Help needed finding an old WT article

by careful 8 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • careful

    I no longer trust the search engine at the official JW website since they have quietly modified, purged, and expunged—or simply made no longer available—so many old works/pubs., so I'm asking for help finding an old article that likely predates the late 1970s (?). I think it was an article rather than in a book, but I can't be sure. The article's focus was on what it means for the anointed to be declared righteous.

    It's important, I suspect, for grasping the view that whatever the GB decide is completely God-directed, so that, in effect, even though the org might officially deny it, the GB are viewed as infallible in practical terms. In the article, doubtlessly the product of their lone prophet of the time Fred Franz, he used the passage at Rom. 8:31 through the first sentence in v. 34. He may have also included the passage at Is. 54:17, since in the last passage, near the end, the words "And their righteousness is from me" are found. He may also have tied in Matt. 18:18-20 which implies that any decision the anointed may make on earth has been made beforehand in heaven. But, as I recall, the stress was on that Romans passage.

    Any help anyone can provide in finding this article would be most appreciated. I suspect that this belief is why we have never heard any admission of error on the part of the GB of the sort that even people like Rutherford were wiling to admit in earlier days, with his "I made an ass of myself" statement over his 1925 and Beth-Sarim debacle.

    Thanks in advance.

  • slimboyfat

    Watchtower September 15th 1971, “How can you be ‘Perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect?’” page 566?

    ”Despite their [ancient worthies] errors and weakness, the sum total of what they did added up to what God required of them at that time and under the existing circumstances. Jehovah God was pleased with their worship. So, then, if he did not find fault with their sincere effort and overall course, who could rightfully do so? Compare what the apostle Paul says about anointed Christins at Rom 8:31-34.”

    I don’t know about the online search. I used the old 1930-1985 index.

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy

    w74 2/1 p. 96 Questions From Readers - "In the case of those who will rule with Jesus Christ, Jehovah God, on the basis of his Son’s sacrifice, “declares them righteous” and thus views them as being perfect, without sin, while yet in the flesh on earth." (Rom. 8:33)

    This is the closest I could find so far.

    w79 9/1 p. 26 par. 11 The Royal “Shepherd” of Bible Prophecy

    The members of this repentant, restored remnant of spiritual Israelites were cleansed and thus made fit to proclaim “this good news of the kingdom” internationally, in “all the inhabited earth.” (Matt. 24:9-14) In this way, by Jehovah’s undeserved kindness through Christ, they were declared righteous or were vindicated. Jehovah proved to be their Backer, their “champion,” and they became his Christian witnesses.

  • blondie

    The WTS has put back in the WTs back to 1950, Awakes back to 1970, and many of the books from that time.

    Here is one quote I found:

    Notes to Matthew


    whatever things you may bind . . . you may loosen: In this context, to “bind” evidently means to “view as guilty; find guilty,” and to “loosen” means to “acquit; find innocent.” The pronoun “you” is plural, indicating that not only Peter but also others would be involved in carrying out such decisions.​—Compare study note on Mt 16:19.

    will be things already bound . . . will be things already loosened: The unusual construction of the Greek verbs here (future form of “to be” combined with the perfect passive participle of “bind” and “loose”) indicates that whatever decision was made by the disciples (“whatever things you may bind”; “whatever things you may loosen”) would be made after the corresponding decision was made in heaven. Any decision made by the disciples would follow heaven’s decision, not precede it, and the disciples would make decisions based on principles already laid down in heaven. It does not refer to heavenly support or validation of a decision made on earth. Instead, it means that the disciples would receive direction from heaven, highlighting the need for such guidance to ensure that the decisions made on earth harmonize with the decision that has already been made in heaven.​—Compare study note on Mt 16:19.

  • blondie

    I do in the last few years, the GB says that even if they seem to be wrong that members should obey.

    As I look at Romans 8:31-34, I seem to think that Paul is talking about people outside the congregation condemning Christians. I can't find much said differently in the publications but I will keep looking. The WTS has been careful not to state explicitly that they are infallible. But as above, even if wrong members must obey. I am looking for the specific statement unless someone else has it quickly at hand.

    The WTS tries to say that the GB as a group (like elder bodies) come up with the right answer because they base it on the bible (right!), pray to god for direction, and so on. But we know that is not true. Peter made significant mistakes after Pentecost (not sitting with Gentile Christians...see Galatians) not supporting the new light he revealed about Gentile Christians not conforming to jewish law (see Cornelius).

    I found it necessary to separate statements by jws, appointed or otherwise, that did not conform to clearly stated policy in writing by the WTS.

  • blondie

    "We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval." Watchtower 2011 Jul 15 p.24 Simplified English Edition


    It is disconcerting to read the demands of the Governing Body for unquestioning obedience.

    "All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not." Watchtower 2013 Nov 15 p.20

    The ongoing errors and false predictions made by the Governing Body prove they are not guided by a direct link to God. For followers to be expected to follow all instructions, even when they appear unsound, is dangerous, and they type of comments made by the leaders of death cults, such as Jim Jones in Jonestown. Would you drink Kool-aid if instructed to? It may sound unlikely, but none of the 913 that died in Jonestown joined with such an expectation.

    Additional sources

  • btlc
    The article's focus was on what it means for the anointed to be declared righteous.

    I think you looking for:

    w73 12/1 pp. 730-733 Jehovah Brings ‘Sealing’ of His Chosen Ones to a Close

  • careful

    Many thanks to those who have responded so far.

    SBF, I don't think that that's the ref because I remember FF went on at some length with that Romans passage, tying together the various notions there, in the vein "Who can find fault with the anointed because it's God who has declared them righteous?" I'll look over that 71 WT later. Nice to see you responding...

    the fall guy, that ref to "Jehovah God ... views them as being perfect, without sin" is in tune with what I remember, but the art. (or book?) I'm thinking of went on at some length expounding the Romans passage and stating the same perfection thing in more detail, so your ref is not the main one. However, that such a statement could be said in 1974, probably indicates that the art./book I'm looking for predates 1974, so a special thanks for that.

    blondie, yes, recently GB II has sort of changed their tune a bit, indirectly inferring that they could be wrong perhaps, but they have not really come out and said that. Instead they use that strange language about "whether these appear sound ... or not." And yes, FF's old view that I'm looking for is certainly shown to be false by Peter's sins. The validity of the org's thinking is not the issue on which I am focusing. We know that often has been shown to be wrong. I'm simply trying to reconstruct some dominant but—on the surface anyway—under-emphasized thinking that influenced decisions in WTS history, and I strongly suspect that one was this notion FF had about the anointed being "perfect, without sin" (according to the ref. that the fall guy has provided) due to Jehovah's having "declared them righteous." That Isaiah passage is the one that says "No weapon formed against you will succeed" etc., so it would tie in to the notion of them being "perfect" and unassailable, and again, it has a ref at its end to Jehovah declaring them righteous.

    As for the Matt 18 passage, the Greek is a bit odd. It uses the rare future perfect tense and very few translators render it literally. I'll have to check, but FF may have played with his translations somewhat from earlier NWT renderings to later ones. If I recall correctly, and I can't check this right now, but Chas. B. Williams' NT translation is one of the few that renders the Greek literally there. It's significant as to the meaning. Anyway, FF may have used this passage too in that article or book ref that I can't remember.

    btlc, thanks for the ref. I looked it over, but it does not expound Rom 8:31-34 like I remember, nor are any claims made about the anointed being perfect and sinless.

    Does anyone know how to DL material from the official JW webpage? It's not in the sort of format that others use where you can simply DL what is put up as a pdf.

    Looking forward to the further input of those who have already responded, as well as others, until the mystery is solved.

  • careful

    Since yesterday I checked further on Matt. 18:18. Most so-called “literal” translations from the past do not translate the future perfect tense literally there. An exception is Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott: “will be as having been bound … loosed.” I mentioned Charles B. Williams’ NT translation of 1937. He was known for having paid special attention to Greek verbs and for trying to bring out the full flavor of them. It reads here, “must be already forbidden … must be already permitted in heaven.” This use of the future perfect tense is found in a similar context earlier in Matthew, where Jesus gives Peter the keys of the kingdom and tells him that “whatever you forbid on earth must be what is already forbidden … and … permitted in heaven” (16:19), C. B. Williams again.

    The New American Standard Bible which began to come out in 1960, and has gone through multiple revisions, has the 18:18 passage rendered quite literally: “whatever you shall bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; whatever you shall loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (1973 ed.). So too does the NET Bible of 1996 on: “will have been bound … released.” Not quite as literal but conveying the thought is the Holman Christian Standard Bible which reads, “is already bound … is already loosed.” Two other conservative translations put the literal rendering in their footnotes but retain the standard rendering in their main text: the NIV (beginning only with the 1983 ed.) and the English Standard Version (2001).

    Interestingly, two recent one-man translations done by well-known scholars both render the passage literally. N. T. Wright (2011) has “will have been tied up … will have been untied.” David Bentley Hart (2017): “will have been bound… will have been unbound.” Whether this use of a literal rendering will catch on overall remains to be seen.

    The point of the passage as it literally reads is that whatever Christ’s real disciples decide (in groups according to the passage’s context) on earth will have already been decided in heaven. That is, God so directs them that whatever decisions they make, God has already made those decisions for them, and he thus guides them to come to his already determined conclusions on earth.

    Brief mention should be made about why most scholars do not render the Matt. 16 and 18 passages literally. The future perfect tense only occurs in two other places in the NT, Luke 12:52 and Heb. 2:13. In those instances nobody seems to want to render them as “shall have been divided” and “shall have put trust in him.” It should also be noted, however, that that cumbersome literal translation is what those two passages literally say.

    The recent NWT revision changes Fred Franz’s older rendering(s) with “will be things already bound … already loosed in heaven” (with a similar change at 16:19). One could see the influence of the HCSB and C.B. Williams with the new “already” present, and indeed that may be one factor at work. I cannot help but wonder how much the view that the anointed and especially the GB view themselves as “perfect, without sin” for which thefallguy has provided the reference above, was also at work, because whatever decisions they come up with, in their minds, have already been determined in heaven. That brief statement in the ’74 WT reflects a viewpoint from a larger article (or book statement) that I distinctly remember reading when I was in. THAT is the article I want to now access. I’m wondering whether the org has “adjusted” their currently available indices so as to cause a researcher difficulty in locating it. Again, I will be grateful to anyone who can provide the ref to that larger exposition.

    The GB, past and present, do not, of course, broadcast their true feelings and motivations. Yet by studying their past statements it is possible for an observer to see some of the hidden thinking behind their regularly secretive behavior. It would cause them problems if they were to proclaim today that they still believe in Franz’s idea that they are “perfect, without sin” in Jehovah’s eyes, just like it would cause them problems to regularly harp on the Bible’s view of the role of women, as subservient to that of men. But the fact that they do not dwell on a matter does not mean it is not at work in their minds, even quite heavily. If we are going to understand the way they think, and thus their history, we need to seriously pay attention to the things that motivate them, like this bit of Fred Franz’s theology, which appears to have been, and still is, heavily at work among them.

Share this