A new generation of anointed that will not pass away.

by Fisherman 162 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW


    Corrections to my prior post: Where I said "people did no earn the gifts" I should have said "people did not earn the gifts". Where I said "faith without words is dead" I should said "faith without works is dead". Where I said "Part of the Bible are figuratively" I should have said "Parts of the Bible are figuratively".

    Where I said '2 Peter chapter 2 speaks of those who "escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but who' I should have said '2 Peter chapter 2 (NASB Updated) speaks of those who "escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" but who'.

    Where I said "2 Peter chapter 3 makes reference to the flood of Noah's day of the day of the Lord" I should have said "2 Peter chapter 3 makes reference to the flood of Noah's day and it makes reference to the day of the Lord",. Where I said "(see verse 11) and be" I should have said "(see verse 11) and are to be".

    Where I said "thus indicating is possible" I should have said "thus teaching it is possible".

  • Fisherman
    • Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and associate with an organization with headquarters in New York and work hard for your gift of salvation.

      I answered that in my previous posts.

      You have not made a reply to my answer. But no pressure, you have a right to keep asserting your view.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Bart Ehrman, an influential NT scholar, at https://ehrmanblog.org/was-paul-the-founder-of-christianity/ says the following.

    "Jesus preached that the Kingdom of God was soon to arrive with the appearance from heaven of the Son of Man. People needed to prepare for that imminent catastrophic event by turning to God and living in the ways that he decreed through the proper observance of the Torah, principally by loving (and trusting) God above all else and by loving their neighbors as themselves. Those who did so would survive the coming onslaught and would be brought into the Kingdom.

    Paul agreed that there was an imminent disaster to take place. But in his view, that would happen when Jesus himself arrived from heaven in judgment. The way a person would survive the onslaught was not by obeying the Law of God or by loving their neighbors as much as themselves. Salvation would come only by believing in Christ’s death and resurrection.

    ... In other words, Jesus preached about God and his coming Kingdom; Paul preached about Christ and his death and resurrection. Important similarities, yes; but also fundamental and crucial differences."

    Of the four gospels in the NT it seem to me that the Gospel which is attributed as being according to Matthew is the one which comes the closest to saying what the entirely human Jew named Jesus taught. I also think it best represents the teachings of Jesus than any of the letters attributed to Paul (and according to Ehrman and other NT scholars many of the letters attributed to Paul are actually forgeries instead of being written by Paul).

    At https://www.npr.org/transcripts/300246095 Bart Ehrman discusses his book called How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. Ehrman says the following.

    "The earliest Christians thought that Jesus had been taken up into heaven and then made a divine being and that he was coming back. And they thought it was going to happen very soon. ...

    Well, what I argue in the book is that during his lifetime, Jesus himself didn't call himself God and didn't consider himself God and that none of his disciples had any inkling at all that he was God. The way it works is that you do find Jesus calling himself God in the Gospel of John, our last Gospel. Jesus says things like: Before Abraham was, I am, and I and the father are one, and if you've seen me, you've see the father.

    These are all statements that you find only in the Gospel of John, and that's striking because we have earlier Gospels, and we have the writings of Paul, and in none of them is there any indication that Jesus said such things about him. I think it's completely implausible that Matthew, Mark and Luke would not mention that Jesus called himself God if that's what he was declaring about himself. That would be a rather important point to make.

    So this is not an unusual view among scholars. It's simply the view that the Gospel of John is providing a theological understand of Jesus that is not what was historically accurate. ...

    And so when Jesus told his disciples that he himself was the messiah, he was saying that in the future, when God establishes the kingdom once more, I myself will be the king of that kingdom. And so it's not that the messiah was supposed to be God. The messiah was not supposed to be God. The messiah was a human being who would be the future king, and that's probably what Jesus taught his disciples that he was."

    At https://www.npr.org/2020/03/31/824479587/heaven-and-hell-are-not-what-jesus-preached-religion-scholar-says Ehrman discusses his book called Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife. There he says the following.

    "Our view that you die and your soul goes to heaven or hell is not found anywhere in the Old Testament, and it's not what Jesus preached. I have to show that in my book, and I lay it out and explain why it's absolutely not the case that Jesus believed you died and your soul went to heaven or hell. Jesus had a completely different understanding that people today don't have. ..

    EHRMAN: I think one of the hardest things for people to get their minds around is that ancient Israelites and then Jews and then Jesus himself and his followers have a very different understanding of what the relationship between what we call body and soul. Our view is that we - you've got two things going on in the human parts. So you have your body, your physical being, and you have your soul, this invisible part of you that lives on after death, that you can separate the two and they can exist - the soul can exist outside of the body. That is not a view that was held by ancient Israelites and then Jews, and it's not even taught in the Old Testament.

    In the Old Testament, what we would call the soul is really more like what we would call the breath. When God creates Adam, he creates him out of earth, and then he breathes life into him. The life is in the breath. When the breath leaves the body, the body no longer lives, but the breath doesn't exist. We agree with this. I mean, when you die, you stop breathing. Your breath doesn't go anywhere. And that was the ancient understanding, the ancient Hebrew understanding of the soul, is that it didn't go anywhere because it was simply the thing that made the body alive.

    And so in the Old Testament, there's no idea that your soul goes one place or another because the soul doesn't exist apart from the body. Existence is entirely bodily. And that was the view that Jesus then picked up. ...

    EHRMAN: Right. So this is a really important shift for understanding both the history of later Judaism and the history of later Christianity and the historical Jesus. About 200 before Jesus was born, there was a shift in thinking in ancient Israel that became - it became a form of ideology, a kind of religious thought that scholars today call apocalypticism. It has to do with the apocalypse, the revelation of God. These people began to think that the reason there is suffering in the world is not what the prophets had said, that it - because people sin and God is punishing them; it's because there are forces of evil in the world that are aligned against God and his people who are creating suffering. And so you get these demonic forces in the world that are creating misery for everyone.

    But they - these apocalyptic thinkers came to think that God was soon going to destroy these forces of evil and get rid of them altogether, and the world would again return to a utopia. It'd be like paradise. It'd be like the Garden of Eden once more. The people who thought that maintained that this Garden of Eden would come not only to people who happened to be alive when it arrived; it was going to come to everybody. People who had been on the side of God throughout history would be personally raised from the dead and individually would be brought into this new era, this new kingdom that God would rule here on Earth." ...

    EHRMAN: Yeah. That became a view somewhat in Judaism, and it became a very pronounced view in Christianity. The - after Jesus. Jesus himself held to the apocalyptic view that I laid out. He taught - his main teaching is that the kingdom of God is coming. People today, when they read the phrase kingdom of God, they think he's talking about heaven, the place that your soul goes to when you die. But Jesus isn't talking about heaven because he doesn't believe - he's a Jew - he doesn't believe in the separation of soul and body.

    He doesn't think the soul is going to live on in heaven. He thinks that there's going to be a resurrection of the dead at the end of time. God will destroy the forces of evil. He will raise the dead. And those who have been on God's side, especially those who follow Jesus' teachings, will enter the new kingdom here on Earth. They'll be physical. They'll be in bodies. And they will live here on Earth, and this is where the paradise will be. And so Jesus taught that the kingdom of God, this new physical place, was coming soon, and those who did not get into the kingdom were going to be annihilated.

    What ends up happening is that, over time, this expectation that the kingdom was coming soon began to be questioned because it was supposed to come soon and it didn't come soon, and it's still not coming, and when is it going to come? And people started thinking, well, you know, surely I'm going to get rewarded, you know, not in some kingdom that's going to come in a few thousand years, but I'm going to get rewarded by God right away. And so they ended up shifting the thinking away from the idea that there'd be a kingdom here on Earth that was soon to come to thinking that the kingdom, in fact, is up with God above in heaven. And so they started thinking that it comes at death, and people started assuming then that, in fact, your soul would live on.

    It's not an accident that that came into Christianity after the majority of people coming into the Christian church were raised in Greek circles rather than in Jewish circles because in Jewish circles, there is no separation of the soul and the body. The soul didn't exist separately. But in Greek circles, going way back to Plato and before him, that was absolutely the belief. The soul was immortal and would live forever in Greek thinking. And so these people who converted to Christianity were principally Greek thinkers, they thought there was a soul that live forever. They developed the idea, then, that the soul lived forever with God when it's rewarded."

    Folks note that what is being said above are the teachings of Bart Ehrman, an influential NT scholar; they are not the words of the WT though in number of respects Bart is teaching the same as the WT (and in some other respects he is teaching the same as atheistic naturalists [Bart now is an agnostic atheist]).

    Folks, please read the rest of what Bart Ehrman says at https://www.npr.org/2020/03/31/824479587/heaven-and-hell-are-not-what-jesus-preached-religion-scholar-says . It is extremely insightful. When you do so note that he says the following.

    "And the other interesting thing is that what the Gnostics did, by reading their ideas into Jesus, is also what the Orthodox Christians did, by putting words in Jesus' lips that supported their ideas of heaven and hell. And so in our various Gospels, you have Jesus saying all sorts of things that are contradictory because different people are putting their own ideas onto his lips."

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Bart Ehrman continues by saying the following. "... The people, in the Book of Revelation, human beings who aren't on the side of God, are actually destroyed. They are wiped out. This is the view that is fairly consistent throughout the New Testament, starting with Jesus. Jesus believed that people would be destroyed when - at the end of time, they'd be annihilated. So their punishment is they would not get the kingdom of God. That also is the view of Paul, that people would be destroyed if - when Jesus returns. It's not that they're going to live on forever. And it's the view of Revelation. People do not live forever. If they aren't brought into the new Jerusalem, the city of God that descends from heaven, they will be destroyed."

    Bart's words indicate, among other things, that not everything the WT claims are biblical doctrines are wrong. The WT when explaining the teachings of the Bible got a lot things right after all! I thus didn't entirely make a mistake when became a JW instead of joining some other version of Christianity. A number of distinctive teachings of the WT really are the teachings of parts of the Bible! Now I don't feel quite as miserable for having joined the WT's JW religion.

    The WT is correct in what they say about Jesus not being part of a Trinity, in saying that the Bible teaches that the human soul is not immortal, in saying that the Bible teaches that many people will become permanently annihilated, and in saying that the Bible teaches that during the reign of Jesus Christ many people will live in paradise on Earth. The WT is also right in saying that parts of the Bible became corrupted, even tampered with.

    Bart Ehrman has the TRUTH about the Bible. Bart Ehrman is in the TRUTH of atheism. Bart is correcting his former incorrect ideas about the Bible and Christianity. Listen to Bart Ehrman. Read the teachings of Bart Ehrman. For him the light of understanding is getting brighter and brighter, figuratively speaking.

    Bart also says the following.

    "There have always been people who actually picked a time when it's going to happen. And there are two things that you can say about every one of these people over history who've picked a time. One is they based their predictions on the Book of Revelation. And secondly, every one of them has been incontrovertibly wrong (laughter). So that should give one pause. The things that are happening now are absolutely dreadful as, of course, they were in 1916 to - 1914 to 1918 and as they have been at other times in history.

    The book that I'm writing that I'm now calling "Expecting Armageddon" is all about that. It's about how people have misused the Book of Revelation to talk about how the end is coming and how it always seems like it's going to be coming in our own time. And everybody thinks this is as bad as it can be. And, you know, this time we may have it right. This kind of thinking, though, really came to prominence at the end of the 19th and into the 20th century and hit big prominence in 1945, when we actually had the means of destroying ourselves off the planet, which we still have, by the way. People aren't talking about nuclear weapons anymore, but they probably should be because that's another way this whole thing might end."

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    The Preface to Bart Ehrman's Book on Revelation: Expecting Armageddon can be read at https://ehrmanblog.org/preface-to-my-book-on-revelation-expecting-armaggedon/ . Note that it claims Revelation teaches some of the same things which a few Christian critics (on this site) of the WT claim of the WT and of some of its teachings. Those particular critics say the WT is wrong in saying that many people will destroyed by God, that the WT is wrong in saying that God will be wrathful, and that the WT is wrong in saying that even some of those whom the WT says will survive the 1,000 and the test at the end of the 1,000 still might destroyed by God later.

    Ehrman's Preface in part says the following.

    "The overwhelming emphasis of Revelation is not about hope but about the wrath and vengeance of God against those who have incurred his displeasure. For the author of Revelation, that entails the vast majority of people who have ever lived, including, perhaps surprisingly, a number of committed Christians. The book repeatedly indicates that God is angry and that Christ seeks to avenge his own unjust death, not just on those who were responsible for it; his vengeance falls on the “inhabitants of earth.” His followers too want revenge and are told to go out and get it. ... God’s faithful followers, his “slaves,” will be saved .... the followers of Jesus, will rule the earth forever.

    That is indeed a happy ending for some people. But ... The saved are God’s enslaved minions who do what he demands. The love of God – for anyone or anything – is never mentioned in the book, not once. The book is instead about the “wrath of God” — as stated repeatedly — as well as the wrath of Christ, and the violent vengeance wreaked on the inhabitants of earth leading up to the appearance of the glorious city from which God’s slaves will rule the planet. ...

    At the end of my book I will consider why the Revelation was nearly excluded from the New Testament and ponder whether the ancient Christian opponents of the book may in fact have had some valid insights. In particular, I will compare the views of the author, John of Patmos, with the teachings of the Jesus."

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    In an earlier post I said "Of the four gospels in the NT it seem to me that the Gospel which is attributed as being according to Matthew is the one which comes the closest to saying what the entirely human Jew named Jesus taught." But, perhaps the gospel named "According to Mark" is the one which comes the closest.

    Interestingly of the 4 gospel books of the NT, only the one named "According to Mark" has a statement within the start of the book saying "the gospel of Jesus Christ". That statement of "the gospel of Jesus Christ" is in the very first verse of the book and at least one scholar thinks it was the original name of the book. In that verse a number of manuscripts include the phrase "the son of God", but not all of the manuscripts include that phrase (see the translators' note in the NRSV and the translators' note in the 1984 NIV). The 1984 NWT does not include the phrase "the son of God" in the main text of Mark 1:1. In the TNIV the entire first verse of Mark 1:1 says "The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,". That is identical to the wording of the 1984 NWT except it says "Christ:" instead of "Messiah,".

    The earliest copies of the four gospels which are in the NT original had no human name as part of their title. We know that because Justin Martyr had no titles for them and he simply called them the "memoirs of the Apostles" (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_reliability_of_the_Gospels ).

    If I recall correctly, the earliest ones called the "Church Fathers" in their quotes of a gospel account called it "the gospel" without mentioning who specifically wrote it. If I recall correctly, the wording of it is not exactly the same as any of the known extant gospel books. Perhaps it was the earliest book of the gospel (or very close to it) - in their tradition, and thus older than the gospel named "According to Mark".

    A number of NT scholars consider what they call "Q" to be the earliest gospel, but as an independent source is hypothetical. It consisted mostly of sayings of Jesus. Note the above mentioned website says the following regarding "Q". "Matthew and Luke share a further 200 verses (roughly) which are not taken from Mark: this is called the Q source. ... It has no passion story and no resurrection, but the Aramaic form of some sayings suggests that its nucleus reaches back to the earliest Palestinian community and even the lifetime of Jesus. ... A large majority of scholars consider it to be among the oldest and most reliable material in the gospels." Note that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_source says the following.

    "The Q source (also called Q document(s), Q Gospel, or Q from German: Quelle, meaning "source") is a hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus' sayings (λόγια : logia). Q is part of the common material found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke but not in the Gospel of Mark.

    ... Some scholars argue that the Gospel according to the Hebrews was the basis for the synoptic tradition.[34][35] They point out that in the first section of De Viris Illustribus (Jerome), the Gospel of Mark is where it should be as it was the first gospel written and was used as a source for the later gospels.[36] Following it should be Q; but not only is Q not where it should be at the top of Jerome's list, this treasured work recording the Logia of Christ is mentioned nowhere by Jerome.[36] Rather, the first seminal document is not Q, but the Gospel according to the Hebrews.[37]"

  • Vanderhoven7

    @ Fisherman

    Compare Rev 5:10 with Luke 12:32. Obviously heaven will be ruling over Christians on earth since Christ is the only way and the only salvation.

    Neither Rev 5:10 or Luke 12:32. say anything about Christians who are unjustified, not in the New Covenant, and bereft of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the heavenly hope.

    I have shown you clear scriptures that counter such assumptions.

    Try again

  • waton

    Roughly speaking, all (including bible writers) aspired to a world without sin and sinner, not a world with lazy repeat sinners whose crimes against "divine law" keep on being forgiven because they believe in the ransom giver{s}

    Adam and Eve paid for their sin, why should we be punished for them? not just Jesus the second adam. . let's carry on.-- with clearer better, goals. may be a second Eve? a Jesusess? after all,

    we already have perfect woman, or belved sweethearts

  • Fisherman
    Neither Rev 5:10 or Luke 12:32. say anything about Christians who are unjustified, not in the New Covenant, and bereft of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the heavenly hope.

    Axiomatically does because only christians are saved based on the ransom and nobody else. However Jesus refers to christians with the heavenly hope as a little flock. Little flock compared to what? Billions of goats or a lager flock of christians that are not the bride of christ. Revelation also describes a populated earth. Of who? Heathens or Christians under the heavenly rule of the Messianic kingdom consisting of Jesus and the New Jerusalem? It is very obvious that many christians will inhabit the earth after the final judgment.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Re: Luke 12:32

    "Axiomatically does because only Christians are saved based on the ransom and nobody else. However Jesus refers to Christians with the heavenly hope as a little flock. Little flock compared to what?"

    The little flock refers to the apostles and first believers, of whom it was literally true.

    You have assumed a comparison that is not in the text.

    Moreover you have added to the Bible an imaginary group of Christians who are not justified, not in the New Covenant, bereft of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the heavenly hope.

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