Biblical Anachronisms in JW Literature

by neat blue dog 37 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    In a recent post FFGhost made a comment about how they're always inserting modern concepts into Biblical narratives to make it relatable to JW's organization. Here are some that come to mind:

    - the capitalized term "Governing Body" when referring to the older men in Jerusalem (really just another group of Christians that Paul outspokenly disagreed with and didn't look to for approval)

    - Jephthah's daughter entering full-time service after being encouraged by her friends (a deliberate mistranslation of her actual human sacrifice and the mourning that followed)

    - paintings of early Christians going door to door with bookbags (even though they preached town to town, visited private homes only for food and lodging and were told specifically not to keep going house to house)

    Can you think of any more?

  • FFGhost

    They refer to Timothy as a "traveling overseer"...

    (for example, Watchtower 2/15/1998 page 25: What was this gift? It involved Timothy’s appointment as a traveling overseer, a service privilege that he had to care for responsibly.)

    ...the identical term they have used dozens if not hundreds of times for "circuit overseers".

    Implying that first century Christian congregations had similar hierarchy and arrangements as modern-day JW congregations.

    I wonder if Timothy got his ride from "Circuit Chariot Leasing"?

    Not to mention 20th (and 21st) century theocratic buzzwords such as "appointment" and "service privilege".

  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    People were either big corporate type businessmen ( Peter fishing, Lydia), or disconnected hermits (Jesus had to find a tree, cut it down, haul it into town, to make things).

    Those bookbags would trip anyone😊

    Fleeing Jerusalem they worried about the congregation records being safe. I think the congregation would be way more close than these things passed off today so they would know the works and personalities.

    Jonahs sister would have been married at 14, not living at home.

  • FFGhost
    Fleeing Jerusalem they worried about the congregation records being safe.

    I remember that! I think it was one of the last "live-action-wave-your-arms-like-a-loon-to-prerecorded-dialogue" convention dramas before they went exclusively to video for their dramas.

    I still have picture in my mind of the 1st-century "congregation secretary" sitting a table with a stylus and parchment, worrying about "congregation records" (I think implying, incredibly enough, that they were even recording "field service hours" back then).

    I $#!+ you not. I remember it clear as a bell.

  • truth_b_known

    That Jehovah has always had an appointed "organization".

    First, the nation of Israel - an entire monarchy of one ethnic group who were the sole worshippers of Jehovah was an organization.

    Second, the ragtag group of Jews who accepted Jesus and began Christianity was the next incarnation of Jehovah's appointed organization.

    Finally, a religious book publishing company established in the late 18th century in New York, NY, USA officially becomes Jehovah's appointed organization.

    There is nothing more important to Jehovah's Witnesses than His "organization". It is amazing how it went from a nation state to a group of door-to-door salesman.

  • FFGhost

    I've only seen the illustration of the guys with "book bags" here on this site - I think it might have been maybe in an old JW calendar or something not widely distributed.

    But there are definitely many illustrations of 1st century Christians (without bookbags) actually standing at the entrance of a house, while the "householder" leans against his doorpost with his chin in his hand, listening intently.

    As if 1st century Palestinian peasants had time to hang around in their houses (maybe they were playing video games?), and it was not at all life-threateningly suspicious for random out-of-town strangers to knock on doors of residents.

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    Yes I know what you mean there have been a bunch of those doorway leaning ones 🤣 however there was one recent painting used widespread with bookbags, (or cross-body bags ((stake-body bags?😏)) It's this one:

  • FFGhost

    Yeah, but there was one with scrolls clearly visible in the "book bags"! That's the most egregious one I remember seeing on this site.

    As if the guys somehow placed an order at the congregation scroll & parchment counter for "field service supplies" after their "meeting for field service".

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    Showing groups of first Century Christians in which reading from a codex or scroll was common. This implies a few things which are anachronistic. That the majority of people were literate (most were not) and that possession of a scroll or codex was common (being copied by hand, they were quite expensive and out of reach of most of the populace)

  • carla

    Excellent post and responses!

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