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Author: David Englund (page 1 of 45)

Esoteric Watchtower Interpretations

Twisting Esoteric InterpretationsThe esoteric interpretation error may be defined as follows: “Under the assumption that the Bible contains a hidden, esoteric meaning which is open only to those who are initiated into its secrets, the interpreter declares the significance of biblical passages without giving much if any explanation for his or her interpretation.”[1]   

The first part of the definition refers to “the assumption that the Bible contains a hidden, esoteric meaning which is open only to those who are initiated into its secrets.”

Throughout its history, the Watchtower has claimed to be the only organization in the last days that truly understands the Bible and serves as Jehovah’s channel of communication to the world (emphasis added in quotations). Continue reading

The Watchtower Claims Virtue by Association

Twisting Virtue by AssociationWhen criticized for errors it has made or for changing its doctrines, occasionally the Watchtower admits that its writings aren’t infallible or inspired like the Bible.

However, these moments of humility are dwarfed by the sweeping authority over the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses which it claims God has given it. In effect, it places its own writings on a par with or even above the Bible, while denying that it does so. Continue reading

The Watchtower Wrongly Asserts That Certain Teachings Are Obvious

Twisting Obvious FallacyThe “obvious fallacy” occurs when “words like absolutely, undoubtedly, certainly, it is only reasonable to conclude and so forth are substituted for logical reasons.”[1]

Using such words or phrases isn’t always wrong, but we need to be careful to examine whether they are being used as a substitute for evidence and logic.

Here are three examples from Watchtower literature. Continue reading

The Watchtower Ignores Alternative Explanations

Twisting Ignoring AlternativesThe error of ignoring alternative explanations means that “a specific interpretation is given to a biblical text or set of texts which could well be, and often have been, interpreted in quite a different fashion, but these alternatives are not considered.”[1]     

Here are three examples from Watchtower publications: Continue reading

The Watchtower Confuses Definitions

Twisting Confused Definition“Confused definition” means, “A biblical term is misunderstood in such a way that an essential biblical doctrine is distorted or rejected.”[1]       

Let’s look at several Watchtower examples.

I won’t go into detail refuting each one. Rather, my goal will be to identify them so you will know the sort of thing to look out for. Continue reading

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