Danielle asked:

I have a friend who is a Jehovah's Witness and she gave me a book and it says, many teachings and practices now common in false religion originated long ago in Babylon. For example the Babylonians worshipped trinities or triads of gods. Today the central doctrine of many religions is the trinity. But the Bible clearly teaches that there's only one true God, Jehovah and that Jesus Christ is His son. Can you clarify that? Is it true that the Babylonians worshipped triads?

Patrick Madrid replied:

"Let me first start by saying that there's a fallacy ... which the Jehovah's Witnesses engage in regularly involves saying...look here before the time of Christ these people over here were doing something that bears some resemblance to what happened in Christianity therefore that must be the cause of it. This is not an uncommon argument raised against the Catholic church... It's not only an historical fallacy, it's a logical fallacy because the fact that something came before doesn't necessarily in fact...involve being the cause of the thing that came later.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, I'm looking at my bookshelf here and in the Jehovah's Witness section of my bookshelf, and I have several of these books, they're little hardcover books with typically green cover or red cover and I've read through all of their arguments against the trinity and the divinity of Christ and so forth and none of them really hold water and here's why. Because Jehovah's Witnesses, and I don't mean the rank and file people, these are good people who go door to door they're trying to do what they think is right. They're sincerely wrong theologically and they've gotten a hold of a lot of bad teaching, so you and I have to be prepared to try and help them. But they're sincere and I don't for a moment want to impune them or their motives.

However you've got the organization that sends them out with these materials the Watchtower bible and tract society that, since it's inception back in the middle of the nineteenth century, it has been known for terrible, I'll have to put the word scholarship in quotation marks, when it comes to trying to make arguments based on what the early Church believed and what these early Church fathers said and did. They cut and paste the way a kidnapper might cut and paste letters out of a newspaper to write a ransom note. It's very tendentious quoting of sources, omitting things that are inconvenient. Changing things even right down to the issue of the Bible translation that they use, the New World Bible. ...there's so many avenues of approach that we could take this on.

So the first thing you need to know is that Jehovah's Witness literature is notoriously inaccurate and untrustworthy. And even though there's a veneer with lots of footnotes, if you read Awake magazine or Watchtower magazine, which are two of their publications, or if you look at these little books...they're heavily footnoted. And they seem very scholarly, and they're not... In fact you'll notice that there's no name attached to any of these things. There's nobody that you can say, well this scholar Mr. so and so or DR. so and so he wrote this article. There's nobody that you can even identify whose behind these things. It's just this monolithic organization peddling these materials...

Number two. The doctrine of the trinity doesn't suffer at all from quoting any single scripture ...that refers to the father as God and there's only one God and that there are no such things as false gods or lesser gods or any other god. This is all a part of historic Christianity. This is the Catholic faith. The ancient faith is brought to us by the apostles. What the Jehovah's Witnesses don't understand...is to explain in the incarnation God became man in Jesus Christ, John chapter 1. This is a classic area where Jehovah's Witnesses even change the translation into English because what it says in the Greek they can't deal with because it doesn't support their position. John chapter 1 verses 1 and fourteen. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God... Then in verse fourteen it goes on to say and the word became flesh and dwelt among us. Now they will say yes this refers to Jesus but he can't be God and so they, bending or breaking a rule in Greek grammar, they translate this into English as in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was a God...

So there would be another example where there's kind of a slight of hand in the way they present their arguments to make it appear to be very water tight when in fact it's anything but. So my advice, Danielle, two or three things I would suggest to you. Number one before you do any more conversations with Jehovah's Witnesses I recommend you spend a great deal of time reading the Holy Bible, and especially the teachings of the Holy Bible with regard to the trinity and the divinity of Christ. Both of which the Jehovah's Witnesses deny. And you want to have as your companion the Catechism of the Catholic Church which will take you through Orthodox Catholic teaching on these issues so that you'll have a very clear understanding in your mind. What does the Church teach on these issues? There's only one God. He's one God in three persons. Not three Gods..."

Source material:

Patrick Madrid's website store has an mp3 download of a four hour talk between Patrick Madrid and former Jehovah’s Witness circuit overseer Leonard Chretien, author of the best-selling book Witness of Jehova: A Shocking Exposé of What Jehovah’s Witnesses Really Believe. Click here to view this page.


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Show air date: February 20, 2013

Question appeared in show: 29:05

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