Last edited on 22/Jan/2021
One of the many aspects of cults and other false religions that prove them false and distinguish them from Christianity are contradictions. Believe it or not, but the Watchtower magazines—a primary source of doctrine for Jehovah’s Witnesses—are actually, and have been for decades, full of contradictions, inconsistencies, mistakes, and conflicting ideas.
Unfortunately, this is one of the things that happens when a group of people in power assert authority over their followers and enforce their own private interpretations of the Scriptures on them through their publications without allowing questions, nor any other view or opinion to be held or even discussed under the threat of being disfellowshipped and shunned. This group of people is the Watch Tower Society’s governing body—the leaders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who formulate their doctrines. The contradiction that will be discussed in this article is the Watch Tower Society’s teaching on Jesus Christ as the angel of the Lord.
The Watch Tower Society’s Teaching
The Watch Tower Society wrote the following publication in 2010:
Spiritual Prince of Israel
2, 3. What active role did God’s Son play in Israel?
2 Centuries before the founding of the Christian congregation, Jehovah had an angelic leader over his people Israel. After bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, Jehovah told them: “Here I am sending an angel ahead of you to keep you on the road and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. Watch yourself because of him and obey his voice. Do not behave rebelliously against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; because my name is within him.” (Ex. 23:20, 21) It is reasonable to believe that this angel, who had ‘Jehovah’s name within him,’ was God’s firstborn Son. (2010, “Your Leader Is One, the Christ”, The Watchtower, Spiritual Prince of Israel, p. 23) ¹
It also wrote the following in 2005:
The Scriptures therefore show that Jesus is not God Almighty. Instead, he is God’s Son. (2005, Who Is Jesus Christ?, The Watchtower, IS JESUS GOD ALMIGHTY?, p. 7) ²
What we have seen from these two quotes are that: 1. Jesus is the angel of the Lord, and 2. Jesus is not God Almighty. This is where we find a major contradiction.
The Bible’s Teaching
Moses wrote in the book of Exodus:
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:1–6, ESVUK)
Here, we are clearly told that the angel of the Lord, whom the Watch Tower Society says is Jesus, claimed to be “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” that “the angel of the LORD appeared to” Moses “in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” and that Moses “was afraid to look at God”. Just in case there is any confusion about whether the angelic leader of Exodus 23:20–21 who brought God’s people into the Promised Land is really the angel of the Lord or not, Judges 2:1–3 teaches that he is:
Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? 3 So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” (Judges 2:1–3)
So the obvious question to ask now is this: If Jesus claimed to be God Almighty as the angel of the Lord, then why does the Watch Tower Society teach that he is not God Almighty? Clearly, the answer is because the Watch Tower Society is unbiblical. This is a serious contradiction in the Watch Tower Society’s doctrine and magazines.
If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, consider these words of advice: you should not be afraid to question your leaders about this or any other contradiction. If they refuse and you aren’t allowed to, or if they treat you with suspicion for asking, then it shows that they are afraid that you will further examine the biblical evidence and then find out that the Watch Tower Society teaches false doctrines. After all, if the Watch Tower Society really does teach the truth, then it should have no reason to be afraid of or to suppress any challenges or questions presented to it (2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Peter 3:15). It should also have no problem with honest Christians privately studying the Bible alone, to see if what the Watch Tower Society teaches is true or not (Acts 17:10–11). If you do submit to them and cease asking, then this would mean that you are submitting to the will of human leaders instead of God. Jesus said:
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–32)
We are to abide in the Word of Jesus to know the truth, not the word of people who teach false doctrines. The truth is revealed fully in the person of Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
1. “Your Leader Is One, the Christ”, The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom—2010, JW.org, last accessed on 13 Aug 2017, <https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2010685#h=4>
2. Who Is Jesus Christ?, The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom—2005, JW.org, last accessed on 13 Aug 2017, <https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2005681?q=Is+Jesus+God%3F&p=par#h=27>