Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe in Jesus and that He's the Son of God?
I have been one of Jehovah's Witness for over 30 years so I believe I can answer from experience.
Yes we do believe in Jesus and that he is the Son of God. JW's believe that the bible teaches that Jesus is the subservient Son of God, not God. It says that he is the son of God in John 3:16. If you look at accurate translations, you can see we follow what they say. If you were to look up the meaning of the word 'God', it is defined as anyone who is worshiped. While Jesus is a mighty god, he is not the almighty God.
Jehovah's Witnesses often hear that some believe that Jehovah's Witnesses have an altered Bible translation that they use to support doctrine, however virtually any Bible can be consulted to clearly see the following, and Witnesses are willing to (and often do) use other translations.
Did Jesus say he was Almighty God or equal to Almighty God? No, he said quite the opposite. Review John 17:3, and John 20:17 for starters.
1. Common sense tells us that Jesus didn't pray to himself, but he prayed to his heavenly father, almighty God Jehovah. This was the same Almighty God that all Israelites/Jews prayed to.
2. Common sense as well as Bible prophecy tells us that for Jesus to have truly died for our sins, he would have had to be lifeless or actually dead for a time (3 days) for this to be true. If he didn't really die, then what sense do the scriptures make that speak of his dying for all mankind's sins? So, if he indeed actually died, who resurrected him? It would have had to be Almighty God, the Father Jehovah.
3. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus instructed his disciples how to pray. He told them to pray to the Father - never did he indicate that we should pray to him or to his mother or anyone else. He did say, however, to pray to the Father in his name - because it is by means of him (Jesus) that corrupt humans have any approach to Almighty God.
4. If Jesus were Almighty God, why would he say he couldn't do anything of his own accord? Read John 5:19, John 14:28 and John 10:36. In Matthew 4:10, Jesus quoted a scripture in Deuteronomy 6:13 which clearly indicates WHO is to be worshiped as Almighty God.
5. Why would Colossians 1:15-17 refer to Jesus Christ as the, "beginning of all creation" if he was the Almighty Creator?
So indeed, Jehovah's Witnesses believe in Jesus Christ and that he is the son of Almighty God, Jehovah (Yahweh or YHWH). Jehovah's Witnesses need no special or 'altered' bible to prove that - it's found throughout the bible and consistent with the Bible's message of Christ's kingdom.
While JW's do not view Jesus in exactly the same way as the Christian Church does, they do believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Jehovah) and that he (Jesus) is our Lord and Savior - that only by means of his shed blood does mankind have any possibility of redemption.
The Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God in the same way that every Christian church does. They re-define terms, which is deceptive and a trap to the unwary.
The Jehovah's Witnesses teach, by mis-translating John 1:1 that Jesus was 'a god', not the same as what the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus was 100% equal with the Father. He is to them a lesser god and had a beginning. They regard jesus as 'a mighty god' (small 'g'), not 'The Almighty God'... in other words Jesus is a lesser 'god'. Yet they still believe that there is only one God. When cornered on this JWs will never give a satisfactory, theologically sound answer because they do not have one.
The Bible the Jehovah's Witnesses use is their own version, which is altered, mis-translated, or made deliberately vague to arrive at the conclusions they desire. So, if talking about their own bible, then it may be correct, although the copy of the NWT I have still demonstrates the trinity and Jesus Godhead - there are so many of these that it is difficult to remove or doctor them all. The Bible, where it is treated with due respect and not tampered with, clearly teaches that Jesus is God. Over 30 times this is stressed in the Gospel of John alone, by Jesus Himself. Jehovah's Witnesses deny this. Some individual witnesses may not be fully aware of what their church doctrine is. The position of the official doctrine of the JW's is clear.
Of course Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus is the Son of God... the JW above makes this quite clear. And there lies the problem. For not even Jesus himself claimed to be the Son of God in the sense that the JWs believe.
In the gospels, and especially in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus frequently refers to himself as the Son of Man, to emphasise his humanity, although on several occasions the disciples refer to him as the 'Son of God', and 'the Messiah'. But that is the name that the disciples gave him. In the other gospels Jesus still refers to himself as the Son of Man, but also as 'The Son'. He never refers to himself, in any of the gospels, as a subservient Son of God . However, he frequently refers to himself, in addition to the Son of Man, as God the Son - or 'the Son', and, reading the text in context, he places himself on the same level as the Father and the Holy Spirit (e.g. 'I am in the Father and the Father is in me', 'he who has seen me has seen the Father', 'my Father and I are one', I will send (note not the 'Father' will send...) the Holy Spirit..', 'before Abraham was I AM' - the term used by God to Moses from where we get Yah-Weh as God's name - or in modern language - Jehovah). There are numerous occasions where Jesus actually claims to be God. Yes, he has a different role to play from the Father, and from the Holy Spirit for that matter, and, within the Trinity, there will be aspects of the creation and maintenance of the universe that will be solely the responsibility of the Father, eg no one knows when the end will come only the Father. However, no one can reach the Father except through the Son. Although their may be some form of ranking system in the Trinity - this does not mean that Jesus is still not God. In the church of England, the archdeacon has a supervisory role over parish vicars. So in a sense there is a heirarchy there. But each is still ordained a priest and are equal in this respect.
In the same way on many occasions Jesus made it clear that he was God, as did the gospel writers (e.g. John 1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.....and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us - contrary to the JW Bible which changed the 'was God' statement to the incorrect 'was a god' with a small 'g', simply to fit in with their own beliefs. What on earth does ' a god' mean anyway? No JW has yet given me a satisfactory explanation of that as yet!
In addition, Jesus himself allowed others to worship him - the height of blasphemy if he wasn't who he said he was. He forgave sins - another blatant act of supreme blasphemy unless he was God. in fact, on one occasion the scribes and pharisees who were onlookers screamed - 'only God can forgive sins!' and attacked him physically for blasphemy. So Jesus claimed a great deal more than being merely the 'Son' of God. He claimed very much to be God incarnate, and together with the Spirit to be a part of a Trinitarian God.
On the Trinity, this doctrine was part of Christian belief right back in the first century when Policarp, a disciple of the apostle John, Jesus' closest disciple, taught it to Irenaeus, an early Church Father, who wrote extensively on the Trinity. The JW answer above which states that it was a later invention is not only misinformed by his elders, but has failed to research the history of the Church independently - something which is, of course, frowned upon by the Watchtower organisation, lest the researcher find out the truth.
Although the Jehovah's Witnesses quote line after linne of scripture, you might note that most of them come from their own altered translation of the Bible and almost all are taken out of context where, if you read the context of a particular verse, and compare it with corresponding verses in the other gospels, you frequently get a very different and truer meaning. JWs rarely, if ever, do this with translations other than their own or they would get a very different picture. The quotation of scripture out of context is not particularly helpful - if you read the story of Jesus' teptatiion in the wilderness you can see that even the devil himself can do this!
As for Jesus' total divinity, even at the end of Matthew's gospel he commands us to go out and baptise 'in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and, lo I will be with you until the end of the world' - Note he says I will be with you - not 'we' or 'they' or the Father and I - but I, immediately after his description of the Trinity. One God in three persons. Clear as crystal. So this nonsense about Jesus being subservient to the Father is totally non-Biblical. Jesus claimed to be God. He left no other option open to us. He never intended to.