AS - thanks for the reply; that is what I would have expected. The arrogance behind their beliefs/practices is the #2 reason I have real problems with this regious group (#1 being their un-loving, un-Christian application of shunning)
Sophistry LessonsJW Baptismal Prerequisites
The killer scripture against the JW baptismal requirement for studying before getting dipped is Acts 2. The knowledge the crowds received regarding Christ was delivered in one day:
36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off?for all whom the Lord our God will call."
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Auldsoul, I've tryed to locate scriptures that show people baptised in the first century contemplated over time their dedication to Christ, prior to immersion but, I can't find any. In all the scriptures I've found it appears to be a rather abrupt affair.
I'm about to cover this chapter with an elder. Just last week some JW was explaining to me that the reason they felt JWs were right vs. other religions was because of the numerous requirements for baptism...while other religions did nothing to make sure that a convert was dedicating themselves, renouncing former practices, etc., before baptizing them. At the time I didn't even think of bringing up the fact that this totally flies in the face of scripture. JWs are obviously introducing a human-standard, organizational, legislative approach where there shouldn't be such a thing. Makes you wonder just how many other areas of "Following Christ" are they doing this?
Are any JW lurkers/JW posters able to explain the requirements Scripturally?
AuldSoul, belated but regarding this statement:
I see no justification in the Bible for anyone who is unbaptized to consider themselves qualified to preach.
Conversion of the first Gentiles:
When Peter arrived, Cornelius, in the presence of "his relatives and intimate friends," (Acts 10:24) said to the apostle: "We are all present before God to hear all the things you have been commanded by Jehovah to say." (Acts 10:44, 45) "While Peter was yet speaking...the holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word." Thus this group of which Cornelius is named as the most notable became the first uncircumcised Gentiles or non-Jews to receive "the free gift of the holy spirit." (Acts 10:44, 45) Water baptism immediately followed.
Granted, when the holy spirit fell upon them, they were witnessing to others who just received the holy spirit or Christians and did so for a brief time. Nonetheless, they were not yet baptized and "the faithful ones that had come with Peter...were amazed, because the free gift of the holy spirit was being poured out."
This obviously does not refute the unscriptural mandates for water baptism. However, the complete account does show a few points. Cornelius must have been talking/preaching to his friends about his supernatural experience (Acts 10:30) and convinced them to be present when Peter arrived. Then when Peter arrived Cornelius asked for more knowledge. (Acts 10:33)
I am glad I came across this thread; we will be covering this chapter soon in the bookstudy.
Sorry for the late reply, but I do not have Internet at home right now and have to get online when and where I can.
BCAZAR2ME: they were not yet baptized
I beg to differ. Regarding Cornelius et. al. we find Peter's later description of the event shows that a baptism did occur. Baptism with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 11:15, 16 — And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost baptizes with spirit. It is this baptism that qualifies one to teach; in fact, teaching is a gift of the spirit. No person who is unbaptized is ever told to preach after Jesus' death.
If your point was that they were gathered by someone to hear what "Jehovah" would say, my first response would be that this was a spurious inclusion of the name. The most recent extant texts do not contain the Tetragrammaton in Acts 10. The New World Translation Translation Committee could not possibly have translated the name Jehovah into these verses.
The second response would be that the fact that friends and intimate acquaintances were present did not mean someone had preached to them, it simply meant that someone had invited others to hear someone who was coming to preach.
Paul included the teaching on baptisms (plural) as among the foundational teachings of Christianity, and this points up why I say Jehovah's Witnesses do not even accurately understand the foundational teachings. (Hebrews 6:1, 2) Because I now recognize their lack of basic understanding of the "elementary principles" of Christ I can't even imagine why I ever thought Jehovah's Witnesses were Christians.
I had to leave JWs to become a Christian.
A thought came to me about what you mentioned: Cornelius did not know of whom he would learn and he didn't know the person who would be teaching him. He only knew a person's name and the city where the person lived. Neither his alms nor his prayers were offered to the God of the Jews, he was neither a Jew nor a proselyte—both of these groups were already becoming Christians (see Acts 2).
His "preaching" about supernatural occurrences could not have been other than what he related to Peter, which can't be construed as preaching about Christ by any means. If anything, it was preaching about Simon from Joppa, a tanner, by the sea. "Preaching" about someone coming to preach isn't really what I consider preaching.
I submit that Cornelius didn't deliver a sermon to these friends and relatives, he didn't know a sermon to deliver.