By JOHN BUTLER
The JW Org / GB say that Armageddon is very close. They also say that Jehovah is speeding up the work in these 'last days'.
Now, it seems I'm not one for knowing truth from lies, so people keep telling me, but this webpage/site seemed interesting to me.
It seems to show more of a decrease in JW's, but more importantly it seems to show more of a lack of faith, or lack of action / 'works' of JW's. It also shows a large number of people leaving the JW Org.
If this video or page has been used before then I apologise for any repeat. But I thought it was of interest.
YELM, Wash. — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating after someone tried to set fire to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Yelm.
This comes after four other recent attacks on Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thurston County that are being investigated as hate crimes.
In the latest incident, authorities were called around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to the report of an attempted arson at the Kingdom Hall on Vail Road SE in Yelm.
The ensuing investigation closed a large section of Vail Road for most of the day.
Church elders had arrived to find fire logs stacked up against an outside wall that was smoldering. They doused the logs with water and prevented any further damage to the building.
The elders reported finding a suspicious device placed on the ground on the west side of the building. It “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” so deputies called the bomb squad to the scene.
People living nearby the church told Q13 News they were told by law enforcement to evacuate for their own safety.
“I got woken up by my roommate Zachary saying there was a device on the church next door to our house and we needed to evacuate,” said Richard McIntire.
McIntire’s shared his concern about living so close to what’s become a repeated target.
“I don’t understand why people have to target churches,” he said.
Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt.
By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasn’t dangerous. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office later tweeted, “The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.”
Read more: https://q13fox.com/2018/08/08/possible-explosive-device-found-after-attempted-arson-at-kingdom-hall-in-yelm/
Immigration This is how they treated us: children separated from their parents at the border tell of their days in detention in the United StatesBy Nicole
Many of the children described conditions at US Customs and Border Protection facilities, where they were taken and processed during the first days after crossing the border. In the reports they were only identified by their first names. Timofei, 15, from Russia, who sought asylum on the border with his parents for his beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses, said they were crowded night and day in the closed and crowded room, detained along with other boys. He said there was only one window that opened onto an empty hallway and that they did not have soap in the bathroom, and that only sometimes, they gave him a toothbrush for individual use. He also said that he was offered a shower when he arrived at the facilities in San Ysidro, California, but he did not and the second or third day there did not allow him to do so.
By JW Insider
I have recently, just today, communicated again with Gerard Gertoux requesting permission to quote extensive long passages from his book on this topic as a basis for a more in-depth forum discussion. The Amazon link to his book is here:
The Name of God Y.eH.oW.aH Which is pronounced as it is Written I_Eh_oU_Ah
A subset of that same material is also found here:
Gerard Gertoux has responded that it would be better to use https://www.academia.edu/14029315 as it is a free version that all of us can download, and it has no copyright.
Since this topic comes up now and then, under various topic headings, I hope that some might find it useful to understand the basics of his argument. He assumes a lot of background and expertise that many do not have, but the material is accessible enough so that we can all learn a lot about the topic and even about the related background material at the same time.
Out of respect for the author's wishes, let's not make extensive quotes from the book or the "areopage.net" link above except where fair use might allow. And even the "academia.edu" content should only be quoted in reasonable portions to the extent that it is needed for discussion. I have also mentioned to the author that I will do my best to keep the topic from devolving into a discussion of the Trinity. I will try to keep the discussion on topic, which also means that it should not become a free-for-all with critiques of the New World Translation or the persons who may have worked on it.
The topic will not revolve only around Gerard Gertoux's writing, but it's a good place to start. Feel free to bring in evidence from other authors and researchers if it is related to the questions. As a reminder the evidence we discuss should focus especially on the following questions:
Did Jesus and the apostles and disciples of the first century use the Divine Name? Did they read it aloud when they came to it in the OT Scriptures? Did they include it (and therefore expect it to be used aloud) in the writings of the NT? [And, of course, feel free to use the terms OT and NT as abbreviations for "Hebrew Scriptures" and "Christian Greek Scriptures" respectively.]
CHRIST’S BODILY RESURRECTION ‘I have power to take it again’ John 10:18
Watchtower Teaching: ‘Jesus was raised to life as an invisible spirit. He did not take up again that body in which he had been killed . . .’ ‘Let your Name be sanctified.’ (p.266).
The Watchtower teaches that Jesus’ body was disposed of by God.
The NWT mistranslates I Peter 3:18 as ‘being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit’ to teach merely a spiritual resurrection of Christ.
Bible Teaching: I Peter 3:18 refers to when Christ died. His Spirit went and preached to spirits in prison (v. 19,20). After three days, Christ’s physical body was raised.
I Peter 3:18 (KJV) correctly reads: ‘being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.’
Which Scriptures best teach Christ’s bodily resurrection?
1. ‘They were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.’ (v.37) He said unto them, ‘Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.’ (Luke 24:37, 39)
Notice that the resurrected Christ says here that:
(1) He is not a spirit;
(2) His resurrection body has flesh and bones;
(3) His physical hands and feet are proof of His physical resurrection;
Jesus is trying to convince them that He, ‘I myself’ has a permanent physical body which still had the nail scars in His hands and feet. This is opposite to the WT teaching that Christ’s body was disposed of and that He became only a spirit. If the WT claim was correct, then
Jesus would be deceiving the disciples here in showing them His body.
2. ‘Then saith he to Thomas, . . . reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ (John 20:27)
Here Jesus says that He has a physical side that He challenges Thomas to touch.
3. ‘Neither did his flesh see corruption.’ - Acts 2:30,31
Notice the following:
a) God promised David that ‘according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ’ to sit on his throne.’ (v.30). This is a bodily resurrection of Christ, not spiritual. The NWT omits this because of its corrupt Westcott-Hort Greek text. Well over 38 manuscripts have it.
b) ‘neither did his flesh see corruption’ (v.31) means that Christ’s body did not decay.
Why? Because Jesus was raised from the dead in a material, fleshly body.
4. ‘I will raise it up . . . he spake of the temple of his body.’ - John 2:19-21
‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (v.19). But he spake of the temple of his body.’ (v.21)
Jesus here promised that He Himself would raise up His own body after three days.
Notice how Jesus uses the word ‘body’ meaning a bodily resurrection, not a spiritual resurrection.
5. Christ promises to eat of the fruit of the vine in the Kingdom. Only a body can eat.
‘I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come.’(Luke 22:18)
Jesus here showed that his resurrected body would be able to eat and drink even in the Kingdom of God. Notice that a non-material spirit cannot eat and drink. Jesus promised the disciples in Luke 22:30 ‘that ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom.’
Question: If Jesus expected to become an immaterial spirit, why would He promise the disciples that they would eat and drink with Christ at His table in His Kingdom?
6. Christ ate a broiled fish and a honeycomb in front of them. Luke 24:41,42.
7. ‘he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies’. Rom. 8:11
As Christ’s body was raised physically from the dead, so shall our mortal bodies be raised.
8. His resurrection body could ‘breathe on them’(John 20:22). A spirit cannot breathe, can it?
9. ‘His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives...’ Zechariah 14:4
A spirit does not have feet. Only a physical body has feet as Jesus has at His second coming.
10. ‘One shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Zechariah 13:6
Question: How can a non-material spirit have wounds in his hands which can be observed?
11. The resurrected, glorified Christ touched John, laying his right hand on him. Rev. 1:17
Watchtower Objection: JWs quote I Corinthians 15:44,50 to support their claim that Jesus was raised from the dead as a spirit creature:
a) ‘It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.’ (v.44)
b) ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.’ (v.50). JWs claim that Jesus must have had a spiritual resurrection, because flesh-and-blood bodies cannot exist in heaven.
They claim that mortality and corruption belong to the fleshly body.
a) The Greek word for body, ‘soma’ (4983), always means a material body, an organised whole made up of parts, when used of a person (Zodhiates, NT Word Study,p.1358). The spiritual
body in I Cor.15:44 is not an immaterial body, but a supernatural, spirit-dominated body.
It is a body directed by the spirit, as opposed to a body under the dominion of the flesh.
There are no exceptions to Paul using ‘soma’ for a material body.
Paul even refers to a believer as a ‘spiritual’ man who judges all things (I Cor. 2:15), yet Paul did not mean an immaterial invisible man with no physical body.
He meant a spirit-controlled man with a flesh and blood body.
QUESTION: In I Corinthians 2:15 (‘He that is spiritual judgeth all things’), is Paul discussing an invisible spirit creature or a material, flesh-and-blood human? Can you see that being ‘spiritual’ does not demand a non-material body? The same is true in I Corinthians 15:44.
b) Key: In v.50 ‘flesh and blood’ is an idiom meaning that mortal, perishable, earth-bound
humans, as we are now, cannot have a place in God’s glorious, heavenly Kingdom.
c) ‘this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’v.53
Nothing is taken away from us (materialness). Instead immortality is ‘put on’ or added to us.
Question: Don’t the words ‘put on’ mean adding something to humanity (that is immortality),
not taking away something from humanity (our material body)?
Conclusion: Since Christ’s resurrected body could eat, drink, breathe (John 20:22), show His hands and feet with scars (Luke 24:40), be touched, and have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), it is certain that this body was a material body. This is especially true since Jesus corrected the disciples’ misconception that they had seen a spirit (Luke 24:37).
For the JWs to say that a body is not a body, is their last resort of redefining common words.
By The Librarian
Part of a series on:
Heb., Shad·dai′, plural to denote excellence, occurs 41 times and is translated “Almighty” or “Almighty One.” (Ge 49:25; Ps 68:14) The corresponding word in the Christian Greek Scriptures is Pan·to·kra′tor and means “Almighty,” or, “Ruler Over All; One Who Has All Power.” (2Co 6:18; Re 15:3) The expression ʼEl Shad·dai′, “God Almighty,” occurs seven times in M and indicates that Jehovah has irresistible power.—Ge 17:1; Ex 6:3.
ANCIENT OF DAYS.
Aram., ʽAt·tiq′ Yoh·min′, meaning “One Advanced [or, Aged] in Days.”—Da 7:9, 13, 22.
Heb., Boh·reʼ′. (Isa 40:28; 42:5) GRAND CREATOR.—Ec 12:1.
Heb., ʼAv; Gr., Pa·ter′; Lat., Pa′ter; as Creator (Isa 64:8); as giver of everlasting life to all those who exercise faith. (Joh 5:21) The expression “Holy Father” is used exclusively with reference to Jehovah.—Joh 17:11. Compare Mt 23:9.
Heb., ʼEl, without the definite article, probably meaning “Mighty One; Strong One.”—Ge 14:18.
Heb., ʼEloh′ah, singular of ʼElo·him′, without the definite article. It occurs 41 times in Job and 16 times in other books.—Job 3:4.
Heb., ʼElo·him′, without the definite article. In The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. XXI, Chicago and New York, 1905, p. 208, Aaron Ember wrote: “That the language of the O[ld] T[estament] has entirely given up the idea of plurality in אלהים [ʼElo·him′] (as applied to the God of Israel) is especially shown by the fact that it is almost invariably construed with a singular verbal predicate, and takes a singular adjectival attribute. . . . אלהים [ʼElo·him′] must rather be explained as an intensive plural, denoting greatness and majesty, being equal to The Great God. It ranks with the plurals אדנים [ʼadho·nim′, “master”] and בעלים [beʽa·lim′, “owner; lord”], employed with reference to human beings.” ʼElo·him′ draws attention to Jehovah’s strength as the Creator and occurs 35 times in the creation account.—Ge 1:1-2:4.
GOD OF GODS (LORD OF LORDS).
De 10:17; Da 2:47.
GOD OF TRUTH.
Heb., ʼEl ʼemeth′, indicating that Jehovah is true and faithful in all his dealings.—Ps 31:5.
Aram., ʼElah′ rav.—Da 2:45.
Gr., ma·ka′ri·os The·os′.—Compare 1Ti 1:11.
Heb., ʼElo·him′ qedho·shim′.—Jos 24:19.
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY.
Heb., qa·dhohsh′, qa·dhohsh′, qa·dhohsh′. This expression as applied to Jehovah includes holiness, cleanness, purity and sacredness to the superlative degree.—Isa 6:3; Re 4:8.
INDEFINITELY LASTING GOD.
Heb., ʼEl ʽoh·lam′.—Ge 21:33.
Heb., Moh·reh′. (Job 36:22) GRAND INSTRUCTOR.—Isa 30:20.
I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE.
See Ex 3:14 ftn.
Heb., Qan·naʼ′, meaning “Insisting on Exclusive Devotion.”—Ex 34:14; see also Eze 5:13.
Ge 2:4. See App 1A.
JEHOVAH OF ARMIES (JEHOVAH OF HOSTS) (LORD OF HOSTS).
(This expression with minor variations occurs 283 times in M. It also occurs twice in the Christian Greek Scriptures where Paul and James quoted or alluded to prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures. (See Ro 9:29; Jas 5:4.) The expression “Jehovah of armies” indicates the power held by the Ruler of the universe, who has at his command vast forces of spirit creatures.—Ps 103:20, 21; 148:2; Isa 1:24; Jer 32:17, 18. See App 1E.
KING OF ETERNITY.
Gr., Ba·si·leus′ ton ai·o′non.—Compare 1Ti 1:17.
KING OF THE NATIONS.
Heb., Me′lekh hag·goh·yim′.—Jer 10:7.
Heb., ʼElo·him′, with the plural adjective chai·yim′ (De 5:26); or with the singular adjective chai (Isa 37:4, 17); Gr., The·os′ zon.—Compare Heb 3:12.
Gr., Me·ga·lo·sy′ne, denoting his lofty, superior position. (Compare Heb 1:3; 8:1.) MAJESTIC ONE. Heb., ʼAd·dir′.—Isa 33:21.
Heb., ʽO·seh′. (Ps 115:15; Jer 10:12) GRAND MAKER.—Isa 54:5.
Heb., ʽEl·yohn′.—De 32:8; Ps 9:2; 83:18.
MOST HOLY ONE.
Heb., Qedho·shim′, plural to denote excellence and majesty.—Pr 30:3.
OVERSEER OF YOUR SOULS.
Heb., hats·Tsur′. (De 32:4) Figuratively used to describe Jehovah’s qualities as perfect, just, faithful, righteous and upright; as father (De 32:18); as a stronghold (2Sa 22:32; Isa 17:10); as a secure height and refuge (Ps 62:7; 94:22); as a source of salvation.—De 32:15; Ps 95:1.
Heb., Moh·shi′aʽ (Isa 43:11; 45:21); Gr., So·ter′.—Compare Lu 1:47.
Ps 23:1; 1Pe 2:25.
Ge 15:2; Lu 2:29. See App 1E.
Aram., ʽEl·yoh·nin′.—Da 7:18, 22, 27.
THE [TRUE] GOD.
Heb., ha·ʼElo·him′.—See App 1F.
THE [TRUE] GOD.
Heb., ha·ʼEl′.—See App 1G.
THE [TRUE] LORD.
Heb., ha·ʼA·dhohn′. -
The rise in popularity of on-demand video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime is increasingly seen as a threat to the 113-year-old ritual of going to a cinema to see a movie. James Robins spoke to Dr Karina Aveyard, Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, author of “Lure of the Big Screen: Cinema in Rural Australia and the United Kingdom” and co-editor of “Watching Films: New Perspectives on Movie-going, Exhibition and Reception,” about whether Netflix might kill the cinema.
Read the full discussion on our website, The Big Q
What's your opinion?
BIBLE PROOFS OF THE TRINITY
Key: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are so clearly and consistently linked in Scripture that, assuming that God is not three persons, makes it impossible to understand some passages.
Though JWs exalt human reasoning against the Trinity doctrine, saying it is unreasonable,those who submit to God’s Word must conclude that it is unreasonable to doubt the Trinity.
Consider these scriptures proving the Trinity:
1. Matthew 28:19 The ‘Name’ of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Watchtower teaching: JWs ask, ‘Does this verse prove the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal in substance, power and eternity?’ They say, ‘No, no more than listing three people
Tom, Dick and Harry mean that they are three in one.’ They say that the Trinity doctrine is imposed on the text, not derived from it.
Bible Teaching: The key point is that the word ‘name’ is singular in the Greek NT, thus proving that there is one God, but three distinct persons within the Godhead.
This proves the Trinity because Jesus did not say:
i) ‘into the names (plural) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’
ii) ‘into the name of the Father, and into the name of the Son, and into the name of the Holy Spirit’, as if we had three separate beings.
iii) ‘into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ omitting the three articles (the), as if the Father, Son and Holy Spirit might be three designations of a single person.
What He does say is: ‘into the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’.
Jesus first teaches the unity of the three by combining them all within a single name.
He then teaches that each is a different person by introducing each of them in turn with the
Question: Can you see that rules of grammar dictate plurality (the, the, the) within unity (the name), because the word ‘name’ is singular and definite articles (Greek: tou) are placed in front of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Other verses showing ‘three-in-oneness’ of the Godhead are:
i) At the creation of man, ‘God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness . .’ (Genesis 1:26). ‘Our image’ in v. 26 is explained as God’s image in v. 27.
The one true God consists of three persons who are able to confer with one another and carry out their plans together, while still being one God.
ii) After the Fall, ‘the Lord (Jehovah) God (Elohim) said, Behold, the man is become as one of us . ’ (Genesis 3:22)
‘Us’ refers back to LORD (Jehovah), showing plurality within the Jehovah Godhead.
iii) At the Tower of Babel, ‘the LORD (Jehovah), said . . let us go down’ (Genesis 11:6,7).
iv) Isaiah ‘saw the Lord (Adonai) sitting upon a throne (v.1) mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts (v.5). I heard the voice of the Lord (Adonai) saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’’ (Isaiah 6:1,5,8) Here Isaiah sees ‘Adonai’ on the throne, then Isaiah calls Him ‘Jehovah of hosts’ (v.5).
Then Adonai asks,‘Who will go for us?’The ‘us’ shows plurality in the Jehovah Godhead. This equivalence of Adonai and Jehovah (both called ‘us’) proves the Trinity Godhead.
2. Genesis 18 and 19. Three men each called Jehovah.
JWs believe that it is impossible for Jehovah God to exist as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet Genesis 18 and 19 shows Jehovah appearing to Abraham as three men. This
shows that even the impossible from a human viewpoint is possible with God. Notice that:
i) Abraham addresses the three as ‘Jehovah’ (v.3 NWT);
ii) When two of the three men depart to visit Lot in Sodom, Abraham continues to address the remaining one as ‘Jehovah’ (Genesis 18:22,26,27,30,31,32,33).
iii) Lot addressed the other two as ‘Jehovah’ (Genesis 19:1,18 NWT). ‘Then Lot said to them: “Not that please, Jehovah”.’ (19:18 NWT)
iv) ‘Then Jehovah made it rain sulphur and fire from Jehovah, from the heavens upon Sodom and Gomorra.’ (Genesis 19:24)
Notice the mention here of two Jehovahs, one in heaven who sends judgment on Sodom and Gomorra, at the bidding of the other Jehovah on earth.
This gives strong evidence for more than one person in the Godhead. The Jehovah upon earth was one of three persons to visit Abraham, one of whom stays behind to speak further to Abraham and is called Jehovah. (Genesis 21:1 ‘Jehovah turned his attention to Sarah’).
Hence this shows that it is possible for Jehovah to manifest Himself as three-in-one.
3. II Corinthians 3:17 - ‘Jehovah is the Spirit’ (NWT).
JWs challenge Christians to prove the Trinity in the Bible. This can be done if we find verses teaching that the Holy Spirit is Jehovah God, and the Son is Jehovah God.
II Corinthians 3:17 teaches this by saying: ‘Now Jehovah is the Spirit.’
How much clearer can it be than this, which states that the Holy Spirit is (=) Jehovah God? This proves the Deity of the Holy Spirit, and the existence of 2 persons in the Godhead.
4. I John 5:7,8 The Johannine Comma, the famous Trinitarian proof text (3 Heavenly witnesses)
Watchtower teaching: JWs claim that this passage ought not to be in the Bible, because it is not in most Greek manuscripts. It is omitted by most modern Bible versions. ’
Bible Teaching: Erasmus omitted it from his first edition of the printed Greek NT (1516), because it occurred in the Latin Vulgate and not in any Greek manuscript. To quieten the
outcry that followed, he agreed to restore it if it could be found in one Greek manuscript.
Two Greek manuscripts, Codex 61 and 629 were found, so Erasmus included it in his 1522 edition. Since these manuscripts are late (14th and 15th Century), some think the readings are
corrupt. What do we answer? (See page 805-806).
5. In II Corinthians 13:14, (the Apostolic Benediction) why is there a change in the order of the persons of the Trinity, compared to Matthew 28:19, if not to show that ‘in this Trinity
none is before or after the other, and none is greater or less than another’?
‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.’ (II Corinthians 13:14)
‘Baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ Matt. 28:19
Isaiah 9:6 - Is Jesus ‘a Mighty God’ or ‘Jehovah God’?
‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God (410), the Everlasting
Father, the Prince of Peace’.
Watchtower teaching: JWs concede that Jesus is a ‘mighty God’, but they are adamant that
He is not Almighty God as Jehovah is. They think that Christ is one of lesser gods.
Bible teaching: The Bible shows that both Jesus and Jehovah are called ‘Mighty God’.
Jehovah is called ‘Mighty God’ in:
a) ‘The remnant of Israel . . . shall stay upon Jehovah, the remnant of Jacob shall return . .
unto the mighty God (410)’. (Isaiah 10:20,21).
b) ‘the Great, the Mighty God (410), Jehovah of hosts, is his name’. (Jeremiah 32:18).
Because Jehovah and Jesus are both called ‘Mighty God’, this proves Christ’s equality with
God the Father.
Ask: Since Jehovah is called ‘Mighty God’ (Isaiah 10:21) just as Jesus is called ‘Mighty
God’ (Isaiah 9:6), doesn’t this mean that the Watchtower is wrong in saying that ‘Mighty
God’ means a lesser deity?
Ask: If both Jesus and Jehovah are ‘Mighty God’, then what does this tell you about Jesus’
Ask: If both Jesus and Jehovah are equally ‘Mighty God’, then isn’t this two members of
Note: There is only one Mighty God in heaven:
a) ‘I am the first and I am the last; beside me there is no God (430)’. (Isaiah 44:6b)
b) ‘Is there a God (433) besides Me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any’.(Isaiah 44:8b).
c) ‘I am the Lord (YHWH), and there is none else,there is no God beside me’(Isaiah 45:5a)
The NWT translates John 1:1 as ‘the word was a god’.
Isaiah 44:8b shows this to be false by denying the existence of ‘a god’ other than Jehovah.
The phrase ‘Mighty God’ is ‘Elohim’ in Hebrew, meaning ‘Fullness of power’, portraying
Christ as the ‘powerful Governor of the universe’.
Notice that ‘Elohim (430)’ is also used to describe Jehovah God as:
i) ‘The God (430) of the whole earth’. (Isaiah 54:5)
ii) ‘The God (430) of all flesh’. (Jeremiah 32:27)
iii) ‘I prayed to the God (430) of heaven’. (Nehemiah 2:4)
iv) ‘For the Lord (YHWH) your God (430) is God (430) of gods....a great God.’(Deut 10:17)
In Isaiah 40:3 Jesus is called both Jehovah (3068) and Elohim (430) in the same verse:
‘Prepare ye the way of the Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God (430)’.
Mark 1:3 and John 1:23 apply Jehovah here to Jesus.
Question: What is meant by calling Jesus ‘Everlasting Father’?
Since Jesus is not the Father, why does Isaiah call Jesus ‘Everlasting Father’?
Answer: Jesus considers the Father as someone other than Himself over 200 times in the NT.
‘Everlasting Father’ in Isaiah 9:6 means ‘Father of eternity’.
JEHOVAH’S NAME or JESUS CHRIST’S NAME.
The Watchtower teaches that God’s true Name is Jehovah. They teach that:
‘Sometime during the second or third Century CE, the scribes removed the tetragrammaton (JHWH) from both the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures and replaced it with κυριος (Lord) or θεος (God)’. Reference Edition of NWT, 1984, p 1564.
The Watchtower’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation (KIT) proves that Jesus is Jehovah God.
On page 10,11 of the 1985 KIT, under the heading ‘Restoring the Divine Name, Jehovah’ we read: ‘the evidence (what evidence?) is that the original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures has been tampered with (no proof) . . . Sometime during the second or third centuries CE, the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) was eliminated from the Greek texts by copyists (no proof).
Instead of YHWH they substituted the words Kurios (‘Lord’) and Theos (‘God’).’
Note: This is a lie. There is no historical or manuscript evidence or evidence of protest to support this claim. Somebody would have protested such a change.No one did. It never happened.
The New World Translation (NWT) is the JW perversion of the Bible made to support their false doctrines. It inserts the name ‘Jehovah’ in the New Testament in the place of God (θεος=theos) or Lord (κυριος =kurios) on 237 occasions, where they believe it refers to God the
Father. They often refer to Hebrew translations of the NT to see where this has been done.
These are footnoted as J1 to J27. Their dishonesty and deceit is shown by their failure to translate these words as ‘Jehovah’ when it refers to Christ. (eg: Philippians 2:11; Hebrews 1:10).
JWs say that the proper use of God’s ‘correct’ name (Jehovah) is absolutely essential to one’s salvation. They quote from their NWT:
‘Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.’ Romans 10:13 (NWT).
‘People will have to know that I am Jehovah.’ Ezekiel 39:6 (NWT).
JWs believe that because they are the only group who refer to God by His ‘true’ name, Jehovah, they are the only true followers of God.
Their claim is false for these reasons:
1) Jehovah is not a Biblical term. It is a man-made term. The Old Testament has YHWH because the original Hebrew only had consonants. Jews feared taking God’s name in vain, so when they publicly read YHWH, they would pronounce it ‘Adonai’ (Lord).
Later they inserted the vowels from Adonai (a-o-a) into the consonants YHWH to give YAHOWAH, which became Jehovah. Hence, the word Jehovah comes from a consonantvowel
combination from YHWH and Adonai.
2) No-one knows for sure the original correct pronunciation of YHWH. Hence we cannot insist on ‘Jehovah’ as being correct.
3) Jesus never addressed the Father as Jehovah in the New Testament. If JWs are correct that God must be always called Jehovah, then Jesus was sinning by not calling God ‘Jehovah’. When the NWT puts Jehovah in Jesus’ mouth in the NT, it contradicts all the NT manuscripts which don’t have it.
QUESTION: Since Jesus never in the NT addressed the Father as Jehovah, why should we?
4) Jesus and the Apostle Paul tell us to address God as ‘Father’:
a) Jesus taught us to pray to God as ‘Our Father’, not ‘Our Jehovah’: ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father.....’ (Matthew 6:9).
b) Jesus addressed God as Father in His own prayers:
‘I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth’. (Matthew 11:25).
‘O my Father, if it be possible.......’ (Matthew 26:39,42).
‘He said, Abba, Father.......’ (Mark 14:36).
‘ I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven.......’ (Luke 10:21).
‘Saying, Father, if thou be willing.......’ (Luke 22:42).
‘Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them;.......’ (Luke 23:34).
‘Father, the hour is come......’ (John 17:1).
c) Paul said, ‘we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Romans 8:15).
d) The Holy Spirit through Paul said, ‘God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father’. (Galatians 4:6).
Here the Holy Spirit of God tells us to call God ‘Abba, Father’, not ‘Jehovah’
QUESTION: If Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Paul all address God as Father nine times (and never as Jehovah) then shouldn’t we call God ‘Father’?
5) No Ancient NT manuscripts contain the tetragram (YHWH) to translate as Jehovah.
The Church writers before 325 AD only mention Jehovah once in passing. JWs tell us that most Bible versions deceive people because they omit Jehovah as God’s Name, so
the JWs dishonestly add the word ‘Jehovah’ to the NT text, even though it is not in any NT Greek manuscript, ancient version, papyri or lectionary.
The WT’s claim that ‘Jehovah’ as God’s name was removed from the NT by superstitious scribes, is a total lie with no supporting historical or manuscript evidence.
6) Whose Name did the early Christians identify themselves with? Was it Jehovah or was it Jesus Christ? Always Jesus Christ, never Jehovah.
Who knows more, the Apostles or modern JWs? Consider these examples:
a) The Apostles never used the name ‘Jehovah’.
b) The Apostles and first century Christians were never called ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’. ‘The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.’ (Acts 11:26).
c) There is no proof that Jesus or his disciples ever pronounced the tetragram YHWH.
JWs claim that when Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me....’ as quoted in Luke 4:18,19, that Jesus pronounced the word ‘YHWH’.
This is most unlikely. JWs assume that the religious leaders endorsing Christ’s ‘gracious words’ in verse 22 was because He uttered the name YHWH?
Historical records in the Mishnah, from Josephus, and from other sources show the Jews were loathe to allow the name YHWH to be used. The Jews would not have tolerated it being used by anybody but the High Priest.Jesus would have read ‘Adonai’
7) 119 Bible passages referring to Jehovah, are quoted and applied to Christ in the New Testament (Proof Available)
QUESTION: In view of 119 Bible verses applying ‘Jehovah’ to Christ in the NT, what does this tell you about who Christ is?
? The New Testament tells us to name the name of Jesus Christ, not the name of Jehovah. Consider these examples:
1. ‘Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’(II Timothy 2:19)
2. ‘I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .’ (I Cor 1:10)
3. ‘Ye are washed,....sanctified,... justified in the name of the Lord Jesus ’ (I Cor 6:11)
4. ‘Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.’ (Col 3:17)
5. ‘That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you....’ (II Thess 1:12)
6. ‘Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves.....’ (II Thess. 3:6)
7. ‘all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.’ (I Corinthians 1:2)
8. ‘Thou holdest fast my name....’ Jesus said to the Pergamos church. (Revelation 2:13).
JWs have not held fast Christ’s name, nor have they called upon Christ’s name, nor do they name the name of Christ, nor is Jesus Christ precious to them, because they do not have saving belief in Him. ‘Unto you . . . which believe He is precious’.(I Peter 2:7).
QUESTION: Where does the NT tell us to name the name of Jehovah?
9) The New Testament always lifts up Jesus Christ’s name, not Jehovah’s name. Why?
Because Jesus Christ is Jehovah God on earth. Christ is 100% God and 100% man.
Q1: In whose name should we meet together?
‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matthew 18:20)
Q2: Demons were cast out by the authority of whose name?
‘Paul.....said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ (Acts 16:18)
Q3: In whose name should we preach repentance and forgiveness of sins? ‘And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. And ye are witnesses of these things.’ (Luke 24:47,48)
Q4: In whose name are we to believe and receive forgiveness of sins? ‘....through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.’ (Acts 10:43, John 1:12)
Q5: By whose name, and no other, do we obtain salvation? Acts 4:10,12 says: ‘by the name of Jesus Christ ... Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’
Q6: In whose name should we pray? John 16:23,24; 14:13,14; 15:16 says: ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.’
Q7: In whose name is the Holy Spirit sent?
‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name......’ (John 14:26)
Q8: In whose name and authority did the disciples heal the sick?
‘His name through faith in his name hath made this man strong’ (Acts 3:16; 4:30)
Q9: Whose name did Paul say that we are to call upon?
‘ all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (I Cor 1:2)
Q10: Whose name is above every name?
‘God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name .... that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.’(Phil 2:9-11)
Paul’s quote about Christ is from Isaiah 45:22-24 where every knee will bow to Jehovah. What is true about Jehovah, is also true of Christ, the Lord of all mankind
Q11: According to Acts 1:8, of whom are we to be witnesses?
‘Ye shall be witnesses unto me (Jesus)’
Q12: In whose name were believers baptized?
‘they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus’. (Acts 8:16; 2:38)
Q13: In whose name were believers designated?
‘the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch’. (Acts 11:26)
Q14: In whose name did the apostles speak?
‘Commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus’ Acts 4:17,18
Q15: In whose name did early Christians suffer? Acts 15:26 says:
‘Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ ‘rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name’Acts 5:41;9:16
Q16: Whose name was Paul to carry?
‘Lord said: He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.’ (Acts 9:15)
Q17: In whose name did Paul deliver a man to Satan?
‘In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...to deliver such an one to Satan.’ I Cor 5:4,5
Q18: In whose name did the apostles teach? Acts 5:28; 8:12 says:
‘Did we not straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?’
10) Why does WT break their own rule (where the OT speaks of Jehovah), that they do not insert Jehovah in the NT, when the quote clearly refers to Christ?
Peter quotes from Joel 2:32 (spoken of Jehovah) and applies it to Jesus in Acts 2:21 and 38.
Calling on the name of Jehovah for salvation equals repenting and being baptised in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of sins.
Conclusion: Jesus shares the nature of His Father and His Name. The absence of YHWH in any NT manuscript demolishes the WT case of introducing the word ‘Jehovah’ into the NT.
Question: If God was so concerned about preserving His covenant name, why did the apostles not preserve it in their writings?
Question: To imply that the name ‘Jehovah’ is the main name of God that we are to use, contradicts the continued NT use of the name ‘Jesus’ on 900 occasions, while the tetragram YHWH is used nowhere in the NT.
QUESTION: Why does the WT not translate ‘Jehovah’ into Hebrews 1:10, I Peter 3:15 andPhilippians 2:11, when the OT passages from which these are quoted refer to YHWH?
We are to make the name of the Father known as Jesus emphasized (Matthew 6:9; John 17:26). How do we do it? By recognizing that Jesus Christ was chosen by the Father to embody all the glory and important reputation of that Name.
By Jack Ryan
You literally had an answer to say and you said it. I remember my mom underlining things to answer and I'd get passed the microphone and read them. Like the speakers never acknowledged the words you spoke, they'd just say "thank you sister/brother/drone so and so"
Nowhere else but like middle school does this happen
Love for his Neighbor makes Jehovah's Witnesses look for the deserving of the Message of the Kingdom of GodBy Bible Speaks
Quito: (interview) love for his neighbor makes Jehovah's witnesses look for the deserving of the message of the kingdom of God in the territories of all countries, peoples, languages and races. For example in Quito, stands or exhibitors of books are installed in the Mandarin Chinese language...
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
A 32 year old Bethelite at Warwick, NY was walking along a sidewalk at Bethel, going to the cafeteria for the evening meal, and as he walked along, was in deep prayer to Jehovah God.
He said, "Jehovah, you have promised to give me the desires of my heart. That's what I am asking you for right now. Please give me a confirmation that you will reward my faith and service to you.”
Suddenly the sky clouded up over his head and God in a booming voice spoke to him. "I have searched your heart and determined it to be pure. The last time I granted someone the desires of his heart request .... it was to my servant Solomon.”
“ He didn't disappoint me with his request for wisdom.”
“ I think I can trust that you won't disappoint me either. Because you have been faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you the desires of your heart."
The Brother sat and thought about it for a while and said, "I've always wanted to have a deep understanding of the Bible, and I have really tried, but I have forsaken a good education, and taken a vow of poverty and cannot afford a car or the classes I need to become an Engineer when my service here at Bethel is up …. could you help me afford a car, and a stipend so I can go to school, and learn to provide for myself and my future family as I get old?"
The Lord laughed and said, "That's impossible! Think of the logistics of that! I would have to start creating again to make you a car, and money to use, and get you into a college without any background that would make sense for what you would be learning!”
“ … Your request is very materialistic, a little disappointing. I could do it, but it's hard for me to justify your craving for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of another request …. a request you think would honor and glorify Me as well."
The Brother thought about it for a long while and tried to think of a really good request.
Finally, he said, “Oh God, please hear my request. I was Baptized when I was eight years old, and paid attention all my life, taking notes, reading the Bible, and meditation … but I just cannot understand the “Overlapping Generations” thing. I can’t see how Jesus or the Apostles or any disciples in the Early Church ever understood that, when Jesus was speaking. Can you help me to understand the “Overlapping Generations” Doctrine?”
“I want to know what all the other Brothers and Sisters know, what they feel inside and what they're thinking ...I want to know how to be as truly happy as they are, knowing these deep things about You ....That's the wish that I want, Jehovah … my hearts desire."
… after a few minutes, God said, "How about a Corvette and a full scholarship to Stanford University?"
By Queen Esther
THE WHOLE WORLD WILL KNOW JEHOVAH, AND THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING !
1000 Manuscripts found!...
Human rights watch, the world human rights observer organization, makes a report of the 10 most shocking news in the world. ~ ???By Bible Speaks
Human rights watch, the world human rights observer organization, makes a report of the 10 most shocking news in the world. ~ ???
The first, the Russian persecution against Jehovah's witnesses.
By Micah Ong
YAHWEH is NOT a HEBREW NAME. It is ARAMAIC, which is closely related to HEBREW.
Aramaic replaced ancient Paleo Hebrew and nearly all the existing manuscripts, including the Masoretic text and the Dead Sea Scrolls, are in the Babylonian Aramaic alphabet.
These four letters YHWH are Babylonian Aramaic. They are NOT SACRED and they are NOT HOLY. They come from the very root of Babel, confusion, and babble and are profane! According to the Jews who teach about these four letter, the god of this name is a bisexual. He is said to be androgynous (being both male and female). He is said to be androgynous (being both male and female). This god is a devil god. He is NOT the TRUE God of the ISRAELITES.
Two Catholic monks invented the guess names of JEHOVAH (1270AD) and YAHWEH (about 1725AD). They should not be in any Bible since they did not exist at the time the Bible was written.
The antichrist Concision (Law keepers, Noahides) who worships the Tetragrammatons’ YHWH, hail the Aramaic alphabet letters of Mystery Babylon to be sacred and holy and the guess names Jehovah and Yahweh derived from them to be the sacred name(s) of God.
By Micah Ong
The guess name Jehovah is the same as the word “hovah”(Strongs 1943) in the first box to the left and means ruin or disaster. The guess name Yahvah is the same as the word “ahvah” (Strong’s 5753) in the second box on the left and means to do perversely. The guess names “Yahveh or Yahweh” are the same as the word “ahveh” (Strong’s 5773) in the third box on the left and means distorting, perverting! By adding a “J” or a “Y” to these these words and forming FALSE sacred names, the occult and mystic fabricators invented “Jehovah” and “Yahweh!”
By JW Insider
How good is the evidence that the Christian Scriptures contained YHWH or some variation of that Divine Name?
There are probably some non-JWs who believe that there is absolutely no reason at all to even entertain the possibility, and there are probably some JWs who believe manuscripts have already been found with YHWH in the NT. For most of us, the real answer lies somewhere in between. There is a lot of good research on the issue, and this research might be interesting to some of us, whether or not it is compelling enough for anyone to change their mind.
A previous discussion on the topic became very long and veered off into other topics, too. Hopefully, this attempt will not result in multiple topics or judgmental attitudes about people, and we can focus on the validity of the research itself.
If anyone wishes to participate, they should feel free to copy anything they wrote in a previous thread. A topic about YHWH in the NT will likely also include topics about the pronunciation of YHWH, YHWH in the OT (LXX, Masoretic, DSS, and other manuscripts), the earliest NT and OT meanings of "name," historical linguistic trends, Greek abbreviations, NT translations, usage by early "Ante-Nicene Fathers," and the various alternatives to YHWH, and comments made by anyone else that might seem partly relevant or interesting (Philo, Josephus, Ebionites, Talmud, Gnostics, etc.). It's still a big topic.
The arguments that many find relevant are found in Gerard Gertoux, which can be seen here: http://areopage.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Gertoux_UseNameEarlyChristians.pdf
He references G. Howard, of course, which might even be a better place to start. (HOWARD, Biblical Archaeology Review Vol IV, No. 1). His ideas can be found online here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3265328?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
By Ann O'Maly
Why banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t work for Russia
BY EMILY B. BARAN APRIL 20TH 2017 The Supreme Court of Russia has a decision to make this week about whether to label the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization and liquidate its assets. This act would transform the religious community into a criminal network, and make individual Witnesses vulnerable to arrest simply for speaking about their faith with others. While the court case has attracted recent media attention, this move is the culmination of two decades of increasing state hostility to Witnesses. In the late 1990s, Moscow took the Witnesses to court to deny them legal standing in the city limits. After several years of court hearings, the city banned the organization. In more recent years, anti-extremism laws drafted in the wake of domestic terrorism have been turned against Witness magazines and books. Currently, over eighty publications have been placed on the federal list of extremist materials. Even their website is now illegal. So is My Book of Bible Stories, an illustrated book for children, listed alongside publications by terrorist organizations.
If the state criminalizes the Witnesses, it will represent a major deterioration in religious toleration in post-Soviet Russia. It will also put Russia at odds with the European Court of Human Rights, which has repeatedly ruled in favor of the Witnesses in the past two decades. It may make other minority faiths vulnerable to similar legal challenges. In the 1990s, scholars spoke of a newly opened religious marketplace, in which post-Soviet citizens, freed from the constraints of state-enforced atheism, shopped around among the faith traditions. It is fair to say that these days, this marketplace has fewer customers, fewer stalls, and more regulations.
If history is any guide, Russia will find it nearly impossible to eliminate Jehovah’s Witnesses. Soviet dissident author Vladimir Bukovsky once admiringly wrote of the Witnesses’ legendary persistence under ban. When the Soviet Union barred religious literature from crossing its borders, Witnesses set up underground bunkers to print illegal magazines for their congregations. When Soviet officials prohibited Witnesses from hosting religious services, they gathered in small groups in their apartments, often in the middle of the night. Sometimes they snuck away to nearby woods or out onto the vast steppe, where they could meet with less scrutiny. When the state told believers that they could not evangelize their faith to others, Witnesses chatted up their neighbors, coworkers, and friends. When these actions landed them in labor camps, Witnesses sought out converts among their fellow prisoners. Witnesses are certain to revive many of these tactics if placed in similar circumstances in the future.
Moreover, technology makes it far more difficult for Russia to control the religious practices of its citizens. Although the Witnesses’ official website is no longer available in Russia, individual members can easily share religious literature through email or dozens of other social media platforms and apps. While Soviet Witnesses had to write coded reports and hand-deliver them through an underground courier network, Witnesses today can text this information in seconds. Technology will also facilitate meeting times for religious services in private homes.
The Russian government simply does not have the manpower to enforce its own ban. It is hard to imagine that local officials could effectively prevent over 170,000 people across more than 2,000 congregations from gathering together multiple times per week, as Witnesses do worldwide. The case of Taganrog is instructive. Several hundred Witnesses lived there in 2009, when the city declared the organization illegal. A few years later, it convicted sixteen Witnesses for ignoring the ban and continuing to gather their congregations for services. The state spent over a year in investigations and court hearings for sixteen people, a tiny fraction of the total congregation, and then suspended the sentences and fines rather than waste more resources in following through on its punishment guidelines. There are not enough police officers in Russia to monitor the daily activities of each and every Witness, and the Witnesses know it. Under a ban, everyone will face more scrutiny, a few will be dealt more serious consequences, and most will continue practicing their faith regardless.
Russia may nonetheless decide that all of this conflict is worth it. After all, Soviet officials were fairly successful in relegating Witnesses to the margins of society. Few Russians will complain if Witnesses no longer come to knock on their door. After all, even Americans rarely have kind words for religious missionaries at their own doorsteps. In my own research, I have never heard a single Russian, other than a scholar, say anything positive about Witnesses. For the record, my experience with Americans has been similar. On a more basic level, Russian citizens may not even notice the Witnesses’ absence from public life. While the post-Soviet period saw a religious revival for all faiths, far fewer joined the Witnesses than the Russian Orthodox Church. For all their recent growth in membership, the Witnesses remain a tiny minority in a largely secular society.
The vocal determination of Witnesses not to acquiesce to state demands should not cause observers to overlook the very real damage a ban would do to this community. Yes, Witnesses have faced similar challenges before and have dealt with them. For decades, they held their baptisms in local rivers and lakes under cover of night. In the post-Soviet period, new members were finally able to celebrate their baptisms in full view of their fellow believers at public conventions. A long-time Witness who attended one of these events in the early 1990s recalled, “What happiness, what freedom!” A new ban would mean a return to this underground life, to a hushed ceremony in cold waters. This is not what freedom of conscience looks like in modern states.
Emily B. Baran is the author of Dissent on the Margins: How Jehovah’s Witnesses Defied Communism and Lived to Preach About It. Her work explores the shifting contours of dissent and freedom in the Soviet Union and its successor states. She is Assistant Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University.
By The Librarian
Is Russia clamping down on Jehovah Witnesses? BBC News
Russia’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a government request to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses and declare it an extremist organisation. The justice ministry has already placed its headquarters near St Petersburg on a list of extremist groups.
Forum to discuss in detail located HERE
By The Librarian
At this stage it appears it could go either way. What do you think?
Forum for JW Russia news:
GENEVA (4 April 2017) – Moves by the Russian Government to ban the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses using a lawsuit brought under anti-extremism legislation have been condemned as “extremely worrying” by three United Nations human rights experts*.
“This lawsuit is a threat not only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but to individual freedom in general in the Russian Federation,” the experts said.
“The use of counter-extremism legislation in this way to confine freedom of opinion, including religious belief, expression and association to that which is state-approved is unlawful and dangerous, and signals a dark future for all religious freedom in Russia,” they stressed.
The condemnation follows a lawsuit lodged at the country’s Supreme Court on 15 March to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre ‘extremist’, to liquidate it, and to ban its activity.
A suspension order came into effect on that date, preventing the Administrative Centre and all its local religious centres from using state and municipal news media, and from organizing and conducting assemblies, rallies and other public events.
A full court hearing is scheduled for 5 April and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the authorities, it will be the first such ruling by a court declaring a registered centralized religious organization to be ‘extremist’.
Concerns about the counter-extremism legislation have previously been raised in a communication by the three experts to the Russian authorities on 28 July 2016.
The Suspension Order imposed on 15 March is the latest in a series of judicial cases and orders, including a warning sent to the organization last year referring to the ‘inadmissibility of extremist activity’. This has already led to the dissolution of several local Jehovah’s Witness organizations, raids against their premises and literature being confiscated.
“We urge the authorities to drop the lawsuit in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to revise the counter-extremism legislation and its implementation to avoid fundamental human rights abuses,” the UN experts concluded.
(*) The experts: Mr. David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
UN Human Rights, country page: Russian Federation
- See more at
In an earlier Vortex, we reported between the years of 2008 and 2014, 3 million Catholics left the Faith in the United States. So we went digging to see what the numbers are for the the last 15 years, since the turn of the century — essentially one generation.
Brace yourselves here: According to the most recent data from solid sources, in the year 2000, 18 million Americans identified themselves as former Catholics — those who had left the Faith. One generation later, as of 2016, that number had swelled to 30 million.
Elevent million more Catholics have left the Faith since the turn of the century. There are more Catholics over 50 than under 50. And there are more Catholics over 65 than under 30. And the percentage of young people — those under 30 — in the Church is a smaller percentage than almost any other religion.
Only Jehovah's Witnesses and mainline Protestants have a smaller percentage of young people comprising their ranks than Catholics, and even there, Catholics are a hair's breadth away from being dead last.
17 percent of the Church are people under 30. 16 percent of mainline Protestants are people under 30. 15 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses are people under 30. Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and the Eastern Orthodox all have larger percentages within their ranks of people under 30 than the Catholic Church does.
Over the next 15 years, we can expect to see the raw number, the straight pure number of Catholics begin to drop off more dramatically. One of out every five Catholics right now, today, is over 65. Almost all of those people will be dead in 10–15 years. And they aren't being sufficiently replaced. Additionally, we're beginning to reach the moment where there will be more Catholics who have actually left the Faith then there are those who claim to still be in it.
Although there are conflicting data on the actual number of Catholics in the United States, a safe number is about 73 million. Thirty million Catholics, as we said before, no longer call themselves Catholics. Just another 6 or 7 million leaving the Faith, and there will be more former Catholics than those who still identify as Catholics.
At current trends, which show no slowing up or changing, we will reach that moment in about three years — right around 2020. We already know from surveys during the campaign that the percentage of Catholics relative to the overall U.S. population has slipped from the historically stable number of 25 percent to roughly 20 percent, and the percentage of Catholic voters dropped from 26 percent to approximately 21 percent.
This is a Church in full-blown retreat.
Eleven percent fewer parishes since 2000; 18 percent fewer priests; and only two thirds what priests there are are in active ministry. The other third are too old for active ministry. Graduate-level seminarians essentially flat lined. The slight increase in the numbers of priestly ordinations is nowhere near enough the number needed to replace those dying — not by half, in fact.
Infant baptisms off by a third. Adult conversions down by 40 percent. First Holy Communions and confirmations also both down. And marriages — perhaps the most significant barometer for the future life of the Church — down almost 50 percent since the year 2000. In fact, the only two sacraments that there aren't officially horrible numbers for are the only ones no official records are kept for: confession and anointing of the sick.
But any Catholic with working eyes knows the number of confessions has also fallen off the cliff. Even the number of Catholic funerals since the year 2000 has dropped by 16 percent.
This entire disaster — and that is what it is — must be placed squarely at the feet of the U.S. hierarchy, who have done nothing meaningful to arrest the decline and have in many ways helped speed it along. What business would tolerate such horrible results from its managers and directors? It would have fired them more than a decade ago for complete incompetence.
We here at Church Militant often get blamed for causing division, often times by many of the bishops and their staffs. Look at these numbers, Your Excellencies, numbers largely taken from your own data, and own them. Don't blame us. The vast majority of Catholics have no idea who we are. It's not causing division to point at the house burning down and yell "Fire!"
Your lackluster, protestant-minded, false ecumenism, happy-clappy, fake-joy, heresy-accommodating, tradition-hating strategies are responsible for this failure. You and your staffs have caused the division — not us, not others. You!
You have given young people nothing to commit to, other than embracing worldly causes, which they don't need you to tell them to do. You have abandoned or destroyed one tradition after another to the point that now, we have arrived at a point where there is no longer any Catholic identity to speak of. You have allowed and even encouraged a flood of abuses in the liturgy, the seminaries, religious houses, schools and colleges so that young people have no idea what being Catholic means, so understandably they have no loyalty to it.
You have not taught. You have not encouraged. You have not loved. And accordingly, your sheep are abandoning you. You have ground underfoot the patrimony of tens of millions of Catholics from former generations and sold it off. And you rip into loyal Catholics who point this out to try and wake up what few remaining Catholics there are before it's too late — if it isn't in fact already too late.
Your ill-advised, protestant-based evangelization efforts and emotional theatrical presentations won't turn this around. All you are doing is putting into high gear what you've already been doing since the year 2000. In the next 15 years, when most of you will have been judged by Almighty God, you will stand before Him and be directly responsible for a Church in America that will be unrecoverable owing to your spiritual cowardice.
You will have to explain to Jesus Christ, one by one, how you embraced the world instead of converting it. Your lampstand has been taken away. You need to meditate on that in the quiet of the night, when there is no one around except you and God. And you need to tremble and quake at the fate that awaits you at your judgments if you don't reverse course immediately.
Pray for them, Catholics; pray that the majority of them will wake up before they all die in their sins in a few years.
By Gone Away
Is Jehovah's refence to Himself as a King anthropomorphic?
"Because we cannot see God with physical eyes, he uses certain anthropomorphic expressions to help us to understand and appreciate things about himself." Insight 1 p349
"anthropomorphic usage, that is, the attributing of physical and human characteristics to God to facilitate understanding" Insight 2 p1007
The organization faces a ban in all of Russia
The supreme court in Russia’s Karachay-Cherkessia declared the local Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization on February 10 and ordered for it to be dissolved and its property forfeited to the state.
Earlier, the republic’s prosecutor office had accused the organization of producing and disseminating extremist materials. The Witnesses were then forced to pay a fine and had their literature seized, however, as they wouldn’t give up what the prosecutor’s office referred to as “extremist activity”, the matter was taken to court.
The Russian prosecutor general’s crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses started with a notice of “unacceptability of extremist activity” sent to the organization’s management last April. Citing religious discrimination, JW representatives appealed against the notice. However, Moscow’s city court on January 16 upheld it, ordering the organisation to “fix the violations” unless it wanted to be banned on the entire territory of the Russian Federation.
Seven of JW’s regional branches have been closed down in Russia by courts. In the southern Russian city of Taganrog, 16 Witnesses were convicted for failing to comply with the ban. Four criminal cases have recently been launched against several members of the organization for “inciting hatred” and “creating a non-commercial entity violating citizens’ rights”.
In 2005, a Moscow court ordered the dissolution of the capital’s JW community. In 2010, the European Court for Human Rights found the court in violation of the European convention. And in 2015, the community finally had its registration resumed.
There are 100 to 150 thousand Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The Christian denomination emerged from the Bible Student movement, founded in 1872 by Charles Russel. It reports a worldwide membership of more than eight million adherents.
When Audrey Butler dedicated herself to becoming a Jehovah's Witness seven years ago, she knew she would never accept a blood transfusion—even if that meant making a choice between life and death.
"Well the scriptures do tell us that the blood is the soul. So that's how precious blood is to us. It's your life. It's the person's life," she explains.
Butler and other Jehovah's Witnesses believe that several passages in the Bible forbid them from consuming blood in any way, including via blood transfusions. This belief can be at odds with standard medical practice; during the course of surgery, some patients require blood transfusions in order to combat blood loss.
At age 46, Butler began suffering from pain and stiffness in her knee. Doctors told her she had arthritis, and that she would likely need a knee replacement in the coming years.
Butler avoided surgery for as long as possible, enduring painful knee injections and doing her best to live with a limp. But eventually, she began to feel that her limp was slowing her down significantly. Her arthritis was having a considerable impact on her quality of life.
Butler knew she needed the knee replacement. She also knew she was unwilling to abandon her faith.
Éloïse Dupuis was giddy with excitement the day before she gave birth to her first child, a son she and her husband named Liam.
In a Facebook message to her aunt Manon Boyer, the 27-year-old said “she couldn’t wait to see him, to hold him and to rock him.”
“She said the dream of her life was about to come true and she couldn’t wait to introduce him to me,” Boyer recalled, one week after her niece died in a hospital following complications from a difficult delivery.
Dupuis was a Jehovah’s Witness and had signed a document, when she became an adult, saying she would not accept a blood transfusion. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that passages in the Bible order them to abstain from taking blood, even when their life is in danger.
The young woman died six days after giving birth in a hospital in Lévis, near Quebec City, after being transferred from a birthing centre when complications arose. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined. However, reports suggesting she didn’t accept a blood transfusion have created a stir in Quebec, with friends, some family members and politicians questioning whether she made the decision freely.
Her parents, her husband and her in-laws were with her for six days before she died, Boyer said.
“I don’t believe she would have refused blood after having her baby if she knew her life was in danger. I don’t think she had the capacity to make a free choice because she was ill from two surgeries. The family never notified us that she was ill.”
Boyer said she is happy that coroner Luc Malouin is investigating her niece’s death, because he will probably question the nurses and doctors who treated Dupuis at the hospital. Boyer said she has already spoken to Malouin about the death.
Boyer said she felt that something was amiss when Dupuis, and her niece’s mother, failed to answer Facebook messages she had sent inquiring about the birth on Oct. 6.
“I sent a message congratulating her on being a grandmother, but she didn’t answer,” Boyer recalled. “The next day, I sent a message saying I know they’re busy, but could they let me know if Éloïse is fine. But that wasn’t answered either.”
A few days later, Boyer noticed a message on Dupuis’s Facebook wall, congratulating her and her husband on their second wedding anniversary. However, the person who posted the message said that they knew “it wasn’t a happy time but that the couple would have other times to celebrate.”
Boyer said she was confused by the message, so she replied to it asking for news about her niece.
“Why isn’t it a good day to celebrate when you just had a baby?” she wondered.
It was then that someone wrote that Dupuis was fighting for her life and had lost a lot of blood.
Boyer said her daughter called the hospital to find out what was going on. A nurse said she would ask a member of Dupuis’s family to speak to her, but family members refused to come to the phone, she said.
“The nurse said we could come to the hospital to visit, but she said that Éloïse’s heart was beating slowly and it was just a question of hours before she would die.”
After hearing the news, Boyer contacted Cassandra Zélézen, a childhood friend of her niece. Zélézen and her two sisters, who are triplets, drove to the hospital from their home in Rawdon, in the Lanaudière region, to try to see their ailing friend.
Zélézen told the Montreal Gazette that Dupuis’s father refused to allow them to see his daughter. Dupuis’s husband told the triplets that he had regrets about having the baby at the birthing centre and wondered about the decision not to have a blood transfusion.
“Now, it’s too late,” Zélézen recalled the husband saying.
Her friend died a short time later.
While at the hospital, Zélézen said that Dupuis’s husband showed her a note that Dupuis had written, while intubated, after having her uterus removed.
“It’s OK, we can adopt,” the note read.
After Dupuis’s death, her friends messaged her aunt saying: “She’s dead, she’s dead.”
On the day Dupuis died, three elders from a Jehovah’s Witness congregation were present at the hospital, according to Zélézen.
John Redwood, a former Jehovah’s Witness from Maryland who wrote about Dupuis’s death on his website, said the organization has a Hospital Liaison Committee made up of trained elders who are dispatched to hospitals any time a Witness may require a blood transfusion.
“Their purpose is to support the family in their decision (and) to avoid being coerced into taking blood,” said Redwood, 49, who left his congregation three years ago. “They may not have ever met the patient, but these are the enforcers of the policy.”
He said there is a second committee, called the Hospital Visitation Committee, made up of members who visit and pray with sick patients but don’t “interfere with blood policy.”
Simon Picard, a spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada, denied that elders are sent to hospitals to ensure that blood transfusions do not take place.
“We have members who will be there to provide support, but the choice to not have a blood transfusion is an individual choice,” he said. “When you’re in a crisis situation, you like to have members to support you in a decision you have made.”
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called Dupuis’s death “terrible,” but said it was important for society to respect the law and individual choice.
“The jurisprudence has been very clear: if a person of sound mind refuses medical treatment, even if it costs them their life, we can’t go against their will.”
In Quebec City, the Coalition Avenir Québec described the incident as “troubling,” and said it raises serious questions about the health care system.
“I don’t have answers today, but I say to myself: ‘How can it be that we let someone die in Quebec for religious reasons?’ ” CAQ Leader François Legault said.
Nathalie Roy, the CAQ critic for secularism, wondered whether Dupuis “had really given free and clear consent. Are there people who spoke for her, who decided for her? Did she know she was going to die leaving her child there?”
Dupuis, whose immediate family could not be reached for comment, had moved to the Beauce region two years ago, following her marriage, but still remained in touch with Boyer and her family.
“It’s unbelievable that you could die a few days after having a baby,” Boyer said. “The baby will be raised by them (Dupuis’s family) and we will never see him. We have lost a beautiful girl. She was full of love and was ready to help anyone, anywhere, any time.”
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