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by Tuber 98 Replies latest jw friends

  • flipper

    TUBER- Nice to have you here ! I too have JW family still attending meetings. I just try to show normal family love and try not triggering their " cult " instincts by avoiding jW topics directly. I indirectly allude to things I see in the news or happening in OTHER religions like " child abuse " without bringing up JW's - to make a point that the same problems are all encompassing in EVERY religion - then let my relatives connect the dots in their own heads without me saying it directly about the Witnesses.

    Steve Hassan has two great books " Combatting Cult Mind Control " & " Releasing the bonds- Empowering People to Think for Themselves " which I highly recommend you read as it will give you other tips on how to reach your JW relatives. Take care

  • Tuber

    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    Rebel 8, that's a pretty good strategy, I'm trying to steer the conversation in that direction.

    Here is the latest back and forth between us, I won't repost earlier parts of the conversation, as it will make this post far too long, so for those who want to get up to speed, please see my previous posts. Also, for obvious reasons, I have edited out names and information that has no bearing on the conversation (chatter about family and friends etc).


    Firstly well done in attaining these verses let me attempt an interpretation for you. All of Christendom teach that there is a spirit world that the dead hang around in, hence the catholic church for a more obvious example who pray to Jesus's mother Mary [and all the saints as well as though they are capable of helping them]. According to the Bible the dead know nothing,relevant scriptures are, Ecclesiastes9;5 and 10 where it is explained that' the dead are conscious of nothing at all' and also John 11;11 to 14 where Jesus explains to his disciples about Lazarus being asleep and when questioned further Jesus explains Lazarus is actually dead the point being that Jesus compares death to being asleep. The comparison of those that practice spiritism and Babylon the Great being the empire of false religion who practise just that, is what I am pointing to.


    Am not sure what the abbreviations NIV and ASV refer to which bibles? However Jehovahs Witnesses did use the Old King James as their study aid until only quite recently 1961 (the girls are laughing at how old that is!) now use the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures which is a more accurate in my eyes translation and a little easier to understand because you know instead of just the word Lord they clarify whether or not it is Jehovah talking or Jesus. The word Jehovah (german translation thankyou Martin Luther,google the man very interesting account, ) or Yahweh was in the original Hebrew text about 7,000 times. Incidentally the pope in 2008 had the last reference to Gods name removed deeming it too holy for us commoners to pass through our lips.


    Considering that Jehovah wanted us to know His name Romans 10;13 and I quote "For everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved" its a bit rough that the churches of christendom conceal this from people.

    (Various chatter about family etc) ps keep up your study of the bible i am impressed.


    (Various Chatter)

    ASV is the American Standard Version

    NIV is the New International Version

    Both are highly accepted versions, considered to be highly accurate translations.

    You probably know a lot of what I am going to say next, but I'm mainly stating it to show you my thinking and how I have arrived at my own personal opinion on the matter, i.e. the name of god.

    The superstition surrounding the name of god, the tetragrammaton, is not originally a Catholic teaching, but stems from Judaism, which holds it to be too sacred for common, everyday use. Biblical Hebrew usually does away with vowels, only noting them when they are of the utmost importance, when a pronounciation is unclear etc.

    Since they held the word YHWH to be too sacred to say out loud, they would substitute its vowels with that of other words, in order to remind the reader to say this word instead. One of the most commonly used names was Adonai, "Our Lord(s)".

    Yahweh is the closest we have to the proper pronounciation of the word (we may never know what it really was), unfortunately most bibles prefer Jehovah, which the large majority of scholars consider a mistake, produced by the substitution practice I mentioned above, compounded by the difficulties of translating from Hebrew to Greek and then to English.

    I personally agree with the use of "Lord" and "God". This has nothing to do with the holiness or lack thereof of the tetragrammaton, but simple accuracy.

    Some may argue that to have a personal relationship with someone, we must use their name, but this is hardly true. Some of the most personal relationships we have, for example, are with our parents, and how much of that closeness and intimacy would be taken away if our children talked to us on a first name basis?

    Furthermore, what if our children didn't even pronounce our name correctly, but rather used a pronounciation that their school teacher insisted was correct?

    I know that if I met someone who was in every way, shape and form my superior, I would feel very embarassed indeed if someone later pulled me aside and whispered in my ear "the truth is, you've been mispronouncing their name wrong all these years".

    The bible itself warns of arrogance and pride in many places. Two such verses are:

    1 Samuel 2:3 ASV
    Talk no more so exceeding proudly; Let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; For Jehovah is a God of knowledge, And by him actions are weighed.

    1 Samuel 2:3 NIV
    Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.


    Proverbs 8:13 ASV
    The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, And the perverse mouth, do I hate.

    Proverbs 8:13 NIV
    To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

    It's a shame that the ASV uses Jehovah instead of Yahweh, or even better, YHWH, but it makes up for this with the accuracy it displays in its translation of actual verses.

    Sorry, this is a very long message, and I am going back and forth between points as they come to mind.

    But talking about accuracy brings me to your comment about the NWT.

    I have heard the name, but never really had a look at it, nor researched how accurate it is. I'll read up on it.

    You said, however, that it is used by the Jehovah's Witnesses, and from the way you phrased it, it makes me think that you consider endorsement by Jehovah's Witnesses a positive thing, which leads me to wonder, are you considering becoming a Jehovah's Witness?

    I knew you were studying with (old JW woman's name) but was unaware that you had any intentions of joining any particular group/ organisation.

    Also, I'm still unsure of where in Deuteronomy 18 it refers to Babylon the Great?


    Ah, I didn't see your first message, I accidentally scrolled past it. I can see what you are saying about Deuteronomy condemning spiritism, spiritism, depending on your definition, being a part of many religions.

    But this only supports Revelation if you choose to interpret Babylon the Great as religion, and work backwards to find scripture that refers to religion. Essentially, it is coming to a conclusion and then working backwards to find evidence to support it. Almost anyone can do this with almost any interpretation, but I feel it is far better to look at all the evidence we have, and then draw the best conclusion we can from it. We shouldn't ignore evidence simply because it challenges our preconcieved notions, nor should we refuse to cast aside a conclusion we have drawn, should new evidence come to light which proves it wrong.

    The bible is actually a bit ambigous when it comes to the dead, as 1 Samuel 28 depicts King Saul requesting a necromancer to channel the Prophet Samuel, who complains about being awoken from his sleep. If we take death to be a sleep like state, then it stands to reason that we can wake from this state. Indeed, Samuel complains about being awoken from his sleep.

    I'm not saying I believe in spirits of the dead, or any real ability on the part of humanity to be able to contact and commune with them, merely that reasoning from the scriptures could lead one to that conclusion. Parts of the bible, such as those you mentioned, indicate that the dead are for all intents and purposes unconscious, but other parts of the bible show the dead being consulted with, and then there are the verses about death being like sleep. However, we wake from sleep every morning, and can be awoken by nothing more than a thud in the night, so to my mind, comparing death to sleep actually weakens the death= "permananently unconscious and unaware" argument.

    In Samuel 1 however, upon being summoned, Samuel does chastise Saul for his conduct, so I think it we can agree the bible is pretty consistent with its condemnation of spiritism.

    I guess the real question is what does "spiritism" actually mean?

    Thanks again to all those offering advice and info, and thanks to all those who just took the time to read this huge wall of text.

  • Curtains


    arrogance and pride have brought about the downfall of many a haughty ruler. JW leaders and their teachings display such qualities in spades. Keep on reminding her even when a discussion of other teachings comes up.

    The ploy of working backwards to find evidence and support for a conclusion is another popular mode of JW reasoning.

  • InterestedOne

    Tuber - I liked the original matter you brought to her attention which was:

    I replied:

    I'm confused...

    You say religion is mankinds biggest problem... but in the same breath you are quoting from (paraphrasing) one of the most famous religous texts of all time?

    I don't think her first response brought any clarity to the issue you raised. Instead it went off into more religious text. This led you into things like interpretations and names of God, etc. I spent a year studying and "studying with" JW's for a similar reason to yours, although in my case it was a friend not family. I found that they would easily go off track from my original line of thought. I'm sorry to see that this is already starting to happen in your back & forth with her. It can get really exhausting. Do you think you can get her to answer your original question? It might help clarify her thinking. I would be curious to see what she says.

  • leavingwt


    I would like to second what Flipper said above about Steve Hassan's books. They are helpful in understanding what effects that WT indoctrination has had on your family. Some of it will surprise you, especially as you see it play out, right before your very eyes.

    NEVER DISCUSS DOCTRINE. Your goal is to empower your loved ones to think for themselves. They're standing in a pot of boiling water, because they've been conditioned to ignore the burning sensation. Once they think for themselves, it will be very obvious to them that stepping out of the boiling water will cease the burning. They'll wonder why they didn't do it a long time ago.

  • Tuber

    Thanks guys.

    Never discuss doctrine?

    Not sure how to go about that, looks like I'm already having that conversation.

    Haven't been able to get a hold of Hassan's books yet, I live overseas, ordering an english book from the US or UK is going to be quite the wait.

  • InterestedOne

    Never discuss doctrine?

    Not sure how to go about that, looks like I'm already having that conversation.

    I know, and that is what I was sad to see happening. I have been down this road, and so have hundreds of others here. Believe me, it turns into a disaster. You see what a trainwreck the literature is? Now imagine you are having a conversation with that literature. You will get a mix of garbled logic, attacks on your motives, and they will make you out in their minds to be a monster who is persecuting them. They view themselves as the teacher, and you must be the student. I suggest learning from example. Here is a thread where a very experienced poster here, Black Sheep, advises someone on how to respond to a JW friend. Not that you should ask these exact questions, but notice the approach of letting the JW do the research for him/herself.

  • Tuber

    Trying to get her to do the research for herself, but it's a challenge, will take a look at that thread.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Every time she responds, ask yourself if what she said addressed your question. Changes of subject will range from blatant to subtle.

    Do not respond to changes of subject unless she drops herself into deeper doo doos than she was with the original question.

    Object to a change and ask why she did it and why she didn't respond to your original question, maybe even acting offended if it is appropriate. Unless you used really bad grammar in the first place, restate your original question without rephrasing it.

    Your question should be carefully worded, short, and easy to understand so that she has no excuse for a subject change.

    Good luck


  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff


    Lots of good suggestions here already. So I will just say this; Captives of a Concept is an excellent place to start. This is a momentous task, and I wish you well. I look forward to following your reports on this if you post them here.



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