JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ARE CONFUSED ABOUT WHO IS SPEAKING IN REVELATION 1:8

We read in Revelation 1:8 “…I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty …”

Listen to the relevant Scriptures from the Book of Revelation 1:1-8 and chapter 22: 6-21 (linked back-to-back for your convenience):

All English translations of the world are in agreement, except the Jehovah’s Witness version of the Bible which converts the Greek “…Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος, λέγει ὁ κύριος ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος ὁ παντοκράτωρ …” to “…I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says Jehovah God, “the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty…”

When asked why the New World Translation replaced “Lord” (κύριος) with “Jehovah” the Witnesses recently told me that they did so to “clarify the text and who is speaking.”  Fair enough.  Christian translators have done similar things, and we do so based on the context of the passage. A literal word-for-word replacement and matching word order of the Greek text would render the English Bible unreadable.  Revelation 1:8 would, in fact, read “… I am the alpha and omega original (beginning) and finish (consummation) is saying the master the being and the was and the coming the all-holder (almighty).  Make sense?

Our gripe is not the attempt to smooth out the translation so that the English-speaking world can understand what is being said; rather, we challenge the presupposition the Watchtower Society holds in converting it to a more readable form.  The Watchtower is trying to force the text to make it say that Jesus is not speaking here. Ironic it may seem, but Christians would actually agree with the Watchtower Society that Jehovah God is indeed speaking, and His name is Jesus!  In opposition, the Watchtower would claim that Jesus is not Jehovah and therefore Jesus is not the one in this verse claiming to be the Almighty.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are intensely opposed to considering Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.  He is not Jehovah they say; He is in their view a super-human, semi-god – not quite Almighty God and someone not quite a normal human being either.  They might say he is in a category of angels and super-beings. Christians on the other hand believe Jesus is, was, and always will be the great almighty Jehovah (Yahweh) God of the Bible. He came down from heaven, taking on human flesh (identical to ours, only sinless) to die on the cross to save His people from their sins. 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses frequently encounter thorny situations such as Revelation 1:8, and when they do they must force the text to agree with their theological opinions. They have, therefore, inserted the word “Jehovah” into the English text; and they have added the word to the Bible by their own admission.

 ***

For argument’s sake let us agree with the Jehovah’s Witnesses that the context of Revelation 1:8 permits the insertion that Jehovah is speaking (although no ancient manuscript can be found that allows it). It is implied that He is speaking here.  Christians agree with Jehovah’s Witness on this occasion. The presupposition can be proven to be technically correct if the reader reads the context and compares Revelation 1:8 with the rest of Scripture.  We will proceed, then, using the Jehovah’s Witness translation. We do so not because we agree with the Watchtower publishers. Christians do not trust the Watchtower translators. Christians do not in any way rely on this faulty translation to prove the deity of Christ; we depend on the available Greek manuscripts to do that for us. What I attempt to do here is quite a different thing. I endeavor to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that they, as believers in the reliability of the NWT, are bound to accept what it says about Jehovah and Christ’s deity in Revelation 1:8.

 ***

You, too, might discuss these verses with a Jehovah’s Witness should you be paid a visit, and you can use the New World Translation to prove the deity of Christ.

Listen to Dr. Walter Martin discuss how to witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses using Revelation 1:8 as a proof text (from a cassette recording circa 1976):

Revelation 1:7-8 says that someone “is coming.” Who? Verse 7 says it is someone who was “pierced.” Who was it that was pierced when he was nailed up to die? Jesus! But verse 8 says that it is Jehovah God who “is coming.” Could it be that there are two who are coming? No! Verse 8 refers to “the One who … is coming.”

Revelation 1:8 states clearly that Jehovah God is the Alpha and the Omega. Note what he says at Reve­lation 22:12-13: “Look! I am coming quickly … I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. . . .'” Therefore Jehovah God is coming quickly. But notice the response when he says it again: “Yes; I am coming quickly. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20, NWT).

Watch The Gaither Vocal Band perform The Alpha and the Omega (crank up your volume)

At this point we must point out that Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, while Omega is the last letter. Therefore, “the Alpha and the Omega” means the same thing as “the First and the Last.”

Then, again re­ferring to the New World Translation, we continue on. Who is speaking in Revelation 2:8? “These are the things that he says, ‘the First and the Last,’ who became dead and came to life again. . . .” Obviously, it is Jesus. The Jehovah’s Witness will only agree that God did not and cannot die.  Who was Jesus identifying himself as being, when he called himself “the First and the Last”? This is also how Al­mighty God described himself in the Old Testament. Jesus knew that the apostle John, who wrote the Book of Revelation, and later Bible readers would all remember these Old Testament verses:

. . . I am the same One. I am the first. Moreover, I am the last. Moreover, my own hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my own right hand extended out the heavens (Isaiah 48:12-13) and “… I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. I, I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:10-11).

Note that the term the first and the last is used this way to refer to the Jehovah God in Revelation 22:13: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Yet John also records: “… And he laid his right hand upon me and said: ‘Do not be fearful. I am the First and the Last, and the living one; and I became dead, but look! I am living forever and ever . . .’” (Revelation 1:17-18).

The Jehovah’s Witness must be reminded that he has read in his own Bible that Jehovah God is the One who is coming, the One who is coming quickly, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, and the only Savior. He has also read that our Savior Jesus Christ is the one who is coming, the One who is coming quickly, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.

If the Witness has difficulty reaching the right con­clusion, namely that Jesus Christ is Almighty God, we ask him to read Colossians 2:9: “… it is in Him (Jesus Christ) that all the full­ness of the divine quality dwells bodily…” (NWT). Or, ac­cording to the English Standard Version says, “…for in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily…”

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15 Comments on “JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ARE CONFUSED ABOUT WHO IS SPEAKING IN REVELATION 1:8”

  1. Danny Haszard January 30, 2012 at 9:26 AM #

    I was born raised 3rd generation Jehovah’s Witness 1957.
    As to what they believe the CORE doctrine of the Watchtower organization (JW) is that Jesus had his return,aka second coming October 1914 ‘invisibly’ and they were the only ones who discerned it.They clearly are false prophets (Galatian 1:8)
    My home page is about my JW upbringing.
    Best regards,Danny Haszard
    http://www.dannyhaszard.com

    • k carving April 26, 2017 at 5:22 PM #

      good one Danny another thing they take out of context and chose thier own wording is Gods name in exodus i think 3 God clearly tells mosses His name I Am ,Hos name is I am , then if you go to Jesus, in response to the Pharisees’ question “Who do you think you are?” said, “‘Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’ ‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to him, ‘and you have seen Abraham!’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds” (John 8:56–59). The violent response of the Jews to Jesus’ “I AM” statement indicates they clearly understood what He was declaring—that He was the eternal God incarnate. Jesus was equating Himself with the “I AM” title God gave Himself in
      k carving- you can take what you want out fo the bible but there are 8 verses of Jesus proving to be God the jw take it out of thier bible but they forgot the Rev verses

  2. John Trainor June 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM #

    Nichiolas, I was glad to find your site. I have been in discussion with a good Jehovah’s Witness friend over this verse. I’m curious if you would want to comment on the following: he points out that you say, “All English translations of the world are in agreement, except the Jehovah’s Witness version of the Bible which converts the Greek…”, then rebuffs your assertion saying:

    what they are claiming is that no other Bible translation other than the
    NWT has the Name “Jehovah” at Revelation 1:8. When in fact there are a
    number, here is a list I found that someone posted on the web.
    -Christian Greek Scriptures in 12 languages, including Heb., by Elias
    Hutter, Nuremberg, 1599.
    -Christian Greek Scriptures, Heb., by William Robertson, London, 1661.
    -Christian Greek Scriptures, Heb., by A. McCaul, M. S. Alexander, J. C.
    Reichardt and S. Hoga, London, 1838.
    -Christian Greek Scriptures, Heb., by J. C. Reichardt, London, 1846.
    -Christian Greek Scriptures, Heb., by J. C. Reichardt and J. H. R.
    Biesenthal, London, 1866
    -Christian Greek Scriptures, Heb., by Franz Delitzsch, London, 1981 ed.
    -Christian Greek Scriptures, Heb., by Isaac Salkinson and C. D. Ginsburg,
    London.
    -Christian Greek Scriptures, Heb., by United Bible Societies, Jerusalem,
    1979.
    -Christian Greek Scriptures, Heb., by J. Bauchet, Rome, 1975
    -A Literal Translation of the New Testament . . . From the Text of the
    Vatican Manuscript, by Herman Heinfetter, London, 1863.

    Thank you for listening.

  3. Jennifer October 5, 2013 at 4:58 PM #

    John, I’m not the author but I would say to your concern…so what? So what if Jehovah is mentioned there. That’s just further proof that Jehovah and Jesus are one and the same. It matters not that any of the translations mention Jehovah there.

    However, something about translations that I’ve learned. No translations written by one or two authors are to be trusted. We only trust the translations that had a panel of authors who worked together with the original languages to bring us the translations. This is one of the reasons why I trust the King James Version so much. The King James version isn’t perfect, of course, but it can be trusted every time where doctrine is concerned.

    • John Trainor October 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM #

      Thank you, Jennifer, I totally agree on all counts.

  4. Kim November 3, 2015 at 1:20 AM #

    Thank you for this great site!!
    I have one question – in the book from the watchtower “Revelation -“the grand climax at hand” you can read in chapter 6 paragraf 2 that Jesus is only using a titel, that God has given him. That Jesus is not making any claims to be as God.
    Thats how they are refusing the arguments here – he has only the same titles as God he is not God!!

    Thats very clever – but in fact they cant give any verses where God is giving the titels to Jesus. Its only the watchtowers claim – but that is good enough for any witnesse, I guess.

  5. KAT known as star on facebook April 4, 2016 at 8:00 AM #

    i M IN Fatih teaching with my daughter , the JW approached her she was raised Christian, but she di not hold to the faith wants to prove mom wrong ,so to teach her i let her try , so far she hasn;t love your page thank you

  6. Markus April 26, 2017 at 8:28 AM #

    I have studied many, many religions (I will assume some of you have?), and I can’t think that any other religion besides the Witnesses (JW’s) are the ones doing Gods will on Earth. I read the scriptures mentioned and, I can conclude that when Jehovah says ‘I was dead now alive’ would likely refer to an idea that God died (theoretically) after Jesus’ and John’s death by means of false religion and then came back to life (symbolically) when JW’s started their religion (?). There are too many scriptures making it clear that Jesus is The Son of God, not God nor his equal. In the same passage at Revelation Jesus tells John ‘be careful, do not worship me…worship God.’ Its too clear. What Jesus told his disciples at Mathew 28:19, 20, seems, again, all too clear JW’s are the ones doing that work unlike no others. The spiritual Israel, that Jehovah (or Yahweh) is The only true God and must be worshiped by name, that Jesus is Gods only begotten Son and not God himself, that no “saints” (Mary, Paul, etc) should be worshiped, abstaining from blood, making disciples of peoples from all the nations (even risking death in the process) as true Christians were instructed, and a few other things, it appears they have it right, while every other religion doesn’t. Catholics and Protestants (I wont even mention Islam since they are so far off and Judaism have ignored the Messiah and many other rules Christ told true Christians to observe) have installed in their faiths MANY things not Biblical, things adapted due to fit in with the world. I guess we can go on and on debating these matters, but as a student of many things in the world (religion, history, archaeology, physics, economy, morality, and some other fields), I must say the JW’s are by far and away the ones doing Gods Will and what Jesus commended his followers to do–even in sin (since we all sin and error). I have researched many of the things most religions hold against JW’s but I can’t conclude JW’s as being wrong Biblically. It seems that through the research of JW’s, many other religions picked up on it and started doing likewise, therefore they led the way in such deep research. Unfortunately, most religions are not willing to forsake their traditions which started after Jesus came (remember that false religion or a type of “Christians” was already creeping in during the first century when the apostles were still alive), and other world religions have simply ignored the Bible almost completely. JW’s are the most intellectually confident religious people I have ever met (I make it a habit of knowing religion generally and sensing and seeing in them their security and sureness vs not). As a person of science, I rely on fact, accuracy and evidence, and regarding religion and who are the ones God has chosen on Earth to represent him, there are no people who shine as JW’s do. I am sorry to those who will disagree, but its my educated observation.

    • Nicholas Voss April 26, 2017 at 9:07 AM #

      Jehovah’s Witnesses are uneducated and hypocrites. They are are not “intellectually confident;” Jehovah’s Witnesses are intellectually bankrupt and ignorant people.

    • k carving April 26, 2017 at 5:16 PM #

      keep reading and learning

    • k carving April 26, 2017 at 5:24 PM #

      Exodus 3:14.

      If Jesus had merely wanted to say He existed before Abraham’s time, He would have said, “Before Abraham, I was.” The Greek words translated “was,” in the case of Abraham, and “am,” in the case of Jesus, are quite different. The words chosen by the Spirit make it clear that Abraham was “brought into being,” but Jesus existed eternally (see John 1:1). There is no doubt that the Jews understood what He was saying because they took up stones to kill Him for making Himself equal with God (John 5:18). Such a statement, if not true, was blasphemy and the punishment prescribed by the Mosaic Law was death (Leviticus 24:11–14). But Jesus committed no blasphemy; He was and is God, the second Person of the Godhead, equal to the Father in every way.

      Jesus used the same phrase “I AM” in seven declarations about Himself. In all seven, He combines I AM with tremendous metaphors which express His saving relationship toward the world. All appear in the book of John. They are I AM the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51); I AM the Light of the World (John 8:12); I AM the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9); I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14); I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25); I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6); and I AM the True Vine (John 15:1, 5)

    • Blake September 12, 2017 at 9:08 PM #

      Where does Jesus tell John to not worship him? Isn’t it the angel that tells John not to worship him (aka the angel)?

      • Markus January 9, 2018 at 5:18 AM #

        I need to edit something. The “seven x seven, etc” point. Some centuries BC, when the last Israeli / Judean king ruled, is when that period started. It ended in 1914 (look it up: it fits perfectly). Some researchers of course, do all they can to manipulate Gods Word and so, after twisting it, they come up with different calculations. If, IF you are able or want, its in the jw dot org website. Its perfectly clear, their calculations are based on the Bible, Gods Word. JW’s said something Big would happen in 1914, and WW1 happened. It was here that Jesus was handed the Kingdom of God, at the end of the Seven x Seven period, as prophesied. This is when Satan and his demons were kicked out of the Heavenly kingdom permanently, the Bible saying “Woe for Earth and for the Sea…” and “And Satan and his demons were hurled Down…” And so, World War One started and took place. Peace.

  7. k carving April 26, 2017 at 5:26 PM #

    The worst things about JW is they do not invite the spirit of God in they dont feel him , they are grounded they have not found him, when you truly find him you can have your eyes opened

    • Markus January 9, 2018 at 4:53 AM #

      I made a mistake on bowing down point. Oh, sorry I took a while to respond. Moving on. There are simply too many, so many, scriptures testifying to Jesus not being God all mighty. Again: too many. This being the case, and since Gods Word can’t contradict itself, the few scriptures that others say ‘proves Jesus is God’, can’t be. It can’t possibly be. Those scriptures have either been manipulated or twisted, or mistranslated, something God detests–when done intentionally. Whichever one, or both, Jesus can not be God. One Must be reasonable, logical, meek, to get the full benefit of Gods Word. Jesus, per Gods Word, is Not God All Mighty.
      –The scriptures in the book of John mentioned above by k carving above, where Jesus says “I Am” followed by “tremendous metaphors expressing his ability to save mankind, does not in any degree say He Is God All Mighty. It simply says He, Jesus, the Son of God, IS the way for salvation. Only through Him can anyone be saved. Yes, in Jesus’ name that whoever will be saved, will be saved, but it is by Gods Name and His authority and sovereignty that that promise of everlasting life is possible.
      –Also his points on John 5:18 (read John 5:14-18) are misinterpreted, due to traditions. The JEWS were saying Jesus was equaling himself to God, not Jesus. The few statements Jesus makes as in “Those who have seen me have seen the Father”, are manipulated for the sake of traditions that started in the second to third centuries AD, during the times when the Bible was being butchered by false “Christians.” Just as in those days, we have the same today. Many so-called Christians don’t want the truth. The Jews denied Jesus–as the Gods Son back then, they are doing it today.
      –Luke 1:32, 35.
      –Luke 2:10-14 (if Jesus was God even at this moment, the Angels themselves would Not have said “Glory in the heights above to God…”)
      –Luke 2:49
      And these are only in the first Two books of Luke, not to mention the other Gospels, and the tons of passages testifying to him being Gods Son in the other books.
      –In Jesus’ “model prayer”, he said: “Our Father in the Heavens, let [YOUR NAME] be sanctified, let [YOUR] kingdom come, let [YOUR WILL] take place, as in Heaven, also upon Earth.” (brackets and larger letters added by me). Do most “Christians” know what those words mean? If Jesus was God, he would have made it VERY clear and often throughout the scriptures. But He did Not. Only the few twisted ones for the sake of none-Christian traditions. Jesus was saying that God Does have A Name, and God Needs His true chosen ones to put it to use every day. What kingdom? The one He himself preached about as part of His Real reason he came to Earth in the flesh. What is the “will” he spoke of? In order for Earth to be like Heaven (spiritually speaking), prefect, as in the paradise Earth promised by God, Gods true people MUST declare His Name, His kingdom, in order that some (relatively speaking) are saved. Only then will the Paradise Earth come. Perfectness. And, Gods will has been going on since 1914, when the seven times seven (7 x 7) etc., time table started. Gods will will then come to a completion when after the Great Tribulation happens and Armageddon finishes off every minute particle of wickedness, including Babylon the Great, false religion, and those responsible for intentionally bending and twisting Gods Word and misleading many people.

      You can turn to any page of the Greek Scriptures, Gods Word, and if it has not been tainted and marred with deception (false punctuation, changing Gods Name to LORD, etc.,), and not being stuck in some belief stubbornly, in any page that Jesus and God are mentioned, you WILL see and know that Jesus is simply and obviously Not God. Its impossible they are one and the same. In goals and intention, yes, like a CEO and a GM would be for a company. Remember: God is searching for meek ones, so people really want to find and serve God, MUST apply a sound mind, reason, logic, and humility, when doing so. Jehovah bless you and may you search for Him, sooner than later.

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