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JW Insider

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  1. We have had the same problem when questioned about Armageddon, especially when we know there has been so little chance to make headway in many countries where no one has heard anything positive about JWs, if they've heard of us at all. And the jw.org site still has articles on it that go back to a time when we claimed that 99.9% of the world's population would die at Armageddon. I decided to wait before I say anything more about the 1,000 years and Revelation 20. Maybe tomorrow.
  2. True. But typically a very large indeterminate amount. As it came up in the Joel/Revelation discussion in the closed club, it seems like a second Armageddon. We have come to expect that a majority of mankind could die at Armageddon. The "rivers of blood" imagery in Revelation would seem to support this. But, as always, there are other ways to understand such symbols, we just have to be careful that we are not allowing sentimentality to color our views, if the scripture is trying to give us a sense of proportion here. But if we expect, let's say, 20 billion "unrighteous" to be resurrected, it would seem most disturbing, yet if a majority of them were to die in a second judgment at the end of 1,000 years, that's more than 10 billion. Of course, they would apparently be resurrected to what appears like a much better chance for understanding Jehovah's purpose than the current 7 to 8 billion. There can be as much as half a million grains of sand just by scooping up a large handful. More than the visible number of stars in the sky. But the grains of sand on just the seashores of Judah and Israel would still be trillions of times the number of people who have ever lived. And then we have the question that Abraham would have asked Jehovah, about the justice of Jehovah killing a majority of people at Armageddon if they didn't have the same opportunity to know Jehovah's purpose as the majority of people who might be killed by Jehovah at the end of the 1,000 years. It's a little less disturbing, I think, to imagine that there is only one judgment day, at Armageddon, and that this is the one where the nations are gathered. It is difficult to imagine "nations" rising up against Jehovah's and his people a second time. I have just read Revelation 20 a couple more times and I realize something else that I might have previously dismissed too early. It's the context that immediately follows the 1,000 year discussion. Next post.
  3. Last night my mother called and said that they just had the circuit overseer who asked a question: Which Bible character was confined to his own place for a long time? I said, don't tell me, let me guess. Uzziah? She said, no. But wasn't he the one who steadied the ark? I said, no that was Uzzah. King Uzziah had to be confined at home for leprosy. She said, well it wasn't Uzziah. It was Noah. And that the circuit overseer said that at least we don't have to be confined with a bunch of stinky animals. And I said, "Says you!" (We have two dogs, two cats, 10 fish. I was not, repeat not, referring to any son of mine who hasn't cleaned his room in over two weeks.) And then, I added that Noah steadied the Ark, too. He had to keep the elephants and hippos at the four corners to keep it balanced, then "steady as she goes!!"
  4. It's not unwelcome at all. I think that most of us have seen this idea in service and and in commentaries. And most of us have probably considered it (and dismissed it). It is such a big break from a "workable" understanding of Revelation and 1 Corinthians 15, that I dismiss it before I get very far into it. And that's because I see some potential contradictions among ALL the possibilities, but the idea that we are now in the 1,000 year reign seemed unworkable. I'm fine with trying to work it through again since it's been so long. I don't have any time to do this today, but I'll put a few thoughts out here to at least show why I had a problem with it. You believe that the 1,000 year reign of Christ began at the time he began to reign in the first century. So when does it end? At the time of tribulation/judgment/resurrection? When does Jesus hand back the Kingdom to his Father? When was/is Satan cast down, and angry for a short period of time? When was/is he abyssed? Are these the same periods. When is/was he let loose from the abyss? Yes, I believe that Jesus began to reign when he sat down at the right hand of God. 1 Cor 15:25 as much as says this. And, yes, we know from Col 1:13 that Christ already began gathering subjects to that Kingdom as soon as he was resurrected. My problem with it is that the 1,000 years appears to be a literal time in history with a beginning and an end. Otherwise the scriptures could not say "the rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended." If it has a beginning and an end, then why not see it as a special, literal time period during the time of the otherwise everlasting kingdom. (Revelation 11:15) . . .The seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.” I believe that this kingdom of the world did already become the Kingdom of God and Christ beginning when Jesus sat at the right hand of the throne of Majesty, at about the time of his resurrection, when "ALL authority was given him" and he could be called "King of Kings." (1 Timothy 6:15) . . .He is the King of those who rule as kings . . . But the biggest problem I have with claiming that we are already in the 1,000 year reign is that Jesus gave an indication that the end could come at any time, and that people could expect it, even in the first century. Paul said that the congregations could expect it at any time, even in the first century. He did not know if he or others alive at the time would live to see a "rapture" or if he or others would die first and be resurrected into the heavenly kingdom. What kind of "1,000 year reign" could have started around 33, when Jesus was resurrected, but then might have ended at a judgment day, perhaps only 70 years later? Do you think that the 1,000 year reign is so symbolic that it refers to an unlimited time? If so, why does Revelation speak of the time when it is over, and why does Corinthians speak of a time when Jesus hands back the kingdom to his Father? I know that Russell thought he was already living in the 1,000 year reign, which is why his books were called "Millennial Dawn." But he thought that the 1,000 year reign began around 1874. When this was changed, it made sense to think of the thousand years as a time to prepare for, and accept billions of resurrected persons into the new earth (including the unrighteous). Practically it makes sense. If Satan had not yet been completely destroyed, it makes sense that in the overall scheme of showing Satan the verdict of his false claim, that this "court case" is completed with Satan witnessing his own failure before meeting his final fate. So there is a certain "practicality" to the 1,000 year reign as a special time when God through Christ takes his great power and begins ruling as king, even though he has always been king, and Christ too will be king from long before and eternally after. It becomes one of those special times when one can say in a special way: (1 Chronicles 16:31) 31 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be joyful; Declare among the nations: ‘Jehovah has become King!’ I understand that Satan could be destroyed at Armageddon and this same scenario could play out. I also know that your point of view removes the problem of the "second Armageddon" at the end of the 1,000 year reign. But we still have this, which can produce an issue for both points of view, but I think it is harder for your point of view: (Revelation 20:4, 5) . . .And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for 1,000 years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.
  5. This is correct. Those two concepts can be very different, although as @Anna has pointed out, in both cases one lives forever. And in both cases, Jehovah has the final say about the "rules" of immortality. The main point was that there is no scripture that says the "other sheep" will not also have that same immortality as the other sheep who will have heavenly bodies. There is one faith, one hope, one baptism.
  6. Even in peacetime. My town did a heavy spray for mosquitoes a couple years ago, and estimated that hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes died. We probably won't find out for 15 years how it affected humans.
  7. (John 10:2-18) 2 But the one who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The doorkeeper opens to this one, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. . . . . 9 I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and that one will go in and out and find pasturage. 10 . . . I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance. 11 I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his life in behalf of the sheep. . . . 14 I am the fine shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my life in behalf of the sheep. 16 “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd. Sometimes we think of expressions like "life in abundance" or "life in themselves" as only applying to the "little flock." But there is nothing that specifically says that the other sheep do not also attain "life in abundance" or even "immortality." (And yes, I realize it is not a WT teaching that the other sheep may attain immortality.) It has long been applied especially to the "other sheep." *** w73 6/15 p. 380 A Way of Life Opened to Mankind *** “Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life.”—John 4:14. Does this everlasting life that Jesus gives mean that all who live everlastingly must go to heaven? By no means. For the prophecy at Revelation says of the crystal-clear water of the river of life: “The spirit and the bride keep on saying: ‘Come!’” Now, the bride is the Christian congregation of which Christ is husbandly Head. (Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23; 2 Cor. 11:2) These who share heavenly life with Jesus Christ number 144,000 persons. (Rev. 14:1, 3) The ‘water of life’ is offered by the spirit and the bride to yet others. It therefore symbolizes God’s provision for earthly life, everlasting human life in perfection on an earth transformed into a paradise, suitable for perfect humans. Paul speaks of the those who are changed in the "rapture" and those also resurrected to heavenly bodies as "immortal" and "incorruptible." But the "incorruptible" nature appears to refer to the type of body they have, not necessarily that they can never be destroyed if unfaithful. (1 Corinthians 15:53-55) 53 For this which is corruptible must put on incorruption, and this which is mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this which is corruptible puts on incorruption and this which is mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: “Death is swallowed up forever.” 55 “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” And we already believe that "flesh and blood" cannot inherit the kingdom for the "other sheep" too, at least in the following sense: (Galatians 6:8) 8 because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit. I don't think it's worth speculating that any will actually rebel, especially after the 1,000 years settles the great legal case against Satan, and will have proven the stupidity and fruitlessness of rebellion. But my point is that there is no scripture that claims that the other sheep or great crowd will not have immortality and eternal life. Even those terms (eternal life and immortality) are not really distinguished in the Bible, only in our doctrine. I see nothing wrong with our doctrine, and I think it makes sense, but we should always be careful to distinguish interpretation imposed from the Bible and interpretation imposed on the Bible.
  8. I shouldn't have mentioned it. My fault for staying up until 2:45AM. Your time zone can't be that far off, either.
  9. I think it was clear that Arauna was referring to humans, not animals. Jehovah was the first to create beings that died, and they died before Satan could cause Eve and Adam to rebel. Are we back to discussing Furuli's book again? That's the way he spells immortality in at least one place, too. Just to go off topic a bit more, the view on whether animals died prior to Adam has been pretty consistent. One of the reasons that some fundamentalists need to deny the age of dinosaurs is that they don't want them to have died until Adam sinned. We also used to insist that the animals prior to Adam didn't kill each other for food, going back to Russell, Rutherford, Franz, but this is not insisted upon anymore. Of course, Russell also believed that since animals were so much lower than humans that Jehovah could have used evolution to develop them into their specific kinds. Going back only half as far as Russell we have a 1950 Watchtower that gives a good answer that's still consistent with current teachings, about how animals lived and died, and will be expected to live and die, even in the new system. (Also happens to cover that point about the kind of death that is destroyed in the lake of fire.) *** w50 10/15 p. 399 Questions From Readers *** ● Revelation 21:4 says that in the new world there will be no more death. Does this mean that even animals will not die then?—M. I., New York. This text does not mean that all death will be eliminated. Rebellious human creatures will die during Christ’s millennial reign, and those siding with Satan at the end of the thousand years will perish. (Isa. 65:17, 20; Rev. 20:7-10) True, Revelation 20:14 shows death destroyed and thereafter Revelation 21:4 says there will be no more death, but the death referred to is death due to inheritance from Adam. Men will not then degenerate and die because of Adam’s transgression, but at any future time Jehovah God could execute any willful rebel that would disrupt the peace of the new world. Hence Revelation 21:4 speaks only of the Adamic death of humans, and has no application to the animal realm. As to whether animals will die in the new world we cannot be dogmatic. It appears that men will not kill them for food, nor will animals prey upon one another. In the new world Jehovah’s original purpose relative to food supplies will be realized, as stated to Adam and Eve: “See, I give you all the seed-bearing plants that are found all over the earth, and all the trees which have seed-bearing fruit; it shall be yours to eat. To all the wild beasts of the earth, to all the birds of the air, and to all the land reptiles, in which there is a living spirit, I give all the green plants for food.” (Gen. 1:29, 30, AT) If that outstanding carnivorous animal, the lion, is to “eat straw like the ox”, surely no others will be meat-eaters. (Isa. 11:6-9) Incidentally, this shows that Revelation 21:4 does not eliminate all death of organic life, for plants will die to become food for men and animals. But merely that animals will not be used for food does not prove they will live forever. There is reason to believe they will die. Man’s disobedience in Eden did not bring death to animals—they had been living and dying and many forms becoming extinct for thousands of years before man’s creation. The new world will eliminate the effects of Adam’s disobedience, but that does not concern animal death. The status of the beast has remained unchanged since its creation—it lives out its life span and dies. At no time has it had set before it the prospect of eternal life. Man’s position is different. Adam had hope of eternal life set before him, but that hope vanished when he failed to pass the test of obedience. Had he passed that test he doubtless would have eventually eaten of the “tree of life”. Through Adam all men lost the opportunity of eternal life, but through the ransoming work of Christ Jesus the opportunity is restored and men of good will may hope for eternal life in the new world. None of this concerns animals. If a man is willfully wicked and scorns the ransom, he will never gain eternal life, though he lives for a few years now. He loses the better position of opportunity that is open for mankind, and drops into the same position as that of animals, a position that offers no opportunities of eternal life. Of such ones the inspired apostle Peter wrote: “But these men, like unreasoning animals born naturally to be caught and destroyed, will, in the things of which they are ignorant and speak abusively, even suffer destruction in their own course of destruction.”—2 Peter 2:12, NW. If animals had opportunity for eternal life, why would these men who lose such opportunity be compared to them? There seems to be no Scriptural basis for arguing that animals will live forever in the new world, but rather that they will continue being born, maturing, bringing forth offspring, and dying. Argument to the contrary seems to be based largely on sentimental grounds.
  10. But you might pay a bit more for the advantage in knowing just how well the car was maintained, how carefully it was driven, etc. Right? You know and trust the "previous" owner, because it was you.
  11. I think we can look at it like this. According to Psalm 110, Jesus sits at Jehovah's right hand to rule in the midst of his enemies, and the various forms of death, such as from war, pestilence, famine, etc., are the primary enemies that Jesus rules in the midst of and ultimately 'put under his feet,' that is, conquered. So it's the "enemy death" that is conquered by finally destroying it permanently. If and when Jehovah uses "death" after the 1,000 years, it will be by his own hand, a cleansing, and will therefore be a "gift" to his people. The "sting" of the enemy, death, will be gone forever. That's another topic. How do we "know" that humans on earth (after they "come to life" when the 1,000 years are completed) will not be immortal?
  12. Thanks, that was a big miss on my part. I did a few jw.org searches and google searches, but misremembering the exact phrase. It's even still available right there in the FAQ directory.
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    I didn't click it from Learn more about us and our beliefs. because that looked like the place where the site lists out the 15 major beliefs: (
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    ) The problem is that previously the shunning article was there if you went to the FAQ page
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    Currently if you click on that FAQ link, you get 16 articles and the shunning article is no longer included among them, and there is no place to click for more. (I assume this is why the Wayback Machine stopped picking it up in 2019.) Thanks for the correction.
  13. @Witness referenced a recent Watchtower article from 2013 that shows that the word "shunning" is interchangeable with "disfellowshipping." It was also in the same 2013 Watchtower where an article was referenced on jw.org: *** w13 8/1 p. 2 Table of Contents *** READ MORE ONLINE | www.jw.org FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Do You Shun Former Members of Your Religion? (Look under ABOUT US > FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) The Frequently Asked Questions section is still there, but that particular article has been removed. You have to go to the Wayback Machine (internet.archive.org) and look for the article that was picked up 62 times between August 30, 2012 and February 6, 2019. (There have been 16,777 captures from the jw.org website on the Wayback Machine from 2012, and the most recent was today). The article in question says: Do You Shun Former Members of Your Religion? ... We do not automatically disfellowship someone who commits a serious sin. If, however, a baptized Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible’s moral code and does not repent, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. And we can go back to the 1970's up through 2016 (and website up to 2019) to see that the word "shun" was commonly used as part of our vocabulary for how we should shun disfellowshipped persons. The 1988 case has been mentioned above as it was reported in the 1988 Watchtower. The shunning article was removed from the website in February 2019 about 15 months after the Canadian case in 2017. Just before the Canadian court presentation in 2017, the October 2017 Wathtower said this: *** w17 October p. 16 par. 19 The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword” *** For example, Jehovah instructs us to “stop keeping company” with unrepentant wrongdoers. (1 Cor. 5:11-13) Despite our pain of heart, we must avoid normal contact with a disfellowshipped family member by telephone, text messages, letters, e-mails, or social media. This is exactly at odds with Gnam's claim that normal family life goes on. 2017 *** lvs chap. 3 p. 40 par. 19 Choose Friends Who Love God *** He may choose to leave the congregation himself, or he may have to be disfellowshipped. If this happens, the Bible clearly says that we should “stop keeping company” with him. (Read 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 2 John 9-11) This can be very difficult if he is a friend of ours or a member of our family. But in a situation like this, our loyalty to Jehovah must be stronger than our loyalty to anyone else.—See Endnote 8. 2019 *** od p. 200 Part 2: Christian Living *** 17. If an announcement is made that someone is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, how should we treat him? • “Stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.”—1 Cor. 5:11. • “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.”—2 John 10. 2016 It was in the 2016 Assembly where the following part of the program even included a dramatic example of how family members don't allow family life to go on normally: But the actual word "shun" disappeared from the website in 2019 (so far).
  14. Yes. I think this is implied. It's a very imperfect world, and sometimes the world rubs off on us. But this does not mean that all of the arguments made by WTS lawyers in defense of the WTS are false. I think this is what some non-Witnesses (especially, ex-Witnesses) are anxious to believe. What's shouldn't be lost here, is that many of the points that WTS lawyers make in cases about child abuse are actually quite true. For example: The Watchtower Society/Organization is not responsible for the criminal and sinful actions of its members. Many of the arguments made in court that people complain about are merely trying to mitigate liability that was not the liability of the WTS in the first place. In many cases the victim goes after the WTS because that is the only place they can get financial redress. The primary criminal party is the perpetrator. There are times when the local elders are the ones showing negligence in after-the-fact investigations, trying to protect the reputation of the congregation or certain members of it. The liability, in this case should be on those elders. Only when following improper instructions from the WTS, should the WTS be partially liable. And even here, the local elders should understand their own personal responsibility if a process seems unconscionable. Much has been made of members of the judicial committees destroying notes made during the "investigation" process, as if this is all about a cover-up. Yet, destroying extraneous notes is (and often should be) common practice in organizations of all types, so that the findings are highlighted, not the messy process. If someone believes all elders are evil, they will think that the "official" version, which is never destroyed, is always a cover-up. But this view says more about the person imputing the wrong motives, and shows that they have not understood the typical investigation process. Watchtower disciplinary policy in congregations is not to be confused with Caesar's discipline. There are things the WTS should have done better to reduce the repetition of such crimes by perpetrators, but very little can be done about the original crime. There were things about the process in judging such matters that needed improvements too. More recently these "after-the-fact" matters and processes were handled and revised about as well as can be expected. Anyway, I only went off topic here to show that it's too easy to claim that WTS defense attorneys are constantly being dishonest. In most cases they are just using the law to protect the financial interests of the client. It's more of a negotiation, and they have to be careful what words they use. But there are also times when the "twisted" words of some attorneys shows that the WTS itself wishes it could hide some practices from the world. But if these practices are right, such as "shunning," then we should be proud to be upholding righteous counsel from the Bible. If upholding righteous counsel from the Bible makes us liable before the world, we should be proud to accept the consequences. Lying about it, or twisting words about it, makes it obvious that we are ashamed to uphold God's word in the way that we do. This is quite separate from child abuse cases, which have also sometimes included dishonesty by both defense attorneys and attorneys for victims. But when Geoffrey Jackson argues that we don't believe that Proverbs referred to a physical rod for disciplining children, or when a Witness child custody attorney argues that our summer conventions were really more about vacation fun than spiritual education, or when . . . . I won't turn it into an itemized list for opposers, but these things have already been commented upon elsewhere.
  15. Lawyering (and barristering) is a whole field unto itself with its own ethics considerations, similar to how policeman in the United States are legally allowed, and often expected, to lie to a suspect to elicit incriminating information for a case. My oldest son is an attorney. In his last two years of law school they had him do paid summer internships with a well-known and well-respected firm in NYC, and they kept putting him on cases to help defend cigarette companies and insurance companies to lower their payouts. He was not an attorney yet, but he learned how the entire existence of some of the major law firms is based on their ability to get away with lying. After he took the exam and became a lawyer himself, he took a job in family court, and found, of course, that dishonesty pervades each side of arguments there, too. So now he does mostly real estate, wills and estates, and contract law. (Yet in just those few weeks of paid internship as a non-attorney he made more money than in his first year of being an attorney.) The case with Gnam above is not nearly as serious as others, even compared to examples of other Watchtower lawyers in the U.S. But I don't condone such dishonesty, even in small amounts. In my opinion Mr. David Gnam is dishonest here, and therefore a wrongdoer, and very likely an unrepentant wrongdoer. I don't think he should be disbarred, but he should not be used by the Watchtower Society in any way unless he is ready to be honest.
  16. I clicked. I thought this line was especially funny: "That evening I prepared a protest sign: “Zenobia Lives!” but then I realized there would be no convention to carry it to." It hadn't occurred to me that apostates will no longer have a venue to carry their messages. I hope that none of them discover the Internet.
  17. I will mourn her loss of prophetic fulfillment. Women in the role of "Kings of the South" will now be "scarce as hen's teeth." What's "sauce for the gander should have been sauce for the goose," I always thought. But now "this bird has flown" south, I presume, for the winter of my discontent. And speaking of hen's teeth, (definition), I will miss the type of writing she inspired. How many articles can you think of that were written in a way to make ancient history so interesting, and toothsome, and colorful? Like the Watchtower article below:
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    “The Dark-Haired Mistress of the Syrian Wild” HER complexion was olive, her teeth pearly white, her eyes black and lustrous. She was well-educated and was a proficient linguist. This warrior queen was said to be greater in intellect than Cleopatra and perhaps equally beautiful. Because she dared to stand up to the dominant world power of her day, she fulfilled a prophetic role in a Scriptural drama. After she was long-dead, writers praised her, and painters idealized her. A 19th-century poet portrayed her as “the dark-haired mistress of the Syrian wild.” This highly acclaimed woman was Zenobia—queen of the Syrian city of Palmyra. How did Zenobia gain prominence? What was the political climate that led to her rise to power? What can be said of her character? And what prophetic role did this queen fulfill? Consider first the geographic setting in which the drama unfolds. . . . . With her colorful personality, Zenobia won the admiration of many. [A-lass and a-lack* and ...A-hem? I would have pleated that we not skirt this personality as the system pants on to the end, and finally unfolds to its clothes.] *See
      Hello guest!
    where the etymology has nothing to do with a lack of a lass (female sweetheart). Someone messaged me once a couple years ago to tell me that these puns don't translate into their native language. Thus, these links and footnotes to show that they also don't really translate well into English or into Humor, either.
  18. I defend them as elders who are taking on a huge responsibility in leading some major efforts to distribute Bibles and Bible-based publications around the world to fellow Witnesses and for non-Witnesses, too. I do not defend them as the equivalent of "the faithful and discreet slave." That, to me, and perhaps even according to the words of Brother Jackson of the GB, is a pretty presumptuous and haughty assumption, therefore not in keeping with being faithful and discreet. I am making an assumption that this is a serious error, but it does not discredit all the work they do. It's just a mistake of interpretation. The GB admit that this will sometimes happen. Jesus' anointed disciples made serious mistakes too. And not that this is an excuse, but we see it did not disqualify the work and zeal they showed. Remember how Apollos was zealous and aglow with the spirit, even though he was only acquainted with John's baptism. He even "gave himself" an assignment to go over into Achaia, and Priscilla and Aquila supported it fully. (Acts 18:24-27) . . .Now a Jew named A·polʹlos, a native of Alexandria, arrived in Ephʹe·sus; he was an eloquent man who was well-versed in the Scriptures. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of Jehovah, and aglow with the spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things about Jesus, but he was acquainted only with the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, and when Pris·cilʹla and Aqʹui·la heard him, they took him into their company and explained the way of God more accurately to him. 27 Further, because he wanted to go across to A·chaʹia, the brothers wrote to the disciples, urging them to receive him kindly. So when he got there, he greatly helped those who through God’s undeserved kindness had become believers; Where testing the scriptures shows me that the GB are right, I support them fully. But I'm also a bit outspoken if I think they might be wrong. I have a feeling that you are too quick to jump on any place where someone finds a reason not to support a specific teaching of the GB, and you want to explode that into proof that the GB are completely wrong on all things, when we are talking about very few things out of hundreds of perfectly good interpretations. You recently asked about a translation issue where I think that the great majority of the 700 verses that were translated with the "prove to be" construct in the NWT were unnecessary, and some potentially misleading -but not linguistically wrong. But this is a translator's choice, and it was used to create a certain gravitas or "sacred" sound, much like quoting the KJV today gives a kind of gravitas or "sacred" sound when used in a sermon of otherwise modern English. (The NWT got rid of 85% of these "prove-to-be" constructs in 2013.) But how quick would you be to jump on other translators who make translation choices? (Some other translators even made the same [prove-to-be] choice for the "causative" verb rendering in some of the same places found in the NWT.) In reading Joel in the NET version, for example, there are multiple footnotes that admit that words were added that were not in the Hebrew. For example, the note on Joel 2:25: (Joel 2:25, NET) I will make up for the years1 that the ‘arbeh-locust2 consumed your crops3 The footnote for "3" says: 3 tn The term “your crops” does not appear in the Hebrew, but has been supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness. They simply added a couple of words to the Bible. In reality, nearly every verse is filled with choices for the translators. Just three verses earlier, it appears that they made a choice that I would disagree with: (Joel 2:22, NET) Do not fear, wild animals!1 For the pastures of the wilderness are again green with grass. The footnote says: 1 tn Heb “beasts of the field.” For me, "beasts of the field," the literal Hebrew, was much more appropriate, because this is especially addressing the problem of animals that pasture, like sheep, goats, and cattle, which are often domesticated beasts. "Wild beasts" might be more consistent with how the NET translated the term elsewhere, but it gives the idea that it includes wild lions and bears and hyenas, for example. This particular choice can therefore end up being misleading. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I took four years (7 semesters) of Hebrew in college, and I really love this kind of nerdy nit-picking when it comes to translation choices. But it's not that I think it's terribly important in the long run. It's not the kind of "adding to" and "taking away" from the words of a scroll that Revelation warns against.
  19. All that repetition by JB about how the GB could be "taken out" either by God directly or through the hands of humans (and that it would happen sooner or later) was probably interpreted by some here as a semi-veiled threat. I remember exactly what you said at the time, and never took it as all that threatening. But someone did. Perhaps more than one person. And the action taken in removing JB was probably made at an admin level, not by any of those who might volunteer as moderators. I would not have thought you should be kicked out, but a website owner probably could face some kind of legal scrutiny if someone carried through on a threat, and they had let such talk go on. Personally, I don't want anyone thrown out of here. There are many things I don't like about the content of several of your posts, but I'm sure there are things you don't like about mine, too. I can't believe all those "laughing" emojis I get from you are given because you think I am saying something comedic, especially when it's little more than a scripture quote that you appear to be laughing at.
  20. Not exactly. Translation of ancient languages is an art. A lot of choices are based on context. I suppose we could get an online literal word for word translation that additionally has a pulldown menu when a specific word can mean 10 different things, and it could provide the thousands of choices for how to handle idioms and phrases that can change a bit based on context. And, as Arauna mentioned, the causative (or reflexive resultative) can be translated with "prove to be . . ." The NWT is not the only translation that used this, although most other translators use it much more cautiously, because it can imply something in modern English that is not implied in the actual causative construction. In fact, one of those things it can imply is "proof" and yet it has nothing to do with the word "proof." That is why I brought it up here. It is often appropriate in giving a certain importance to something that a person of power and prestige might say that is not so appropriate for the average person. And yet it is exactly the same verb construct for both, and consistency in a literal translation should acknowledge this. Also, there is always a certain amount of bias in any translation, and sometimes this bias is good, but even if the bias is in the right direction, it is still better to be as "neutral" as the original language was. If it's important to explain a certain bias in what it means, that can be done through teaching or commentaries. A person, like Jehovah, with a self-directed purpose, actually means "I will prove to be," in the fullest implication of the words, when He says "I shall be." As a kid, I was once in a convention drama where a character kept telling another character, in a Captain Picard fashion, "May it prove to be so!" It was all pre-recorded, of course, but it was clear that it was more often used for "authority" because it has a more profound sound to it. For Jehovah, and for prophets speaking in his name, it still seems appropriate. And, as Arauna said, it is appropriate for Jehovah's use of ehyeh because Jehovah makes/conducts/reveals himself to display his qualities. This is why the Zondervan NET Bible (Full Notes Edition) has the following for Psalm 18:25 (and 2 Samuel 22): Note E says:
  21. And if you look at the NWT for related words, you will see something of further interest. In the related words below, the first number is the frequency in the pre-2013 NWT, and the second number is the NWT (revised). prove 360/57, proved 273/30, proven 0/0, proves 23/1, proving 20/7 proof 21/8, proofs 2/1 for a total of 699 "proof" words, reduced to only 104. A drop of "7 times." Except for the word "proof(s)" itself, the vast majority of these terms are carryovers from a favorite verb construction credited to F.W.Franz, apparently because he wanted to translate Jehovah's use of "ehyeh" to Moses with "I will prove to be" rather than just "I am." So to be consistent, he sometimes even took mundane phrases similar to "I will speak" and translated them as "I will prove to be speaking." In other words, Jesus never says "prove yourselves cautious as serpents" he just said "be cautious as serpents." Jesus never said: "On this account, prove yourselves ready," he just said "On this account, be ready." And Jesus didn't say: ". . . prove yourselves my disciples," he just said ". . .you shall be my disciples." (Although in this last case the full construction is: "My Father is glorified in that you are bearing much fruit and [so that?] you shall be my disciples." So a translator might be justified in either adding the word "true" to disciples, or using "prove to be" because of the probable implication of the entire construction where the usual word for "and" can sometimes imply "so that.") Although 600 of the 700 verb constructions were dropped in 2013, there was no real reason to keep the other 100 as carryovers, either. It was mostly a quirk of the old NWT where it gave an important "sound" to the phrase, but with very few times when it translated the true meaning of the verse. That's why in current Bible reading, the revised NWT simply removes the following cases of "prove" or "prove to" and just leaves it as "be." (Exodus 10:7) . . . After that Pharʹaoh’s servants said to him: “How long will this man prove to be as a snare to us? . . . (Exodus 12:5) The sheep should prove to be sound, a male, a year old, for YOU. . . . (Exodus 16:5) . . .And it must occur on the sixth day that they must prepare what they will bring in, and it must prove double what they keep picking up day by day.”
  22. I haven't really changed my mind on the original position either, but if more Glockentin-style utilization appears, I will think its use has evolved. NOT necessarily that it was the original intention. I fear that we are discussing a very narrow "improper" usage of the topic among a much larger and obvious "proper" usage of the example. If I don't respond fully, it's because I think some will just become more confused in thinking that this is a complete rejection of the usefulness of the excellent counsel and leadership of the GB and their response over Covid-19.
  23. Jehovah and Jesus can use and bless the efforts of any who have a zeal to do his will, even if not always according to accurate knowledge. If we can appreciate this, we can enjoy the blessings Jehovah offers to any who gather together in his name, who try to do what is right. And we need not get wrapped up in the idea that salvation is coming through the GB. We don't put our trust in earthling man, in whom no salvation belongs. But we can appreciate their work and efforts, even if mistaken on certain points. We want to give a double portion of "honor" to those who take the lead in teaching, and we appreciate the teaching: especially as you say, the foundation doctrines. So it's easy for some to begin to confuse or misuse what it meant by double honor.
  24. Yes. That is the point. And it was not just the statement about Covid19 that I was responding to in the speech, even though it was the only example I focused on. If an example of good guidance proves that Jehovah is with the GB, then someone could just as easily point out that examples of bad guidance must be proof that Jehovah is not with the GB. Most of us who have been Witnesses over a long period of time will recall how a continuing theme of our meetings, especially the book study, for years had always been about how examples of bad guidance in Christendom is proof that they are being guided only by Satan. This can result in the same hypocrisy. But worse, it can make brothers, like the speaker above, feel that he must try to hide negative information away from the average Witness who can't face anything negative. It has made brothers like him in responsible positions try to declare that false doctrines had a good purpose in the past to filter out those who were weak. (This has been done for several of the big falsehoods like 1925, superior authorities, 1975 expectations, etc.) If it ends up making us call what is good, bad, and what is bad, good, then we should point that out.
  25. Clearly that is why we choose to associate with our fellow brothers and sisters. I much more enjoyed the closer association in months and years gone by, but I think the present situation is working very well. We still have to get used to the technology, and being muted and unmuted. I like the fact that we start the meeting a half hour before, and some talking still goes on between individuals. Some use small chat groups, and some end up showing their baby pictures to the entire congregation. I see a lot of people actually getting to the meeting earlier, to the midweek especially, and really enjoying this type of association. But it's also novel, and the newness can wear off, too. In my thinking, the GB did a great job. This is exactly what I think we should do: give the GB credit where it is due, and yes, they really are cautious. I think they did the right thing under the circumstances, and they acknowledge that the conditions of Covid19 are not going to be equal everywhere, and that some flexibility in procedures will no doubt be seen over time -- but evidently always erring on the side of caution if there is a question. As far as detractors calling the GB wicked names, that is going to occur anyway. It's part of the territory here. But we shouldn't fear speaking our conscience just because someone else is going to misuse our words. It is our duty to be honest and unhypocritical. If we see someone using reasoning that would be considered specious from any other organization, then we would be hypocritical to say that such specious reasoning is good for us, but not anyone else.

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