I called my JW friend Mark the other day, and we talked for quite a long time about a lot of different topics, some related to the Watchtower and some not. At one point he asked me to tell him again about my experience of getting in trouble at the local kingdom hall when I had mentioned that no donkey is mentioned in the biblical accounts of Mary and Joseph’s travels. (See my previous post, “Warning: You Might Get Kicked Out of the Kingdom Hall by a Donkey,” 7/7/16.) That story led to my questioning of the governing body’s claim to be God’s only authoritative interpreter of scripture. I brought up that the teaching about the name of Jehovah came some decades after the 1914-1918 time of Jehovah’s supposed approval of the organization. Which led us to the organization’s mis-translation of the “I Am” statement in Exodus 3:14. Which led to my claim that Exodus 3 was the first revelation of the name Yahweh to humans. Mark questioned this, because Watchtower teaches that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew God as Jehovah before Moses. Which led to me sharing with him Exodus 6:3, “And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but with regard to my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them.”
That was a stumper for Mark. But I resisted the urge to gloat. Instead, I gave him an out. “It’s late, and we’re both tired. See what you can find out about that verse, would you?” I asked him. Then I changed the subject, sort of. I brought up that I thought the apostles in the book of Acts seemed to be all about the name of Jesus, not the name of Jehovah. “It was all about Jesus for them,” I said.
Then Mark said, “But Jesus can’t be God, because he said ‘The father is greater than me.'”
To which I responded, “Aha! I knew you were going to bring that up!” And we both laughed. And that was precious. Here we were, debating, but not arguing, because we have come to know each other so well that we both know how the other thinks, and what the other is going to say. We both realized that at the same time, and it made us both laugh. After our laughter, I said that of course we could talk about that some more when we had more time and weren’t so tired, to which he agreed. Then, laughing some more, I added, “Oh, I love you, Mark. And I so like talking with you.”
And he replied, “I love you too, ________.”
That was a shocker for me. A Jehovah’s Witness, saying that he loves a non-JW. That’s huge. God is definitely at work. And it was like a gift to me from Yahweh.
After we hung up I cried a little, I confess. I still get misty thinking about it.