Category: Bible Interpretation (page 1 of 10)

When Prophetic Speculation Flops

  1. You study the scriptures intently.
  2. You develop unique insights into Bible prophecy.
  3. You check and recheck your assumptions and calculations.
  4. Everything makes sense—everything fits.
  5. Multiple lines of analysis confirm your conclusions.
  6. Now confident, you make specific predictions and teach them to others.
  7. You develop a significant following.
  8. Then the day arrives and nothing you predicted comes to pass.
  9. Your disappointed followers demand an explanation and threaten to leave you.

Now what do you do? Continue reading

The Lure of Prophetic Speculation

The Emmaus disciples were devastated. Not knowing that it was the resurrected Christ they were talking with, they disclosed that they had hoped that Jesus would be the one who would redeem Israel. But then he was crucified.

Now there was a report that his body was missing from the tomb and that angels told some of his women followers that he was alive. They were trying to make sense of it all. Continue reading

The Watchtower Chameleon

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses simultaneously adopts two contradictory personas—one to establish its right to demand constant obedience and trust from all Jehovah’s Witnesses and the other to defend itself against criticism when it is proven to be wrong about something.

Persona #1: The “faithful and discreet slave” of Matthew 24:45—chosen by Jehovah and Jesus to be the sole dispenser of spiritual truth in these latter days.

Persona #2: Humble Christian brothers who do not claim to be inspired, infallible, or perfect.

Let’s look first at Persona #1. Continue reading

Dealing with Watchtower Faith and Works Proof Texts

When discussing faith and works, Jehovah’s Witnesses will insist on looking at James 2. They will cite you verses that seem to flatly contradict Paul.

Here are some examples. (pp. 97-100)

  • Paul (Romans 3:28): “For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”
  • James (James 2:24): “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
  • Paul (Romans 4:2-5): “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as’ Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.”
  • James (James 2:20-23): “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.”

After they have cited you their proof texts from James, say something like this: “That’s confusing, isn’t it? At first blush, those verses seem to be saying the exact opposite. What do you think? Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Paul and James contradict each other? Does Jehovah’s Word contradict itself?” They will have to say no.

Again, putting the onus on them to be the teachers, add, “Then help me out here. How do you reconcile them?” Continue reading

Discussing Paul Regarding Faith and Works

Because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they are “in the truth” and that we are in spiritual darkness, they insist on being the teachers.

Fine. Ask them to explain to you what Paul is teaching in Romans 4 and Ephesians 2 regarding the relationship of faith and works in the salvation process. Continue reading

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