• Beware of Scripture Twisting - The late Walter Martin, author of The Kingdom of the Cults, once said in a lecture, “There are basic rules of language that God himself observes, so we need to learn what they are and teach and apply them.”
  • How the Watchtower Misquotes the Bible - Rarely—if ever—do Jehovah’s Witnesses compare the Watchtower claims to what the Bible texts actually say. Rather, they trust the Watchtower organization implicitly and assume that when the Watchtower quotes or cites Bible texts that those passages fully support the points the Watchtower is making. Often, that is not the case at all.
  • The Watchtower’s Twisted Translation Regarding Jesus - The Watchtower publishes its own version of the Bible, calling it “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.” Jehovah’s Witnesses consider it to be the best translation of the Bible available. It is the only one they will really trust. Unfortunately, key passages have been mistranslated in order to support Watchtower theology.
  • The Watchtower’s Twisted Translation Regarding “Jehovah” - Today, I’m going to look at the fact that the Watchtower has inserted the name “Jehovah” into the New World Translation of the New Testament 237 times, despite the fact that the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) does not appear in any existing Greek New Testament manuscript.
  • The Watchtower’s Biblical Hooks - Imagine if the Watchtower simply asserted, “In order to please God, you must believe whatever we tell you whether you understand why or not.” That statement would be outrageous! Who would believe it? So in order to convince people to believe what they say, the Watchtower frequently uses a “Biblical hook”.
  • The Watchtower Often Ignores the Immediate Context - The error of ignoring the immediate context is defined as follows: “A text of Scripture is quoted but removed from the surrounding verses which form the immediate framework for its meaning..” In my mind, the greatest example of this in Watchtower literature is its use of Ecclesiastes 9:5. It latches onto one clause in the middle of the verse—“the dead know nothing at all” (NWT)—and turns those words into its doctrine concerning what happens after death.
  • The Watchtower Collapses Contexts - Using a reductio ad absurdum, Walter Martin demonstrated how, by collapsing contexts, we can make the Bible seem to teach anything.
  • The Watchtower Reads into Texts Regarding the Resurrection - 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.
  • Watchtower Word Play - The founder of the Watchtower movement, Charles Taze Russell, didn’t originate pyramidology, but he believed in it wholeheartedly and repeatedly used the measurements of its passageways (in inches) to corroborate his end times speculations.
  • The Watchtower Once Taught That There Are Four Degrees of Salvation–Two Heavenly and Two Earthly - 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.
  • The Watchtower’s Fanciful Interpretation of the Rich Man and Lazarus - 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).
  • Speculative Watchtower Prophecy: 1914 - The prophetic speculation errors of the Watchtower are enough to fill a book—maybe several books. I am going to highlight just some of the things it has said over the years about the significance of the year 1914.
  • The Watchtower Asserts Without Citing - “Saying but not citing” is an error in which “a writer says that the Bible says such and such but does not cite the specific text (which often indicates that there may be no such text at all).” The Watchtower commits this error frequently. This allows them to imply that they are just teaching what the Bible teaches, when in fact the Bible provides little or no support for their teaching. Here are four examples from Watchtower literature:
  • The Watchtower Cites Selectively - “Selective citing” means “to substantiate a given argument, only a limited number of texts is quoted; the total teaching of Scripture on that subject would lead to a conclusion different from that of the writer.”
  • The Watchtower Uses Inadequate Evidence - The error of inadequate evidence is defined this way: “A hasty generalization is drawn from too little evidence.” In his book, Scripture Twisting, James W. Sire gives this example: “[T[he Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that blood transfusion is nonbiblical, but the biblical data which they cite fails either to speak directly to the issue or to adequately substantiate their teaching.” Let’s look at this example in some detail.
  • The Watchtower Confuses Definitions - “Confused definition” means, “A biblical term is misunderstood in such a way that an essential biblical doctrine is distorted or rejected.”[1]        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. […]
  • The Watchtower Uses Inadequate Evidence - The error of inadequate evidence is defined this way: “A hasty generalization is drawn from too little evidence.” In his book, Scripture Twisting, James W. Sire gives this example: “[T[he Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that blood transfusion is nonbiblical, but the biblical data which they cite fails either to speak directly to the issue or to adequately substantiate their teaching.” Let’s look at this example in some detail.
  • The Watchtower Ignores Alternative Explanations - 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.