Do they read the paragraph before or after asking the questions?

by james_woods 22 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • james_woods
    In the 'old days', reading the paragraph first and then asking the question at say a Bible study was considered to be very bad form and said to be getting the student into bad habits from the outset.

    Yes, exactly. I had forgotten that - truly this like many other things in WT-land has been completely dumbed down.

  • blondie


    *** w77 2/1 p. 96 New Method of Conducting “Watchtower” Study ***

    Elders who preside at the weekly Watchtower study, as well as those who conduct the congregation book studies, are anxious to teach in the most effective and helpful way. (Rom. 12:8; 2 Tim. 4:2) Moreover, all in the congregation desire to make the most of opportunities for taking in spiritual nourishment so that they may attain to “accurate knowledge and full discernment” of the truth.—Phil. 1:9.

    With this in mind, we recommend to all congregations the following order of study: (1) Read the paragraph in The Watchtower (or other publication); (2) Read the question thereon; (3) Call on those raising their hands for answers, discussing fully the paragraph and supporting scriptures.

    There should be a number of advantages in reading the paragraphs before they are discussed. This will quickly refresh the minds of all who have studied over the lesson in advance, and in the event some have not been able to do this previous to the meeting, the reading will at least familiarize them with the material before it is discussed. Everyone will be encouraged to concentrate on the reading, rather than look ahead for the answer in the next paragraph. Those who are shy, or who are slow in organizing their thoughts, will be able to prepare better to put their words together and so gain confidence to raise their hands. There should be freer participation and fuller discussion of the finer details of the study, with emphasis on the application of key scriptures before passing on to the reading of the next paragraph.

    This new arrangement should be a blessing to all of God’s people, as they seek to “be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension, in order to walk worthily of Jehovah.”—Col. 1:9, 10.

  • james_woods

    Ah, thanks Blondie. So, this originated in 1977? I had quit conducting the WT study by then and was pretty well out the door.

  • NewChapter

    We read the paragraph first and answered the questions second. Sometime the question was read before the paragraph, but not answered. It was only meant to give a CLUE as to what would be asked later.

    As I recall it, the BEST dubs read the article as soon as it came in the mail (later, picked up at the hall)

    Then the week before they read each paragraph, looked at the question, and read the paragraph again in order to underline the answer.

    Then on the day of the meeting, it was read outloud again and the question was asked.

    Then 3 or 4 people would reread the paragraph in the course of their answers.

    Then review questions were asked, and 3 or 4 paragraphs were reread in THOSE answers.

    By now each paragraph had been read about 6 times---give or take. I'm rounding.

    And the super bestest dubs of all would sometimes say they had to read the article THREE times because it was so deep. So let's add another 3, bringing us to 9.

    Sometimes, after studying it on their own, some would then study it with friends or family. Read, answer. Add two. Up to 11 times.

    THEN, the next year, the paragraphs are rehashed in the Daily Text. Read once, look at question, Read again. Add two. 13 times.

    THEN when someone started struggling, Elders often assigned old articles to read. And another read. 14 times.

    Fourteen times. That's how many times a paragraph is read. That's my scientific conclusion.


  • aSphereisnotaCircle

    Blondie, thats a surprise that they made that change as early as 77.

    I guesstimated it being in the early 80's.

    But yes. it dumbed down the lesson even more. So we were suppose to "study" the material at a prior time, and then go over it in detail at the meeting. it was nothing more then busy work. All cults know that they have to keep their members as busy as possible, no matter how pointless the task.

    Its also a great way of making dull, inane, boring material seem as though its something really really deep and meaningful.

  • james_woods

    Makes you wonder why they bother to ask the questions and get comments at all - nothing anybody says has an validity, the only thing that matters is what is written in the paragraph.

  • NewChapter

    And a paragraph deeply studied today may change tomorrow.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I am curious. In my KH, which did not have good readers, people recited the answer word for word. What would happen if you answered correctly, but did not repeat word for word? What if you saw parallels to material recently studied and mentioned it in your answer? Basically, what if you answered as in high school and not first grade.

    I attended a middle class KH occasionally with my aunt and uncle. Don't recall their progress. So there is no point in pre-studying. My aunt and uncle always studied first. I am goody two shoes due to the Witnesses. Post seondary education, I was one of two people regularly prepared for class. It was so boring to know the text. I used to feel I would go out of my mind. My body would coil and uncoil. I had a large picture window of people walking around and having fun in Greenwich Village's main park.

    While most Witnesses are not well educated, many Witnesses are educated. My immediate family never prestudied. The answer so obvious.

  • NewChapter

    In my hall, we had both kinds of answers. Some repeated the paragraph, some gave personal experience or referred to other literature, 2-year-olds answered "jebooan" and 3-year-olds answered "Jehovah". We didn't have a picture window. We didnt' have ANY windows. I had to close my eyes and imagine.


  • St George of England
    St George of England

    *** w53 8/1 p. 458 Studying The Watchtower ***

    Starting the study itself, he will propound the printed question found at the bottom of the page provided for the first paragraph of the assigned study. Those in the audience may volunteer by raising their hands, and answering when called upon by the conductor. However, the conductor may call upon someone in the congregation without that one’s volunteering.

    It is assumed that all have studied the lesson in advance and know the answers as contained in the paragraphs. There are many who hesitate to volunteer a comment, but who will speak when called upon. This method may also cause some who have become negligent in advance study of the lesson to recover from the bad habit they have drifted into. It may act as a spur to move all of us to a more thorough advance preparation for the congregational study. If so, it will make the meeting more profitable for everyone there. Hence starting with the congregational study of this issue of the magazine, the conductor may call on persons whether they volunteer or not.

    This would go down like a lead balloon in our congregation! Ah, the good old days!!


Share this