book The Watchtower Files,
Duane Magnani and Authur Barret point out that the February
15, 1983 issue of the Watchtower magazine admits that
Jesus is worshiped. But the Witnesses say it is only "relative worship"
directed to God through Christ. There is a problem with this explanation, for in the 1946 edition
of the Jehovah's Witness book Let God Be True they say, "`Relative'
honor to God through an angel was reproved in these words,
`See thou do it not, Worship God'" (p. 137). So again the Witness has no answer!
The third approach is this, have they always taught that Jesus
is Michael the Archangel? In their book The Finished Mystery they taught that Michael
was the "Pope of Rome" (p. 188). But the 1879 issue of the Watchtower magazine says, "His
(Jesus') position is contrasted with that of men and
angels, as he is Lord of both, `having all power in
heaven and earth.' Hence it is said, `Let all the angels of
God worship him,'" (The Watchtower Files, p. 4). That must include Michael, the chief angel. Hence, Michael is
not the Son of God.
For this the Witnesses have an answer - new
light. But as their founder said in the 1881 February edition
of the Zion's Watchtower, "A new view of truth can
never contradict a former truth. New Light never extinguishes
old light but adds to it," (p. 188). Since they claim inspiration from God, who is confused? Them