I have noticed Jehovah’s Witnesses targeting my neighborhood. I like talking theology but I’m not so keen on arguing just for its own sake. I tend to not have ready answers, but like considering my answer at length, so that I can give a thoughtful and reasonable response that doesn’t draw a knee-jerk reaction. What if I can carefully construct a question that leads them to re-consider their position? Debating the nature of the “Word” with a JW is just the kind of thing I’m talking about. Their MO is to hopscotch around meanings and prooftexts and never give you a chance to just stay in one place and read the verses before or after.
When it comes to John 1, they jump onto the first 4 verses, replace (supply) an indefinite article as if willy-nilly word insertions are no big deal and it’s the kind of thing we do in everyday conversation. “In the beginning, the policeman knocked on my door.” Hmmmm let’s take out the word “the” since it isn’t really there in the Greek. “In the beginning, policeman knocked on my door.” On second thought, let’s insert an indefinite article so that it makes sense in our language: “In the beginning, a policeman knocked on my door.” Much better now isn’t it? Except that you have fundamentally changed the meaning!
The definite article indicates a particular one is in view, not just a random any old policeman. And when you read the verse together in just that short order, it is apparent that there is indeed a single “Word” the author is singling out. He is THE Word and THE God; and the implications become stark when you finish reading the chapter.
How do you keep a JW in one place? It’s like wrestling a salmon… They will not allow you to read to the end of the chapter- instead, they will flip you over to Colossians 1 or back to the Psalms and start an entirely different conversation about angels.
I would love to share THE Word with them, but trying to have a word with them ends up being a fool’s errand. If you know of a way to get them to admit that there is just one Word and can get A word in edgewise, I’d like to know. In the meantime, I will let my love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance do my talking for me. Maybe I can change their minds without a word with THE Word!