Starting with the first study edition of The Watchtower, the January 15, 2008, issue, a significant detail was included on the front cover. Did you notice it? Take a good look at the cover of the magazine you are holding. There, at the base of the tower, you will note an open Bible. That added feature underscores the reason why we have the Watchtower Study. It is to study the Bible with the help of this magazine. Yes, at our weekly Watchtower Study, God’s Word is “being expounded,” and just as in the time of Nehemiah of old, there is “a putting of meaning into it.”—Neh. 8:8; Isa. 54:13.
Because the Bible is our main textbook, an adjustment was made to the Watchtower Study. Several cited scriptures in the study articles are marked “read.” All of us are encouraged to follow the reading of these scriptures during the meeting, using our own copy of the Bible. (Acts 17:11) Why? When we see God’s counsel in our own Bible, it makes a deeper impression on us. (Heb. 4:12) Therefore, before such scriptures are read out loud, the one conducting the meeting should give all in attendance sufficient time to look up these scriptures and to follow along as the verses are read. -Watchtower Study edition 10/15/10
Certainly, we have to give credit where credit is due in that the Watchtower is encouraging more Bible reading in the congregation. However, if the Watchtower is wanting to focus more on Bible reading and Bible study, why not...study the Bible? What would be so wrong in reading and studying the Bible in the congregation without "the help of this magazine?" Would the congregation be in mass confusion if they decided to go through Galatians verse by verse and have someone exposit its message? That is, if they are going to encourage more Bible reading and study, why not take the extra step and just make it an actual Bible study?