What "Two Witness" Rule?

by Amazing 47 Replies latest jw friends

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Organized book (pdf file) can be downloaded from http://watchtower.observer.org/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Date=20020415&Category=SECRETBOOKS&ArtNo=204150004&Ref=AR

    If someone in the congregation has commited such a serious against you personally, do be hasty to turn to the overseers, or someone else, requesting them to intervene in your behalf. First of all, as Jesus counsels, speak with the one against whom you have a complaint. Try to resolve the matter between just the two of you without involving anyone else at all. If the matter can be straightened out in this way, the one who has sinned will certainly appreciate the fact that you have not told others about his sin and have not marred his good reputation among others in the congregation. You will have "gained your brother."

    Where the sinner accepts reproof, seeks forgiveness and straightens the matter out, Jesus states there is no need to carry the matter further. This fact shows that, although serious, the offenses here discussed were limited in nature to such as could be settled between the individuals involved. This would not include such offenses as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy, apostasy, idolatryand similar gross sins that should be reported to the elders and handled by them. When the law covenant was in force, these sins required more than forgiveness from an offended individual. -I Cor. 6:9, 10; Gal. 5:19-21.

    In view of this and in view of the illustration that Jesus subsequently gave, as recorded at Matthew 18: 23-25, the sins considered in Matthew 18:15-17 evidently were sins such as those involving financial or property matters-failure to make proper payment for something or some action involving a measure of fraud. The sin might damage ones reputation by actual slander. In these cases, if the offender recognized his wrong, expressed willingness to right it to the extent possible and sought forgiveness, the matter could be settled by the offended ones granting forgiveness. - Compare Matthew 5: 25, 26.

    What I find interesting here is that this is the book the publishers follow. They don't have access to the Flock book to see how the elders determine innocense or guilt. But they do have the cousel here to take serious sins to the elders. Notice that that none of the lists "sins" include criminal matters. However they do include sexual matters (adultery, fornication and homosexuality). Many people may consider that the crime of sex with a child might fall into one of the mentioned categories therefore leading them to beleive they need to go to the elders with the problem.

    Notice too the counsel (in yellow) that any accusation must be done carefully and quietly so that the accused's reputation is not damaged. That would then be classifed as slander leading to the offended person being reproved.

    Most JWs would put these two counsels together (not rocket science) and believe that since they cannot talk to the accused directly due to the nature and seriousness if the "sin" they would then be obligated to go directly to the elders.

    Counsel to maintain the reputation of the congregation would also inhibit a victim from going outside the congregation for help.

    Edited by - Lady Lee on 13 October 2002 12:11:22

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    the above is the 1983 version - will look for the older one

  • DannyBear


    The letter was posted by gumby, you probably already noticed.

    Tracing the origins of specific policy since the days of da judge, when Knorr decided that all recognition be attributed to the 'big brother', 'jeohooverh's arrangement of things', that any by line signature was putting to much emphasis on the individual. No wonder the stufft shirt NK should conclude such, after living through a couple of decades of the judges, meglomaniacal- self promoting- pompus ass- drivel and abusive personality. He was quite bright for doing so.

    Even with this change, it was seriously obvious to any reader during the Freddie/Knorr regime, that certain books like Babylong The Greatest, God's Kingdom Didn't Arrive Yet..........was written word for word by Freddie himself. So much for 'ghost writer's' eh?


  • alliwannadoislive

    Deuteronomy 22:25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die:

    Deuteronomy 22:26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; [there is] in the damsel no sin [worthy] of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so [is] this matter:

    Deuteronomy 22:27 For he found her in the field, [and] the betrothed damsel cried, and [there was] none to save her.

    This scripture and law from God clearly didn't require any witness other than the wronged one. Surely this makes a complete liar of the Borganisation which requires two witnesses for rape, incest and child abuse.

    Even so, the second witness is frequently present from forensics and still there are accounts of JW Elders denying those two witnesses (ie. the abused one and the forensic evidence) and standing alongside the one who should be condemned.

  • alliwannadoislive

    oh - I had another point on:

    Deuteronomy 22:27 For he found her in the field, [and] the betrothed damsel cried, and [there was] none to save her.

    I do not believe that this scripture was requiring the woman to scream, but purely that the language illustrates this was done against her will.

  • blondie

    Organization for Kingdom-Preaching and Disciple-Making (1 st edition 1972)

    Page 164 (last paragraph) through Page 165 paragraphs 1 and 2

    "For a matter to be established as true, there must be two or three witnesses. (1 Timl 5:19; Deut. 19:15; Heb. 10:28) These cannot be persons who are simply repeating what they have heard from someone else; they must be witnesses themselves of things concerning which they testify. No action is taken if there is just one witness; it is not that the brothers discredit the testimony, but the Bible requires that, unless the wrongdoer himself admits his sin, the facts must be substantiated by two or three witnesses in these serious matters.

    A person may come and confess a serious wrongdoing and implicate another with him. If the other person denies any sharing in the wrong, then the charge cannot be accepted without additional testimony to provide the necessary two or three witnesses; the committee would not act against the one accused. But the person confessing would be counseled and reproved as necessary, for he has either committed the deed he confesses or is guilty of lying, or both. If he is repentant, he would not be disfellowshipped for the wrong he confesses. But if later he is found to have liked against his brother, there would likely be need to take action against the false accuser. His having lied would place in serious question the genuineness of the "repentant" attitude he may have displayed earlier. Those bearing false witness in Israel were to receive the same treatment they sought to bring upon the one they falsely accused.Deut. 19:17-21.

    On the other hand, if the one accused (but who denies the charge) is actually guilty, we may be sure that Jehovah knows, and in time the truth will become know to his people. (1 Tim. 5:24) Holding to the Scriptural rule of two or three witnesses, however, the elders will be guilty of no injustice."

  • nicolaou
  • blondie

    Too bad, Nic, that you posted that "after" I typed all that stuff. Thanks.

  • happy man
    happy man

    i have now find my 1983 book, and it is clear, in this they dont say anything about this 2 or 3 wineses as we see from the topic from above.

    Inn his time we have the special elderbok who i no longer have, but sure this trhead show, that the 2 and 3 wittnes roule is not in the 82 version, why?

  • Amazing

    Thanks Blondie and Nicolaou: I have not found my copy yet, but the scan and the typed test help a great deal. the 1991 "Flock" book has some interesting remarks that modify the "two witness" rule to call it "preferred" ... so, if I can get the date from Gumby of the letter he posted (thanks for the correction Danny and thanks for the letter Gumby) ... then I can compare these to the BOE letters I have on the topic that spans many years ... and then create my essay. Thanks Happyman for your review of this and recollections ... I appreciate your honesty.

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