1. The old saying is true, “for some, no proof is necessary. For others, no proof is ever enough.”
2. They read Scripture differently than we do.
a. They read Scripture to discover their doctrines within. In fact, the JWs are famous for rewriting Scripture in order to write their doctrines into it.
b. Whereas, we know that New Testament Scripture is written based upon the pre-existing Traditions of Jesus Christ. That which Jesus Christ taught the Apostles is the basis of the New Testament. Thus, we go to the Church for our understanding of the Word of God. Not to Scripture.
3. Remember, we do not believe in the false doctrine of Scripture alone.
Having said that, I still engage them. But on our terms. Not theirs.
First of all, I keep in mind that proof texting is a no-win plan. As many texts as you provide to back up Catholicism, they can provide texts, which they twist, to support their errors. So, it’s a stalemate.
So, my game plan is like this. Let’s take the Divinity of Christ, for example.
JW says, “Proskyneo means obeisance and that proves that no one worshipped Christ in the early Church”.
Me, “Mm? Then why do all the Early Church Fathers, worship Christ? Let me give you a list.”
Polycarp, who was taught by the Apostle, St. John, in his Letter to the Philippians, said:
Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth…and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead.
Another disciple of St. John, Ignatius, said:
Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus and in blameless joy.
Being as you are imitators of God, once you took on new life through the blood of God you completed perfectly the task so natural to you.
There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord.
You get the drift, right? Now, I can guess how the discussion might go. They’ll say, “Christianity went into apostasy at the time of Constantine”
And I say, “that’s not true. Again, the Church Fathers prior to Constantine all teach the same things the Catholic Church Teaches today. It’s your church that teaches heresy and your church is the new comer. Let’s see what Scripture says about that:
Gal 1:8 New World Translation
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away* from the One who called you with Christ’s undeserved kindness to another sort of good news.+ 7 Not that there is another good news; but there are certain ones who are causing you trouble+ and wanting to distort the good news about the Christ. 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.
You, Jehovah’s, are adding to the Teaching of the Church which came by Jesus Christ, something new which we do not accept.
There is no Biblical basis for two separate killings of two different lives (of the lamb and of Jesus) being one sacrifice.
Do you have any evidence from the early Church Fathers of this non-Biblical notion?
After all those well thought out postings of the Holy Week timeline, I can hardly believe that you say such a thing. But, ….
Ok. Let’s go back to the Old Testament.
On Mt. Moriah, which would later be known as Golgotha, a father sacrificed his son in accordance with God’s will.
And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. …
The son carried the wood for his execution, up the hill.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; ….
The son asked a question which was given a prophetic answer:
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Just when Fr. Abraham was about to give up his son’s life:
11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
And the lamb of God was provided for the sacrifice:
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
This was the first foreshadowing of the Lamb of God’s sacrifice on Golgotha.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Fast forward to the Passover where God said:
Exodus 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:….43 And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:
44 But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.
45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.
46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.
Scripture ties this back to:
John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
The confirmation that the Apostles understood that Jesus is the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our Christian Passover are in these words:
1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
That also links the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, to the unleavened bread of the Eucharist. As well as these words:
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
But that’s another lesson. Suffice to say, Jesus is the Lamb of God who offered His life for the salvation of the world. Since Jesus is God, only His life would suffice:
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Does that help?