In 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
The “obvious fallacy” occurs when “words like absolutely, undoubtedly, certainly, it is only reasonable to conclude and so forth are substituted for logical reasons.”
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 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.”
Here are three examples from Watchtower publications: Continue reading
“Confused definition” means, “A biblical term is misunderstood in such a way that an essential biblical doctrine is distorted or rejected.”
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
The Watchtower uses a relative handful of scriptures as proof texts for its teaching that when you’re dead you’re dead—that is, that there’s no part of human beings (soul or spirit) that survives physical death:
- Ecclesiastes 9:5: “…the dead know nothing at all…” (NWT)
- Ezekiel 18:4: “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (NWT)
- Psalm 146:4: “His spirit goes out, he returns to the ground; on that very day his thoughts perish.” (NWT)
For them, this is the end of the discussion. Any other scriptures have to conform to the teaching that these verses appear to support. This error is called “selective citing”. Continue reading