Counter-Watchtower / Answers-in-Watchtower First Draft Issue 1
Did you even read it? Or just browse it and see pyramids and cross-and-crowns? Because not one thing you posted do i have in it. I have all their publications and pictures and dont even say anything about it, but it is what it is. And what i do say is what the Watchtower has already said about those in condemning them. And if you read the last 3 pages its all theology, showing none of what they say is even Biblical. Ive kept all the 'hear say' out.
You have no real refutation of Watchtower teaching. You quote scriptures without meaningful comments or application. What are you refuting? Exactly. I reject Witness teaching, and you would not have convinced me.
If you were one of my students, you'd get an F and I'd give you one chance to remedy the problems. Clearly state the doctrine you're refuting. Tell us how the verse you cite in refutation accomplishes your purpose. Do you know what the Watchtower says about those verses? Address their comments in advance.
Some of the verses you cite do not address your issues. New Witnesses may be scripturally illiterate, but older ones often know the Bible remarkably well. If you wish to convince them of anything, you must make your application of the verses clear. Even then, you chose verses that do not make your point. Example is how God views those 'outside the organization.' Witnesses use the verses you chose as a reason for their ministry. To them God is earnestly seeking those in need of his word. So your use of those verses returns a Witness to his default thought. "We preach because God loves the world of mankind; to bring salvation to them."
You cite a Watchtower claiming that it shows the Watchtower to teach that Russell and Rutherford are anointed prophets. The quotation does no such thing. This calls into question either your honesty or reading comprehension. Witnesses may be mistaken in some beliefs, but most of them are not stupid. They will notice your inability to apply a verse and your false claim. Simply quoting a scripture and in effect saying, 'there! see!' is not convincing. It is what a totally inexperienced person does. And it is never effective. Explain why you find the verse to support your opinion.
Also ... your work is boring as heck. It does not engage the mind. It's old ground, covered before to little effect. You should also note that Theology is not simply quoting scripture. Theology is the in-depth analysis of Bible doctrine and content. [I suggest you read Strong's Systematic Theology.]
Some Witnesses consult Bible translations other than their NWT, but most of them rely on the Watchtower's translation. Use it. It won't bite. And it puts you on their ground. If you want to use the American Standard Version, use the original. The Watchtower published it for years under license from Thomas Nelson. But Witnesses see the NASB as a step backward in translation, and they're not alone in seeing it that way.
Before you go forward [And I'm not trying to make you give up, only to do better], read a good guide to thesis writing. To refute Witnesses you must develop some intellectual tools. You must learn to write to a standard higher than the average Watchtower article. You aren't even close.
1. Narrow your focus to one issue.
2. Clearly and honestly state the Watchtower position. [You fail in this as it is.]
3. Explain why we should reject the Watchtower position. This is more than saying you don't believe it.
4. Present clearly stated scriptural proof. Analyze the verses in question. Often a focus on the verb forms is helpful.
5. Not that you have done it here, but as a precaution, never present yourself as a Greek or Hebrew language expert.
6. If you quote an authority to support your opinion, ensure you understand their bias. If you do not, it will come back and bite your butt.
7. Write clear, simple sentences. Never write beyond your vocabulary. Everything, even the most complex issues, can be stated simply.
From what you've said it sounds like it would 50 pages, no one will read that. It even seemed like it was too much already for some. Maybe ive failed in your opinion? Im not trying to totally destroy the JWs faith, but just put questions in their head, so this is why cite verses and leave it open ended. And you are right about things like "How Does Jehovah View Those Outside The Organization" it is not a proof text, because JWs think all of that applies to them, in fact most every scripture, same as the false teachers ones, they would say thats talking about everyone what them. So im well aware of this. Its meant to try and be simple, and make someone question without putting it in the trash.
Again maybe ive failed? This is the best i can do...
Im interested what others think, should i just trash it and give up? Or what?
No, as I said narrow your focus to ONE issue. State your case simply and clearly. Not fifty pages. You're not writing a book. It's hard to write well, especially what is essentially expository writing. Pick one issue, develop it. Post it here for comments. What you have does not work.
Best you can do? Probably not nearly. Learning to write is hard work. Learning to write well is even harder. Never give up with the first draft. Ever. Or the tenth.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, I wrote a novel. It saw publication and was on three best seller lists for about six weeks, much of that time as number 2 behind Terry Pratchet. A friend, the now diseased A. C. [Ann] Crispin, a SF and Fantasy writer, made me re-write portions over and over. I rewrote the first chapter eleven times. I swore off writing dozens of times. When I started submitting it, I got nice comments from publishers, sometimes with biting criticism as well. But criticism is a learning experience. So it was finally published, went to audio book, sold well, but is now long out of print. The publication process involves working with an editor. Mind you, they bought your book. right? But they turn it over to an editor who reads it maybe 25 times making notes. My editor sent me ten pages single spaced with suggestions for changes. Pay attention to the suggestions; they know what sells. It is okay, however, to say, "I want to keep that as is." This was enlightening and frustrating.
My trade is historian and educator. [I'm semi-retired due to health issues.] Writing and revising that novel informs my history writing. I learned from the experience. The writing process is painful. Expository writing is especially hard. We're not supposed to 'make things up,' though many polemicists do. We're supposed to respect the rules of logic. Most writers can't identify a logic flaw, not even their own. Learning the process isn't fun. At least not initially.
Learning respect for the intellect of others is also a 'writing issue.' Disagreement with our position does not mean the other person is stupid, deluded or any such thing. I have serious issues with writers such as Zydeck who created out of his imagination parts of his biography of Russell. Never make claims that are nothing more than supposition. When Dr. Schulz and I wrote volume 1 of Separate Identity, we encountered that repeatedly. Even in the works of academics we otherwise respected. Do that one time, and your entire premise is undermined.
Should you stop? Well ... what you have does not work. But that does not mean that with serious effort you cannot remedy the problems. The decision is up to you.
2. Clearly and honestly state the Watchtower position.
Well that makes it tough, as the WT position on theological issues change like the wind.....
Not really, jaydee. The focus should be on current belief. Countering past belief is unproductive. Watch Tower adherents believe in a progressive revelation. So they're okay with changing and vacillating belief. If the idea is to persuade Witnesses that they're wrong, then one must refute current belief. They don't care that they once believed differently.
If they were very wrong in the past then they cound be very wrong now, it can point that out. I wonder if JWs ever think about that?
Vienne it would be interesting to see what you can come up for counter since youre such a great writer (or so it seems from what youve said). Surely you could do better in 5 mins than i have the whole time it has taken me. Go for it, id like to read it, it would by a great service.