As I mentioned last week, the figurative fallacy means “either (1) mistaking literal language for figurative language or (2) mistaking figurative language for literal language.”
There I looked at how the Watchtower, in its 1917 book, The Finished Mystery, made this error and came up with a now-abandoned teaching about there being four degrees of salvation, a doctrine which Jehovah’s Witnesses today would consider both wrong and fanciful.
Today, I want to look at how the Watchtower makes a similar mistake when interpreting Jesus’ account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Continue reading
The figurative fallacy means “either (1) mistaking literal language for figurative language or (2) mistaking figurative language for literal language.”
The Watchtower has committed this error many times throughout its history. I will discuss two topics: (1) degrees of salvation and (2) the meaning of Jesus’ story about the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).
I’ll discuss the first one this week and the second one next week. Continue reading
The word play error is defined this way: “A word or phrase from a biblical translation is examined and interpreted as if the revelation had been given in that language…”
In his book, Scripture Twisting, James Sire gives the example of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which takes the word “Adam” and turns it into “a dam”—an error or obstruction. Another example might be her turning the English word “atonement” into a completely different concept—”at-one-ment.”
So far as I have been able to determine, the Watchtower has never made this sort of error, but it has made a similar error of using the English measure “inch” in confirming its prophetic date system. Continue reading
The Watchtower teaches that some people will be resurrected while others will not.
Not willing to leave it at that, the Watchtower has taken upon itself to specify what will happen with regard to specific people in Scripture, such as Adam and Eve and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah whom God destroyed.
The problem is that the Watchtower keeps changing its mind about these things. Continue reading
A major source of biblical error is reading more into a passage than God actually put there. Sire calls this “overspecification”, which occurs when “a more detailed or specific conclusion than is legitimate is drawn from a Bible text.” Using this method of interpretation allows one to create new doctrines with little or no actual biblical foundation. Continue reading