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Author: David Englund (page 2 of 53)

Discussing Long Bible Passages

28 Long PassagesIn order to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses on some points, it’s necessary to discuss some fairly long Bible passages with them. This is particularly so when we need to show Witnesses the full context of some of their favorite proof texts.

The problem is that trying to discuss dozens of verses in one group doesn’t work.

As I said in a previous post, “If the passage is a long one, review it with them in smaller, more manageable segments rather than getting lost trying to analyze a lengthy passage all at once.” In my experience, to be manageable, the segments should contain no more than 3 or 4 verses each.

This is best explained with an example. Continue reading

Challenging Watchtower Assumptions

27 Challenge WT AssumptionsJehovah’s Witnesses aren’t allowed to question the Watchtower’s doctrines and assumptions.

Because of this, we have to do it for them.

As we do so, we have to walk a fine line so as not to come across as antagonistic. The best way to do this is as students who are seeking to understand the details of Watchtower teachings.

Here are two examples of how to do this. Continue reading

Clarify Differing Positions

26 Clarify Positions (2)As a part of Student Role Teaching, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to clear up misconceptions about what it is that you believe. Don’t assume that Jehovah’s Witnesses already understand your beliefs.

In fact, often they misunderstand what you believe because they are relying on the Watchtower instead of checking things out for themselves.

The only way to know is to ask them. Then you can clear up misconceptions before continuing your discussions.

Here are two examples. Continue reading

Use Language Witnesses Will Understand

25 LanguageAs you listen to Jehovah’s Witnesses talk, you will find them using Watchtower lingo—phrases like “the ransom sacrifice” and “Jehovah’s arrangement for salvation.”

After you get them to define their terms, it often helps to use the Watchtower expressions yourself, so long as you aren’t agreeing to doctrinal error by doing so. Continue reading

Clarify Terminology

24 Clarify terminologyThe Watchtower uses Bible words and phrases but often attaches very different meanings to them. In talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses, therefore, it is critical that you get them to define the terms they are using. Likewise, define the terms you are using.

If you suspect that you have conflicting definitions of words or phrases, explain your understanding of the terms and ask them to explain theirs.

Make clear which definition is being used at various points in the conversation. That way, you will avoid the pitfall of appearing to communicate when in reality you are miscommunicating.

Don’t take anything for granted. Continue reading

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