Bible Study with JW Starts with the book of John

by FingersCrossed 18 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • NeverKnew

    Hi FC! You and I are in very similar predicaments only mine is baptized. :(

    I have spent a year and a half researching and I have to tell you, the breadth of the challenges can be overwhelming. Years ago, I was married to an abusive husband, divorced him, became a single mother who put herself through college while being blessed with getting her child into an independent school (leveraging a scholarship), I have a consulting business, I'm on a board of directors of a small theater company, I have a full time job, and I own rental property.

    Understanding the constructs and the evolution of these doctrines (along with the REAL reasons for the constructions), then attempting to gently deconstruct the damage that has been done to a born-in victim is harder than anything I've ever done. As you learn more, listening to a rationalization as he sits before you truly believing that what he knows to be real is incredibly painful.

    Reading this board with its variety of ex-JWs in various parts of their own processes of deconstruction, reconstruction and emotional healing has helped me tremendously so definitely stick around. You will learn a lot. This process has quite a few moving parts. First the questioning, then the learning, then there's an emotional component.. a social component... it's just absolutely mindboggling. If your BF is questioning, you're ahead of my curve.

    I'm in a position where I'm asking questions, he's providing WT answers, and I'm deconstructing the answers and asking him to answer for the WT constructions. He's grasping for the reality he's always known and the reality keeps turning into vapors.... but still he believes.

    As outsiders, I think we have more leeway to demand answers to questions that insiders can't ask without appearing to be going against the GB. We can PM each other whenever we're faced with breakthroughs and/or challenges!

  • NeverKnew

    OH, and btw, a few weeks ago, with the advice of the board, I learned which chapters helped them wake up. My goal was to do as you're doing right now. I listened as he adeptly parrotted synopses of the chapters we'd review but soon realized he wasn't really comprehending/understanding (not sure what the appropriate word would be without sounding insulting) the true meaning of the material. It took me a while to really get that. So, unless he's REALLY asked to interpret, he may be just parrotting. I can't explain it fully... I'm still trying to comprehend what he's doing myself. I just know that he repeats the words - but is incapable of providing the meanings. I'm getting the feeling that interpretation is blocked. He seems confused and not really confident when I push him and, as the board has warned, diverts the attention somewhere else. His greatest diversion is telling me we need to look up words like "light" (for an understanding of Prov 4:18) and "god" (for John 1:1). I'm still not getting that trick. I now tell HIM to look up those words and get back to me with the WT construction.

    I did a few consecutive chapters with him but because of the dynamic above, I was having a tough time gauging whether he was really getting it.

    Now, I express concerns about WT doctrine via text messaging. This gives me more control over the pace. I also time it for when he's away from his WT resources so to answer me, he has to leverage his own logic (God forbid). Invariably, he provides me with WT cherry-picked verses that he's heard quoted his whole life. I then ask him to read the chapter containing the verse he's quoted. FC, so far MOST IF NOT ALL of the verses he has quoted were in chapters that had nothing to do with his argument.

    I'm turning WT arguments into vapors.

    The most effective have been Proverbs 4:18 (which was an excusal for WT doctrinal reversals... uh, I mean "adjustments") and 1 Corinthians 14:40 (which was an argument for the scriptural structure of the organization). The last one was great... read THAT chapter and the JW will find that the orderly way the Bible describes is NOT they way they do things.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    John is a very strange book to start a Bible study. John was the last written of the canonical gospels. It is markedly different in tone than Matthew, Mark or Luke. It is more theology masquerading as a gospel. Well, John 1:1 is where the main differences between the Witnesses and other Christian faiths depart. Who is Jesus? Was he God of very God? Michael. John 1 leads you to the core of Witness teaching.

    B/c the poetry is so soaring, it is easy to get different interpretations. When I was a Witness, I read it to be the way Witnesses want. Now that I've studied much more, I just find it beautiful and a possible support for the Incarnation and pre-existence of Christ.

    You are heading into very heady territory. 1:1 is powerful for the Trinity. If you google John 1:1, there will be a host of interpretations.

  • FingersCrossed

    Ahhhh!! I have so many options I don't know where to start . But thanks for all your feedbacks. My initial plan was to start with Roman & Ephesians (As CA said, to let him know his identity in Christ), but then a friend said I should start with John, to know who Jesus is... My whole point of the study is not to argue with him or to tell him about the flaws of the WTF WTS, but to let him see what the Bible really says and help him to think for himself.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I agree that Romans should be the start of a Christian Bible Study. Paul's letters were written first. His version of Christianity became orthodox. When he wrote Romans, he was starting fresh. He had never visited Rome. It was modern day New York. Romans provided him an opportunity to set forth his theology, separate from the personalities of local leaders. Paul knew he writing for all time to the capital of the world. It is his longest letter and no one contests its origin.

    John 1:1 is starkly different from the other gospels. The Church has already fleshed out a Christology. The Witness view on John 1 is opposed by almost every Christian group. Lose ground here and you will not make it up later.

    Anyway, they are not interested in teaching you. Their interest is converting you. You are a mere number. If you bow to their format, they win. If they lose, you will not see them a second time.

  • Fernando

    My favourite line of reasoning consists of a series of questions asked over time:

    1. Are you a "publisher of the Good News"?
    2. How long have you been a "publisher of the Good News"?
    3. Would you be willing and able explain the "Good News" to me from your heart?
    4. Would you be willing to do it verbally and on paper?
    5. Would you explain the "Good News" to me in one word, one sentence, and 1-3 paragraphs?
    6. Would you explain the "Good News" according to Paul to me, starting with the book of Romans?
    7. Would you explain the "Good News" according to Moses to me?
    8. Would you explain the "Good News" according to Isaiah to me?
    9. Would you explain the "Good News" according to Psalms to me?
    10. How do you feel about a "Good News" that does not include an ingredient called "salvation"?
    11. How do you feel about a "Good News" that does include an ingredient called "salvation"?

    And so on with the further 30-odd ingredients of the gospel (Jesus' birth/death/burial/resurrection/ascension, imputed righteousness, imputed holiness, imputed sinlessness, imputed sonship, grace or "unmerited favour", atonement/reconciliation, deliverance/liberation, ...)

  • Fernando

    At least three major things happen to those who pursue the unabridged gospel or full "Good News" to its zenith:

    1. They adopt a more inclusive and liberal worldview and become better people
    2. They find Jesus
    3. They leave the Watchtower (religion)

    The process took me 3½ years at a pace of 1,000 hours intense computer based research per year. Obviously everyone is different. As a 3rd generation born-in with no prior or alternate reference points, I was more loyal and more addicted and needed to be 100% sure of what I was doing.

    I walked out mid-2009 on evidence in the wt library alone, and the Pharisees' contempt of this evidence. Only then did I feel free to explore other sources such as the internet and library books.

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog

    How's the study going?

  • designs

    If you read John from a Catholic/Protestant slant is offers one set of ideas, if read from the Oriental Orthodox and Unitarian perspective it offers quite another set of ideas.

    Romans is just awful period, a fabrication and misrepresentation of Judaism is the only way Paul could make the pig fly. Think of Romans like the Trinity Brochure.

Share this