NeonMadman, you were a JW for 30 years and didn't learn the Bible?
Oh, I'm not saying I didn't learn anything about the Bible. I knew all the proof texts, and I knew the basic outline of the Bible stories. In fact, I was well respected in the congregations as being very knowledgeable. But I'm saying I didn't know the Bible with any thoroughness. I couldn't have given you a good outline of the history of Israel. I didn't have any reasonable understanding of, for example, the book of Romans, in which Paul outlines the means of salvation and explains God's grace. I had no idea as to the historical-grammatical method of Bible interpretation - didn't need to, since all interpretation was spoon-fed by the organization.
I couldn't have told one prophet from another (possibly with the exceptions of the ones the WTS actually wrote books about), except to use them as a source of proof texts. I couldn't have told you, for example, that Zephaniah wrote during Josiah's reigh, that his book was apocalyptic in nature and emphasized the Day of the Lord, that the book divides more or less evenly between God's judgment and blessing or that it promises an ultimate reconciliation between Israel and God - you know what I could have told you about Zephaniah? It was the book that had the text about "probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah's anger." That's it. That's about the only way the Society ever used the book, so that's all I knew.
New Testament? Oh, I knew all the proof texts against the deity of Christ and the Trinity, but I never even knew that John 20:28 existed until a born-again Christian pointed it out to me. Because you can be sure the Society never brings up that text.
And I was, as I have said, considered very knowledgeable. Know why? Because I knew the Watchtower inside and out. And because, in the later years after I had decided it wasn't the Truth, I started studying the Bible apart from the Watchtower pubs, which gave me a lot of insight that the JWs who just followed the Society's program were not getting.
I'm not saying that the average JW doesn't know more Bible than the average non-JW (putting aside that I think their interpretations are wrong). But that's because the average JW knows a little Bible (i.e., basic Bible stories and proof texts), while the average non-JW knows virtually no Bible at all. When I came out of the organization, I started attending a "new believer's" class at a Baptist church, and I have often said that I learned more Bible in 12 weeks in that class than I did in 30 years as a JW. And it's not a matter of interpretation - I'm not saying that the Baptists were "right" and the JWs were "wrong" - what I'm saying is that the Baptists actually studied the Bible, while the JWs studied other publications, with virtually no direct Bible study. JWs call themselves Bible students, but they are not - they are students of Watchtower publications. The pity of it all is that most JWs think of themselves as Bible experts, when they are actually quite impoverished in that area.