by Zilgee 19 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Zilgee

    The so called apostates of first century later became the Catholic Church. These apostates like Saint Athanasius, theologian, ecclesiastical statesman, and Egyptian national leader decided which books would be part of the Bible. We are now following what they decided. So does every JW become an apostate?

    Has anyone done research on canonization of the Bible? Would love to know more.

  • Gorb



  • aqwsed12345

    I would focus on Jesus' promise in Matthew 16:18, which excludes the disappearance of God's church for 1800-1900 years, and the fact is that there is no data to suggest that the theology of the early Christians was even remotely similar to today's JWs By the way, which one is for today's JWs? The current "light"?

    In the first place, why did the apostles establish churches, congregations, if true Christianity was destined to disappear in a few decades for almost two thousand years?

    Why didn't the apostles write that everyone should wait for 1914, because what we are doing now is irrelevant anyway.

    See also Mt 23:2-3, Mt 28:20, Rom 3:3-4, 1 Tim 3:15, 2 Tim 2:13.

    However, despite all the problems, the Christian church could not cease for 1800-1900 years, because according to Christ, even the forces of hell cannot take over it (Mt 16:18, Jude 24-25, cf. Eph 5:25-32). So who lied: Jesus or the Watchtower? The New Testament also writes about the need for continuous protection of the faith (Jude 3), not about a complete disintegration after the 1st century. 2Thesss 2:3 does not mean "great apostasy" in JW sense, but defection, revolt, departure (without details), and then the Antichrist also appears, who sits in the temple of God, deifies himself, etc. None of this has happened yet.


    This is a false ecclesiastical ideal, a church without history

    With the ahistorical view of the church in the Protestant-background separatist communities it is almost dogmatic. The supporters of this view think of the time before the formation of their own communities as if it were not the history of the universal church, but "only the history of the Catholic Church." They see that in the history of "the Church," between the first great century and their movement born in the 19th century, there is only a long pause. By "church," they exclusively mean their own community, and in the pages of church history, they only want to recognize "true Christianity" in those communities or individuals who meet their doctrinal criteria, so their reference has a precedential value. This is the approach, for example, of the 19th-century American restorationist movement-grown "non-denominational" churches, the adventist and new apostolic churches with the identity of the "church of the end times," and the Mormon religion. Although they all see the essence of restoration differently, they all believe that the "original" Christianity of the first century has risen in them.

    First of all, however, Christ claimed that he himself is building his church, and the gates of hell shall not overcome, prevail against it (Mt 16:18). Whoever believes that the true Christian church practically ceased to exist for centuries (meaning that the forces did indeed overcome), with this – intentionally or unintentionally – also claims that Jesus did not keep this promise, but lied. His church was not only wounded and ailing for centuries, but had to be exhumed after many centuries.

    The glorious and miserable sides of church history, as well as its exemplary but greatly mistaken figures, are as much the property of Protestants as they are of Catholics and Orthodox – and vice versa. Anyone who has never read from ancient and medieval Christian teachers does not know what they are missing, even if they are a fervent Protestant.

    Thirdly, this selective filtering of the past has only served to foster denominational arrogance. If all the sins of the past belong to the Catholics, it is easy to distance ourselves from them and thus feel better and superior – but isn't this the Pharisaic logic (cf. Lk 18:9-14)? The past of the church is not there for us to forget or to pick and choose from what we like to identify with, but to learn from every page – just like from the Old Testament or from the good and bad days of our own spiritual life.

    The "apostasia" mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 will not occur a few decades after the apostles, but according to Lk 18:8, it will only happen immediately before the second coming of Jesus.


    A recent Watchtower magazine expounds the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ view that orthodox Christianity (“Christendom”) underwent a great apostasy after the death of the apostles: “The death of the apostles removed a restraining influence, allowing a widespread apostasy to develop. (2 Thessalonians 2:7, 8) An organization grew up that unworthily professed to be God’s congregation. It falsely claimed to be the holy nation anointed with God’s spirit to rule with Jesus.” (The Watchtower, 15 June 1992, 19.)

    The Witnesses believe that the influx of pagan converts brought in doctrines and concepts from Greek philosophy and religion which were then integrated into the Christian faith, resulting in such “false” teachings as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the immortality of the soul, and eternal punishment in hell. According to the Watchtower Society, Christendom lived in darkness for 18 centuries after this apostasy. Yet they believe there were always individuals who were faithful to divine truth — a truth more fully unveiled when their founder, Charles Russell, began to study the Bible in earnest in the 1870s. To support this view, Watchtower literature regularly cites passages from the church fathers to demonstrate that, even after the apostasy, there were some who believed as Jehovah’s Witnesses do today.

    In light of this line of argumentation, it is worthwhile to examine the writings of the early church fathers. If indeed such writings reveal that early Christians believed as Jehovah’s Witnesses do today, then surely a reevaluation of orthodox Christian teachings is needed. If these writings fail to support Watchtower claims, however, then one must conclude that Jehovah’s Witnesses represent a new religious tradition of the late 19th century, with no historical connection to apostolic Christianity.

    The body of literature of the postapostolic church is substantial, and a full review would be outside of the scope of a limited survey such as this. The most critical period is that prior to the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, because it is historically closest to the apostles.

    Did a Great Apostasy Occur?

    Was the true faith taught by the apostles lost or corrupted within the first generation after the apostles? If so, then the true faith was not successfully transmitted anywhere in the evangelized world of the first and second centuries — including churches established by the apostles, with leadership appointed personally by them. A “great apostasy” would require an extraordinary event: the simultaneous loss of faith by an entire generation of Christians throughout the civilized world. Included in this apostasy would be disciples of the apostles themselves, as well as those who witnessed the thousands of martyrs who, just a short time previously, refused to deny Christ, either explicitly or by worshiping pagan gods.

    A great apostasy, wherein the doctrines of Greek pagan philosophy replaced apostolic teaching, would most likely have begun in areas where the church was accepting a large number of converts with backgrounds in Greek religion and philosophy, such as Alexandria, Egypt. The prominent western churches established directly by the apostles, such as those in Rome and Antioch, would likely have fallen into heresy more slowly. But the historical facts do not support this (or any other) scenario of a “great apostasy.” Had a great apostasy begun immediately after the death of the apostles, as the Watchtower claims, a mixture of “true Christianity” (i.e., Watchtower–type teachings) and “pagan heresy” (i.e., orthodox Christian teachings) would be discernible in the literature of the early church, which was widespread in its geographical points of origin.

    Is it possible that all the writings of the followers of the “true faith” were completely destroyed by the paganized church? Such a view is highly improbable. Many manuscripts have survived from Gnosticism (a widespread religious movement of this period which combined elements of Greek paganism and eastern mystery religions), despite several centuries of concerted attack and condemnation by the church. Yet not a single document exists pointing to a group who believed as the Jehovah’s Witnesses do today.

    The absence of such early “Watchtower” literature causes one to doubt the existence of the so-called “faithful and discrete servant class.” After all, the stated purpose of these 144,000 anointed servants in Jehovah’s plan is to provide “meat in due season” — that is, literature that imparts “accurate knowledge” about the Bible. If these early Jehovah’s Witnesses were true to the kingdom gospel, handed down to them by the apostles, they would have written sufficiently to provide the faithful with an understanding of the Scriptures. Keep in mind that the Watchtower Society teaches that the Scriptures cannot be properly understood without such aids. The Watchtower Society, while claiming to use the Bible alone, actually teaches that the Bible cannot be understood without the aid of the “meat in due season,” the literature provided by the Society — its interpretation of Scripture being the only valid one. Yet where is the Watchtower literature of the first and second centuries — or for that matter, of any century prior to the 1870s? Its absence is most telling, and highly damaging to the claim of a general apostasy with just a few of the dedicated faithful surviving.

    Perhaps the most compelling argument against a universal early apostasy may be found in the commissioning and empowering of the apostles themselves. If a universal apostasy occurred immediately after the death of the apostles, we would have to judge the apostles as incompetent or negligent evangelists who utterly failed to accomplish Jesus’ commission to make disciples. Such an apostasy would reflect poorly on Jehovah God as well, whose “holy spirit” was unable to preserve His followers for even a single generation.

    There is, therefore, no reason to believe that a great apostasy occurred following the death of the apostles, with the resulting loss of the “true” Christian faith for over 1800 years. This conclusion seems undeniable in view of the Great Commission, the power of the Holy Spirit, the absence of literary evidence for an alternative group of believers with a gospel similar to that preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the implausibility of the required simultaneous loss of faith by an entire generation of geographically dispersed Christians.

  • ThomasMore
    aqwsed12345 - Thanks for the research. JW's believe what they believe because it provides them with a time to enter and re-establish true Christianity. It fits their narrative.

    In reality, they have metamorphed into something foreign from the scriptures they claim to be patterned after.

    As for the Bible Canon, they support the work of early organizers who picked the writings that would be recognized (for the most part) as the authentic Bible canon.

    I offer no opinions on whether some are illegitimate or missing. Having seen the blatant hypocrisy of WTC, I wonder if any organized religion can adequately represent the teachings of Christ.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Check out the Ethiopian Bible.

  • aqwsed12345

    The Roman Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ because it alone possesses the mark of apostolicity. Various Christian denominations, by their very formation, have denied both apostolic origin and apostolic continuity; all were born from a departure from the ancient Church and rebellion against the head of the Church. Their motivations and difficulties were diverse, but they have one thing in common: they do not listen to the Church (Ecclesiam non audire).

    This is particularly evident in Protestant denominations, whose older representatives wanted to preserve apostolic continuity by arguing that there have always been reformers within the Church who acted as carriers of a parallel Protestant tradition. However, this is directly excluded by the Lord's command; He builds the Church on the rock foundation of Peter, sends His apostles with full authority, and remains with them until the end of the world. Those who listen to them will be saved, and those who do not will be damned. The ancient Church also interpreted His words in this way: those who were not in agreement with the Catholic Church and its head were excluded as not listening to the Church. The rebellion and negativity of heretics and schismatics throughout history are not enough to establish legal succession and continuity; denial is multifaceted and divisive, not constructive but destructive. If there were a line of extraordinary "reformers" alongside the legitimate successors of the apostles, the Church would have two parallel leaderships with no guarantee of harmonious cooperation; this would legalize chaos and division within the Church. Furthermore, where are the "signs" (miracles, prophecies, and shining holiness) that have always been the evident seals of extraordinary divine messengers throughout salvation history? Various Eastern and Greek churches also lack communion with the head of the Church, and therefore the formal element of apostolic continuity, even if they may possess the material aspect of apostolic continuity, such as apostolic foundation, which may be claimed with some validity for some ancient Eastern churches.

    All of them have denied the formal principle of apostolicity, the primacy of Saint Peter's successor, which their predecessors still professed; thus, they became different churches. As such (as Eastern Orthodox or Lutheran churches), they were formed centuries after the apostles, and therefore cannot be an apostolic Church. In addition, they explicitly and programmatically separated themselves (especially the Protestants and Eastern Orthodox) from the Roman Church, and therefore deliberately detached themselves from the apostolic body. Since they have formally abandoned the principle and guarantee of apostolicity, it is no wonder that they have also departed from internal apostolicity in principle, especially in apostolic teaching. This is clearly demonstrated by the hesitation of Protestants in the area of teaching, the history of which is the gradual erosion of the Gospel truth down to the denial of Christ. The history of the faith and confession of Eastern churches also provides ample evidence.

    On the other hand, the apostolicity of the Catholic Church is self-evident and obvious. The head of the Catholic Church, the Pope, is also the head of the Roman Church, which according to Saint Paul's testimony has an apostolic origin. Moreover, the bishop of Rome, as the head of the Church, is the legal successor of Saint Peter; and the other Catholic church leaders are in legal, doctrinal, and sacramental unity with him; thus, every Catholic church leader is at least an apostolic successor in form. This ensures the apostolic origin and continuity of all, and specifically the apostolicity of teaching. Church history bears witness that the Catholic Church has never compromised apostolic teaching; since the time of the first heresies, it has been its principle not to yield from apostolic tradition. From the very first heretics, the Church confronted them with the Apostolic Creed and the principle of apostolic succession; and it did not waver from this, even if it led to painful sacrifices. The Catholic criterion of apostolicity can be easily and reliably applied. Jesus Christ built his Church on the foundation of St. Peter, the rock; therefore, the true Church of Christ can be found where St. Peter's seat, the rock-foundation, is located. St. Ambrose tells the story of his brother, Satyrus, who, when shipwrecked on an unknown shore, valued the true faith above all else and immediately inquired from the local bishop: is he in unity with the Roman Church? St. Jerome, in the face of Eastern schisms, did the same: "The three-way divided church is tearing me apart. And I cry out: whoever is in unity with St. Peter's seat, that is my man!" St. Augustine calls the Donatists: "Come, brothers, if you want to be grafted into the vine. It pains the human heart to see you cut off like this. Read the bishops, starting from St. Peter's seat, pay close attention to the order of the fathers in which one succeeds the other: this is the rock on which the proud gates of hell shall not prevail." (Ambr. Excess. fratris I 47. Hieron. Epist. 16. August. Ps. c. Donat.)

    Proposition: The Church is indefectible. Dogma.

    Explanation: The indefectibility of the Church (indefectibilitas) encompasses two aspects: Jesus Christ's Church will endure until the end of time, and this is its constancy, perennitas; moreover, it will remain essentially unchanged in the form that He established, and this is its immutability, immutabilitas. The Church's indefectibility in preserving and proclaiming the revealed truth unchangeably is infallibility. Thus, according to the proposition, the visible Church will always exist on earth; furthermore, the divine element of the Church: the Gospel truth and grace, its instruments: the sacraments and the governing body leading to sanctification, the hierarchy, and its basic organization will always remain the same. However, we should not expect the Church to remain unchanged in incidental matters, such as the Church's fate throughout history, the emergence and disappearance of various non-Christian institutions and movements, the direction of ecclesiastical education, etc. This dogma was denied by those medieval and modern "spiritualists" who expected an eternal Gospel or the age of the Holy Spirit after the age of the Father (Old Testament) and the Son (New Testament), or who proclaimed that after the Petrine (Catholic) and Pauline (Protestant) churches, a Johannine church (without organization and legal character) should follow; such modern sects were the Quakers, Swedenborgians, and Irvingians. Rationalists, including modernists, who drag Christ's Gospel and even more so His Church into the stream of history, also deny the Church's immutability. In opposition to them, the Church has mostly defended the truth expressed in the proposition by condemning erroneous views.

    Proof: According to the prophets, the Messiah's kingdom will have no end; God's new covenant, which He makes with humanity, will be eternally valid (2 Samuel 7:12–16; Isaiah 9:6–7, 55:3, 61:8; Jeremiah 31:31–6, 32:40; Daniel 2:44, 7:14; Hosea 2:19; Psalm 71:5–7, 89:36–9; cf. Haggai 2:7, Hebrews 7, 8, Luke 1:32, Hebrews 12:27). The Savior assures that His Church will endure until the end of the world. When sending His disciples out into the world, He assures them, "Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." He builds it on the rock foundation so that "the gates of hell" (death, decay; or more likely, the devil's attacks) cannot prevail against it (Matthew 28:20, 16:18; cf. 7:24, John 14:16). Here, the Savior explicitly speaks only of the Church's survival. But implicitly, He also testifies to its unchangeableness; for He always speaks of His Church; but a Church that essentially deviates from His foundation would no longer be His. The apostles proclaim the Church's indefectibility when they call it the body of Jesus Christ, thus considering it a participant in His excellence. The Church is an "eternal covenant", an "unshakable kingdom", the stronghold and pillar of truth; it is meant to save every person, therefore it must exist as long as there are people (1 Cor 12:12, Eph 1:22, 4:13, Col 1:18; Heb 13:20, 1 Cor 11:26; Heb 12:33, 2 Cor 3:11). However, this essential unchangeability is not stagnation and barrenness, but on the contrary: the Church is the mustard seed growing into a mighty tree, the wheat grain sprouting into a stalk, the leaven permeating the body, the Body of Christ maturing toward adulthood (Mt 13, Jn 12:24; Eph 1:23, 4:12, 1 Cor 12:12). The Church is guided and animated by the Word of Christ, which is spirit and life, and gradually leads the called ones into all truth (Jn 6:63, 16, 1 Pet 1:23).

    The Church Fathers were deeply convinced that the founding of the Church falls into the fullness of time; it came in the last hour of the world's day, and therefore will remain until the end of this hour, that is, until the end of the world. They justified Christ's presence in the Church as proof that the Church cannot essentially change. "The Lord Christ received the anointing (the anointing of divinity) on his head so that he might breathe incorruptibility into his Church," says St. Ignatius. This conviction speaks powerfully in St. John's speech before his exile: "Do not be discouraged by the Church! For nothing is stronger than the Church. It is higher than the sky, deeper than the earth; it never grows old!" St. Augustine speaks similarly: "No one can erase God's plan from heaven; no one can erase God's Church from the earth." (Ignat. Eph 17, 1; Chrysost. Hom. de captiv. Eutrop. 6; Hom. ante exil. 1 2; August. Epist. 43, 9, 27; in Ps 101, 2, 8; Ambr. in Ps 40, 30; Athanas. in Ps 88, 38.)

    The deeper reason for the Church's unchangeability is that in Jesus Christ, God's unshakable wisdom has given the perfect and definitive revelation, which is realized in and through the Church; its sustaining power is God's providential will, which can ensure the existence of the Church until the end of time (Rom 8:31, Eph 5:25), even amidst continuous attacks from opposing historical forces. However, this comforting great truth cannot give grounds for either the members or, especially, the leaders to slacken in apostolic zeal and vigilance; just as the truth of providence in general cannot be a title for rash confidence or inactivity; even less so, because the survival of the whole Church is indeed guaranteed by Christ's promises, but by no means the survival of the Church among individual nations. History confirms the Savior's words that his kingdom is taken away from lazy, unworthy people and careless shepherds, and given to those who produce worthier fruits.

    Difficulties. 1. It was prophesied, repeatedly, that the Old Covenant would last forever; yet it gave way to the New Covenant. – Response. The Old Covenant, according to the clear testimony of Scripture, was of a temporary nature. What was intended for eternal preservation in it, Jesus Christ took up into the New Covenant, and thus it continues to live in the New Covenant. Moreover, believing Israel became the seed of the new Church and the heir of Christ's eternal kingdom (Rom 11,1.29.).

    2. Everything under heaven changes, and the common fate of human affairs cannot be avoided by Christ's Church. – Response. This extreme relativism has haunted since Heraclitus. However, serious reflection shows that there is unchanging existence, the unconditional reality, God; and therefore, in principle, it is possible and, as a consequence of Christ's promise, certain that the temporal reflection of this unchangeability, the order of revealed truth and grace, the divine element of the Church, will also essentially remain unchanged. Indeed, from a purely philosophical point of view, one can say: If there were no unchanging element in created existence, there could be no change; for change consists in something remaining and something becoming different: quidquid mutatur, quantum ad aliquid manet, quantum ad aliquid transit.

    3. According to critics, Church history testifies that the community which primarily calls itself Christ's Church has gone through profound changes. Two impassable chasms cut through the path of church history: one separates Christ from the apostles, the other separates them from the Catholic Church; and even within these two sections, the Church is essentially different around 30, 60, 90, 130, 190 (Harnack). – Response. It can be shown that all the essential elements of the Church, especially its teachings, which are most attacked by liberal Protestants and modernists, originate from Jesus Christ; therefore, the changes are not essential. This is also confirmed in detail by the present dogmatic discussion, which repeatedly points out how far the propositions of the liberal school are not born of history, but of negative dogmatics.

  • Diogenesister

    Ziglee Well you asked😂

    NB. Aqsed12345Got to agree with If you're going to be Christian, I can't see how you can do anything but accept Catholicism is the legitimate church.

    As an aside....Charles being crowned - supposedly chosen and anointed by God, yet claiming he will protect all these other faiths🤔 Has he asked Jesus about all this?!!

  • joey jojo
    joey jojo

    Jws will argue that God guided the compilation of the bible. For one to believe that, one also has no choice than to accept the influence of the catholic church in that process.

    There are more problems though. The earliest complete bibles contain the apocrypha. Does that mean these versions are the right ones, or are only the protestant versions that came 1500 yrs later and removed the apocrypha gods word?

    Jesus quoted from apocryphal books, so why don't we leave them in, and who decides that? Was it jesus, god, or men?

    If jesus quoted from the septuagint, why do jws prefer the much later masoretic text in their translation?

    Paul and Luke wrote about half the new testament between them, yet neither of them met jesus.

  • Phizzy

    "Has anyone done research on canonization of the Bible? Would love to know more."

    Our very own "Doug Mason" on here wrote an excellent Paper on exactly that, if you search his Threads you will find it. Doug's research, conclusions and links etc are second to none, he specifically asks the pertinent questions of J.W org . on this matter.

  • BoogerMan

    I used to have discussions/debates with someone who continually referred to "the early church fathers," so I did a wee bit of research on them. Turns out they weren't at all in agreement with each other and seemed hell-bent on dictating doctrinal policy.

    Whenever a good business opportunity presents itself, some grand fromage wants to control it. Christianity became a lucrative gravy-train, created by Rome and greatly expanded by Mr. Luther, Mr. Russell, et al.

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