How do JWs view the Ransom?

by Vanderhoven7 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Vanderhoven7

    Looking for a simple explanation of the ransom from a JWs perspective.

  • Steel

    Jesus died for a group of people called the annoited who are solely represented by the faithful slave or governing body. Though my works and obedience to the governing body and the organization I can be Saved from destruction at Armageddon.

    That’s how understand it. The New Testament isn’t written for you .

  • cofty

    See the opening paragraphs of this article for an explanation of how the explanation of the Ransom changed from Russell to Rutherford.

    According to a mainstream Christian Jesus died for our sins. According to a JW Jesus died to exchange the value of his perfect life for the life Adam forfeited by his sin.

    The concept of vicarious punishment has been lost.

  • Carmichael

    The teaching of "the ransom" is not universal among Christians. It was made popular among some Christian movements that came out of the Second Great Awakening (circa 1790-1840).

    The "theory of atonement" is what is generally taught in Christianity, and it was developed mainly by Origen of Alexandria (circa 184-253). The reasoning behind this is that Christ's shedding of blood "atoned" for the sin of Adam. "Atonement" is compensation or expiation for what has happened, paid either to the Devil, as Origen suggested, to release humanity from Satan's grip or just as an act of God giving up his life as a human in Jesus so that humans can have "a share in the divine life" as Roman Catholicism teaches currently.--2 Peter 1:4.

    The Jehovah's WItnesses Ransom Teaching

    The Jehovah's Witnesses are about the only religion, along with the Seventh Day Adventists who have this unique "ransom" teaching. This is due to their being originally descended from the same Adventist movement (it is likely that Bible Student groups that also splintered off may share this view too).

    The "ransom" teaching is that all of humanity has inherited sin and death as a result of Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden. God's divine law requires that only the sacrificial death of a perfect human can atone for Adam's sin. The death of Christ acts as a sacrifice or "ransom" that can release those who have faith in it. God's justice requires such a perfect victim to set matters right and that all who are to be ransomed to exercise faith in that victim's death, otherwise all or any of the offspring who don't take advantage of it are doomed to perish at the hands of God's judgment forever.

  • JoenB75

    I remember Romans 6:7 is used a lot. Russell believed that almost anyone would be raised to a first real chance of obtaining life along with many of the fallen angels thanks to the ransom setting the record straight. Few exceptions were some truly bad guys and Satan himself, his post millenium rebellion is seen as evidence of his true badness. Rutherford added many to the no list, such as Adam and Eve, those who refused JW (the judgment of the sheep and goats in his view) JWs that did not endure under persecution and those who died by God's hand in Bible times, such as pharaoh and his drowned army

  • Vanderhoven7

    Thanks for the clarification Steel, Cofty, Carmichael and Joen.

    I still don't understand how all Witnesses happily apply the ransom to themselves when they don't see themselves in the New Covenant arrangement and are without the benefits of the blood atonement.

    On top of that they see Adam as eternally lost despite the fact of the ransom "payment" was allegedly made for Adam and race.

    Any ideas?

  • truth_b_known

    JWs teach that any being created perfect that sins is not redeemable. Therefor Adam, Eve, Satan, and all demons are forever condemned to death.

  • cofty

    Vander - JWs don't see themsleves as culpable sinners as other xtians do. The imagine their only real problem is 'inherited sin' which was all Adam's fault.

    Jesus' death buys back the value of that first perfect life and by proxy all of Adam's offspring. (Don't go down the rabbit hole of who paid what to whom, it leads nowhere) This wipes the slate clean up to the moment of baptism. All previous sin can be neatly filed under 'imperfection'. But from the moment of baptism JWs must now prove themselves worthy of salvation through good works - specifically through loyalty to the organisation.

    They see no distinction as regards the ransom in relation to anointed or otherwise apart from the weird idea that anointed are declared righteous, whereas the other sheep are declared 'relatively righteous' - a bit like being a little bit pregnant. (I'm not making this up)

    Russell taught that Jesus' death bought back the life of Adam who would be resurrected. Everybody else was unborn in Adam's 'loins' when he sinned so we were redeemed also - I think Russell was a preformationist. Rutherford cancelled that declaring Adam beyond the pale and changed it so that it was not Adam that was redeemed but the value of Adam's perfect life.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Nicely explained. Thank you Cofty.

    Truthbeknown...OK so that's how they make this distinction....even though it is not biblical since the first promise of a Saviour was made to Eve almost immediately after the pair had sinned.

  • JoenB75

    Yes they screwed up the story, especially the wicked Rutherford. It is clear pre fallen Adam and Eve lived by obedience and did not have knowledge of good and evil. The agenda behind making them perfect is equally clear

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