Category: Bible Interpretation (page 1 of 5)

Summary of Watchtower Scripture Twisting

In this series, we’ve looked at 20 different ways in which the Watchtower misreads the Bible.

Since these have been presented one-by-one on a weekly basis, it’s easy to lose track of the big picture or to forget where we’re been.

For this reason, I’ve decided to make this last post of the series a compendium of all that we’ve covered as well as a linked index to the various posts so you can easily go back and review. Continue reading

The Watchtower’s World-View Confusion

Twisting World View ConfusionWorld-view confusion means this: “Scriptural statements, stories, commands or symbols which have a particular meaning or set of meanings when taken within the intellectual and broadly cultural framework of the Bible itself are lifted out of that context, placed within the frame of reference of another system and thus given a meaning that markedly differs from their intended meaning.”[1]  

John 6:66-69 tells us that after Jesus gave a speech in which he talked about the necessity of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, “…many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’”

Clearly, the focal point of this affirmation is Jesus himself. He also is the one to whom we must come. He alone is “the Holy One of God.”

However, since Jesus isn’t here physically any longer and since the Watchtower is convinced that he has appointed it as his “faithful and discreet slave” and put it in charge of all his earthly affairs, it substitutes itself for Jesus in Peter’s declaration. Continue reading

The Watchtower Rejects Biblical Authority Regarding God’s Foreknowledge

Twisting Rejecting Authority on ForeknowledgeAs a reminder of the definition from last week, a person or organization commits the error of rejecting biblical authority when “either the Bible as a whole or texts from the Bible are examined and rejected because they do not appear to agree with reason or other revelation.”[1] 

Admittedly, the issue of God’s foreknowledge is a very difficult one, even for the most brilliant of theologians. The conflicting views are still being debated and refined to this day.

The Watchtower has staked out a rather extreme position on this issue, based on what it considers to be fair and just. Continue reading

The Watchtower Rejects Biblical Authority Regarding Hell

Twisting Rejecting Authority on HellA person or organization commits the error of rejecting biblical authority when, “either the Bible as a whole or texts from the Bible are examined and rejected because they do not appear to agree with reason or other revelation.”[1]                   

The Watchtower’s rejection of biblical authority is never explicit. The Watchtower will never say directly, “The Bible is wrong about that.” Its teaching is that the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God.

But its founder, Charles Taze Russell, set the pattern for the organization by starting with his own reasoning and emotions and then misinterpreting the Bible to teach what he was convinced was true.

The first doctrine of Christendom he rejected was “hellfire.” He wouldn’t send anyone to such a place. How could God? Continue reading

The Watchtower Wrongly Supplements Biblical Authority

Twisting Supplementing Biblical AuthoritySupplementing Biblical authority means, “New revelation from postbiblical prophets either replaces or is added to the Bible as authority.”[1]

Jehovah’s Witnesses would deny that the Watchtower engages in this sort of error. They would point out that they recognize only the Bible as Scripture, unlike, say, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), which explicitly recognizes other scriptures—The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants.

However, the Watchtower does claim to be God’s modern day prophet and his sole channel of communication today.

Here are examples of claims it has made throughout its history (emphasis added in quotations): Continue reading

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