In the late sixties I began to collate all the scripture indexes and, using several copies of the NWT, I began to create a Bible of scriptures that the WTBTS did not comment on. As the project developed I was shocked to see what was left out. I felt like I had looked "behind the curtain" and found out something that no one could explain. I felt sad for everyone.
Did anyone really ever study?
Um, well really, what was there to study? I mean you had a paragraph and you had its associated question; the study paragraph begged (or was that beggared?) the question so that it was impossible to miss the answer. The only way they could have made it more obvious was to have put the answer to the question in italics.
Then there were the little dishonesties - and some big ones - the society used all the time. Their use of the ellipsis (...) went way beyond what was acceptable. That little ... might span pages and pages of materials, and leave out the really germane material which was often at odds with the point the society was making. I had a friend who has his own personal copy of McLintock & Strong's and he'd look up every refrence only to discover that the society had fudged the quotation big time. That's another reason to keep the membership comprised of window washers and carpet cleaners: they can't afford to purchase such arcane books.
And the one that really got to me was how the society fell right in with Paul's misogyny every chance it got, but when they wanted to quote a famous pop psychologist who was a woman, they cited "Dr. J. Brothers," as if people in the congo didn't know who the hell she was. That was a real hoot. And even funnier was the implication that they thought they'd pulled a slick one on everyone.
I kind of sort of did ... I read about 2000 words a minute ... and since the Watchtower material is fairly light compared to my professional career work, then it was easy to get through it and highlight some key points real fast ... after about 3 or 4 years 90% of the scriptures cited are known from memory, so I only needed to look up one or two once in a while ... on some ocassions, I did slow down to study in-depth, but I found that it was a disappointing experience, because I got little more out of it. The only book I ever really studied closely and carefully is the Bible ... and look at where I am at now. My family studies were moretly talk sessions as the kids got older ... and this was enriching ... but, did I study all the publications for all the meetings ... yes. But, as I said, I read fast and the material is light, so it was easy to get through it all.
Not only did I study for the meetings I studied for the family preparation study for the study. Hubby was an obsessive studier and would yell and scream and have a fit if I was prepared for the family study of the study.
I did it but hated it
Now I do it for fun - cuz it is a lot more fun to tear it to shreds that to swallow it whole
I studied hard at times ,depending how spirtual I felt.Which wasn't too often.I remember reading the same paragrah over and over trying to understand its gibberish.Have any of you found,some of the info was just gibberish and made no sense at all? The reasoning from the scripture book,was like that for me..no wonder some people would look at me like I was fool in service. lol
No I could not bring myselft to read something and then disect it. I read pretty fast and have excellent comprehension so If I read over the info before going over it it was pure torture to endure an hour of commenting on what I already read and understood. I would get counseled for not preparing and when my kids were young and I needed to get them answers I would do this during the meeting so I had something to do.
Did anyone else ever hurriedly underline random passages of their unstudied Watchtower or book study material on the way to the meeting, just to avoid the inevitable "tsk tsk" from Sister/Brother Holier-Than-Thou? :)
I remember doing this more than once. Talk about fear of man. And, I also remember being at the wt study without a copy of the mag and feeling very uncomfortable and wishing it would go by faster (no such luck).
I never underlined growing up and there weren't highlighters then (oh, I'm so old). I looked up only the scriptures I didn't recognize and know the words already (which isn't hard because the WTS index of scriptures used is only 30). I'm a fast reader/comprehender so just read ahead while the paragraph was being read to sum up the previous paragraph (yes, they used to ask the question first, and read the pargraph in summary until about 1970).
Now I study the article from the viewpoint, "What is not being said here?" (See Comments You will not hear at the WTS).
I try to think outside the box (lots of you here are a great help in that area).
My Watchtower was always such a mess from underlining and scribbling notes on the sides of the paragraphs I'd have to turn my WT around as I was reading my notes. Must have looked pretty funny. I never wanted anyone to look over and see what a mess they were. LOL
Geesh I even made a big mess out of my bibles. I would put notes on any blank space I could find when I wanted to make a notation of scriptures I thought were really important to remember and might come in handy.
I hate notes! I always made way to many notes. I need to alphabetize them and file them under categories. So I quit!
Not to mention my notes from scriptures sited in the WT never seemed to correspond with the paragraph OR the question. go figure
Through the Bible reading program which goes through the Bible (at that time in 1990, around every 8 years, now I think they have "speeded" up the program to every 6 years) I had looked forward with much anticipation to begin reading the Bible from the very beginning from Genesis and to try to make it through to Revelation. Well, around that time, due to serious marital problems, I began seeing a Psychologist (who is Jewish), well, by 1992, we were in the Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy books. Well, I came down with Salmonella food poisoning, and I landed in the hospital, a very prominent Jewish hospital in NYC, and the next thing I knew, I thought that I was in the Most Holy and thought that Elijah had been resurrected. I managed to keep up my Bible reading all through this time, I eventually recovered, and 4 years later while we had made it to the book of Jeremiah, I landed back in the hospital thinking I was Jeremiah ("I am but a boy" or (girl)! LOL! And I managed to keep up with the Bible reading schedule through this time also. Well, I can honestly say that I have read the entire Bible through this reading program, and was actually looking forward to go back through it again in 1998-99. Well, I made it all the way to Jeremiah and just stopped. I figure it is symbolic, but I feel that after having read the entire Bible it opened my eyes and made a lot of meaning to me.
I don't need to comment on the many WTs and other literature that I underlined and marked up. I feel that this rigid program of study could cause the most sane person to go insane and this is not just within the JWs (whom I know a lot have experienced similar things), but I witnessed others of very strict religions going through the same things, like Black Muslims, Orthodox Jews, etc.