When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi,
he asked his disciples, saying,
Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
And Simon Peter answered and said,
Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God.
legend, a false god, a perversion of an apostate church (a church which they purport to have restored). These sects do not deny that the Bible provides an accurate account of the life and times of Jesus; rather, they deny that the biblical text teaches that Jesus of Nazareth is the incarnation of the second person of the triune God. The adherents of these sects uniquely interpret scripture through the eyes of their founders or through those currently tasked with governing the affairs of their religious bodies.
Seth DunnThe Restoration Movement grew out of the Second Great Awakening of the nineteenth century. “The movement sought to restore the church and the ‘unification of all Christians in a
single body patterned after the church of the New Testament.’”
Such unification was not achieved; quite the opposite occurred. Out of the great religious fervor of the Great Awakening, heresy emerged. “One of the most remarkable phenomena in the religious life of the United States during the nineteenth century was the birth of several movements that so differed from traditional Christianity that they could well be called new religions. The largest of these were the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian Science.”
“Mormonism was founded on the premise that the authority initially given to the apostles by Jesus Christ was lost until Joseph Smith restored true Christianity in 1830.”
Mormons interpret scripture through the eyes of Smith and his successor prophets.
Christian Scientists accept the Bible only as interpreted by (founder) Mary Baker Eddy in her writings.
Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret the Bible through the distorted lens of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
The Bible, as interpreted objectively, communicates an altogether different story. The very term “Lord” as used in the New Testament to refer to Jesus makes it clear that he is by no means a lesser god, an angelic being, or merely an enlightened human being. The authors of Putting Jesus in His Place state the matter as follows:
“Anyone who has read the New Testament through even once knows that, -although it calls Jesus ‘God’ only occasionally, it frequently calls him ‘Lord’-hundreds of times, in fact. Many readers of the Bible have the mistaken impression, though, that the title Lord as applied to Jesus has a lesser significance than God-as though when the Bible calls Jesus Lord it means something like ‘almost but not quite God.’ Nothing could be farther from the truth.”It is ironic, then, that a Restorationist sect that claims to be “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (the Watch Tower) has translated the Bible in such a way as to deny that Jesus is the God.
Against the Judgment of every credentialed Bible translation committee on planet earth, the Watchtower’s own anonymous Biblical translation committee has rendered John 1:1, in defiance of the rules of Greek Grammar, as “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”
This mistranslation indicates truthfully that Jesus is a separate person from God the Father but denies his status as God the Son. In doing so, the Watch Tower frustrates the careful attempt of the author of John to communicate the true nature of Jesus’ divinity. John used precise word order to stress that Jesus has all the divine attributes that the Father has and yet is not the Father. This does not compute with Watch Tower dogma. The Watch Tower’s mistranslation is clearly done out of its own prejudicial presuppositions.
Rather than restoring the true church, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian Scientists have created a legendary Jesus of their own, a fictional abomination of nineteenth-century religious controversy."