Is questioning at the bookstudy still allowed?

by yaddayadda 18 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • yaddayadda

    I remember when I was a kid it wasn't unusual for someone to ask a question of the conductor during the bookstudy. Not that often but occasionally. In my most recent years as a dub I can't recall anyone ever asking any questions.

    Did the Society stop the practice? How on earth can they justify calling the bookstudy a bible discussion?

    If not, then why aren't you allowed to ask questions at the other meetings?

  • moshe

    I only recall newly baptised witnesses asking questions- that was before they the code of JW meeting ettiqutte- "don't embarrass or make the Elder in charge look foolish by askin' questions he can't answer"

  • purplesofa

    i really hated this kind of teaching.

    It is boring

    and if you do not understand something fully you cannot ask a question.


  • looking_glass

    I don't think questioning was ever allowed. I remember my mom raising her hand and asking a question and later getting called out by the BS conductor. She told him where to stick it but she never dared to ask a question again!

  • Arthur

    The "Book Study" is basically a pre-scripted indoctrination session which is intended to look like a Bible study. There is no such thing as a group Bible study in the JW universe. It is Watchtower Doctrinal studies given the name "Bible studies". You already know what the answer is supposed to be before the question is even asked. It's sort of like when you see a TIDE commercial that has those stain removing tests with their leading competitors. Guess which detergent always wins the test?

  • blondie

    Questioning on an official WT level at any meetings has not been allowed for more than 50 years or longer. Good JWs know that if they have a question that is not answered in the material, that it will be addressed after the meeting, either immediately, or the conductor will get back to the person at a later time.

    I was at a book study attended for the first time by someone's Bible student who did not know that "rule" and asked a question and persisted. The conductor had to tell them that their questions would be answered later by the JW studying with them or by the conductor later (not necessarily that evening). The student had been used to going off the material on their personal study and at a bible meeting at their church. Needless to say the student did not come back to the meeting again and stopped their study.

    Actually the WTS frowns on JWs going outside the assigned material in a one-on-one study with a non-JW as well.


  • VM44

    From --VM44

    "Legalistic authoritarianism shows itself in the confusion of the Christian principle of unity with the human insistence on unanimity. Unity is a profound, even mystical quality. It takes great effort to achieve, yet mere effort will never produce it; it is a source of great security, yet demands great risk.

    "Unanimity, on the other hand is very tidy. It can be measured, monitored, and enforced. It is largely external, whereas unity is essentially internal. Its primarily goal is correct behavior, while unity's is a right spirit. Unanimity insists on many orthodoxies in addition to those of belief and behavior, including orthodoxy of experience and vocabulary. That is, believers are expected to come to God in similar ways, to have similar experiences with God and to use accepted phrases in describing those experiences....

    "Ultimately, unanimity is impossible. It is brittle where unity is flexible and therefore strong. A single dissenter destroys it (so the dissenter may have to be dealt with harshly for the good of the group). For this reason, real questions are generally discouraged. Phony questions, however, where the answer is known by all, are part of pleasurable ritual. They are asked and answered in a wonderful nonthreatening confirmation of 'group think.'"

    -Daniel Taylor's The Myth of Certainty

  • parakeet

    ***real questions ... are asked and answered in a wonderful nonthreatening confirmation of 'group think.'"
    The author must never have attended a JW book study. There was nothing wonderful about getting the same boring crap stuffed down your throat week after week.

  • uwishufish

    My 200 level physics class was like this. The only problems the teacher would work on the board were the examples in the book, so she just copied directly out of the book. She couldn't answer any side questions.

    So the book study and phy221 left many questions to be answered.

  • SirNose586

    One bookstudy, two sisters asked questions of the conductor. He's Brooklyn-trained, but was still somewhat irritated at being asked questions during the study.

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