The JW's dependence on WT literature.

by Knowsnothing 93 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Honesty

    About 20 years ago a JW said in a Public Talk that the Bible is like a computer and you have to have a manual in order to use it.

    He whipped out a Watchtower magazine and held it up.

  • AwareBeing

    One couple in our family use to place all the pio's unused mags. All they did was smile ask a question

    that related to that mag. and 85% of the time it was placed. They were often talked to for not using

    the same presentation as everyone else, or questioned by the elders if they got the number wrong!

    The same elders who previously thanked then for unloading the counter of all the old mag's before

    the CO's inspection! While on the platform the elders complimented their publishers in the presence of

    the visiting CO for all the mag's left in the field! Sorry for all the exclamation marks, its just so twisted!

    On a final note; our couple said that the most enjoyable time they had was pioneering, getting to sit down,

    and read one scripture after another. They would rather answer peoples questions than to make a

    "Bilble Study" out of them. By now, conditions at the hall were not so favorable to be taking new ones.

    After all, if you aren't in the clique, you and "your' student were going to be going nowhere ever in the Cong.!

  • Knowsnothing

    When I went to help an elder give a study recently, we used the book "Keep in God's love". This study has been studying for over 15 years.

    We studied the appendix, and began on the first topic, "Disfellowshipping". The elder said that the faithful slave had made the provision of allowing DF people talk to their family living in the house. That the Bible made no such provision. That we must be thankful for this decision. Point being that the literature (Society) was detailing the instructions on DF, not the Bible.

    When we left, I asked the elder why he had studied that section with him, considering he has not gotten baptised. Of what importance could that be to the study, to make him progress spiritually.

    He says, "We must finish the book. It's what the Society wants."

    I know I've heard expressions like these before, but I was shocked it came from him, a brother I used to consider so spiritual.

    It's obvious the literature's purpose is to direct one to the Society, ultimately. The literature is the final authority, because the Society is the final authority.

  • Isidore

    Godrulz, what are the "extra/contra" biblical teachings of the CC? And where in the bible does it say it has to be in the bible?

    Have you read the Ante Nicence Fathers? I think you'll find that the Catholic Church is mentioned by name far earlier than the Council of Nicea.

    Catholic is the Anglicized (English) version of the Latin word Catholicus which is a Latinized version of the Greek word: καθολικη, transliterated into our alphabet as Katholikos. Katholikos means universal and is derived from kata (throughout) and holos (the whole).

    In Acts 9:31, the Greek phrase: ekklesia kath olos, translated as "the church throughout all" (RSV) or "the church everywhere" (NCV), seems to me a likely origin of the phrase "the Catholic Church" (katholikos ekklesia) first documented in Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the Smyraeans in A.D. 107.

    Acts 9:31 (RSV)
    So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Sama'ria had peace and was built up; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit it was multiplied.

    The churches in the beginning were united in belief, unlike today, were we have denominations who decide whether baptism is necessasry (or not), that all we need is faith (Sola Fide) and works are repugnant (or not), that Communion is only symbolic (or not), etc., etc. So the question becomes, what is the bare bones minimum standard for one to still be considered Christian? As I said, there are 40,000 denominations in the world today, with their doctrines set by the men who started them (Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Zwingli, etc.) and how they view scripture. I have over 20 "non-denominational" churches alone within a 10 mile radius of my house, all claiming to be only following the bible, yet believing different things. Surely this is not what Christ intended, is it?

    Ignatius of Antioch, who knew St John and was ordained by him and later became Bishop of Antioch said:

    "Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he ordains [i.e., a presbyter]. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church" (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110])- Ignatius of Antioch

    This quote is in regards to Polycarp, who also knew St John:

    "And of the elect, he was one indeed, the wonderful martyr Polycarp, who in our days was an apostolic and prophetic teacher, bishop of the Catholic Church in Smyrna. For every word which came forth from his mouth was fulfilled and will be fulfilled" (Martyrdom of Polycarp 16:2 [A.D. 155]).

    In addition, the writings of these men who were taught and ordained by the Apostles themselves look remarkably "Catholic" in doctrine and don't resemble any Protestant denominations.

    As far as an "invisible" body of Christ, it sure looked visible in the book of Acts. If we have a visible head, Jesus Christ, surely we have a visible body.

    Pax Domini

  • godrulz

    The Catholic church is not the problem if it means the universal church (creed). It is a problem if it means the Roman Catholic Church. Some unbiblical concerns would include purgatory, rosary, papacy, apostolic succession, indulgences, Mass/transubstantiation, Scripture+Tradition, sacramentalism (infant baptism=born again, etc.), faith+works, praying to saints, Marian issues, etc.

    Is faith in Jesus Christ sufficient for salvation or do we have to be part of the Catholic Church to be saved?

  • godrulz

    The WT has flip flopped (e.g. Rom. 13) interpretations on many issues and have had strange, allegorical interpretations in the past. Their understanding of Revelation is bizarre and changing. To make affirmation of present, false teaching a condition of paradise (that may change in the future) is insane.

  • godrulz

    At least Mormons prioritize placing the Book of Mormon which they consider Scripture. They consider it an evangelistic tool on par with the Bible (but they are dead wrong). WT places bad commentaries of the Bible as if it is almost on par with Scripture. Giving their poor track record with pseudo-scholarship (misquoting authorities, prooftexts out of context), people should see through it and find better Bible tools to aid interpretation (reading the Bible is sufficient on essentials, but some original language, cultural issues require aids for clarity on peripheral issues).

  • dgp

    Godrulz spoke about the Bible and said

    the accurate transmission of it

    You just can't be a Jehovah's witness and claim that the transmission of the Bible was "accurate". You HAVE to say that copyists deleted the "YHWH". If so, I wonder how Jehovah's witnesses cannot connect the dots and smell that there were other ways the Bible was not transmitted accurately. Bart Ehrman has a whole book on "mistakes" alone .

  • Isidore

    "The Catholic church is not the problem if it means the universal church (creed). It is a problem if it means the Roman Catholic Church."

    This is a distinction without a difference. It is only a problem if one chooses to believe it is not one in the same.

    "Some unbiblical concerns would include purgatory"

    This, like the Trinity, can be deduced although it is not mentioned by name. If we are not in a state of grace, nothing unclean will enter heaven (Revelation 21:27).

    1 John 5:16-17 (Revised Standard Version)

    16 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

    When we die in sin, but the sin is not deadly, where do we go? What happens to us? We know we do not gain immediate entry into heaven, since nothing unclean can enter there (see Rev. 21:27). And it certainly can't be hell, since John tells us the sin is not deadly. We must therefore undergo some sort of cleansing or "purgation".

    Matthew 12:32 (RSV)

    32 "And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."

    Here Jesus clearly implies that expiation can occur after death. Apparently some sins are forgiven in the "age to come".

    Rosary/Marian issues/Intercession of Saints,

    I included all three of these since they usually stem from the same misunderstanding of the Church's teachings about Mary and the saints. And we pray with the saints, not to them.

    The Rosary is a meditation of the Gospels:

    "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee" (Luke 1:28)

    "Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (Luke 1:42)

    "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen." This is asking Mary, the mother of Christ's humanity, to pray for us. This is no different than myself asking you to pray for me. She and the saints are just as alive as you or I are.

    Hebrews 12:1 (RSV)

    1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us

    Paul asks for those to pray for one another in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (RSV)

    "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. 3 This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior"

    Acts 12:5 (RSV)

    5 So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.

    This is a clear example of intercessory prayer. It is one of many in Sacred Scripture. Abraham interceeded for Sodom in Genesis 18, and Moses constantly interceeded for the Hebrews.

    "apostolic succession"

    St Paul and St Barnabas ordain others in Acts 14:23. No one ordains himself, nor does anyone presume to act as presbyter without first being ordained.

    The Church's authority is passed from generation to generation in Acts 6:6 (RSV)

    6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.

    and Acts 1:20-26 (RSV)

    20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and 'His office let another take.' 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us--one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab'bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi'as. 24 And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place." 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi'as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.

    1 Timothy 3:1 (RSV)

    1 The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task.

    "Office" denotes an ongoing institution that is renewed from one generation to the next. Otherwise, why bother replacing Judas?


    2 Thessalonians 2:15 (RSV)

    15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter

    2 Thessalonians 3:6 (RSV)

    6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

    1 Corinthians 11:2 (RSV)

    2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.

    So you can see, tradition is not unbiblical.


    James 2:14-26

    14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18 But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.

    Matthew 7:21-23

    21 "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'

    Jesus is saying that judgement will be based on how we live out our faith (he who DOES THE WILL of His Father), not on "faith alone".

    John 5:29

    29 and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

    Deeds will indeed be judged.

    infant baptism=born again

    Luke 18:15-17

    15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."

    Acts 16:33

    33 "And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family"

    Entire households, with no exceptions, were baptized.

    Luke 1:15

    15 for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.

    If no one can receive the Holy Spirit without repentance, then we must conclude that infants are able to repent even in utero, since in this passage we see that St John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. Which means there is no reason to deny infants the Sacrament of Baptism.

    I'll address the Mass and Indulgences in the next post.....

  • godrulz

    The proof texts for infant baptism have nothing to do with that. Far more explicit texts support believer's baptism by immersion for disciples. Unique RC doctrine relies on tradition/later papal decree and a few prooftexts out of context if lucky. We agree to disagree, but I appreciate your thoughtful answers.

    So, can I go to heaven and be right with God despite rejecting Catholic Church/distinctives? I believe you can despite the errors of Catholicism (individual issue vs automatic).

    dgp: Ehrman is an agnostic/atheist, not a Christian scholar. He writes well, but is wrong in his liberal views. WT certainly has no evidence that YHWH was removed from the NT. They complain about KJV adding I Jn. 5:7 (I agree with WT), yet think nothing of adding Jehovah over and over despite no MSS evidence. They also change words or add words in NWT that have no support (Jn. 1:1 a god; Col. 1 other 6x, Jn. 8:58 I have been, etc.).

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