If you try to evangelize someone associated with the Watchtower Society (who call themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses”), you may run into a problem. Their Bible, the New World Translation, is not the same as your Bible. Many passages may be the same, but in a number of places, the text has been changed. Thus, the passages you might typically use to prove Jesus’ divinity to them may lead to a question of whose translation is right – which may be interesting, but misses the point.
In God’s providence, however, there are a number of places where a comparison between the Old Testament and New Testament reveals Jesus’ divinity in ways that the Watchtower Society did not remove. This is one example.
Consider asking one of these “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (or two of them, if you meet them under the usual circumstance of them knocking on your door) the following question: “Who is your Shepherd?”
Perhaps they will respond with Psalm 23′s answer: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1, KJV) Their version of this psalm reads “Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing.” (Psalm 23:1, NWT)
Then, ask them to turn to Hebrews 13:20, which states: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,” (Hebrews 13:20, KJV) and similarly states in their version “Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an everlasting covenant, our Lord Jesus,” (Hebrews 13:20, NWT).
Next, invite them to turn to John 10:11, which states: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11, KJV) In their version, this will state: “I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep.” (John 10:11, NWT)
And you may also suggest that they consider that there is only one shepherd: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16, KJV) – in their version “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16, NWT)
You can then encourage them to consider the following: if Jesus is the Shepherd, and if Jehovah is the Shepherd, then it must follow that Jesus is Jehovah.
If you would like to explore the matter further, encourage them to consider Zechariah 13:7 and Matthew 26:31 in view of the above.
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. (Matthew 26:31, KJV)
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. (Zechariah 13:7, KJV)
Then Jesus said to them: “All of YOU will be stumbled in connection with me on this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered about.’ (Matthew 26:31, NWT)
“O sword, awake against my shepherd, even against the able-bodied man who is my associate,” is the utterance of Jehovah of armies. “Strike the shepherd, and let those of the flock be scattered; and I shall certainly turn my hand back upon those who are insignificant.” (Zechariah 13:7, NWT)
Notice as well that in this latter example, the humanity of Christ is also affirmed – as well as his association with God. You might consider asking the so-called “Jehovah’s Witness” who could be an associate with God? Who else even in their Scriptures are given this exalted title? Yet clearly Jesus is both Man and the living and true Jehovah – two natures in one person.
May He be worshiped forever and ever!