In the last 20 years How Many Changes Have Occurred in Watchtower Beliefs?

by minimus 38 Replies latest jw friends

  • James Mixon
    James Mixon

    Jehovah sent a ton of New Light over the years, I wonder was He confused..

  • careful

    Thanks, MacHislopp. As I suspected, the really big notion they have not changed:

    Hence, we do not donate blood, nor do we store for transfusion our blood that should be ‘poured out.’

    So they have NOT changed their position on one storing his/her own blood weeks before surgery. I couldn't imagine them changing that one, at least at this time. Too many have died from not doing it, and changing it now would open the Pandora's box that they are so afraid of.

    As others have stated before, they really are like rabbis writing the immensely detailed Talmud. The difference, of course, is that it was OK for ancient and medieval Jews to disagree with the rabbis and they could stay in their congregations. It took a lot more to get expelled.

    What changed about the transfiguration vision?

    What did they change about early Christians' observance of the Mosaic Law?

    Are they now accepting tribal marriages?

  • MacHislopp

    · Hello everyone,

    as I have received a request to give a tipical example of the Sciety’s Governing Body's changes I did prepare the following, with Matt. 13:37 as Scriptural base :

    · Matthew12: 37

    "for by your words you will be declared righteous, and by your words you will be condemned”


    · ***w76 5/15p.298 Preaching Christ—Through Envy or Goodwill?***

    It is a serious matter to represent God and Christ in one way, then find that our understanding of the major teachings and fundamental doctrines of the Scriptures was in error, and then after that, to go back to the very doctrines that, by years of study, we had thoroughly determined to be in error. Christians cannot be vacillating—‘wishy-washy’—about such fundamental teachings. What confidence can one put in the sincerity or judgment of such persons?



    “Qualified to be ministers “(1955) p.156 par. 5

    5 The first essential for study is the right condition of mind and heart, appreciating that Jehovah grants understanding only to the meek, and not to the stiff-necked . If we have love for Jehovah and for the organization of his people we shall not be suspicious, but shall, as the Bible says, `believe all things,' all the things that The Watchtower brings out, inasmuch as it has been faithful in giving us a knowledge of God's purposes and guiding us in the way of peace, safety and truth from its inception to this present day .

    *** sg study 21 p.110 pars.9-10 Informative Material,Clearly Presented*** (1992 edition)

    9 Accuracy of statement. Jehovah’s witnesses are an organization of truth. We should want to speak the truth and be absolutely accurate in every detail at all times. This should be so not only as regards doctrine but also in our quotations, what we say about others or how we represent them, also in matters involving scientific data or news events.

    10 Wrong statements delivered to an audience may be repeated and the error magnified. Inaccuracies that are recognized by an audience raise questions as to the authority of the speaker on other points, perhaps even calling in question the truth of the message itself.

    *** w72 8/15 p. 501 God Readjusts the Thinking of His People ***


    Does this bring into question the basic principles of their teachings?

    Not at all. Jehovah’s witnesses do not claim infallibility. They are being taught by God. (Isa. 54:13) Never will they know all things, but they will continually be learning from the inexhaustible wisdom of God as they walk in his truth.

    Claim taught, repeated and printed 38 years later in the :year 2010::*

    *** w 10 9/15 p.13 par.8 Unity Identifies

    True Worship***

    8 Similarly today, a Governing Body composed of spirit-anointed Christians contributes to the unity of the worldwide congregation. The Governing Body publishes spiritually encouraging literature in many languages. This spiritual food is based on God’s Word.Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah.—Isa. 54:13.

    Please take note of this example

    (no mention of a “ governing body”)

    From the book “Jehovah’s Witnesses in the divine purpose”(1959 edition ) pages 148-149

    It was suggested, therefore, that the brothers in the various congregations throughout the world consider a resolution presented in The Watchtower and which was similar to resolutions already adopted and submitted to the Society's headquarters by the London, England, congregation,the greater New York congregation, the Chicago, Illinois, congregation, the LosAngeles , California , congregation and many others. The resolution reads :

    We, the company of God's people taken outfor his name, and now at -, recognize thatGod's government is a pure theocracy andthat Christ Jesus is at the temple and in fullcharge and control of the visible organization of Jehovah, as well as the invisible, and that "THE SOCIETY" is the visible representative of the Lord on earth, and we therefore request "The Society" to organize this company for service and to appoint the various servants thereof, so that all of us may work together in peace, righteousness, harmony and complete unity.

    We attach hereto a list of names of persons in this company that to us appear more fully mature and who therefore appear to be best suited to fill the respective positions designated

    for service. y

    fnote y (w June 15 th 1938 pp.182,183)

    Then In the year 1965 no longer the “Society” is the visible representative , but the “governing body” :

    * w 65 6/1 p.352 Questions From Readers***

    In 1938 Jehovah revealed this correspondency to his servants and it was published in TheWatchtower in a two-part article entitled “Organization.” This appeared in the issues of June 1 and 15 and proved conclusively that Jehovah’s organization must henceforth be guided and directed by Jehovah’s spirit through the visible governing body made up of those servants whom Jehovah himself would appoint. “

    Surprise...six years later in the year 1971 the “governing body” “ is mentioned…as existing from the year 1944 :

    *** w71 12/15 p.757 A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation***


    According to the apostolic example of the first century C.E., these dedicated, baptized Christians known today as Jehovah’s witnesses have a governing body, as specifically noted from the year 1944 onward. This governing body has through the years been associated with the publishers of the WatchTower magazine and the Board of Directors of the legal religious corporation now known as Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania law, this corporation must hold annual corporation meetings at its registered offices in Pittsburgh, Pa., or elsewhere as duly voted upon, and must elect directors to fill the vacancies of those whose three-year term of office is expiring, and also to transact all necessary obligations. From among the full board of seven directors, all of whom are dedicated, baptized, spirit-anointed Christians, the officers of the Society must be elected.

    Also in the same year the Society claims that:

    ***w71 12/15 p. 761 A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation ***

    Dedicated, baptized, anointed Christians became associated with that Society at headquarters in Pennsylvania. Whether on the Board of Directors or not, they rendered themselves available for special work of the “faithful and discreet slave” class. They aided in the feeding and directing of the slave class, and thus a governing body made its appearance. This was evidently under the guidance of Jehovah’s invisible active force or holy spirit. Also, under the direction of the Head of the Christian congregation, Jesus Christ the Son of God. True, the members of that governing body were not directly appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ. For that matter, not all the members of the governing body associated with the Jerusalem congregation in the first century were thus directly appointed.

    Twisting and changing and adding according th their own will another 28 years in the year in 1999, the Society claims again that in the year 1938 …there was a “Governing Body” :

    *** w 99 2/1 p.18par.18 Our Treasure in Earthen Vessels***

    18 The year 1938 was crucial in clearly identifying the two classes. The March 15 and April 1, 1938, issues of TheWatchtower presented the two-part study “His Flock” and made clear the relative places of the anointed remnant and their companions, the great crowd. Then the June 1 and June 15 issues carried study articles on “Organization,” based on Isaiah 60:17. All congregations were called on to request the Governing Body to appoint local servants, thus bringing in an improved, God-ordained, theocratic arrangement. The congregations did just so.

    As for the appointmen/election/choosing t of the “ Governing Body” in 1971 the Society taught that:

    ***w71 12/15 p. 761 A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation ***

    Dedicated, baptized, anointed Christians became associated with that Society at headquarters in Pennsylvania.

    …They aided in the feeding and directing of the slave class, and thus a governing body made its appearance. This was evidently under the guidance of Jehovah’s invisible active force or holy spirit.

    True, the members of that governing body were not directly appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Hold on, another 20 years passed and in the year 1991 the Society changes the claim:

    *** w91 9/1 pp.18 19 par.15 Jehovah and Christ—Foremost Communicators***

    15 What of modern times? As foretold at Matthew 24:3, 45-47, the Master, Jesus Christ, has appointed “the faithful and discreet slave,” made up of anointed Christians, to care for all his belongings on earth during this day of his presence. That faithful and discreet slave is represented today by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which has as its publicity agent the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Most appropriately, that faithful and discreet slave has also been called God’s channel of communication.

    In case you did miss the point another 10 years and in yhe year 2001 the Society publishes a reminder:

    *** w 01 4/15 p.29 Do You Remember?***

    How does the Governing Body differ from a legal corporation?

    While directors of a legal corporation are voted into office by its members, the Governing Body is not appointed by any man but is appointed by Jesus Christ.

    Of course most of us will then wonder about the are cuhe position of brother Charles Taze Russel, well here are two Society’s claims:

    *** w71 12/15 p.760 A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation***


    How did this governing body make its appearance in recent times? Evidently under the direction of Jehovah God and his Son Jesus Christ. According to the facts available, the governing body became associated with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. C. T. Russell was patently of that governing body back there in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Being fully dedicated to God through Christ, he set himself to apply his time, energy, abilities, wealth and influence to defending God’s inspired Word and spreading its message.

    And 22 years later:

    *** jv chap.15 pp.228-229 Development of the Organization Structure***

    Then, in 1944, a service assembly was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in connection with the Watch Tower Society’s annual meeting. On September 30, prior to that annual meeting, a series of highly significant talks were given on what the Scriptures say as to the organization of Jehovah’s servants. Attention was focused on the Governing Body. On that occasion it was emphasized that theocratic principle must apply to all the agencies used by the faithful and discreet slave class. It was explained that the legal corporation did not have as members all the “consecrated” people of God. It merely represented them, acting as a legal agency on their behalf. However, inasmuch as the Society was the publishing agent used to provide Jehovah’s Witnesses with literature that contained spiritual enlightenment, the Governing Body was logically and of necessity closely associated with the officers and directors of that legal Society. Were theocratic principles being fully applied in its affairs?

    The Society’s charter set out a shareholder arrangement in which each aggregate contribution of $10 (U.S.) entitled the contributor to a vote in connection with selection of members of the board of directors and officers of the Society. Perhaps it seemed that such contributions gave evidence of genuine interest in the work of the organization. However, this arrangement presented problems. Brother Knorr, the Society’s president, explained: “From the provisions of the Society’s charter, it would seem that the being a part of the governing body was dependent upon the contributions to the legal Society. But according to the will of God this could not be so among his true chosen people.”

    It was a fact that Charles Taze Russell, who for the Society’s first 32 years was foremost in the governing body, was financially, physically, and mentally the greatest contributor to the Society. But it was not a monetary contribution that determined how the Lord used him.

    Be patient … is getting clear:

    w72 2/1pp.79-80 Fully Accepting the Challenge of Jehovah’sService***


    11 …

    The Naomi remnant came into a condition like that, particularly in the year 1918, when they were, in a sense, exiled from Jehovah God’s favor. In that year Jehovah God came to his temple suddenly, accompanied by the messenger of the covenant, the Lord Jesus Christ.He examined the remnant here upon earth; he was displeased with them. ( Mal. 3:1, 2) For a time they were not fully accepting the challenge of Jehovah’s Kingdom service that had opened up to them. They were holding back, through fear of man and were not properly keeping themselves “unspotted from the world.” (Jas. 1:27, AuthorizedVersion) Therefore Jehovah let them go into bondage to Babylon the Great and her political associates.


    (From the book:

    God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Year sHas Approached – 1973 edition)

    ka chap.12pp.234-235pars.50-51 Increasing the King’s Belongings***

    50 In September of 1922 these Christian slaves who are in line for the heavenly kingdom were forcefully made aware that they are indeed now under inspection of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the reigning Lord Jesus. In fulfillment of Malachi 3:1, he has accompanied Jehovah God when coming to his spiritual temple for judgment work with regard to his spirit-begotten “slaves” at the temple.

    Now, please compare the above with this:

    w93 5/1 p.17 par.6 Expanded Activities During Christ’s Presence***

    6 From the time Christ’s presence began and down to 1918, the slave class, despite unpopularity, persecution, and even some confusion, had been seeking to give timely food to the domestics. This is what the Master found when his inspection began. The Lord Jesus was pleased, and in 1919 he pronounced that faithful approved slave class happy. What was the slave’s delightful reward for doing what his Master had appointed him to do? A promotion! Yes, larger responsibilities were given in advancing his Master’s interests.

    With such confusing, non bliblically supported and contradictory statements the actual GB is again like the "king without clothes" .

    All this everchanging modifications, explanations, addition , clarification and yet the Society’s Governing Body claims in the year 2011::*

    *** yb 11 p.13 Highlights of the Past Year***

    In summary, the Writing Department insists on using only material that is accurate and truthful, even regarding seemingly insignificant details. As a result, “the faithful and discreet slave” can consistently supply spiritual food that brings honor to “the God of truth,” Jehovah.—Ps. 31:5.


    · Reminder: Matthew 12: 37 "for by your words you will be declared righteous, and by your words you will be condemned”

    I do hope that this “short” example will be useful to someone.


    J.C. MacHislopp

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    Thank you MacHislopp, and DarkSpilver for all of this brain boggling sifting thru "The Society's" literature to show them for what they are, and how they subtly and not so subtly and outrightly change anything they want.

    I want to save this for later, in case my sister starts waking up. She is so devoted to the GB.

  • careful

    Wow, MacHislopp, what a "short" post indeed. I hope I didn't "set you off" somehow! But your hard work here is appreciated. Their strange, in fact, cavalier, treatment of the concept of truth is mind-boggling, isn't it? I left for multiple reasons, but this was among the foremost. I found it nauseating. Fortunately, I've recovered now and see things differently.

  • joe134cd

    To be honest it wasn't until I started to visit apostate sites that I realized the magnitude of changes and their implications. Even if I had of back then I probably would of rationalized it by new light. For example I didn't even know about the over lapping generation or even what it implied. As I look back I can't help but think just how asleep I was.

  • minimus

    Mac....glad you are back!👍👍

  • Phizzy

    Thanks to mac and others, amazing lists ! I see the JW Site calls it clarification which is typical Borgspeak because simply changing beliefs/doctrines is not clarification, it is just a new explanation, just as murky as the last,

    It also means that what they taught before and have rejected was not Truth, but simply old men guessing. Why should the new stuff be any closer than the previous dross ?

    "Prove to me that what you now teach is the truth"..... my challenge to any JW believer out there !

  • darkspilver
    darkspilver: It's no secret, in fact the GB proudly highlight the changes they've made... Listed in the Index under the heading 'Beliefs Clarified'


    There seems to be an issue here with the use of 'changes' / 'clarification'

    The OP originally asked about changes

    darkspilver linked to the WT Online Index, and pasted a summary of clarifications

    Clarifications are NOT changes and should NOT be confused.

    Sorry about that - I should have re-worded my original reply to emphasize 'clarifications' rather than 'changes' in order to avoid the confusion - thanks to careful for picking this up!

    For example

    2000: use of one’s own blood: w00 10/15 30-31

    This was a clarification in view of medical advances - such as the introduction of the 'cell-saver' machine:

    Watchtower, October 15, 2000

    Questions From Readers: In the light of Bible commands about the proper use of blood, how do Jehovah’s Witnesses view medical procedures using one’s own blood?

    Blood that flows into a wound may be captured and filtered so that the red cells can be returned to the patient; this is called cell salvage. In a different process, blood may be directed to a machine that temporarily carries on a function normally handled by body organs (for example, the heart, lungs, or kidneys). The blood from the machine is then returned to the patient. In other procedures, blood is diverted to a separator (centrifuge) so that damaging or defective portions of it can be eliminated. Or the goal may be to isolate some of a blood component and apply that elsewhere on the body. There are also tests in which a quantity of blood is withdrawn in order to tag it or to mix it with medicine, whereupon it is put back into the patient.

    The details may vary, and new procedures, treatments, and tests will certainly be developed. It is not our place to analyze each variation and render a decision. A Christian must decide for himself how his own blood will be handled in the course of a surgical procedure, medical test, or current therapy.

    This, in principle, is no different from the following from 1978 - and hence, in the example, this is NOT a change, but a clarification.

    Watchtower June 15, 1978

    Questions From Readers: What about a device such as a heart-lung pump or a dialysis (artificial kidney) machine? Might a Christian use such?

    There are Christian witnesses of Jehovah who, with a good conscience, have allowed these devices to be used, provided that the machines were primed with a nonblood fluid, such as Ringer’s lactate solution.

    When this sort of device is operating, the patient’s blood flows from a blood vessel through tubing and the machine (where it is pumped, oxygenated and/or filtered) and then flows back into his circulatory system. The machine temporarily performs some of the functions normally handled by the patient’s own organs.

    Some Christians have conscientiously reasoned that the blood is flowing continuously and that the external circuit might be viewed as an extension of the circulatory system. They have considered it comparable to a piece of tubing that might be implanted in the body to shunt blood around a blockage in a vessel.

    Of course, each Christian should weigh what is involved in the use of these and similar devices. He could consider whether he views the blood involved to be blood that clearly has left his body and so should be disposed of or as blood that, basically, is still part of his circulatory system. (Deut. 12:16) Then he can make a decision that will leave him with a clear conscience before God.—1 Pet. 3:16.

    MacHislopp: The change, very carefully worded is clear! “Each Christian decides for himself how his own blood will be handled..”

    Isn't that really just a slightly shorter way to express the same principle as contained in the last paragraph I quoted above from the 1978 Watchtower?

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