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JW Insider

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  1. Saudi Arabia, with the help of the United States and the UK, has been directly and indirectly killing civilians in Yemen and creating a humanitarian crisis that has become so bad, that the United States had begun to distance itself from direct involvement. This started back nearly a decade ago when the ruling party of Yemen was a very small minority that was very pro-Saudi. Yemen is poor, but still had economic deals with Saudi Arabia that were profitable to the Saudi's. That small minority rulership was ousted and this created kind of a civil war in Yemen, with the Saudi's backing the ousted party. The new party is sometimes called the Houthi rebels, but most of it has more likely been just a group of civilians who have realized that there is more than enough majority support from a larger portion of the country (for a show of strength) than there was in the small ousted minority. But Saudi Arabia has billions in weapons that it bought from the U.S. But Saudi Arabia was short on jet pilots, refueling tankers, military intelligence agencies, willing armies, etc. So the US offered jet pilots, military intelligence, targeting, refueling stations, etc., so that the bombing of Yemen is as much a US operation as a Saudi one. This has created more starvation, more disease, and more "accidental bombings" of children's school buses, hospitals, weddings, funerals, etc., for as long as the US was helping with the targets. Of course, the Yemen people have been getting some help. Since the US helped to create the great humanitarian crisis through such terrorism, the Yemen people can't ask for help from the US, and have therefore gone to enemies of the US. (Iran? Russia? etc.) This is perfect for the US, because the Boltons and Pompeos have been able to say that it is therefore necessary to offer enough help to Saudi Arabia because anti-US forces must be dealt with somehow. Also, we can probably expect that this particular "win" by Yemen in hitting Saudi Arabia in the pocketbook (Aramco oil) will result in a way for the Boltons and Pompeos to get back into a more hawkish position. Therefore it will probably get more Western press than previous "wins" by Yemen when missiles have slipped through the cracks. Although Bolton is personally out for the moment, his positions have a better chance of still winning out over Trump's recent moderations, and forcing Trump to go back to a Bolton/Pompeo position on Yemen, Iran, etc. This works for as long as Yemen is always tied as a proxy to Iran/Russia etc.
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  2. I believe that the illustration of the Faithful and Discreet Slave applies to the Governing Body. But I also believe that it is presumptuous for anyone to limit the meaning of the Faithful and Discreet Slave to the Governing Body. In fact, making such a claim of BEING the Faithful Slave before Jesus returns to confirm who has actually been "the faithful slave" is presumptuous, and is therefore a sign of being indiscreet. It is the very definition of being "discreet in one's own eyes." (Isaiah 5:21) . . .Woe to those wise in their own eyes And discreet in their own sight! 1 Peter 5:3 was referenced by you and it says: (1 Peter 5:3) 3 not lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, . . . Referring to oneself as "governors" (i.e. a "Governing Body") is exactly what "lording it over" would be expected to look like. So it's not being faithful to this Bible verse, nor to the original illustration of the "faithful and unfaithful steward/slave" in Luke and Matthew. That same point is made in the NWT cross-referenced verse: (2 Corinthians 1:24) 24 Not that we are the masters [lords/governors] over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy, for it is by your faith that you are standing. When you mention not wanting to be seen like the Gentiles in Jesus time, you probably recall that this included the titles we might use to identify ourselves as the Gentiles and Jews of Jesus day liked to do: (Matthew 20:25-27) 25 But Jesus called them to him and said: “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the great men wield authority over them. 26 This must not be the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. (Luke 22:27) 27 For which one is greater, the one dining or the one serving? Is it not the one dining? . . . (Matthew 23:7-10) . . .. 8 But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your Teacher, and all of you are brothers. 9 Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One. 10 Neither be called leaders, for your Leader is one, the Christ. The Governing Body members, through the publications and public conventions, continually point out that they are the ones taking the lead over the congregations, and that correct teaching only comes through the hands of a few, rather than just pointing to how well these teaching match the teachings of Jesus himself. We should consider whether this might actually be the very kind of "overreach" that Jesus warned about. I see nothing at all wrong with the idea of the committee(s) of elders who preside over matters for the collective congregations, just as there is nothing wrong with the committee(s) of elders who preside over matters that come up for local congregations. But it is our Christian duty to question the food served, especially to comment on any concerns with respect to how well it matches the teachings of Jesus, the congregations' true Leader and Teacher. As servants (slaves) the ones preparing such meals should expect and desire to be questioned about the ingredients of the meals they distribute, they should humbly seek out the input of others with respect to the content and quality of the meals prepared and distributed by such stewards. In reality, there is no parable of the "faithful and discreet slave." It's really a parable of the "faithful slave/steward vs. the unfaithful slave/steward," and it everyone's responsibility to act like the faithful one, and not the unfaithful one. All of us need to be faithful rather than unfaithful stewards. In fact the parables are MORE about what it means to be the UNFAITHFUL steward. In the parable of "Who really is the [true] neighbor?" this is only a little bit about the untrue neighbor, and MORE about who really is the "TRUE neighbor," using the example of the good Samaritan. But in this parable about "who really is the true steward?" it's about faithfulness, but it's even MORE about examples of UNFAITHFUL stewards, and various levels of unfaithfulness. That said, it's still true that overseers, including the Governing Body, take on a greater responsibility as stewards. And this also increases the responsibility to act even more faithfully, humbly and discreetly. A slave would never ask for obedience to themselves, only that we obey Christ's leadership. Therefore, as we see how the example of any overseer's faith works out, we obey the lead of those elders. (Hebrews 13:7) While it's true that we are all stewards, every overseer, especially, is God's steward. (Titus 1:7) . . .For as God’s steward, an overseer must be free from accusation, not self-willed, . . . There should be no stewards who set themselves up as a kind of human tribunal: (1 Corinthians 4:2, 3) . . .In this regard, what is expected of stewards is that they be found faithful. 3 Now to me it is of very little importance to be examined by you or by a human tribunal. . . . Paul wrote to congregations in Corinth where certain persons were trying to be too influential in "governing" the faith of those in the congregation, going right back to 2 Cor 1:24 already quoted above.
  3. Russell did see a difference between "consecration" and "dedication." But it did not become a big deal. In fact, the song "Consecration" as it was sung from 1928 under Rutherford's leadership, was not changed to "Dedication" until almost a decade into the leadership period of Knorr/Franz, in the 1950 to 1966 songbook (with hardly any other words changed in the song). After dropping that song for a while, most of the words were brought back into the latest song "My Prayer of Dedication" (now #50). I should clarify that I see nothing wrong with buying a church/synagogue/mosque, or reusing or repurposing it for our own meetings. (With appropriate modifications.) And I see nothing wrong with selling a property to someone who wishes to use it however they want. The "dedication" was for a temporary purpose because it was a material object. I also do not object to dedicating material objects for spiritual purposes. There is nothing wrong with dedicating Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls, or even houses, cars and fields for such purposes. I did want to make the point that because there will be more and more of this "turnover" and material transience in the times we live in, that we should be careful not to think of such material things as permanent. We are but alien residents passing through the world, and this world is passing away, not just in the future, but parts of it keep passing away before our eyes. (From human, economic, and even natural causes.) To quote another of our songs: (#92) we do NOT attach any special significance to the material in the building or its location: May we present this place to you, And here may your name be known. We dedicate this place to you; Please accept it as your own. 2. And now may we honor you, Father, By filling this place with your praise. May glory ascend with the increase Of those who are learning your ways. Committing this place to your worship, We give it our generous care. And long may it stand as a witness, Supporting the message we bear. When I worked in the Art Dept at Bethel around 1980, a brother had drawn an Armageddon-like scene from the viewpoint of everyone attending a meeting and the typical destructive view as seen through the window of Kingdom Hall. This view was rejected by the Writing committee in favor of the more typical image of a stream of Witnesses walking away from a city being destroyed and up into the peaceful hills nearby with all eyes forward to a goal and no one looking back. More recently we have seen images of the Great Tribulation from the viewpoint of groups of Witnesses gathering wherever possible, but there is no special emphasis on Kingdom Hall buildings. I think that choice of imagery helps to avoid thinking of the buildings themselves as the "ark of salvation." It's much better to think of pure worship, including association with others, as that "ark of salvation."
  4. (Luke 12:41, 42) . . .Then Peter said: “Lord, are you telling this illustration just to us or also to everyone?” 42 And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? Interesting. So when Peter asked Jesus, "Are you telling this illustration just to us or also to everyone?" Jesus should have answered, "NEITHER!" It's not to any of you apostles or disciples, because you'll be long dead by the time I return, and it's not to "everyone" either, because it's only going to apply to about two or three dozen people who are around between 1919 and, let's say, 100-and-some-odd years after that date.
  5. Some fake news is made for fairly obvious humorous purposes, and some is made for satirical purposes. But fake news that doesn't have much context to tell us whether it is for humor or satire can be dangerous. Putting it here is not a bad idea since there should always be people around to judge whether it's fake or not.
  6. I was able to change the title. So if people want to discuss this fake news phenomena, the item is still here. BTW, the linked site above gives many indications that they deal in Fake News (along with some real stuff too, to increase interest).
  7. @Indiana Just my opinion, but I think this OP should be completely removed, or else the title should be changed to "Fake News about JWs," or something like that.
  8. Hmmm. I never noticed the Simplified Version here. This used to be a fairly common mistake. It's found in several old Watchtower publications and the old talk outline on the Gentile Times (a talk I used to give). But the Watchtower has usually been very careful to word this idea so that it only seems like 1914 was predicted as the date when Jesus would begin ruling and/or that his presence would begin in that year. But most of the time the WT was very careful to not quite say it. (Since there was no such prediction.) You are right that the WT taught that Jesus began ruling in 1878. This wasn't changed to 1914 until 1925 although the WTS continued promoting books that that taught 1878 up until about 1932 or 1933. Jesus' presence (parousia) was still being taught as 1874 until this was cleared up in 1943/1944. My guess is that the person who was supposed to rewrite that article for the Simplified Version probably didn't even know the truth about this, and the person who wrote the main Watchtower article did know. I think the more careful wording that has been intended to only IMPLY that this prediction was made, has even fooled other writers in the department who actually believe that this prediction was made.
  9. Those who have too much invested into the MT will often word this as 'for some reason the LXX translators decided to change the age at which the various patriarchs begat sons and their ages at their death.' Of course, this begs the question about whether the LXX was original and it was the Masoretes who decided to change the ages. But it wasn't the fault of the Masoretes, as this question had already been noticed by Eusebius (4th century, 260-340 CE) and others before the Masoretes came on the scene. A good, well-documented article on this is here:
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    Note that it says: Most ancient Christian scholars argued for the originality of the LXX’s primeval chronology. This strong consensus lasted for over 14 centuries until the Reformation, when the MT supplanted the primacy of the LXX in the western church. Josephus uses the LXX, and the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures (NT) nearly always quoted from the LXX, so it would be natural that Christian scholars would defend the LXX. ----edited to add---- For those wondering what the DSS would say here, we have only this answer from another good article: A2: No fragments or manuscripts of Genesis 5 and 11 with the numbers were found in the Dead Sea caves, so there is no evidence from those discoveries to directly help us. One tiny fragment was found in Cave 4 at Qumran. Text from Gen 4 is on the right side of the fragment, on the far left, one word from Genesis 5:13 or 14 appears, "Kenan." The best external evidence we have that corroborates the longer chronology found in the LXX are from four sources that pre-date the second century AD: Demetrius (Greek, third century BC), Eupolemus (Hebrew/Greek, second century BC), Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (LAB, Hebrew-based, first century AD), and Josephus (Hebrew-based, first century AD). The article is here:
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    The conclusion of that article was that it was 2nd century rabbis, 300 years AFTER the LXX, and which therefore had the influence on the later MT: There are two main hypotheses that have been presented in the academic literature: it was either the Alexandrian Jews who translated the LXX Pentateuch in Egypt in 281 BC (the LXX “inflation” hypothesis), or the second century AD rabbis in Israel. We encourage you to read "Primeval Chronology Restored" and "Who Was Born When Enosh was 90?" to understand why it cannot be the Alexandrian translators, and why the rabbis had strong motive, unique means, and rare opportunity to deliberately reduce the primeval chronology on the order of 1250 years. We submit that only the rabbis could have gotten away with such an egregious and large-scale manipulation of the biblical texts in the proto-MT textual tradition. We will also examine the antediluvian chronology in the Book of Jubilees, its close affinities with Genesis 5 in the Samaritan Pentateuch, and then propose how (many of) the figures in Genesis 5 SP originated.
  10. Buying and selling real estate for purposes of having buildings to meet in is just a common function of getting along in the world we live in. "Otherwise we would have to get out of the world," as Paul said. But there have been some rather ironic "Dedication" talks by WT presidents, vice-presidents, and Governing Body members through the years. Some of these buildings were "dedicated" for one purpose, and one purpose only: to be used from that point until the Great Tribulation, and hopefully even through Armageddon as places where only true worship of Jehovah would always shine. I have a copy of a dedication talk for the old Assembly Hall in Queens NY from the 1970's, which had several of these types of references as I recall. Some of this was 1970's "hyperbole" just like the way Rutherford dedicated Beth Sarim in San Diego for the continued use of Abraham and David after 1925, but ultimately sold it off to "worldly" persons.
  11. Lots of 73 year old women have given birth to twin girls. And the twins are at least 30 years old by now.
  12. It doesn't sound like the couple is complaining about this, only the person contributing this experience. (I just looked up PIMO. I had seen it somewhere before but never looked it up.) I have given a couple of wedding talks and I always let the couple know the approximate time I'll spend on scriptural counsel, and if they want a few things said about themselves this is always welcome. The rest of the experience is pretty bad, however. If true, I wouldn't be surprised if both of them remember this truly insane and unjust treatment for many years to come.
  13. I could never do it for the same reasons on mundane things. But there should be nothing wrong with the use of known sales techniques based on our own enthusiasm for a product when, in this case, we really do know the product is "pearl of great price" that truly is worth more than this life itself, and yet it's also free.

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