Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Re: I am a young Jehovah Witness who by chance came across your site #6


Continued from part #5 (see also parts #1, #2, #3, #4) with this the last part #6 of my reply to your comment on my post "`What Does the Bible Really Teach?' pp.7-14." Your words are bold to distinguish them from mine.

[Left (click to enlarge): 1 Peter 3:15, with footnote, in "New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures: With References," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, 1984, p.1459.

As Mr. Lynn Lundquist of www.tetragrammaton.org pointed out, "According to the New World Translation policy, this verse should have been translated: `But sanctify the Christ as Jehovah in YOUR hearts ...'":

"Because of the English translation, it is not readily apparent that 1 Peter 3:15 is a quotation of Isaiah 8:13. However, the word translated `treat as holy' comes from the Hebrew word ... qadash ... which means `to make, pronounce or observe as clean: to consecrate, dedicate, hallow or sanctify.' [Strong's Concordance, H6942] With that definition in mind, it is plain to see that Peter is quoting this Hebrew Scripture when he writes:
But sanctify the Christ as Lord in YOUR hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU.
As already noted, the Jehovah reference J20 also identifies this as a direct quotation in which the divine name is used (Isaiah 8:1). The J20 reference, by the New World Bible Translation Committees' own translation policy, indicates that 1 Peter 3:15 must be translated using the divine name Jehovah. However, the strongest evidence that 1 Peter 3:15 quotes Isaiah 8:13 comes from the footnote for this verse (1 Peter 3:15) found on page 1459 in the New World Translation Reference Edition. The footnote reads:
15* `The Christ as Lord,' ... J7,8,1114,16,17,24, `Jehovah God.'
This footnote gives us the following information: ... The wording, `Jehovah God,' is supported by nine Hebrew versions listed as J7,8,11-14,16,17,24. Thus, based on the precedent of 237 Jehovah references, the translators by their own agreement are bound to render Kyrios as Jehovah in this verse at 1 Peter 3:15 where Peter quotes a Hebrew Scripture passage which used the divine name. ... According to the New World Translation policy, this verse should have been translated:
But sanctify the Christ as Jehovah in YOUR hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU."
(Lundquist, L., "The Divine Name in the New World Translation," 2001, pp.26-28. Emphasis original). See below.]

>We do not do things for our own glory but for that of Jehovah God.

Jesus is Jehovah God, come in the flesh! See my posts "Jesus is Jehovah!" Also read my series, "Jesus is Jehovah in the New Testament."

If the Watchtower was consistent in its stated policy of substituting "Jehovah" for Gk. kyrios in its New World Translation "where the inspired Christian writers have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures":

"How is a modern translator to know or determine when to render the Greek words κυριοσ [kyrios] and Θεοσ [theos] into the divine name in his version? By determining where the inspired Christian writers have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures. Then he must refer back to the original to locate whether the divine name appears there. This way he can determine the identity to give to Ky'ri-os and the-os' and he can then clothe them with personality. Realizing that this is the time and place for it, we have followed this course in rendering our version of the Christian Greek Scriptures." (WB&TS, 1969, "The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, p.18).

then it would have translated Php 2:11 NWT as:

"and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is JEHOVAH to the glory of God the Father."

because it is a quote from Isa 45:23 where Paul has substituted "Jesus Christ" for the "to me" in Isa 45:23, who in the context is "Jehovah" (v. 18,21) and "God" (v. 22) (common words and phrases highlighted in red):

Isa 45:18,23 "For this is what Jehovah has said, ... By my own self I have sworn-out of my own mouth in righteousness the word has gone forth, so that it will not return-that to me every knee will bend down, every tongue will swear,'" Php 2:10-11 NWT "so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father"

And then also the Watchtower would have translated Heb 1:8,10-11 NWT as (my emphasis):

"But with reference to the SON: ... And: "You at [the] beginning, O JEHOVAH, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are [the] works of your hands"

because it is a quote of Ps 102:24-27 NWT in which the Psalmist is addressing "Jehovah":

Ps 102:1,22-27 NWT: " O Jehovah ... Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth itself, And the heavens are the work of your hands. They themselves will perish, but you yourself will keep standing; And just like a garment they will all of them wear out. Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will finish their turn. But you are the same, and your own years will not be completed."

Heb 1:8,10 NWT: "But with reference to the Son: ... `You at [the] beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are [the] works of your hands. They themselves will perish, but you yourself are to remain continually; and just like an outer garment they will all grow old, and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as an outer garment; and they will be changed, but you are the same, and your years will never run out.'"

Less obviously, because it is obscured in the NWT,but still truly when it is realised that Peter in 1 Peter 3:15 is quoting the Septuagint (LXX) of Isaiah 8:13, the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament:

1Pet 3:15 NWT: "But sanctify the Christ as Lord in YOUR hearts ...

Isa 8:13 LXX: "Sanctify ye the Lord [Heb. YHWH] himself; and he shall be thy fear. '"

according to its own stated policy of substituting "Jehovah" for kyrios in the New World Translation, "where the inspired Christian writers have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures ... [and] the divine name appears," 1 Peter 3:15 NWT should read:

But sanctify the Christ as JEHOVAH in your hearts,

Again as summarised by Lundquist:

"The Translation Committee did not follow their stated translation policy at 1 Peter 3:15. 1 Peter 3:15 is a quotation of Isaiah 8:13. ... According to the New World Translation policy, this verse should be translated:
But sanctify the Christ as Jehovah in YOUR hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU"

(Lundquist, L., "Downloadable Research Library," Word Resources: Portland OR, 2003, p.23).

But the Watchtower dishonours Jesus (who is Jehovah come in the flesh) by claiming that He is merely an angel:

"Who Is Michael the Archangel? THE spirit creature called Michael ... is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth." (WB&TS, 2005, "What Does the Bible Really Teach?," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York: Brooklyn NY, p.218. Emphasis original).

So in denying the Bible's teaching that Jesus is Jehovah, come in the flesh, the Watchtower Society has set up a false `Jehovah' of its own imagination, a `Jehovah' who says whatever the Watchtower wants it to. Nowhere was this more evident than when the Watchtower even quoted Jehovah issuing Society policy:

"The Lord breaks down our organization instructions further and makes them more practicable by further instructing us through his `faithful and wise servant'. He says, `Let us assign the field, the world, to special pioneers, regular pioneers and companies of Jehovah's witnesses in an orderly way, sufficient for everyone to thoroughly witness therein, and let us place upon each one the responsibility of caring for the New World interests in these respective assignments.' He says the requirements for special pioneers shall be 175 hours and 50 back-calls per month, which should develop into a reasonable number of studies; and for regular pioneers 150 hours and as many back-calls and studies as can be properly developed during that time. And for company publishers he says, `Let us make a quota of 60 hours and 12 back-calls and at least one study a week for each publisher.' These directions come to us from the Lord through his established agency directing what is required of us; and, for those who really love the Lord and are guided by his counsel, that is a reasonable service requirement. This expression of the Lord's will should be the end of all controversy." ("Righteous Requirements," The Watchtower, July 1, 1943, pp.204-205, p.205).

That this was merely the Watchtower using its man-made idol `Jehovah' as a mouthpiece for Society policy is evident in that JWs would still be following these direct commands by Jehovah for "special pioneers" to fulfill their quota of "175 hours ... per month ... for regular pioneers 150 hours" per month and for "publishers ... 60 hours" per month. But in fact the Watchtower has over time reduced these quotas that were supposedly set by Jehovah Himself.

In 1963, the Society had reduced the quotas for "special pioneers" down from 175 to "150 hours or more in the field work each month"; for "pioneers" (i.e. "regular pioneers") from 150 hours per month down to "about 100 hours each month"; and for "congregation publishers" down from 60 to only "those ... who strive to spend a minimum of ten hours each month in the preaching activity" (my emphasis):

"Those who spend 150 hours or more in the field work each month are called special pioneers. .... Then there were ... pioneers who spent about 100 hours each month declaring the message of salvation. ... Then there are those Christians who ... strive to spend a minimum of ten hours each month in the preaching activity .... They are called congregation publishers." ("Fight a Fine Fight for the Faith," The Watchtower, January 1, 1963, pp.21-30, pp.23,27).

By 1981, the monthly quota of "special pioneers" had been further reduced by the Society down from 150 to "140 hours a month" and "regular pioneers" had also been reduced from 100 hours to "90 hours each month" and the category "auxiliary pioneer ... which requires that a person devote 60 hours a month" had been created:

"Some, whose circumstances permit, serve as special pioneers, devoting 140 hours a month to the ministry. Others are able to devote 90 hours and so serve as regular pioneers. And for those not able to devote to such sacred service, but who are still able to do more than the average Kingdom publishers, provision was made for the auxiliary pioneer service, which requires that a person devote 60 hours a month to the ministry. This has been a refinement of the vacation or temporary pioneer service ...." ("Joys of Auxiliary Pioneer Service," The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, p.11).

By 1995, there appeared to be no "special pioneers" hours being reported. New reduced quotas for "auxiliary pioneers" and "regular pioneers" were 60 and 30 hours per month, with publishers at "ten hours or so" per month:

"In many lands congregation publishers average ten hours or so in the field service each month, but auxiliary pioneers report six times that much [i.e. 60], and regular pioneers do half as much again as the auxiliaries [i.e. 90]. No wonder the increase is often more rapid in areas where there are many pioneers." ("1995 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Brooklyn NY, 1995, p.5).

By 1997, all "congregation publishers" needed to do was "give of your best":

"Remember that what Jehovah expects from us is whole-souled service. What this amounts to may vary considerably from soul to soul. Some are able to adjust their affairs in order to serve as regular pioneers. Many others enroll as auxiliary pioneers either occasionally or on a continuous basis, spending 60 hours each month in the ministry. The great majority of Jehovah's people, however, devote themselves to the preaching and teaching work whole-souled as congregation publishers. So if you truly are limited by poor health, advancing age, family responsibilities, or other circumstances, do not be discouraged. As long as you give of your best, your service is valuable in God's eyes, as is that of those who are in the full-time ministry!" ("The Blessings of the Pioneer Ministry," The Watchtower, October 15, 1997, pp.18-23, pp.21-22).

In 1998, it was clarified that "publishers" need "preach only a few hours a month," down from the previously stated 10 hours per month:

"No dedicated Christian is exempt from this preaching work. Spiritual elders take the lead in preaching with the congregation. Trained pioneers are fully occupied in the work. Zealous publishers of the Kingdom message, whether able to preach only a few hours a month or many, are spreading the message into every corner of the earth.." ("Jehovah's Organization Supports Your Ministry," The Watchtower, June 15, 1998, p.20).

By 2000, "the requirement of hours" for "auxiliary pioneers" had "since been reduced" from 60 down to "50 hours for the month":

"... we have tremendous potential to exceed our previous peak of auxiliary pioneers. Additionally, the requirement of hours has since been reduced, making this feature of service accessible to many more in the congregation. ... 50 hours for auxiliary pioneers ... You would need to average just one hour and 40 minutes each day to reach 50 hours for the month." ("Can We Make April 2000 Our Best Month Ever?," Our Kingdom Ministry, March 2000, p.3).

By 2005 the quota for "regular pioneers" had been reduced from 90 to "70 hours every month":

"For regular pioneers, this requires spending an average of 70 hours every month in the preaching work." ("Now Is the Time to Preach!," Our Kingdom Ministry, August 2005, p.3).

There may have been further reductions in these hours but I am not aware of them. But on the above figures, all drawn from Watchtower publications as quoted, the Society has reduced the explicit quoted instructions of its `Jehovah' down from 175 to 140 hours per month (20%) for "special pioneers," from 150 to 70 hours per month (53%) for "regular pioneers" and from 60 hours a month to 3 (95%!) for "publishers."

So by its own words and deeds the Watchtower Society shows that its `Jehovah' is just a man-made idol that it has created to be the mouthpiece for the Society's anti-Christian (and therefore anti-Jehovah) policies!

>In closing, I would just like to say thank you for asking people to explore the Bible and find a deep love for it.

JWs don't "explore the Bible." They explore only what the Watchtower tells them to explore in the Bible, and then what it supposedly really means. This is evident in the very title of their 2005 study book, "What Does the Bible Really Teach?" That is, its title is not "What Does the Bible Teach?" but in reality it is "What Does the Watchtower Society Make the Bible Teach?"

As pointed out in part #4, the Watchtower has warned JWs not to "read the Bible exclusively" because then they will come to believe what Christianity (not what the Watchtower) teaches:

"From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah's people those who ... say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such 'Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago ..." ("Serving Jehovah `Shoulder to Shoulder'," Watchtower, Aug 15, 1981, pp.28-29, p.29).

And also the Society has told JWs that, "we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do" without God's "visible organization," the Watchtower Society, telling them how "to understand and apply properly the Bible" (my emphasis):

"But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his `faithful and discreet slave,' made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do." ("The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter," The Watchtower, December 1, 1981, pp.26-31, p.27).

>I hope that all who read this has an open mind and heart.

If you are a Watchtower-loyal JW then you are not allowed to have "an open mind and heart." The Watchtower has ordered all JWs to "Avoid Independent Thinking" and by "independent thinking," the Watchtower means, "questioning ... God's visible organization" (i.e. the Watchtower):

"Avoid Independent Thinking ... How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization. ... Yet certain ones have professed to know better. They have rebelled against such counsel and have done what is right in their own eyes." ("Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs," The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, pp.18-22, p.22).

The Watchtower has also ordered JWs to "Fight Against Independent Thinking" and it explicitly defines "independent thinking" as "to make up our own mind on what to believe":

"Fight Against Independent Thinking As we study the Bible we learn that Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way. And just as in the first century there was only one true Christian organization, so today Jehovah is using only one organization. ... Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: `This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe.' This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous? Such thinking is an evidence of pride. ... If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: `Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the way of the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God's organization?' No, we cannot!" ("Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits," The Watchtower, January 15, 1983, pp.23-27, p.27).

The Watchtower has also directed JWs not to read (indeed to "destroy") "apostate material" or "teachings of opposers", i.e. anything critical of itself, likening it to "pornography" and "gangrene," and threatening "amputation of" any "member (disfellowshipping)" who is guilty of "spreading [such] apostate teachings":

"Picture on page 12 ... Do you wisely destroy apostate material? ... If, out of curiosity, we were to read the literature of a known apostate, would that not be the same as inviting this enemy of true worship right into our home to sit down with us and relate his apostate ideas? Let us illustrate matters in this way: Suppose your teenage son received some pornographic material in the mail. What would you do? If he was inclined to read it out of curiosity, would you say: `Yes, son, go ahead and read it. It won't hurt you. ... Would you reason that way? Absolutely not! Rather, you would surely point out the dangers of reading pornographic literature and would require that it be destroyed. Why? Because no matter how strong a person may be in the truth, if he feeds his mind on the perverted ideas found in such literature, his mind and heart will be affected. ... Well, if we would act so decisively to protect our children from exposure to pornography, should we not expect that our loving heavenly Father would similarly warn us and protect us from spiritual fornication, including apostasy? He says, Keep away from it! But suppose we are preaching the good news and ... someone sincerely asks about certain claims of apostates, what can be done? First, we can ask what, exactly, has caused the concern. It may be only one or two points. Then we can stick to these and answer from the Scriptures, from the Society's publications, and from what we truthfully know about the subject. We need not conclude that we have to read a book or a pamphlet that is filled with slander and half-truths in order to refute the false claims and teachings of opposers. ... If we keep listening to subtle arguments and specious reasoning, `twisted things' can sound as though they were straight.... Of course, the fact that a few are drawn away by that kind of propaganda does not mean that we have to follow them. Nevertheless, we need to be continually alert. ... Like gangrene, apostate reasoning is nothing but quick-spreading spiritual death. And since the members of the congregation are like one body, there is a danger that others may be infected. If the one spreading apostate teachings cannot be restored to spiritual health by loving but firm application of the balm of God's Word, amputation of this member (disfellowshipping) may be the only alternative for the protection of other members of the body. ... Do not be infected by deadly gangrene of a spiritual kind! Keep in good spiritual health by avoiding the contamination of apostate thinking." ("Do Not Be Quickly Shaken From Your Reason," The Watchtower, March 15, 1986, pp.10-15, pp.12-15. Emphasis original).

If you have read this far Melissa, or indeed any JW, why not test whether any of your Kingdom Hall's elders "has an open mind and heart" by mentioning some of my evidence and arguments against the Watchtower in this series of posts, and then let us all know their response in the comments? If they are obedient to the Watchtower, the elders will tell you to stop reading my posts, and may even disfellowship you.

>Jesus said "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves." John 13:35.

I have downloaded and listened to many times over, testimonies by ex-JWs. And one common theme that many of them report is that JWs have only a conditional love, i.e. JWs are "accepted and loved" by "the Watchtower Society" "only if we do what is expected" by it:

"A major source of stress in life is the fear of rejection, abandonment or fear of criticism. These fears manifests themselves in an over-concern for the approval of other people. These fears are often learned in early childhood as the result of a parent giving the child what psychologists call `conditional love.' ... This is what the Watchtower Society does to Jehovah's Witnesses. We are accepted and loved only if we do what is expected - perform. Wearing the wrong clothes, watching the wrong movie, saying the wrong thing especially to non-Witnesses results in disapproval." (Marsh, L., "Overcoming our Fear of Rejection and Abandonment by Jehovah's Witnessess," Freeminds.org, 9 August 2010).

The Watchtower's "`conditional' kind of love" is only given to JWs who do, "whatever we had to do to please the powers that be":

"I guess you could say I was one of the chief Jehovah's Witness among Jehovah's Witnesses and our family the `exemplary Jehovah's Witness family,' but despite all my hard work, I was desperately lonely, empty and longing for something, but I didn't know what. ... As a Jehovah's Witness, I received a `conditional' kind of love and acceptance. It is no surprise that this is the kind of love I brought to my marriage, and it is no surprise that my marriage fell apart after 20 years. ... We all did whatever we had to do to please the powers that be-not having a real relationship with God results in a lot of `man-pleasing' busy work. I could say a lot about the detrimental effects of the `busy work' which consumed our lives. We always sought relief, not even realizing we were running away, but all Jehovah's Witnesses run away in their own way." ("The Testimony Of Tammie: Ex-Jehovah's Witness Ministry Team," Witnesses For Jesus: Colorado Springs CO, 21 December 2010).

It is a "love" that "will surround you as you faithfully promote their cause" but "when ... a member voices doubts, create waves, or leaves the group, all love ceases":

"Love-bombing is characteristic of most cults. Prospects, recruits and members are drowned in a sea of love and caring. Is this what Christ meant when he said, `By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,' (John 13:35)? I've heard cult members say, `Of course we practice love-bombing: Who'd want to be in a group or church that practiced hate-bombing?' This attitude highlights a common misconception. Hate-bombing is not the opposite of love-bombing. The opposite of love-bombing is unconditional love. Love-bombing is highly conditional. The cults will love you to death while you represent a prospective convert to their group. As a member a tight family love will surround you as you faithfully promote their cause. However, when it is clear that a prospect will not join the group or a member voices doubts, create waves, or leaves the group, all love ceases." (Courtney, "Are Jehovahs Witnesses love bombing lone dissenter?," Yahoo!7 Answers, 21 December 2010).

>May you have a wonderful day,

Thank you. Every day of my 43 years a Christian has been, to varying degrees, wonderful, especially comparing what it was like before, when I was "separate from Christ ... without hope and without God in the world" (Eph 2:12). But I would have a particularly wonderful day if you, or any other of my JW readers would, like Thomas, begin to worship Jesus as "My Lord and my God!'":

Jn 20:28-29 NWT. In answer Thomas said to him: `My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him: `Because you have seen me have you believed? Happy are those who do not see and yet believe.'

Stephen E. Jones.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & The Shroud of Turin

1 comment:

Stephen E. Jones said...


I deleted your comment:

>As a 15 year Zealous Person for Jehovah (and elder) here is my story.

because it is off-topic. That is, it made no explicit reference to anything I said in my above post.

However, I decided to re-post your comment, within this my comment, to explain (yet again) to readers what my policy is.

That is, my blog's comments are for those who wish to make a comment on MY post that it is under.

They are NOT a message board where anyone can post anything (often with a link to another site), with little or no relevance to my blog post it is under. That is just USING my blog for the commenter's OWN purposes.

Stephen E. Jones