My ex and I did a Bible reading at bedtime every night. We actually read through the Bible twice together. I read it on my own as well. A total of 7 times.
How Much Did You Actually Study the Bible as a JW?
I actually gave Bible reading a higher priority than reading Watchtower literature when I was a JW. I took the literature at its word when it said that was it to be considered as a 'Bible-based help and not as a substitute for the Bible'. I thought that was an admirable sentiment, and I took seriously what the Reasoning book says about the Bible, that JWs 'consider it the final authority'. So, I read it 4 times over, and wondered at fellow JWs who seemed unable to find scriptures on their own while out in the ministry... I figured that even if you never read much of the literature, if you had the Bible, you could develop spiritual maturity.
When I did my personal studying, I would read the daily text first, then read a couple of chapters of the Bible, and then, I would read Watchtower/Awake! magazines, the Yearbook, whatever new publication I hadn't read yet, and of course the Young People Ask! and Your Youth book chapters on 'self-abuse'. So of course, I rarely got time to do all of that during a normal day, so the Bible would usually be the one thing I managed to read the most.
Of course, the 'faithful slave' does create a bit of a paradox in saying only they truly understand the Bible, and that's probably why an alarming number of JWs have never read it in its entirety. Well, I can't say it's an alarming number; I don't really know how many. My mom taught me everything she knew, and to my knowledge she has yet to read the whole thing; my brother is an MS/pioneer and he's never read the whole thing, either. I guess the reality is that there is no contradiction here--for a JW, reading the Bible isn't really necessary beyond what's referenced in the Watchtower literature. After all, you won't get all the same rules from reading the Bible. You won't know that you need to shave or not paint the roof of a church or what have you.
Not at all. Just a repetitive review of the few dozen proof texts in the JW oeuvre. Along with the sophisticated Greek grammar and classical logic, of course. Did you know that the Greek definite article, ho, is missing from the second instance of theos in John 1!? Therefore, Constantine borrowed the idea from the pagans to hold his empire together!
My experience was JWs generally don't have any idea about scripture. And why would they?
I read it just enough to back up whatever the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger said. At some point, I noticed that they were robotically going to the same few scriptures all the time, not taking anything in context. And now, as an apostate, I have read enough to realize that the witlesses don't abide by it as they claim to.
Also, I now understand the LIE-ble enough to realize it is the biggest piece of sxxx ever written. Anyone reading it without bias would quickly realize Satan is our Savior, Jehovah as a tyrant, and that Jesus was a totally unnecessary "solution(??)" to a problem that doesn't exist. They would find the LIE-ble to be the most anti-Semitic book around (especially realizing Israel is doing the same crap now as they did back then). It is the most blatantly misogynic, homophobic, slavery- and torture-condoning piece of sxxx you are ever going to see. It is also a terror threat--death and hell threats made against people for not abiding by the LIE-ble coerce people to cower before its harmful power. Sex is regulated and infused with guilt, as is pleasure. Just about everything natural is bashed in that book. Of course, you are never going to realize any of that simply by reading just enough to fit the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger's doctrines.
I scanned the "Weekly Bible Reading" in usually five minutes and searched the internet for someone's reasearch using the "Insight Books" or "Watchtower CD" to wow the congregation. "You really love the Bible, how do you do it?" I lie and say, hard work and lots of reading.
My family read 2 to 3 chapters of the Bible every morning before the daily text. That lead me how fight withmy mom on the way back from meeting when I heard something which wasn't supported by the Bible eg discouraging higher education, marriage to non witnesses etc.
From example from bible reading we learned that Jacob, David, Samson, Ruth, rahab's husband, Esther, Lois, Eunice the list is endless. All the above married non isrealites. That's stuff that preteen me, learned from bible readings and used to battle out with mybmom. I'm glad I'm out.
My bad for the typos
I can't recall ever reading the Bible. We read WT lit that referenced Bible quotes. It was piece meal. One isolated verse after another isolated verse. There was no Bible study at all. I've been in several since leaving the Witnesses. We read large chunks of the Bible and then discuss among ourselves what we think. No one had any more authority than anyone else. There was always great coffee and tea.
B/c of my interests, if something strikes me as out of character for Jesus from reading almost all other verses about Jesus, I would state so clearly. Other people who had problems would chime it. There was no judgment or correction. Also, most of the time I've been in Women's Bible Study classes. No one takes notes. You learn the Bible as it was meant to be read. Also, there is bonding and great respect among the members.
We always treat ourselves to a great restaurant at the end of the semester.
Of course, I read the NT as part of a college and later seminary courses. For a long while, I read several chapters a day. The legal training helped me b/c I was able to focus more on the text.
It is a very rare Witness who has any clue as to what is in the Bible. Silly me grew up believing the average Witness knew more than seminary trained clergy.