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My favorite book was just pulled from the WT Library

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I am sad. This is not just for the loss of this particular book, but also because it reminds me of the saddest episode in the history of Bethel (in my opinion, of course).

There are two books in my opinion that best managed to encapsulate the entire meaning of Christianity and our entire purpose as Jehovah's Witnesses.

Admittedly, I am somewhat of a critical reader and often find things that are easy to disagree with, at least slightly. Usually, it's when our publications make a statement that is not necessarily wrong, but could easily need to be updated in a future publication. This might be for any of the following reasons:

  • Some explanation was worded as if the meaning of a thing can only be understood in one specific way when in fact the Biblical evidence makes it clear that there are other possible meanings and our conclusion is really speculation.
  • Or when a quote is used but it was misunderstood or misused by the writer.
  • Or when a historical event is referred to as evidence of something when the event didn't really occur exactly as was stated.
  • Or when a concept isn't actually explained or defined correctly.
  • Or when examples are used that can easily become obsolete, out of date, and might later require a new explanation if trends change.
  • Or when a specific date or chronological system is used without Biblical or secular support. (Our date might be correct in those cases, but since we sometimes make use of an alternate dating system without Biblical or secular support, I always feel that at least an explanation of our assumptions should be included, so people know why we give a different date from 99.9 percent of encyclopedias, for example.)

But these two particular favorite books, I have always been able to read and re-read without ever noticing anything of the type that might have to be changed in the future. There are no explanations that state that something MUST mean this or that. They are simply full of general explanations of the words of James and Peter in the context of the original meaning to the first centuries C.E., and how these Biblical concepts might be applied to Christians in our era, too. They don't try to brag about our modern-day history. They don't try to prove things about topics that tend to need constant clarification. They are merely about ideas that strengthen our faith and love for Jehovah and Jesus. They always make me appreciate the true value of the Bible itself, and the way that our publications can emphasize the Bible instead of our organizational accomplishments. (There are several wonderful articles in the Watchtower that I love for the same reasons that I love these two books, but these books stand out from most of our other books in this regard.)

So, of course, the books are "Commentary on the Letter of James" and the "Commentary on the Letters of Peter" (which was finally named "Choosing the Best Way of Life"). The first was the only book study book that we didn't study at the Congregation Bible Study (the "Book Study"), although most of the book was reviewed in a series of 15-minute "Instruction Talks." It was supposed to be a "Book Study" book, but a decision was made to replace this 1979 book for the "Book Study" with "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years - Has Approached" (which reviewed the Society's modern-day history under Russell and Rutherford). That was a 1973 book which we were to study for a second time.

This book "Commentary on the Letter of James" was not dropped because it's old. The Watchtower Library includes the books going back to 1971, and still includes 14 books that came out prior to this one. Even the obsolete "Word Government" book (1977), covering parts of Daniel, is still included. The 1973 "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" book had many errors already known about even in 1979, prior to the decision to study it again, and it's still available now. In fact, the "James Commentary" is the only one that has been dropped. I just checked the 2006 WT CD, the 2012, 2014 and 2015. They all still have it along with all the others from the 1970's that are still available now. It was even dropped from the online library at https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/lv/r1/lp-e/0/56220.  All the other books from the 1970's are still at wol.jw.org.

I didn't check exactly when it disappeared. You might still have had it on the 2016/17 WT Library "CD" download, but it could have been removed if you accepted the regular online update.

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It's a good job some of us still have the WT CDs! And I think I have the actual books somewhere in the basement. I remember the James book, my mom used it as a second book to study with a Bible study. Believe it or not , I have NEVER read it. So now of course I will have to!

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28 minutes ago, Anna said:

So you think the James commentary was dropped because it was written by Raymond Franz?

At least 100 Watchtower articles have not been pulled. Several hundred entries in the "Insight" books were not changed. The "Choosing" book is still there, the "Family Life" book is still there. So is "Is This Life All There Is?" etc.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
 
As it's often quoted: "Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die."

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@JW Insider  Quote "Admittedly, I am somewhat of a critical reader and often find things that are easy to disagree with, at least slightly. Usually, it's when our publications make a statement that is not necessarily wrong, but could easily need to be updated in a future publication. This might be for any of the following reasons:

  • Some explanation was worded as if the meaning of a thing can only be understood in one specific way when in fact the Biblical evidence makes it clear that there are other possible meanings and our conclusion is really speculation.
  • Or when a quote is used but it was misunderstood or misused by the writer.
  • Or when a historical event is referred to as evidence of something when the event didn't really occur exactly as was stated.
  • Or when a concept isn't actually explained or defined correctly.
  • Or when examples are used that can easily become obsolete, out of date, and might later require a new explanation if trends change.
  • Or when a specific date or chronological system is used without Biblical or secular support. (Our date might be correct in those cases, but since we sometimes make use of an alternate dating system without Biblical or secular support, I always feel that at least an explanation of our assumptions should be included, so people know why we give a different date from 99.9 percent of encyclopedias, for example.)"

So basically when the GB tell lies and / or deliberately mislead the congregation. 

As it's often quoted: "Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die...... Like I've said before, Puppets. 

I wonder, What was the true reason the Group study of a Tuesday Eve was stopped ? Sorry that's off topic. 

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2 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

So basically when the GB tell lies and / or deliberately mislead the congregation.

I am not saying that the GB tell lies. It's very easy to get caught up in a style of speaking and writing as if we know we must be right and that only our current explanation is correct.

Doctrines are NOT promoted because a member of the GB (or Writing Dept) is thinking about whether a certain doctrine might be right or wrong, it's just that they have already accepted that it MUST be right because people before them presented it as if it must be right. If we are "puppets" that follow along without questioning, then so have been most members of the GB. They follow the persons who came before because they never saw a reason not to. If our doctrines are obviously correct about Trinity, Hellfire, Neutrality, New Earth, Preaching, God's Name, etc., then our more questionable doctrines (Blood, Chronology, Higher Education, etc) must also be absolutely right by default. The GB would have no more reason to question them than we would. What makes some doctrines finally get questioned and corrected is almost always the inability to answer a specific question about that doctrine that gets sent to the Society.

But sometimes such questions are TOO disturbing and will not be dealt with, except by looking for reasons to punish the person who asked, and I would have to admit that this reaction is very wrong. Unfortunately, this is how some humans have always reacted to those who would question established traditions.

On the other hand, it takes a lot of humility to make changes to long-established ("deeply entrenched") doctrines. It doesn't mean that we or they (GB) were lying when we accepted and promoted the former doctrines. We just weren't "making sure of all things." More and more changes of this nature have been made in the last 10 to 20 years, and they are tending to clear up many of the doctrinal inconsistencies.

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16 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

I am not saying that the GB tell lies. It's very easy to get caught up in a style of speaking and writing as if we know we must be right and that only our current explanation is correct.

Doctrines are NOT promoted because a member of the GB (or Writing Dept) is thinking about whether a certain doctrine might be right or wrong, it's just that they have already accepted that it MUST be right because people before them presented it as if it must be right. If we are "puppets" that follow along without questioning, then so have been most members of the GB. They follow the persons who came before because they never saw a reason not to. If our doctrines are obviously correct about Trinity, Hellfire, Neutrality, New Earth, Preaching, God's Name, etc., then our more questionable doctrines (Blood, Chronology, Higher Education, etc) must also be absolutely right by default. The GB would have no more reason to question them than we would. What makes some doctrines finally get questioned and corrected is almost always the inability to answer a specific question about that doctrine that gets sent to the Society.

But sometimes such questions are TOO disturbing and will not be dealt with, except by looking for reasons to punish the person who asked, and I would have to admit that this reaction is very wrong. Unfortunately, this is how some humans have always reacted to those who would question established traditions.

On the other hand, it takes a lot of humility to make changes to long-established ("deeply entrenched") doctrines. It doesn't mean that we or they (GB) were lying when we accepted and promoted the former doctrines. We just weren't "making sure of all things." More and more changes of this nature have been made in the last 10 to 20 years, and they are tending to clear up many of the doctrinal inconsistencies.

Sorry but that is the biggest squirm I have read on here so far. 

We get back to this thing about the GB being the 'Faithful and discreet slave' and Jesus saying that 'Whatever the Anointed ask for in Jesus name it will be given'. And again that 'What father when his child asked for a fish gives a stone instead'. And how much more so will God give the guidance of His holy spirit to those that ask. 

So why has the GB and the Writing Department needed to misquote, misuse,  and mislead the congregation,

And you said they, 'use date or chronological system is used without Biblical or secular support'.

So guessing eh ? No. Pretending to know, when in fact they don't know. Come on, that is as bad a lying. 

People hang on their every word. 8.5 million JW's,  hang on every word of the GB.  And another 9 million bible studies also do the same, because they are told to. 

 

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