Dedication of Buildings (e.g. Kingdom Halls, Branch Offices etc)

by IMHO 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • IMHO

    What's with it. Just did I quick search It doesn't seem like this has been discussed.

    Why it's such a big deal, especially with branches where they are usually "dedicated" by a member of the Governing Body?

    Is there a spiritual, biblical, theocratic significance.

    Does it "change" the building?

    Should it be "un-dedicated" if it is sold.

    I await your insight and responses.

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    It's an example of Watchtower's old testament mentality. I think they use Solomon's dedication of the temple in Jerusalem as the scriptural precedent for this practice.

    First century christians never built and dedicated buildings to serve specifically as meeting places. They simply met in private homes of believers. Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman at John 4 is very relevant to this subject. Jesus indicated that true worshipers would not focus on particular physical locations for worship, but that they will worship in spirit and truth.

    The way JWs dedicate Kingdom Halls and practically regard them as holy places - as Jehovah's house - flies in the face of Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman. JWs are beggarly looking back to the glamor of the OT temple in Jerusalem. See my related post here.

  • leaving_quietly

    A very, very interesting question. I just did a little bit of research and found that this practice is definitely Old Testament.

    Sol′o·mon offered the communion sacrifices to Jehovah: He offered 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the Israelites inaugurated the house of Jehovah. On that day the king had to sanctify the middle of the courtyard that is before the house of Jehovah, for there he had to offer up the burnt sacrifices, the grain offerings, and the fat pieces of the communion sacrifices, because the copper altar that is before Jehovah was too small to contain the burnt sacrifices, the grain offerings, and the fat pieces of the communion sacrifices. At that time Sol′o·mon held the festival together with all Israel, a great congregation from Le′bo-ha′math down to the Wadi of Egypt, before Jehovah our God for 7 days and then another 7 days, 14 days in all. On the following day, he sent the people away, and they blessed the king and went to their homes rejoicing and feeling glad of heart over all the goodness that Jehovah had shown to David his servant and Israel his people. - 1 Kings 8:63-66

    Dedication of a building is like inaugurating.

    There's reference to the Festival of Dedication at John 10:22. What was this? It wasn't a festival based on the Law, it turns out. I didn't know this.

    The observance of the Festival of Dedication (Heb., chanuk·kah′) commemorates the recovery of Jewish independence from Syro-Grecian domination and the rededication to Jehovah of the temple at Jerusalem, which had been desecrated by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who called himself The·os′ E·pi·pha·nes′ (“God Manifest”) - it-1 p. 824

    This is actually quite interesting. Many scholars feel that this event marks the end of the 2300 days in Daniel 12. It makes for good research. I digress.

    Another mention of dedication is here:

    Whatever I have that could benefit you is corban (that is, a gift dedicated to God) - Mark 7:11

    The first reference to any dedication of a building I could find is from w50 p. 220-224. The article starts out:

    MONDAY, January 30, 1950, was set for dedication of the new Bethel to the consecrated service of the Most High God.

    Of course, there is no record in the New Testament / Greek Scriptures of any buildings being consecrated to the service of the Most High God. Why? Stephen answers this in Acts 7:48-50:

    However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands, just as the prophet says: ‘The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What sort of house will you build for me? Jehovah says. Or where is my resting-place? My hand made all these things, did it not?

    In addition, in New Jerusalem, there is no temple as a building. Why? Revelation 21:22 answers:

    I did not see a temple in it, for Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is.

    In conclusion, from a very quick look into this, dedicating a building to God is an Old Testament practice. Is it wrong? Not that I can tell. But it's certainly not necessary.

  • Apognophos

    I never made this connection before, this has been enlightening. It was an important aspect of Jewish religion to declare certain times and places to be sacred (the sabbath, the temple, etc.).

  • Bobcat

    The thing that gets me about 'dedicating' a Kingdom Hall to God is - How can you then turn around and sell it? It belongs to God, doesn't it? I can see fixing it or remodeling it. But selling it? - It has been dedicated to God. How can you sell it or even give it to someone else?

    For example, when a person 'dedicated' something to the temple, they felt it could not then even be used to help their needy parents, let alone sell it to others (Mt 15:5, 6) "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." (Mt 15:8)


  • hoser

    It becomes a beg fest. Some big wig from bethel comes and says a talk about how much more is needed to carry on the work that is ever expanding and people open up their wallets and contribute. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Apognophos

    Ha, wow, that is a great point Bobcat. "Jehovah, we dedicate this building to you until such time as we see a good opportunity to sell it to a funeral home business or something."


    Why it's such a big deal, especially with branches where they are usually "dedicated" by a member of the Governing Body?


    ................More WBT$ Real Estate = More WBT$ Money..




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  • stuckinarut2

    just another chance for a big get together meeting and indoctrination session...and money grab.....

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    A Kingdom Hall that hasn't been dedicated to Jehovah in the manner that was customary in Biblical times, can neither be used for Swing Dance nor Country Line Dance exhibitions.

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