Study the Bible with JW - Any advice?

by FingersCrossed 60 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • punkofnice
    Another thing that I noticed is that when you point out the flaws of the WTS, the JW will point the same finger to other churches as "do you not think that other churches had never committed such mistakes etc?"

    Aha! Here they go with the logical fallacy/propaganda technique of 'the fallacy of moral equivalence'. Diversion tactics.

    It's worth looking up logical'll start noticing a LOT of them with the JWs!

    TBH. I'd say avoid 'studying'(TM) like the plague.

    DON'T DO IT!!

    Regards Paul

  • Balaamsass

    Why waste your time?

    Spend the time with a hobby, fishing, or taking a course at a local college. At least you will have something tangible to show for your effort.

  • DesirousOfChange

    My experience with a JW "studying The Bible" vs. WTS Publications, is that they will use the format of the current study publication for their discussion. A good start for doing this would be that JWs believe we are in the Last Days and the GT/BigA is near, so let's consider what the Bible says about that and go to Matt 24; Luke 21; 2 Tim 3; and follow the WT format to prove all these signs are true and thus prove The End is soon, very soon, very very soon.

    A fair thing to do then would be to examine their history of this teaching. When did they first teach it? What exactly did they teach? Is this what they teach now? (No.) What are the changes and why are there changes? If this is about proving or disproving that they are God's "true organization", then why would God mislead them originally and only wait until many years later to change their understanding, causing many to lose faith and leave, and causing many of the early believers to be "left out" completely in the fulfillment?

    Spend some time @

    It's often easier to disprove something vs. actually proving it.

    Is the inactive JW a romantic interest?


  • InterestedOne

    FingersCrossed wrote:

    1) No WTS literature 2) Reading the Bible words by words 3) ??

    For #3, I suggest you both agree to leave your doctrines/theology/preconceived notions at the door as best you can. Don't try to prove your own doctrine under the guise of an innocent/objective study.

    Also, here is a problem that may arise: What do you do when you don't understand something in this "Bible only" study? What if you need to look up a word in a "Bible dictionary" or "Bible encyclopedia?" Plenty of organizations publish this kind of so-called "study aid" material, including the Watchtower Society. So whose Bible dictionary or encyclopedia do you use? As you might expect, the Watchtower's dictionaries and encyclopedias are written to support their doctrine - I have some on my bookshelf and sometimes laugh out loud at how obviously biased they are, but other groups are biased as well. I don't have an answer for where you should turn for study assistance except to say that, whatever extra study material you use, whether religious or secular, remember that the author always has a bias.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Yes: I would start with the issue of interpretation

    FIRST HOME VISIT: Interpretation Guidlines

    After initial exchanges you might want to open discussion with something like:

    I mentioned to you that I don't believe that the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses is biblical. So before we explore anything else, I'd like to explain how I distinguish what is biblical from what is not that you will know what I can accept as truth and what I can't accept. Matthew 13:44 provides an excellent way to illustrate this. (Go to the passage)

    Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hidden in a field;

    the which when a man has found, he hideth, and for joy thereof

    goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Mt.13:44

    Note: This verse is outside the box for JWs. You can ask how they understand this parable but they may be somewhat reluctant to offer an explanation. Consider their views if presented and then follow up with the following totally fabricated explanation/interpretation:

    - Imagine you are approached one day by two young elders who

    see this passage as support for the Mormon religion. They explain

    that Joseph Smith discovered a treasure in gold plates while walking

    in a field in Up State NY- in the year 1827. He immediately buried these

    plates, but later after fully dedicating himself to God's kingdom concerns, returned to unearth them. They add that these plates were then translated

    into what we know today as The Book of Mormon. Then you are asked to

    compare Matt 13:44 with Ez.37:16 regarding the stick/book of Joseph.

    What could be said to: (i) discredit their interpretation?

    (ii) set them straight on this passage?

    Note: Again as this is outside the box your visitors will probably have little to say. Offer to share your strategy:

    Here's how I would handle this situation.

    a. First, before directly tackling the elder’s understanding, I would introduce these four basic guidelines regarding interpretation into the discussion.


    i. There must be a scriptural reference that can be

    cited for support of any doctrinal claim or position.

    ii. The scriptural reference must not be tampered with,

    added to, deleted from, or have words substituted or

    meanings altered.

    iii. Scriptural references are considered arbitrarily linked

    unless it is shown that subject or content is clearly related.

    iv. Interpretations of biblical passages must take into

    consideration, context, including textual, situational

    cultural and historical contexts.

    Do you think applying these guidelines might help reduce doctrinal error?

    b. Secondly, I would then use these four guidelines to demonstrate that their explanation of Matthew 13:44 is not a biblical interpretation, but an extra-biblical interpolation; that they are in fact guilty of interpretive abuse not only for ignoring context and arbitrarily linking unrelated passages, but also for tampering with (impregnating) the text by superimposing their own church history, names, dates and places onto the Bible.

      c. Lastly, I would apply the sound biblical interpretative practice of letting the Bible interpret itself by informing them that this parable is 1 of 7 mostly field parables spoken to the multitudes from a boat. Unlike Jesus' vineyard parables that apply specifically to Israel, these field parables pertain to the church and actually foresee the development of the church through history until the harvest. As indicated in the parallel passage in the fourth chapter of Mark, all field parables are related (see Mark 4:13) The keys to interpreting the parable are found in the explanation of the other field parables.

    The field = the world [verse 38 of Matthew 13]

    Man in field = Son of Man [verses 24, 37 of Mat 13]

    The treasure = Good Seed/ Children of the kingdom/ Church [verse 38]


    The Son of Man gives everything he has to purchase field/world to

    acquire his hidden ( hidden even from the prophets [verse 17])


    Do you think that my pointing out their interpretive abuse might help the elders to see that their teachings here are extra-biblical and untrustworthy?

    Do you think that sound exegesis might correct them or get them to change their minds about this parable? Why not?

    Note: Because their primary faith is in their church leadership and not in the Bible - neither pointing out their interpretive abuse, nor providing sound exegesis is likely to convince these elders that their teachings on this passage are extra-biblical and therefore untrustworthy.

    Clarification: You do agree that the elders’ beliefs about this passage

    are not biblical - that they are in fact the product of interpretive abuse

    and really represent extra-biblical teachings of men? In other words these

    elders accept their interpretation of this passage because their church

    teaches it, not because it is clear from the Bible – right?

    Looking at your religion now: Is it possible that the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses is entirely founded on (similar) interpretive abuse? ….that the entire basis of your organizations' authority rests not on the Bible, but on the speculations of men?

  • garyneal
  • garyneal
  • FingersCrossed

    Is the inactive JW a romantic interest?

    Unfortunately, yes. Some of you may had read my 1st post, I had decided to stick with him. I love him and I think leaving him because of his current situation would make me no different from the JWs, and at the moment, I just can't bring myself to do that. Especially when he said he is still trying to figure out things (although obviously his thoughts and views are still very much leaning towards the teachings of the cult).

    At least I have to do my very best to help him now and I'll see what will happen and decide from there.

    I really appreciate all of your feedback, I think they are very helpful. I really need that because I don't know much about JW myself. I only found out about the cult too late, when I was already in the relationship with him (although he had told me earlier about it, but I didn't know how seriously a cult it was).


  • Ding


    Be very careful not to get sucked into the WTS.

    A lot of people here can testify that if you think there's no way that could happen, you are in real danger of it.

  • ilikecheese

    "It is a lot of fun, because they have a rigid indoctrination about what the Bible is about that is at such great variance with what is written that when confronted with the actual text they will start spewing all sorts of nonsensical stuff, much of it outright funny."

    haha That's been my favorite bit of studying the Bible with my boyfriend. The stuff he comes up with is so ridiculous, not scriptural, and makes absolutely no sense. Half the time, he even laughs about it. I just think it's funny that whenever a verse comes up that seems to disagree with their doctrine, he's got this little guide to go to that basically explains why the Bible doesn't actually mean what it says. Why it, in fact, means something completely different. That Bible... so sneaky!

    You should probably get to know as much about the Bible and JW beliefs as you can, though, because they come up with this stuff that seems semi-convincing and like they really know what they're talking about. Half of this stuff is going to be something you've never thought of because it's blatantly untrue, but they cherry pick verses that are completely taken out of context to explain it. If you're not expecting it, you'll be kind of confused. Every single thing I've read on here or any other site exposing The Watchtower says which arguments and verses JWs will use to prove their point. Without fail, the exact same stuff comes out all the time. They are exceptionally good at brainwashing their followers with nonsense.

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