By Jack Ryan
I've been able to get my hands on these pictures of the new printed Study Bible which was released at the Annual Meeting yesterday. Has a light brown cover rather than the grey tone of the regular bible. The page edges are gold rather than silver. And it only includes Matthew-Acts. Surprisingly, while many of us were expecting the Org to reduce printing operations even further, this actually wasn't the case this year. Although apparently they did mention that due to the "high resolution colour pages and high quality materials", the Bible is rather "expensive to produce".
By Jack Ryan
The locusts of Joel Chapter 2 no longer refer to Jehovah's Witnesses and events surrounding 1919.
The locusts in Revelation chapter 22 however still do refer to the anointed, but are now no longer connected with the prophecy on Joel.
Joel 2 now refers to the "Babylonians", the coalition of nations that will try to destroy God's people.
The context of Joel chapter 2 points the time period of fulfillment to Jehovah's Day in the Great Tribulation and how God will save his people.
By Jack Ryan
Is the "Faithful and Discreet Slave" now going to be renamed "Faithful and Prudent Slave" since Discreet sounds like they have been hiding secret child molestation documents away from the authorities and it doesn't sound good in front of the courts?
I know they are prudent now in their new Spanish translation.
As we're approaching to our Annual meeting, here it goes my list of wishes! Perhaps there is a chance some of them could be announced:
KNOW THE REASON FOR UPDATES IN PUBLICATIONS
When a new update is available in JW Library, I download it without knowing the reasons for it: we do not know if it is a small editing error, a significant improvement in translation, a more serious adjustment ... Anyway, I would love be informed of the reasons, especially when sometimes the Bible itself is updated. Perhaps I have used outdated information inadvertently and it would be nice to know that there has been an improvement!
WATCHTOWER WITH APPENDIX
Our study articles are nice, no doubt. However, in order not to make them excessively extensive for their study in the congregation, they lacked extension in some ideas. Perhaps in the form of an appendix that can be read by anyone who wishes delve into some subject
LITERATURE WITH REFERENCES
Years ago it was common to find in our publications references to McClintock, Vine, Barclay and others. Now this has almost completely disappeared. Why? So we don't waste time reading them? Not to be confused by reading different approaches? If it has been useful for decades, I don't see why we don't have those references again.
DISCONTINUE THE PIONERING(AUXILIARY-REGULAR)
I know, it sounds blasphemy. But given the advantages that someone could exhibit, I have seen in others and in myself these "collateral damage", nothing insignificant:
Preach not for love of God or neighbor, but for hours Feeling bad conscience about having to leave the pioner service to attend family, health or the congregation Feelings of superiority And then, who would attend pioner meetings with C.O.? everybody who wishes! DO NOT REPORT THE PREDICATION
I mean in the current format "so many hours, books, etc." Was it reported that way in the first century? Don't we intend to imitate the primitive congregation to the fullest?
Reporting involves the following:
The elders falsely believe we know the "flock" for knowing the card The actual effort of the low quatitu of hours is not included in the card, but you have to sacrifice a lot to do it There are brothers who feel ashamed for informing / preaching little and have to report it There are elders who only call publishers to ask for the monthly report The C.O. gets an idea of the state of a congregation by looking at some forms, that can be equivocal REFORM THE PREACHING FROM HOME TO HOME
In many countries (especially Europeans) the challenge of entering residential buildings to preach is enormous. People (myself) do not want strangers to enter buildings, not for religious indifference, but for safety and comfort. When someone manages to "sneak in", whether they sell gas, electricity, insurance ... or religion, the reaction is very negative about the product they intend to sell, for not respecting the privacy and security of the building. Solution? Nothing easy, but go through, in my opinion:
Abandon the idea of preaching entering buildings in many locations That must be determined locally: in the same city or congregation there are buildings where that would not be a problem, but in others yes Stop counting how many times a territory is made as a way to find out the intensity of the preaching of the congregation Stop preaching with a tie and suit (TJ uniform) but sit in the parks, or visit the malls, or a thousand different ways, and then take advantage to make conversations arise REPORT ON THE QUALITY OF THE SPEAKERS
Many are invited on the basis of their friendship with whom they invite, or because they appear on the list of speakers. If each congregation had a simple way to survey the speaker: did you like Sunday's talk YES / NO? the people in charge of inviting would see that some better not to come much, and vice versa
INFORM ABOUT C.O.'s
Many of these brothers are a gift. Others are simply a test for everyone. I have personally met destructive travelers. It is very difficult to help, change or remove them from that job. Many years ago, in the annual report that each congregation sent to the headquartes, one question was, more or less, "Were the c.o.' visits upbuilding?" Of course, if a congregation says that it is very bad but 19 very good, it is known that they are prejudiced in that congregation. But if in 19 congregations the report is unfavorable and only one speaks well ... something should be done.
MECHANISM OF COMPLAINTS
Do I have a way to express my complaint about something that works badly, as the widows in first century? Yes, I will be told: you tell the elders, then the traveler. Of course, but if they tell me that I have to wait, that nothing else can be done, could I not write to the headquartes, even to NY? Well, I've already done it, and the answers that have come to me have been stereotyped.
It is very difficult for negative situations to escalate. There is a protection mechanism. If I express myself openly, it is interpreted as a lack of appreciation, of faith, of collaborative spirit. I know that is so. However, when you want to know the opinion - POSITIVE - of something mechanisms are established, for example:
On the occasion of the recent presentation of the Bible in Spanish, the c.o. sent us a request for reactions from the brothers to the presentation, yes, all positive: that we say what the brothers thought of the new translation, how they received it at the assembly , and so on.
Well, I would like you to ask me things like:
Do you think it is good that the branch of Spain spends a lot of money in reforming some huge buildings for the real use that will be given to them? Have you felt encouraged by this or that article? Why yes, why not? Etc THE QUALITY OF THE ANSWERS AT THE MEETINGS
In my area it is frowned upon to make a public declaration of faith, to express personal feelings. It breaks the scheme of the meeting, in fact, there is no time. The brothers are used to underline and respond. When the watchtower's question is personal: "What do you think about ...?" nobody raises their hand, or we respond by reading
WATCHTOWER WITH PREAMBLE AND CONCLUSION
99% of the Watchtower overseers I have seen in my life waste their time in introductory paragraphs during meetings. Then you have to go fast in the key paragraphs. Why not place an introduction that is not read, and a conclusion that is not read?
SOME ROTATING POSITIONS
I understand that if there are 10 elders in a congregation, not everyone is qualified to be a coordinator, for example. But maybe 3 or 4 yes. I would like those 3 or 4 to rotate the position annually, to avoid "love of the chair"
REFORMULATE THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLIES
Many of us remember the assemblies of years ago. They were long, very long. Extensive speeches Many times in full sun, and we were expected to take notes as not to be distracted. Now however there has been an impressive improvement. However, I sincerely believe that many would benefit more if a national assembly was broadcasted by streaming to the entire country, and that most brothers saw it in the Kingdom and assembly halls. What would be achieved?
Savings for siblings who go through hardships to get to the city of assembly and pay for accommodation Central Savings Avoid the sacrifice of early wake ups, fix the children, travel from the hotel to the place of assembly Improvement in concentration. With a few hours of sleep you can't concentrate And the joy of crowded crowds? That is why there would be a few assemblies nationwide, in rotating cities, upon invitation.
That they print commercial companies, that the size of Bethel be reduced to the minimum expression. Let the bulk of the work be done by commuters, whenever possible
RESIDENCES OF ELDERLY
Many brothers who have spent their entire lives for the work, as adults, find themselves dependent on the goodwill of friends or a congregation that wants to support them. Bethel is not the place for elderly people. Places could be set up to care for these brothers with dignity and without having to beg for help
SUPERVISION OF THE WORK BY "NORMAL" PEOPLE
Well, I explain myself. What effect does it have on someone who lives, eats, sleeps, works in a secluded place? That he doesn't need to work secularly, or fight to support the family, who are never denied permission to go to meetings, or go to the assembly ... and surrounded by people with the same situation.
What I have seen is that there is a perverse effect. These excellent brothers year after year, decade after decade of living a different life to the rest of humanity and brotherhood have a distorted view of things and brothers. Not always, of course, but many times yes.
I would like that especially the brothers who have to supervise the spiritual activity of others, have secular work, like any other brother. And in the afternoon, instead of the pionering, they could take care of the spiritual needs of others.
By the way, didn't Paul do that, work secularly?
Yes, wearing a beard. In our publications only men who are not witnesses wear beards. When they are baptized they have always shaved it. Who decides these photos, how do you think they give freedom of choice worldwide? In theory you can wear a beard, but in reality it is badly seen in many places especially for videos and photographs in our publications. Let photos of JW's with beards come out, now!
@JW Insider has explained it masterfully on so many occasions. Our 1914 doctrine simply does not hold. The parusia of Christ is his return, it is comparable to his coming. It has not yet occurred
PROXIMITY OF THE END
Of course we are near the end! Not since 1914, but since 33 CE. Since Christ left and said he would come unexpectedly, like a thief. That exactly teaches the Bible
Others, and myself, have bitterly written that our position is the strictest and most pharisaic interpretation of all possible approaches to expulsion. Especially when it has to do with relatives.
With sadness I perceive that, at the organizational level, we're becoming Christian Pharisees. We have been told that we should avoid that attitude, but the importance given to the dress, the beard, the belief that we are better than others, the ambition of the top positions... How I would like these attitudes to be eradicated at the root
Clearly state that what the marriage decides to do in their room is only for both of them
How much I would like that instead of exposing new approaches as the last truth, it will be explained that it is the most plausible, but not infallible, explanation. And that with time and study, a different one may look better.
There are more, but I better leave it here