The scripture most taken out of context
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.
- Romans 15:4
Ever consider that Paul wasn't referencing his own letters to the congregations? And he certainly wasn't referring to the Gospels which hadn't even been written yet. Anybody else ever notice this?
I think he's most likely referring to the Septuagint (the Old Testament that had been translated into Greek). The same goes with 2 Timothy 3:16:
All Scripture is inspired of God+ and beneficial for teaching,+ for reproving, for setting things straight,* for disciplining in righteousness,+ 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.
These letters were never meant to be self referencing. We know this because in the verse right before this one it says "from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures" (the Holy Scriptures existing prior to his writings). It's so odd that this realization never occurred to me while I was a JW. And that Elders will quote Paul and then cite another writing of Timothy or Paul for "setting things straight" or "disciplining" as though that's what Paul or Timothy were talking about.
So weird! Paul claimed to have a revelation on the way to Damascus where he met ghost Jesus. But he never claimed that his writings were of divine inspiration.
he never claimed that his writings were of divine inspiration. He came close though, when he claimed his instructions to "All the congregations of the Holy Ones--- (1 Cor. 14:33) to be already divine, saying:"-- because they are the Lord's Commandments" verse 37. and
He must have forgotten, after all that training about 2 Chronicles 18:18 on, (next week's bible reading) , Where Jehovah, in a Job 1 - like setting, basically introduces lying on his behalf to all the cosmos, enough to " set things straight" seeing that this could not possibly of value.
The WTS has said that not everything written by Paul made it into the bible, were not inspired. By some hocus pocus humans knew which ones were and designed the bible canon, which is not reliable since various groups choose some and not others.
So the WTS says that at the time he wrote that, it was not yet considered part of the "inspired" bible canon. So the only real established scripture was the OT and what Jesus supposedly used as the basis/foundation of his teaching.
I have found when I was a jw that the source of "enlightenment" fell into 3 categories
Interpretation of WTS publications by elders
Rank and file numerous personal interpretations or even something pulled out of their own rear end
And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works,+ 25 not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.
So if meetings were so important and we should have them 2 or 3 times a week, why was there no reference at all to actual meetings with the some structure, and were 1st century christians pressured to not work, or travel if there was a meeting? And how often was it more than maybe a house hold, and someone near by?
I vote for Romans 6:7:
For the one who has died has been acquitted from his sin.
Read the preceding 6 verses. In no conceivable way does it support the idea of "your sins are absolved at the moment of your physical death", yet that is exactly the point of doctrine that the WTS uses this scripture to prop up.
So if meetings were so important and we should have them 2 or 3 times a week, why was there no reference at all to actual meetings with the some structure
Oh but there is.
There is a complete "meeting outline" in 1 Corinthians 14:26 - 39.
What is to be done, then, brothers? When you come together, one has a psalm, another has a teaching, another has a revelation, another has a tongue, and another has an interpretation. Let all things take place for building up. And if someone speaks in a tongue, let it be limited to two or three at the most, and in turns, and someone must interpret. But if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the congregation and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern the meaning. But if another one receives a revelation while sitting there, let the first speaker keep silent. For you can all prophesy one at a time, so that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And gifts of the spirit of the prophets are to be controlled by the prophets. For God is a God not of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the holy ones, let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak. Rather, let them be in subjection, as the Law also says. If they want to learn something, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the congregation. Was it from you that the word of God originated, or did it reach only as far as you? If anyone thinks he is a prophet or is gifted with the spirit, he must acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are the Lord’s commandment. But if anyone disregards this, he will be disregarded. So, my brothers, keep striving to prophesy, and yet do not forbid the speaking in tongues.
Of course, it is nothing like the meetings conducted today.
And, of course, those verses are virtually never cited in any WT publications.
Come to think of it, the following verse, 1 Corinthians 14:40, would be an honorable mention for "out of context" honors:
But let all things take place decently and by arrangement
The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that grows brighter until the full light of day.
The JW concept of getting "new light" is completely an organizational idea NOT a scriptural one.
If they applied the scripture accurately they would have to stick with a doctrine and then watch it get clearer and clearer (or brighter and brighter).
The scriptue uses the illustration of a dawn. When you are observing a sunrise objects do not turn in to the opposite of themselves as the sun rises. Its just the details of said objects that get clearer.
The fact that they hijack this simple, illustrated scripture does not inspire confidence in their ability to look in to deeper scriptures.
"Ever consider that Paul wasn't referencing his own letters to the congregations? And he certainly wasn't referring to the Gospels which hadn't even been written yet. Anybody else ever notice this?"
Of course he is referring to the law and the prophets and not anything post Jesus. The same goes for 2 Tim 3:16 'all scripture is inspired'. Paul was inspired in the sense that he got the idea from past writings, but they were his interpretation of them.
Here's what's funny to me. I always loved reading the writings of Paul. They always seemed so logical and interesting. Now, I have to ask myself, "Was he really any different than Rutherford?" After all, he inserted his own thoughts into the mix, by his own admission. Then he would say, "Not I, but the Lord!" Sure sounds like Rutherford. 😑
Even more strange and ironic, is the fact that "Paul's" writings alone completely contradict JWism! If you want to make Eldubs look like morons, make sure you understand the context of Paul's letters.
Then we must consider the fact of the Bible Canon being decided upon by "Apostates" from "False Religion." After all, only the FDS can distribute food to the many, like Jesus; and the FDS wasn't around until 1919? Are we gonna get a new "Bible" from TOMO???
If the Bible really is inspired, it means that the Governing Body cannot be the sole channel of God. Espescially when they get their refinements from "Christendom's" books in their library. No wonder they won't say which Bible scholar says the "evil slave" is hypothetical!! It's a scholar of Christendom!!! 😳
Millie210: "Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that grows brighter until the full light of day.
The scripture uses the illustration of a dawn. When you are observing a sunrise objects do not turn in to the opposite of themselves as the sun rises. Its just the details of said objects that get clearer."
Good point! I was thinking of the same verse. And just as WT runs into the ground the rank and file until they're of no use anymore...WT has used Proverbs 4:18 until it too is now all used up!