Sunday, November 09, 2008

Comment from a reader on "Watchtower vs. the Bible"

A few days ago I posted a blog, which pondered the question, "why are there more Watchtower magazines in more languages than the Bible?" Shawn chimed in with some excellent thoughts and I thought i'd share them with you here.

So from the title page of the New World Translation...

*** Rbi8 p. 4 Title Page/Publishers’ Page ***

Complete editions published in Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Cebuano, Chinese, Chinese (Simplified), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (also Braille), Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Iloko, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (also Braille), Romanian, Serbian, Serbian (Roman), Sesotho, Shona, Slovak, Spanish (also Braille), Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tsonga, Tswana, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu

(Also in part in American Sign Language [on DVD], Armenian, Bulgarian, Chichewa, Cibemba, Efik, Igbo, Italian Braille, Lingala, Malagasy, Maltese, Ossetian, Russian, Sepedi, Sinhala, Slovenian, Sranantongo, Turkish, Twi, and Ukrainian)

Whole Bible in 44 languages. Then from the Watchtower we have 148 languages.

*** w04 7/15 p. 32 “To Promote Jehovah’s Name” ***

The Watchtower is published in 148 languages and Awake! in 87

This is not such a surprise. The Watchtower Society claims that any Bible supports their theology, it just needs to be explained 'correctly' to the Bible reader.

*** wt chap. 3 pp. 26-27 pars. 7-8 Keep a Firm Grip on the Word of God ***

In addition to helping others believe the Bible, we ourselves need to take time to read it regularly. Are you doing that? Of all the books ever produced, this one is the most important. Of course, this does not mean that if we read it on our own, we need nothing else. The Scriptures warn against isolating ourselves. We should not think that we can figure out everything by independent research. Both personal study and regular attendance at the meetings of God’s people are needed if we are to be balanced Christians.—Proverbs 18:1; Hebrews 10:24, 25.

8 Regarding this, the Bible tells about an Ethiopian official who was reading from the prophecy of Isaiah. An angel directed the Christian evangelizer Philip to ask the man: “Do you actually know what you are reading?” Humbly, the Ethiopian replied: “Really, how could I ever do so, unless someone guided me?” He urged Philip to explain the passage of Scripture. Now, Philip was not merely an independent Bible reader who gave his opinion on the Scriptures. He maintained close contact with God’s visible organization. So he could help the Ethiopian to benefit from the instruction that Jehovah was making available through that organization. (Acts 6:5, 6; 8:5, 26-35) Similarly today, no one arrives at a correct understanding of Jehovah’s purposes on his own. We all need the aid that Jehovah lovingly provides through his visible organization.

I'll ignore the fact that there was no 'visible organization' at that time and focus on the stress the Watchtower Society puts on their publications.

*** km 9/07 p. 3 Question Box ***

Does “the faithful and discreet slave” endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?—Matt. 24:45, 47.

No, it does not. ...

For those who wish to do extra Bible study and research, we recommend that they explore Insight on the Scriptures, “All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial,” and our other publications, such as those that discuss the prophecies found in the Bible books of Daniel, Isaiah, and Revelation. These provide abundant material for Bible study and meditation, whereby we can be “filled with the accurate knowledge of [God’s] will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension, in order to walk worthily of Jehovah to the end of fully pleasing him as [we] go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God.”—Col. 1:9, 10.

*** w07 4/1 p. 25 par. 16 Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave ***

The other sheep recognize that they have greatly benefited from the diligent efforts of the faithful slave in supplying them with timely spiritual food. They humbly acknowledge that were it not for the faithful and discreet slave, they would know little or nothing of precious Bible truths

Clearly, the emphasis is not on the Bible itself, but the unique interpretation of the scriptures that the Watchtower Society promotes.

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