Do the Rank & File JW's REALLY read and understand the bible to be able to REALLY start a study with someone???
I believe the average Rank & File are illiterate when it come to the bible because they are so used to using the WBATS cliff notes... Even though I believe the bible is a fiction novel, at least be able to explain a novel you hold is such high regard: I mean Jesus!!!
That the Witnesses couldn't hold an actual, comprehensive study with John Q Public is evidenced by the pap that they offer as study material. This is by design. Even their own mid-week "bible study" is without any substance.
What they offer is their community, aka cult. A sense of identity. People realize early that they won't HAVE to be smart, or even know much about the Bible. God has selected them as His special possession!
I got a real eye-opener when I actually did pick up Cliff notes for the Bible; they are pretty good.
What JW's have is more like, hmm, what is it like?
Like saying you take your life from To Kill A Mockingbird, but that Harper Lee got the racial thing all wrong.
No. JWs don't know what bible study is. JWs study Watchtower publications which selectively quote and cite individual bible verses out of context to support Watchtower teachings. The bible is not the focus of their study. The publications are. They merely use (and abuse) the bible to validate the teachings of their organization.
JWs have a finite collection of bible verses that they are familiar with and that they cite and quote over and over again to support key Watchtower teachings. The rest of the bible is largely unknown to them. They are familiar with just enough of the bible to support Watchtower's teachings.
Once Watchtower has gotten hold of their minds, any reading of the bible by JWs is then done, not with an honest, open mind, but with a closed mind having Watchtower blinders on. JWs profess to regard the bible as the final authority on doctrine. But the reality of their actions reveal that it is actually Watchtower - "the Society" or "the Organization".
Show a JW any clear passage of scripture that contradicts a Watchtower teaching and see what the JW will do. He will not accept what the scripture is plainly saying and acknowledge that Watchtower is wrong. No. Instead he will say to himself: "What does the society say about this scripture? Let me check the Watchtower Library and see..." And the JW will accept whatever explanation Watchtower gives, however twisted, however disingenuous, however illogical as being the truth about what the scripture actually means, and he will ignore what the scripture actually very plainly says.
I went to theocratic parties and one of the games was
1) names of all the books of the bible (39 OT; 27 NT) in order
2) human authors of each book
Elders, wives, MS, wives, regular pioneers, jws "in the truth" for 30 or more years, ex-Bethelites and ex-missionaries (both required to read the Bible through in less than a year). All present for the TMS schedule of required bible reading (whole bible in about 3 years).
Two people out of 80 knew all 66 books, only one knew in order....rest did not even know there were 66 books, and that Moses wrote the first five.
I have played other "bible" games over the years with jws....won every one; even bible Pictionary...and I'm not that great an artist.
So many jws just repeat what's in the publication and many run away from the "opportunity" and say they'll bring an elder or a pioneer and never come back.
It's a social club. No thoughts necessary to join.
I ALWAYS loathed bible games. Ugh!!!!