Once I joked that I was a demonic lover of the world and that I spit on their religion. They left me alone. If I did not include the apostate part, they probably would have offered to rid me of demons.
JW's week after week trying to convert me
A BIG thanks to everyone who replied so promptly to my post. Your comments were very helpful, and I will be applying some of what folks posted, both openly and privately, to my next and hopefully last visit with these two persistant individuals.
You can call me a disinterested onlooker because I've been out of the organization for 35 years.
what am I doing here? :heh heh:
I was never disfellowshipped. Without advice or consent, the governing body of the Herndon Congregation just cut me off.
No sin, no crime, no reasons given. I never had the opportunity to meet my accusors.
Okay. I figured, Jehovah had plans for me ... something I needed to do on the outside. So I accepted it.
Now, about your claim of knowledge, I'm not buying. If you don't know the difference between the Teachings of Jesus,
son of God, versus the teachings of the Apostle Paul, who was inserted into the Bible canon 300 years later,
you haven't done your homework. And so, of course these two visitors are fascinating, because there's a lot you don't know.
Yet. Really. You have a ways to go until you KNOW Jehovah God enough to make an UNCONDITIONAL commitment to His Will.
Now the Governing Body is there to challenge you--not to dictate. I challenged THEM in 1978, and they were not able to answer.
They still haven't answered ANY of my letters. Not one.
And that deficit on their part authorizes me to go about my business, worshipping Jehovah my way, which is very similar to Their Way,
but not identical. And I'm ALLOWED to find humor in this paradoxical situation.
So, you are free to keep studying, and to find some humor in your situation as well.
"Although I am extremely versed with Scripture, they seem to have an answer to everything I throw on the table. We've debated about Jesus being Michael the Archangel, Jesus being God in the Flesh, His physical Resurrection vs. His Spiritual Resurrection, The Trinity, their practices of shunning, etc.
I studied and translated ancient languages at Cambridge under the tutelage of a renowned Professor for approximately 7 years. Much of my studies were devoted to the Greek Scripture and their translation, (specifically The New Testament), over the centuries into English.
What perplexes me is that even though I know the WTBTC uses linguistic trickery in their verbiage, and have admittedly stated that they have made changes to Scripture, much of it seems to make sense when I crossed referenced it to even some of the oldest of the Scriptures that I've been privileged to work on.
I told them today that I absolutely would not ever recognize the authority of the watchtower, as I knew they were guilty of altering the Bible to say the least, and that would alleviate me regarding the joining of their congregation. ..."
Others have made the points I'm about to bring out, but I'd like to reiterate and add a few of my own...
"...they seem to have an answer to everything I throw on the table..."
Others here have frequently suggested to people that they obtain Steven Hassan's book on cults, "Combatting Mind Control", and I would recommend reading as much about cults and the mind-tricks that they use, as possible. That way, you can counter any manipulative techniques that these Jehovah's Witnesses may - probably - have been using on you.
As Lady Lee said, pulling scriptures out of context is one of their prime techniques for manipulation. Her advice on countering that behavior was excellent!
"...I studied and translated ancient languages at Cambridge...for approximately 7 years. Much of my studies were devoted to the Greek Scripture and their translation...What perplexes me is that even though I know the WTBTC uses linguistic trickery ...and have admittedly stated that they have made changes to Scripture, much of it seems to make sense when I crossed referenced it to even some of the oldest of the Scriptures..."
It puzzles me that you cannot see - and slice through - the Watchtower Society's trickery, with such a background as yours. I suspect that the Watchtower Society's training in use of "social mileau control" - having TWO of them to ONE of you, as one example - may be one of the reasons you are unable to clearly cut through their so-called "scriptural" illogic and mis-translations.
Again, I strongly recommend becoming well-versed in cultic behaviors, if you're going to spend ANY time around Jehovah's Witnesses who are eager to proselytize you...
As "WannaBeFree" stated, the Watchtower Society has ALL of its active members attending a dual meeting wherein they are taught how to overcome 'objections'.
Note that, in these meetings, they are NOT taught how to correctly read and interpret the scriptures for themselves; all active Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing are bound to allow the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society to do that, FOR THEM.
"I told them ...that I absolutely would not ever recognize the authority of the watchtower, as I knew they were guilty of altering the Bible..."
Yes. Several authorities on biblical translation have spoken out against the Watchtower Society's self-serving methods of "translating" the bible. The question is, upon what proof have you based your opinion? I'm certain that you've SEEN such proof; the crux of the matter would be, to bring such proof to the attention of these two Jehovah's Witnesses.
You may not be able to convince THEM - see again my advice about learning as much about cults and cult-thinking as possible - but you are undoubtedly able to bring out ALL the points that have convinced YOU that the Jehovah's Witness bible is mis-translated, at the very least.
On the other hand, if you can successfully show THEM the flaws in THEIR translation, you might be able to convert THEM away from the Watchtower Society!
Best results in your situation...
Zid the She-Devil...
I don't understand why anyone would spend their free time having conversations they don't want to have, about things they don't want to talk about, with people they don't want to talk to.
Life's too short. Say "no" and then don't speak to them ever again.
Why worry about their theology? Their bizarre theories don't affect you. Let them continue on believing the Invisible Pink Unicorn and the Flying Spaghetti Monster immaculately conceived their religion's founder, who poops Watchtowers out of his hind end if they want to. Doesn't matter.
I have found the best approach with Witnesses is not to teach but to ask them to validate their unique and original teachings from scriptrure alone. This they cannot do because they are all extra-biblical.
You might find this video particularly helpful
The entire foundation of Watchtower Society authority is based on interpretive abuse.
Welcome to the forum HBJ
What they are doing, is what has been described by others as Bible Ping Pong. You toss up a scripture, they fire one back that appears to contradict it.
Often the reason is so that they don't have to discuss your scripture. It's a distraction technique. Try discussing John 20:28 with them and they will be dancing all over the Bible to try and divert your attention away from it. Most of them have never actually sat down and thought that whole passage through, in all of it's contexts. They have never had to. The Watchtower doesn't do it for them, in fact, it uses the distraction technique itself.
The cure can be as simple as. "We can discuss your scripture later. I feel that this scripture is important because ----------------! How do you explain this scripture?"
Their primary doctrine is that they were selected by Jesus in 1919 to be God's sole channel of communication to mankind in our day. That is the only doctrine worth discussing. As long as they think that is true, they will believe what the WT says regardless of how well you trash any of their doctrines. They only give lip service to believing the Bible. I have seen JWs trashed on the immortal soul and the Trinity and march off chanting, "These people are Bible scholars!", with their heads held high, knowing that Satan didn't shake their faith in the Watchtower this time.
So, forget doctrine. Just target anything that they use as support for any of the elements in that claim. Watch out for distractions. They have bucket loads and are far better practiced at using them than you will be at spotting them.
If they say anything that doesn't sound correct, immediately challenge them to show you the documentation. If they can't do it then and there, make them promise to get it to you by a date.
Every time they respond to a question, pause and ask yourself ........... "Did what they just said really answer the question I just asked?" Often they will speak volumes on a slightly related topic without truly addressing your question. Never fall for it. Maybe even act offended that they tried to fool you. Restate your question without rephrasing it, unless you had used really bad grammer in the first place.
Try not to tell them anything. Make them do the talking. E.g. Dont tell them about their primary doctrine and then ask them to defend it. Just ask questions to get them to make statements to support all of the elements of it, then ask questions to get them to support their statements. If they really start getting cagey and wanting to change the subject, you have the right subject. Hammer it.
Above all, act sincerely interested so that they want to keep coming back. It's a bit of a tightrope walk.
I'm not the only one and I may regret this but your post does not sound authentic to me. Of course, shortly after I started to post here, I was accusing of wholesale lying about my history. If only I were making up lies.
Which college of Cambridge granted your degree? May we know your professor's name? You speak of such specialized and specific knowledge --Koine Greek translation does not have tons of people completing for open spaces--and it strieks me as absured that someone with any comprehensive knowledge in any language would find them persuasive. Perhaps you were dumbing down for our benefit but I believe a scholar would specific his Greek knowledge in greater detail. You speak of linguistic and other tricks but you are impressed by their mastery of the Bible.
Almost anyone has better Bible knowledge! Parts of your post seem authentic and other parts just don't jibe. I am not the judge. Ultimately, only you will know. Do you teach at some college, university or private secondary school?
Maybe I've been here so long I'm starting to see conspiracy where they don't exist. It makes sense for a layperson to be confused by the rapid fire Bible quotes but not any Camridge grad and esp. not an academic in the field.
Hang on folks. Before you gut the guy, step back a moment and see what you are saying.
- The WTS/JWs use mind control techniques on people
- People, even educated people, may fall for the manipulation and supposed "keen understanding" of the Bible.
- One strategy is to keep throwing out Bible verses to make it look like they know what they are talking about. Few people will see the manipulation because they don't expect that people who use the Bible will be so deceptive about it. You expect them to be speak honestly about it.
- JWs seem to speak honestly about their beliefs because they themselves don't see the deceptions. That makes it hard for anyone to see the lies because JWs aren't lying. They are speaking the truth as they know it ti be. Unfortunately it isn't true. But it will sound that way to other people.
- If you do know how they manipulate people then they can't do it to you. But it is very easy to be taken off guard when they keep throwing scriptures at you. They make it sound so reasonable.
Instead of ripping people to shreds when they come here asking for help perhaps we need to remember that the org. is filled with some pretty smart people who have been taken in by the lies, half-truths and manipulations. Look around you here. There are a lot of smart people here. But at one time we were all JWs (well except for a few who still are JWs and a few who wind up in relationships with them.)
Don't get sucked in! Don't let them tickle your ears! You are on the threshold of joining a dangerous mind control cult!