Generation - topic dedicated to debator

by teel 77 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro

    debator -

    Couple of comments for you:

    I agree that the GB doesn't have apostolic authority but as a lifelong JW and having served as an elder (stepped down a couple of years ago because I could not support teaching things I didn't agree with such as the generation teaching and 1914, etc - still attending meetings) I always believed that JWs were the restoration of "true Christianity" and that the GB was functioning in a similar fashion as the apostles did in the first century. I don't have specific WT quotes at my fingertips but that is certainly inferred if not directly stated. The 1919 appointment of the WTS reps as the faithful and discreet slave teaching seems to indicate that while they don't have "gifts" of prophecy it was not because Holy Spirit wasn't using them, it was because all the prophecy necessary was already given. But, the decisions rendered by the GB are given the same weight as decisions rendered by the apostlic counsel in Acts. Are you saying that's not the case? Just curious because every JW I know believes that disobeying the GB is akin to disobeying Jehovah.

    Regarding whether they are a false prophet, I agree with you that they have misinterpretated prophecy but have never really put something new out there. However, the weight of their misinterpretation is serious and the repercussions of disagreeing with their interpretation is above and beyond anything written in Scripture. So, in this way, I think they have overstepped their bounds. For example, if I were to report to my local BOE that I do not believe that Jesus presence began in 1914, I could be disfellowshipped. Harboring even private doubts (according to the Flock book) are a basis for judicial action. Do you think Paul (someone with full apostilic authority) would have treated someone like that. Did Jesus disavow Peter for denying him or Thomas for asking him to prove that it was really him? So, if those guys didn't drop the hammer, how is it that the WTS can demand such obiedence?

    A study of early Christianity will show that the first century congregations did not have the high level of organization that we see within the WTS today. Paul undertook missionary missions at the direction of Jesus, not the congregation in Jerusalem. The name Christian came from Antioch not the apostlic counsel. I agree that the Scriptures do talk about folks taking the lead in the congregations, but disagree that it mandates the level of control exercised by the WTS.

    The basic premise of the religion is that Jesus returned in 1914 (according the prophesy based on a timeframe mentioned in Daniel and tied to the destruction of Jerusalem by Bablyon) and that he inspected all religions that claimed to be his followers on earth. Out of all the religions, he choose what is now JWs because at that time, they were teaching the closest thing to the "truth". Since 1919, JWs have functioned as the earthly part of God's Organization. If the basic premise is true, the rest doesn't really matter. If it's not true, then the religion is just like any other religion.

    After investigating, I've come to the conclusion that the basic premise isn't true because:

    1) there is nothing in Daniel that would even hint that the 7 times could be applied anything beyond the initial prophsey (that Neb would be brought down for 7 years and then restored, which is what happened).

    2) there is no evidence that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607. Rather all available evidence points to 20 years earlier. And, there is a wealth of documents and records, none of which indicate the missing 20 years.

    3) there is no evidence of any direct involvement from God regarding the operation of the organization. Every other time Jehovah used a group of folks or an individual, there was direct involvement (Noah, Moses, Jacob, nation of Israel, apostles). Can you give me an example from the Bible where someone was used by God and could not point to some supernatural proof? I would expect that the restoration of the true Christian faith would have some sort of evidence of divine approval. Isn't that a reasonable expectation?

    If it could be proved to me that the basic premise is in fact true, I'd return to being an elder and aggressively pushing the WTS as God's organization. Sorry for the length and I'm glad you're here having a discussion.

  • TD


    Thanks for both your reply and the tone of your reply. I appreciate it.

    Could you elaborate more on why you believe that letters written to individuals and congregations at a time in the first century when active guidance from God was an integral part of Christian life are "Extremely clear" instruction for today?

    First century Christianity was very different than any church today. To take one example, Paul indicates that miraculous healing was very real in the 1st century. (1 Cor 12) James instructs church elders to anoint the sick with oil and pray not just for forgivness of sins, but for actual physical healing as well. (5:14) He assures us that "..the prayer of faith shall save the sick.." (5:16a)

    Now I understand perfectly well why your church elders do not and cannot comply with this instruction today. That's not the point. The point is that in the first century this was both a responsibility of the elders and something that members of the congregation could reasonably expect from their elders. James was very clear on this.

    You've shown me scriptures outlining the authority structure in the first century. I don't disagree that this structure existed. What I would point out to you in return is that along with that authority came responsibilities that nobody can shoulder today. Claiming a level of authority beyond your ability to discharge the responsibilities that go along with it is a recipe for disaster and nobody has any business doing this. That's why we have strict penalties in modern society for impersonating an officer, practicing medicine without a license, etc.

    It's the same with church authority. As a real life example of how this can cause lasting harm, consider what befell your church in the 50's and early 60's. Right around the time that doctors discovered that gamma globulin was an effective treatment for neonatal immunological deficiency syndrome, your church declared the acceptance of this fraction to be unscriptural. (See for example the Awake! of January 8 1954 page 2 and The Watchtower of September 15, 1961 pages 558,559) Your church published a fiery pamphlet in 1961 entitled, "Blood Medicine and the Law of God" which stated that transfusion endangered one's hopes of a resurrection. In other words, children who were transfused and died anyway might not be resurrected at all.

    However between the years 1961 and 1964, your church changed it's mind on all this. The acceptance of gamma globulin became a "Matter of conscience." Today, nobody thinks twice about accepting preparations containing this fraction. Gamma globulin is everywhere in medicine from post exposure vaccines to tetanus boosters to allergy shots.

    How did your church know that accepting gamma globulin was a sin? How did your church know that God would prefer that a child die rather than accept it? How did you church know that accepting gamma globulin would endanger a person's chances of a resurrection?

    There is no way your church could have known any of these things without active guidance from God himself. Your church exercised a level of authority far beyond their ability to accept responsibility for and justified that exercise using the exact same scriptures you've given me.

    Therefore I would say that reading me scriptures from Hebrews, 1 Timothy and 1 Peter is not really a satisfactory answer. The first century Christians were not limited to passive guidance from past writings. They had ways to hold to inspired teaching that we don't have today and this was reflected in their responsibilities and organizational structure.

  • debator

    Hi doubting bro

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I will try and address all your points but feel free to ask again if I miss any. Do you accept that the only bible we have for guidance is both the hebrew and greek scriptures?

    While our leaders are not inspired (please note from previous posts I still allow them to be spirit guided and biblically guided) I see no reason to doubt their authority as directed by bible understanding and in fact the bible gives instructions on appointing overseers and elders. Then tells us to imitate them and submit to their authority. This then makes our authority a self-sustaining thing until Jesus's return.

    as an interesting side point note that Paul also gave Timothy instructions on his health that didn't include spiritual healing for illnesses.

    1 Timothy 5:23 (New International Version)

    23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

    showing the healings where not used in all cases. If you read through the greek scriptures It's clear the spirit gifts were used under specific situations and outside of this they still functioned as normal christians needing practical daily measures for daily life.

    The bible is our guidebook to how we function whether we have specific spirit gifts or not. Obviously we have to work around our lack of the major spirit gifts but the greek scriptures are about more than healing, tongues, and prophecies. Paul is a deeply practical man and addresses daily life from marriage and bringing up children to appointing elders and setting up congregations. He wrote these letters that were sent out as stringly worded instructions for these congregations.

    2 Corinthians 10:10
    For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing."

    And the consequences of not recognising the teachings of the apostles were great.

    2 Thessalonians 3:6
    In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keepaway from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

    There are so many scriptures on usage on authority within the congregation instructions I could pick a multitude of examples.

    on apointing elders

    Titus 1:5.

    5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint [a] elders in every town, as I directed you.

    on divisive people

    Titus 3:10

    10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.

    imitating men taking the lead

    Hebrews 13:7
    Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

    assiging tasks within the church recognising this structured authority within themselves and contrary to your point they agreed where they should preach within themselves under Jesus's direction.

    Galatians 2:9-10 (New International Version)

    9 James, Peter [a] and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

    The more I read the Greek scriptures the more I can see a very structured religion certainly it is at it's birth but the structure and unity between the leaders and those under them is very clear to see. Like in the examples you use like in Acts among others.

    The bible allows for double-fold prophecies but prophecy including usage of bible chronology is a subjective and certainly not an exact science Biblically it is only 100% in hindsight. I accept if you personally have doubts on this but allowing divisiveness even over prophecy is not a biblical stance.

    607bc is a bible drawn date. your "wealth of documents" boils down to only about 1 or 2 contended secular sources that have been written by men not inspired at that time.

    This is link that explains it much better than I could. Let me ask, you do you prefer Christendoms abstaining completely from using bible prophecy at all? This is another area were these days Witnesses are unique. I see many threads trying divebomb 607bc I see none offering alternate explanations on bible-based chronology.

    If you are demanding a supernatural equivalent of God reaching out and picking someone out, giving him powers then you are asking for the impossible in these times. The only ones with apparent miraculous gifts in these times are false prophets.

    Matthew 24:24
    For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.

    I myself and satisfied from the amount of Bible truths witnesses have that they are God's people in this time but I fully appreciate that you would have to decide for yourself on this.

    I have enjoyed discussing this with you too.

  • debator

    Hi again TD

    Thank you for you reply.

    I think some of your points are covered in my response to doubting bro above but to continue.

    Major spiritual Gifts aside this does not negate any of Pauls books outlining our having leaders to obey and how to appoint them so becoming a self-sustaining command.

    I am confused are your arguments that the inspired letters of Paul were only written for first century christians?

    While I agree no authority even our own shepherds is free of imperfection and the ability to make mistakes but I do not see this as unworkable. Paul had to deal with this as well and gave instructions on how to deal with elders under rebuke.

    1 Timothy 5:19-20 (New International Version)

    19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.

    While we are not first century christians Bible instructions are clearly meant to be used until Armageddon at least.

    Hebrews 10:25
    Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

    Now onto blood fractions they were a grey area which was forced by medicine itself. When is blood no longer blood?

    You are talking about a 10 year period between 1954 and 64 in your particular example? I have tried to reseach gamma globulin but coming up with it being a very young science in those days and certainly not the widespread usage we have now so very few people would have been effected, if any. You may have to provide links going that far back in time. I couldn't find any accept people worried about the prolonged effects from test gamma injections given at that time.

    I found a similar thing on heart transplants after researching found that it was only around the time when witnesses allowed transplants that transplants actually started prolonging life more than a few months and without a lot of suffering.

    Like doubting bro you seem to be asking an inspiration level of understanding from shepherds while acknowledging the bible indicates we will not have it.

    Could you only follow leaders that are inspired of God? well we did have the apostles but they passed on the responsibility to elders and overseers appointed from among us that wouldn't have the major spirit gifts.

    It is also clear the spirit gifts did not make the apostles or elders perfect or mistake free.

    I'll be honest I don't see the argument of "we can't do this that or the other" as valid reasons to ignore written scripture for our instruction and guidance. Even if we still do it imperfectly.

    I do not see past writings as passive.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,

    It is why I think following truthful bible teachings is a very real way to find God's people in this time.

  • TD


    Major spiritual Gifts aside this does not negate any of Pauls books outlining our having leaders to obey and how to appoint them so becoming a self-sustaining command. I am confused are your arguments that the inspired letters of Paul were only written for first century christians?

    I think there is a huge difference between the idea that the canonnical epistles could in a loose sense be written "for us" versus the idea that they are written to us.

    Paul advised Timothy to drink wine because of his stomach. Okay.. What exactly was the nature of Timothy's ailment? Did he have an ulcer? Was this good advice or bad advice? Did it work? Should we try it today? We don't know and there's no way that we can know. This was a personal exchange between Paul and Timothy.

    Speaking again to Timothy, Paul mentions two men named Jannes and Jambres who resisted Moses. Who were these men? How did they resist Moses? What did Moses do? What happened to these men?

    Jude mentions a dispute between Michael the Arcangel and the Devil over Moses' body. What was the nature of this dispute? How was it resolved? Who prevailed? What became of Moses body?

    The point here is that these writers assume special knowledge on the part of their intended audience which we don't have ourselves for the simple reason that we are not the intended audience. If we were, then the greetings of people like Aristarchus and Epaphras would actually mean something to us.

    Therefore I don't understand how it can be asserted (As you appear to do with Doubting Bro above) that the epistles speak to us directly. They clearly don't. We are at best, eavesdroppers on conversations nearly two thousand years old. Application to our day would be via concatenation predicated on how closely our situation parallels the original.

    I've already given the example of healings. Although healing was not universal in the first century, James clearly implies that Christians could reasonably expect their elders to at least try. Obviously that's not expected today and there is no parallel.

    The cessation of other gifts of the spirit would have other far more serious implications:

    You are talking about a 10 year period between 1954 and 64 in your particular example? I have tried to reseach gamma globulin but coming up with it being a very young science in those days and certainly not the widespread usage we have now so very few people would have been effected, if any.

    Briefly, gamma globulins are a family of blood proteins that attach themselves to and deactivate blood borne pathogens. Their use dates back to the Second World War and even beyond because they were actually being used before anyone really understood what they were. For example, it was know that a serum derived from the blood of someone who had recently had a rare disease, would render another person temporarily immune long before the mechanism was actually understood. Similarly, it was known that a serum derived from the blood of a horse that had been bitten by a poisonous snake would neutralize the effect of the venom in a human victim.

    As more sophisticated ways for extracting gamma globulins from blood were developed, more uses opened up. I mentioned the example of neonatal immunological deficiency syndrome. A baby with this condition has no natural immunity. They can have a sniffle in the morning, a raging fever by noon, double pnemonia by evening and not make it though the night. Injections of gamma globulin were used to combat this condition and this proved to be very safe and very, very effective --- not at all comparable to a risky procedure like heart transplant. I mention this particular scenario, because I witnessed it first hand and know what I'm talking about. People were affected by this -- some very badly.

    You can point out that no one in 1954 really knew what the next few years would bring and what the situation would be like by the early 60's. But that is exactly my point. The decision your church made required a prescience that only God can provide and would only have existed in Christianity during the first century. Those gifts are gone and with them, the authority to make these types of decisions.

    I'll be honest I don't see the argument of "we can't do this that or the other" as valid reasons to ignore written scripture for our instruction and guidance. Even if we still do it imperfectly.

    That's got to be the most concise epitome of how your church erred vis a vis gamma globulin (And several other medical treatments) I've ever heard. I don't quite know what to say except to point out for a second time that it is foolhardy to claim a level of authority that carries responsibilities which no human can shoulder today. Does the concept of "bloodguilt" mean nothing anymore? Since when has imperfection ever been a viable defense from that charge?

    I do not see past writings as passive.

    When I say "passive" and "active" I am referring to God himself. I proposed this model as a viable way that religious organizations today could truthfully claim to be guided by God without actually satisfying the definition of inspiration. It's the difference between getting to a location by reading and studying a map versus having someone actually tell you when to turn left and when to turn right.

    The analogy here should be obvious. Most Christians today would consider the Bible to be the "Map." You can read and study it and in a sense say that you were "guided" by God. But since God does not actively communicate with you in any way during this process, you can truthfully disavow divine inspiration.

    If you don't think this model adequetely describes the situation, I would be interested in hearing any alternative explanations you may have, provided they can be expressed in concrete terms. Can you actually explain a transfer of information between God and humans by starting with God and working your way down to man without satisfying the definition of divine inspiration? Frankly I don't think it can be done. It doesn't matter if was "direction" or "guidance" or "motivation" or just a "suggestion" or "feeling" If God takes an active part in this process, causing the person to think, feel, say or do something that they would not otherwise have done, then the definition of inspiration will be satisified.

    When it comes to divine guidance, it really sounds to me like you are grasping at, but never quite touching something very elusive and mercurial.

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro


    Thanks for the reply. One point you didn't respond to in my post was the point about disfellowshipping those that asked questions or had differences of opinion. In Paul's list of offenses that would cause the congregation to view the wrong doer as a non-Christian (I don't want to sidetrack the conversation regarding how the disfellowshipped are treated because it's not really pertaint to the discussion), no where is harboring private doubts listed. Yet, the Flock book (assuming you have access) lists that as a disfellowshipping offense. I really think they overstep bounds that even Jesus or Paul didn't cross which seems to imply the GB believes they have full apostlic authority to generate rules beyond what is written in the Bible.

    I understand your insisting there is a difference between spirit or bible guided and inspired. The bible condemns murder and theft. So, you can say that you're bible guided if you refuse to do those things based on those writings. However, inspired would be enforcing a rule detailing what constitutes theft. In this sense, the WTS wants folks to follow the rules they promulgate in the same fashion that they expect JWs to follow something written in the scriptures. TD mentioned blood fractions. Over the years, this has changed many times. The WTS has put out specific rules regarding which treatments are acceptable and which are not. However, shouldn't an individual get to decide what they think constitutes "blood" and what is broken down sufficiently enough to say its not blood any longer? If I accepted a blood fraction such as hemoglobin prior to 2004 and confessed to the BOE, I could have been disfellowshipped losing family and friends. However, after 2004, I could take that treatment without sanction. So, if I was convinced that the WTS was being guided by Holy Spirit to say hemoglobin was scriptually wrong and died as a result, who's responsible? Me? I guess in one sense because I would have put faith in men. But I think that's the point, the WTS asks us to faithfully follow their words as if they are inspired and back that up with the possibility of being shunned. If they were asking on direct orders of Jehovah (thus inspired) then fine. Otherwise, it's their opinion and while they are free to put it out there, they overstep "guidance" by enforcing their opinions.

    Regarding the appointment of elders, having been one for a number of years, I understand how this works. But, even then, it's a bit disingenuous. Many in the congregation believe that elders are directly appointed by holy spirit. In year's past, this is how the WTS presented the process. Now, they've back off a bit saying that elders are appointed by holy spirit in the sense the qualifications are set out in Tim & Titus which was written under inspiration. That's really not the same. Quite frankly, as an elder in several congregations, what happens is the secretary brings in the box with the time records and when a brother's name is brought up, those records are pulled to see if he and his wife (and kids if they're publishers) are reporting at least 10 hours a month (on average). If no, then the discussion is dropped. Yet, neither Tim or Titus mentions this as a qualification to being an elder. In places I've been, the only other points of discussion are usually 1) does he give decent talks, 2) comment regularly, 3) visible to the congregation, 4) will he get along with the rest of the BOE or be tough to work with. The rest of the qualifications are usually not even discussed.

    Actually, when I read the entire Greek scriptures in context, I saw just the opposite of high organization. The scripture in Galations 2 is a great example. So you have James, Peter and John (reputed to be pillars in the Jerusalem congregation) speaking with Paul and Barnabas talking about where they should preach. They (everyone) agreed that Paul was called directly by Jesus to be an apostle to the nations and that's where he would go while they (everyone) agreed that James, Peter & John would stick with the Jews. Under WT structure, Paul & Barnabas would have been told what to do. Read that whole chapter and tell me if Paul believed in any sense that he reported to the Jerusalem elders. The WTS often refers to Paul functioning in a similar fashion to a CO today. Now, what do you think would happen if a CO told the branch "Nah, the spirit is leading me to go here instead of where you want to send me"? We both know that brother wouldn't be in the circuit work much longer. I know what you're going to say, "it doesn't work that way today". I agree, but then you have to admit that the structure of the WTS today is much different than the 1st century congregation because Jesus played an active role in directing the work with individual members as opposed to the claim that he is working only with the GB.

    Yes, the individual congregations were organized in terms of having fellowship, taking care of its members, buidling each other up in faith, etc. But I don't see anything above that. In Revelations, Jesus directs counsel to individual congregations. Why? Because it was the early Christian believe that the individual congregations answered only to Jesus as the head. If you can point out where the middle man is, I'd love to see it.

    As for disagreeing over prophcey, having that correct I believe would be the mark that an organization is operating under spirit direction. If they're not sure, they should say it and not make a big deal of it. But, saying that the passages in the book of Revelation are fulfilled in the WTS (such as the 7 seals being 7 conventions - see Revelation - It's Grand Climax book) and then expecting everyone to just accept it is difficult to swallow. I see the WTS as the ones that would look to punish those who attempt to act as the Beoreans and demand proof for such high claims. Obviously, since I have family in I just avoid discussing such troubling items because I don't want to be shunned.

    As for 607, I've read 3rd witnesses arguments and there's quite a bit of circular logic. There are way more than 2 secular sources and if you look in the Kingdom Come book, there's an appendix that admits there is a large amount of evidence pointing away from 607. Even the website you referred to admits in the opening paragraph that there isn't secular evidence supporting 607. If 607 were such a pivoital date and God desires "all to be saved" why isn't there more evidence? If they discover evidence that puts the destruction of Jerusalem at 607, then while that still doesn't prove that Daniels 7 times prophsey had another fulfillment, at least it's something. Just saying because I said so is fine when a parent is talking to a 2 year old but it's not fine on matters of such importance. I want more proof than that.

    I agree that it's fine to think that JWs are God's chosen people. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to disagree (at least to anyone I know) without serious, long lasting repercussions. I really think that's the biggest shame of all.

  • debator

    Hi doubting bro and TD

    I have read your replies and personal opinions but I do not agree with them. When is an organisation not an organisation? The first century christians were organised they worked together they ALL used Pauls letters for instructions as they were sent around.

    The bible is a warts and all read when it comes to men citing the good, as well as the bad and disagreements. This is true of the hebrew scriptures as well as the greek scriptures.

    For TD, the established usage of bible books beyond the generation they were written for was set with the hebrew scriptures. Jesus himself used them 100's of years past their writing so unless you are arguing that Pauls writings are not inspired?

    on Jesus when he used the hebrew scriptures

    Luke 24:32
    They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

    On Paul when he wrote under inspiration for our instruction.

    2 Peter 3:16
    He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    for Dbro, Imperfection in men is not a disqualification to shepherd! it wasn't for Moses or David, or Paul so looking at our shepherds and saying they are just imperfect men so I won't follow them is foolishness. Someone has to govern and shepherd it is a gift.

    Romans 12:6-8 (New International Version)

    6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his [a] faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

    What is warned against is Division, there is no unity with Divisions we have to agree amongst ourselves.

    Jesus words to his annointed apostles

    Matthew 18:19
    "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

    1 Corinthians 1:10
    [ Divisions in the Church ] I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

    but what happened to first century men that didn't like what Paul or the other apostles their shepherds taught and caused divisions?

    Romans 16:17
    I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

    2 Thessalonians 3:6

    In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

    2 Thessalonians 3:14
    If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.

    You question practicies in the Jehovah's Witnesses that you allow in the greek scriptures?

    As for spirit inspiration (getting words directly from God) and spirit guidance both biblically and through pray I think the Bible establishes both but it is for the readers to decide.

    I have enjoyed talking to you both and your replies. Thank you.

  • TD


    I've enjoyed talking to you too. It is an exceptional JW that can be polite to people that the JW organization casts as "opposers."

    Jesus at times pointed out how prophecies in earlier writings were being fulfullied in himself, but he did not derive his authority from his application of scripture. Jesus' authority was established independently in ways that the masses who witnessed his sermons could not deny.

    Despite many words, I think the same basic disconnect remains. What is spiritual authority? Where does it come from?

    Does spiritual authority validated one's application of Scripture (e.g. Jesus)


    Does one's application of Scripture validate their spiritual authority? (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses)

    On whether I think Paul's letters are inspired or not:

    There are obviously different forms and manifestations of "inspiration" in the Bible. There are places where Moses is literally taking dictation at the behest of God himself. (17:14; 24:4; 34:27) This would true plenary inspiration. ---God talks and you write down word for word what He says. If you assume that God does not contradict himself, then when He speaks, He speaks for all time and it would be proper for future generations to understand those passages in the Bible as such

    The Pauline letters by contrast are Paul’s personal correspondence to persons and groups in the first century and are quite specific to the circumstances at hand. Paul makes little, if any claim to be directly speaking on behalf of God and even states at times that what he has written represent his own opinions. (1 Cor. 7:25; 7:40; 2 Cor. 8:10) Neither does Paul make any definite claim to be writing to an audience other than that which was immediately connected with the various special problems that caused him to write in the first place. There is not even a hint that Paul expected his letters to be read and studied by generations yet unborn.

    I think the differences between the two types of "inspiration" and how they each can legitimately be treated are obvious.

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