How long until some of the Biblical apocrypha will be inserted into the WT teachings?

by nonjwspouse 11 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • nonjwspouse

    I have read through some of these, though not in complete, but enough to see some of these writings could fit into the WT views, such as arian beliefs of Jesus. It would also help separate themselves quite a bit from "Christiandom" and their Bible. The "New light" of books not accepted in the canon. ( Which was sanctioned by "evil whipping boy" in the first place. ) The WT seems to have no limits to what they might change in order to keep up the Organization and the $ flowing in. Of course it would have to be like a slow boiling frog to get the R&F to accept this.

    Does anyone think this could happen? The Catholic Church regards them as important writings to help understand the historical context of Bible.

    Of course the WT could just keep on cherry picking and making up the " evidently" assumptions from now on. Though this has begun to hold less water with the aware JWs. New acceptance of writings could get excitement going, correct? The mileage from that could be quite strong.

    Just a bit of thought. Interesting for me. How about you?

  • Vidiot

    They used to include the "let-he-who-is-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone" story in the Bible, but the most recent "Silver Sword" edition left it out.

    Is that what you meant?

  • Phizzy

    On what basis does the JW Org accept the Canon that it does ?

    This Canon was assembled and approved by Apostates ! - i.e The Catholic and later, Protestant Church.

    No agreement was reached until late in the 4th Century, and ever after that controversy has raged as to the Canonicity of various books.

    So, how does the JW Org determine what is, or is not " Holy Writ" ??

  • sir82

    Very doubtful. The apocrypha often supports ideas that are the core of JW's anti-Christianity position - immortality of the soul, hellfire, trinity, etc. To accept those writings would mean abandoning & re-writing core JW doctrine - why would they do that? I see no benefit.

  • blondie

    The WTS does insert words or phrases of their own making into the bible:

    paradise earth

    governing body

    Try telling a jw that those words/phrases are not in the bible. It surprised me how many disagreed with me.

  • careful

    Not quite sure what you mean by Apocrypha. Do you mean the books of the Septuagint that are not accepted in the canon by traditional Jews and Protestants, but are by Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches?

    I remember a WT QFR back in the 50s or 60s that asked whether Jehovah had a hand in restoring the temple during the Maccabean revolt in the 160s BC (recorded in 1 and 2 Maccabees). Freddie Franz wrote the reply, clear from his strange writing style. What he said was that the temple had to be standing in order for the prophecies about Jesus to be fulfilled. I don't recall him citing or quoting any specific passages from 1 or 2 Macc., but it may be the closest the WT publications have come to utilizing the Apocrypha in any sort of "positive" way. I also remember reading in the WT publications, much later than the above QFR, some author putting down some of the elements in the book of Tobit as superstition. The context was a general condemnation of the Apocrypha as a whole.

    You seem to think that there are some passages in the Apocrypha that the GB could use "to keep up the Organization and the $ flowing in." What part of the Apocrypha do you have in mind that would help them do this???

  • David_Jay

    Actually, these "apocryphal" books were popular Jewish books of the Second Temple era translated by the Septuagint scribes for the benefit of Hellenized readers which included Jews of the Diaspora and Gentiles who were interested in Jewish religious thought.

    These books, called "Deuterocanonicals" by the Roman Catholic Church, was not "added" by Catholics or Orthodox to the Bible. They are simply books (and additions to books, like Daniel and Esther) that appeared in the Alexandrian Septuagint library.

    There was no such thing as a "canon" of Sacred Scriptures until a wayward bishop, Marcion of Sinope, tried to merge Gnosticism with Christianity in the second century. The Gnostics believed that salvific knowledge could come from the "chosen" if they read holy writings, believing that written texts could be a form of divine revelation. While Marcion's canon or "rule" of books included only an edited version of Luke and a few select epistles of Paul, his rejection of the Hebrew Bible landed him outside the church via formal excommunication.

    Marcion's heresy was resilient, and so the church had to determine if his argument was valid. Accepting the Alexandrian Septuagint as the "given" canon of Hebrew Scriptures, it would take about three centuries more before the Christian canon would be settled.

    There are no Arian ideas in the Deuterocanonicals as the latest, the Wisdom of Solomon, was composed around 100 CE. Hebrew versions of these books were found among the Qumran scrolls, and the official American Catholic Bible, the NABRE, is the first translation since the Septuagint to ever render directly from the Hebrew of these books.

    There has been a movement in Judaism to reclaim these books. First and Second Maccabees, both of which are in the Catholic canon, are the only Jewish books that tell the origins of Chanukah. And Ben Sira or Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) was used as the ancient catechism of first century Christianity.

    Again you will not find Arian ideas within it. The only considerable prophesy attributed to Jesus from the apocryphal books (and it is perhaps the best in the Old Testament) is found in Wisdom 2:12-20, but it does nothing to counter Trinitarian thought.

    It is unlikely that JWs will ever consider these books as canon. The Jewish concept of praying for the dead is found in 2 Maccabees, and this counters JW teachings on death. Also, the best readings of the books are based on the Hebrew reconstruction used in the 2011 revision of the NABRE, which means that the Watchtower would have to follow the Catholic Church's scholarship in any attempt to provide a translation for JW use.

  • JWdaughter

    I need to find a reference, but one of the NT teachers or Jesus made reference to things that were only taught in an apocryphal book that is not accepted by the WT but which were considered authoritative enough to use it for teaching, reproving or setting things straight in the NT.

    So, it's already in there.

  • David_Jay

    While Jesus made reference to concepts mentioned in the apocryphal books, this is not because he was necessarily making direct use of their words but because the teachings in the apocryphal books are based on Jewish tradition, just like the words of the Hebrew Scriptures are.

    Yet the idea that Jesus' teachings and those of the apostles match things written in Deuterocanonicals and that other Jewish references make us of identical concepts proves that they come from the same deposit of faith that the rest of Jewish theology comes from, the same theological concepts that shaped Christianity.

    References (though not direct quotes) of such common teachings to New Testament statements can be found in the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th edition (Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine), pp, 800-804, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft publishers.

    However, there is a specific reference to 2 Maccabees chapter 7 at Hebrews 11:35. This is a story that we commonly tell our children every Chanukah as it deals with the events that led up to this annual holiday of ours. Two very good translations are available in English, namely the NRSV and as I mentioned earlier the NABRE, the official Catholic Bible in the USA. The NABRE version was released in 2011 and contains actual renderings based on the best Hebrew and Greek versions.

  • LongHairGal


    I doubt it.

    I don't think the book of Judith would go over very well with the Witness religion! I found it entertaining but I don't think they want a woman like that around. (smile)

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