“Or do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with you? “- 2 Corinthians 13:5
Paul founded the congregation in Corinth but this congregation faced many challenging problems that had to be addressed .In fact that is why Paul had to write to them twice to admonish them and guide them .One of the most interesting issues was that many in the Corinthian congregation challenged Paul’s divine appointment as an apostle.
The paradox in the Corinthians’ criticism of Paul was that many of them had come to faith through his ministry. They only knew about Jesus because Paul told them. In one sense, they were the proof that Paul was divinely appointed as an apostle, because they received new life through believing his authoritative teaching. His authority was validated by their faith in Jesus (Philippians 4:1), and yet they despised him and his authority, wanting spiritual benefits without sacrificial discipleship.
Paul explained to them that : “since you are seeking proof that Christ … is really speaking through me” (2 Corinthians 13:3) they had to take the test of faith .
What is this test of faith ? Paul provides further clarification in 2 Corinthians 13:5 :” Keep testing whether you are in the faith; keep proving what you yourselves are. Or do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with you? Unless you are disapproved.”
It would seem just by reading this verse that the test of faith is closely linked to being in union with Christ,which is the second sentence of the verse.
To be in union with Christ for any thinking Jehovah’s Witness probably means to follow closely in his footsteps .In other words imitate closely his example and put on a more Christ like personality .That is the kind of relationship that the writers of the Watchtower would like the average Witness to have with Jesus .In fact a passing glance over this part of 2 Corinthians 13:5 reveals just that .A union of shorts with the heavenly king. Is that really what is Paul asking the Corinthians though ?
In fact most of the references for this verse found in the Watchtower Library completely ignore the second part of the verse : “Or do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with you? ”
The 2014 Watchtower made the following comment about this verse :
Although it is true that a personal reflection on the entire scope of the Christian teachings is required ,the Watchtower writers completely ignore the second part of the verse which seems to play a crucial part on this “test of faith”.
Being in union with Christ somehow affects our faith far more that the Watchtower would like you to think it does .
Well ,there is an explanation :The New World Translation mistranslates this verse. The original rendering of the phrase “in union with you ” in the original Greek language is “ἐν ὑμῖν =(en hymin ) ” which means, IN YOU(=inside you) . In fact all other Bible translations render this phrase as “in you”.
The Greek word “ἐν“ in this case means in but not in union with .There’s never been a time that this little word had anything to do with the phrase “in union with” .This is not just stretching the meaning of the word to mean something else .This is an outright lie!
The following 3 references are taken out of the gospel of Matthew in the New World Translation and in all 3 cases the Watchtower translates this word as in not in union with :
It is quite interesting also the definition that Strong’s Concordance gives to this word: “In the interior of some whole; within the limits of some space”. Doesn’t that best describe the intent of Paul’s words when he told the Corinthians :” You know, don’t you, that Jesus the Messiah lives in you(=en hymin) ?” (2 Cor. 13:5, ISV) In other words Jesus being in the interior of each Christian’s body, within the limits of the space that their physical bodies occupy.
That leads us then to a profound revelation.Jesus Christ lives inside you not metaphorically ,not allegorically but by some supernatural way that was made possible by his death and resurrection. In fact the Watchtower deliberately ignore a major part of Paul’s theology in relation to this fact ,the indwelling with the Lord!
Why is that important ?
We have been told all our lives how to be good Jehovah’s Witnesses but not how to be Christians.
We were never told that a supernatural experience is part of the way to be a true Christian.
We were never told that Jesus resides in us. In fact if you don’t have this confirmation that Jesus lives in you ,you can not pass the test of faith.