Jehovah Witness - The Hidden Truth
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This article has been compiled from several sources referred within the article itself.
Hidden Facts of Jehovah Witness
A Jehovah Witness holds, among others, two foundational beliefs:
1. The Watchtower Society is God’s channel of communication
2. That the ‘New World Translation Bible’ is the most accurate and authentic Bible translation.
Here we look into the facts behind these two claims. The first three sections deal with the Watchtower society and the last two look into the Bible advocated by the society.
1. The Watchtower Society
2. Essential Highlights
3. Short History
4. New World Translation Bible
5. Received Text (Textus Receptus) Manuscript
The Watchtower Society
The Watchtower Society makes several claims:
· A prophet of God. – Watchtower (WT) 4/1/72 p.197
· They have claimed that the dates in their publications are "God's Dates". - WT Reprints II, p 1677, Jan. 1, 1894.
· The Watch Tower's first president was Charles T. Russell. The WT claimed that the material in Russell's books “All came from God." - Finished Mystery p 387.
· JW's are supposed to be directed by Angels. - WT 4/1/72 p. 200.
· They claim to be the only ones on earth that are directed by God's Holy Spirit. - WT 7/1/73. Pg. 402
· WT literature is called "Divinely provided light." - JW's In The Divine Purpose pg. 46.
· In WT books we are told we'll find "God's Truth Not Man's Truth" - WT book Preservation pg. 104.
· They have claimed to be directed & supervised by Jesus Christ. - Prophecy p 203.
· If you repudiate Pastor Russell and his work, this is equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord! - WT 5/1/1922 p. 132. (Repudiate means "to reject as untrue".)
The WT once published a book called "Riches". On p. 178 of that book we are told that “if you find doctrines that are contrary to God's word that these doctrines are lies and they come from the devil”. If WT doctrines are really "God's Truth" then they should be correct all of the time, because God cannot lie. Titus 1:2.
We need to check if these claims are true or not. A few of the prophecies made by the Watchtower Society but later changed or proven false:
“...the battle of the great day of the God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of the earth's present rulership, is already commenced." - The Time Is At Hand, p 101, (1908 ed.)
"Our Lord the appointed King, is now present since October 1874", - Studies In The Scriptures, Vol. 4.P 621
"The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great thousand-year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great Seventh Day, the thousand years of Christ's reign, began in 1873." - The Time Is At Hand p. II.
"Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection." - Millions Now Living Will Never Die. p. 893
“The date 1925 is more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures because it is fixed by the law god gave Israel" - WT! / 9 / 1 /22 p. 262
1931 There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1914, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time. Later the faithful learned that these dates were definitely fixed in the Scriptures; and they also learned to quit fixing dates for the future and predicting what would come to pass on a certain date," - Vindication Vol.1 P. 338.
"The year 1940 is certainly to be the most important yet, because Armageddon is very near. - Informant . May 1940
"Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for the most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon." - WT 8/ 15 /41 p. 288
"True there have been those in times past who predicted an "end" to the world, even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The "end" did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that he was using them... But what about today? Today we have the evidence required, all of it." - Awake 10 / 8 / 68 p.23
"Discussion of 1975 overshadowed about everything else. 'The new book compels us to realise that Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed,' said a conventioneer." (Watchtower 15/10/1966, p 629)
"Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A. D. according to the testimony of the prophets, to those who have ears to hear it..." - The Watchtower Reprints, July 15, 1905, p. 3576
“The Scriptures show that his second presence was due in 1874. This proof shows that the Lord has been present since 1874." - The Watchtower, March 1, 1923, p. 67
"Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874..." - The Watchtower, January 1, 1924, p. 5
The WT once taught that 6000 years of Human History ended in 1872. Check their book "Daily Heavenly Manna" This was wrong.
Then they said that 6000 years of Human History ended in 1873. This was wrong. WT book "The Time Is At Hand" p.33
J.W.'s were also taught that 6000 years of Human History ended in 1972. WT book "The Truth Shall Make You Free". p. 152, 1943 ed. This was not correct.
Now J.W.'s are told that 6000 years of Human History ended in 1975. Awake Oct. 8, 1968
Watch Tower readers were told the "The Time Of The End" began in 1799. WT book "The Kingdom Come" p. 129, 1914 ed. This was an error.
Watch Tower supporters were told that Jesus died on a cross. "The Harp Of God". p. 113. This they no longer believe.
The Watch Tower taught an 1878 resurrection from the dead. This was false. WT book Thy Kingdom Come p 234.
The Millennium Began in 1873. Ibid p. 305. This was wrong
Armageddon would end in 1914. This was false prophecy. The Time Is At Hand" p.101, 1889 ed.
Armageddon would end in 1915. This was another false prophecy. The Time Is At Hand". p.101,1915 ed.
The WT taught that Christ returned in 1874. Watch Tower (WT) book "The Finished Mystery" p.386, 295, 1917 ed. This was false.
The WT predicted that the Churches would be destroyed in 1918. This was another false prophecy. Finished Mystery p. 485, 513.
The WT taught that the Millennium began in 1874. Today they teach that it did not begin in 1874. The Finished Mystery. p.386.
They said Jesus was the "Almighty "of Rev. 1:8 This time they were correct, but have since changed their minds and no longer believe it. Finished Mystery p. 15.
They once taught that Abraham would come out of his grave in 1925, 1925 and live in San Diego, California. This was a false prophecy. "Millions Now Living Will Never Die." p.89 & 90 and "Salvation" pgs. 310 - 312.
"Would it be scripturally proper for them to marry and begin to rear children? No, is the answer, which is supported by the scriptures....I will be far better to be unhampered and without burdens, that they may do the Lords will now, as the Lord commands, and also be without hindrance during Armageddon. ... Those... who now contemplate marriage, it would seem, would do better if they wait a few years, until the fiery storm of Armageddon is gone." (Face the Facts, 1938, p. 46, 47, 50)
"Similarly, God's command to 'abstain from blood' rules out ingesting it by the mouth as well as through injections into the veins. Furthermore, the Bible makes it clear that the divine law was not to be ignored even during an emergency that could threaten life. (1 Sam. 14:31-35) Many of God's approved servants have been willing to face dangers and even death rather than violate Scriptural principles and their integrity to Jehovah." (The Watchtower, June 15, 1978, p.24) Now they allow blood transfusions
Abaddon means "A Bad One". Apollyon means "Satan the Devil", Finished Mystery. p.159. Now JW's are taught the Abaddon & Apollyon are Jesus Christ. "Then Is Finished The Mystery Of God". p. 232
At one time the WT taught it was proper to worship Jesus Christ. WT Reprints p. 2337. July 15, 1898
Now the WT tells us NOT to worship Jesus Christ. WT Jan 1, 1954, p 31. Compare Heb. 1:6. Would all the JW's that worshipped Jesus before 1954 be idol worshipers?
The WT taught that Rev. 14:20 referred to the Railroad Station in Scranton, Penn. USA, Finished Mystery p 230.
Short History of Jehovah’s Witness:
Second Adventist, after teaching that the earth would burn up in 1874, became "main author" of 1877 end time prophetic book, "Three Worlds," paid for & co-published by C. T. Russell, in which, Barbour now asserted that date(1874) to mark Christ's invisible return in 1874 and the "day of wrath" in AD1914.
Charles Taze Russell:
First Watch Tower president, broke away from Barbour and his Second Advent mentors in 1879 to publish his own journal, Zion's Watch Tower and Hera!d of Christ's Presence. Russell enlarged on the proof of the end time date of 1914 by lengthy argumentation in his books (STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES Vol. 1-6) and the Watch Tower magazine from 1879 until his death in 1916.
One of his most interesting features was his claim to prophetic insight, and proof of the 1914 date, by measuring the chambers of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, calling it "God's Bible in stone' and "God's stone witness". Russell became "pastor" to an increasing group of supporters called "Bible Student's.* His ministry survived a divorce, a "Miracle Wheat" scandal, complete with law-suit, which he lost, the issue of "the vow", the 1914 failure and ended with another prediction; Armageddon in 1918.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford:
An attorney and substitute judge, became second Watch Tower president amid Bible Student chaos when Russell neglected to make his four hand-picked successors legal board members. Three groups of Bible Students broke off by the spring of 1918. "He had a streak of self-righteousness which caused him to regard anyone who opposed him as of the Devil,"* was moody, rude, profane, had a violent temper, prone to physical violence, smoked cigars & was alcoholic.
Had the book THE FINISHED MYSTERY written & released 1917 in which he infuriated religion and government, ended up getting all eight board members sentenced to prison for treason under the American Espionage Act. In 1919 instituted door-to-door distribution of magazines and in 1920 "class workers" began to report their activities to the Watch Tower Society. Predicted "the end" in 1918, 1920, 1925, &1941. Started the "Millions Now Living Will Never Die' campaign in 1918, released the book in 1920 that predicted the return of the Ancient Worthies in 1925, built them a mansion in San Diego CA in 1929 that he wintered in till he died. Had the use of two 16 cylinder Cadillacs in the 30's when his followers experienced the depression, soup lines, & dust bowls. Was the architect of most present day Watchtower beliefs & practices. Claimed the Holy Spirit quit working in 1918 and that the Lord sent messages for him to write in the Watchtower books and magazines direct to him through thought transference by Angels.
Today he is heralded as "humble as a little child" by group leaders (WT 12-i-'93 p.14). Changed the group name to "Jehovah's witnesses" in 1931, closed the doors to heaven in 1935 for all but 144,000 JWs. *(Apocalypse Delayed, M.J. Penton)
Nathan Homer Knorr:
Raised in the Dutch Reformed Church, third president, set up training programs for recruiters & group speakers, left doctrinal matters up to vice-president F. Franz. Directed the wave of new recruits flocking to escape the current world end prophecy of 1975. Required members to follow Watchtower medical advice, banned vaccinations, blood transfusions, and organ transplants.
F. W. Franz:
Presbyterian ministerial student, Bible translator (NWT committee) self-taught in Hebrew, could not speak Hebrew or translate one verse of Hebrew in a court of law. Fourth WT president dealt with the 1975 failed prophecy with denial, circled the spiritual wagons and at 88 years of age led a massive purge of suspected dissenters. Members, including his own nephew, Governing Body member Ray Franz, suspected of "independent thinking" were interrogated, some for hours & hours in secret meetings, then disfellowshipped & shunned.
Milton G. Henschel:
Fifth Society president. "Transplants of hearts and other organs are a form of cannibalism', "Witnesses believe the last generation is dated from the first globular, 1914, and the time is getting near to the end of that generation", and when asked if the Witnesses ever "reform' he answered, "they are always growing in new Bible understanding." [Detroit Free Press July 1968] Nov. 1, 1995 Watchtower "NEW LIGHT" - "This Generation" no longer refers to the year 1914.
And yet in spite of this they still claim
"...Jehovah's organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God's holy spirit or active force." - WT! 7 / 1 / 73 p 402.
Might the Society be teaching anything scripturally incorrect now?
If the name "Jehovah" is so important, then why does Acts 4:12 say, "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name [v10 Jesus Christ] under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved"? Would this not have been the logical place for God to have used the name "YHWH"?
New World Translation Bible
The Watchtower leadership has repeatedly refused to divulge the names and/or academic qualifications of the people within their organization who produced the New World Translation (4). Common sense should tell anyone that it is not wise to trust a Bible translation produced by totally anonymous translators, whatever might be their stated reasons for wishing to remain anonymous. How are we to know whether they have the necessary expertise to produce an accurate translation?
Let me illustrate. Suppose your ten-year-old son needs a kidney transplant. Suppose that a man you have never met before approaches you, claiming to be a surgeon, and offers to perform the operation free of charge. Yet your repeated requests to know this man’s name, to find out whether or not he graduated from medical school, or to learn whether he is a member of the American Medical Association are politely rebuffed. The “surgeon,” allegedly because he is extremely humble and wishes to receive no glory or credit for his good deeds, simply refuses reveal this information about himself. Would you allow this man to operate on your son? If you would not trust a loved ones’ mortal life to an anonymous (possibly unqualified) “surgeon”, why would you trust your eternal destiny to a committee of anonymous (possibly unqualified) Bible translators?
We cannot trust the JW translators since they admit to:
"As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise caution when dealing with God's foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God's enemies." (Watchtower; 6/1/1960; p. 352). This is similar to catholic translators too since “.. we are ... under an obligation to keep secrets faithfully, and sometimes the easiest way of fulfilling that duty is to say what is false, or to tell a lie.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, X, 195)
Watchtower does not allow independent thinking or JW to study the Bible alone.
“Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible itself, but we see also that if anyone lays the 'Scripture Studies'(S.S) ... after he has read them for 10 years-if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone...out experience shows that within 2 years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he has merely read the 'S.S.' with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years." (Watchtower, Sept 15, 1910)
Channel to understanding the Bible... All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave. (Watchtower; Oct. 1, 1994; p. 8)
Court's Question to Franz: "Who subsequently became the Editor of the magazine, the main editor of the 'Watch Tower' magazine?" Franz's Answer: "Jehovah God." (Fred W. Franz on the witness stand under oath, New York King's County Clerks' Court Record, 1940, vol. II, p 795)
“Avoid independent thinking...” (Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1983 pg. 22)
Thus 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. (The Watchtower; 10/1/1967; pp. 587)
The following list of translators of the New World Translation is a compilation from a variety of sources:
Frederick W. Franz: Main translator. Took liberal arts sequence at University of Cincinnati; 21 semester hours of classical Greek, some Latin. Partially completed a two-hour survey course in Biblical Greek in junior year; course titled "The New Testament--A course in grammar and translation." Left in spring of 1914 before completing junior year. Self-taught in Spanish, biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. Entered Brooklyn headquarters facility of Watchtower Society in 1920. Probable ghost writer for J. F. Rutherford (2nd president of WTS) from late 1920s through 1942. Vice president of WTS from 1942 to 1977, president from 1977 until death in 1992 at age 99.
Franz writes in his autobiography: "What a blessing it was to study Bible Greek under Professor Arthur Kensella! Under Dr. Joseph Harry, an author of some Greek works, I also studied the classical Greek. I knew that if I wanted to become a Presbyterian clergyman, I had to have a command of Bible Greek. So I furiously applied myself and got passing grades" (The Watchtower, May 1, 1987, p. 24). Franz gives the impression that the bulk of his Greek studies were "Bible Greek" under "Professor Kensella" and that classical Greek was secondary under "Dr. Joseph Harry." The opposite is true. As mentioned above, Franz only took one 2-hour credit class of "Bible Greek" but 21 hours of classical Greek. According to the course catalog of 1911, Arthur Kensella was not a professor of Greek, as Franz wrote, but an "instructor in Greek." Kensella did not have a Ph.D. and he therefore taught entry-level courses.
Nathan H. Knorr: No training in biblical languages. Entered Brooklyn headquarters in 1923; 3rd president of WTS from 1942 to 1977. Died 1977 at age 72.
Milton G. Henschel: No training in biblical languages. Private secretary and traveling companion to N. H. Knorr from late 1940s until early 1970s. 4th president of WTS from 1992 to 2000. Still living, age mid-80s.
Albert D. Schroeder: No training in biblical languages. Took 3 years of mechanical engineering, unspecified language courses in college, dropped out in 1932 and soon entered Brooklyn headquarters. Registrar of "Gilead School" from 1942 to 1959. Still living, age 90.
Karl Klein: No training in biblical languages. Entered Brooklyn headquarters in 1925; member of Writing Dept. since 1950. Died 2001 at age 96.
George D. Gangas: No training in biblical languages. Greek-speaking Turkish national, entered Brooklyn headquarters in 1928 as a Greek translator from English to modern Greek publications. Died 1994 at age 98.
The New Testament for the NWT was taken from the Westcott and Hort manuscripts. A Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures published by the Watchtower organization admits Westcott and Hort were the primary New Testament text utilized.
…forcing the word Jehovah into the New Testament is simply wrong. When your translators did this they went against thousands of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament; some of which date back to the second century. Instead the New Testament uses the words “Lord” [Greek: Kurios] and “God” [Greek: theos] when talking about God. The writers never used Jehovah, even when quoting the Old Testament. The Greek New Testament source for the New World Translation, Westcott and Hort, never used Jehovah.
Fred W. Franz, claimed to know Hebrew and Greek, but upon examination under oath in a court of law in Edinburg Scotland he failed a simple Hebrew test.
In court Franz was asked if he knew Hebrew and he said yes. He said he had a command of various languages including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, German, and French. When asked if he speaks Hebrew, he said no. He was then asked if he could translate the fourth verse of Genesis into Hebrew. His answer was NO! The fact was Franz, like the others on the committee, did not have the knowledge to translate Hebrew or Greek. The truth is Franz dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after his sophomore year and even while there, he had not studied anything related to theological issues….
Received Text (Textus Receptus) Manuscript:
Why should we not trust the Bible translations based on Wescott and Hort text like the New World Translation Bible? Why should we trust the Bible translations based on Textus Receptus?
Textus Receptus type manuscripts and versions have existed as the majority of texts for almost 2000 years.
§ All of the Apostolic Churches used the Textus Receptus
§ Peshitta (150 A.D.) was based on the Textus Receptus
§ Papyrus 66 used the Textus Receptus
§ The Italic Church in the Northern Italy (157 A.D.) used the Textus Receptus
§ The Gallic Church of Southern France (177 A.D.) used the Textus Receptus
§ The Celtic Church used the Textus Receptus
§ The Waldensians used the Textus Receptus
§ The Gothic Version of the 4th or 5th century used the Textus Receptus
§ Curetonian Syriac is basically the Textus Receptus
§ Vetus Itala is from Textus Receptus
§ Codex Washingtonianus of Matthew used the Textus Receptus
§ Codex Alexandrinus in the Gospels used the Textus Receptus
§ The vast majority of extant New Testament manuscripts all used the Textus Receptus (99% of them)
§ The Greek Orthodox Church used the Textus Receptus.
Greek manuscript evidences point to a Byzantine/Textus Receptus majority.
§ 85% of papyri used Textus Receptus, only 13 represent text of Westcott-Hort
§ 97% of uncial manuscripts used Textus Receptus, only 9 manuscripts used text of WH
§ 99% of minuscule manuscripts used Textus Receptus, only 23 used text WH
§ 100% of lectionaries used Textus Receptus.
The Textus Receptus was compiled from a number of Byzantine manuscripts by numerous editors from the early 1500s. There were editions from textual editors such as Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, the Elzevirs, Mill and Scrivener. These editions differ slightly from one another but still are regarded as the same basic text.
The modern versions are based mainly upon a Greek New Testament which was derived from a small handful of Greek manuscripts from the 4th century onwards. Two of these manuscripts, which many modern scholars claim to be superior to the Byzantine, are the Sinai manuscript and the Vatican manuscript (c. 4th century). These are derived from a text type known as the Alexandrian text (because of its origin in Egypt); this text type was referred to by the textual critics Westcott and Hort as the 'Neutral text'. Most new theologians accept them as more accurate since they are the oldest extant copies but being an old copy does not mean that it is a true copy.
A good illustration would be to suppose that, in the year 3000, a copy of the English Bible was found which dated from the 1980s. Suppose this Bible happened to be the oldest existing Bible available, and this Bible happened to differ in hundreds of places from the Bible that was in use by Christians in the year 3000. One could well imagine the scientific critics, with their methodology, extolling the virtues of the ancient age of this Bible argue that it is the truest. But their arguments would tend to fall apart when, after beginning to translate Bibles into modern languages on the basis of this ancient book, Christians discovered that this version of the Scriptures was the Satanic Bible.
There are many problems of omission which characterize this Greek New Testament. Verses and passages which are found in the writings of Church Fathers from around 200 to 300 A.D. are missing in the Alexandrian Text manuscripts which date from around 300 to 400 A.D. In addition, these early readings are found in manuscripts in existence from 500 A.D. onwards. An example of this is Mark 16.9-20, this passage is found in the writings of Irenaeus and Hippolytus in the 2nd century, and is in almost every manuscript of Mark's Gospel from 500 A.D. onwards. It is missing in two Alexandrian manuscripts, the Sinai and the Vatican manuscripts. These manuscripts were written at a later date than the writings of Irenaeus and Hippolytus. Yet, they are claimed to be the most perfectly preserved though we see that they fail the test of truth.
This is but one of many examples of this problem. There are many words, verses and passages which are omitted from the modern versions but which are found in the Traditional or Byzantine Text of the New Testament, and thus in the Textus Receptus. The Critical Text differs from the Textus Receptus text 5,337 times, according to one calculation. The Vatican manuscript omits 2,877 words in the Gospels; the Sinai manuscript 3,455 words in the Gospels. These problems between the Textus Receptus and the Critical Text are very important to the correct translation and interpretation of the New Testament. Contrary to the contention of supporters of the Critical Text, these omissions do affect doctrine and faith in the Christian life
In conclusion we request you not to follow the teachings of a group of people or the unholy bibles but to test every doctrine in the light of the Bible translated from Textus Receptus. God bless you.