Why does the Watchtower leadership slap its own defenders in the face?
Yes, Wonderment, that was the anecdote I was referring to. So, I don't doubt the fact that Franz was quite knowledgeable and had a good grasp of languages. But the Society leaned heavily on his expertise since N. H. Knorr. After his death in the nineties, things went downhill fast. If they would only have encouraged secular study, they might have been able to groom a successor or a group of successors to continue the Franz tradition. Now their theology is driven by seven simpletons that have no clue.
High profile JW apologists either seem to become “ Born again Christians “ realizing all the things they railed against with such passion like trinity ,hellfire, immortal soul are really in the bible or they go completely batshit crazy like Greg Stanford or Robert King.
Either way, the WTS doesn’t really want to think too much about what you teaching. Thinking it the first step in leaving.
Reading this thread makes me somewhat sadly nostalgic for the old days of JW-dom.
Yes, FF was a loon, but at least he was an intelligent and interesting loon, and he was uniquely ours.
What do we have today?
Seven bumbling dolts with nothing more than a high school diploma amongst the lot of them, who would dissolve into a quivering blob of jelly within the first 30 seconds of anything remotely resembling a scholarly debate. None of them has any more charisma than a bowl of lime jello.
The articles are written at a (literally) 5th-grade reading level (and all have "simplified" editions as well!) and rarely present anything more complex than "obey us or Jehovah will kill you" and "send us money".
If you had asked me 15 years ago if I'd ever be nostalgic for the days of "Babylon the Great has Fallen" or "Life Everlasting in the Freedom of the Sons of God" I'd have laughed in your face, but there you go.
Raymond Franz also mentioned, not sure which book, CofC or ISofCF, that he watched Fred Franz reading Hebrew manuscripts in a museum or something for hours, even when he thought he wasn't being observed.
Clambake, has Greg Stafford gone the full loopy or what? I see his website is down. Last I checked he was still promoting his Jah's Witnesses idea and arguing about various bits of doctrine. I thought he'd just quietly gone off religion since then.
It's interesting to note that in 2009, presumably while the revision of the NWT was underway, they published an article discouraging ordinary members from learning biblical Greek or Hebrew.
I count no fewer than 9 reasons why you shouldn't learn Bible languages, and only 1 slight positive that a person may find it "pleasurable" and "feel that all the effort was worthwhile".
Reasons the Watchtower says you shouldn't try to learn biblical Greek or Hebrew:
1. Understanding the language won't mean you miraculously understand the Bible.
2. Modern Greek and Hebrew are different than the biblical languages. (Yeah so what, what an irrelevant objection!)
3. Learning a language is difficult and would take you years.
4. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
5. You need to know the context of words to understand them whether you are reading a translation or the original.
6. The New Testament writers themselves used a translation of the Old Testament when quoting.
7. Even if you can read the New Testament in Greek you are not reading Jesus' original words because he spoke Hebrew.
8. If you learn Hebrew and Greek you might get ideas that you have some special wisdom when you don't.
9. The good news is for humble people who speak their own simple languages. (Can't even make sense of that argument)
What a shameful article from the so-called Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Is there any other "Bible" society in existence that actively discourages people from learning Bible languages? Truly astonishing.
Vidqun: "So, I don't doubt the fact that Franz was quite knowledgeable and had a good grasp of languages. But the Society leaned heavily on his expertise since N. H. Knorr. After his death in the nineties, things went downhill fast. If they would only have encouraged secular study, they might have been able to groom a successor or a group of successors to continue the Franz tradition. Now their theology is driven by seven simpletons that have no clue."
I could not have said it better!
Yet, they state here (http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2009814):
"In the meantime, the old adage may prove true, A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
If they believed this, why does the WT Corporation pick most of their Governing Body members with zero knowledge of biblical languages?
or they go completely batshit crazy like Greg Stanford or Robert King.
In the former case, I don't think that's even remotely fair.
TD do you know if anyone from the Watchtower leadership actually contacted Furuli and told him to desist because he was being unhelpful?
I don't know what, if anything, was said. I do know that people higher up the food chain were unhappy.
"What a shameful article [http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2009814] from the so-called Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Is there any other "Bible" society in existence that actively discourages people from learning Bible languages? Truly astonishing."
Good question Slim!
In tone with this, the WT Society wrote some time ago that those who volunteered for translation work of the NWT into other languages didn't need to know the original languages. It is clear from this statement that the Society does not want its members engaging in learning the biblical languages. They want their followers to think that only they have the keys to explaining biblical truths, very much like the Catholic clergymen of the 15 through the 17th century were insisting in preaching in Latin to discourage new ongoing attempts into biblical translation work of other advancing languages.
Furthermore, the WTS want its Bible translation teams to focus on the English text of the NWT as the main base for translation instead of having them getting involved in the many language subtleties encountered in this type of work, and exposing them to the danger of worldly biblical criticisms. So their apparent attitude is this:
We need new volunteers with experience in the translation field, willing to tackle Bible translation into other languages. If you already know Hebrew or Greek, great, but if you don't, that's fine also. We can still use you. We'll equip you with the necessary tools to get the job done. As for the rest of you uneducated congregation publishers, forget it, no need to learn biblical languages. We got all your spiritual bases covered by our wonderful publications published by the hard-working "faithful and discreet slave." Can't get better than that! In fact, you don't need to pray to Jesus at all as the way to God, you got "mother" right here to mediate between you and God! Not only that, you can set the "spirit" of God aside, because we, your leaders and faithful stewards, will do all the dirty work for you. We are truly blessed!
Naive. The Watchtower Society and the GB and their institutionalised sychophants cannot possibly conceive of giving anyone outside of themselves credit for intellectual and spiritual achievements, even if they are fully supportive.
That would completely undermine their cardinal rule, ie, that all of the interpretational heavy lifting must be completely left to them as God's appointed channel of spiritual feeding; and any JW who studies the Bible independently, such as Furuli - no matter how impressive their academic credentials - must be ignored as fostering a dangerous mentality of independent thinking.
Same with Greg Stafford, who also rigorously academically defended many of the main Watchtower doctrines but was roundly ignored by the Society. At least Stafford finally displayed a certain measure of genuine intellectual honesty by having the balls to abandon the organisation and do a u-turn on many false JW dogmas that he formerly defended.
I would love to know what Furuli would make of the new grey NWT. To defend it would, in many respects, amount to a denial of his earlier praise of the old edition.
Academica often has nothing to do with intellectual honesty.
The GB would eat their young to protect themselves. Rolf is on his own.