Watchtower Disparages the Bible

by Vanderhoven7 21 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vanderhoven7

    I'm looking for WTS quotations that contrast with II Timothy 3:15-16 whereby they downplay scripture.

    Here is one from way back.

    1. "...people cannot see the Divine Plan in studying the Bible by itself...if he then lays them [Scripture Studies] aside and ignores them and goes to the bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures," (Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1910, p. 298).

      Got any more?

  • Biahi

    Can’t give you the exact quote, but a 1981 WT, possibly December, said, “Come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation!”

  • slimboyfat

    This isn’t the one you’re looking for, but it always amuses me.

    “As everyone knows, there are mistakes in the Bible” — Watchtower April 15th, 1928, page 123.

    See this page for context and scan.

    There’s also the quote from Russell that the historical books of the Bible make mistakes.

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    My own observation is that the JWs typically follow Russell's 1910 advice anyway. Very very few JWs read the Bible contiguously from front to back, or even any of the individual books from beginning to end. If they did, they would soon realize how wrong the JW theology is. But they do read the WT literature, discuss the exact wording amongst themselves, etc. I thought when the 2013 revision occurred, resulting in a Bible with comparatively more readable form, more JWs would do such Bible reading, but apparently I was wrong.

  • truth_b_known

    My own observation is that the JWs typically follow Russell's 1910 advice anyway. Very very few JWs read the Bible contiguously from front to back, or even any of the individual books from beginning to end. If they did, they would soon realize how wrong the JW theology is.

    This is a true statement. Reading the Bible cover to cover is an eye-opener. I did after I left the Witnesses. I cannot stomach reading anything outside the Gospels. I read Psalms and Proverbs. Reading David's prayer to Jehovah for the death of his enemies had my stomach turning.

  • Anna Marina
    Anna Marina

    If you read the Bible on your own and ignore WT nonsense you are not humble and will act foolishly.

    *** w82 6/1 p. 19 par. 14 Loyally Submitting to Theocratic Order ***

    A mental attitude that must be guarded against is thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. (Romans 12:3) That could lead a Christian into believing that he has a special mission from God apart from the channel through which Jehovah dispenses his truths and directs his household. It would, in effect, place him in a supposed special relationship with Jehovah not enjoyed by any other brother or sister in the household. But that sort of isolation can lead only to folly: “One isolating himself will seek his own selfish longing; against all practical wisdom he will break forth.”—Proverbs 18:1.

  • vienne

    From Schulz and de Vienne, Separate Identity, vol. 2:

    We can forgive inexperienced students for accepting Rogerson’s work. He is supposed to know his subject matter. An experienced historian, unless his intellect is clouded by prejudice or by a quest for a preferred result, would look at the un-footnoted assertions found within his book with an adult skepticism. Accepting something because ‘everyone knows it’s true,’ is a major logic flaw – argumentum ad populum. A writer with some depth of research into Watch Tower history should be able to recognize typical research flaws. If one has coached students through thesis and dissertation writing, one knows the shortcuts some students take. An example in Rogerson’s case is presenting a lengthy quotation from Zion’s Watch Tower and footnoting it to the original issue. This quotation is found on page eleven:

    Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in

    studying the Bible by itself, but we see also that if anyone lays the ‘Scripture

    Studies’ aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with

    them, after he has read them for ten years – if he lays them aside and ignores

    them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten

    years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On

    the other hand, if he had merely read the 'Scripture Studies' and had not read a

    page of the Bible as such, he would be in the light at the end of two years,

    because he would have the light of the Scriptures.

    Rogerson did not consult the Watch Tower article where one finds the original. He lifted this entire and without alteration from opposition literature. Judging by his bibliography he found this in Martin and Klann’s Jehovah of the Watch Tower. He leads us through his footnote not to the secondary source from which he drew this but to a specific page in Zion’s Watch Tower. Even his footnote is uncharacteristic, citing a specific page when he otherwise cited a date of publication without noting a page number. Even his footnote is borrowed. Ethically, he should have consulted the original article. Instead, he chose to pretend that he had. In context, the original says something different. Russell’s full message was that to have confidence in Studies of the Scriptures one must test it against scripture:

    The six volumes of Scripture Studies are not intended to supplant the Bible.

    There are various methods to be pursued in the study of the Bible and these

    aids to Bible study are in such form that they, of themselves, contain the

    important elements of the Bible as well as the comments or elucidations of

    those that our Lord and the Apostles quoted from the Old Testament ... .

    Our thought, therefore, is that these Scripture Studies are a great assistance, a

    very valuable help, in the understanding of God’s Word. If these books are to

    be of any value to us it must be because we see in them loyalty to the Word of

    God, and as far as our judgment goes, see them to be in full harmony with the

    Word and not antagonistic to it. Therefore, in reading them the first time, and

    perhaps the second time, and before we would accept anything as being our

    own personal faith and conviction, we should say, “I will not take it because

    these studies say so; I wish to see what the Bible says.” And so we would ...

    prove every point or disprove it, as the case may be. We would be satisfied

    with nothing less than a thorough investigation of the Bible from this


    Russell’s comments on his books do not differ in purpose or meaning from those of other Protestant writers but are part of a tradition that extends back to 17th Century British – primarily English – and American Colonial Era writers. David Hall demonstrates that the objective of lay writers and clergy was to “reduce the distance between what they said and what was contained in the great original;” i.e. the Bible. They believed they’d gotten it right, and their words were the Bible condensed or clarified. Hall takes us to a colonial-era writer who advised readers to “diligently read it over and over again, and when you have done, enter upon a serious consideration.” Russell trod this familiar path.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Baihi

    <<“Come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation!”>>

    Here is a question I asked on QUORA

    Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe that people can be saved and sanctified through reading and studying the Bible alone without knowing anything about the Watchtower organization?

    Sergio Saavedra
    Member of Jehovah's Witnesses for decades responded

    No, we don’t believe that.

    Many people try to reduce the idea of salvation to a very brief explanation, a kind of slogan; sometimes only one word.

    But the Bible is a little more thorough about it:

    • John 17:3: “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” —So yes, we need to come to know the only true God and also to know Jesus Christ.
    • 2 Timothy 3:15: “From infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” —And yes, we need to know the holy writings, the Bible, in addition to have faith in Christ, or as a way to have faith.
    • John 20:31: “But these have been written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and because of believing, you may have life by means of his name.” —We have to believe that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah and the Son of God.
    • John 3:16: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone execising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” —So, we need to exercise faith in God’s Son.
    • John 3:36: “He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life.” —This shows that obedience is connected to faith.
    • Luke 18:18–21: “And one of the rulers questioned him, saying: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” Jesus said to him: “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except one, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and your mother.’”” —So, according to Christ Jesus, we have to do good works and obey God’s commandments.
    • 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10: “Do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom.” —Our moral conduct is directly implied in inheriting God’s Kingdom or not.
    • Luke 10:25–28: “Now look! a man versed in the Law stood up to test him and said: “Teacher, what do I need to do to inherit everlasting life?” He said to him: “What is written in the Law? How do you read?” In answer he said: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” He said to him: “You answered correctly; keep doing this and you will get life.”” —Christ also said that loving God and our neighbour is essential.
    • Joel 2:32: “And everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” —Thus, we need to know and respect the name of God and especially to rely on and trust in the One who bears that name. That implies true repentance and trust in Jehovah’s forgiveness, according to verses 12 and 13; it also implies truly coming to know him, trust him, obey him, and put him first in our life.
    • Romans 10:13, 14: “For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” However, how will they call on him if they have not put faith in him? How, in turn, will they put faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach?” —Everything is connected; there is an interesting chain here: we need to call on God’s name, but for that, first we need faith, and for that, first we need some degree of knowledge.
    • Romans 6:23: “For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” —Ultimately, everlasting life is not something we can earn, it is a gift from God for those who meet His requirements.

    So, salvation is a little more complicated than “only faith”, “only works”, “faith and works”, “study of God’s Word”, etc. It is a free gift, but some requirements are specified in the Bible.

    And one of them is belonging to the Christian congregation.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses, believe that, in view of Scriptural patterns like God requiring the ancient Israelites, and later the first-century Christians, to congregate for worship (organized worship that included singing, readings from the Scriptures, and public prayer), it is reasonable to conclude that today, too, God would expect his friends to worship him in an organized fashion.

    And we also think that there are benefits from worshipping God as part of a congregation, which might be one of His reasons to ask that from us.

    For instance, the Scriptures liken the genuine worshipper to one who is traveling over a cramped road; and in another instance, to a runner in a race. (Matthew 7:14; 1 Corinthians 9:24–27) When running a long, hard race over difficult terrain, a runner may easily tire out and eventually give out. However, a runner can often push himself beyond his personal threshold if he has encouragement from others. Likewise, a spiritually-minded person can successfully maintain his relationship with God despite adversities if he has encouragement from other worshippers.

    This explains the words at Hebrews 10:24, 25:

    “Let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking our meeting together.”

    In fact, the Scriptures state that true worshippers would render worship as brothers and sisters, united as a figurative body. A body united by a bond of love and peace. For example, Ephesians 4:2, 3:

    “I . . . appeal to you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and mildness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, earnestly endeavoring to maintain the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace.”

    How could we comply with this admonition if our worship were independent and detached from other worshippers?

    We have the conviction that it is God’s will that instead of being a loose association of spiritually-minded individuals, true worshippers merge into a tight community of faith. The Bible exhorts worshippers to speak in agreement, to avoid divisions, and to be “fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.” (1 Cor 1:10) Those words would make little sense if God wanted people to worship him only as individuals apart from one another.

    To us, it is clear that evidence from the Bible points to an organized form of worship as the kind that is acceptable to God. And the organized religion that the Scriptures describe, the one that God sponsors, can give you the support you require to be successful in satisfying your spiritual needs and receive the free gift of salvation for those who exercise faith in Jesus. (Mat 5:3; John 3:16)"

  • Vanderhoven7

    Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe that people can be saved and sanctified through reading and studying the Bible alone without knowing anything about the Watchtower organization?

    Dean writes:

    Absolutely not.

    NOBODY can understand the Bible without the Jehovah’s false Witnesses’ watchtower organization of MEN telling them what the Bible means

    Their founder once said that if you did just read the Bible alone, without his or the organizations’ input, you would fall into “apostate teachings”.

    Isn’t that extremely amusing?!

    If i read the Bible and Bible ALONE, i will believe “apostate teachings”....

    "Jehovah gives us sound counsel through his Word and through his organization, using the publications provided by “the faithful and discreet slave.” ( ie: the watchtower organization ) (Matthew 24:45; 2 Timothy 3:16) How foolish to reject good advice and insist on our own way! We “must be swift about hearing” when Jehovah, “the One teaching men knowledge,” counsels us through his channel of communication.—James 1:19; Psalm 94:10."

    Watchtower, 1973 July 1st p.402 "Jehovah’s organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God’s holy spirit or force (Zech,4:6) Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book.", "How very much true Christians appreciate associating with the only organization on earth that understands the ‘deep things of God’! Direction by God’s spirit enables Jehovah’s servants to have divine light in a world of spiritual darkness."

    "Avoid independent thinking...questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization. ( ie: the watchtower organisation )" (Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1983 pg. 22)

    "Fight against independent thinking." (Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1983 pg. 27 )

    "Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization ( ie: the watchtower ), not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible." (The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967, p. 587.)

    "All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.( ie: the watchtower )" (The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1994, p. 8.)


    Does “the faithful and discreet slave” endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?​—Matt. 24:45, 47.

    No, it does not. And yet, in various parts of the world, a few associates of our organization have formed groups to do independent research on Bible-related subjects. Some have pursued an independent group study of Biblical Hebrew and Greek so as to analyze the accuracy of the New World Translation. Others explore scientific subjects related to the Bible. They have created Web sites and chat rooms for the purpose of exchanging and debating their views. They have also held conferences and produced publications to present their findings and to supplement what is provided at our Christian meetings and through our literature.

    Throughout the earth, Jehovah’s people are receiving ample spiritual instruction and encouragement at congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions, as well as through the publications of Jehovah’s organization. Under the guidance of his holy spirit and on the basis of his Word of truth, Jehovah provides what is needed so that all of God’s people may be “fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought” and remain “stabilized in the faith.” (1 Cor. 1:10; Col. 2:6, 7) Surely we are grateful for Jehovah’s spiritual provisions in these last days. Thus, “the faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight.​—Matt. 24:45-47.

  • Drearyweather
    Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe that people can be saved and sanctified through reading and studying the Bible alone without knowing anything about the Watchtower organization?

    Don't know about the JW's, but there are instances in the Bible where people did not understand the Christian teaching by reading the Bible alone, and needed additional help:

    1. Ethiopian eunuch: He did not understand what he was reading from Isaiah, so Philip had to help him

    2. Appollos: Did not understand the scriptures better,so Aquilla and Priscilla had to explain it to him.

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