Today's wt study article quotes a Nazi mass murderer as a reference

by fugue 36 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Leolaia

    Kittel was the editor of the TDNT which is still a primary resource in biblical studies (it is commonly bundled in the Logos platform). But the Nazi background of the work makes its use problematic. There was an interesting article about this by Maurice Casey (NT, 1999) documenting an antisemitic Tendenz to the German version of the TDNT, as well as the Nazi activities of its contributors. Let me quote one passage:

    To understand this, we must return to Nazi Germany. While scholars are not allowed to read Grundmann's personal files at church archives until 2006, a quite overt example of the prevention of knowledge, we know enough to put his TWNT article into its cultural context. Grundmann joined the Nazi party on 1st Dec, 1930 (membership no. 382 544), and became active in the Deutsche Christen movement. He served as Kittel’s assistant from 1930-32, preparing TWNT, to which in due course he contributed several articles. In 1932, he received his doctorate from Kittel at Tübingen. On 1st April, 1934, he became a supporting member (Förderndes Mitglied) of the SS (Membership no. 1032691). In 1936, he became a professor at Jena. He had not written a Habilitationschrift, but Hitler signed his appointment following a recommendation in which it was said that the Faculty wanted to become a stronghold of National Socialism, so that Grundmann’s scholarship could be path-breaking for a National Socialist perspective in the realm of theology. The year after the publication of his article on καρτερεω etc. was the year of the opening of the Institut zur Erforschung und Beseitigung des jüdischen Einusses auf das deutsche kirchliche Leben (Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Church Life), with Grundmann as its academic director. His address at the opening, on 6th May, 1939, was programmatic: "The Dejudaization of the Religious Life as the Task of German Theology and Church". This declared that the elimination of Jewish influence on German life was an urgent task. There should therefore be no doubt about Grundmann’s central life-stance. He was not a frightened rabbit, nor someone doing his best in more difficult circumstances than we have to live through: he was a committed anti-semitic Nazi.

  • biometrics

    "One Bible scholar" :- I see the Watchtower's standards for proof of doctrine haven't changed. Yet if you've been raped, you better have at least two witnesses.

  • slimboyfat

    The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament is an edited work with many different contributors, much of the work being completed afer Kittel's death under the supervision of Gerhard Friedrich. So the strong likelihood is that Kittel did not himself write the part quoted - if that makes a difference. It seems to be a very popular reference work.

    There's an interesting exchange on Amazon where someone responds to the point about Kittel being a Nazi supporter:

    "Just for clarification, Kittel was the original editor of the work. Most of the entries were by other scholars. This was not only a multi-volume but also multiple decades work. The first four of the ten volumes were produced during the Nazi era, the first in 1932 and the fourth in 1942; the remaining volumes came after the war. Kittel died in 1948, and Gerhard Friedrich became the editor.

    Because it was produced over such a long period of time, the lexicon was influenced by many different intellectual currents. It reflects German critical scholarship, and the changes over the decades in that scholarship."

  • dgp

    I would see this in a different light. For some reason, the Watchtower feels it can use the work of theologians "not in the truth" if it suits its purposes. The Writing Department can read those works, but the rank and file must not, and could have problems if they did. Now those are double standards.

    But I still think that the fact that Kittel was a murderer and a nazi does not, on its own, detract from the fact that he could be right in the interpretation of one particular word from the Bible. It's a matter of simple logic. Even paranoids have enemies, or even a clock that is not working gives the righ time twice a day.

  • elderelite

    rebel8, you and I need to talk.... I dont want to revel to much, but i was involved in the dubbies representation in the holocust museum, from the dubbie side of it of course....

  • blindnomore

    Thank you fugue for the research. revel8, I have just read your past thread on 'Petition to the Holocust Museum' Excellent job

    (I have visited the Holocust Museum in Washington DC 3 times as a JW. Last time was just 10 months ago. I wish I wasn't so dumb blind and missed revel8's documents. Sorry for hyjacking the thread for moment)

  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis

    Not that I would defend the Watchtower or a killer of Jews, or would try to detract at all from Blondie's analyses (which are beyond me), but I don't see the relationship between the man being a murderer and his being wrong about that particular interpretation of the word.

    Agreed, and it's an ad hominem attack. Clearly, the man's beliefs and actions were reprehensible, but that doesn't automatically make everything he said/wrote/concluded incorrect.

    1. Person A makes claim X.
    2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
    3. Therefore A's claim is false.

    The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

    Example of Ad Hominem

    1. Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."
      Dave: " Of course you would say that, you're a priest."
      Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?"
      Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said, you're a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can't believe what you say."
  • slimboyfat

    Ad hominem arguments can be appropriate, in response to a person being cited as an authority rather than for his argumentation.

    For example if the Watchtower cited Hans Kung as a prominent Catholic who is against various church dogmas, without necessarily including his extensive argumentation for those positions. In that situation it might be appropriate to point out that Kung is adissident and well known critic of the church, if the Watchtower did not include that information. I would argue that is merely a case of providing appropriate context to a cited person's background, not an instance of logical fallacy to be labelled ad hominem or genetic fallacy.

  • The Oracle
    The Oracle

    It is odd how the WT has no problem quoting "bible scholars" as authoratitive voices on points that agree with or support WT position, yet when anything a bible scholar says contradicst a WT position - then the bible scholar is guided by Satan, as part of Satan's system of things.

    it's been a while since I revisited the murky mess that is the WT religion... what I find most faascinating is the fact that there are still people who go to the meetings... I really did think the exodus would be faster.

    It would seem that only the intelligent and more courageous are leaving.

    The mentally weak are still clinging to the flimsy and increasingly ridiculously sounding teachings.

    Peace to all,

    The Oracle

  • blondie

    The WTS is not bashful about quoting "scholars" when their position of issues matches their own but neglecting to point out where the scholar's teachings do not agree with the WT.

    Tertullian is an example.

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