Can You Understand The Bible?

In this article we will analyze passages from the Watchtower publication, “What Does the Bible Really Teach” (Teach book). I will follow the Teach book quotes with quotes from the Watchtower magazine. Please take notice as to whether there is any contradiction between the Teach book and the Watchtower magazine, while keeping in mind that both were published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

Bible Teach book Pages 8-9 paragraphs 3 – 5:
3 “Think about the question on the cover of this book, the questions raised in the preface, or those at the beginning of this chapter. These are some of the most important questions you can ask. Yet, many people have given up trying to find the answers. Why? Does the Bible have the answers? Some feel that its answers are too hard to understand. Others worry that asking questions could lead to shame or embarrassment. And some decide that such questions are best left to religious leaders and teachers. What about you?

4 Very likely you are interested in getting answers to life’s big questions. No doubt you sometimes wonder: ‘What is the purpose of life? Is this life all there is? What is God really like?’ It is good to ask such questions, and it is important that you do not give up until you find satisfying, reliable answers. The famous teacher Jesus Christ said: “Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.”—Matthew 7:7.

5 If you “keep on seeking” for answers to the important questions, you will find that the search can be very rewarding. (Proverbs 2:1-5) Despite what other people may have told you, there are answers, and you can find them—in the Bible. The answers are not too hard to understand. Better yet, they bring hope and joy. And they can help you to live a satisfying life right now. To begin, let us consider a question that has troubled many people.”

I find these comments interesting. Paragraph 3 said:

“And some decide that such questions are best left to religious leaders and teachers.”

 As a Jehovah’s Witness isn’t this what we have to do? We can believe NOTHING without interpretation from the organization. Paragraph 5 says:

“The answers are not too hard to understand.”

Personally, I strongly agree with this comment. However, the organization does not. Look at these comments from the Watchtower. I give all of the references so you can see for yourself that these quotes are not taken out of context.

Watchtower 10/1/94 page 8 Box     “All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the “greatly diversified wisdom of God” can become known only through Jehovah’s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.” 

Watchtower 10/1/67 page 587 paragraph 9
“Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.”

This is a BOLD statement would you agree? If what the Watchtower published here is true, then what is the role of the Holy Spirit? (John 16:13)

Watchtower 12/1/81 page 27 paragraph 4       “No matter where we may live on earth, God’s Word continues to serve as a light to our path and a lamp to our roadway as to our conduct and beliefs. (Ps. 119:105) But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his “faithful and discreet slave,” made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.”

Do you really believe that God’s Word the Bible is so limited or hard to understand that we will not progress no matter how much Bible reading we do? If Jehovah’s Witnesses really believe this, perhaps they should just get rid of their Bibles and read only the Watchtower publications. Why muddy the waters by reading something that has to be interpreted?

Watchtower 10/1/67 page 591 paragraph 3     “Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect. We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his Word and channel of communication. We cannot accept apostolic teaching, yet reject our commission to teach others. We cannot accept the house-to-house ministry, yet ignore God’s moral requirements in everyday living. We cannot live an exemplary life, yet remain apathetic to the issue soon to be settled. We cannot preach the end of this system of things, yet seek to acquire all that this world has to offer in security or material benefits. Jehovah’s visible organization is based firmly on the twelvefold foundation of the “apostles of the Lamb,” with Jesus Christ himself being the foundation cornerstone. (Rev. 21:14, 19, 20; Eph. 2:20-22) Therefore, in submitting to Jehovah’s visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements.”

Nowhere in the Bible will you find anything suggesting that an organization is needed for life! This is truly human thinking and it puts the Watchtower organization in the place of Jesus! THIS IS DANGEROUS THINKING! Where is the scriptural reference for this statement? Now that we see how the Watchtower organization views itself, let’s look at how the Watchtower views the Catholic Church and then you decide for yourself if and how the organization differs.

Watchtower 10/15/1956 page 617 paragraph 1
“CHILDREN of the Roman Catholic Church are told not to accept any doctrine that does not originate with the church. Further than that, they are told that the ordinary priest and even the bishops are not authorized to interpret the Bible.”

Watchtower 3/15/63 page 169-170 paragraph 6   “Thus, though probably possessing a Bible and freely speaking of it as God’s Word, in reality these professed friends of the Bible are in a false position and, in effect, contradict themselves. This is well illustrated by the following quotation from a Roman Catholic publication. Under the heading, “How Catholics Regard the Bible,” we read: “Catholics . . . cherish the highest esteem and veneration for the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and regard it as a treasure of unique value.” What finer expression of confidence could you want? But wait! The next sentence reads: “But they [Catholics] consider that the Bible was never intended to be the sole and adequate Rule of Faith, partly because it is not a sufficiently exhaustive account of all Christ’s teaching, partly because its expressions of doctrine are not always clear and need authoritative interpretation.” With your confidence in the Bible now undermined, you are then told that the authority of the Catholic church is the divinely provided means for preserving Christ’s full teaching for all time. In other words, it is not the voice of God’s Word, but, rather, the voice of the Catholic church that should be heeded as having full and final authority.”

Just think about it. The organization has actually become like the Catholic Church, which they have criticized many times for believing they were the sole authority and interpreter of the Bible for the people. Ask yourself, how is this different from the Watchtower organization? In almost every Watchtower magazine you can read of how we need to submit to and obey the faithful and discreet slave and their interpretation of the Bible. According to the Bible, we are to submit to and obey ONLY Jehovah and Jesus Christ! (Psalm 118:8-9, Acts 5:29)

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