Meaning of Luke 9:49,50
These two verses indicate that "others" were preaching in Jesus' name and when the apostles reported it to Him, he said "let him alone for he who is with us is not against us".... since the WTBTS states they are the only way to salvation, what does this scripture mean? Others have the right to salvation as well - straight from Jesus' mouth- as long as they preach ( in the verse it says expel demons as well) using Jesus name?
An inconvenient scripture for their theology to be sure. This is their latest explanation:
Jesus did not prevent the man because the Christian congregation had not yet been formed. Hence, it was not required that the man physically accompany Jesus
Truthlover, you are implying that all the Bible content has significant meaning for everyone. A better question to ask is "Why was this text included in the Bible?"
In the first four centuries there were 'christ' cults galore in the Roman Empire. Mithraism, Orphism and Gnostics to mention a few. Many of of the newer sects became in competition with each other for dominance and authority. In the early fourth century, as a political manoeuvre it was Emperor Constantine's desire to unify all religious belief under the imperial umbrella and eventually all were forbidden except one; the cult of Jesus as interpreted by the Bishops of Rome. Constantine (a saint in the Eastern Church) was a ruthless and unconscionable human being but thought that his mother's religion could bring him luck in battle, so he favoured the sect she belonged to. Constantine made sure that the Bishops greatly modified the Jesus story to make its appeal universal and acceptable to all prevailing mainstream temple worshippers and then later, by imperial decree all opposing ideas and folk beliefs were outlawed and their literature destroyed. Thus began Christianity.
With an understanding of the social and political history of the time and the recognition that the Bible is not "inspired of God", it is possible to read the early texts of Jesus-Christianity as competing sects who were defending their ideological 'turf'. This is why the issues of loyalty and heresy are clearly present in the NT. A good example is where Paul has one of his hissy fits recorded in Gal 1;6-8.
Mithraism and Ophism weren't 'Christ cults,' just wanna clarify that.
Mithraism was indeed a christ cult. The cult of the christ existed before Jesus and the earliest christian literature of the first and second century never mentions him and only uses the term "the lord". Mithra was clearly a god-man figure and saviour as was Jesus. He was shown as a handsome beardless youth wearing a Phrygian cap, depicted with a lamb around his shoulders and known as "The good shepherd". He was associated with the act of killing bulls for the redemptive value of their blood. The rituals and beliefs of Mithraism were critical in developing synchretic Roman Christianity since the religion had great influence in Rome especially in the important quarter of the military. Much "christian doctrine" came from this source including the Papacy and sacrificial death of the christ Mithra and the symbolic bread and wine as well as heaven and hell and Biblical eschatology.The trope of the god-man saviour was a well established expectation among temple worshippers with a pedigree going back many centuries before Jesus.
Orphism too has many resonances with the dying and rising God Dyonisus, another christ figure. Orpheus himself like Jesus going down to Hades for three days and arising again.
It is very popular to dismiss the parallels of the ancient christs because primarily it is uncomfortable information at least as far as traditional Christianity views it. Secondly there is little remaining literature and much of the connecting information has been gleaned through sculptural artefacts and yet a convincing path of ancient belief can be deduced including from the written Classical sources which promote the idea of the saviour, born of a virgin whose life was sacrificed at Easter to redeem believing mankind.
Looking at it from a JW perspective, it is hard to see it any other way. Yes off course, there are many answers as you can read here. Even those that line up more with the secular view. Few take the trouble of trying to answer in a frame of reference that matches the frame of the question.
I was a JW for 15 years and never ever had to read this paragraph in a meeting. Only after I woke up did I ever stumble upon it. I think I can credit this paragraph among many that helped me wake up. The excuse given by the WT is not only overly simplistic but it is almost circular on its reasoning. You can interpret it as you did the way I see it. No JW would ever accept your or my view of it because we are not the GB. The idea that you can be spiritual and achieve salvation while separated from the group would be unacceptable for them because, well, they are a cult.
One thought—whether the WTS would ever agree with it or not does not matter.
At Acts 18:24-5 there is a report about Apollos going from Alexandria, Egypt to Ephesus, Asia Minor (= Turkey) where he preached about Jesus on the basis of John the Baptist's testimony. It states that Priscilla and Aquila corrected him a bit (v. 26). Now if Jesus was known down in Egypt through the work of John the Baptist, then surely he was as well in Judea/Palestine also via John's disciples. That John had his own disciples is clear from Luke 7:18-20 and John 4:1. At least one of them became the apostle Andrew (John 1:35-40).
If we go back to Acts again, we see Paul finding a group of 12 disciples of John in Ephesus and rebaptizing them as disciples of Jesus (19:1-17). So John's disciples were in various places. That he was not an unknown figure is also clear from Josephus speaking about him.
Therefore, with all these references to John and his disciples, it seems likely that those mentioned in Luke 9 were disciples of John. Those you ask about were then disciples of John the Baptist who were speaking of Jesus. Since Jesus and John were on the same page, it should be no surprise that Jesus told his disciples to leave them alone. Whether they would ever convert to being one of his disciples, Jesus probably just let occur or not.
This scripture indicates a couple of things.
wt is just clearly wrong if they think they are the one and only way to salvation.
Jehovah often operated outside his chosen people to accomplish his purpose. 2 further notable examples would be Jobe, who had no affiliation with the nation of Israel but was in fact an Asian. Rahab who was a prostitute in the city of jericho. Yet because of her faith in hiding the spies is listed along with the Patriachs.
It would also indicate that jehovah from time to time chose to operate through individuals rather than an organisation. The below link presents a good argument on this topic.
There is also a scripture in one of the writings attributed to Paul where he says I don’t preach where Christ has already been preached or something to that effect. Bottom line is if you believe in the Bible and it’s writings then it’s clear to anyone who actually reads it that the NT was all about the worship and belief in Jesus Christ and all those who believe in him would be saved.
Knowwhere does it say that only a certain groups of Christ’s followers or believers would be saved and all other Christians killed. John chapter 3 all who believe have everlasting life !!!
The larger and immediate context begins at Luke 9:46 where the apostles are arguing about who among them is the greatest. Verse 49 is withing that discussion. Whilst being corrected for trying to see who was the greatest among themselves, John asks about someone outside their immediate group.
Jesus often talked with large crowds, many of whom may have listened and put faith in him, but were unable to leave house and home behind and follow Jesus everywhere. The man doing these things may have been among them.
It seems to me that this is just a continuation of verses 46-48. It is more correction for the attitude of the apostles. To focus on the man from outside the apostle group is probably to miss the main point of the passage. It was the apostles whose attitude needed correcting.