The truth about JW “Bible Studies”

June 7th, 2009

You hear a knock at your door. When you answer, you find one or more Jehovah’s Witnesses standing there.  Oh yes, you remember them; they were the nice people who you spoke to a couple of weeks ago when they came by and left a free Watchtower and Awake! magazine with you. You were polite to them during that visit, so they have marked your address down for a “go-back” (revisit).

“Hello. We just wanted to stop by and drop off the latest issues of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines for you to read,” says a JW. “There are some really good articles in them announcing God’s kingdom that will soon rule the Earth.”

You reach out to accept the magazines and thank them. The JW continues, “We’d very much like to offer you the opportunity to have a free weekly Bible study in your home. This will be your opportunity to learn about all the great things that are promised to mankind within our lifetimes. You do have a Bible don’t you?”

After confirming that you do have a Bible somewhere around the house, but admit that you have hardly ever read it, you think about it and then respond that having a Bible study might be a good thing.

JW makes arrangements to come back in a few days to begin the Bible study sessions with you.  You will be given a copy of a Watchtower study book and maybe a copy of The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the Watchtower’s own version of the Bible written in modern English.

As you study though, you find that the process has a certain pace to it and an unnatural feeling will come over you.  When the JW comes to your home to conduct the “Bible study,” you will spend one hour a week reading through one of the Watchtower’s basic training books.  Their book will be your only guide and the Bible will be rarely opened, and when it is, JW only reads one or two verses at a time.

“Why don’t you read the first paragraph in the study book?” JW asks. You do. Then JW reads the question at the bottom of the page and asks you to answer it from the paragraph that you just read.

JW might also suggest that you highlight that answer with a marking pen or underline it with a pencil.  But the answer is seems so obvious that you wonder, “Why should I mark it? After all I can always find it again by simply reading the short paragraph.”

Then JW reads a paragraph. After asking you the next question, JW may add comments to expand on the information.  But why? The paragraph supposedly says it all and it wasn’t that long to begin with. This procedure goes on and on for the rest of the hour.

But wait a minute! Wasn’t this going to be a “Bible study.”  Yes, both you and JW had your Bibles handy and read a half-dozen verses from them during the hour, but you really didn’t “study the Bible,” did you?

After four to six weekly studies, the JW will invite you to come to the Kingdom Hall, to listen to the Sunday “public talk” and sit in on the Watchtower study. JW will tell you that the speaker will provide new information during the talk that will answer your questions about why “this system of things must come to an end and be replaced by Jehovah’s new heavens and a paradise new earth.”

If you go to the Kingdom Hall, you will hear a well-dressed gentleman give a 30-45 minute sermon that will explain that all men die because of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden; that Jesus Christ came to Earth after being an archangel in heaven to die on a wooden stake as a sacrifice to remove Adam’s curse on man. Then he tells you that we are living in the “time of the end,” a period that started in 1914 and is soon to end with the great Battle of Armageddon. Every wicked person (that means those who are not faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses and you, if you don’t convert and become a Witness) is destroyed by God during Armageddon. Jehovah God will take a thousand years to beautify the Earth and turn it back into a Edenic paradise where Jehovah’s Witnesses will live forever along with resurrected faithful men of ancient times like Moses and David. Jehovah’s Witnesses and others who were faithful to “Jehovah’s organization” unto death will also be resurrected and given new, perfect bodies. Everyone will live forever in peace under the rule of Jesus Christ and 144,000 super-faithful anointed Christians who live in Heaven.

If you manage to get through that and the Watchtower magazine study that follows, you will pretty much know everything basic about the teachings of the Watchtower Society and how the Witnesses present them. If you go again the next week, you will hear a different sermon with a different title, but the basic information and flow will be exactly the same. The outlines for the 6-10 public talks all follow the same general teaching format with almost the same subject lists. They change a few words and add a few things to make them all sound a little different – but I can assure you that they are all the same. You hear one, you’ve heard all. “Rinse and repeat.”

What most new converts or those studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t realize is that what they have just experienced is pretty much what their lives will be like as long as they are Jehovah’s Witnesses.  They will find that the same material is rehashed over and over in exactly the same way: question, answers, read the paragraph – “rinse and repeat” so to speak.

Even though nothing really new is ever presented (except possibly at summer conventions), every JW is still expected to study the magazine or book the night before a meeting, highlight or underline the answers, and then dress up and come to the meetings to go over it all again word for word.

If someone actually volunteers a comment that expands upon the information being read, they will be often cut off in mid-sentence by the conductor and will get pulled to the side after the meeting and counseled not to do that again by one of the elders.

If you have not committed to being baptized, or at least regularly attend the Kingdom Hall meetings on your own after six months,  the JW will let you know that the Bible study can not continue unless you promise to commit to becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses very soon.

This could be your last real opportunity to show JW the door and get your life and freedom back, so take it.  You might get a couple more visits from JW (usually accompanied by one of the elders) trying to encourage you to make the choice to become a Witness and be a member of the local Kingdom Hall congregation. But consider your options very carefully because becoming a Jehovah’s Witness will change your life forever.

Trust me on this: You will never regret ending your association with Jehovah’s Witnesses before you commit to baptism. Once you commit to baptism, you will regret your decision for the rest of your life. You have locked yourself and your family into a life of boring, cultish practices and behavior.

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  1. Rebuking Satan

    I’m not sure which Kingdom Hall you went to while growing up, but you are cleary mistaken. When you are ready to quit working for Satan, you know where the nearest Kingdom Hall is. If thre’s one thing you should have learned from going to the Kingdom Hall is that making a mockering of Jehovah as consequences down the line.

  2. Editor

    I am not mistaken, Mr. R Satan, you are. I went to several Kingdom Halls as I grew up and have visited others over the years for various reasons. And why do you accuse me of “…mockering [sic] Jehovah…” ? There’s nothing in this article that “mockers” God or Jehovah or Jesus.

    If you consider what the Bible says about people who do not speak the truth, then maybe you are the one that should be worried. If you have ever gone to a Kingdom Hall meeting, funeral, or Memorial then you know in your heart that what I say is the absolute truth – practically every talk is the same talk with the words rearranged, combined with a couple of additions or deletions of certain specific subjects. They all start with the Adam and end with the New World. And that’s the facts.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for calling me out for actually telling the truth. What kind of message are you sending out to readers who feel kindly toward the Witnesses and really believe that most of them are truthful and honest lovers of righteousness?

    Is this the best you have to offer?

  3. Ruth

    I must say I know why we are advised not to read anything on sites like this. I have been one Jehovah Witness for 21 years, it is the best thing I’ve every did with my life. The talks are always interesting and different. My 8 year old son is such a wonderful nice kind respectful HAPPY little boy. Many people comment “Whatever you’re doing with him keep it up.” I’m so thankful he has grown up to be like he is. Its called the truth because that is exactly what it is. I will close this website and never look at another one again. May you have a change of heart. And yes mocking Jehovah is something that is not a good thing to do. No one is perfect and that goes for Jehovah’s people.

  4. Editor

    Ruth,
    Thank you again for commenting on one of our articles. I understand why the Watchtower Society does not want Jehovah’s Witnesses to read any other printed material or to look at Internet websites that criticize them or reveal the truth about who they are and what they’ve done.

    For years they have preached that “The Truth Shall Set You Free,” even releasing a book by that name back in the 1940s. They challenge everyone else to question the religious teachings, beliefs and actions of their religion, and yet the Watchtower all but bans their own followers from doing the same thing. They really are afraid that you will find out the truth about their false predictions, the un-Christian behavior of their founders C.T. Russell and “Judge” Rutherford, and the dozens of major changes in their teachings over the years. Did you know that just a few years ago we were told not to cook in anything made from aluminum, that we were discouraged from getting vaccinated for anything – even small pox and diptheria? Are you aware that many Witnesses were bullied into selling their homes and businesses and moving to small towns to expand the Witness work in the late 1960s because they were told not to do so showed a lack of faith in the Watchtower’s prediction that Armageddon was coming in 1975? And just how many “millions” then living in 1920 who were told by Judge Rutherford that they would not die are still alive today?

    I am glad that you have found being a Witness a good thing for you and your family. But will you feel the same way in twenty years, or even ten? How will you feel if your son makes a different choice and you can no longer speak to him or spend time with him – or see his family? Will your happy 8-year old be well-adjusted and happy when he is 18? What will you tell him when he asks you to help him go to college? How will you feel if you deny him a needed blood transfusion and then find a few years later that the Watchtower has once again changed its teachings about blood? Do you realize that in 1960 and 1970 that we were not allowed to take anything derived or made from blood, only saline solutions and blood thinning agents? Compare that hard line position to what they teach now. How many hundreds of JWs would still be alive today if only the rules today would have been in force 30 years ago?

    Never, never, never stop searching for the truth. If what I write or what you read on any Jehovah’s Witness discussion site does not agree with what you know to be the truth, then by all means reject it. What if your religion taught you to ignore sirens because they are controlled by government agencies? Would you stop pulling over to the side of the road or seeking shelter from destructive high winds? Of course not. And yet when sites like this do publish the truth and historical facts about the group you belong to, are you just going to ignore the truth because people who call themselves the “truth” tell you not to?

  5. Kay

    Hi – I’ve been trawling through ‘google’ trying to find my own ‘truth’, and i found your opinion to be particularly interesting.

    I started a home bible study around 18 months ago now with a work colleague who happens to be a JW. She was a really good friend to me, i could trust her and we always had fun together without the pressures of having to drink alcohol or do anything else ‘unclean’.

    The problem is now, i feel we don’t have a ‘friendship’ anymore. I only ever see her and her ‘study partner’ for the once a week hourly study, and now i’ve reached a stage in the study when i am expected to increase the ‘spiritual’ aspect of my life by attending meetings on a regular basis. I’m also beginning to feel pressured by the study, and i dont agree with everything the study book says – eventhough like anything, i agree there are some valid points in the book. I guess i feel trapped, as i know that if i tell her i dont want to study the bible anymore she will never speak to me again, and i would have lost my friend. I also feel like i’ve ‘led her on’ by telling her i believe things that eventually, i think rationally about and realise i don’t actually believe them at all. It’s a difficult situation, i feel trapped without even being baptised as a witness!

    I have attended some meetings and even an assembly, i guess looking back i must have done it to keep my friend happy. But really they were quite uncomfortable occasions, particularly when an ‘elder’ took me to one side and insisted i was baptised very soon. It was very frightening in fact and left me feeling confused about God more than anything.

    If God gave us the freedom of choice then why act in this regimented manner? I am a good person and i live a generally ‘clean’ lifestyle, but i feel i can’t give up my life completely to become a ‘Witness’.

  6. Editor

    Kay.

    Thank you for your comment on this article about Jehovah’s Witness Bible studies. Yes, you are now at the stage when you will be pressured to “make a decision and take a stand for Jehovah” by committing yourself not to Jehovah, but the Watchtower Society. I, along with millions of former Jehovah’s Witnesses – and their families – beg you – DON’T DO IT!

    You will be reminded again and again that “God made us all ‘free moral agents,’ giving us the freedom of choice to choose to serve him or not.” But once you are a committed Jehovah’s Witness you will have given up your freedom to think and act in any way except within the bounds that are defined by the Watchtower Society.

    What you have experienced is very common. A very nice person who happens to be a JW invites you to become their friend and get together for a weekly Bible study. You feel that she is a nice person and you are looking for few more friends, so why not? Then you experience all of the things that I’ve described in the above article – the boring routine of their “Bible” studies, which are not “Bible” studies, and maybe attended their boring meetings. Yes, everyone will be nice to you and welcome you aboard – just as the members of most any church would do. But then you decide that you don’t really want to become a JW and actually live that lifestyle. Those “friends” will soon turn on you and shun you the same as if you were a disfellowshipped person that had committed some horrible perversion.

    If your co-worker decides that she can not be your friend unless you commit to becoming a JW, then she is not really a friend that you want to keep. If you let yourself be pressured into becoming a Witness just to keep this person as a friend, I guarantee that within a few months you will regret your decision. Don’t feel guilty because you think that she may think that you “led her on” about what you believed (or didn’t) as you studied with her. She’s been leading you on and withholding facts about what happens after you become a Witness and also about the real truth of the Witness origins.

    I don’t want to seem too harsh about the actions of this lady. I am sure she is sincere and if you became a true blue drinker of the Watchtower kool-aid she could very well become a close and lasting friend – at least for a while.

    The problem is that most JWs are like a new car salesman: They are so nice when you first step on the car lot. Hey, all you want to do is look at the new models and maybe drive one around the block. You’re not ready to make a commitment yet and you’re still happy with your 5-year old Camry that has never given you a bit of trouble. The car salesman will ask about your family, will ask you if you are having a nice day, and how your kids are doing in school – all the time leading you to that gas guzzling 20-foot long hemi-powered SUV that he wants to get off the lot as seems like he will is become your new best friend for life. When you finally decide that you want to leave, he will pressure you to talk to his sales manager, to the owner of the company, to please come in and have some cookies and coffee and a hot dog for the kids – he really, really wants to be your new best friend. You feel guilty because he has been so nice. But as you try to leave he starts throwing complaints at you that you have been wasting his time, that he could have helped other folks who were really interested in buying a car, that you never really intended to buy a car, you were just out having a nice day at his expense. As you grab your purse and start for the door, he will keep trying to pressure you to stay and “just take a test drive” and see what kind of deal we can make. As you finally make your way off the lot, he will turn around and tell the other salesmen that you and your family were just wasting his time and were just “a bunch of losers!”

    That’s almost exactly what happens with the JWs. They will be your best friends while you are studying and even more so as you get baptized. But after that, you will find yourself pretty much on your own. You will be miserable in your life as a JW, and when you decide to stop going they will turn on you and tell each other that you were never really a good JW, that you never really loved Jehovah, that you have become a servant of Satan.

    Millions of ex-JWs will tell you that what I’ve written here is the truth – we’ve all been through it – and some of us have been guilty of the very things that I’m warning you about – because that was the way we were trained and it was expected of us. Some of us will never forgive ourselves for the damage we’ve done to others and their families by pressuring them into becoming Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  7. Ruby

    A distant relative passed away last week, he is Jehoah’s Witness, they choose cremation but are having a memorial next week, I want to go but don’t know any of the rules for Kingdom Hall, is it appropiate to send flowers, is there a dress code?
    Any thing else I should know?
    Thanks You

  8. Editor

    Proper attire for Jehovah’s Witness funerals is similar to those expected for other Christian funerals. Suit and tie for gentlemen; dresses, stockings and street shoes for ladies. Jeans, sweats, T-shirts and tennis shoes would be considered too informal. Most Witness ladies will wear dresses or blouses and skirts with hemlines typically below the knee or longer. Hats or scarves for ladies are not required, but some may choose to wear them.

    Yes, you may arrange to send flowers to the memorial location or to the family. There are no rules about that at all. Just wear what you would if you attended any other formal Christian or Jewish memorial. If you are not a JW, then feel free to wear your own personal choice of jewelry – although wearing a crucifix or Star of David will draw stares and mark you as an outsider. You may bring your own Bible, but if you follow along don’t expect the words to match – as the elder giving the memorial talk will be quoting primarily from the New World Translation, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ own version of the Bible.

    As a non-Witness friend or family member of the deceased, you will likely be warmly welcomed and should find everyone friendly toward you. You can expect a few odd questions like, “And what Kingdom Hall do you go to?” You may be approached and asked if you would like to have someone in your area come by and explain “the hope Jehovah’s Witnesses have for a New Heavens and New Earth where everyone will live forever in peace.” Then again, you might just be ignored by everyone except family members.

    If this is your first JW funeral, then you may find it somewhat interesting. During the memorial talk the speaker will present a sermon with the same content that you would hear if you went to a Kingdom Hall on a Sunday afternoon. One thing you will notice (and it may upset you) is that the talk will only mention your relative in very general terms and then only in passing, almost as if he was an afterthought. JW funerals are never about the decedent; they are always about making converts out of non-JWs and reinforcing Watchtower dogma on those who are already JWs.

    You’ll learn more about your relative in a short newspaper obituary than you ever will during one of these memorials. You may see a couple of photos of deceased, and maybe a memory book and/or a memory board sitting on a nearby table, but not much more than that.

    In very rare cases, the family may insist on more time and material presented about their deceased loved one and have some family members and friends give testimonials, sing, or share stories. But taking this approach is considered very bad form and will be frowned upon by the local elders and the Watchtower Society. It is considered to be “glorifying a person over Jehovah” and therefore “un-Christian.” Ridiculous, I know…

    Just be yourself and you should be fine. One thing is for sure – If you attend one JW funeral, then you’ve pretty much attended them all. Expect five minutes or less spent on the person being “memorialized,” and 30-45 minutes spent on a rehash of JW teachings.

  9. Richard

    Hello, my name is Richard. I respect everyones opinion. But i wanted to clearify that eventhough we are endowed with free will, doesn’t mean we will make the right choice. Our free will is to do right, or wrong, and we have all been taught that from the beginning, witness or not. I wasn’t born into being a witness. I was of no religion until i was 15. Honestly, i thought the teachings were farfetched and what not untill i stumbled on a king james versoin of the bible.

    I read through it and the new world translation, and they say almost the identical thing, except that the new world translation is carried on our modern dialect and vernacular. Not in old english.

    I feel now that the witness teachings are the truth and im set to get baptised in our september Convention. It took a while because i was an unbeliever at first, but i was taught the true teaching and the true intent of Jehovah. Yes a lot of the meetings are conducted on the same topics, but there is a scripture that says that you need to feed the fire of the truth in your heart, or something along those lines. So you can waft air to the coals to help your faith grow hotter and what not. It might sound out of place becuase its late, and im in college so i have to get up soon but i also wanted to say that jehovahs witnesses have changed because their understanding of the scriptures has deepened. They dont stop you from doing anything, they just dont want your relationship with jehovah hendered. So as i said, in the most respectful manner, i disagree with your statements. And likewise, i know i shouldnt be on these sites, but i was curious as to how many celebrities were witnesses and i stumbled on this site.

  10. Editor

    @Richard – Richard, thank you for your comment.

    I’m not sure what it is about the JWs that is drawing you to the conclusion that you should get baptized as one in September. Of course, that is your choice to make – but I would urge you to hold off, finish college, and take some more time to really research the background of the Witnesses and the Watchtower Society.

    Be honest with yourself. You know that you have some doubts. You know in your heart that most of what has been written and documented on this and other websites is factual. Why do we take our time to write and publish these articles? None of us are making any money doing this – so what is our motivation?

    Almost everyone that publishes or writes articles for ex-JW sites has one thing in common: we do not want others to suffer as so many former JWs have. We do not want to see you waste your life going to meetings, listening to the same talks over and over, reading the poorly written, 5th-grade level study articles published in the Watchtower and Awake! magazines.

    The bottom line is this, Richard: We are all going to end up in the same place when it is all over. We only have one life to live! Being a Watchtower drone is not a quality life by any definition, even though you might not do bad things and feel that you are doing God’s work.

    Think, Richard, about what you are about to do. I don’t even know you, but I am begging you as your friend to stop, really think about what you are about to commit to, and above all be honest with yourself and do what is right for you. There are reasons that for every new convert and child born into the JW religion, over 70% will leave. No other church in history has had that kind of dropout!

    And why shouldn’t you visit these sites? You’re in college – don’t they teach you the value of research, discovery, fact checking? Why does the WTBS not want you to be on these sites? Because they know that you will have access to copies of their older magazines and books, speeches by Russell, Rutherford and Knorr, that you will discover their failed prophecies of 1914, 1918, 1919, 1925, 1940 and 1975. They know that you will discover that they taught in the 20th century that there were no such things as germs, that vaccinations were poison, that you would be poisoned from aluminum cookware and that organ transplants were “cannibalism.”

    Take your time. Finish college. Research more about JWs and religion in general. Being baptized is really a lifetime commitment, so do not take that move lightly. Remember that before they will baptize you that you will be tested and asked – not if you commit your life to serving Jesus Christ – but rather if you vow to submit to the “earthly organization” (i.e., the Watchtower Society) and accept its teachings as “The Truth.”

    Think about that commitment for a moment. Are you really ready to submit yourself to an earthly organization made up of just a few old men?

    I pray that you make the right decision…

  11. Catalina Flores

    I’ve been a JW since I was 12 years old and I’m 42 now. I’ve NEVER seen things as you described. I’ve never seen anyone pressured to get baptized. I always encourage my bible students to question everything I’m teaching them. I’ve never read in the WT or any other publication that we couldn’t questioned our beliefs. Actually the more I question it, the more I know this is the organization Jehovah is using. Usually ex-JWs are quit upset with the WT organization. Why? I don’t understand it. I tell my potential students to study and if they decide it’s not the truth, they don’t loose nothing, just time. They will continue with their lives. Why can’t ex-JWs can do that? Ok, you decided this is not the truth..fine! it’s your right to decided… Jehovah gave that right to decide. Just go a live your 70-80 years of life and die in peace thinking you’re going to heaven or hell. But now, you start a web site and publish books telling people how the WT has changed it’s beliefs through time and even show really old WT magazines from the 20′s and 30′s to prove your point. Just move on! When I got baptized there were only 2+ millions JWs in the world… Now there are 7+ millions … you think you will stop the an organization that all the evidence shows it’s the one Jehovah it’s using to preach the good news of the kingdom with you web site??? Use your time to go a have fun with your family!

  12. Kristen

    @Editor

    Editor – I have to laugh a little when people come on here, tell you how wrong you (or your site) are, rebuke you, and leave forever. I just stumbled up on this site when I searched for info about Michael Jackson’s religion.

    Some people may consider engaging in discussion about why they disagree instead of just coming and throwing around some words and running off. It’s good to be introspective…it doesn’t mean you are bad, evil, or forsaking God or Jehovah. I’m a member of the Church and Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I know what it’s like to speak with people of opposing backgrounds, beliefs, etc. It makes no sense to just say “you’re wrong!!!!” and run off. Discussion is healthy, getting to the point where you can say “I understand where you’re coming from, even though I don’t necessarily agree” is healthy. Having forums where ex-members can discuss their concerns is healthy as long as each point is respectful and backed up by evidence and personal experience instead of just an insult.

    Very interesting site.

  13. Kristen

    @Richard

    Richard – Even if you decide to go through with your baptism, don’t fear the internet. Don’t fear learning about your church’s history. You need to know the church’s past as well as its present. I mentioned this in another post, but I’m Mormon. Mormons have a troubling history to many (polygamy for instance). Is it better for someone to be blind to this fact to later hear about it from a co-worker and to be shaken, or to be “inoculated”, learn about it on her/his own? If the religion you are joining is true, you shouldn’t be afraid to know what people outside of the church have to say about it. You need to know! Don’t shelter yourself. If JW is true, then you have nothing to worry about. And when friends, family members, co-workers ask you tough questions about the history, publications, and teachings, instead of being surprised by things you don’t know and having your faith shaken, you’ll be able to answer the questions. There’s no shame or evilness in having more knowledge about your religion, wherever it is that you gain that knowledge.

  14. Jason

    Oh my god i have been converted help! You guys were right! Hahaha sike!

  15. Shawn Bryant

    Hello. My name is Shawn Bryant. I am a Disciple and member of The International Church of Christ. My comment is, if you are a JW or a member of any other christian/ religious institutions, you must understand several things. #1. JESUS is the only Way, Truth, and Life. the only way to get to the Father is through Him and Him alone. Not through a religious organization (John.14:6). #2. The Bible tells us that there is only one true church or body (Ephesians.4:4) that was established by JESUS CHRIST Himself (Matthew.16:18; Ephesians.2:20-22) in which He is the head and Savior of (Ephesians.5:23; Colossians.1:18). To be saved therefore, JWs must be a Disciple of the church of the Way, Truth and the Life (which is JESUS CHRIST). No one could come through the Father but by Him. #3. The Jehovah’s Witness organization was not build by JESUS CHRIST, But by a man name Charles T. Russel. Any churches or religious organigation that were not build up by YAHWEH GOD or JESUS CHRIST, that church or religious organization will be rooted up on the last day because the laborers labor in vain. #4. The Jehovah’s Witness organization cannot be God’s true organization on earth today because of its many, many false prophecies it made concerning the end of the world which include the folloing dates: 1914, 1919, 1925, 1940 and 1975. The Bible warns that all false prophets and there followers will face eternal destruction in gehenna hell in the last day (Dueteronomy.18:20-23, Jeremiah.14:14-15; Matthew.15:13-14; 2Peter.2:1-3; Revelation.20:7-10). (For more information please see publications: april. 1;1972 Watchtower article on pg.297; 1889 issue of Time Is At Hand pg.101; 1918 issue of millions now living will never die pg.89) #5 To be saved all must ware JESUS’ name and be not a Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness or others, but CHRISTIAN or DISCIPLE only (Matthew. 28:19; Acts.11:25-26). For Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to man by which we must be saved. To be saved JWs must repent and become a member and disciple of the church that Cod build thrugh His son JESUS CHRIST. (Acts.20:28 ) God build His Church with His own precious blood. To be wash, you must come in contact with this blood through Baptism (Romans.6:1-6; Revelation.7:14). will you become a Disciple? Will you be added to the one true Church of the WAY, TRUTH, and the LIFE?

  16. Why just the Witnesses

    Dear Editor,

    Not sure where you are getting your info from, I personally know a fer JW’s but am not one. They never pressure me into studies or baptism. You siad how they try to sneak you into a cult by a bible study that doesn’t study the bible yet the ones I’ve looked at have lots of scriptures in every paragraph (pretty sure they are from that bible thing). I thought LDS’s advertised their version of God’s word, but JW’s can’t? Sounds hypocritical. Are you attacking just JW’s or any religion you don’t agree with? I asked a JW about why so many meeting and why so much of it was repition, I was shown a few scriptures about reading the bible in an undertone day and night and to not forsake the gathering of yourselves together. LDS’s don’t have gathering or meetings? If you have an issue with just JW’s that’s your choice. Other than maybe being a nucience, are they hurting you? What about all the upcoming issues with preists molesting children? I would like to think that that would be a religion to shun people away from. A recent religious building was torn down in a nearby community when I live ant they found infant corpses hidden in the walls. Nobody in the building ever reported having children or even have been pregnant, they were supposed to be “married to God.” Sounds like they cheated. Of all your attack on the JW’s you never talked good about your religious veiws of your new found faith, is there nothing good to talk about, or are you taught you should trash other religions instead of supporting yours?
    Not sure what your motive is. Why aren’t you as passionate about other bad things going on, sky high gas prices, illegial drugs, anything (look in you local paper and I’m sure you can find more bad things). But you chose to trash the JW’s, is that all you can think about doing with you life?

  17. Editor

    @Why just the Witnesses – You appear to be logging in from somewhere in New York state (USA), JBW. You must know that the Watchtower’s old headquarters are in Brooklyn and their new facilities are in Patterson, NY. Besides the rank and file Jehovah’s Witnesses that might come knocking on your door, your state is also the host to their leadership. You mention the Mormons, who also got their start in the state of New York just before C. T. Russell found out about William Miller and his “world is ending soon” message.
    I can’t quite track what point you are trying to make, but if you go back and read some of the articles published on this website, you’ll see that we are not out to trash anyone, especially not individual Jehovah’s Witnesses. While you are right that not all religions have a clean record and have all done questionable things in the past, the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to use policies that divide families, break up marriages, protect pedophiles, and allow innocent children to die on the operating table for the lack of a blood transfusion.
    Why do we concentrate on Jehovah’s Witnesses? Look at the title of this website. Are you blind? This website is directed to “ex Jehovah’s Witnesses,” those who have left the religion or have been damaged by its policies. That is why this site and its articles concentrate on the Watchtower and its religious leadership. Our motive is to point out the failure, lies, and false prophecies of the Watchtower, while providing information and comfort to those who are looking for information outside of the Watchtower organization. I was a Jehovah’s Witness and I still have family members who are JWs. I’m glad I’m out and wish they would decide to leave too, but that is their choice. I’ve made mine. This site is designed to provide online information to anyone who wants to know the truth about the JW religion. That’s my motivation.

  18. Sally

    All I know is I couldn’t do their “read this, and give the answer just as it is already written for you.” I don’t want people to tell me the answers. I want to research the answers, and find other Bible verses to back up the material I was given to read. We didn’t even get past chapter 1 in my study book. I wasn’t being mean, or negative, or anything. I was just pointing out scriptures from my Bible and trying to understand. But when I asked questions, they went unanswered most of the time, or I was told that they could be answered in later chapters. Yet when I went to the chapters she referred me to, my questions weren’t answered.

    My study partner was a full-time study lady whose husband was an elder. She gave up on me, even though I begged her for days not to. I even asked her to pair me with someone else who maybe could keep up with me – if she felt she was unable to. Her only answer was that I should email any further questions to the Watchtower’s NY headquarters and attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall.

    From this experience I feel like the only way I would be accepted into the JW community is if I sat there like a droid, simply giving the answers the Watchtower Society pre-wrote. I feel shunned for having individual thoughts – and asking questions. I don’t feel that God or Jesus would turn people away just for asking questions, or for more explanation.

    I don’t know. I am just really frustrated – and hurt.

    The JW people I spoke with during my few weeks of study were constantly telling me how non-JW churches are not following God’s word, and teaching hate. But in all honesty, I attend a non-JW church, and have never – not once – heard any of the accusations they were stating about what pastors preach from my pastor. We never have bad-mouthed JWs. We never have condoned anything un-biblical, although we do have contradictory interpretations. I will admit that. Those are the scriptures I was bringing up with my study partner. I would say, “But my Bible says this, it seems these two points are not equal. Can you explain to me why?”

    So yeah. I am not sure where to go from here. I want to keep studying, to make sure I what the real truth is. But I certainly can’t imagine writing a person with a desk number for a name to help me study. That’s just my viewpoint.

  19. Editor

    Sally,

    You are not alone in your experiences having a Jehovah’s Witness “Bible” study. Like their meetings, JWs are trained that you, as the student, must accept each paragraph and scripture quotation as it is written in your study book. Your questions must be limited to just that paragraph.

    In past years some lively debate and commentary was allowed and even encouraged during studies and meetings. Public talks were actually prepared by the speaker using a basic outline provided by the Society, but with room for enhanced explanation and the addition of other supporting Bible verses.

    But this isn’t the case now. It’s all “read the paragraph, ask the question, answer from the paragraph only, and then immediately move on to the next paragraph.” If you come across a sentence that you think doesn’t make sense, or a scripture quote that seems not to fit the subject, you’ll find it difficult to halt the study to discuss your questions further. Do that during a Kingdom Hall study meeting and you’ll get escorted to the door. That’s because JWs are trained to stay on the path to the next paragraph, accept what is written, and keep moving.

    This is why Jehovah’s Witnesses are good book study conductors, but really lousy Bible students. They claim expertise in knowledge of the Bible, but it does not take much to get a JW to acknowledge that he has to do “further research” or “go look up that answer” with even the most basic of Bible subjects.

    Ask them to show you where it says in the Bible that the year 1914 marked the return of Jesus to his throne. Then ask them what visible proof is there to prove that actually happened.

    Ask them to show you where in the Bible that modern people are not allowed to have blood transfusions, and yet can have most of the components of blood injected into their veins. Ask them why JWs that do accept blood transfusions are then considered to be “disassociated.”

    Ask them to show you in the Bible that it is unchristian for JW men to wear beards or sideburns.

    Ask them to show you in the Bible that women shouldn’t wear slacks in service or at meetings.

    A simple request to “show me in the Bible where it says…” will often bring a book study or a discussion with a Jehovah’s Witness to a dead stop. Some get quite angry when asked to do that. By far the majority will ask for time to go home and look up the answer to your question. Then they will come back, not with Bible scriptures, but mostly quotations from Watchtower publications, especially older Watchtower magazines.

    My experience with JWs would indicate that maybe 10-15% of them could stand up to a rigorous discussion of their teachings, while most, like your lady, will just write you off as being obstinate or a waste of their time. You quickly move from being a potential convert to an “evil person.”

    Please take your time in deciding how deep you want to study the Watchtower’s teachings. More importantly, don’t be afraid to challenge your own need to follow their many unsupported and often contradictory doctrines.

  20. Sally

    Wow! You know that really makes sense what you wrote about, “A simple request to ‘show me in the Bible where it says…’ will often bring a book study or a discussion with a Jehovah’s Witness to a dead stop.” Because that is exactly the way it happened. I thought I did something wrong.

    I have been begging her for days for her to change her mind, or to set me up with someone else if she no longer wished to study with me. She will not reply back to me at all. Worse than that, she never answered my questions or tried to show me why my viewpoint was wrong through the use of the Bible. Although she would often just give me sections of the Watchtower or Awake to read to show me why I was wrong. But those seemed to be a person’s point of view, their opinions, and not Bible backed 100%.

    But how can someone ask me to accept something at face value, when they are saying it comes from the Bible, and then cannot provide the Bible verses that back up that logic they are preaching? I am not trying to be defiant, or anything like that. I just wanted to know where they got that information from within the Bible. And why did those teachings seem to contradict many other Bible verses (since the Bible is the sole source for their information on who God is)?

    I even tried to get references to what was being quoted, and where they were getting information from in the Watchtower and Awake. I finally had to call the headquarters. They told me that I could write a letter, and they could mail me the entire references. But it would be too much work to tell me over the phone one by one who said what. I understand that it is backed up in a computer system at Watchtower headquarters, but I wonder how many people seek out where the Watchtower/Awake are getting their information from. To me it feels like a form of plagiarism.

    I felt that it is the “blind leading the blind” in a sense, but I did want to keep an open-mind because it is easy for people to have hatred toward what they don’t understand. Yet, after my encounter I feel it is very easy to memorize Bible verses, but another thing to actually be guided by the holy spirit to know what those versus mean.

    I would like to make a suggestion though for this site. It would be great to take each Q&A within a section they are teaching through their books, ant then debating these issues they bring up. I know that it has taken me hours to research a paragraph at times (I was using the NWT, NLT, and the KJV); it would be nice to have easier access to that information. I would love to send you what I have on the questions I presented to my study group for Chapter 1, the Trinity, and the Memorial (I guess that was the one that got me kicked out of my study sessions and branded me a trouble maker).

    As for me, I plan to keep studying on my own. I don’t hate the lady I was studying with. I’m just sad that she wanted me to keep an open-mind, but then turned her back on me when I was able to provide a lot of documentation from her own Bible that was contradictory to what she was teaching me from the Watchtower publications – and not solely the Bible – about what the Bible says who God is.

  21. Morgan MacIntosh

    I was a JW for 8 years. Sometimes it seems like a much longer time. You are quite correct Sally about how Bible studies are conducted. Part of the problem is the JW mindset. They honestly believe that everything that is published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is the unadulterated inspired word of God, even though many teachings have changed over the years. It’s some sort of mass amnesia taking place with it comes to pointing out the changes that have occurred over the many years. One would expect that if they were truly being led by God, then the teachings would remain the same from the first printing of Zion’s Herald to the present day Watchtower magazine. I challenge any JW to show me in the Bible where God laid down commandments and then later changed his mind, completely reversing himself on any teaching and then teaching the original material once again. It never happened. So how does a thinking Christian solve this problem. They can only conclude that JW are not being led by men. The Governing Body (the ones who actually run everything) says they are led by God’s Holy Spirit to direct God’s earthly organization here on Earth. Where in the Bible does it say this? It doesn’t. They manipulate scripture, take things out of context and gamble on the “trust” of their followers not to do independent research.
    Instead of going into a lot of detail, I’ll simply post a link to an information website. It’s not a forum to post and leave comments, just an information page. You can try to double check the information you find there in any Kingdom Hall from their own publications, but I doubt you will be allowed to do so. Often the older publications are simply there for display, you won’t actually be allowed to read them. If you do an Elder will quickly try to ascertain why. You might wonder what all the fuss is about. Do they have something to hide or be ashamed of?
    Here’s the link: http://www.quotes-watchtower.co.uk/new_light_doctrine.html

  22. Morgan MacIntosh

    A slight correction and a link to answer your question a little more fully.
    The Watchtower magazine used to be called “Zion’s Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence” , not Zion’s Herald.
    Oh and here is a link to why JW’s discourage verifying their religion.
    http://www.quotes-watchtower.co.uk/religion_-_do_not_verify_.html

    One of the things I want to point out for Thinking Christians. Many active JW’s come here and say mean and nasty things about this site and the people who run it, calling them apostates or being in league with Satan. However not a one of them, when confronted with evidence from their own magazines and books can refute the information. They use Bible verses (which can also be applied back to the Watchtower teachings) to “prove” we’re mean nasty people who are only bent on “taking” them away from God. No one can take you away from God except yourself. Also it must be noted that historically the Jews in the Bible were God’s people, yet Jesus and the Apostles were considered Apostates because of their teachings. Oddly enough their teachings didn’t refute Judaism or seek to overthrow them, but rather the teachings of Jesus showed that the leaders of the religion “had made the Law of their God invalid because of their tradition”. The same thing has happened with the JW’s. They look to men rather than the Holy Spirit for guidance. In the 10 years I have been out of the organization I have learned more about my Bible than at any time I was a JW. It is one thing to be told what a Bible verse means and a very different thing to know for yourself through the Holy Spirit what a Bible verse means. JW’s have yet to learn this lesson.

  23. Kurt

    I had a so called “Bible” study and it was the most tedious things I ever experienced. It was actually a study from the “Bible Teach” book. I noticed a certain pattern with the writing. It starts out with a paragraph making an assertion that checks out okay as being accurate compared to the cited scripture. Going through the chapter, the written material gets a bit farther from matching scripture, and more speculative. Eventually there are statements made that have very little connection to the cited scripture. This is all throughout the book!
    Another thing I noticed about the questions was that they were not real questions. They were really pseudo questions that would be answered by parroting what was written in the paragraph. When I would give real answers to the questions, as explained in scripture, the study conductor would get mad. Sometimes I would ask real questions that were not in the printed material and get elaborate explanations about something that had little to do with what I asked. Material that I could read and study in minutes by myself would take hours to go over, and they had the gall to criticize me for not making progress.
    Many times I would ask where in scripture it says something they had told me and they could find none. They would instead ask me to go along with their human “reasoning” on the matter, which was unacceptable to me as I have no desire to follow after men. I would want scriptural support for their claims, and many times was met with either silence, or some scripture of no relevance to what I asked. One example was when I asked what scripture instructs me to have a religion. I could never get a scripture chapter and verse as an answer, but was instead showed a dictionary description of religion.
    I found many changes and flip flops in their doctrine, as I got everything I could find going way back to Russell. I was pretty tolerant about old errors, but one thing I could not stand was current literature would have outright lies about the past. The Bible Teach book had a lie about the events of 1914 and I showed them what the literature actually said about the events of the time, and they got mad.
    Many times it would come down to me disagreeing with some assertion that had no scriptural support. I would then be subject to attack about my motives and character. Often it would be in the form of one of them talking to the other about me in a negative way as if I were not there. I do not know if this was just his own corrupt practice or if he was actually trained to be that manipulative and offensive by the society.
    One thing they considered to be fun was to constantly bash on Christians. They love to bash on how evil and corrupt Christians are, while boasting about how enlightened and truthful they are. It reached a sickening depth when they boasted about preaching to the entire world and I noticed the numbers from their yearbook said they had no preaching in China. I pointed out that there were some 65 million Christians in China, and if they were not preaching to them I wanted to know where they got the faith. He was dismissive of them, said they were with Satan’s organization. He actually claimed that 65 million Christians that he never met personally were with Satan!
    The greatest irony in this was how the study ended. They kept badgering me to go to meetings. I went to several devivals, district devivals and circuit devivals. (I call them devivals because they like being opposite of Christians and their revivals) I said I would start going as soon as they cleared up my unanswered questions. They wondered if they were wasting their time with me. I answered them, “It is your time, so only you can say if you are wasting it or not. I never consider it a waste of my time to learn about God’s word.”
    So one day when they were pitching the meetings, I asked why they assumed I did not go to meetings. They wondered what kingdom hall I had gone to. I said I had not been to a kingdom hall, but had studied the Bible with some Christians. They got really mad about that, and terminated the study that day.
    I found their claim to run a Bible study is a false one as you would expect them to be delighted that I was going deeper into the Bible with the Christians. I found out the truth about their “truth” is that it is really just a recruiting tool

  24. Editor

    @Kurt,

    Thank you for your comments. All this website is trying to do is to explain to someone who is unfamiliar with how the Watchtower Society works or what Jehovah’s Witnesses really believe, that what they are told about having a Bible study with JWs, may not really match reality.

    JWs get so excited whenever they start a new Bible study with a potential convert. As long as the study moves along at the pace they determine and the “study” doesn’t ask too many pointed or embarrassing questions, then everything is just “rosey.” The minute they are faced with some resistance or unpleasant facts from the Watchtower’s past they get all flustered and look for ways to give up quickly. JWs do not really enjoy confrontation.

    I remember, before I became a JW, that as a child I would go to Sunday School at local Protestant churches. All of us kids would get a little book to read, and we would hear the teacher tell us Bible stories. We just assumed that the teacher was telling us the truth. We’d go to Sunday School while we were kids and at some point in the future we’d be baptized and become Baptists or Methodists, or something. We never asked questions – never argued with the teacher. Never looked things up to see if we were being told the truth. We just accepted what we were told at face value.

    That’s the way that Jehovah’s Witnesses want to conduct “Bible” book studies with adults. Don’t ask questions. Don’t do research. Just look at the pretty pictures and accept what they say at face value.

    Adults don’t like to be treated that way, not if they have adult level intelligence. We like to ask questions. We want to dig deeper. We want to explore contradictions or gaps in logic.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses will bail out on anyone who really makes them work at conducting a real intense Bible study. You found that out and so have a couple of others who have commented on the above article.

  25. JEHOVAH'S SERVANT

    Well to be honest I have never read such a pile of crock. Any one who answers in the Watch tower study is free to say what they want as long as it is in line with the matter of the topic. No one is talked to by the Elders for doing so, that would defeat the purpose of the whole thing, to learn and take in knowledge and to hear the points of view of the other Brothers and Sisters.
    Many people benefit from the Bible study program, we have many here in my City who just wish to have a study to find out what the Bible is really teaching us and many of them have no intention what so ever of converting or even getting baptised.
    For Apostate ramblings and misinformation i must say that you get the GOLD award….

  26. Editor

    Current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses who read this article will instantly know which one of us is presenting “a pile of crock.” Many years ago the Watchtower was open for more comprehensive and expanded commentary from the audience. But that was a while back. The whole point of the Watchtower study, and for that matter the book studies as well, is to simply pull answers directly from each paragraph and then move on to the next one. They just want to get the material covered within the limited time allotted.

    You may be fortunate to belong to a Kingdom Hall that has a more liberal body of elders. There are many congregations out there with excellent leaders who are more flexible in their use of Watchtower Society guidelines. By far the majority, I am sad to say, tend to take a more conservative approach to study meetings and do not want a lot of embellishment by either the Watchtower study conductor or those in the audience who answer the questions. The study meetings have become a joke in most congregations.

    The public talks have become so strictly outlined by the Watchtower that most brothers do little more than read the outline itself and only those Bible scriptures that the outline insists on being read.

    JWs who insist on expanding their responses or modify any of the talk outlines will soon find themselves in a meeting with a local committee. This is not to say they will actually be punished for sharing their own thoughts, but they will find their participation restricted. Elders who expand or modify public talk outlines will quickly lose that privilege.

    The result is that most study meetings, even at 45 minutes, will seem to go on forever and be dull as stale toast.

    I invite anyone reading this article to actually go to a local Kingdom Hall and sit through a Sunday meeting set of public talk and Watchtower study. See for yourself who is telling the truth. In fact, go to two or three Kingdom Halls in your area and see how the meetings are conducted. After that, feel free to submit your comments to this article page and let us know the results. Who really tells the truth about this matter? The editor of this website? Or the writer identified as “Jehovah’s Servant”?

    Maybe things are different in the UK where “Jehovah’s Servant” resides, but I doubt it. The editor can only describe the current situation in USA Kingdom Halls. Maybe the UK and Europe are far more liberal. If so, please share that information with us. If anyone wants to share an address of a Kingdom Hall where answering at the Watchtower study is wide open to additional commentary or questions, please do so. We’d love to know where those liberal Kingdom Halls are.

    Unfortunately, so would the Watchtower Society…

  27. Inside Us

    @JEHOVAH’S SERVANT
    I became a JW and after baptism I learned about the JW’s from a different perspective and regret the baptism, I love Jehovah, always have and always will. But I no longer want to be a “JW” all I wanted to do was love Jehovah and Jesus and learn more about them. I feel like I’ve been dragged into something I didn’t bargain for..I loved the people and wish things didn’t get so ugly when you realize you made a decision and now you’re having second thoughts.When you try to make your own decisions the beauty offered turns to ashes. That’s how I feel currently. I feel there is no gray areas as a JW things are black or white. It hurts my heart. Your life is no longer your own and I just can’t live this way, it doesn’t feel right to me? Shaky Now.

  28. Jay Gum

    I am totally taken aback with all the negative comments. Not everyone is perfect not even Jehovah’s people, and i can not speak for all those who had negative experiences and am sure they were treated in the manner they clear indicated here. No matter, how you play down the witnesses, they injected a new hope in my life. For the first time, the bible makes so much sense, most of my burning question were answered, and three years on, I am growing spiritually. I love the fact that they answer questions by using the bible as a point of reference, it is not down to opinions. Before I became a witness I went to different churches loads of them. They all operate differently and some hardly use the bible enough to call it a church.

    There are plenty of people who love and adore being part of the JW organisation. There are loads of people who have served as witnesses all their lives and others were willing to die for this faith in the past and even today some are willing to be imprisoned for taking a bold stand.

    It is a shame you went to such length to be heard, I do pray it gives you healing. After all we do all possess the gift of free will to choose what is right or wrong. Jehovah who is Almighty still helps us to come to our own decision, why do you want to take a burden that is not yours to find fault were others don’t. It did not work for you, it does not mean it isn’t working for others, always remember that. Plenty of people want their questions answered, and in my experience we are happy with bible and non bible studies and accept that not everyone will be receptive to the word of God. Our goal is to reach people who want to know the truth.

  29. jo p

    I currently study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses and was raised in the religion as a child. Although I am not yet baptized. Never was I asked to accept everything the paragraphs say, or follow the ideas of my study conductor. I was actually encouraged to be like the Beoreans mentioned Acts 17:11. not to take anything at face value, but to examine the scriptures for myself daily, to figure out if what I’m learning is true. And when you have your Bible study, scriptures are read and you are more than welcome to use your own copy of the Bible. I do my Bible research online, using books from the Watchtower Society, encyclopedias, and several Bibles including the king James version. And there is nothing that I have been taught that isn’t in the Bible. Unlike the Catholic religion (which I have studied also). For example, where is the word trinity in the Bible? Jesus told his
    followers (1 Corinthians 11:2) to commemorate his
    death. But did he ever once tell us to celebrate his birthday? After he died, did any of the apostles write about celebrating Christmas? Everyone bashes the JW’s but

  30. Jean

    @Catalina Flores@Richard – It would appear that there is inconsistentency where JW’s are concerened-which is not the way of the JW’s. Because you people are not supposed to be on here…but here you are. What other things are you doing that you’re not supposed to…but let one person in your congregation get caught doing something they’re not suppose to and you’ll stand there with the rest of the gang and stone em!

  31. OrganicGirl

    I feel like JW prey upon the weak, like why on earth would you want to just show up, uninvited to strangers home? Aren’t they afraid to get shot? I just feel like it’s a crock of bull that they can’t back up. And I think they’re vampires! cult all in one. They get energized by feeding off of the weak. But only the strong survive ;)

  32. Tina

    Looks like you spent equal time writing about your life with these folks
    I mean youll never get back that part of your life back . Right ? (the time you spent learning) thank goodness you shared the info about what they push on us (why Christ had to die for ALL us siners)

    Yeah we all have choices folks …
    No disrepect intened
    I just went thru a year long devorice and i was joyous that i walked walked out of it with slightly little more than the cloths on my back. Why you say ? well I spoke out loud about the God my Sister worships about how he will provide confidently. I may have only received $726 dollars in cash that day but that was all i needed to move into a apartment.
    You cant beleive my excite ment
    You were given a gift of knowledge girlly and it will be with you ALWAYS
    Thanks for sharing :))

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