Does anyone remember when women could be servants in the congregation?

by Bonnie_Clyde 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Bonnie_Clyde

    This was before the elder arrangement. In the 1950's our congregation servant's wife handled the accounts--by appointment from the Society. In the early 1960's it was a practice to allow a sister to handle the congregation book study if there was a shortage of brothers. In our area this was usually a daytime study. I was pioneering at the time and was almost chosen to handle a book study, but my partner was chosen instead. Again, this was an appointment from the Society.


  • Threestars

    I remember once when I was a little kid--one Tuesday noght only women showed up at the book study, except for the conductor. He told his wife she could read the paragraphs but needed to find a head covering. She didn't have a hat so she dug an old kleenex out of her purse and sat there through the evening with a snotrag on her head.

    I can't recall any women ever being given priviledges but in some places where there was a shortage of men it may have occurred. I do remember hearing about women conducting meetings in remote areas but I was told that if there were even a young teenage boy he should be made to step up to the plate, rather than let a woman do any "teaching".

  • sweetface2233

    I remember when I was like 4-6 my mother handled the accounts. I don't recall there being a shortage of brothers, in fact the congregation had been growing to the point where we had to renovate and put on an addition. That was in the mid-80s.

  • Cheetos

    I don't know I always thought it was weird to see a sister wear a head covering, I too seen them use snot rags, toliet paper and so on. It must be why Nuns wear the habit.

  • fokyc

    In 1963, Cheltenham UK - Book servant and Watchtower servant were both women,

    Worked very well.


  • erandir

    I don't personally remember this (do I sound 2000 years old?), but let's do some of that forbidden (see Sept 2007 KM) research into the Greek language of the bible and explore the 1st century church (as depicted by the biased source The New Testament).

    I'll use material from Chapter Six of my source, Truth in Translation, by Jason David BeDuhn. In a lot of bible translations/versions including the New World Translation, one scripture contains a name that has been changed from the feminine form into a made-up masculine form to support the all-males-in-positions-of-church-authority doctrine that a lot of churches try to maintain.

    Romans 16:7 (NWT) "Greet Andronicus and Junias my relatives and my fellow captives, who are men of note among the apostles and who have been in union with Christ longer than I have."

    The name Junia is a woman's name that is "well-known and common in [the Greco-Roman] culture" in which the apostle Paul was writing. (BeDuhn, 72) At the time, there is no such name "Junias" but this name was made up to provide a masculine version of Junia. Junia is referred to as an apostle here, and to have a woman as an apostle would fly in the face of an all-male church hierarchy. Therefore, this bias has crept into many translations of this scripture.

    According to BeDuhn, "Paul generally uses the term 'apostle' broadly of people who have been formally 'sent out' (the meaning of apostolos) on a mission by God or a Christian community, and who occupy a very high status in the leadership of the Christian movement." (72) Also, the NWT uses "men of note" to translate incorrectly the Greek episemoi which means prominent, outstanding, of note. The phrasing used means that the two people mentioned in the scripture are "prominent 'in (the group of) the apostles." (73) Why the NWT inserts the word "men" and changes the feminine name of "Junia" into a made-up "Junias" is suspiscious. As BeDuhn puts it: "Most translators understand that meaning, and those who find it inconceivable that a woman would be 'in (the group of) the apostles' simply write her out of the group by changing her to a man. [note 5 cited] Such a move is not translation at all. It is changing the Bible to make it agree with one's own prejudices." (73) (Note 5 from Ch. 6 reads: "The...NW [referring to the New World Translation] strengthen[s] the change by referring to both Andronicus and Junias as 'men'....")

    So, not only could women be servants in the congregation, but they could be held in high regard as apostles like Paul, spear-heading the preaching and teaching work of the early church and taking a position of leadership.


    I hope you find this tidbit of information interesting and useful. It is no wonder the WT Society wants to stifle independent research into the translation of the New World Translation. I can't wait to hear how the Sept KM Question Box part goes over this upcoming week.


  • ninja

    God help us if women get privileges in the congregation again......I mean it will be a nightmare if they handle the maps......people in Glasgow will be working territory in London

  • brinjen

    Hey Ninjy, look at your number of posts!

  • ninja

    gulp brinjy....I've been whistles nonchalantly while slowly walking away with his hands behind his back

  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    In the late fifties early sixties my mom handled accounts and parts for some meetings . My dad was in the military and she lived on bases in Beaufort ,SC ,and Cherrypoint ,NC .She and several other military wives made up a women only book study .

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