JW's: Research your beliefs..................

by BoogerMan 14 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • BoogerMan

    .............but on the other hand, don't!!!

    Little gems from the literature:

    w59 8/1 p. 458 par. 6 - For us to have spiritual discernment means that we have understood and digested the facts, examined them in the light of other knowledge already learned,

    w64 4/1 p. 195 Have You Put Your Religion to the Test? - How can you put your religion to the test? By using the Bible as your measuring rod. That is the rule beside which you can put the doctrines and practices of your religion to see if they measure up to God’s standards.

    w69 3/15 p. 166 Why It Is Wise to Examine Your Religion - We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination.

    sm pp. 17-18 par. 8 The Need to Search for the Truth - Hence, a wise man will examine the things he has received from his parents, including his religion. He will keep the good things and reject those things that are not good. This is essential if he is to find the truth about religion.

    g84 8/22 p. 28 From Our Readers - The Catholic Church occupies a very significant position in the world and claims to be the way of salvation for hundreds of millions of people. Any organization that assumes that position should be willing to submit to scrutiny and criticism.

    w08 4/15 p. 6 par. 18 Repudiate “Valueless Things” - In harmony with John’s counsel, we always encourage those we meet in the preaching work to test what they have been taught by comparing it with the Bible. That is a good rule for us too.

    g91 4/8 p. 23 - Test your beliefs against God’s Word. Honest self-examination, comparing your beliefs with the Scriptures, will help you determine if your faith will pass the all-important test of God’s approval.

    g 9/06 p. 3 Whom Should You Believe? - You can let others tell you what you are allowed to think and believe. Or you may wish to investigate some of the evidence yourself and reach your own conclusion.

    w67 6/1 p. 338 par. 12 - We may think of study as hard work, as involving heavy research. But in Jehovah’s organization it is not necessary to spend a lot of time and energy in research, for there are brothers in the organization who are assigned to do that very thing, to help you who do not have so much time for this, these preparing the good material in The Watchtower and other publications of the Society.

    w74 1/15 p. 35 - When persons are in great danger from a source that they do not suspect or are being misled by those they consider their friends, is it an unkindness to warn them?

    w75 5/1 p. 271 - Persons having “the love of the truth” need to investigate thoroughly to avoid following an “unrighteous deception.” Finding and accepting truth is more important and more vital to anyone than clinging to a deception...

    NEW LIGHT - Don't do research for yourself:

    w81 2/15 p. 19 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible? - "We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the “faithful and discreet slave” organization." (I thought it was “God's” organization)

    w83 1/15 p. 27 par. 20 - “Would we know the way of the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God’s organization?” No, we cannot!”

    w01 8/1 p. 14 par. 8 - a mature Christian...does not harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by...“the faithful and discreet slave.”

    km 9/07 p. 3 Question Box - Does “the faithful and discreet slave” endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate? No, it does not....Thus, “the faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight.

    w10 9/15 p. 8 par. 7 - Without the assistance of “the faithful and discreet slave,” we would neither understand the full import of what we read in God’s Word nor know how to apply it.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    That is a great post. Many of the quotes from the WT include good advice when it comes to testing testing religious claims, but they don't go far enough. Besides testing the religious claims with the Bible, one should also test the Bible's claims with science. For some examples, one should test using science the following claims of the Bible: non-evolutionary special creationism (including the first man being made directly from dirt less than 10,000 years ago); life existing on Earth for no more than 10,000 years or no more than 49,000 years (7 times 7,000 years); that none of the stars (not including our Sun) begin their existence millions of years before our Sun; that our planet Earth really come into existence before our Sun; that plants on Earth really come into existence before our Sun began emitting sunlight and even before our Sun came into existence; there really a flood (especially a global one) of Noah's day in the past 5,000 years (with animals of all kinds being in the Ark); Hebrews being slaves in ancient Egypt and later making a mass exodus to Canaan; was Jericho destroyed when the Bible claims it was and by the means the Bible claims; is there really a personal creator God who has interacted with humans and directed human history; did the 10 plagues really happen upon ancient Egypt; does intercessory prayer really work (is there statistical evidence it works better than without intercessory prayer to heal people); was Jesus Christ actually resurrected to eternal life; is there scientific proof that demons or any other spirit beings really exist (such as proof that any spirit beings interact with humans in ways which make obvious their interactions); was there ever a time during the past 500 million years when predatory animals did not exist (for example when none of the animals living long ago killed another animal for food, or instead have scientists found skeletons of animals within the rib cages of other animals from millions of years ago); etc.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    People should also test the Bible against itself, to see if it contradicts itself. If the person finds such contradictions the person should then ask how reliable is the Bible and the person should ask how confident is he/she of the correctness of some specific claims made by parts of the Bible.

  • joe134cd

    Disillusioned JW: yes I agree that the bible should be tested against science. Firstly, there must be a few acknowledgements made. The Bible in itself is not primarily a science manual. Its primary purpose is the restoration of humanity through a mediator, Jesus Christ. It’s in the course of this story unfolding that it touches on areas of science. Many of which were unknown at the time e.g sanitation, quarantine, horticultural practices.

    To illustrate, according to bible chronology humans have existed for about 6000 years. The first 11 chapters of Genesis, from Adam and Eve to Abraham. Contain the first 2000 years of existence. Therefore it could perhaps be expected that the bible, could be vague on scientific matters because

    (a) it’s not a science manual. It’s a restoration manual.

    (B) the sheer space required to document it.

    (c) The information was unnecessary for the time and the audience it was written to. They were told all faecal matter was to be covered. People with contagious diseases to be isolated , and that sufficed for the time. Going into depth of atoms an ions, was I necessary for the time.

  • waton

    (c) The information was unnecessary for the time and the audience it was written to

    but is was the perfect time to insert scientic fact for the everlasting later audience. like:

    In the beginning god created the heavens and 10 billion later the Earth. or:

    Jesus: "Your are wrong satan, my brother, only on a flat earth would a higher and higher mountain give me the view of all the kingdoms of the Earth, you are a deluded flat earther. ( if it is just a mental, visionary thing why not do it in a cave? )

    The bible is wrong from A to Z except for a handful of passages.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    I was not making the point that the Bible excluded a number of scientific facts. Instead the point I was alluding to is that modern day scientific findings disprove a number of the Bible's claims, including the specific claims I listed in my first post of this topic thread. In other words, modern science combined with rational reasoning shows that the Bible is completely wrong in some of what it teaches (and thus not the word of a truthful all-knowing God). I thought that if people investigated the specific claims of the Bible (the ones I listed in my first post) using modern scientific findings, some of those people would discover such for themselves. For me that is very significant, and when I discovered some of scientific findings pertaining to those claims of the Bible I ceased believing in the Bible as being the inspired word of Jehovah/Yahweh God, and thus I also ceased believing in the existence of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, and the supernatural (including Satan the Devil, angels, demons, resurrections of the dead, and eternal life for humans).

    On a different topic consider the following.

    Today I found something fascinating to me as a result of me researching "sm pp. 17-18 par. 8" of the opening post. I found out that "sm" is the booklet called "The Time for True Submission to God". After reading (in my copy of the booklet) what the opening post quoted from that booklet I browsed the book and found a quote on page 30 from An Appendix to The Companion Bible. That quote said that the Jesus Christ was "... put to death upon an upright stake, and not on two pieces of timber placed at any angle." Since I know that the WT often mishandles quotes and since numerous scholarly sources say that Jesus was most likely put to death onto a stake which had a cross beam (and thus was a cross), I wondered if the quote by the WT of The Companion Bible was misleading. I then searched online for a full quote of The Companion Bible and discovered that the quote is not misleading. I found the fuller quote at https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/92381/facts-on-crucifixion-stauros-torture-stake?page=14 in a post made by abelElElyon from 14 years ago. Ideally I should also track down an actual copy of The Companion Bible and read it directly to see if says such, but since that will take some considerable time and effort to do such, for now the quote I found will suffice for me.

    However, page 15 of the above mentioned topic thread has a post which says in part the following. "The problem is that the classical Greek hadn't been spoken for centuries by the time of Jesus. The bible is written in koine Greek [which is Hellenistic]. Stauros [in koine Greek] means 1]an upright stake with a cross beam above it.2] two intersecting beams of equal length, or 3] a vertical stake."

    It should also be noted that according to http://jesusisyhwh.blogspot.com/2008/03/ The Companion Bible was published in 1885 and thus might be up to date in its understanding on what the Bible says Jesus was nailed to. But https://www.christianbook.com/kjv-companion-bible-genuine-leather-black/9780825422379/pd/542240X gives a different date for the first edition of The Companion Bible for it says the following. "The Companion Bible by Bullinger was released in six parts, beginning in 1910, and Bullinger's identity as author of the notes and editor was purposely left off the title page." https://www.logos.com/product/38911/the-companion-bible says the following. "The Companion Bible has been a trusted resource for personal Bible study for almost a century. Originally published in six parts from 1909 to 1922, this classic study Bible, in its print edition, featured a two-column format, with Scripture on the left and notes on the right, covering Genesis through Revelation."

    It wasn't until after 1885 that scholars discovered (due to fining numerous more manuscripts in Greek) that the Greek of the Bible (koine Greek) was actually the very common Greek of the people in the first century. It had differences from the classical Greek. See https://christianpublishinghouse.co/2019/07/22/fragments-of-truth-500-thousand-papyrus-texts-were-accidentally-discovered-in-egypt/ . As a result, it might still be likely that the WT is wrong in teaching that Jesus was not nailed upon a cross (an upright pole with a cross beam).

  • joe134cd

    Disillusioned Jw. The point I was trying to make. If the bible got into all the nighty gritty of how, rather than the purpose, of the earths formation, then the whole idea of mankind’s restoration would have been lost. This Starous / Stake thing I never brought into as a PIMI JW. I went for about 15 years believing Jesus meet his end on a cross, before I finally left the religion. I explained it by reasoning it was the reason he dies what mattered. Not the instrument he died on. There is just no way a guy who received that type of beating would have had the strength to carry a pole of that weight on his back. The plural form for nails / hands. The sign bern placed above his head. All point to a cross. I found the reasoning Wt used to explain this away to be very weak.

    Looking back I just wished it had been the thing that made me move sooner.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Thanks for your comments joe134cd.

    I was raised from infancy by JW parents (and my grandparents were also JWs while I was an infant and onward, till they died). [I was born prior to 1970.] I had been convinced (without doubts) of the WT's "Starous / Stake thing" view probably until at least the mid 1990s and possibly even until about 2000 or 2005. It probably wasn't until after around 2005 that I thought the that Jesus probably died on a cross instead of a stake.The change in my view was due to me watching documentary programs on TV which talked about the method of the execution of Jesus, and of me reading evangelical Christian criticisms (online and in books) of the WT's position about Starous. A key point for me was the gospel attributed to John saying imprint of the "nails" instead of "nail" in Jesus' hands.

  • TonusOH

    The approach of the WTS was always that you should put the claims of other religions to the test, but when it comes to their teachings, you are expected to verify that they are true.

    For other religions: test the claims and see if they are true.

    For the JW teachings: read the claims and you will see that they are true.

    The GB considers itself to be the voice of God, essentially. To test/question their claims is to doubt God Himself, as far as they are concerned.

  • joe134cd

    Disillusioned JW

    Wt maintains that the plural form that was used for “hands, nails,”implies that multiple nails were needed in order to support his body weight. The one thing that made me dismiss this reasoning was when I looked in the the “ my book of bible stories” ( yellow covered one). There you will see only one nail in his hands, on the stake. I concluded that if this stake theory was to be believed then the artist who designed this picture certainly missed the point.

    Tbh I found it hard to explain all these miss translation theories Wt has e,g parousia , starous etc. Why would an almighty God use such loose language for such an important event, as his death and advent. That for just under 2000 years was missed by everyone. Just to have a guy, which I didn’t know at the time was a narcissistic ,womanising, alcoholic, finally reveal that it was a wrong.

    Looking back I can’t believe just how gullible I was.

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