I would first like to thank my opponent for agreeing to participate in this debate. Because he stuck to the topic, retained excellent candor and respect, and articulated his position very well, it goes to show that two opposing sides can discuss these topics without diverting to personal attacks. I certainly hope this opens the door for future opportunities with Jehovah’s Witnesses and other groups who would disagree with, what I believe to be, essential doctrines of the Christian faith.
With that said, I realize there were quite a few points that were left untouched from both sides. Unfortunately, this is what happens with word limits, time restraints, etc. With that in mind, I hope the reader will look at what was responded to rather than what wasn’t responded to.
I revert back to my opening statement in establishing the semantic range of “God” as used in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. I believe my position to be very clear in establishing what makes one to be G/god in the ontological sense as opposed to those that aren’t. If the Scriptures are consistent (as I believe they are), we would expect only the clearest differentiation so as to avoid the most heinous sin of idolatry.
So the question I ask the reader is, which side provided the most consistent application of the semantic range of “God” as used in the Scriptures? This question is foundational to the debate proposition, “What does the Bible mean when it calls Jesus G/god?” Surely, if one misunderstands the monotheistic context of the Hebrew Scriptures (as I believe my opponent does), then they are likely to also misunderstand the identity of Jesus in the Greek Scriptures.
This is perhaps one of the main reasons why Jehovah’s Witnesses find it so hard to understand why Trinitarians identify Jesus in the way that they do; because of the claims of Jesus and the New Testament writers in light of what the Hebrew Scriptures teach. That is, for Thomas to identify Jesus as, “My Lord and My God,” is only the highest form of blasphemy if, in fact, Jesus isn’t YHWH. Why? Because it is inconceivable that the monotheistic Jew would utter the words of Deuteronomy 6:4 every morning, “Hear, O Israel! YHWH is our God, YHWH is one,” and then utter the words of John 20:28 that same day.
In closing, I hope the reader will consider the words of Jesus in John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” In a day in age where there is widespread confusion as to the identity of Jesus, those who claim to be followers of Christ cannot be confused as to who He is. Thanks for reading, and feel free to ask questions in the comment section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org