Bible Study WT June,1 2001
This is from the back cover of the WT.1June 2001
Is It For You?
“ NOT to be read without the presence of a priest.” This warning appears at the beginning of some Bibles owned by Catholics. ‘As Catholics we haven’t always been exposed to the Bible,” says Kay Murdy of the Catholic Bible Institute in Los Angeles, “but that’s changing.” Once Catholics become aware of how the Holy Scriptures can affect their life, she notes, “they develop their own hunger and thirst for the Bible.”
Regarding this change, the magazine US. Catholic quotes a religious education coordinator who said that Catholics who joined Bible study classes felt that “they got shortchanged as Catholics, and that there is a lot of richness in the Bible. They want to capture some of that richness they felt they missed.”
Be that as it may, what “richness” is there for a student of the Bible to discover? Consider: Would you like to know how to cope with the anxieties of everyday life? How can you maintain peace in the family circle? Why is there so much rude and antisocial behavior? What is the cause of violence among today’s youth? Reliable answers to these and other perplexing questions can be found in God’s Word, the Bible, and they would be “richness, indeed, not only for Catholics or Protestants but also for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Shintoists, even atheists and agnostics. As the psalmist put it, ‘God’s word was a lamp to his foot, and a light to his roadway.’ It can be the same to you.—Psalm 119:105.
WOULD YOU WELCOME A VISIT?
(end of quote)
Well that was an unfortunate comparison with those catholic translations because although the WTS will allow reading the Bible……STUDY is another matter! Study of the Bible without strict adherence to WTS publications is impossible. So BIBLE STUDY is really WTS PUBLICATION STUDY. So the WTS is better? It allows reading of the Bible but not STUDY!Hardly. The truth is the Bible has been relegated in favour of the WTS human wisdom and ideologies that the R+F cannot argue without risk of judicial action. JWs spend more time reading all the WTS publications than reading the Bible. However the JWs that do actually study the bible will soon see that they
have been ‘shortchanged’ also.
‘Your word [the Bible] is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.’ Psalm 119:105.
For JWs it is 'Your word [The WTS publications] is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.’ —Psalm 119:105. Now that does explain a great deal, don't you think!
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....
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. [from the September 15, 1910 Watch Tower article "Is the Reading of 'Scripture Studies' Bible Study?", pages 298-9 (4684-5 Reprints).]
Let me interject a few words on the Roman Catholic position on bible reading and bible study as best as I can.In no time in it's 2,000 years of history has the Catholic church ever forbidden the reading of scripture or the private study thereof. It's as simple as that.The Catholic church has from the beginning worked to insure that accurate translations of the scriptures have been available for all. The first great effort was the Latin Vulgate produced by Jerome back in the fourth century. There have been many since, including the Douay-Rhiems of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries to the ongoing work of the Revised Standard Version due soon in the twenty first century. Once a version has been authorized by the church for use, it remains valid forever. Non-authorized versions are not prohibited, they are just not used for liturgical purposes.The Catholic church has long had the office of lector; this is a person who is responsible for reading from the scriptures during the liturgy of the word at every mass. This person is usually not a priest, but the office can only be executed under the direction of a priest.For the many hundreds of years of the Dark Ages, it was only by means of the painstaking efforts of untold thousands of Catholic copyists working in candlelit monestaries that we even have a reliable New Testament today. The WTBTS has taken advantage of all these lifetimes spent to preserve scripture and has returned only scorn instead of gratitude.
That quote was MANIC! Thanks for posting it!
“NOT to be read without the presence of a priest.” This warning appears at the beginning of some Bibles owned by Catholics.
Why can't the Watchtower ever provide references? I'm curious to know what they actually mean by this- if it is the comment to the lector taken completely out of context, then that is very sad. Otherwise, I wonder how hard the WT had to search to find this quote. Perhaps they stole some Catholic's Bible, wrote "Not to be read without the presence of a priest", and then slipped it back into this person's house- just so they could use this quote- which in the mind's of JWs is tantamount to say that this warning appears [i]without conditions[\i] in [i]every[\i] Bible those satanic Catholics ever read.
Ah, the powers of misquotes and insinuation.
Perhaps they stole some Catholic's Bible, wrote "Not to be read without the presence of a priest", and then slipped it back into this person's house- just so they could use this quote-
Hehe... I could just see some member of the writing staff guiltily frequenting a garage sale... about to leave when they discover that the people running it are, gasp, Catholic... and then he finds a Bible for sale where some wag had written in the "not to be read without the presence of a priest" line as a joke... and he decides that the visit wasn't a total loss. What a blessing from Jehovah that he saw this example of evil Catholic mind control!
I tracked down the Catholic Bible Institute and got the e-mail address of Kay Murdy. I sent her a reference to this board and also asked her to comment on the accuracy on context of the WT quote.
Yesterday I received a reply to the e-mail that I had sent to Kay Murdy of the Catholic Bible Institute in Los Angeles. She has reviewed this thread and emphatically disagrees with the context and the stance proposed by the WTBTS. She will be contacting Brooklyn for a printed retraction, and I hope she gets it.
Of course, long time observers are not surprised at instances of WTBTS misquoting. The biggest examples are the anti-evolution books and the most serious examples are the various appeals to authority seen for incorrect translations in the NWT. Perhaps it is time to start keeping track of misquotes in WT articles. Every time the discussion board members sees a checkable reference in a WT or Awake, it can be posted for others to verify.
Out of curiosity, I did an online search for "Kay Murdy" and "presence of a priest." The Watchtower squib appears to have been taken from an article called "Bible study: It's not just for Protestants anymore": http://www.uscatholic.org/2000/08/cov0008.htm
The quotations are under the heading "Scripture.com."
The Watchtower chose not to quote Steve Mueller, who said: "Especially older Catholics were told the Bible really wasn't our book. If we wanted to know about spirituality we were told to read the Catholic spiritual writers." Of course, Jehovah's Witnesses are told to read Watchtower publications, and in Ray Franz's time, private Bible study could lead to disfellowshipping for apostasy.
The difference between Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses becomes even more blurred when one considers that the point of the article is that many Catholics are starting Bible study groups in their parishes. Always quick to criticize the Catholics, the Watchtower makes little mention of the Catholic Bible studies, and then only in connection with Catholics feeling shortchanged. Instead, readers are encouraged to study the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses, which almost certainly means the use of Watchtower publications.
I do wonder how the writers of the Watchtower found this article. Did someone do a search on the net for "Bible study"? Or do they subscribe to U.S. Catholic?
[Edited once to correct content. Edited again to correct a misspelling.]