A question for A Jehovahs Witness

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Taff Lafferty
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A question for A Jehovahs Witness

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Can individuals read & understand the Bible alone ?
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Re: A question for A Jehovahs Witness

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[Replying to post 1 by Taff Lafferty]

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Re: A question for A Jehovahs Witness

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Post by JehovahsWitness »

Taff Lafferty wrote: Can individuals read & understand the Bible alone ?
The bible most certainly can (and should) read the bible alone. Jehovah's Witnesses have long been encouraged to read the bible daily

Can the bible be understood alone, without help? To a degree yes. Fully? No. As with any subject with a degree of complexity, help is needed.

Firstly Jesus sent his disciples out to "teach" the word of God. This command, which he indicated would still be applicable thousands of years later, would be redundant if that teaching had not effect on the degree to which the word of God (as recorded in the bible canon) would be understood (compare Mat 28: 19, 20). So Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Christian congregation, and in particular those that take the lead in instructing and teaching, provides essential help in fully understanding scripture.

More importantly, we believe that the bible is of divine origin and the God himself grants full understanding of its contents. He does this to whoever he wants, at his own time and until then the full meaning of the bible (especially prophetic passages) will remain "hidden" to its readers.
To illustrate this we have the case of the Prophet Daniel. Daniel (as recorded in the book of Daniel Chaps 11 and 12) was told to record a series of prophecies. When he had finished recording them the account says he could not understand what he had written (ie understand the meaning of the prophecies). He was told that that would be the case until the "end days" when the meaning would become clear to those concerned.
Independent study can lead to an understanding of much of the bible, especially when the bible itself (not popular theology) is allowed to provide the interpretation, but the role of holy spirit (God's active force) in finding the truth as presented in scripture cannot be ignored

Hope that helps,


JW


Further Reading:

Keys to understanding the bible
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/maga ... and-bible/

How to understand the bible
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/maga ... criptures/
Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Mon May 30, 2016 5:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: A question for A Jehovahs Witness

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Post by Taff Lafferty »

[Replying to post 3 by JehovahsWitness]

When you say help is needed, can you expand or would it be the organization and publications?
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Re: A question for A Jehovahs Witness

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Post by JehovahsWitness »

Taff Lafferty wrote: [Replying to post 3 by JehovahsWitness]

When you say help is needed, can you expand or would it be the organization and publications?

Yes possibly; but that would depend on what time period one is living in.

An orgainzation is simply people. Peoople that work together. Christians are people. So when Jesus send his people out to teach he was effectly setting up an organization to help others understand what presumably they couldn't understand alone. When a Christian person (like myself) provides help, then that individual is getting help from an oranization (the church).
We have the example of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. If you are familiar with the account this man was reading and trying to understand the bible ALONE and having a very hard time of it. Philip the evangelizer was sent (by an angel) to explain the bible to the man, who accepted the help and made spiritual progress.
What does the above account imply? That individuals reading the bible alone can and do have difficulty understanding what is written and that God can send individuals (christians) that represent an organization (Philip was part of an organization, namely the organized Christian congregation at the time) to help. God had not always had an organized Christian congregation on earth, but during the periods that he has, it has been a means of helping people understand His Word more fully.

As for publications*, that is a somewhat modern day phenonomen. early Christians did not have "publications" but they did have word of mouth. From the advent of the printing press the possibility of "publications" playing the role of "word of mouth" became possible. And is a method by which this "help" can legitimately be offered. Indeed I don't know anyone that studies ANY subject that does so without reading supplementary commentaries and manuels on the subject. You'd be hard pushed to meet a doctor for example that has never read a medical journal but attempted to discover the body of medical knowledge from the dawn of mankind "alone" by cutting up bodies and seeing what was inside.


TO CONCLUDE: The bible (and common sense) indicates that God has and does use both individuals (associated with the "body" of his Christian orgainization) and any other means available to both proclaim and explain the truth as they are available in His word.

* As a footnote regarding the use of "written explanitory material" we have the biblical precident of the letters cirulated to the Christians in Antioch explaining the decision made by the Jerusalem counsel (a decision in relation to the correct understanding of certain biblical texts) - see Acts 15.
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Re: A question for A Jehovahs Witness

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Post by Taff Lafferty »

[Replying to post 5 by JehovahsWitness]

Thank you for your response.

A question can these publications and organisations be wrong and if so how does that affect in particular your faith?

Can that wrong ever be undone without undermining the holders of your faiths route of worship?
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Re: A question for A Jehovahs Witness

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Post by JehovahsWitness »

Taff Lafferty wrote: A question can these publications and organisations be wrong [...] ?
Yes. Jehovah's Witnesses believe only the bible is "infallible". Any explanations thereof can (and have in the past) be wrong and need adjusting.
Taff Lafferty wrote: how does that affect in particular your faith?
Personally it strengthens my faith and confidence that I'm part of the right organization as the principle (explained earlier) of progressive revelation is entirely biblical (compare Prov 4:18).
Rather like a Doctor who reads of a new procedure in a respected medical journal, this new information should in no way cause him to question his profession, the established body of medical knowledge aquired so far, or even the journal itself... but rather increases his confidence that the journal is reflected increasing discoveries and affirm his determination to keep up with the progressively improving techniques that reflect an ever increasing knowldege in his field.
In a similar way, the nature of how God deals with humans imposes that we as humans we are willing to change and adjust and accept the reality of human error as they strive to keep as he sheds light on scripture.


JW
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"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Post #8

Post by Taff Lafferty »

It was a leading question in truth, so heres a question;

How do you prove from the Bible that 1935 was the year for the selection to heaven stopped due to being filled?

What is the difference between a Catholic appealing to "what the organisation tells him" about December 25 being the date of Jesus' birthday and a JW' appealing to "what the organisation tells him" about the date 1935?

Is it not hypocritical when you chide the "poor deluded Catholic" that his faith cannot find a Bible passage to support it, when the same goes for you and 1935?
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Post #9

Post by JehovahsWitness »

[Replying to post 8 by Taff Lafferty]

That's an interesting question, that probably deserves a separate thread. If you post it as a separate topic I'm sure someone, somewhere that wants to talk about that particular subject will answer you.


As for this topic
Taff Lafferty wrote: Can individuals read & understand the Bible alone ?
Hope I've been of help. Have a most excellent evening.


JW
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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Post #10

Post by Taff Lafferty »

[Replying to post 9 by JehovahsWitness]

JW, i am disappointed that you feel the question is beyond you.
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