Starting a 'Bible Study' - The Basics

by Joe Grundy 10 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy

    I never was a JW. I was brought up in a fairly fundie sect (PB) and have been for many years an interested atheist. I am an admirer of the work of Bart Ehrman (and recommend his blog).

    From time to time, JWs call at my door and invite me to partake in a 'Bible Study'. I always enthusiastically accept. (This is an area in which I am interested, and am contemplating (even at my advanced age) going to university full-time to follow a degree course).

    Ehrman describes how he does a 'pop quiz' of his undergrad students on their first day. Nothing complicated, very basic stuff. I use some of his questions when a JW at my door invites me to a 'Bible Study',

    Such as: How many books in the NT? In what language were they written? What was Paul's last name? Or Jesus' last name? What language did Jesus speak? And so on and so on.

    Shockingly (or not) not one of the JWs inviting me to join in a 'Bible Study' has been able to answer or discuss even the most basic issues, let alone stuff like the schism with Orthodox churches etc.

    'Bible Study' it most certainly is not.

  • Fernando

    They think they know because they think mother knows.

    The blind leading the blind...


    I had a similar conversation with a JW who wanted to host a bible study.

    ME: So how did we get the bible?

    JW: A group of men got together to figure out which books would be admitted into the bible.

    ME:Which group of men?

    JW: A group of men.

    ME: Catholic men?

    JW: Um, yes

    ME: So if I wanted to study the bible, wouldn't I want to go to the folks who gave us the bible?

    JW: Umm...

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    I _like_ the idea of giving the presumptive "Bible teacher" a little quiz first, it's diabolical, and these "experiences" are very entertaining.

  • Tenacious

    Yeah, I find it interesting that most JW's carry that smug arrogant mentality that they know their bible until they run into someone who really knows the bible. Then, it's "reach for the reasoning book" time or "let me get back to you on that" time.

    I've read Ehrman and he does bring up many valid points. It's funny how the JW's of all the religions, hate the Catholics the worst, and yet it was their council that brought them their "silver sword". Hahahahaha


    Another question to ask a bible study host is 'What was Christianity before the bible?'

    The bible wasn;t confirmed until [around] 390. Why was it written? What were followers of Christ doing? What were their teachings and traditions before the bible?

    QUE-Church fathers

  • pale.emperor

    OP, you've made me curious - what was Paul and Jesus' last names? I dont know either.

    On another note, when i was a Jdub it was the born again's i had the most disdain for.

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel
    TTWSYF ยป So if I wanted to study the bible, wouldn't I want to go to the folks who gave us the bible?

    The Catholics didn't actually "give" us the Bible. They compiled the Bible. The first century Christians had an open canon of scripture, not the 66 books we have today. Catholicism also included some apocryphal books that were of dubious value and rejected some books that were originally considered scripture. In fact, the book of Revelation barely made it into the collection, and yet today it's one of the most discussed and written about books in the Bible. Today the sanctity of the closed canon is based largely on an agreed-upon acceptance by which the various sects of Christendom are governed. But there's nothing to keep sects from adding/deleting to/from those books if they see fit. Two books I've never been fond of are Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Neither have teachings or prophecies of value to the church (except the one verse in the former that the Adventists use to justify its soul sleeping doctrine). The scriptural restraints on adding to or deleting from holy writ applies only to the individual books, not to the manmade compilations of books.

  • Diogenesister

    I think the majority of JW's would know the language Jesus spoke and that the bible was written in, but the last names of Jesus and Paul? Wouldn't have a Danny. Unless it's a trick question and they had a system like the Russian patrynomic - so Jesus Josephus, for example?

    Btw didn't know you where Plymouth Brethren!Very exotic!You must tell US more about it....similarities, differences that sort of thing.

    Fully agree that these so called Bible teachers have very poor knowledge, but what can you expect when all their critical facillities are locked down...they are spoon fed only what they need to know to recruit more workers, no more no less.


    Cold Steel- I respectfully disagree. The bible IS a catholic book.They did give it to the world. They compiled it, they confirmed which books that they wanted for their faith. They put it together, they defended it and kept it thru the eons. They did not add or take away books, they merely chose those books that they wanted to express their faith.

    They had criteria that they used to identify what could and could not be used. IE, All books had to be well circulated among the faithful. They had to be old enough to be true as opposed to later books [hello-gospel of Mary, Judas and Peter to name a few]

    So it really is common sense to seek out where it came from AND why it was written. It was written to put the catholic faith to paper as well as to the spoken word [which is how Christianity was spread for the first few hundred years.] The Catholics used the Septuagint as the old testament reference as that was the most common form of OT that was available to the masses that surrounded Judea. Many church fathers referenced the Septuagint. It was only later that other men thought that they knew better.

    The Catholic church traces it's roots to Jesus himself AND his apostles. Traceable history. EVERY other form of Christianity traces it's origins to a man or woman [Hello Paster Russell]

    Not meant to be snotty, if that's how it sounds. Just historical facts.

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