As a JW I was always under the impression that prior to Jesus death, all those who died had an earthly hope of resurrection. While sitting at the meeting in boredom yesterday this scripture was read to promote not pursuing riches in this system. When I read verse 15 it gives me the impression that the belief was that once you die you would awaken in the presence of God, which I take as in heaven. Any thoughts on this or did I miss something?
Did they believe in Heaven?
- Psalms 17:14 Rescue me with your hand, O Jehovah, From men of this world,* whose share is in this life,+ Those whom you fill with the good things you provide+ And who leave an inheritance to their many sons.15 But as for me, in righteousness I will see your face; I am satisfied to awaken in your presence.*+
- perhaps their beliefs was personal, : Dying old and satisfied, gathered, buried with their forefathers, or :believing god was omnipresent "If I rise up, you will be there--"
- prologos, if it was a personal belief, wouldn't that bring into question the bible being inspired? If a writer puts in his personal opinions, where else did they put in their opinions? For the record I do not believe it is inspired, merely the what ifs posed to a JW.
There was a WT session years ago that dealt with this subject. The basic lesson was this: Nobody in the OT scriptures knew anything about heaven.
What does it all mean?? MEH....
- DATA-DOG so how would they believe they would awaken in the presence of God? OR what did that mean?
The JW teaching was and still is, as far as far I know, that nobody could go to heaven (pictured by the Most Holy temple compartment) before the symbolic curtain (Jesus' flesh) was removed. This removal of the curtain was accomplished with Jesus' death.
So you're right; JWs say that those who lived before Jesus' death cannot go to heaven. However, I see your point about Ps 17:15. I have no answer for that.
I have found some ambiguous reference that it was david saying he would awaken in Jehovah's favor but another scripture I always wondered about was Psalms 90:10
The span of our life is 70 years,
But they are filled with trouble and sorrow;
They quickly pass by, and away we fly.+
Away we fly..fly where? Two references in psalms that sure seem to indicate heaven to me.
Supposedly the Jews believed in some kind of restoration prophecy. Basically they were just like every one else and believed in Valinor or Vallhalla, or Asgard or whatever...
- sloppyjoe2, how could the bible be inspired by an all knowing creator, if it contains so many factual errors? despite its majestic style? and how could it then be an ultimate authority to be used on a heaven & earth question? A figure of speech, "-- fly away--" perhaps to one of the "four corners of the earth"?
sloppyjoe2, the two passages you've mentioned are just two of many examples. One of the things that I found frustrating was really trying to read the Bible with understanding and finding so many things didn't make sense, didn't fit JW beliefs, etc.
It seemed that JWs just read the Bible just so they could say they did and they made everything they read fit their pre-existing doctrine. So they didn't read open-mindedly and let the Bible lead them; they led it.