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  1. 7 points
    Here is the material for weeks of June 10-16 and June 17-23, 2019. TB Watchtower June 10-16, 2019.doc Watchtower June 10-16, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 10-16 , 2019 text only.pdf CBS June 10-16, 2019.doc CBS June 10-16, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -June 10-16, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -June 10-16, 2019.pdf Watchtower June 17-23, 2019.doc Watchtower June 17-23, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 17-23, 2019 text only.pdf CBS June 17-23, 2019.doc CBS June 17-23, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -June 17-23, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -June 17-23, 2019.pdf
  2. 7 points
    Here is the material for the next 2 weeks May 27–June 2 and June 3-9 , 2019. TB Watchtower May 27, 2019–June 2, 2019.doc Watchtower May 27, 2019–June 2, 2019.pdf Watchtower June 3-9, 2019.doc Watchtower June 3-9, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 27–June 2 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 27–June 2 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 27–June 2 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 27–June 2 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 3-9 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 3-9 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 3-9 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of June 3-9 , 2019 text only.doc CBS May 27–June 2 ,2019.doc CBS May 27–June 2 ,2019.pdf CBS June 3-9, 2019.pdf CBS June 3-9, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -May 27–June 2.doc Additional Highlights -May 27–June 2.pdf Additional Highlights -June 3-9.doc Additional Highlights -June 3-9.pdf
  3. 7 points
    Here is the weekly material for the weeks of April 29 and May 6, 2019 TB Watchtower April 29, 2019–May 5, 2019.pdf Watchtower April 29, 2019–May 5, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of April 29–May 5 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of April 29–May 5 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of April 29–May 5 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of April 29–May 5 , 2019 text only.pdf CBS April 29–May 5, 2019.pdf CBS April 29–May 5, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -April 29–May 5, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -April 29–May 5, 2019.pdf Watchtower May 6-12, 2019.doc Watchtower May 6-12, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 6-12 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 6-12 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 6-12 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 6-12 , 2019 text only.pdf CBS May 6-12, 2019.doc CBS May 6-12, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -May 6-12, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -May 6-12, 2019.pdf
  4. 6 points
    Whenever a new version of Scripture appears that is colloquialized, paraphrased, or just plain dumbed down, the refrain is heard: “If it gets modern people to read God’s Word, it is worth it.” How far you want to take this trend is anyone’s guess. Suffice it to say that the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats pushes the boundaries as they have never been pushed before. It is an incredible find from the dry desert where it has been preserved for thousands of years. (though there are a few critics at the Whitepebble Institute who claim it has only been around two weeks and was discovered in the glove box of Harley’s car) And yet—and yet—though it takes outrageous liberties and outright manufactures a few things, it does serve to convey the basic idea of the entire Book of Galatians. Is it right to spoil the book for everyone else in the course of getting a good grasp of it yourself? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, here is the text of the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats edition of Galatians: Chapter 1 Dear Galatians: Hi. Remember me? It’s Paul. How are you? (1:1-5) The reason I say ‘remember me’ is because I’m not sure that you do! I can’t believe how quickly you are screwing up! Is that chair I used to sit in even cold yet? What is this about louts trying to change the whole narrative? They’re not allowed to do that! Look, even angels are not allowed to do that! (6-9) You remember what a jerk I was. Nobody made more trouble for you than me. But after God let me hear about it right there on the Damascus road and that other fellow was sent so that I could see again, I went off to Arabia for three years to think about it. (13-17) Then I came back to Jerusalem and stayed with Peter for a couple of weeks. But no one else—wait, I did see James, but none of the others. Then I went off again. What! You think I am fibbing? For years and years, had you asked those apostles about me, they would have said, “I dunno. Your guess is as good as mine. He used to be the nastiest fellow. Now it looks as though he is on our side. Cool! We’ll take it!” (18-24) Chapter 2 About 14 years later I figured that maybe I had better give those guys a call. I had Barnabas with me by then, and Titus—fine fellows. I met with them privately, of course, just in case I was not doing something—um, kosher. “You okay with this?” I said to them. “You’re not going to make Titus do that Jewish thing, are you? I don’t see any need for it.” They didn’t either! (2:1-3) It probably wouldn’t even have come up were it not for those pinheaded louts trying to drag us down, wanting us to everything Jewish that we don’t have to do anymore. We blew right past them, and it was for your sake just as much as for ours. (4-5) Okay, so I consulted with these ones—I mean, I guess they are important. I wondered if they might try to rein me in, but no!—they said, “Whatever you are doing, keep on doing it. We’ll stick with preaching to Jews, but you—I mean, Peter unlocked that door for the nations, so go for it! Just don’t ignore the poor.” Sure, I can do that. (6-10) But then Peter came calling later on and suddenly he himself goes all Jewish on me. Oh, sure, he pals around with these new Gentile Christians easy enough, but when his buddies show up, he acts like he doesn’t know them. I said, “I don’t believe it! Here you are living the free life, telling others to be like that, and then the narrow-minded fuddy duddies show up and you get all scaredy cat? (11-14) Yeah, well he’s a good sort, but he goes a little weak at the knees sometimes. You don’t have to do any of that Jewish stuff! What do you think the Lord is for? (15-21) Chapter 3 What on earth is wrong with you? How can you be so dumb? You break free but then turn around and go back because you forgot your leg irons? Are you kidding me? (3:1-5) Don’t pull this Abraham stuff on me. Wait, no. If you want to talk Abraham, let’s talk Abraham. You think he earned anything? No! He “put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” THAT’S what you want to take away from Abraham—his faith, and how he pointed the way for other people to have faith. Not the later Law—that Law did nothing but show you up for the basket cases that you were! Did you manage to keep it? No! All you did was screw up. That’s why when Christ comes along, you are supposed to say, “Exactly what we need! Thank you, thank you, thank you. (6-11) You don’t go back to the Law again—what’s wrong with you? The Law has nothing to do with faith. Christ pulled us out of that—THAT’S what Abraham was pointing to, and you want to dive back in again? (12-14) Okay, now look—let’s take this real slow. Take notes if it will help. So Abraham gets a promise that means the Christ will come through his lineup, but how does the Law figure in? It comes 430 years later. Does it change his promise? I don’t think so. (15-18) Why the Law? It’s because you guys kept messing up, that’s why. And it was supposed to dawn on you that you DID keep messing up and that you’re never (and yes—me, too) going to come out like the champion of Jeopardy. You weren’t supposed to think that dotting all the ‘I’s and crossing all the ‘T’s would get you there—besides, you missed lots of them. (19-22) Yes, it gave you something to do and kept you off the streets. But now that the real thing has arrived, you can set down your slates. Class is over. You can join in with that promise to Abraham. (23-29) Chapter 4 It took a long time for you to get to where you are. A lot of work went into it. Don’t mess it up. (4:1-8) You had real freedom. I mean, real freedom in Christ. And now you want to become law nerds again and focus on dotting ‘I’s and crossing ‘T’s? Really? What! Do I have a death wish or something? What am I doing this for? (9-11) Remember the good times we used to have? Remember how you used to loan me your specs? You didn’t then stick out your foot to trip me up. What’s gotten into you? (12-16) Do you think that these pinheaded louts are your friends? They just want to be your bosses. “Meet the new boss—same as the old boss.” (17-20) Go back to Abraham, you law nerds, and take a point. Two women, remember? One a concubine, one a wife. Hagar gave birth first because Sarah thought she was too old to have a child. No mystery about how Hagar conceived. You see it all the time on TV. But Sarah! THAT’S where God’s promise came in, and she didn’t even believe herself it could happen until it did! The two women stand for two groups of people. Hagar, the one of ordinary birth, is mother to the ones of Law (that you want go back to!) Sarah, the one of the promise, is mother to the ones putting their faith in Christ. (21-28) The Hagar kid made trouble for the Sarah kid back then. It’s the same today with these pinheaded louts trying to force their Law on you. But what does the verse say? “Take this Law and shove it! I ain’t workin here no more!” Keep it that way! (29-31) Chapter 5 You are free from slavery. Don’t go back to it. Or if you do, you’d better not miss a single one of those ‘I’s or ‘T’s. (5:1-6) You were doing so well. Who tripped you up? Who made you think you need circumcision? It ain’t me, babe. Those Jews would give me a free pass if they thought I was turning Christianity into just one of their outposts. “Just you wait, enry iggins”—they’ll get theirs. (7-11) In fact, I have half a mind to come and kick them in the nuts so hard that they won’t qualify to serve in the temple that they want to drag you into! (12) No, brothers, don’t go there. Just don’t. You don’t need their picayune Law. It all boils down to love anyway—that is the greatest part of it—so if you get you head around that, you’ll do just fine. You start nitpicking at each other over every pissy little thing and you’ll tear each other apart! (13-18) Don’t do bad things. Do good things. What do you mean, ‘What bad things?’ “No back-biting, no ass-grabbing, you know exactly what I mean!” [thank you, Randy Neuman] It shouldn’t be hard, if you really are following the Christ. Do the best you can, and don’t go thinking that you are better than the other guy. (19-26) Chapter 6 Okay, let’s wrap this up. Don’t be babies—man up, but pull each other out of the crud when you have to (be sure you don’t fall in yourself). (6:1-5) Don’t try to Play around with God. You can’t. Keep on keeping on—it will all pay off. Lend a hand where needed. (6-10) See the large letters I make, all by myself with my own hand? Why? Because I am blind as a bat—that’s why. I dunno—it comes and goes. That’s why I insulted that pompous character before I knew he was the high priest. I asked God to take it away, but he said, “Nah, it keeps you humble.” And it has. It’s not an altogether bad thing to have a thorn in the flesh. (11) Now, remember—they are pinheaded louts trying to lay their Law on you. And why? They’re just chicken themselves—like Peter might have been, but he saw where he was heading and corrected himself. They don’t want to stand out among their cronies, and they want to find strength in numbers by having you do what they do—it will hide their cowardice. What! You think they do the Law themselves? No way! They just want to do some back-stabbing and ass-grabbing themselves and then throw in a gerbil or something for sacrifice to make it all good again. Come on! Please—you are too smart not to see through them. (12-16) I’ve suffered for carrying the good news of the Christ. So have you. Don’t turn back to be a law nerd again. Press on ahead. God will back you. So will Christ. (17-18) *** What a bunch of idiots there at the Whitepebble Institute—tossing this amazing new manuscript in the dumpster! The place has gone right downhill ever since the director, Wayne Whitepebble, took a course on critical thinking and tried to kiss up to the evolutionists by adding an ancient skull to his library alongside the globe and old maps because he heard that is what smart people do but then it turned out that his ancient skull was actually missing evidence in the Mugsy McDougal ax murder case and he got into serious hot water with the authorities. Plainly, this new find belongs in the Bible canon.
  5. 6 points
    Here is the material for the next 2 weeks-- May 13-19, and May 20-26 , 2019. TB Watchtower May 13-19, 2019.doc Watchtower May 13-19, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 13-19, 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 13-19, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 13-19, 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 13-19, 2019 text only.pdf CBS May 13-19, 2019.doc CBS May 13-19, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -May 13-19, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -May 13-19, 2019.doc Watchtower May 20-26, 2019.doc Watchtower May 20-26, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 20-26 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 20-26 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 20-26 , 2019.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of May 20-26 , 2019 text only.pdf CBS May 20-26,2019.doc CBS May 20-26,2019.pdf Additional Highlights -May 20-26, 2019.doc Additional Highlights -May 20-26, 2019.pdf
  6. 6 points
    Here is the material for the weeks of the memorial April 15-21 & April 22-28, 2019. TB Watchtower April 15-21, 2019.pdf Watchtower April 15-21, 2019.doc Watchtower April 22-28, 2019.doc Watchtower April 22-28, 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of April 22-28 , 2019 text only.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of April 22-28 , 2019 text only.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of April 22-28 , 2019.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of April 22-28 , 2019.doc Additional Highlights -April 22-28, 2019.pdf Additional Highlights -April 22-28, 2019.doc CBS April 22-28, 2019.pdf CBS April 22-28, 2019.doc
  7. 6 points

    UN Compact 2018

    Interesting article and video..... On 11 December most countries will sign the UN Compact in Morocco. It is part of the "Agenda 21" plan for the 21 st century started in 1992. Read up about Agenda 21, agenda 2030 and about this Compact for Migration which will criminalize anyone saying anything against the UN plan. Those countries who signed are obliged to assist migrants financially and basically all people have a right to migrate....(no more borders). About 20 nations are now fighting it and will be forced by fines for not complying. It is part of the UN plan for one world government... Is this real? Or a conspiracy.... ? Watch this little video and give comments of the implications. I have the original documents and on this Youtube link you can also download the UN document "agenda 21". NGOs have already been receiving funds to implement it for the past 20 years and both republican and democratic governments has been changing laws to implement is..... It has been going on under our noses and the general public does not know. My interest in this is the fulfillment of prophecy which indicates the UN or coalition of governments to rule for short period of time before Armageddon. There are huge implications to this .... but first watch this little video to begin the discussion.... here is the link.....
  8. 6 points
    Recently (like this last week), I was attending to our JW publication cart at our local library. We (the sister with me) were approached by a guy dressed like a country music wannabe with cowboy hat and a plaid shirt with the arms torn off. His arms were flaying around as he talked about a Youtube vid about our "black dude" leader saying we need to cast our children out of our homes if they aren't following JW rules. The sister and I were perplexed since we didn't know what he was talking about and tried to reason with him. Now I know what got him fired up. The recording of Bro Herd is very hard to decipher what he is saying but I know from previous broadcasts he and Bro Morris can express their personal opinion like its scripture. They mean well but I feel they go too far sometimes. Casting out demons is totally different than dealing with a disfellowshipped child. The demons had been in Jehovah's presence as fully functioning perfect beings. They chose a course of rebellion with full knowledge and understanding not subjected to the influence of Adamic sin. A imperfect child does make their own choices but who knows what influences those choices. Being an imperfect human gets complicated. Every country on earth that I can think of has a prison system to protect their good citizens from the bad. As with Russia we can see that system has a hidden agenda to do just the opposite. As humans in or out of the Truth, we can have a hidden agenda and I suspect the BoE is not exempt if they are not careful. I pray for Jehovah to repair any damage done and to cause corrections to be made.
  9. 6 points
    They are born..... So many stars are born in the universe, And so small I feel before You! What glow is the dust of a verse, How much is Jehovah worth my life? How Jehovah is worth a star When galactics come out of your hand - Are you alive? Too Great God, what is my life? A moment from your eternal eternity! But your supreme gesture rages me, When for man You let him die, From your first universe Violin, The holy word for the first time! Everything you loved most, the first son, To taste death for everyone It is in spirit that man becomes alive And death to be ashamed! Your Jehovah's love barks me, And you give me power to overcome the fall, The pain worlds do not hurt, Taste Your Sweet Word Like Honey! ? .•*¨`*•..¸???¸.•*¨`*•. ?
  10. 5 points
    [Dennis Christensen’s closing statement] First, I want to thank my wife Irina, who from the very beginning did everything in her power to help and support me. She took care of me, passed me clothes, groceries, medicines and other things that I needed in the SIZO (Pre-Trial Detention Centre). She has supported me emotionally and spiritually with her visits and letters that I have received from her every day. My dear wife, your strong faith, your great patience, your peace of mind and love for me and for the truth, including your optimism, have all been a great example to me. You should know that I love you very much and that I am very proud of you! I also want to thank my family in Denmark, especially my elderly father and my sister. You should know that I miss you so much. I love you and appreciate everything you have done for me. During my stay in the SIZO you supported me with your numerous letters and telephone conversations. I am sure that you will never give up and lose hope that we will be able to come together again as a family one day. I also want to thank all my many friends from all over the world. You supported me with your letters, encouraging thoughts, beautiful drawings and various gifts. All this has helped me to understand that I am not alone, and that I have a large global family. Dear friends, you should know that every letter, big or small, has encouraged and strengthened me. Please do not be discouraged if I do not have time to respond to your letters. I will find you, thank you and hug you in the future, I promise! I also want to thank the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Moscow and all its staff. You attended many court sessions and repeatedly visited me in the SIZO. Your helpful advice, guidance and encouragement mean a lot to me, and I really appreciate your support and the great help that you have given me. I would also like to thank the Court of Appeal for the fact that I personally was able to attend this court hearing. When I participated in other appellate cases through videoconferencing from the SIZO, it was difficult for me to hear everything that was said. I had to guess half of what was happening there. This is an unworthy way to defend someone. In addition, when using the conference call in the SIZO, you must sit in jail, as if you were an animal in a zoo. I consider this an unworthy, inhuman treatment today, in the 21st century. At the present, I have already been in the SIZO for almost two years, and this trial has been going on for 15 months. To endure all this, not to give up and not to lose heart, it is extremely necessary to have a certain inner strength. The Bible says - in Philippians, the 4th chapter, the 12th verse - that “I can do everything by him that strengthens me.” In the book of the Prophet Isaiah, the 12th chapter, in verse 2 it is written: “Behold, God is my salvation: I trust in Him and have no fear; for the Lord is my strength, and my song is the Lord; and he has been my salvation. " Throughout this period, I have felt that my God, Jehovah, has been next to me and has given me the strength to endure all this. The power to not give up, not to lose heart, to be joyful and happy and to continue to smile. I am sincerely grateful to him for this and am proud to serve Him as one of his witnesses, one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Many people have asked me how this criminal case have affected me. Of course, it is not easy to be in a SIZO for such a long period of time, to be cut off from your wife and from close contact with your family and friends. The last two years I have lived a very closed life. You could say I have just existed. 23 hours a day I have spent in my prison cell of 3 by 6 meters, and for an hour every day I have gone for a walk in the walking yard, also 3 by 6 meters, although under the open sky. During this time, I met various people with whom I had many interesting conversations. And I noticed that many of them are trying to achieve a decent, honest investigation and trial. Most feel that the system does not hear them, and I have also felt a similar feeling in the past two years. I tried to support and encourage them as best I could, because I am sure that Jesus Christ would have done the same. I made many new friends, some of them were present at a part of the court sessions, and some wrote letters to me. I personally know some of them, but others not yet. Some havethe same faith as I do, others do not, but they still support me, because they cannot tolerate the injustice that is happening here in Russia, the way some here try to make Jehovah’sWitnesses, citizens who love their neighbour as themselves, out to be criminals and call them extremists. This is completely illogical and ridiculous. Many are shocked by the fact that such things happen here, in Russia, in the 21st century. Someone asked me how this criminal case has affected my faith. Thanks to this criminal case, my faith has only become stronger, and I have experienced what the Bible said in the Epistle of James, the first chapter, in verses 2 through 4: “Take great joy, my brethren, when you meet with various trials, knowing that the test of your faith produces endurance; but endurance must have its action complete, so that you may be complete in its entirety, without any deficiency. ” I am still far from perfect, but I have learned to be steadfast and remain joyful in my ordeals. And the most important thing I want to emphasize is that I have drawn even closer to my God Jehovah and have received an even more ardent desire to tell others about him and his purposes, an ardent desire to continue preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God, which is the only solution for humanity. A fervent desire to share with others the joyful message from the Bible about the world and eternal life here, in paradise on earth to help them get closer to the Creator and help develop strong faith in him and his promises. This speech is officially called “the last word in my defence,” and maybe these will be the last words you will hear from me today. Maybe this is the last court hearing in this criminal case, and it will become an end to this last two-year period of my life. But I want to assure you that these are not my last words in this case about the injustice that is happening here in Russia against peaceful and completely innocent people. I have just started, and I have a lot more that I want to tell you publicly. I'm not going to be silent, as if I am guilty and have something to hide. I have a clear conscience, I have not done anything wrong, I have not violated any law of Russia and I have nothing to be ashamed of. What is being done against me and other Witnesses here in Russia are false accusations of extremism, interrogations, detentions, searches, confiscations, discoveries, threats, and now even torture. This should be shameful. It is of course adisgrace. The truth always becomes apparent, and justice will sooner or later prevail. In the Bible, in Galatians, chapter 6, verse 7, it says: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap. ” The court of first instance sentenced me to 6 years in prison, but for what? Nothing. There is no evidence that I did something wrong. On the contrary, there is a lot of evidence that I enjoyed the rights granted to me under Article 28 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. I observe the law of the Russian state and am an honest person. I am a Christian, a believer, a Jehovah's Witness, and I love the Russian people. What are they punishing me for? Why should I be in prison for 6 years? Nothing. This is unfair. I sincerely hope that the Court of Appeal today will protect what is right and take care that justice prevail. That it will namely stop the persecution of faith, which is happening now in Russia. I very much hope that this court of appeal will send a signal to the whole world that here in Russia there is freedom of religion for all people. In the near future these words will be fulfilled: “And he, God, will judge many nations, and they will cast their swords into plowshares and their spears into sickles; nation will not raise the sword against nation, and they will no longer learn how to wage war. But each one will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one will frighten them.” The words of Micah, chapter 4, verses 3 and 4. God always judges justly, and under his rule there will no longer be disagreements, violence and wars. On the contrary, there will be peace, and there will be no anxieties. In other words, there will be true happiness for all of humanity. Your Honor, with your decision today you can make a big step in this direction, in the direction of justice and peace. A big step towards a world without anxiety, sadness and injustice. And I hope you do that. Thank you in advance! [The appeal failed. Seemingly, it had already been decided that it would.]
  11. 5 points
    @BillyTheKid46, You seem to spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to provoke persons into fighting with you. It is as though you have a NEED to fight. I have seen this from you (and yours) for quite a while now. In a recent thread about Brother Morris visiting a liquor store, I agreed with you completely that the post was irrelevant and irreverent and it tried to make something scandalous out of a potentially innocent activity without 100 percent proof. (And I thought your pun was good, too. See page 4 of that topic.) You and Melinda Mills spoke about the Venezuelan economic issues under Maduro. You helped to clarify the picture that Melinda posted, the one with worthless money in the gutter, when you provided a link to the explanatory SNOPES article. I mentioned that I appreciated that same SNOPES link you provided because it gave details about how and when those pictures came about, and I quoted verbatim from your link. Then you inexplicably decided to reject the explanation from your own link, and claim that I was somehow attacking the vision that your mother had told you about in the 1960's. What made this so odd was that I had already agreed that the picture was related to that same expectation. My own mother referenced that point from Ezekiel 7:19, as did Melinda's. You said: BTK: "What was fasinating to me, My mother pointed it out to me in the '60s as a devout JW that would happen, and it sure the hell did. There is no photoshop on that. It's not a tale." To which I responded, that in spite of the propaganda use that was presented in SNOPES that, Yes. . . : JWI: "It was still related to Maduro, and is still related to money becoming worthless. It is still supportive of the idea that people will be throwing their money (even their gold) in the streets, because money is of no value as a savior in the day of Jehovah's fury. It shows how bad things can get." To which you responded: BTK: "I understand you are trying desperately to delegitimize my mother’s vision. Do that with your own mother, lay off mine." I didn't bother to respond, after which you added: BTK: "Its unfortunate someone like JWinsider decided to insult and denigrate a relative, and James thinking it’s funny to do just that, makes them the biggest AH’s in this forum." I'm sure that a few people didn't realize that you had made up the whole thing about someone "denigrating a relative" just to provoke a fight in the same way worldly people do when they hurl insults about each other's mother, and call each other "AH," which has been used as an abbreviation for a**hole. When you provoke and the other party doesn't respond in kind, I'm sure it can be frustrating. But please don't bring these same worldly attitudes and posturings into every topic. You end up discrediting yourself instead of your target. "A slave of the Lord does not need to fight." (2 Tim 2:24)
  12. 5 points
    Where did Adam get his?
  13. 5 points
    That's why he's called God's son God completed the rest of the DNA for him
  14. 5 points
    It is understandable for me to see your disappoint about R.F. or similar characters inside JW. Yes, perhaps your view about him is correct. But for many of us is of less concern why he wrote a book about GB and WT. We can feel sorrow for him or we can say he is/was hypocrite. Nevertheless, information's we get from his inside insight about WT GB mechanism are more important then he alone. Because "The Truth" is in question, not he, not me, not you. He was the one who has must struggle with HIS conscience why he stay inside and support all wrongs he knew about, despite knowledge he had. He was the one who has been responsible for covering this too long and so on. I do not care, in final stage of matter, what was his motive. Only important thing for me is; Is it that or this, what he said, true?
  15. 5 points
    Just a little more longwinded opinion here. I think his tone and most of his words were intended to portray himself as someone who recognizes that there were and are human rights issues to take care of now and to avoid in the future. He also is is to be seen as a source of wise advice, giving the impression that if he had just known some of these issues in advance that he would have known better ways to handle these things. But he also recognizes that some issues are too complex to make snap decisions about on the spot. He gives the impression that he is generally knowledgeable, perhaps had an idea about some of these issues, but was really just now learning the specifics, either on the spot or from reading the papers provided in preparation for the meeting. Otherwise he would be portraying himself and therefore the Russian nation as knowingly culpable in any of the errors that had been made in the name of the state. That's the big difference in using the term to mean "prosecute" vs "persecute." If he had intentionally used the term to mean "persecute" this would have been very much at odds with that tenor -- it admits national culpability -- and that he KNOWS there is national culpability. That's why it is very different from "prosecute" which admits only procedural error at most, e.g., too strict a definition being put on the word "extremist," and therefore something that could potentially be redressed merely through a change or adjustment in judicial procedure, if deemed necessary. To me, his words indicate that he would not be averse to a positive change in the procedure against "extremist" groups, especially when these are generally seen as "Christian" groups. It seems he would be more forgiving of first time offenses of trying to proselytize. I don't get the impression that he, on his own, will want to make a big deal of what happened with the Witnesses. But he will no doubt be informed again of the JW status and will be more knowledgeable each time he is re-informed, and this could easily lead to a situation very soon where he asks for a change to the procedure against JWs. The JWs may have to "compromise" in the sense of being more of an autonomous religious group in Russia that doesn't give the impression that it merely takes all marching orders from outside of Russia (New York). To work well in Russia, the state wants to know that tens of thousands of people are not going to suddenly begin carrying "Religion is a Snare and a Racket" signs in the streets, or drink Kool-Aid, or collect money for a corporation in Wallkill, New York where instruction will trickle down through other branches to update rules about where new Halls will be built, what to do about national anthems, military service, blood transfusion policy, or look to an internal judicial system that could be seen as competing with or overriding that of the state. When he is advised again about the JWs, he will be concerned about how it looks to his own nation, outside international organizations, how it reflects on himself, and therefore, if making a change is useful or worth the effort. I don't get the impression he is anxious to make a big deal about it. I see it very possible that his own advisors on these issues could talk him out of doing something, even if he thinks it is advisable. I see right now as a good time for the WTS HQ to help orchestrate the leverage of human rights organizations. Getting 8 million people to write the same set of letters is not as impressive to him as it seems to us, because it only proves that the very thing he doesn't want in a Russian religion, exists to the nth degree in our religion: that everyone follows orders from the same HQ outside of Russia.
  16. 5 points
    In Russian "преследовать" can be translated as "prosecute" or "persecute". Maybe it is better to ask the president what did he mean by saying this :D
  17. 5 points
    . “When you give … do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3) Matthew 6:1 (BBE) Take care not to do your good works before men, to be seen by them Matthew 6:4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Personaly i think IF you seeking for blessings its bettet to do hours with out telling anyone.
  18. 5 points
    JW Insider

    In Defense of Shunning

    From what I can gather here about you, I think that most of the 130 do not believe you are evil, and probably do not wish to treat you badly, but as you say, they THINK they are following the rules. Also, they will not merely treat you this way just because they feel you were concerned about the "child abuse" issue. If you have told the whole story then it is pretty clear that you are treated as someone who has formally disassociated, and we are told to treat that person the exact same way as someone who was disfellowshipped. (I think that is an abuse of power by the way on the part of the WTS policy.) It's probable that someone has added a few other "details" for the ears of the congregation, real or imagined. The more likely concern is that you have somehow become a spiritual danger because you are actively seeking out false information from apostates to spread it among the congregation in order to sow divisions and contentions. Many in the congregation must believe that your current motive is to promote such apostasy, even if you are personally still "salvagable." They are told that to treat you like this is a way to save you. I personally would not follow the rules in this regard when it is a person I have known and if I feel that my continued association is more likely to be scriptural than unscriptural. There have been two persons where my opinion of them and my association with them didn't change a bit after they were disfellowshipped. One stayed out and one came back. I don't advertise this to the rest of the congregation, for fear of stumbling others, and for my own fear of the same kind of unscriptural disciplinary treatment that others have been subjected to. But there is also a certain kind of friendship we build up with others that goes beyond rules and regulations. We show a certain type of loyalty (loyal love) to the other person, and they to us. In the Bible, if David had become a murderer and an adulterer, Jonathan would have still loyally stuck by him. "There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother." (Prov 18:24) I have seen several friendships like this, and would hope that no human rules would ever get in the way. I had a roommate at Bethel who joked that his friend who had recently been invited to Bethel, was like this. He claimed that even if he murdered someone, that this friend would never change. I thought about that and decided that he should move out and room with this arriving friend. If we truly have love, even for our enemies, we should have no problem dealing with tax collectors and sinners. How much more should we show love to someone who is in dire straits for a reason we already understand and one we can help them understand. This does not mean that I would go out of my way to seek out such a person, unless I was sure I could help them feel better with some encouragement. Often they truly put themselves in a situation where the best thing they to do is to find their way back into the organization and I will often encourage that. But I would never encourage family members to disfellowship themselves from that disfellowshipped person. It has been rare, but as I said, I have had a couple of occasions to "break the rule" in this regard. I like a lot of what the GB and the JW org are doing, and I love many of my fellow associates in the congregation. But, YES, I really mean it. Speaking out is what I am doing right now. I often speak out against unscriptural policies, or discuss them here to help make sure whether my own reasoning is wrong. I don't have to speak out in front of my local congregation, nor do I cause divisions. I speak out on this forum, and I will sometimes speak frankly and honestly with people who approach me in person. I also send a couple letters a year to the GB and JW org. For the past few years, these have been anonymous. I have used this site to try to formulate the scriptural reasoning behind these letters. I have already spoken out against abuse and bad policy in this regard for about seven years now -- not just on forums but in person. This is why I cannot completely understand the treatment you are getting. At several opportunities over the last 30 years, I have spoken out against a policy of tolerating spousal physical abuse against wives, because my own sister had an experience like this with the usual requested cover-up from authorities and hospital personnel. I have even turned in a young 20 year old brother who showed serious problems in this regard at gatherings. He is not quite a person of full mental capacity, but this won't matter to an abused sister who would feel traumatized if he takes these types of actions any further. And it's quite possible he already poses a criminal danger when not in public. There should be heightened awareness of these problems to protect all potential victims, and where necessary, secular authorities and law enforcement need to be involved.
  19. 5 points
    I understand your points and you have expressed them very well. I will address each point you raised separately, but first I just want to mention a few general things which have perhaps shaped the perception of people like you and me. I grew up in the "truth" in the early 80's when the GB was mostly an anonymous mystery, at least to many who were living outside of America. The "truths" people like me assimilated during those years were turned into dogmatic doctrines by people like me. We always talked starting a phrase with "we KNOW....." as if we could never make a mistake. We had a general attitude of superiority. WE had the truth and therefor WE were somehow better than other people. WE had an answer for "everything". And then came the age of the internet. It was a kind of "Internet enlightenment". It had been around for a while before that, but soon everybody had access to it, and was using it. Information that the ordinary person wouldn't have had before, became available to them at the touch of a button. There were things that were "discovered" by the ordinary brother and sister that were there all along, but that were only known by more prominent brothers and sisters, which included those involved with Bethel, but also ordinary brothers and sisters which happened to live closer to the "source" . But now the ordinary brother came to know things that at times "shocked" him, because in their little personal world they had built a picture, but that picture wasn't always correct. As I mentioned, dogmatic opinions on various subjects were formed, which actually were not intended to be understood that way. Here is an example of what I mean; I am sure you know of instances yourself, where a elder giving a talk would expound on something he felt strongly about. A kind of "pet" subject of his. Most of the time the audience would take what he said as gospel truth, and talk about it like it was fact and part and parcel of "official" teachings. But all it actually was, was the brothers opinion. This happened many times in the days of only a brief outline of a talk, giving the speaker much freedom to practically say anything he wanted. A classic and famous example is that of Charles Sinutko giving the talk about 1975. He wasn't just an elder, but a district overseer, and he gave that misleading talk in front of an audience of thousands. Similar talks were given around the world no doubt. I was too young at the time but @Outta Here remembers such talks, and also the almost "fanatical" approach of some in the congregations. Was this all the GB's doing? It wasn't, but it shows the freedom that existed with regard to expressing ones opinion in an "official" setting, by means of talks etc. As you probably know, now there are strict outlines for talks. Not only that, but elders are instructed to Only give the Bible's advice when serving in a shepherding or judicial capacity, and never give their personal opinions. I am sure this new approach became a necessity because of the damage personal opinions had caused in the past. One I want to focus on specifically is the handling of child abuse. The congregation was well equipped to prevent child abuse on the surface. But it was all contingent on members actually reading and applying what was in the publications that discussed those issues. The JW congregation has always been very strict on upholding moral standards. In comparison, the rest of the world was in a moral decline (think "free love" that started in the 60's) and with it no doubt came problems associated with loose morals. Secular authorities were ill equipped to handle accusations of rape and child sexual abuse, as you yourself can testify. In this environment Elders were trying to handle something that was disgusting and shocking and should have never occurred in the Christian congregation in the first place! Some Elders got confused and misapplied WT 1973/11/15 "question from readers" regarding the application of 1 Cor 6:1-7, and the interpretation of 1Timothy 5:19. Many Elders were stuck between a rock and a hard place with regard to reporting to the police because of the way the police handled (or not handled) these cases, and because many victims and their families did not want to report to the police. It was almost like an attitude of: "this is our private problem, and we will handle it as our private problem". Finally today, secular authorities are educated and equipped enough to address these issues properly, and I would say we are at the pinnacle of "enlightenment" with regard to CSA, at least in the western world. Victims are at last able to come forward and be heard. Abusers are being tried and punished. This has also spilled into historic sexual abuse of women as in the #metoo brigade. BUT despite all this, CSA and the abuse of women is as rampant as ever unfortunately.... You have a good heart John and I feel you have unnecessarily thrown the baby out with the bathwater. But I do want to address those issues individually that you mentioned, but I will have to do that tomorrow now as I am running out of time and have to go and cook dinner....
  20. 5 points
    I think you might be confusing "evidence" and "proof." Rutherford, in more than one article, showed he knew the difference. He knew that evidence was not proof. But he was anxious to use this idea of the ability to draw stronger and stronger conclusions if a "second witness" and "third witness" to his idea were available. The Biblical idea of requiring a second witness, and the idea that a three-fold cord cannot be broken were utilized to make evidence seem like the equivalent of proof. Of course, most of these multiple evidences had actually been bent a bit to support each other. Today, it's easy to go back and see "confirmation bias" in his sloppy reasoning. But he had another means of covering over the weaknesses of his evidence which had probably helped him to convince himself that he was right. And it would definitely draw over many of the persons who had remained hold-outs on the basis of unconvincing evidence. This was the fact that his "cause" (conclusion) was considered righteous and he had therefore associated his conclusion with faith. He was able to use "faith" in God's promises as the final glue to hold his weak "cord(s)" together, and hide its flaws, even from himself. This worked for Bible Students who followed him after Russell because they were anxious to believe that these men and their "Society" represented "the Lord." Rutherford had already been accepting of the idea that he had been made the equivalent of the "Lord." This is the easiest explanation to me as to why so many people would merely accept the flimsy evidence without questioning. You don't question the Lord! Some later examples might show you what I mean. *** w74 11/1 p. 651 How Would You Treat an Ambassador? *** The question is, How does the individual treat a visible representative of Christ who has clearly shown that he truly represents Christ? *** w55 6/1 p. 333 Part 11—Restoration of Theocratic Organization *** [quoting from 1938] . . . the following was the resolution suggested to and adopted by all congregations who desired to be welded together under the Society’s theocratic leadership: “We, the company of God’s people taken out for his name, and now at ___________, recognize that God’s government is a pure theocracy and that Christ Jesus is at the temple and in full charge and control of the visible organization of Jehovah, as well as the invisible, and that ‘THE SOCIETY’ is the visible representative of the Lord on earth, and we therefore request ‘The Society’ to organize this company for service and to appoint the various servants thereof, so that all of us may work together in peace, righteousness, harmony and complete unity. We attach hereto a list of names of persons in this company that to us appear more fully mature and who therefore appear to be best suited to fill the respective positions designated for service.” Hints of the impact of this idea are found in the kind of reasoning we still use today, even when something turns out to be wrong. For example. The idea was that the Lord [Jehovah] came to his temple in 33 CE, through Jesus and his message. Then the Lord came to his temple again in 1918. *** w55 11/15 pp. 692-693 par. 15 “Jehovah Is in His Holy Temple” *** Since the preparatory messenger had come, it was therefore in Jesus’ day that the Lord Jehovah was to come suddenly to the temple . . . He [Jesus] came as the visible representative of the Lord Jehovah, and by putting his spirit on Jesus Jehovah was with him in coming to that temple at Jerusalem in 33 (A.D.). . . . Has the Lord Jehovah now come to his spiritual temple with his Angel of the covenant? Christendom says No! . . . Down here Jesus came and began the cleansing in the spring of 1918 three and a half years after the birth of God’s kingdom in 1914 and the heavenly enthronement of Jesus Christ as reigning King then. Let Christendom deny that 1918 is the date of the Lord Jehovah’s sudden coming to his spiritual temple as the God of judgment, accompanied by his Angel of the covenant Jesus Christ. . . . Jehovah caused to be preached from 1918 onward the startling public message “Millions Now Living Will Never Die,” and in 1923 he provided the interpretation of “the parable of the sheep and the goats.” The foundation of this idea is good: that Jesus would inspect his congregation and act according to good judgment, and that his true followers would be tested and disciplined in order to meet the challenges of the last days. But notice how the idea that the Society is the representative of the Lord becomes a reason not to question even the specific dates assigned to such a doctrine, which would otherwise be a healthful teaching. Wicked, unfaithful Christendom denies the 1918 date and therefore they come under the judgment of Jehovah. It was Jehovah who caused the preaching of what we now know to be a false prophecy. So how could anyone have questioned a false prophecy or false doctrine under this kind of bullying pressure and name-calling? As it turns out, of course, just a couple of years ago the Society finally dropped the idea that Jesus had come to his temple for a specific judgment in 1918. For that matter, the interpretation that Jehovah provided for the "the sheep and the goats" has also changed. There seems to have been an abuse of authority here that could be tied to the idea of "beating one's fellow slaves" as @Anna mentioned recently. I think we have become much more sophisticated in our wording and presentation of this same idea, but the same idea has not changed much. Here are just a few small examples of how much "less sophisticated" it was in Rutherford's time. Those Bible Students who publicly disagreed with Rutherford were branded "the evil slave" class. Yet, we today also find ourselves disagreeing with Rutherford on the pages of the same Watchtower. In Rutherford's day they published a book in 1917 that claimed that Russell was "Christ's representative in the world, the sole steward of the 'meat in due season.'" They kept selling that book until the early 1930's until "remaining stocks" were depleted. When Bible Students and even the newly named, "Jehovah's witnesses" asked if they should really be spreading false information among the unsuspecting public, Rutherford got angry, and the Bulletin (later, Our Kingdom Ministry) threatened the publishers by saying that if they went against Rutherford they were going against the Lord. But even less controversial issues were common. When the goals and quotas of special pioneers, regular pioneers and publishers were set, it was stated that these quotas were 'what the Lord wants.' Basically, if the Lord says pioneers need to get 100 hours a month, then, Who are we to go against the Lord? Even if we have become more sophisticated in our methods of producing this kind of theocratic world view, I see a danger in this. I think you can see it too.
  21. 5 points
    False. Everyone should deny falsehoods. I agree that former Witnesses can be dishonest. I wouldn't judge them as the least honest people alive. I have seen evidence of some dishonesty among some, but don't think any human even has a way to know if they are more or less honest than current Witnesses. My guess is that they would be about the same, on average -- less honest on some topics and more honest on some topics, depending on whether they are trying to promote or protect a specific ideology. I don't defend the views of ex-Witnesses except where the evidence happens to coincide with their views, in which case we don't have much choice if we are honest. I'm opposed to dishonesty so I try not to deny evidence. If some of that evidence is found in their distorted publications, we should still be willing to look at the same evidence, even while identifying how they have distorted the use or conclusions made from it. This does NOT mean we will agree with their views, especially if they are distorting the evidence. Furthermore, we don't even need to look at their views to make a judgment on the accuracy and relevance of the evidence they present. By "evidence" here, I'm referring specifically to quotations from Watch Tower publications. After checking a few hundred of these quotations found on many different sites, I get the impression that ex-Witnesses are even more careful than Witnesses when it comes to accuracy of the actual quotes. I've also seen some misquotes and misuse of context, mistakes, and outright dishonesty from some ex-Witnesses, too. But for the most part I think they realize that their argument is immediately lost, if a Witness were to find an inaccurate quote.
  22. 5 points
    They stumbled ... or were they tripped? (Mark 9:42) . . .But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith, it would be better for him if a millstone that is turned by a donkey were put around his neck and he were pitched into the sea. . . I can not but agree with a lot of the exposed by some of you. The steward (slave) class, I think, represents any brother with authority over others in the congregation (in the house). Par excellence the brothers on charge over the worldwide work fits more than any other to the meaning of the slave parable. Presently, we’ve reduced the meaning of the Jesus’s illustration to a mere warning, a remote possibility: the slave NEVER become bad. I understand it’s difficult to admit, as difficult as it was for the apostles to recognize that, in spite of being warned by Jesus, they would betray and abandon him. “We… do that! Never! Similarly, the Bible, everywhere, warn us the God’s people, overall, globally, will face a bad condition in precisely the last days: Between others: · The foolish virgins · The slave with one talent · The man not wearing a marriage garment (Mt 22) · The slave hiding the mina (Lk 19) · The love of the greater number will grow cold (Mt 24:12) · Critical times (in the congregation, please note the context: 2:20; 3:6) And more precisely SOME of the brothers on charge · Some of those having insight (Da 11:35) · The evil slave · The steward Now, concerning this thread we have the situation about the 1975 issue. Was it a mere doctrinal point, without relevance? · 1976 service year publishers: 2.138 million · 1978 service year publishers: 2.086 million Thousands of little ones stumbling Has been shown in this thread some “sincere” recognition of guilt or responsibility from the responsible brothers. But, sincerely, these sounds to me as the Aaron’s answer: · Ex 32:22, 24: “You well know that the people are inclined to do evil… Then I threw it into the fire and out came this calf.” It was the people’s fault, not mine. The calf arose by itself from the fire, I just had nothing to do! The same pride I observe in myself, and many others overseeing the flock. The difference lies in that I harm to my family, perhaps to my own congregation, but the brothers on charge of the worldwide instruction harm the entire brotherhood. Regarding this harm, presently, the most dangerous doctrinal matter affecting, not our ideas, but the real life of sincere Christians around the world is the deals with disfellowshipped persons, more precisely family members. This is a horrible misinterpretation of the Bible teaching in 1 Cor 5. I literally cry many times observing families broken, many times with life wounds. Perhaps another day I will write more about this, so don’t extend now. And, regarding the part of the parable saying starting “to eat and drink and get drunk,” (Lk 12;45) I also wish to point out some ideas in another post. Am I worried? Yes, certainly, but confident that as Jehovah in all times disciplined and cleaned His servants so will do if He see it necessary (yes, I see it necessary)
  23. 5 points
    Don't mind the upvote. I was very keen for the end to come in 1975 after learning the truth in 1971. My first shepherding call was from a brother who explained at length why he had cancelled all his insurances. But this view only lasted for a few months because, (as I've previously stated), I was put wise by a very influential and respected brother who said he was not part of the 1975 club, as no man could possibly know the day or hour. Because this individual had made quite an impression on me in many other spiritual matters, I felt his reasoning to be pretty sound at the time, because I could never get my head around the date oriented mentality. It always made me feel uneasy, like something that you thought you ought to believe because of the sparkly eyed assertions, but that just didn't have any substance. Now of course, I know better. But there was no shortage of those who wanted to believe it although the platform promotion was consderably less intense where I was than in the USA. I can understand the "once bitten, twice shy" view of some skeptical ones today. And it's the same with the nodding, knowing heads today. They still make me feel uneasy. I just find the whole topic embarrassing. The best advice I ever got on this whole area was something an old missionary brother used he say to me in his heavy Scottish accent "Your Armageddon came the day you dedicated your life to Jehovah, laddie. You can't take it back you know." or something like that. Scripturally, 2Tim.4:2 seems most relevant here regardless of which area of the ministry it applies to: "preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season" and also Gal.6:10: "Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all,"
  24. 5 points
    I am beginning to believe that ALL the Scriptures in the Bible, talking about how the "love of the greater number will cool off", and in the end times, a wide range of cruelties will be abundant, that it is talking about what is going on INSIDE the "Truth" ... not the world. We have been thoroughly trained, year after year after year ... to be able to turn family love and affection on and off ....on and off ..... on and off, with the "light switch" of disfellowshipping. We deeply love our families ... unless they get disfellowshipped ... then they are invisible, and in effect cease to exist. If they are reinstated, we are taught to flip the switch and turn those affections back on ... at least in theory. It is insane in theory .... and insane in actual practice. This is cruel, mean, extreme, despicable, hateful, and hypocritical .... and does not lend itself to sane thinking. These policies over time can erode and destroy a civilization, theocratic or secular. Even the Russkies understand that!
  25. 5 points
    Anastasia Makivich says: "I'm new here. I was baptized at our regional convention 2018, Saturday -7th July. It was the day I will remember forever. I'm glad to be one of Jehovah's servants Thank you for sharing your Video you are welcome! Welcome our dear sister Anastasia  ? .•*¨`*•..¸???¸.•*¨`*•. ?
  26. 4 points
    The WT's statements about the GB are a logical fallacy. That is why you are having difficult harmonizing your beliefs. "The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870. Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food." Watchtower 2017 Feb p.26 "Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?" Watchtower 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 It's the textbook example of cognitive dissonance: believing in contradictory ideas at the cost of one's mental state. There is a reason why JWs struggle in the organization. They are being given mixed signals under their leadership. JWs are expected to be understanding of the GB's mistakes while also fully compliant to their direction. Imagine having a spouse that demands total obedience but also expects love and understanding when wrong. People would call that an unhealthy relationship with one partner holding all the power. One wonders why Jehovah God appointed fallible, uninspired men over his people when he was perfectly capable of accurately conveying his truths to the writers of the Bible? There is no scriptural precedent for the idea of unquestioned obedience to a group of uninspired men. There is no scriptural precedent to putting obedience to men above scriptural truth. Complete trust in someone or some group requires strong support. Trust in the GB can't come from its history of unwavering doctrine, because the GB acknowledges it has made errors in doctrine and changes have been made. Trust also can't come from the GB's prophet status, because the GB acknowledges it is not inspired by God. So, what does the WT offer as support for complete trust in the GB? The preaching work: "...the faithful and discreet slave has been able to accomplish in giving a worldwide witness about Jehovah God, his Son, and the Kingdom. Jehovah’s worshippers are actively proclaiming the Kingdom message in over 230 lands and island groups." 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 The growth in members: "...In the last 15 years, the number of congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide has grown from some 70,000 to over 100,000—an increase of over 40 percent. And what about the new disciples added? Nearly 4.5 million disciples were baptized in the last 15 years—an average of more than 800 a day." 2009 2/15 p. 24-28 This 'support' is brought into question when it is pointed out that other Christian denominations engage in forms of preaching work all around the world. For many years, the JW organization did have tremendous growth, but that growth has slowed in recent years and is even in decline in some countries. The fastest growing Christian denominations in America are Catholics and Evangelicals. (The fastest growing religion in the world is Islam.) So, this support is weak at best, and it doesn't change the logical paradox the GB expects all JWs to accept.
  27. 4 points
    I replied her Mark zuckerburg might be listening us. She laughed. We laughed Alexa laughed Siri laughed.
  28. 4 points
    Outta Here


    The only two things we can safely say about "this generation" (the contentious one) is that: 1. It will pass. 2. At a day and hour which no man knows.
  29. 4 points
    We have always used the Bible as the sole authority for our beliefs, so we have adjusted our beliefs as our understanding of the Scriptures has been clarified. - source JWorg Here we have maneuver by JW Clergy Leaders who try to justify, by Bible, how they have made/making changes of Organizational doctrines and beliefs, because they have not understand the Scriptures before (and today too). In meantime, while they were not been aware of false and wrong in own doctrines, they continued to force and run wrong laws inside JW congregations. Exactly this and that WTJWORG mandate beliefs, are what can be called by name you used in comment - provisional laws. With time passing, WT Leaders changed doctrines which they presented as Bible Truths and God's Word. After some time they made new doctrines out of old doctrines, and again they called such modified rules-doctrines-laws as Bible Truths and God's Word. They using lexical terminology such as; adjusted our beliefs .....Scriptures has been clarified. Well, we have different wording but same package of meanings and results: Provisional Laws ........ Adjusted our beliefs ...... Scriptures has been clarified.
  30. 4 points
    Why not ask Brother Morris, then the issue is resolved. Everything else is just embarrassing! April 19th is our MEMORIAL ceremony ❤ ♥ ☼ ♥ ❤ Thank you....
  31. 4 points
    Take note, @The Librarian. Take a screenshot. Save it for posterity. Show it to your grandchildren. JWI made a comment and he only used ONE WORD! I’ve heard of turning over a new leaf before, but this takes it to a whole ‘nother level. ”There were too many...um...uh....notes,” the prince told Mozart.
  32. 4 points
    God made Adam. He made Eve from Adam's rib. Must be a miracle.
  33. 4 points
    It's nice to see children dedicating their lives to Jehovah, unfortunately they are also dedicating their lives to an idol called the wtbts in a contract for life.
  34. 4 points
    I recalled a comment from last year where you commented positively on the new way of referring to these days as aeons or epochs, rather than literal days, and then added the following comment: 1975+43=2018 (last year). This old reckoning might seem ridiculous now, especially after the Watchtower once argued that this period could be a matter of weeks or months, but could not go beyond 2 years. But there are still some Witnesses who haven't kept up and believe there must be some validity to the 6,000 year theory. (A partial salvage of the theory, without any reference to 6,000 or 7,000 years, was rewritten in a much better way in a 2011 Watchtower: *** w11 7/15 p. 24 God’s Rest—What Is It? *** God’s Rest—What Is It? During the time that Fred Franz was still alive and still working on his last prophetic book "Revelation -- Its Grand Climax at Hand" an article was written dealing with the Jubilee year and how the 49th year was related to the 50th: *** w87 1/1 p. 30 Questions From Readers *** Second, a study of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and of our location in the stream of time strongly indicate that each of the creative days (Genesis, chapter 1) is 7,000 years long. It is understood that Christ’s reign of a thousand years will bring to a close God’s 7,000-year ‘rest day,’ the last ‘day’ of the creative week. (Revelation 20:6; Genesis 2:2, 3) Based on this reasoning, the entire creative week would be 49,000 years long. . . . According to Romans 8:20, 21, Jehovah God purposes to liberate believing mankind from this slavery. As a result, true worshipers on earth “will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”—See also Romans 6:23. . . . While the small group selected to be taken to heaven have had their sins forgiven from Pentecost 33 C.E. onward and thus already enjoy the Jubilee, the Scriptures show that the liberation for believing mankind will occur during Christ’s Millennial Reign. That will be when he applies to mankind the benefits of his ransom sacrifice. By the end of the Millennium, mankind will have been raised to human perfection, completely free from inherited sin and death. Having thus brought to an end the last enemy (death passed on from Adam), Christ will hand the Kingdom back to his Father at the end of the 49,000-year creative week.—1 Corinthians 15:24-26. So although the 1969/1971 Aid Book, as you pointed out, had said that we don't know the length of the creative days, this probably came from the idea that a Bible Dictionary should not contain esoteric beliefs that are not actually based on the Bible, but are just a traditional interpretation. R.Franz must have recognized this fact, while preparing the Aid Book, but apparently there was a faction that thought this "reasonable" approach was very dangerous. It admits that we don't know everything. I have personal anecdote that let me know that this is exactly what at least two brothers (Greenlees and Schroeder) thought would, initially, be the way to get R.Franz removed, by exposing the non-dogmatic approach in the Aid Book style that tends to erode dogma. I'll save the anecdote for another time, but I think it is easy to recognize that this kind of approach to the Bible takes a lot of power away from the interpreters. (The anecdote did not concern the length of the creative days.) Even in the lead-up to 1975, there was a need, probably influenced by the Aid Book, to start using words like "evidently" rather than just speaking dogmatically: *** w73 2/1 p. 82 Will Your Days Be “Like the Days of a Tree”? *** Since each of the creative “days” or periods was evidently seven thousand years long, the whole creative “week” takes in 49,000 years. Compare that with the dogmatism in the previous decades: *** w51 1/1 pp. 27-28 The Christian’s Sabbath *** Since the sabbath was a part of the law and the “Law has a shadow of the good things to come”, of what was the sabbath a shadow? Of the grand rest day for all mankind, the 1,000-year reign of Christ, the seventh 1,000 years of God’s rest day. For six thousand years mankind has been toiling and suffering under “the god of this world”, Satan the Devil. In that antitypical sabbath Christ will free men from the bondage of Satan and his demons . . . *** w63 8/1 p. 460 par. 14 Religion and the Nuclear Age *** We could continue verse by verse through the entire period of the six creative days, periods of time that other Bible passages show to have been each 7,000 years in length. Of course, no other Bible passages were shown to indicate this, just a footnote to see the book by F.Franz, Let God Be True, 1943. Hebrews 3 & 4 does connect Psalm 95:11 to Genesis 2:2, but without any connection to a certain number of years and without any reference to the millennium of Christ's reign.
  35. 4 points
    It’s not so much that you should be. It’s that he shouldn’t have been. It is anything goes here. That’s just the way it is. The one-sided action favors the perception that The Librarian, that old hen, is in bed with apostates. ( Yeccchhhh)
  36. 4 points
    When was it ever anything else? From my point of view, that is almost the sole purpose of this site. Come, come, we must not squabble. We have the same goal, even if we go about it in different ways. I will allow that I am probably too flippant, and post in that spirit what you take seriously. For example, I did a quick & fictional snippet of Fred. That is my bad, and I apologize. JWI deals with egghead stuff that I only skim. Things dealing with dates are not my thing. These are not the ‘motivating’ things that cause people to develop a bad heart. Rather, if some have already developed a bad heart, they latch onto the fact that people ‘at the top’ disagree (Duh) and make maximum hay out of it. Or they find that there has been much hashing out over what eventually comes out as a unified whole, and they bail on that account. The one of good heart sees such disagreement & says ‘Ah, well, they’ll figure it out,’ and carries on without undo fuss. Since we have been wrong many times before, it seems a little foolish to insist that it will never happen again. ‘If they are on the wrong side of this or that bit of prophesy, they’ll figure it out and get on the right side,’ says the one of good heart. No. I don’t care about such things. Why some do I’ll never know, but it’s a good thing that they do. Everyone has a gift. I like to focus on what I think is more relevant - the qualities attributed to ‘apostates’ in Jude and 2Peter—an insistence on self-determination, and a disdain for authority. I am in my element when I get to kick back at those who would capitalize on genuine tragedies, such as CSA, to seek to destroy the ones preaching the good news. With a major ‘reform,’ making clear that there is absolutely no reproach in reporting vile things to the authorities, some of the most virulent of our critics lose something huge to them - a little like ‘what is Tom Brady going to do with himself after he retires?’ Some face withering away like Roger Chillingsworth. They almost have no choice but to find some pissy little thing that could conceivably allow something bad to yet happen and harp on that to the cows come home. Since I don’t care about the aspects of theocratic life that you do, I have probably overstepped in some places and drawn your reproof. I apologize. One of the prime things Jehovah hates is anyone spreading contentions among brothers. I won’t do it. When I once ‘liked’ a post of Captain Zipzeronada, a brother who was solid but rigid was stumbled. I apologized to him and didn’t do it again for the longest time - until the old pork chop said something to reveal that beneath his breathtaking pig-headedness, he was likable in some respects and I couldn’t resist. Our people do not typically do well online. They take shots at each other for not toeing the line in this or that aspect of service. Or they say: “This is what Jehovah has said:” to people who don’t necessarily care what he has said. They look ridiculous as they try to make the Internet behave like the congregation. As much as I appreciate your goal, if you told your circuit overseer that you were having a hard time purifying the Internet, what do you think he would say? You have to cut brothers some slack online. If they shouldn’t be here to say it, you shouldn’t be here to hear it. You know very well that Bethel isn’t thrilled about any of us being here.
  37. 4 points
    16 Not all who have the heavenly hope are part of “the faithful and discreet slave.” (From the same 2016 Watchtower as quoted above by Kosonen) Who has the right to say this ? Who has the right to put that in print ? Note is does not say 'those that might think they have the heavenly hope'. It actually says Not all who have the heavenly hope ... The GB of the JW org approve of this being written and used at meetings of JW's. So the GB themselves are judging the other MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST'S BRIDE. The GB are judging those of the 144,000 chosen ones. Has God or Jesus Christ given the GB the right to do the judging ? I would not think so.
  38. 4 points
    Yes of course, Satan is in control of the world, and that perfectly explains the "mess", but by discussing these things we are not making ourselves a part of it are we? Not only that, but notice that my reason for my initial comment was because I have someone who is interested in the Bible, but who is actually involved in one sector of what we are discussing. The reason for me to "educate" myself, at least with what the various terminology means, is so that I can better understand what this person is talking about. If I have no idea, then how can I address anything they say properly? Besides, there is no harm in educating ourselves, no matter what it is. Being ignorant can make someone believe things are false to be true, or conversely, things that are true they may believe are false, and that in turn can lead to bad decisions and as a consequence a host of other undesirable things. So I don't think anyone is trying to sidetrack or smokescreen. On the contrary, these kind of conversations help to establish facts. No one knows everything, so although you say you are uneducated, you probably know a host of things others don't. I wouldn't say I am educated, but I do have a thirst for knowledge, and I crave facts Of course a Christian's prime focus should be in gaining accurate knowledge about God and his purpose. That's a given.
  39. 4 points
    I've used this argument at the door and with Bible studies, too: that supposedly Christians, even if they claim they are not worshiping the item, should still find it wrong to carry around a model of the "murder weapon" that killed Jesus Christ! I've even heard the additional example from other Witnesses, such as: "If your own father had been murdered with an AK-47, or a .38 revolver, would you ever think about carrying around a small model of an AK-47, or a .38 revolver, on a chain around your neck?" Of course, this seemed quite fair until I learned that a member of the Governing Body who had worn a cross in the past, remembered that it was the way in which they felt they were showing their agreement with the idea in Mark: (Mark 8:34) . . .“If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his [STAUROS] and follow me continually." It was the Bible that treated the STAUROS as a "symbol." And we would never have complained that Jesus was saying (Mark 8:34) . . .“If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his [MURDER WEAPON] and follow me continually." Similarly, the apostle Paul would have been saying: (1 Corinthians 2:2) For I decided not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and [his MURDER WEAPON]. Jesus and Paul knew that the STAUROS (whether cross or stake) was a proper symbol that could remind us of Christ's sacrifice, and it would remind us of our own need for daily sacrifice, and even a similar sacrifice to the death if need be. But this is not an external symbol like baptism by which we show we have dedicated our lives to God and associate ourselves with Christians of like faith. For we walk by faith and not by sight, and need no ongoing piece of jewelry to state our Christian status.
  40. 4 points
    Interesting stuff, especially the difference between Chi Rho and Tau Rho. Howeve,r he states: "2)............the earliest uses of the tau-rho are not as such free-standing symbols, but form part of a special way of writing the Greek words for “cross” (stauros) and “crucify” (stauro-o), in NT texts which refer to the crucifixion of Jesus. 3) The tau-rho is not an allusion to the word “christos“. Indeed, the letters have no relation to any terms in early Christian vocabulary. Instead, the device (adapted from pre-Christian usage) seems to have served originally as a kind of pictographic representation of the crucified Jesus, the loop of the rho superimposed on the tau serving to depict the head of a figure on a cross. 4) So, contra the common assumption taught in art history courses, the earliest visual reference to the crucified Jesus isn’t 5th century intaglia, but this scribal device employed by ca. 200 CE. There's no denying that this scribal device is employed in some early Greek Scripture manuscripts. How early? With occurences, for example, at Luke 9:23; 14:27, P75 of the Bodmer Papyrii (imaged earlier) was originally dated as 175-200CE,. This early assignment has been recently challenged, where some favour a later date closer to the 4th Century. Other evidences, such as Chester Beatty's P45 manuscript is dated about 250CE, and contains this device at Matt.26:2 and also Luke 14:27. A further papyrus in the Bodmer colllection, P66, contains the staurogram in at least ten places in the papyrus (corresponding to chapter 19 of John's Gospel. Like P75, this papyrus is subject to similar discussion on it's antiquity, being more recently proposed as originating "in the early or middle part of the fourth century." So, basically, we have a scribal insertion of a contemporary "Christian " symbol some 135-300 years after the establishing of the Christian congregation at Pentecost 33CE . However, a disturbing comment is made regarding the staurogram on the Bible History Today page cited in the earlier post by @JWInsider at
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    : "The tau-rho staurogram, like other christograms, was originally a pre-Christian symbol. A Herodian coin featuring the Staurogram predates the crucifixion. Soon after, Christian adoption of staurogram symbols served as the first visual images of Jesus on the cross." Larry Hurtado confirms this when discussing the Tau-Rho among other "Christian" symbols as he states: "these are all pre-Christian devices and were appropriated by early Christians." He also says "P45, P66 and P75 offer us evidence of a Christian appropriation of the tau-rho device that (whatever and whenever its origin) was already becoming familiar in Christian circles at the time that these copyists worked." (Quotes from The Staurogram in Early Christian Manuscripts: The Earliest Visual Reference to the Crucified Jesus?) Reference is made to Herodian coins issued about 37 BCE where the Tau Rho appears (apparently as some sort of date code?) , Jack Finegan, (The Archaeology of the New Testament. 1969) is referenced by Hurtado. In his book section The Cross. Abbreviations and Monograms, among other things, he cited Egyptian influences on the development and use of the Staurogram, likening it to the Egyptian ankh, a symbol of life. He presents an memorial inscription from a 4th Century tomb at Armant near Luxor on the NIle. Here the staurogram symbol is presented on the bottom 3rd right in line with the ankh and the Chi Rho symbol, (another "christogram). An additional aspect is the proposed influence of the use of isosephy in formulating the staurogram. This practice, known also as gematria, seeks to find numeric relationships in words and concepts by assigning numeric values to letters and thus to words, then looking for parrallel meanings. An attempt is made to equate this to the reckoning of the wild beast's number of 666 in Rev.13:18. "Christian" Isosephists equate this number to the value determined for the name "Nero", their interpretation then misinterpreting the scripture. The staurogram is thus said by some to have a mystical significance in this regard. The whole practice has a ring of divination about it. Although Hurtado does not promote this view, it is not rejected as a contributory factor. Whilst interesting and formidably detailed, these speculations on the early uses of staurogram symbols are not very convincing as to their relevance to genuine Christianity. It just cannot be that difficult to find the truth, if it is actually there. It seems that an early date for the use of these symbols as some propose is not clear at all, as the relevant papyrii whilst significantly old, are of disputed antiquity. There appears to be a pagan and superstitious influence at work in the appropriation of these symbols, for obscure reasons. It is clear from scripture that definite attempts to distort and corrupt the true Christian faith were well under way from earliest times, prior to the adoption of the "staurogram". Paul warns that "the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work", Peter warns that "the ignorant and unstable are twisting the...Scriptures", and John warns that "even now, many antichrists have appeared". (Before we even get to Rev. Ch.2-3). The scriptures have no word for cross as such. Both stauros and xylon are simple words to understand, as is the background for the necessity of the use of this method for Christ's execution. There is no definitive way to conclude the exact nature of the instrument of Christ's death. The existence of the dispute complicates and obscures the very reason for Christ's sacrifice, a paucity of understanding on this matter being a prominent feature of many two-beamed cross promoters. On that basis, I remain satisfied with the scriptural description as far as it goes, and the conclusion we draw on the likelihood of a single stake being the instrument of Christ's death. I will not be adding an extra beam to the account at this stage. ?
  41. 4 points
    According to the record from the Watchtower Society itself, this is about right, if you don't count some interim corrections to typos, page headings, and grammar inconsistencies. (These are minor, but there have been at least 16 additional versions if you count these minor printing updates.) For example the original NWT of Psalms in the 1963 and 1964 "Fat Boy" NWT had a big bold typo (Psalm 17 was marked as Psalm 71). The large print (bi8) printed in 1971 had some typos, such as switching the font of the verse number itself from regular to bold and back to regular --most noticeable in Hebrews 9:27 where the 2 is bold and the 7 is regular, and even a couple of subject-verb agreement errors that were fixed up until 1984, well before the 2013 Revised came out. When the 2013 came out a heading on a page 267 was wrong, Psalm 51:4 was changed, and there were still some inconsistencies with capitalization and usage. Here's one example with the capitalization of "Ark" [of the Testimony]. Exodus 25:22 still has one remaining inconsistency: (Exodus 25:16-22) 16 You will place in the Ark the Testimony that I will give you. 17 “You will make a cover of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 You are to make two cherubs of gold; you will make them of hammered work on the two ends of the cover. 19 Make the cherubs on the two ends, one cherub on each end of the cover. 20 The cherubs are to spread out their two wings upward, overshadowing the cover with their wings, and they will face each other. The faces of the cherubs will be turned toward the cover. 21 You will put the cover on the Ark, and in the Ark you will place the Testimony that I will give you. 22 I will present myself to you there and speak with you from above the cover. From between the two cherubs that are on the ark of the Testimony, I will make known to you all that I will command you for the Israelites. (2013 NWT) Exodus 25:22 (1972 bi8) . . . the two cherubs that are upon the ark of the testimony . . . (1972-1984) Exodus 25:16 And you must place in the Ark the testimony that I shall give you. (1984) Note that in 2013 every instance of "the Ark" is capitalized except this one in verse 22. Also verse 10 does NOT capitalize it in 2013, but did capitalize it in 1984. And you can see above, in verse 16, that Ark was capitalized in 1984, but in no places was testimony ever capitalized. As far back as the 1953-1961 versions of the NWT, "Testimony" was capitalized, but "ark of the testimony" was not always, even in the same context, or sometimes just Ark and not testimony: (Numbers 7:89) he would hear the voice conversing with him from above the cover which was upon the Ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubs [upon the cover].” (1953) (Exodus 16:33,34) Moses said to Aaron: ‘Take a jar and put in it an omerful of manna and deposit it before Jehovah as something to be kept throughout your generations.’ Just as Jehovah had commanded Moses, Aaron proceeded to deposit it before the Testimony as something to be kept. (1953) (Num. 17:10) Subsequently Jehovah said to Moses: "Put Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony as something to be kept for a sign to the sons of rebelliousness, that their murmurings may cease from against me, that they may not die." (1953) Also note that in Deuteronomy, the term "ark of the testimony" is never used; it's always "ark of the covenant," (a different Hebrew word) but this doesn't ever get capitalized in any NWT of any date. (There are exceptions in quotes from the Watchtower in the 1950's, 1960, and 1976, but not in the NWT itself. ["ark of the covenant" "Ark of the covenant" or "Ark of the Covenant".] Of the hundred or so references, there has been no capitalization since the 1970's.) (Deuteronomy 31:26) “Take this book of the Law and place it at the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God. . . (2013) (Deuteronomy 31:26) “Taking this book of the Law, YOU must place it at the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God. (1960-1984) In fact, between 1961 and 1964, there were literally hundreds of pages that needed re-pagination along with the page headings, dozens of footnotes with the wrong J-references, cross-references, footnote letters skipped, wrong hyphenation breaks, a couple of misspellings, mismatched single/double quote marks, and at least a couple of grammar changes. There is some evidence of these changes in one of my "Fat Boy" Bibles where you can see that certain pages were updated, and these resulted in a brighter light-green edging on the updated pages (which includes Psalm 17, of course). See the pictures below:
  42. 4 points
    I think this point showed excellent insight. I wondered if this is what you meant from the start. The very context shows that the type of leadership in this case is more like the local elders rather than the far-away GB: (Hebrews 13:7) . . .Remember those who are taking the lead among you, who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith. However, I wouldn't get too hung up on variations in translations, or changes from one NWT to a newer version. As JWs, we are always happy to quote other translations that support our view of Scriptures. There are always several different ways to translate something and it doesn't mean that one is right and one is wrong. They could both be right. Often there are two ways to say the exact same thing. Often there are slight differences, and sometimes larger differences in meaning, and a translator is obligated to take an educated guess. The "nakedness" vs "lacking clothing" discussion is an example of that. The word for nakedness in the original Greek is "gymnos." (Strong's Greek #1131) It's the same word from which we get "gymnasium" because sports in the Greek/Roman world were often performed naked (and sometimes nearly so). This reminds me that I gave a funeral talk in Manhattan in 2013 on the day of the Annual Meeting, and the elder from Bethel (Patterson) who was supposed to give the talk had to leave early for his seat in Jersey City. I already had a copy of the NWT 2013 Revised on PDF, and was under strict orders not to share this fact with anyone, not even my wife. But I cheated a bit. The funeral was attended by a lot of her "worldly" neighbors in addition to brothers and sisters. She had been well-known as a Dorcas-like sister who actually had bought me a new warm coat when I first came to Bethel in 1976. I wanted to use the example in James 2:15, but I always hated the fact that it said "naked" there, and I especially didn't want to read it that way in front of non-Witnesses: (James 2:15-16) 15 If a brother or a sister is in a naked state and lacking the food sufficient for the day, 16 yet a certain one of YOU says to them: “Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,” but YOU do not give them the necessities for [their] body, of what benefit is it? So I used the 2013 NWT Revised, against orders, but no one called me out on it. Because no one else should have known anyway. Besides, the new Bible was to be released in just a few hours: (James 2:15, 16) 15 If a brother or a sister is lacking clothing and enough food for the day, 16 yet one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but you do not give them what they need for their body, of what benefit is it? The first is actually a little more accurate from a literal point of view. But the second is probably more accurate from a practical point of view, as it's hard to imagine someone coming into the KH completely naked. The word "torture stake" vs "stake" is a good point. One is for understanding and the other more literal. A better example might be the word "impaled" which was completely wrong in its most common connotations. That was fixed in 2013. Some other points are still questionable, and the translators might still wonder whether they may have had a better choice in the old version of the NWT. Here's an example, I wanted to share earlier when discussion the term "illiterate" with @Outta Here so I'll use this excuse to bring it up now: (John 7:15) 15 Therefore the Jews fell to wondering, saying: “How does this man have a knowledge of letters, when he has not studied at the schools?” (pre-2013 NWT) (John 7:15) 15 And the Jews were astonished, saying: “How does this man have such a knowledge of the Scriptures when he has not studied at the schools?” (2013 NWT) The older version could be saying something specific about literacy, where the second is referring to knowledge of Scripture itself.
  43. 4 points

    Do you have the facts?

    In view of last weeks WT study "Do you have the facts" (August 2018, page 3) and thanks to @Gone Away for highlighting the following reports, I thought I would put this in a separate and concise topic to show an actual and recent example of misinformation. NEWS REPORT: (I cut it a little short because the article went on about the ban in general. You van read the whole thing here:
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    ) MOSCOW: Five Jehovah's Witnesses have been detained in Russia and charged with possessing weapons and running an extremist group, investigators said Wednesday (Oct 10, 2018), in the latest case targeting the banned religious movement. They were arrested in the Kirov region northeast of Moscow, where authorities said they found two grenades and a landmine in searches of their homes. The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian denomination that originated in the United States in the late 19th century. The Russian authorities consider the movement a totalitarian sect and last year the country's supreme court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in Russia. "They had been conducting meetings and called on others to join their organisation," Yevgenia Vorozhtsova, a spokeswoman for regional investigators, said. She said officials were investigating how the members of the Jehovah's Witnesses had obtained the ammunition, but declined to provide further details. Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a member of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses, said it was the first time the Russian authorities had accused members of the movement of possessing ammunition. "We were shocked," he said from the Latvian capital Riga. "It is both funny and strange. Why mines?" One of those detained was a Polish national residing in Russia, he said. THE FACTS: (here I took the liberty of slightly adjusting the translation by Google, so it made more sense) On October 9, 2018, in the city of Kirov, during a search of the house of retired Vladimir Bogomolov, a collector of artifacts from the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), investigators seized fragments of obviously unusable rusty shells. The man was searched because his 69-year-old spouse (the only one of her entire family) professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman does not share her husband's fascination with antiques. Thus, the report that the ammunition was seized allegedly from Jehovah's Witnesses is not true. Jehovah's Witnesses do not take weapons for conscience reasons. For this position they appeared before tribunals of different countries and went to concentration camps. They will be grateful to the media for clarifying the misunderstanding . Vladimir Bogomolov, from whom the relics were confiscated, was in the past an active participant in a search movement (aimed at burying the remains of the soldiers who died in World War II), he was the brigadier of the search party. The activities of his squad were written about in newspapers. On October 9, 2018, upon the discovery of the artifacts, a criminal case on the illegal possession of weapons was instituted, it was allocated in a separate proceeding. The items were sent for examination. Source:
      Hello guest!
  44. 4 points
    You are a thinking person. I'm sure that spending time in prison for reasons of conscience or religion will do that to you. I don't believe that Jehovah will forget the good works of all persons and religious persuasions. And I'm not one who believes we as Witnesses are handling every possible Christian ministry in the world that helps attract persons to Christianity. We are Christians, and we try to be the best we know how to be. We handle a particular ministry of evangelizing and teaching spreading knowledge and appreciation of the Bible, and of doing good for one another, especially those related to us in the faith, and we look for others who will share our particular faith and hope (paradise earth, etc.). Others may handle some of the charitable ministries in a better way, we constantly try to improve our teaching ministry. This takes nothing away from Albert Barnes or Matthew Henry or Tyndale or Wycliffe etc, who were key players in the past, and I would not doubt that there are many individuals who excel at Christian teaching today, too. As you know the Watchtower often quotes from scholars and experts in many fields, including history, theology and Biblical studies, manuscripts, ancient languages, etc.
  45. 4 points
    In my last post I wanted to make it clear that there is more than one way to set up a kind of equivalence so that one might be seen as the near or practical equivalent of the Lord himself. I ended up mixing up all these methods into the examples I used in the last post, rather then itemize them clearly. One way is to just claim that you represent the Lord, and make it clear that "evil" will be called down upon those who disagree. Another way is to allow others to say outright that if anyone goes against yourself (Rutherford, Russell, Governing Body, Pope, etc) that they have gone against the Lord. Another is to take the specific things that have been attributed to yourself and repeating the point that it was actually the Lord who did these things. (Rutherford made getting rid of the elder arrangement a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. He made the false doctrine of the higher authorities a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. He and later writers both claimed that it was Jehovah who "caused" the Millions/1925 campaign. et cetera.) Also, I didn't put specific quotes (evidence) of the cases where very specific rules put into place by Rutherford and later by F.Franz (N.Knorr) were attributed to the Lord. In the past I already shared some of the ones about Rutherford arguing that they should still keep selling the remaining stocks of obsolete books from Russell with "campaigns" even up to about 1933. I'll point back to that post if anyone cares to see it again. For some reason, more recent versions of WTS history have tried to place this time back in 1927: *** ka chap. 17 p. 347 par. 33 The “Slave” Who Lived to See the “Sign” *** Later in the year 1927 any remaining stocks of the six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures by Russell and of The Finished Mystery were disposed of among the public. In the next post I'll include at least one of the quotes about just how strictly we were to hold to the idea that the Society speaks for the Lord.
  46. 4 points
    In my last post I called it a booklet, instead of a book because I've only seen it in soft-cover. And because it was 128 pages long and 20 cents, this was a little smaller than the format they usually called a book. I do believe that some "diversionary" games have been played with this, since we can't make it go away. I don't think it started out in any sinister way, but there have been some real problems in the methods used to minimize it. There are a lot of parallels between 1925 and 1975, which might seem disturbing if looked at too closely, but the real problem, I think is that the conditions at the beginning of the post 1914 era were of "Biblical proportions" in the sense of how the world probably surprised itself at the viciousness and scope of the war, and famine and pestilence were also of "Biblical proportions" especially the Spanish Influenza. The 1975 era required a bit more propaganda to create the necessary levels of fear to make it seem to be of "Biblical proportions" but as G.R. pointed out, we weren't creating that propaganda, we were just collecting all doomsday propaganda that fit our assumed timetable. We were collecting it because it fit other pieces of the puzzle, like the generation of people who would not pass away, and who were around 15 in 1914, making them 90 years old in 1975. But these supposedly "perfect storms" of conditions can't work without someone in authority driving it. Especially not with the training of Bible Student and Witness mentality. We are sheep. We can be told how to feel, what to fear, when to hide, when to come out and be bold. In the case of 1925 it took a man who was willing to drive the point home over and over again that these were the strongest evidences that the Bible Students would ever see about anything like this. And by a man who needed to understand evidence and proof for his previous livelihood as an attorney. Yet this same man was willing to forego all real evidence for the sloppiest kind of thinking: The basic idea was that there would be a "Great Jubilee" and -- without any Biblical support -- he agreed that 70 sounded like a good number of 50-year jubilees to make a "Great Jubilee." 70 times 50 is 3,500, so all he needed was to agree to a significant starting point that was about 3,500 years earlier and which would end a few years after the current year. After 1914 failed, Bible Students (in 1916) were already looking at the idea (based on an assumed but flimsy chronology) that the previous jubilee had ended around 1875, and they figured that the next one was 1925. Russell didn't like the idea, but it had already been offered as a question for him. This was because if they started it at one of the popular (but flimsy) dates for the entrance of Israel into the Promised Land, then 3,500 years supposedly ended in 1925. This was how flimsy and unbiblical the actual calculation was for 1925. Of course, they also had the supposed "double" punishment for Israel's sins which they took to mean that the number of years would be duplicated for the time of spiritual Israel. They found some supposed historical dates for the final desolation of Judea in 73 C.E. based on Eusebius and Josephus, and found a way to make this look significant (33 + 40) and then used this and some vague notions about how much had happened already since 1914: Jewish Zionism, Spanish Flu, Russian Revolution, etc.
  47. 4 points
    Anna: Oh yeah ... I had forgotten about THOSE crazy years ... because I never believed any of that .... but I did get caught, BIG TIME, in the "1975" fiasco, even though during the run-up to 1975 I openly ridiculed it ... right there at the end, I reasoned, in the fall of 1974 "How could I be right, and everybody else ... people I respected, loved and cared about .... everybody ... be WRONG? ( About the end coming in 1975)." It did not seem probable to me that EVERYBODY (In the Truth) was wrong so I quit the best job I ever had, in Zaire, the Congo, to be back home with my Mom and Dad in Virginia, when "the END came". To this day, Brothers and Sisters "swear" that never happened ..... but in the Watchtower, March 15, 1980 issue , paragraphs 17 and 18 ONE TIME admitted that they did say that ... in the book "Life Everlasting - In Freedom of the Sons of God". I did not find out about that "soft admission of culpability" until Mr. Google and I became good friends, many, many years later ... but long before that I learned to trust my own instincts over that of anything the Society said or published. If they are wrong, only we down here at the bottom have to pay the price for their error. If they permanently screw up our lives ... they pay no price whatsoever.
  48. 4 points
    Yes. That's the point. Things like this can literally happen, and have literally happened in the past right up to the point of the miraculous divine intervention. In the past such things have happened even to peaceful secular groups who are perceived as being a threat to totalitarian and imperial states. Even if NOT exactly like what will happen during the great tribulation and Armageddon, it still creates a picture of the divine intervention that can be seen in a symbolic way that all Christians should experience when facing death for a righteous cause. Stephen's faith, for example, may have allowed him to see such a vision of divine intervention just prior to being stoned to death. Long prior to Armageddon, in the first three centuries of Christianity, perhaps hundreds of thousands faced death in such a manner in arenas, by mobs, by trial and execution, on stakes and crosses, by wild beasts, by fire, etc. Those true Christians in the past can still experience what is perhaps similar imagery in their very next conscious moments after their death, at the time of their resurrection. This imagery in the video should help produce a reason to feel the same courage in a potentially near future time when that same imagery may happen literally just prior to divine intervention. So all this part of the video, and even the video itself is well done and should have a good effect on our courage. But you hit upon a major theme of the video, even if it was not very overt. It's also about being obedient to men. This could end up making people associate salvation with obedience to humans. I'm sure that @Witness might have mentioned this before somewhere else, but the very article quoted above by "Witness" about Gog and Magog is the article that you quoted from earlier in this topic: *** ws13 11/15 p. 20 pars. 16-17 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today *** [Simplified Watchtower] The Bible says that this army is made up of “seven shepherds” and “eight dukes,” or princes. (Micah 5:5) Who are they? They are the congregation elders. (1 Peter 5:2) Today, Jehovah is using many faithful elders to shepherd and to strengthen his people for the future attack of “the Assyrian.” (See footnote.) . . . (3) At that time, the direction that you receive from Jehovah’s organization may seem strange or unusual. But all of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether we agree with them or not, because obeying these instructions will save our lives. *** w13 11/15 p. 20 par. 17 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today *** (3) At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. It's just my personal opinion, of course, but this is where I see a danger. We are telling people who expect to be surrounded by doubt and fear [the first words of the song in the video] to remember that for salvation they must be ready to obey instructions they hear through the elders that might sound strange and not make any sense "from a human standpoint." In other words, we are to accept and obey the instructions from humans as if they are from something greater than just a human standpoint. Notice that the simplified Watchtower version comes out and just plainly states that our salvation depends upon obeying strange and unusual direction from elders through the organization: salvation by obedience to men. Did we forget? (Psalm 146:3) 3 Do not put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs [who cannot bring salvation, NWT Revised]. Calling them nobles, princes, or dukes, doesn't make a difference; they are still sons of earthling man, humans. The idea above subverts the scripture.
  49. 4 points
    This is a case of being "righteous overmuch" or "self-righteous" and "haughty" like the Pharisees. Paul put the ideas together in Romans quoted above: (Romans 1:28-2:1) 28 And just as they did not approve of holding God in accurate knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mental state, to do the things not fitting, . . . haughty, self-assuming, inventors of injurious things, . . . having no natural affection, merciless. 32 Although these know full well the righteous decree of God, that those practicing such things are deserving of death, they not only keep on doing them but also consent with those practicing them. 2 Therefore you are inexcusable . . . The haughty, self-righteous Pharisees and scribes, too, were "inventors of [such] injurious things" as Jesus pointed out: (Matthew 15:5, 6) . . .‘Whoever says to his father or mother: “Whatever I have that could benefit you is a gift dedicated to God,” 6 he need not honor his father at all.’ So you have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition. They found ways to avoid the merciful treatment of relatives by trading it for evidence of how righteous they looked in front of others. (Matthew 6:2) . . .So when you make gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be glorified by men. . . . It's directly related to the issue of "table fellowship," too: (Matthew 9:10-13) 10 Later as he was dining in the house, look! many tax collectors and sinners came and began dining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 But on seeing this, the Pharisees said to his disciples: “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 Hearing them, he said: “Healthy people do not need a physician, but those who are ill do. 13 Go, then, and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came to call, not righteous people, but sinners.”
  50. 4 points
    When I was visited by two elders because of my association with an adult child who no longer was professing to be a Witness and whose life choices meant she would have been disfellowshipped if only they could contact her, I asked, "When I am old and need help will you be over here taking care of me? Because I know my daughter will." The subject was never brought up again. And I'm still in good standing, but then my congregation elders have never been hardliners.

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