Doxologies, the Jehovah's Witnesses & John 20:28
The American heritage dictionary defines doxology as an expression of praise to God 1. The New
Testament contains many doxologies. Following are several examples from the NIV 2:
Romans 9:5 Theirs (The Jews) are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ,
who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Romans 16:27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Ephesians 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and
Jude 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
We can see in the definition and in the examples that doxologies ascribe praise and glory to
God. While some parts of scripture are written to convey their meaning only if read with eyes
opened by the Holy Spirit, doxologies are used by the writers to overtly and openly give praise
to God. In John 20:28 we hear Thomas' words as he stands face to face with the risen Lord
Jesus. The full story told in John 20:24-28 2 is shown below:
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus
came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them,
"Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my
hand into his side, I will not believe it."
26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the
doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then
he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into
my side. Stop doubting and believe."
28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Thomas' words "My Lord and my God!" seem clear on their face, Thomas is humbling himself
before the risen Lord Jesus and acknowledging His Deity. Such a clear acknowledgement of
Jesus as "Lord & God" contradicts those who deny His deity like the Jehovah's Witnesses. The
standard answer when a JW is confronted with John 20:28 is to dismiss Thomas' words as a
doxology; however, it only ascribes praise to God, if Jesus is God, that's who Thomas was
talking to. Jesus' next words show us what Thomas was talking about:
John 20:29 (NIV 2)
29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those
who have not seen and yet have believed."
The Jehovah's Witnesses claim that The Lord Jesus was a mere man, they will readily admit, a
perfect man, but a man nonetheless. This verse from God's word says they are wrong! They are
attempting to change the scriptures to deny the deity of Jesus. This is a very important matter.
Jesus said that what we believe about him effects our eternal destiny:
John 8:24 (NIV 2)
" . . . if you do not believe that I am (the one I claim to be), you will indeed die in your
The JWs are calling Thomas' words something they are not, and that is falsehood. They are
doing it to justify their denial of Jesus eternal nature as God the son, and that is sinful. As God
Isaiah 5:18 (NIV 2)
18 Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of falsehood and wickedness as with cart
1 "doxology." The American HeritageŽ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin
Company, 2004. 23 Nov. 2007. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/doxology>.
2 The Quest Study Bible, New International Version Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan Corp. 1994
? The Jehovah's witnesses also deny that Christ Jesus was raised bodily from the dead.