"Superior Authorities" - of particular interest to Quotes

by AlmostAtheist 7 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • AlmostAtheist

    [reposting here -- where it belongs -- because I'm too brainless to post in the right area to start with!!! Grrr!!! :-( ]

    Hey Guys,

    Maybe this one's already been beat to death somewhere, but here goes.

    I've always heard that the Society taught from 1929 to 1962 that the "superior authorities" of Romans 13 were "Jehovah and Jesus". I've always heard it put just like that: "Jehovah and Jesus". The Proclaimers book says so on page 147. In fact, they cite the 1929 Watchtower as having said so. BUT the book Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose actually quotes that Watchtower article, saying, "Is it not more reasonable that he directs his words exclusively to the powers possessed and exercised in God's organization and not to those that are exercised in Satan's organization?"

    So whenever they talk about this pre-new-light belief, they say it applied to "Jehovah and Jesus", but when they actually believed it, they said it applied to "God's organization". Makes that particular ray of "new light" look like something of a Rutherfordian power grab, doesn't it?

    Or am I taking something out of context here? Anybody have the 1929 Watchtower to check it against?


  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    No worries Dave. I took care of the other thread.


  • LittleToe

    Ironically, a number of years ago my dad was discussing this with me one day (long before my "doubts").
    He clearly recalled how he was trying to convince a man of the WTS stance, when it ultimately turned out that the guy had the correct understanding of what the superior authorities were.

    I'm sorry that I can't help you with the quote, though.

  • blondie

    The Watchtower, June 1, 1929, p. 167

    "This proves that the higher powers are Christ Jesus and Jehovah and that the supreme power is Jehovah God...The apostle could not mean that the 'higher powers' are the Gentile powers...Those who have insisted that the apostle referred exclusively to the Gentile powers when he said, "The powers that be are ordained of God,' cite in support thereof the words of Peter, to wit; 'Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man [human creation, Greek] for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.'"

    Riches, 1936 ed., p. 219

    "A misunderstanding of what constitutes 'the higher powers' has caused many persons to be held in restraint or in Babylon's prison...Those inspired words do not refer to the governments or rulers of the nations of earth. That scripture is addressed 'to all that be...called to be saints' (Romans 1:7) and to no others, and the 'higher powers' over such are Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, that is, God and his royal house in heaven."

    Make Sure, 1953 ed., p. 369

    "Rom. 13:1-4 'Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities [Jehovah God and Christ Jesus], for there is no authority except by God [only Christ Jesus and his theocratic organization recognized by God]; the existing authorities [not political governments] stand placed in their relative positions by God [not 'divine right of kings']. Therefore he who ranges himself up against the authority [Christ Jesus] has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will receive judgment to themselves [annihilation from Christ Jesus].'"

    Timely was the new light of truth on the subject of the "higher powers" published in The Watch Tower for June 1 and June 15, 1929, showing clearly that Jehovah God and Christ Jesus are the true "superior authorities" that must be obeyed. --The Watchtower, June 15, 1955, page 367-368 (emphasis mine).
    When God's witnesses perceived that Jehovah and Christ Jesus were the true "higher powers" to whom Christians must be subject, another heavy and grievous weight was lifted from the shoulders of his people. (Rom 13:1) No longer did corrupt politicians wrongly occupy that position in the minds of God's servants... --The Watchtower, January 1, 1951, page 21 (emphasis mine).
  • IT Support
    IT Support

    If it helps, this is a scan of the page from the Make Sure book.

    (PM your email address, and I'll send you the original.)



    Make Sure p 369

  • Leolaia

    AlmostAtheist....You might like this quote:


    w50 11/15 p. 450 Execution of Judgment upon Opposers ***

    And those in the theocratic organization who represent the "superior authorities" in an official capacity will likewise praise those who do good and will encourage them.

  • Terry

    In a discussion with my best friend, Johnny (who is an active JW) I said to him, "Don't you think it is kind of peculiar that the religions blinded by Satan had the correct view of Roman's 13 all along while the True organization of Jehovah had the wrong one even though this was new light that revealed it to them?"

    His answer was, "Yes, that is peculiar".

    But, it made no dent in his helmet.

  • Kenneson

    Charles T. Russell's views on the higher powers or superior authorities as governments can be seen in ZWT April 15, 1903 under "Obligations of a Christian" and May 15, 1914 under "An Interesting Question. God's Supervision of the Nations."

    See also


    And now we're right back where we began--full circle to the original light.

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