THE BIBLE ITSELF the rotten foundation of Watchtower theology

by Terry 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry

    Just consider the difference in meaning between these two renderings.

    1.All Scripture IS inspired by God and useful for teaching, reproving and setting things straight.

    Contrasted with:

    2.All Scripture THAT IS inspired by God IS useful for teaching, reproving and setting things straight

    The difference between these two renderings contains the key to the question of ORTHODOXY.


    JW theology stands or falls on their assertion that the Bible is the inerrent word of God. By pointing to a particular WORD they contend to PROVE their theology.

    Proof texts are the essential weapon of the Jehovah's Witness in religious discussion.

    But, can their text (or any Bible based text) be considered a safe basis for honest rendering of God's words?

    Trying to out-clever a JW at the door is just jumping into the swimming pool and peeing. Everybody comes out slightly yellow.

    I assert the only way to pull a JW out by their roots is to take on the issue of the Bible itself. The Bible CAN BE DEMONSTRATED to be unreliable as to what words are "accurate". That is ALL you have to do.

    If you cannot trust the WORDS you cannot PROVE a doctrine by pointing to the words.

    What are the FACTS?

    1.The New Testament is "preserved" in 5,000 Greek manuscripts and 8,000 manuscripts of "versions".

    2.Textual critics are forced to admit NO TWO manuscripts agree in every detail.

    Quibble? Hardly! You have to have a foundational fact to build an argument. You cannot accurately begin with a doubt and confidence your doctrine is based on settled authority.

    What use are the 8,000 manuscripts of "versions"?

    1.They are themselves translations of one or more Greek manuscripts. The cannot help in deciding if the Parent Greek Manuscript had this or that VARIATION.

    Why? Because VARIATION can be added either through ERROR or deliberate RELIGIOUS FRAUD at any point in making a copy. All you can establish is whether a particular variant existed at a certain point in time and place.

    2.You cannot simply take the oldest manuscript and declare it to be unblemished in content and trust it.


    They could, in themselves, be very poor copies riddled with error or pious fraud or be based on something entirely bogus invented to prop up a particular viewpoint. Ironically, much later copies could be the more pristine! It is impossible to know. Only guesswork can apply.

    Example: A 10th Century miniscule may be an excellent copy of a 4th Century uncial and prove superior to a 5th Century uncial. (Uncials are manuscipts written in CAPITAL LETTERS)

    How about simply taking the MAJORITY READING as correct?

    A BAD manuscript (faked, tampered, error-ridden, etc.) could easily have been COPIED MANY TIMES and distributed. This would flood the market, as it were, with a majority of error-laden documents.

    NEWSFLASH!! There are no ORIGINALS anywhere; they have been "lost" or destroyed. There exists ONLY copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of....oh, you get the idea.

    It isn't necessary to go into any greater detail at this point.

    It is sufficient to point out the Watchtower Society itself has given at least two beautiful examples of tampering with existing manuscripts by ADDING an unorthodoxy in their own variant NEW WORLD TRANSLATION.

    Example 1 is the John 1:1 controversial rendering.

    Example 2 is the comma movement in "Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise." Which fits Watchtower doctrine and confutes mainstream Christianity's view.

    It doesn't matter what you BELIEVE to be correct.

    THE POINT IS YOU CANNOT PROVE IT BY POINTING TO A TRANSLATION and claiming it is error proof or even "likely" to be in agreement with some preserved text itself beyond suspicion.

    Why isn't this approach taken? It stops the JW dead in his tracks and he can only mumble, "Well, I have to have faith that Jehovah has preserved his intentions." DEFLECTION! EVASION! The point is that you cannot DEMONSTRATE this point. You can only use the Bible (and your faith) to start a chain of circular reasoning. Just like every other crackpot idea in history it has to be taken on FAITH. So, don't pretend it is based on a FOUNDATION. The foundation has cracks.

    Because the majority of people dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses (even here with Ex-JW's) don't want to face the Bible's problems themselves! They can't stand to have another rug pulled out from under them.

    That is my guess.

    Well, it is simply intellectual dishonesty at work no matter who asserts the Bible to be the inerrent word of God.




    Unless we know WHICH scripture __IS__inspired by god we don't know which is __useful__for teaching, etc.

    That is the flaw in the Jehovah's Witness program of TRUTH from the Watchtower.

    It stands or falls on a mere unprovable assertion.

    The inhabitants of planet Earth have been lied to repeatedly throughout history by a string of salesmen (religious leaders) who rely on their ignorance to sell their product (mind control.)

    Unless you are willing to take the time to read the particulars of the Bibles "provenance" you will simply accept the false premise that ALL SCRIPTURE is inspired. It isn't. We know it isn't because none of the parts (from which we extract our versions) match. If they don't match something has to be an error. By not knowing which is error and which isn't we cannot have confidence. We only have guesswork.

    Religion is based on guesswork.

    The Watchtower bases its theology on guesswork.

    The LIE is when guesswork and opinion are themselves asserted to be DIVINE.

    It is an unprovable assertion.

    By anybody at anytime.


  • RunningMan

    Very nice post. I was always told that mideaval monks painstakingly copied and counted every letter so that we could be sure that the Bible was accurate today. Yet, no two Bibles are the same.

    I liked this point:

    "If you cannot trust the WORDS you cannot PROVE a doctrine by pointing to the words."

  • Terry
    We do have a good firm idea of what most old manuscripts are saying though, so we can lovingly trust Yahweh's word from the Hebrew texts more then anything. There is a YHWH, he had a Son, the Messiah, and we must love and follow him. All of us. These are commands.

    Those who do not will be rebuked.

    With love and pussies,



    With love and pussies you got ME convinced!


  • the_classicist

    2.Textual critics are forced to admit NO TWO manuscripts agree in every detail.

    No shit. They have lots of differences, especially orthographic ones, but thanks to modern manuscriptology, we are able to reconstruct the New Testament in works such as Nestle-Aland. Even Jerome complained about scribal errors back in the 4th century so it's no wonder most did a crappy job.

    I would also like to ask, are there any disputed parts/readings in the New Testament manuscripts that involve doctrine? (there's only one I can think of off the top of my head, that is when a scribe changed a part from "the boy's father and mother marvelled," to "Joesph and his mother marvelled."). And thanks to modern manuscriptology, we are able to correct these scribal abbherations.

    Of course, this only provides problems for sola scipturists, and not those enlightened by Sacred Tradition.

  • jaffacake

    Terry, I havent read all your post yet so I will look at it bit by bit.

    JW theology stands or falls on their assertion that the Bible is the inerrent word of God

    I agree that you have proved JW theology incorrect. There are clearly errors in the Bible.

    Paul believed and wrote one thing in his letter to the Thessalonians, but later realised that he was wrong about millennialism. The NT records his original and his amended understanding. Who is to say that either were quite right.

    The Bible itself most definitely does not teach that scriptures are verbally inerrant. Therefore the different versions of the text you quote matter not one jot to those who appreciate how to interpret the Bible.

  • jaffacake
    And thanks to modern manuscriptology, we are able to correct these scribal abbherations.

    This is true, but all this is only a big deal for those hung up on doctrine. Take any book apart and analyse it word for word, sentence by sentence, and you will miss out on its true meaning. Any book can only be understood taken as a whole, rather than dissected.

    In the case of the Bible, it is very clear that the New Testament (which is not literally the word of God - God neither wrote nor dictated) fulfills and negates the Old Testament. In other words you can get all the 'truth' you need from the NT. Only Jews/JWs/&so called Bible-based fundamentalists place such importance in the sublated OT.

  • pepheuga


    any chance you can format in html? i get the most enormous gaps on my screen!


  • tetrapod.sapien

    nice post terry,

    you and leolaia should have your own spots in the best of section.

    anyways, this is similar to the deconversion process that i have experienced.

    i did not really see the point on spending so much time tearing apart JW doctrine, when the very premise of the bible being the word of god is flawed in the first place. secular bible history saved me tonnes of time and energy fretting over their doctrine, and comparing it to "real christianity". "real christianity" is flawed too based on a bible base. that left me in the position of dissecting spirituality, magical thinking and theism in general, without worrying about jesus.

    and that's basically how i go in anti-witnessing efforts that i am involved in. i can talk 607/1914/UN-NGO/FDS, but i prefer to try to cut to the heart of the issue: theism, science etc. this stuff takes care of the rest.



  • garybuss

    The Watch Tower Society teaches the Bible they wrote is errant. They have "revised" it. They didn't "revise" inerrant, they revised that which they perceived as error in their own text. The Society writes the current Bible is NOT inspired, that only the original manuscripts were inspired.
    The only thing that is not to be viewed as errant is the Governing Body in it's role as the uninspired non prophet.

  • Terry


    any chance you can format in html? i get the most enormous gaps on my screen!


    You won't believe this, but, I put the gaps there ON PURPOSE.


    Thoughts penetrate the head better when there are spaces around bite-sized bits of explanation.

    When you cram dense info together it is off-putting.

    I try to indicate inflections in the tone of my writing by making it louder in places. LIKE THIS.

    Sometimes I want a part of a sentence to be regarded with special may put a space or set off ______special phrases_______like this.

    I'm inventive even when I'm unconvincing :)


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