The Year of Living Biblically - JW encounter

by Shepherd Book 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Shepherd Book
    Shepherd Book

    I just finished reading the above mentioned book (author = A.J. Jacobs). As the tile indicates, Jacobs tries to follow the bible literally for an entire year. He spent 8 months worrying about the OT and 4 months on the NT. He didn't shave his beard, he wore fringes on his garments, he even refused to sit on any chair his wife sat on while she had her period.

    Anyway, througout the book, he hooks up with a lot of people who take the bible seriously. He visits the Creation Museum, he travels to Israel, he hangs out with the Amish for one day and...of course...he invites a JW into his home.

    Here are some funny/notable extracts from that portion of the book:

    Page 74: Tonight, I invited a JW into my home. I realize that this fact already puts me in the extreme minority.

    And, mind you, I didn't just idly answer the door and let a JW inside. I agressively pursued the JW. I phoned the headquarters and requested that a JW be sent to my apartment. After three call and not a little confusion on their part - it's not a common inquiry - I finally got my wish.

    Yes, I'm aware that it doesn't make much sense. It's like volunteering for jury duty or paying to see a Vin Diesel movie.

    ...They're also interesting to me becuase they are usually classified as Christian, but, like the Amish, they lean heavily on the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Page 75: [Michael, the JW who stopped by] is grateful. So grateful it's almost heartbreaking. He thanks me for having him over.

    He sits on the living room couch, leaning forward, his hands in the 'fish-was-this-big' posture. ...Michael, who works in computers at the massive JW headquarters in Brooklyn, gives me a crash course in his faith.

    The Witnesses don't celebrate Christmas or Easter, as neither holiday is mentioned in the bible. Birthdays are also out: The only two birthdays mentioned in the bible were those of evil people. ...Michael's fine with the ban, especially now. "As I get older, I don't want to be reminded of my birthday".

    Page 76: "You just tell me when you want me to go," says Michael. "I'm from the Midwest, so I'm conscious of overstaying my welcome."

    I ask him what's the most controversial part of his faith.

    "The blood transfusion issue," he says. "People think we're kooks."

    The reason is the literal translation of several verses, among them...Leviticus 7:26...which reads: "Ye shall eat no manner of blood".

    The Witnesses make an unusual argument here. They say that the word EAT should really be translated as "Consume", and that transfusion qualifies as consumption.

    As Michael points out, this is a seriously controversial. Critics say that the ban has caused numerous deaths, and the Witnesses have been the subject of several lawsuits.

    Page 77: On the other hand, there are plenty of times [in the bible] when life takes precedence over obeying rules. Jesus lashes out at the Pharisees who criticize his follwers for gathering grain on the Sabbath.

    As you might have guess, I'd make a horrible JW. ...If I needed a blood transfusion, I'd be rolling up my sleeve before the doctor finished his sentence. I'm just not faithful/brave/foolhardy enough to do otherwise.

    Finally, at 10:30 - three hours after he arrived - Michael says politely that he should let me get to sleep.

    And then it hits me: I have just done something few human beings have ever achieved. I have out-Bible-talked a JW.

  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    Funny story .....out Bible talked a JW !!!

  • lovelylil

    sounds like an interesting book. Lilly

  • Burger Time
    Burger Time

    Ba hahaha guess he realized it was easier then he first thought.

  • WTWizard

    Sounds like the witlesses aren't living up to the Bible like they claim to. True, I don't live by the Bible, but I don't claim to and I don't try to force or scam others into living up to my take on the Bible. Rather, I would have people do their own research, totally independent of what anyone else says, and draw their own conclusions.

  • sandy

    I heard this guy on NPR talking about his new book a couple months or so back and I've been meaning to pick it up. Thanks for reminding me.

    It sounds like a really great read.

  • JWdaughter

    Sounds like a fun book. I am going to look for it!

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