Who Really is The Faithful and Discreet Slave?

by Recovery 207 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Twitch

    I'm the Faithful and Discreet Slave.

    Or Wayward and Naughty Slave if Mistress deems it so.

  • EndofMysteries

    they are a parable, just as is the 10 bridegrooms, just as the master who has the marriage feast, etc. These are the holy ones, the early christians had a distinct seperation. Paul said he was striving for this higher calling, this better hope, so he was unsure if even he got it.

    The faithful slave, if you read either mark or luke shows there are 4 types, the faithful and discreet slave, the slave who knew what he was supposed to do but didn't so will get many lashes, the slave who did not know what he was supposed to do so doing things deserving of getting lashes will get less, then the evil slave. At ones death, those of that group, do they fall into one of the categories. It's impossible while living to have that title.

    The governing body have set themselves up as idols, and those who listen, are ignoring holy spirit and the bible working with them to teach them, they have thrown their crowns at the governing body.

  • Witness My Fury
    Witness My Fury

    LOL Recovery got OWNED by Leo: (no surprise there)

    However I foresee great things for you young Recovery....

    Christ Alone raised very good points btw, very good indeed...

  • Ucantnome

    Actually the WT's interpretation makes perfect sense when we consider the context. Surely, Jesus' would provide a spiritual feeding program for his followers during such turbulent and gruesome days. Jesus is Head of the Congregation isn't he?

    Recovery I haven't read all of the pages of this thread.

    However recently I was reading Hebrews chapter 11 and thinking about verses 17-19. It talks of the God's promises to Abraham and his trust in those promises. His faith in God's promises. Which meant he could do what he had to do.

    Moshe on the first page of this thread posted a picture of the Watchtower from 1984. The Awake for many years had this on the inside front cover.

    "Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away." (Awake November 8 1995)

    This I believe was part of our preaching. We were building confidence in God's promise regarding the generation of 1914.

    In Romans chapter 10 and verse 16 Paul says "faith comes from hearing the message" (NIV) commenting on this in the book Man's Salvation out of World Distress at Hand (WTBTS. 1975 page48) it reads.

    "The overwhelming evidence that has accumulated since 1914 C.E. in proof of this glorious fact has been pointed out by these witnesses of Jehovah. The good new about the Messianic kingdom of Jehovah's "Servant" is better news today than it was nineteen hundred years ago, in apostolic times. In the face of the relatively small proportion of the world's population that has put faith in the "thing heard from us" or proclaimed by us, it can truthfully be said: "They did not all obey the good news."


    page 29 of the same book it reads,

    "After all that we have gone through since 1914, our generation would be, of all generations the "most to be pitied". Think of it, though! Worthy ones of this generation of mankind will be saved alive out of the rest of this world distress so as to survive the worst of it and enter into God's Messianic new system of things and not need a resurrection from the dead to life on earth! This is a valid hope well founded on what was said by Jesus Christ..." (bold italics mine)

    When it says "most to be pitied" it is quoting Paul at 1 Corinthians 15 I believe. This is where Paul tells you that he preached Christ died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day. If this did not happen then he says our faith is futile and we are the most to be pitied.

    The generation teaching, that I understood from the faithful and discreet slave was God's promise and we preached this, is no more.

    So in my view I cannot see how this could fit into a 'a spiritual feeding program' This has not helped anyone to have faith in God in my view.

    So your question "Who Really is The Faithful and Discreet Slave?" is a good one.

  • isaacaustin

    I am not so active in posting here anymore...but if Recovery really does want to learn he is quite capable of doing his own research and homework. This topic has been discussed numerous times on this board over the years- in detail...and elsewhere on the web I am sure. The Matt 24/25 account is simply a series of parables/illustrations warning Christians to keep on the watch, as well as the ultimate rewards (and eventuality) for those found to be watchful (or not watchful)...a look at the parallel account in Luke 12 shows a parallel where 2 of the 3 persons judged are faithful- which itself debunks the WT claim, since they claim to be God's sole channel of truth.

    It is quite obvious, given the WT tainted (to say the least) track record, that even if God operated solely thru an organization, it most certainly would not be the one associated with Jehovah's Witnesses.

  • isaacaustin


    You are absolutely correct- the classification as faithful slave or wicked slave is given at the end, judgment day...not before.

  • Leolaia

    Here is my take on the Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant. It is an insertion into the Matthean redaction of the Olivet discourse from Mark (ch. 13). It occurs in fact in a cluster of parables added to the discourse that deal with one common theme: an apparent delay in the parousia. The wicked servant says "my master is delayed" (Matthew 24:48), just as "the bridegroom was delayed" in the Parable of the Foolish Virgins (25:5), just as the master had been gone "for a long time" in the Parable of the Talents in 25:19. All three parables are missing in the original Markan apocalypse and they are inserted into a section commanding Christians to be on the watch (Matthew 24:44, cf. Mark 13:33). What the author of Matthew has done is develop the brief parable in Mark 13:34-36 (about a master going on a journey and leaving his house to his servants) into three new parables: the Parable of the Thief (v. 43-44), the Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant (v. 45-51), and the Parable of the Talents (25:14-30). These additions were necessitated by the fact that the Markan discourse assumed that the parousia would closely follow the destruction of Jerusalem. That is why the author of Matthew rephrased the disciples' question ("Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?", Mark 13:4) in order to distinguish the two more clearly ("Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and the close of the age?", Matthew 24:3), and added a break between the tribulation and the parousia (instead of occurring "in those days", it would occur "immediately after those days").

    Now, when we compare the Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant with its source in Mark 13:34-35, it contains many new details about the servants and the situation involved. These details all derive from the story of Joseph in the OT. He is the model of the faithful and wise servant. (It is interesting how this Society has never noted this despite identifying itself with the servant in the parable). Joseph was a slave, his master (kurios in Genesis 39:3-4 LXX) was Potipher. Joseph was "wise" or "shrewd" (phronimos in Genesis 41:33, 39 LXX, the same adjective in the parable), and he was tasked with the responsibility for dispensing "gifts of grain" (sitodosias) during the seven years of famine (Genesis 42:19 LXX). Josephus (Antiquitates 2.189) stated that Joseph "gave rations of grain" (siton dounai memetrèmenon), and Artapanus similarly wrote that Joseph had invented food rationing. It is thus significant that in the Lukan version of the parable, the faithful and wise servant "gives rations of grain" (didonai to sitometrion) "at the appointed time" (en kairò); this especially calls to mind the character of Joseph, and readers would readily recognize that the "appointed time" for Joseph were the seven years of famine for which Joseph had to plan for ahead of time. We also read that "his master appointed him over his household" (katestèsen ho kurios epi tès oiketeias autou), and this wording is verbatim of what is said about Joseph in Genesis 39:4-5 LXX: "And Joseph found favor before his master (kuriou), and he was well pleased with him and appointed him over his house (katestèsen auton epi tou oikou autou) and gave everything that he had into Joseph's control. And after he had been appointed over his house (katastathènai auton epi tou oikou) and over everything he had (epi panta hòsa), the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake, and the Lord's blessing was on all his possessions (en pasin tois huparkhousin autò) in the house and in the field". The latter phrase is also used later in the parable to refer to the faithful and wise servant's promotion over all the master's possessions: "Truly I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions (epi pasin tois huparkhousin autou)" (Matthew 24:47). Compare also Psalm 105:21 LXX: "He appointed him lord of his house (katestèsen auton kurion tou oikou) and ruler over all his possessions (arkhonta pasès tes ktèseòs autou)". These verbatim parralels show clearly that the author was here thinking of Joseph. Now in the story of Joseph, there was an episode when his master had left and Joseph was in charge of the house. This was the incident involving Potipher's wife. This inspired the figure of the wicked servant in the parable. Potipher's wife kept Joseph's garment "until his master comes back home (heòs èlthen ho kurios eis ton oikon)" (Genesis 39:16 LXX), and the wicked slave in the parable is the one NOT doing what he was supposed to be doing "when his master comes back (hon elthòn ho kurios autou)" (Matthew 24:46). Potipher's wife accused Joseph of mistreating the household, saying that he berated her and tried to rape her. Similarly, the wicked servant in the parable is described as acting abusively, "beating hs fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards" (v. 49). The detail about eating and drinking reflects the following tradition about Joseph's behavior when his master was away from the household: "If my master was absent, I drank no wine; for three-day periods I would take no food but give it to the poor and the ill" (Testament of Joseph 3:5-6). The wicked servant in the parable is then punished harshly by his master and confined in a prison: "He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (v. 51). This parallels the punishment that Joseph received from his master: "And Joseph's master, taking him, put him into the stronghold, into the place where the king's prisoners are confined" (Genesis 39:20 LXX), "Her husband came and threw me in prison in his own house, then the next day he whipped me and sent me to the Pharaoh's prison....I was jailed, I was beaten, I was sneered at but the Lord granted me mercy in the sight of the prison keeper" (Testament of Joseph 2:2, 8:4). But Joseph was vindicated and later was appointed by Pharaoh as ruler over all of Egypt. This parallels the promotion of the faithful and wise servant over all of the master's posessions.

    So clearly the author wants us to think of the story of Joseph when interpreting the Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant. How was the situation of Joseph similar to the problem posed by the delay of the parousia? The servant in the parable faithfully dispenses food at the appointed time; this draws on the figure of Joseph in both planning ahead to save food in advance, as well as carefully rationing out what was needed in the present in order to make the food last the appointed seven years of famine. Christians, particularly those in positions of authority like Joseph, needed to imitate this example. They needed to anticipate the present time of difficulty following the Jewish war and follow through their pastoral obligations; it wasn't the time to lose hope or act as if the master was not going to be returning after all. The same lesson is expressed in the Parable of the Foolish Virgins. They did not prepare adequately and "took no oil with them" and so their lamps went out too early (Matthew 25:3, 8). This is parallel to the figure of Joseph in the Faithful and Wise Servant parable taking the precaution of saving grain during the seven years of plenty in order to have an adequate supply of food during the famine. The lesson in both parables is to be prepared in case things take longer to happen. The Parable of the Talents viewed the time of the apparent delay instead as an opportunity, as a time during which the servants can invest and reap further reward with interest.

  • sabastious
    So clearly the author wants us to think of the story of Joseph

    I totally agree Leolaia and thank you for that awesome breakdown. I have been thinking about this connection for quite some time now. Both Potiphar AND Pharaoh appoint Joseph to a position of leadership after being impressed with him specifically his dream interpreting. To me this is an allegorical reference to the celestial relationship that Jesus Christ (Jospeh) has with his Father (Potiphar, Pharoah). Even though Joseph was given total authority by the two people (Potiphar and Pharaoh) they still actually had the ultimate power, but freely gave it up ("Father greater than Son"). It shows the trust that God the Father (Potiphar, Pharaoh) has in his Son (Joseph) and the wisdom of letting Jesus use his unique skills to further the civilization.

    Genesis 47 has Joseph feeding the region:

    13 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”

    16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

    So, the appointment of Jospeh pays off by unifying the entire region and the day is effectively saved (which is forshadowing for Jesus). Joseph provides salvation to the known world from a famine which perfectly correlates with the Faithful Slave Parable. He does this by making deals with surrounding nations.

    This brings me back to the rhetorical question in the parable. " Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? " The original faithful and wise servant was Christ, but now that Christ has been appointed over all of God's household (when he rose himself after three days) he will do the same with humanity upon returning. The appointing of Christ's slave shouldn't happen until he returns, which I don't think has happened yet.


  • Listener

    If the parable was fulfilled in 1919 (which in itself sounds like a contradiction) then how has the wicked slave been punished?

  • mP

    I said it before and ill say it again its amazing how from just a few lines of text they can write dozens of books and so many magazines. Its a shame that God didnt throw in an extra line about curing cancer or something.

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