Why is the Watchtower petrified by Higher Criticism?

by Doug Mason 40 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • hamsterbait

    Moses Mother was called "JOCHEBED" - it starts with a diminutive of the YHWH.

    "As REGARDS my name." - They knew the name, but didnt understand the significance of the Almighty God that was in the process of being invented by the revisors of the texts.

    The Canaanites knew the name as the Husband of Asherah, and one of the seventy sons of El, who got one of the 70 branches of humanity (Israel) as his portion.

    Higher criticism shows what ignorant clowns the Gibbering Buddy in Crooklyn really is. They shoud know this stuff - they obviously dont and so have no credentials to reliably represent the disgusting stone age Death God they are still trying to resurrect into yet another century.

    The Witchtower still claims that Moses wrote all of Genesis and the Pentateuch. People who KNOW the languages can show how the writers must have been assembled from sources hundreds of years apart. (That is why they are called experts with credentials to prove it.)

    I could give you a paragraph from a book of say 1666, one from 1770 and another from 2012 and you could tell immediately which was from when, because you know english.

    They would also be shown as clowns by claiming Johns Gospel the Letters of John and Revelation are all written by the same person.

    Higher Criticism shows what SHITE the WTBTS is full of...


  • OldGenerationDude

    And the Watchtower doesn't even realize how unreasonable their stand against critical theory is. If it weren't for critical textual analysis they would not have the master texts which they claim they based their New World Translation upon. The master texts they cliam to use are based on critical readings.

    This is not an endorsement of religion or belief in the Bible either. Siding with a well-proven form of study should be something the "true religion" should embrace, but they don't. Truth is not really what they are after.

    Looking at something with a critical eye means willing to accept something on its own merits. I don't believe any of the writings of William Shakespeare were inspired, but I sure wouldn't want someone who was not learned in textual and literary criticism to publicly print interpretations of his work and claim that their undisciplined views on Shakespeare were the only correct views on the planet. That's insulting.

    So a person doesn't have to be a theist or a believer in any mythology or texts of any particular ancient religion to insist that such works be handled by trustworthy academic principles. The texts of the Bible are still part of the library of literary works produced by humanity, and just on that basis alone deserve better than the "Magic-8 Ball" analysis the Governing Body of JWs give them. Regardless of what I believe about the Bible itself, ancient texts don't deserve to be in the hands of idiots.

  • Finkelstein

    Critical analyst only comes into only play with the WTS. by virtue of what can be made commercially viable.

  • Phizzy

    When I read Russells and Rutherfords stuff as a young person it struck me that they did not understand what Higher Criticism was !

    Those two, CTR and JFR , and if memory serves later WT writers, used to write of "so-called Higher Critics" and then give examples of literal criticism of beliefs based on the Bible by scholars, not mentioning true higher criticism at all. (What is a so-called Higher Critic ? You are either in the business or you are not)

    Of course, they were afraid of Higher Criticism in action because it would many times show the silly application of scripture by them, as well as the downright untruths. Their many claims as to what was prophecy etc. fall apart when you realise the actual date of writing was after the events.

    They are afraid of lower criticism too, because they put so much store on their New World "Translation", and have emphasised many phrases from that as though they come from God, when in fact the particular phrases may not be supportable from a proper study of the extant manuscripts.

    Their whole theology and understanding of the Bible is a joke.

  • Robert7

    To me this is obvious. Higher critisism has a great chance to cause someone to lose faith in the Bible. Once you take off your Christian rosy-colored glasses, and look at the Bible as a set of documents by an ancient people, you realize that it's just that, a set of documents containing history, politics/law, and religion, and no different than any other ancient text.

    This is based on the same fear of College, the internet, etc. They fear anything that can cause you to lose faith or question your faith. If you have the truth, why fear facts? Like the old saying goes "don't let the facts get in the way of a good story".

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    A developing hypothesis bouncing around inside my cranium might provide reasons why the Higher Criticism causes mental hernia for the WTS.

    The WTS reads meaning into the text (eisegesis) rather than extracting meaning from it (exegesis). The WTS starts with a concluding statement and then claims scriptural statements without consideration of due context as support for their statement.

    From Wikipedia:

    Eisegesis is the process of misinterpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto the text. The act is often used to "prove" a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda. ... Eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text.

    Exegesis draws out the meaning from a text in accordance with the context and discoverable meaning of its author. As a result, exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective.

    Higher Criticism seeks to understand the culture that produced a piece of Scripture. It says that the material refers to that community. The WTS, however says Scriptures actually refer to the WTS and to its times. For example, when Jesus says, “this generation” the writer is referring to the generation that was living at that time but the WTS sees these words as speaking of people living during the 20th and 21st centuries. In another example: when ancient Israel/Judah was righteous before God, the WTS says they were symbols of the WTS but when these same people were evil they symbolise modern Christendom. This methodology is heightened in the WTS’s use of the apocalyptic literature.

    My hypothesis, and it requires testing, includes the thought that while Higher Criticism seeks to climb into the minds of the cultures that produced a writing, that the WTS employs Pesher.

    The DSS community (also an end-times community) employed pesher, in which secret meanings were revealed to and through The Teacher: “Their aim is to read historical and eschatological events into the biblical prophecies, understanding them as describing their own sect's situation on the verge of the eschaton.” ( http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0016_0_15650.html )

    I see pesher as diametrically opposed to the concepts of Biblical study and analysis that is promoted by Higher Criticism, Lower Criticism, etc.


  • Finkelstein

    Eisegesis is the process of misinterpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto the text.

    I never read a better description of how the WTS. creates and propagates their doctrines by selecting bible scriptures and puts them into print.

  • Knowsnothing

    Doug, that's certainly an interesting avenue you are going through. Me thinks, for example, that a study of comparative religions is very useful as a supplement, such as the thread Bethel - the house of the canaanite god El.

    That certainly adds context to what most Biblical Literalists deem the "untouchable, uninfluentiable Word of God."

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Thank you for pointing me to that interesting thread. I will keep it as a PDF.

    Yes, EL was the supreme god while YHWH was one of his underlings. When the Israelites adopted the warlike angry YHWH they gave him the loving creator qualities of El, along with EL's wife Asherah (mother of Baal).

    One of the excellent books I own relative to that subject is: "Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan", John Day.


    But back to Biblical Criticism (analysis, study), which is the subject of this Thread.

    I just received a most valuable book that I recently ordered: "Israel in Exile: The History and Literature of the Sixth Century BCE", Rainer Albertz.


  • compound complex
    compound complex

    The term, critique, was recently discussed in our creative writing class; I emphasized to students quivering with fear of excoriation that it is merely the following:

    A detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory. (noun)

    To evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way. (verb)

    -- Google search

    Once I put their hearts and minds at ease, I proceeded to . . . (fill in the blank).

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