Where to Start?

by theundecided2004 15 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • theundecided2004

    Hey yall,

    I'm an inactive JW that wants to begin my critical study of this religion and make a comparison between this faith and mainstream Christianity. In addition to catching the WTBTS in its lies, changing doctrines, and stuff critical to leaving the faith, I also want to get a historical perspective on everything. I've started by reading up on the history of the bible, and judaism's evolution into christianity, and would like to eventually read and analyze the entire bible, but I know that would take forever!!!

    Not only that but I still study like the average JW, reading the paragraphs and looking up scriptural references given. I know I've gotta break away from that. Where did some of you begin your research? What Bible(s) should I use? Suggestions? Thanks,


  • BrendaCloutier

    Good questions. Sorry I got no answers for you but I'm bumping this to the top so those with the answers may see it.

  • Check_Your_Premises

    Hey, welcome.

    I think most former witnesses begin with Crisis of Conscience by Ray Franz. I understand that it really does a great deal to take away from the idea that the GB is leading Jehovah's organization.

    That is your first and fundamental question. Do you believe that? If you do, then you need to get reinstated. If you don't... well I will let you come to your own conclusions.

    Please enjoy your stay here. YOu will find many very smart people who will be able to answer any questions you have.


  • Hellrider

    This is a very good page http://www.jwfiles.com/

    ...especially the "Large list of Predictions"-part. It takes a couple of days to read thru though, it`s incredible how much crap they`ve spewed out over the years.

    What Bible(s) should I use?
    Any Bible would do, except the NWT, which isn`t really a translation of the Bible, it`s only a tampering with certain passages, which they changed so that it would fit their doctrine better. If you want to compare the two kinds (the Bible and this heresy they call the NWT), it`s not easy to spot, just compare first: All passages describing Jesus death` (cross vs stake), then all passages describing the nature/divinity (or not, according to the NWT) of Christ and all passages where either God, Jesus and or the holy ghost is mentioned. Those passages are, oddly enough (...), the only ones that are significantly different from any other Bible-translation, which you will see when comparing any other kind of (low-tense in relation to JW-doctrine vs Christian faith) passages.
  • garybuss

    You wrote: "judaism's evolution into christianity"
    I'm sure my Jewish friends will be interested in reading about this:-) I know I am. When did this happen? :-)

  • vitty

    I also went on the www.jwinfoline.com and read CoC both where enormous help, try the "best of " section on this site its packed with information.

  • love11

    Take class at your local college about religion or Philosophy of Religion.

    Look in history books for your answers, not the bible.

  • trevor


    It is encouraging to see that you are taking your beliefs so seriously. It seems that you may be trying to take on too much at once. You must first look into the whole question of whether the Watchtower Society has lived up to its claims and really is who it claims to be. It only needs to be weighed against its own track record to decide this. If not then you have to decide whether you want to stay.

    Being free of the mind set you have accepted for so long would leave you free to Study other belief systems or religions. Do you feel it necessary to belong to an organised religion?

    Sometimes people rush these changes and jump from the frying pan into the fire. As the poster James Thomas said, ‘breaking through a cell wall into another cell does not make one an expert on escapology. You may want to click on my profile as I offer a free download that you may find helpful.

  • jgnat

    Hi, theundecided2004.

    Oooh, this will be so much fun! I dug deeper in to Christian history after I met the JW’s. Am I ever glad I did! I won’t ever study the same again.

    I'm an inactive JW that wants to begin my critical study of this religion and make a comparison between this faith and mainstream Christianity. In addition to catching the WTBTS in its lies, changing doctrines, and stuff critical to leaving the faith, I also want to get a historical perspective on everything.

    Instead of bouncing around your bible trying to follow a word or theme, learn to read each book in context. Understand when the book was written, read about the author, what the book’s major themes are. Instead of trying to apply modern issues to the bible, understand the issues and concerns that motivated the books and letters in the first place.

    I find these to be invaluable resources: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/ This is where I learned about the Gnostics, Arians and other heresies that threatened the early church.

    The Christian History Institute was also a great resource, giving me a solid grounding on the early church leaders and the controversies that divided them. http://chi.gospelcom.net/

    About being a brave searcher after truth: http://www.leaderu.com/common/sixenemies.html

    Researching the basic doctrines of mainline (orthodox) churches is easy. They all follow the Nicene creed. I used this site heavily: http://www.apologeticsindex.org/

    The WTBTS booklet, “Organized to do Jehovah’s Will” might be the closest equivalent to the Nicene Creed. At the end there is a long list of doctrinal questions ranging from morality to loyalty that all JW’s must ascribe to. That booklet will no doubt be revised in years to come. Unlike the Nicene Creed, which has survived centuries. AlanF helped me understand what the core doctrine of the JW’s is (the part that is invoilate, that cannot change). Every JW must believe that the Watchtower Society is the Faithful and Discreet Slave and that they cannot be questioned. Everything else can be modified, including the divinity of Christ.

    In the end my study came down to whether I believe that the Nicene creed was a corruption or a protection of Christianity.

  • Legolas

    Welcome to the board!!!!

    There are two book's that I suggest you read:

    'Crisis Of Conscience' and 'In Search Of Christian Freedom' both are writen by 'Raymond Franz' a former member of the Governing Body!

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