For centuries the identity of Jesus the Nazarene, a simple carpenter turned Rabbi, is still being debated among those who refer to themselves as his devout followers. Every self-proclaimed Jesus followers, Christians or not fights for their true understanding and worship of who Jesus really was and who he is to us past, present and future. Jesus asked Peter, one of His disciple, His thought provoking question, “Who do you think I am?”
To Muslims, Jesus was not a deity but was ONLY a great prophet. Unlike, Muslims, Mormons teaches that Jesus is god but NOT the God. They also affirms that indeed Jesus is the Son of God but rather in a literal interpretation. Hinduism, teaches that the Jesus of Nazareth is the very reincarnation of Krishna (stay updated for my coming article “Is Jesus Krishna?”).
Now, what does the Jehovah’s Witnesses teaches about Jesus? Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW), against the conventional teachings of Christian orthodoxy, propagates and defends the notion that Jesus is NOT God, but a created being–the Archangel Michael.
“The foremost angel, both in power and authority, is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael.” -The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, p. 8
JW, teaches, of course, that Michael Archangel ceased to be and becomes the incarnate Christ. The question is, how did they manage to reach this kind of preposterous conclusion? The answer is beyond me. Nevertheless, we shall examine the idea of JW’s Jesus being the Archangel. I assure you that such interpretations and misapplication of the Bible is not found wanting.
Logic and Watchtower Society
Before we continue with our objections let us first hand try to understand the logic behind the false belief that Jesus is Michael. According to the Watchtower doctrines, Jesus, is a created being. NOT the CREATOR. In their faulty translation of John 1:1 it reads that Jesus IS a god.
This flatly contradicts Isaiah 46:9 which states that, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me (KJV).” JW’s argues that Jesus is a god (with a small “g”) Not Jehovah GOD Almighty. They also teaches that before Jesus ever came to earth he was the chief angel Michael.
Correct me if I’m wrong here. Since, obviously Jesus (as a person) never existed prior to his incarnation, he was Michael who in turn was created by Jehovah, God. This Michael who is Archangel is also a god according to New World Translation. Let me summarize what they are trying to deliver with a simple syllogism:
Jehovah God Created Michael the Archangel
New World translation (Jhn. 1:1) tells us that Michael was a god. Well, at least, considering their interpretations of the passage.
Therefore Michael is god archangel
I ask you my reader, who is a student of the Scriptures, tell me, does this sound biblically coherent to you? Be honest. Not only that Michael is the foremost of the angel he is also a god! In addition to what the JW believes is that Jesus is mighty God, God Jehovah is the almighty God these looks like we have a full blown polytheism here isn’t it! If we take the logic the way the Watchtower interprets their scriptures, JW’s are really not monotheists (as the claim to be) but polytheists if taken their unorthodox understanding of Christ deity!
Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘Interpretations’ Examined
I want you to know, my reader, that nowhere in the Bible identifies, or at least gives hint of Jesus, as Michael the Archangel. But why do they keep on insisting believing and even using Bible verses to prove that Michael is Jesus? Let us answer this question in a form of examination of these so-called exegesis that says Jesus is Michael shall we?
In their article of New Heavens and New Earth pg.30-31). Jesus is actually the incarnation of Michael the Archangel and resumed the name when he ascended into heaven ( ibid. pg.30 Your will be done on earth pg.316 ) Jehovah’s Witnesses believes that Michael is Jesus because his name means “who is like God.”
So, according to their interpretation, the archangel, Michael, is no other than the only begotten son of God which is, of course, Jesus. They really believe that Michael the great prince is none other than Christ Jesus Himself (Watchtower 12/15/1984 p.29) in Daniel 12:1. Yet, with all its bravados Christ is not known as one of the great princes but the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) Or the Prince Savior (Acts. 5:31)!
Furthermore, as the JW’s presses on with their odd interpretations of the deity of Christ as nothing more than a exalted angelic being, they quotes a verse as 1 Thessalonians 4:16 states, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel.” Let us read the passage for further illumination.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thess. 4:16 NIV).
If taken at face value, this verse seems to speak of the Lord (Jesus Christ) who shout with a voice of the archangel, then having God’s trumpet makes him God?¹ But if correct study of the Bible is applied, the verse doesn’t tell much anything about, Jesus being Michael. Watchtower’s literal translation of the text doesn’t make any sense. In their Book, Norman L. Geisler and Ron Rhodes, When Cultists Ask, explains concerning this passage,
This verse does not relate Jesus speaks but that he descends from heaven when the voice of the archangel speaks. Jesus’ coming at the rapture will be accompanied by the archangel Michael since it is the archangel’s voice (not of Jesus) that issues the shout. This is not unlike what will happen at the second coming of Christ, for “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire” (2 Thess. 1:7 NASB). [p. 267]
Not An Equal Amongst
As students of the Scripture, we all know fully well that, angels are created beings including the very “god” Michael archangel. Again, if Jesus is Michael, who is an angel, this follows, according to their logic, that Jesus is a created being by God. Not the God, Jehovah, who is the creator of all things which is really the conventional understanding of Jesus Christ.
Also, JW’s, in their further illumination of Michael as Jesus, point to passages like Daniel 10:13, referring to Michael as one of the chief princess.
The fact that Michael is one of the chief princess doesn’t indicates that Michael the archangel alone is unique.
But, Jesus Christ, goes beyond the title being “one of the chief princess.” The Bible knows nothing of Christ being equal among archangels but is known to its readers as the King of kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 17:14; 19:16)! This would only mean that Jesus Christ possesses absolute Sovereignty and encompassing Authority in which no celestial archangels obviously possess! No! Jesus is not just an archangel but God, Jehovah himself ( Jhn. 1:1; 8:58; 20:28; Col. 2:9) and the Creator of ALL there is (Jhn. 1:3; Col. 1:15-16)Besides, even all the angels, including Michael the archangel, worships Jesus (Heb. 1:6)!
The Angel Of The LORD?
Many, at least those, who claim that Jesus is Michael, refers to the Old Testament as the Angel of the Lord must have been no one else but Jesus therefore Michael the Archangel is Jesus? Is this reasoning justifiable? Let us briefly examine and identify the Angel of the LORD ((mal’akh Yahweh). Keep this in mind that the root meaning of angel means messenger or the one who is sent.
The angel of YAHWEH first appears in Genesis 16:7, it reads. And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur (KJV).
And in Exodus 3:2 we read that, And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed (AKJV). Please continue studying these passages concerning YAHWEH’s angel and see for yourselves that the “angel” we are dealing with is not an ordinary, created angel but JEHOVAH himself, the second person of the holy Trinity (Gen. 13; 18:1-33; 21:17-20; 22:11-18; 31:11-13; 32:24-32; 48:15, 16;Josh. 5:13-15; Judges 13:3-23; 2 Kings 19:35; 1 Chron. 21:15-18, 26-30; Ps. 34:7; Zech. 1:8-17; 3:1-2; 12:8).
1. Ron Rhodes, Reasoning From The Scriptures With Jehovah’s Witnesses, Harvest House, pp. 182-83