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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

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

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