Jehovah`s Witness/The credibiltiy of the Watchtower
QUESTION: The Jehovah's Witnesses claim the WT is inspired by God.
I don't understand that because
"Watchtower Jan 15 1912 (reprints p.4963)
It is known that only about three out of every one hundred operated upon for appendicitis really have a diseased appendix needing removal. We give below a simple cure for appendicitis symptoms. The pain in the appendix region is caused by the biting of worms near the junction of the transverse colon with the small intestines, low down on the right side of the abdomen. This remedy is recommended also for typhoid fever, which is also a worm disease. The medicine is Santonine dose, 3 grains, an hour before breakfast; repeated for four mornings, or until all the symptoms disappear. Then one dose per month for three months to eradicate all germs. This recipe is of INCALCULABLE VALUE. Not only will it save the surgeon's and hospital fees of perhaps $200, but it saves weeks of ill health, inconvenience, convalescence and loss of salary."
God knew if you waited you would die from appendicitis. God wouldn't tell someone something to deceive them and knowing it'd kill them.
Also they used to believe Jesus died on a cross
God already knew if Jesus died on a cross or a stake. If the WT was right He would have been wrong ether in the past or now. And that's impossible.
The only conclusion is the WT isn't inspired by God.
I'm still confused though. How can the WT be believed to be devinely inspired since it has made so many mistakes?
ANSWER: Good morning, Michelle. And thank you for writing with your question.
You are absolutely correct that the Watchtower is NOT inspired by God. For that matter, neither is any other book on the face of the earth, besides the Bible. The Watchtower is certainly NOT a good source to get your medical information, that is for sure. For reasons like what you gave above, and also their past comments on vaccinations, organ transplants, and their current teachings on blood transfusions. Sadly, many people have lost their lives needlessly, for following advice found in the pages of the Watchtower.
You are also correct that the WT once taught that Jesus died on a cross. Now, the WT excuses all of these past blunders by doing 2 things...
1. Claiming "new light"
2. Blaming the churches for their errors
They want you to think the whole process has been one of cleansing and getting CLOSER to the truth, when actually it has been one of apostasy, and moving further from Biblical doctrine.
Now, let me just clarify the JW view of the Watchtower's "inspiration". The fact is, that if you ask a JW today if the WT is inspired, MOST of them will say "No". There are a few very zealous, and mostly new converts, who may say "yes". But most JWs will readily admit that the WT is not inspired like the Bible.
The problem is not so much in what they SAY, but what they do in practice. It is one thing to say that they believe the Bible is inspired and the Watchtower is not, but this acknowledgment sort of loses its credibility when a JW is faced with a statement in the WT that clearly contradicts the Bible, yet they go with the Watchtower interpretation anyway. And you will see this played out time and time again, if you watch this board.
Kind of reminds me of a discussion on here several months back, about whether Jesus rose from the dead in a physical body, or was a "resurrected spirit creature". Now, they can SAY that the Bible is the final word, yet Jesus made a clear statement in the Bible that settles this issue....
John 2:19-21- "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
But he spake of the temple of his body.
Now, this is clear enough for anyone who wants a straightforward answer to that question, from the Bible. Jesus told them that if they "destroy this temple", that He would "raise it in 3 days". They thought He was referring to the literal temple building, so verse 21 explains that Jesus was speaking of His BODY, as the temple.
Now, that should be simple enough for anyone who holds the Bible as the final authority. But was it? Absolutely not! Because the Watchtower teaches a different doctrine, so when push came to shove, the Watchtower doctrine must be upheld...even if the verse contradicted it.
In reading the comments in the debacle that followed, I never knew there were so many people who did not know the meaning of the words "this", "it", and "body". We were told that Jesus raised in a different body, although Jesus said "THIS" body, and I will raise "IT".
I bring that point up, to say that JWs will say they do not believe the Watchtower to be inspired. But I think their reactions to certain things, betray that statement. When the Bible contradicts a doctrine from ANY religious group, it is the doctrine that should change...not the Scripture.
I mentioned earlier the "new light" concept, by which JWs like to use to excuse the Watchtower's earlier false teachings. But consider what the Watchtower's founder, Charles T Russell, said himself about "new light". It is in direct contrast with the way the Watchtower uses the "new light" argument today....
"we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us; undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now: But with God there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any knowledge or light coming from god must be like its author. a new view of truth never can contradict a former truth. new light never extinguishes older light, but adds to it. If you were lighting up a building containing seven gas jets you would not extinguish one every time you lighted another, but would add one light to another and they would be in harmony and thus give increase of light. So is it with the light of truth; the true increase is by adding to, not by substituting one for another." (Watchtower Feb. 1, 1881, Reprints p. 188)
The Watchtower uses the "new light" argument to do the very thing the above quote condemns....using a new understanding to contradict, or discard, a former understanding.
Of course, the point in all this, is that if Jehovah God were leading and guiding the Watchtower, He would not be making the blunders that the Watchtower has made. And as you said, this is proof that they are not inspired, or even LED, to teach what is false.
Another quote from the Watchtower's found, Charles T Russell, said this about the concept of an Organization which we must be a part of....
"Beware of "organization." It is wholly unnecessary. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. Do not seek to bind others' consciences, and do not permit others to bind yours. Believe and obey so far as you can understand God's Word today. (Watchtower Sept. 15, 1895, p. 216)
But later on, the Watchtower said this....
"He does not impart his holy spirit and understanding and appreciation of his Word apart from his visible organization." (Watchtower, July 1, 1965, pg. 391)
""...the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah's visible organization in mind." (Watchtower, Nov 1, 1967, p587)
Furthermore, is THIS a subtle claim to inspiration?
" His remnant of faithful followers catch the glory light from the unfolding of the Holy Scriptures, which were written for our day and which Jehovah's appointed interpreter Christ Jesus explains to us. (Watchtower, May 1, 1944 p. 138)
"Jehovah as the great interpreter makes known the meaning of his revelations in his due time, and speculation by men cannot bring to light the true meaning of prophecy before time. Jehovah has provided a channel, the faithful and discreet slave class, who are given spiritual food at the proper time, and this spiritual food includes among other things the understandings of the prophecies in the course of their fulfillments.<b>
(Matt. 24:45 NW) Jehovah's witnesses themselves are not nor can they be interpreters of prophecies. but as fast as the superior authorities Jehovah and Christ Jesus reveal the interpretations through their provided channel that fast do God's people publish them" (Watchtower, April 15, 1952, p. 253)</b>
Now, consider this comment from a current JW expert on this site, if you want to know how JWs actually VIEW the Organization. In short, they believe to disagree with the Watchtower Organization, is to fight against God Himself. Notice a "warning" given to those like me, who love God and His Word with all our hearts, but simply do not accept the Watchtower Society as His "mouthpiece"....
"Why are you wasting your life on such a dead endeavor?
Face it, your fighting not flesh and blood - but Jehovah God. And guess who will win this fight?"
The Watchtower has always been able to argue 2 opposing viewpoints at the same time, depending on the need, or the situation. Are they prophets? The answer is...Yes, and No. Are they inspired? Again, Yes, and No.
The Watchtower DOES claim to be the only channel of communication that Jehovah is using, and they claim that they are the fulfillment of Matthew 24:45-47, which speaks of the "Faithful and Wise Servant" whom Jehovah has appointed to "give meat in due season".
So, its hard not to ask...."If they are commissioned by Jehovah God to provide meat in due season, and since it is claimed that Jehovah is the One Who provides them the interpretations of Scripture, then HOW is this not claiming some type of inspiration?"
But again, if you just ask a JW if he believes the WT is inspired, he will likely say "No". But the key is to watch how he acts when the Bible contradicts it, rather than simply listening to what he says.
Michelle, I hope this answer has been helpful, and please do not hesitate to ask for clarification. Thanks for writing.
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QUESTION: It is quite sad. Since most would say the God doesn't inspire it that only leaves it to be inspired by man. It is tragic to take man's word over the Creator's word.
Thank you for your answer,I appreciate it.
ANSWER: You are correct, and the very sad part is, that they place their future hope of salvation on what it is teaching them. Think of the implications....If the Watchtower is wrong about the major doctrines of the Bible, including salvation, then where does that leave almost 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses world-wide? It is really sad to think about.
And even though they will deny taking man's word over the Creator's Word, their actions speak for themselves. The problem is, they believe the Creator's Word, the Bible, cannot be understood or correctly interpreted WITHOUT the man-made Watchtower Organization. So, their claim to believe that only the Bible is inspired, is based upon MAN correctly interpreting the Bible for them.
What we need to do, is continually pray for them. I pray for the JWs on this board, even the ones who hate my guts. I know that it is not me, but the truth of the Scriptures, that is what is upsetting them. They have been conditioned to believe that only THEY have the truth, and when this is shown to not be true, the reaction is about what you would expect.
We have to love them, and pray for them, and never cease proclaiming the truth that is in Christ.
Thanks again for writing, Michelle. May God bless and keep you, and your family.
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QUESTION: I agree,it's best to pray for them and love them and preach the truth.
God bless you and yours,too.
Thank you, Michelle. I know that I pray for my mom and JW family often. I have several relatives who are JW, including my mother. She has been one for over 40 years now. It will take a working of God in her heart, to show her the truth. Take care.