Questions From Readers
● Which occupy a higher position in Jehovah’s organization, the seraphs or the cherubs?—R. J., United States.
It would appear that the seraphs occupy the higher position. Wherever the cherubs are mentioned in connection with Jehovah they are shown as being in a lower position, Jehovah either sitting upon or riding upon them. See 2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6; Psalms 80:1; 99:1. However, the seraphs, in the only place they are mentioned, at Isaiah 6:1-6, are shown as occupying stations above Jehovah’s throne.
● Please cite authority for the statement appearing in paragraph 17, page 350, of “Your Will Be Done on Earth”: “Great bodies of water . . . that mark our globe as different from the other planets of the solar system.”—K. S., United States.
If you take any book on astronomy and read what it has to say about the planets of our solar system you can readily determine whether page 350 of “Your Will Be Done on Earth” is correct in its statement that great bodies of water mark our globe as different from the other planets of the solar system. The simple reason is that they are not the same distance away from the sun that our earth is. Hence the temperatures of the various planets would vary according to their greater nearness to the sun or their greater distance from the sun.
For instance, Venus, on its side facing the sun, is hundreds of degrees above zero; whereas on the other side it is hundreds of degrees below. What effect this would have on H2O can well be appreciated. So the earth, being located at the proper distance from the sun, is favored with just the right conditions for the life of man and the economy of nature upon which he depends.
● What does the S.P.Q.R. stand for that appears in the illustration at the beginning of chapter 6 in the book “Your Will Be Done on Earth”?—S. F., U.S.A.
The letters S.P.Q.R. stand for the Latin phrase “Senatus Populusque Romanus.” Translated, this is “The Senate and People of Rome.”
● Clergymen claim that Luke was a Gentile. The Watchtower, October 1, 1960, page 587, paragraph 14, states that all the Bible writers were Hebrews. What is the authority for this statement?—B. M., United States.
Those who hold that Luke was a Gentile have no clear Scriptural authority for their position. They read into Paul’s words at Colossians 4:11, 14 the thought that Luke was not a Jew. This is because in verse 11 Paul mentions some who were ‘of the circumcision’ and in Col 4 verse 14 he mentions Luke. From this the implication is drawn that Luke was not of the circumcision and therefore not a Jew. But it does not at all follow that Paul intended to thus distinguish Luke. As McClintock & Strong’s Cyclopedia states: “If this be not thought conclusive, nothing can be argued from the Greek idioms in his style, for he might be a Hellenistic Jew, nor from the Gentile tendency of his Gospel, for this it would share with the inspired writings of Paul, a Pharisee brought up at the feet of Gamaliel.”
If there is no direct evidence as to Luke’s being a Gentile, what is the basis for stating that he was a Hebrew or Jew? The basis is Paul’s statement at Romans 3:1, 2 where he shows that God entrusted his inspired utterances to the Hebrews or Jews, giving them a distinct advantage: “What, then, is the superiority of the Jew, or what is the benefit of the circumcision? A great deal in every way. First of all, because they were entrusted with the sacred pronouncements of God.” Had Luke been a Greek he would have been the sole exception to this rule, and this would not be reasonable. So the logical conclusion is that he, the same as all the other penmen of the Bible, was a Jew, a Hebrew.