Previously, I have discussed the advantages of having a genuine Bible study with Jehovah’s Witnesses—that is a verse-by-verse study of an actual book of the Bible rather than a Watchtower publication.
Why might Witnesses refuse to participate in such a study? First, they have never been taught how to do it. Second, the Watchtower teaches that no one can properly understand the Bible without the Watchtower organization to explain it to them.
So what do you do if the Witnesses flatly refuse to agree to an inductive study using the Bible alone?
Ask them why your request is out of line. They came to your door to offer you a “free home Bible study” and to explain the Bible’s message to you, didn’t they? You want to take them up on their offer. Are you being unreasonable to expect Jehovah’s Witnesses to be able to explain a book of the Bible verse-by-verse, paragraph-by-paragraph, chapter-by-chapter, in context?
You are willing to let them teach you the truth straight out of the Bible, but they aren’t willing to do it. You don’t understand what’s wrong.
Ask, “Is Watchtower literature superior to the Bible?” They can’t say that it is, but they may tell you that Watchtower literature is topically arranged and makes the Bible more understandable.
Ask, “Why does the Watchtower urge people to read and to study the Bible if they can’t understand it?”
Don’t be rude. Don’t make accusations about the Watchtower taking verses out of context. Just focus on the positive. Say something like, “We all agree that it’s important for us to study God’s Word. What better way is there to do that than to work straight through a Bible book and see what its message is?”
Make clear that you don’t object in any way to them studying Watchtower materials as much as they want or even explaining how they see things as Jehovah’s Witnesses, but right now you personally only want to be taught out of the Bible itself.
If they still refuse, pray earnestly about how to proceed. God may lead you to let them walk away so he can convict them of their unwillingness to rely solely on the Bible. Or he may lead you to try one of the approaches set out in my book.
You may even be led to let them “win” this point by agreeing to study their materials with them. I plan in a later blog series to show you how you can actually employ their Watchtower study book as a springboard for using my book’s approaches.
For the rest of this series, however, I’ll assume that they are at least willing to try studying an actual Bible book with you.