Governing Body

by Daym123 30 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Mr.logic
    Ask an elder where in their bible it shows in 1935 the door to heaven was shut, no wt b.s., the bible, NWT bible, they can't.
  • Doug Mason
  • shadow


    Here are some references about the group usually referred to as the 1st century governing body. My comments are in black.


    Barnabas has to convince apostles about Paul. Jesus did not see fit to inform them.
    (Acts 9:23-30) 23 Now when a good many days were coming to a close, the Jews took counsel together to do away with him. 24 However, their plot against him became known to Saul. But they were closely watching also the gates both day and night in order to do away with him. 25 So his disciples took him and let him down by night through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket. 26 On arriving in Jerusalem he made efforts to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe he was a disciple. 27 So Bar´na•bas came to his aid and led him to the apostles, and he told them in detail how on the road he had seen the Lord and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he continued with them, walking in and out at Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord; 29 and he was talking and disputing with the Greek-speaking Jews. But these made attempts to do away with him. 30 When the brothers detected this, they brought him down to Caes•a•re´a and sent him off to Tarsus. Grudgingly accept Peter’s testimony, again Jesus did not inform any group such as a governing body. (Acts 11:1-18 ) 11 Now the apostles and the brothers that were in Ju•de´a heard that people of the nations had also received the word of God. 2 So when Peter came up to Jerusalem, the [supporters] of circumcision began to contend with him, 3 saying he had gone into the house of men that were not circumcised and had eaten with them. 4 At this Peter commenced and went on to explain the particulars to them,
    17 If, therefore, God gave the same free gift to them as he also did to us who have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I should be able to hinder God?” 18
    Now when they heard these things, they acquiesced, and they glorified God, saying: “Well, then, God has granted repentance for the purpose of life to people of the nations also.” Brothers from Judea were the source of the problem about the circumcision issue. (Acts 15:1-26) 15 And certain men came down from Ju•de´a and began to teach the brothers: “Unless YOU get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, YOU cannot be saved.” 2 But when there had occurred no little dissension and disputing by Paul and Bar´na•bas with them, they arranged for Paul and Bar´na•bas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and older men in Jerusalem regarding this dispute.
    3 Accordingly, after being conducted partway by the congregation, these men continued on their way through both Phoe•ni´cia and Sa•mar´i•a, relating in detail the conversion of people of the nations, and they were causing great joy to all the brothers. 4 On arriving in Jerusalem they were kindly received by the congregation and the apostles and the older men, and they recounted the many things God had done by means of them. 5 Yet, some of those of the sect of the Pharisees that had believed rose up from their seats and said: “It is necessary to circumcise them and charge them to observe the law of Moses.”
    Seems to have caused quite an argument. 6 And the apostles and the older men gathered together to see about this affair. 7 Now when much disputing had taken place, Peter rose and said to them: “Men, brothers, YOU well know that from early days God made the choice among YOU that through my mouth people of the nations should hear the word of the good news and believe; 8 and God, who knows the heart, bore witness by giving them the holy spirit, just as he did to us also. 9 And he made no distinction at all between us and them, but purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why are YOU making a test of God by imposing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we were capable of bearing? 11 On the contrary, we trust to get saved through the undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus in the same way as those people also.” Paul & Barnabas finally get the floor. 12 At that the entire multitude became silent, and they began to listen to Bar´na•bas and Paul relate the many signs and portents that God did through them among the nations. Perhaps more respect given to James by these Judean brothers than given to Paul? Sometimes local elder listened to more readily, or maybe because of sharing a similar view about need to still follow the Law? 13 After they quit speaking, James answered, saying: “Men, brothers, hear me. 14 Sym´e•on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 ‘After these things I shall return and rebuild the booth of David that is fallen down; and I shall rebuild its ruins and erect it again, 17 in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name, says Jehovah, who is doing these things, 18 known from of old.’ 19 Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20 but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21 For from ancient times Moses has had in city after city those who preach him, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every sabbath.” 22 Then the apostles and the older men together with the whole congregation favored sending chosen men from among them to Antioch along with Paul and Bar´na•bas, namely, Judas who was called Bar´sab•bas and Silas, leading men among the brothers; 23 and by their hand they wrote: “The apostles and the older men, brothers, to those brothers in Antioch and Syria and Ci•li´cia who are from the nations: Greetings! Admission that problem was from Judea, although not instructed to do so. 24 Since we have heard that some from among us have caused YOU trouble with speeches, trying to subvert YOUR souls, although we did not give them any instructions, 25 we have come to a unanimous accord and have favored choosing men to send to YOU together with our loved ones, Bar´na•bas and Paul, 26 men that have delivered up their souls for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Later Paul had been warned by the spirit that if he went to Jerusalem, he would be imprisoned and face tribulations. (Acts 20:22-23) 22 And now, look! bound in the spirit, I am journeying to Jerusalem, although not knowing the things that will happen to me in it, 23 except that from city to city the holy spirit repeatedly bears witness to me as it says that bonds and tribulations are waiting for me. (Acts 21:4) 4 By a search we found the disciples and remained here seven days. But through the spirit they repeatedly told Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem. (Acts 21:8-14) 8 The next day we set out and arrived in Caes•a•re´a, and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelizer, who was one of the seven men, and we stayed with him. 9 This man had four daughters, virgins, that prophesied. 10 But while we were remaining quite a number of days, a certain prophet named Ag´a•bus came down from Ju•de´a, 11 and he came to us and took up the girdle of Paul, bound his own feet and hands and said: “Thus says the holy spirit, ‘The man to whom this girdle belongs the Jews will bind in this manner in Jerusalem and deliver into the hands of people of the nations.’” 12 Now when we heard this, both we and those of that place began entreating him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered: “What are YOU doing by weeping and making me weak at heart? Rest assured, I am ready not only to be bound but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we acquiesced with the words: “Let the will of Jehovah take place.” Years later governing body (??) was still concerned about impression given to Jews, leading to the bad advice given to Paul resulting in his arrest. (Acts 21:18-25) 18 But on the following [day] Paul went in with us to James; and all the older men were present. 19 And he greeted them and began giving in detail an account of the things God did among the nations through his ministry. 20 After hearing this they began to glorify God, and they said to him: “You behold, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews; and they are all zealous for the Law. 21 But they have heard it rumored about you that you have been teaching all the Jews among the nations an apostasy from Moses, telling them neither to circumcise their children nor to walk in the [solemn] customs. 22 What, then, is to be done about it? In any case they are going to hear you have arrived. 23 Therefore do this which we tell you: We have four men with a vow upon themselves. 24 Take these men along and cleanse yourself ceremonially with them and take care of their expenses, that they may have their heads shaved. And so everybody will know that there is nothing to the rumors they were told about you, but that you are walking orderly, you yourself also keeping the Law. 25 As for the believers from among the nations, we have sent out, rendering our decision that they should keep themselves from what is sacrificed to idols as well as from blood and what is strangled and from fornication.” This advice did not turn out too well for Paul, since he was beaten, arrested and later sent to Rome as a prisoner. Jesus did make this turn out for the good anyway. (Acts 23:11) 11 But the following night the Lord stood by him and said: “Be of good courage! For as you have been giving a thorough witness on the things about me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.” Here’s the WT on this incident: *** w87 8/1 pp. 13-14 Christ Actively Leads His Congregation ***
    An Unusual Decision
    15 Another interesting example of Christ’s active direction of things from heaven is what took place after Paul’s third missionary journey. Luke relates that upon returning to Jerusalem,
    Paul made a full report to the members of the governing body on hand. Luke wrote: “Paul went in with us to James; and all the older men were present. And he greeted them and began giving in detail an account of the things God did among the nations through his ministry.” (Acts 21:17-19) After hearing Paul, the assembled body gave him clear-cut instruction, stating: “Do this which we tell you.” They ordered him to go to the temple and publicly demonstrate that he was not “teaching all the Jews among the nations an apostasy from Moses, telling them neither to circumcise their children nor to walk in the solemn customs.”—Acts 21:20-24. 16 One might question the wisdom of this instruction. As we have already seen, years earlier James, and perhaps other elders present on both occasions, had sent Paul away from Jerusalem because his life was threatened by “Greek-speaking Jews.” (Acts 9:29) In spite of this, Paul complied with the order, in line with what he had already said at 1 Corinthians 9:20. But like causes produce like effects. “Jews from [the Roman province of] Asia” caused a riot and tried to kill Paul. Only quick action by Roman soldiers saved him from being lynched. (Acts 21:26-32) Since Christ is the active Head of the congregation, why did he cause the governing body to require Paul to go into the temple? 17 The answer becomes apparent in what occurred the second night after Paul’s arrest. He had given a fine witness to the mob that sought to kill him and, the following day, to the Sanhedrin. (Acts 22:1-21; 23:1-6) For the second time he was nearly lynched. But that night, Jesus appeared to him and said: “Be of good courage! For as you have been giving a thorough witness on the things about me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.” (Acts 23:11) Remember the threefold mission Christ had foretold for Paul. (Acts 9:15) Paul had borne Christ’s name to “the nations” and to “the sons of Israel,” but the time had now come for him to witness “to kings.” Because of that decision by the governing body, Paul was able to witness to Roman procurators Felix and Festus, to King Herod Agrippa II, and, finally, to Roman Emperor Nero. (Acts, chapters 24–26; 27:24) Who can doubt that Christ was behind all of this? Conveniently forgotten is the fact that Jesus previously warned Paul not to go. So was Jesus behind all this, or did he give Paul warnings to avoid Jerusalem, knowing that Paul would follow the misguided advice of the brothers in Jerusalem?


    Paul contacted directly by Jesus at his conversion and did not then report to a governing body. Even when he did go to Jerusalem, he did not see a governing body.
    (Galatians 1:17-19) 17 Neither did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles previous to me, but I went off into Arabia, and I came back again to Damascus. 18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to visit Ce´phas, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 But I saw no one else of the apostles, only James the brother of the Lord. Absent from Jerusalem for 14 years and then went only because of the problem that started from there. (Galatians 2:1-14) 2 Then after fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Bar´na•bas, taking also Titus along with me. 2 But I went up as a result of a revelation. And I laid before them the good news which I am preaching among the nations, privately, however, before those who were outstanding men, for fear that somehow I was running or had run in vain. 3 Nevertheless, not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. 4 But because of the false brothers brought in quietly, who sneaked in to spy upon our freedom which we have in union with Christ Jesus, that they might completely enslave us— Paul refused to submit to brothers from Judea. 5 to these we did not yield by way of submission, no, not for an hour, in order that the truth of the good news might continue with YOU. Paul apparently observed no clearly defined positions and did not receive any new light there. It seems to me that Paul was not in the least reticent in their presence or intimidated by brothers in Judea. 6 But on the part of those who seemed to be something— whatever sort of men they formerly were makes no difference to me—God does not go by a man’s outward appearance—to me, in fact, those outstanding men imparted nothing new. 7 But, on the contrary, when they saw that I had entrusted to me the good news for those who are uncircumcised, just as Peter [had it] for those who are circumcised— 8 for He who gave Peter powers necessary for an apostleship to those who are circumcised gave powers also to me for those who are of the nations; 9 yes, when they came to know the undeserved kindness that was given me, James and Ce´phas and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars, gave me and Bar´na•bas the right hand of sharing together, that we should go to the nations, but they to those who are circumcised. 10 Only we should keep the poor in mind. This very thing I have also earnestly endeavored to do. Paul again refused to submit to wrong example of Peter. James seemed unable to even convince his close associates to change some of their behavior in regard to their Gentile brothers even after the council in Jerusalem. 11 However, when Ce´phas came to Antioch, I resisted him face to face, because he stood condemned. 12 Forbefore the arrival of certain men from James, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he went withdrawing and separating himself, in fear of those of the circumcised class. Another example of concern with impression given to Jews. 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense, so that even Bar´na•bas was led along with them in their pretense. 14 But when I saw they were not walking straight according to the truth of the good news, I said to Ce´phas before them all: “If you, though you are a Jew, live as the nations do, and not as Jews do, how is it that you are compelling people of the nations to live according to Jewish practice?” WT writes that Paul was a member of the 1st century governing body. They apparently did not meet very often since as far as we know, Paul only met with them twice in over twenty years.

    Peter is also viewed as part of this governing body, yet his letters are written from Babylon. That would also seem to be a hindrance to attending governing body meetings in Jerusalem.

    Not one letter in the Bible is written collectively and anonymously by a governing body, only individuals were used. When Jesus wanted someone to do something in particular, Jesus contacted them directly.

    WT seems to imply that authority of apostles was superseded by governing body:
    *** w97 5/15 pp. 16-17 Theocratic Administration in the Christian Era ***
    6 When Paul came to Jerusalem about the year 56 C.E., he reported to James and, the Bible says, “all the older men were present.” (Acts 21:18 ) Why was there no mention of apostles at this meeting? Again, the Bible does not say. But the historian Eusebius later reported that some time before 66 C.E., “the remaining apostles, in constant danger from murderous plots, were driven out of Judea. But to teach their message they travelled into every land in the power of Christ.” (Eusebius, Book III, V, v. 2) True, Eusebius’ words are not part of the inspired record, but they do harmonize with what that record says. For example, by 62 C.E., Peter was in Babylon—far from Jerusalem. (1 Peter 5:13) Still, in 56 C.E., and likely right up until 66 C.E., a governing body was clearly active in Jerusalem.
    So I just don’t see much evidence to support the contention that there was a 1st century governing body administering the congregations. Some such arrangement may be appropriate now (although somewhat Pharisaical and proud as portrayed in the literature, IMHO) in view of the fact that we don’t have the benefit of inspiration or direct communication with Jesus or angels, but I don’t really see that is the way it was in the 1st century.

  • smiddy

    Was C.T.Russell or any of his associates the Governing Body or part thereof ?

    If he was , why do the current Governing Body distance themselves from his teachings ,sermons ,and lectures today ?

    If he wasn`t ? a part of the Governing Body , Well then where does that leave the organization today ?

    After all he was the founder of the I.B.S.A. the pre-cursor to the Jehovah Witness religion was he not .?

    What organization , Religious or otherwise , disowns their foundation roots ?


  • TJ Brother
    TJ Brother

    I would ask:

    if God used a GB in the first century , who was part of that body in later centuries ? The Catholic church? If not why? Because of wrong teachings ? And the Watchtower did not teach anything wrong too?

  • blondie

    It's hard to add to these things but I find that jws go into overload and the apostate attennae come out.

    What was revelatory to me was taking a look at Acts 15 and seeing that the phrase "governing body" is not in the New World Translation, not even in the jw/wt product. The WTS uses that phrase in conjunction with Acts 15 so often that jws don't notice that the WTS never places quotes around it. I have shown that to 2 inactive jws I know that were still believers and they were stunned. It took them a week thinking about that to realize they had been deceived. It opened the door for them and me.

    *** w12 2/1 p. 27 Why Does God Have an Organization? ***

    In the first century, the Christian congregations in many lands benefited from a central governing body that recognized Jesus as the Head of the congregation. (Acts 16:4, 5)

  • tim3l0rd
    Ask an elder where in their bible it shows in 1935 the door to heaven was shut, no wt b.s., the bible, NWT bible, they can't.


    That teaching was abandoned years ago. I forget when, but "new light" opened the door for many more "anointed". The number of "anointed" has been rapidly increasing year over year.

  • johnamos

    I don’t see the point in trying to prove that there was or was not a GB back in the 1st century…is it just to say the there is no need for one today??? That is just like saying there is no need for companies to have CEO’s and managers, etc…

    The only thing that needs to be disproved or at least called into question is rather or not the current teachings/beliefs coming from GB are correct or not.

    On the following site you can find many questions that you can ask that will put those trying to answer in a catch-22…the questions bring out the truth and exposes the errors, or in the case of the WTS/GB, flat out intentional lies.
  • FWFranz


    You may have some difficulty trying to convince a JW that the parable about a "wise and faithful servant" is not a prophecy as the WTS insists. So I would approach it from this angle.

    Ask the JW these two questions.

    Why has the WTS been uncertain of who the "slave" actually is, requiring that they redefine the identity of the "slave" numerous times since first adopting this doctrine. There is no biblical example of a servant/prophet of God who was unsure of his own identity over a 100 year period. That notion is utterly ludicrous. The WTS has continually reinvented the identity of the slave since day one. God is not the author of such confusion.

    Next would be to examine the fruitage of this supposed "chosen servant of God". Virtually every time prophecy/prediction that this "slave" has made has failed. Can they site a similar scenario in the bible with true prophets of God who had a 100 year track record of failed predictions. I think not.

    If your friend does not respond to this information, he may never see the light, but at least it is worth trying.


  • Daym123


    Sorry when i clicked quote to quote you, it wouldnt end, so I am just going to address you by name :)

    Forive me if I don't understand why it is important if there are quotes or not in their publication when it comes to the Governing Body? What am I missing there?

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