Are Witnesses Allowed to Read Bible by itself

by Brighid 15 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Brighid
    I've been away from the boards so long that I had to create a new account but recent events have brought me back - I've missed this place! Anyway, I heard a former witness being interviewed the other day that said the witnesses were now being highly discouraged to read the bible by itself (without WT literature) on their own. This seems over the top even for the witnesses. Having been out for over 15 years now, I was hoping someone more recently in could shed some light on this. Surely this isn't true... sadly, I will not be shocked if it is.
  • bsmart

    They will never admit it, but say you can't really know the meaning without the literature.

    Its all in what they don't say.

    Welcome back!

  • wolfman85

    Does ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ [Watchtower organization] endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?—Matt. 24:45, 47. No, it does not. And yet, in various parts of the world, a few associates of our organization have formed groups to do independent research on Bible-related subjects. Some have pursued an independent group study of Biblical Hebrew and Greek so as to analyze the accuracy of the New World Translation. …They have also held conferences and produced publications to present their findings and to supplement what is provided at our Christian meetings and through our literature. …Thus, ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight… For those who wish to do extra Bible study and research, we recommend that they exploreInsight on the Scriptures,All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial,’ and our other publications….”—Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, p. 3

    You can find more info right here:

  • Brighid
    Thank you and thank you. *sigh* That's what's so frustrating and what outsiders can never grasp hold of when legally examining the organization - all the double speak, group think, hive mentality and rules that are just "understood". Like how the MINUTE you hear "it's an individual matter up to one's own conscience"... inside, you just KNOW that it's not to be done (wink, wink, nudge, nudge - if someone does this, they're to be marked). It's like those words spoken from the podium at a Kingdom Hall mean the exact opposite in the real world. That's why it was so difficult to watch the ARC (even though I hung on every word of every day), just knowing, in a very difficult to quantify way, that what the elders and branch members were saying on the stand was carefully designed to sound like one thing to an outsider and completely opposite to an insider. Like, you just KNOW if someone tries to go to the police with abuse charges how they'll be viewed in the congregation. Especially if the abuser is a higher up.
  • Crazyguy
  • blondie

    In The Watchtower (9-15-1910, Reprints, p.4685) Russell wrote the following about his books,

    If the six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES are practically the Bible topically arranged, with Bible proof-texts given, we might not improperly name the volumes-- the Bible in an arranged form. That is to say, they are not merely comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself, since there is no desire to build any doctrine or thought on any individual preference or on any individual wisdom, but to present the entire matter on the lines of the Word of God. We therefore think it safe to follow this kind of reading, this kind of instruction, this kind of Bible study.

    Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the Divine Plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the SCRIPTURE STUDIES aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years --if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the SCRIPTURE STUDIES with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures.

  • Brighid
    Thanks Wolfman85... I was really hoping this person was exaggerating. But deep down inside, I kinda figured. That means that people of true Faith within the organization have almost no hope of forming a personal relationship to their Deity. Even though I've left all that behind, I feel really saddened for the ones left inside. I remember during my darkest periods as a witness, if I'd not read the bible by itself, on my own with intense prayer, I'd have probably "offed" myself (I was that depressed as a Witness - happily, not any more). It was like Spirit was communicating with me directly and those times were the times that I felt most comforted and loved - alone with the bible and "God", who as much as spoke to me, and kept me alive during periods of DEEP distress as a witness. I cannot imagine what would've happened to me if I'd been cut off from that or felt somehow that I was doing something "wrong" - how sad for those left in.
  • maninthemiddle

    That is mostly based on this article in the KM, but also unwritten rules.

  • eva luna
    eva luna

    'Independent' groups studying the Bible can lead to 'Independent' thinking.

    Independent thinking is a crime too.

    Even studying on your own, using their bible or another translation and say, a bible dictionary will raise suspicion.

  • SecretSlaveClass

    Blondie and Wolfman nailed it. As far as the GB and their propaganda go, no. Their insistence is receiving the Holy Spirit and their home-spun ideological literature are synonymous.

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