Time, may be of the essence....
Im glad you joined too PP. :)
They get most of their "new light" from old commentaries. Sadly, I think that says all that needs to be said.
How are they able to come to WTBS or "annointed" only doctrinal application in the New Testament such as you would find in the Revelation Climax Book? I can't imagine that their application would be anything remotely close to what is referenced in those commentaries.
I remember reading in COC that 'worldy commentaries are used but I had no idea that the Writing Dept is still using them.
I often wondered that. Until I actually read the commentaries. And you see that most of the writers believe themselves to be part of a select group of chosen christians, the body of Christ........ And the typical JW interpretation was "they thought it applied to them and other Christians, but since we know we are the only true Christians, it only can rightly apply to us - after all, we are the only true priestly class". In fact, if my memory serves correctly, there is a WT which references all other priests as "usurpers", or some such slur. After this, add to the mix Fred Franz Prophetic Pictures, and you have a rather unique systematic theology.
I know what Witnesses would say about this. Hard to believe? Too outlandish to be true?
I truly wish it was.
How amazing that the writing department use Stott's commentaries, I'm sure he would be surprised! After I left I got myself quite a few commentaries, mostly published by IVP, and one or two systematic theologies. I was impressed by the genuine efforts at scholarship that went into them compared to wt publications.
I wonder how most elders would react if they visited a bro or sis and saw a whole collection of NT commentaries on the shelf? How ironic.
I often wondered that. Until I actually read the commentaries. And you see that most of the writers believe themselves to be part of a select group of chosen christians, the body of Christ........ And the typical JW interpretation was "they thought it applied to them and other Christians, but since we know we are the only true Christians, it only can rightly apply to us - after all, we are the only true priestly class".
LOL, the same struck me when looking at different interpretations of Revelation and identifying, say, Babylon the Great. The Catholics saw it as corrupt and evil imperial Rome, the Protestants saw it as corrupt and evil Roman Catholicism and Popery, and JWs saw it as all religion (corrupt and evil) other than themselves!
Btw, kudos for taking a stand!
PP, thanks for the posts again.
It is incredible that most of those at Bethel use all these excellent non WT biblical resources yet do not perceive the gospel.
They stumble over Jesus and they disobey the message 1 Peter 2:7-9
I had eSword on my PC a few years back but I am on a Mac now and use a web site online which might be even better http://biblos.com/
Lately I have been using the ESV Study Bible which is excellent. To get the study notes online you will need to buy a bible but here is a taster from their "Articles" section you could find useful.
The Bible and Religious Cults
Almost every book in the NT has something to say about false beliefs and those who advocate them. We are warned, e.g., about false prophets (Matt. 7:15–16; 24:11), false christs (Matt. 24:5, 24; Mark 13:22), a different Jesus and a different spirit (2 Cor. 11:4), false apostles (2 Cor. 11:13–15), and “another gospel” (Gal. 1:8). With so many warnings, it is clear God knew that many false teachers would come, and that he did not want his people to be deceived (cf. Eph. 4:14; 2 John 7). In what follows, notable deceptions of prominent cults will be summarized, along with a brief biblical response.
From the viewpoint of those who hold to historic, evangelical Christianity, a “cult” is any religious movement that claims to be derived from the Bible and/or the Christian faith, and that advocates beliefs that differ so significantly with major Christian doctrines that two consequences follow: (1) The movement cannot legitimately be considered a valid “Christian” denomination because of its serious deviation from historic Christian orthodoxy. (2) Believing the doctrines of the movement is incompatible with trusting in the Jesus Christ of the Bible for the salvation that comes by God's grace alone (Eph. 2:8–9). By this traditional understanding of the word “cult,” the following groups described are “cults,” though this does not imply that they share the extremely oppressive, authoritarian, life-controlling, and often immoral practices that are found in what the secular world calls “cults,” using the term in a more extreme sense.
The divine name. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God's one true name—the name by which he must be identified—is Jehovah. Biblically, however, God is identified by many names, including: God (Hb. ’elohim; Gen. 1:1), God Almighty (Hb. ’El Shadday; Gen. 17:1), Lord (Hb. ’Adonay; Ps. 8:1), and Lord of hosts (Hb. yhwh tseba’ot; 1 Sam. 1:3). In NT times, Jesus referred to God as “Father” (Gk. Pater; Matt. 6:9), as did the apostles (1 Cor. 1:3).
The Trinity. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Trinity is unbiblical because the word is not in the Bible and because the Bible emphasizes that there is one God. Biblically, while it is true that there is only one God (Isa. 44:6; 45:18; 46:9; John 5:44; 1 Cor. 8:4;James 2:19), it is also true that three persons are called God in Scripture: the Father (1 Pet. 1:2), Jesus (John 20:28; Heb. 1:8), and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3–4). Each of these three possesses the attributes of deity—including omnipresence (Ps. 139:7; Jer. 23:23–24;Matt. 28:20), omniscience (Ps. 147:5; John 16:30; 1 Cor. 2:10–11), omnipotence (Jer. 32:17; John 2:1–11; Rom. 15:19), and eternality (Ps. 90:2; Heb. 9:14; Rev. 22:13). Still further, each of the three is involved in doing the works of deity—such as creating the universe: the Father (Gen. 1:1; Ps. 102:25), the Son (John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2), and the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4; Ps. 104:30). The Bible indicates that there is three-in-oneness in the godhead (Matt. 28:19; cf. 2 Cor. 13:14). Thus doctrinal support for the Trinity is compellingly strong.
Jesus Christ. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was created by Jehovah as the archangel Michael before the physical world existed, and is a lesser, though mighty, god. Biblically, however, Jesus is eternally God (John 1:1; 8:58; cf. Ex. 3:14) and has the exact same divine nature as the Father (John 5:18; 10:30; Heb. 1:3). Indeed, a comparison of the OT and NT equates Jesus with Jehovah (compare Isa. 43:11 with Titus 2:13; Isa. 44:24 with Col. 1:16; Isa. 6:1–5 with John 12:41). Jesus himself created the angels (Col. 1:16; cf. John 1:3; Heb. 1:2, 10) and is worshiped by them (Heb. 1:6).
The incarnation. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that when Jesus was born on earth, he was a mere human and not God in human flesh. This violates the biblical teaching that in the incarnate Jesus, “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9; cf. Phil. 2:6–7). The word for “fullness” (Gk. pleroma) carries the idea of the sum total. “Deity” (Gk. theotes) refers to the nature, being, and attributes of God. Therefore, the incarnate Jesus was the sum total of the nature, being, and attributes of God in bodily form. Indeed, Jesus was Immanuel, or “God with us” (Matt. 1:23; cf. Isa. 7:14; John 1:1, 14, 18; 10:30; 14:9–10).
Resurrection. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was resurrected spiritually from the dead, but not physically. Biblically, however, the resurrected Jesus asserted that he was not merely a spirit but had a flesh-and-bone body (Luke 24:39; cf. John 2:19–21). He ate food on several occasions, thereby proving that he had a genuine physical body after the resurrection (Luke 24:30, 42–43; John 21:12–13). This was confirmed by his followers who physically touched him (Matt. 28:9; John 20:17).
The second coming. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the second coming was an invisible, spiritual event that occurred in the year 1914. Biblically, however, the yet-future second coming will be physical, visible (Acts 1:9–11; cf. Titus 2:13), and will be accompanied by visible cosmic disturbances (Matt. 24:29–30). Every eye will see him (Rev. 1:7).
The Holy Spirit. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force of God and not a distinct person. Biblically, however, the Holy Spirit has a mind (Rom. 8:27), emotions (Eph. 4:30), and will (1 Cor. 12:11)—the three primary attributes of personality. Moreover, personal pronouns are used of him (Acts 13:2). Also, he does things that only a person can do, including: teaching (John 14:26), testifying (John 15:26), commissioning (Acts 13:4), issuing commands (Acts 8:29), and interceding (Rom. 8:26). The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (Matt. 28:19).
Salvation. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that salvation requires faith in Christ, association with God's organization (i.e., their religion), and obedience to its rules. Biblically, however, viewing obedience to rules as a requirement for salvation nullifies the gospel (Gal. 2:16–21; Col. 2:20–23). Salvation is based wholly on God's unmerited favor (grace), not on the believer's performance. Good works are the fruit or result, not the basis, of salvation (Eph. 2:8–10; Titus 3:4–8).
Two redeemed peoples. Jehovah's Witnesses believe there are two peoples of God: (1) the Anointed Class (144,000) will live in heaven and rule with Christ; and (2) the “other sheep” (all other believers) will live forever on a paradise earth. Biblically, however, a heavenly destiny awaits all who believe in Christ (John 14:1–3; 17:24; 2 Cor. 5:1; Phil. 3:20; Col. 1:5; 1 Thess. 4:17; Heb. 3:1), and these same people will also dwell on the new earth (1 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1–4).
No immaterial soul. Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that humans have an immaterial nature. The “soul” is simply the life-force within a person. At death, that life-force leaves the body. Biblically, however, the word “soul” is multifaceted. One key meaning of the term is man's immaterial self that consciously survives death (Gen. 35:18; Rev. 6:9–10). Unbelievers are in conscious woe (Matt. 13:42; 25:41, 46; Luke 16:22–24; Rev. 14:11) while believers are in conscious bliss in heaven (1 Cor. 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:6–8; Phil. 1:21–23;Rev. 7:17; 21:4).
Hell. Jehovah's Witnesses believe hell is not a place of eternal suffering but is rather the common grave of humankind. The wicked are annihilated—snuffed out of conscious existence forever. Biblically, however, hell is a real place of conscious, eternal suffering (Matt. 5:22; 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev. 14:11; 20:10, 14).
Thanks for the info, I had noticed that many of the new lights of the WT seemed to be "returning" to the old light of older commentaries but I never really made the connection.
There is a series of bible commentaries that are very thorough and very well done:
The World Biblical Commentary
I am reading David Aune's commentary on Revelation and it is an amazing work, 3 volumes and rich in history, theology and understanding.
I thought you meant old commentaries from WTS publications only!!!
I wasn't going to click again on this thread after yesterday's aimless walk but I am sooooo happy I did!!!
Thank you for sharing your experiences!
thank you for sharing that with me, i will look that up.if you have any other suggestions, please let me know
Yknot - sadly, I hope I haven't given you a false impression. Primacy is given to the old WT "commentaries", written by Fred Franz, above all things, if they are discussing prophetic pictures that show that Jehovah's Witnesses are the special people of God. "New Light" is spun with that in mind above all. At some point, no doubt, we will all read another WT that shows how Eliezer's camels that Rachel watered, prefigured the other sheep being fed delightful words of truth by the faithful slave represented by the Governing Body today, while Issac is jesus, Eliezer is the holy spirit, abraham is Jehovah, etc etc etc, and witnesses will rejoice at this "new light" not realising A) it is years old B) it is utter claptrap. "company men" are more important then people who actually are unbiased.