Self-righteous Watchtower vs the pagan-inspired New Testament.
Watchtower refuses to translate stauros as cross despite having no evidence to refute the long-standing ancient belief that Jesus died on a cross; and in spite of evidence that the Romans were in fact using crosses in executions by Jesus' day. They shun the word simply because of the use of crosses in ancient pagan religions.
Watchtower refuses to refer to their places of worship with the word church because of the word's supposed pagan origin or past usage to refer to pagan places of worship.
Now contrast Watchtower's self-righteous attitude of avoiding the use of all words having pagan religious usages, with the New Testament verse of 2 Peter 2:4:
Certainly God did not refrain from punishing the angels who sinned, but threw them into Tarʹta·rus, putting them in chains of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment.
Tartarus is a word that had rich pagan mythological meaning when it was written in the NT. The holy, righteous, inspired NT writer chose to use a word that has pagan religious meaning to refer to where God imprisoned the rebellious angels. But wait, there is more. The pagan meaning and usage of Tartarus - an underworld prison of darkness for rebellious gods - also harmonizes perfectly with it's usage in 2 Peter 2:4 in such a manner as to give credence to the pagan myth! Watchtower tries desperately and very transparently, to deny this very obvious and inconvenient fact, when explaining the use of word in this verse.
Doesn't it seem rather strange that the holy and righteous, pagan-shunning (as Watchtower would have us believe), Christian NT writer would choose such a false-religious word in such a manner as to give credence to a pagan myth?
Doesn't it seem rather strange and very revealing that the inspired bible writers are doing exactly what JWs today self-righteously shun as mixing pure worship with false worship?
This bible text exposes the utter self-righteousness of Jehovah's Witnesses in their shunning of the use of words like church and cross.
But it doesn't end there. We also have multiple uses of the pagan word hades which was regarded as the afterlife underworld of the dead where they continued living after death. So the word hades used in the NT has deep associations with the pagan notion of immortality of the soul and an automatic afterlife in the spirit realm. And yet, quite unlike JWs today, the writers of the NT had no puritanical hang-ups about using that word in their writings. Thus the NT reveals the utter self-righteousness of JWs in the way they stigmatize words based on past pagan usage - in a way that the inspired bible writers never did.
And there is more yet! The belief that Jesus was miraculously conceived of a virgin is not prophesied anywhere in the OT. But several pagan myths pre-dating christianity speak of demigods being born of a virgin. Yes, this idea that Jesus was born of a virgin is likely a pagan concept borrowed from other religions of the day.
I think these are good points to mention to JWs when they start with their self-righteous spiel about avoiding pagan influences in teaching and worship and to help them to see that the NT itself - and therefore Christianity - is polluted with pagan influences.
I enjoyed your post Island Man. Always rich with good information.
The Watchtower maggots are sinister and evil in just about everything they touch and teach.
I've been working on exposing their "Silver Sword" translation.
Soon, I hope to start a list of numbered threads for each New Testament letters and books
I look forward to your threads, Tenacious.
I look forward to your threads too, Tenacious. Someone needs to take the time to expose that literary abomination for the biased mistranslation that it is!
New World Translation = Not Worded Truthfully
They don't even like the fact that they are members in what's called "religion".
They call it "da troof"
It's strange Jesus using a parable about Hell too. Why Jesus would use a false doctrine as analogy? JW theology is pure nonsense.
island man - "...the pagan-inspired New Testament."
I love that.
And it's so true; go back far enough and virtually everything has "pagan" origins.
Spot on Island Man! The NT, like the OT for that matter, is drawn solidly from paganism, that means the folk beliefs of the common people.
Paul talks of being in the third heaven, he couldn't remember "whether in the body or not" so he said. What he was doing was referencing current pagan beliefs of levels of heaven to gain the confidence of those pagan believers to get them into his cult. After all they had similar goals of heavenly life, a ransom sacrifice through a god man saviour whether it was Dionysus (who was crucified for believing mankind) or Mithra who instigated the Lord's Evening Meal hundreds of years before Jesus did; they all believed in heavenly gods.
An intriguing link with all God-men including Jesus was that they were born of a virgin and the were the son of a powerful God (the Sun God). This links strongly with the very source of these folk stories: they were traditional and near-universal tales woven into the constellations of stars, the Sun and the Moon. "Born of a virgin" was reference to the part of the sky even today still labelled Virgo.This related to the ancient calendar when the saviour was born in mid winter... and died the sacrificial lamb in (Aries) at the spring equinox.The NT dresses up these familiar accounts and brings to the mythology an account of flesh and blood as if they were real people.
To take the paganism out of the Bible would completely take all the stuffing out of it because at its heart, it encapsulates the essential stories of paganism.
So: long life the Bible...but don't believe a word of it!
It's much better to know why it was written.
HalfBanana - "...To take the paganism out of the Bible would completely take all the stuffing out of it...."
On the plus side, it'd take way less time to read through. :smirk:
Now, the WTS insists that Jesus died on a stake.
Isn't one of their reasons for this that a cross, or 'T', has pagan origins and is something to do with the pagan god Tammuz?
One thing the WTS doesn't address: the Romans were indeed pagans in the 1st century CE. Their consciences wouldn't have been troubled by crosses having pagan origins.
Get out of that one, WT.