Sunday, 17 November 2013

What The Hell?

The Jehovah's Witnesses are famous for changing the ideology on certain subjects. All you have to do is go through their history and see how often they have changed their stance on blood. You could spend a few years to decipher all the twists and turns in their publications as to why Armageddon has been delayed.

But the one thing I thought they had always remained firm on was the fact that there was no Hell. I was wrong.

In modern times the Jehovah's Witnesses have often referred to their publication "What Does The Bible Really Teach?" when asked questions about their religion. And Hell, or the lack of it, gets a mention in chapter 6, "Where Are The Dead?", on page 64:

"What the Bible teaches about the condition of the dead is comforting. As we have seen, the dead do not suffer pain or heartache." (What Does The  Bible Really Teach?, 2005, page 64)

"As noted earlier, some religions teach that if a person lives a bad life, after death he will go to a place of fiery torment to suffer forever. This teaching dishonors God. Jehovah is a God of love and would never make people suffer in this way." (What Does The  Bible Really Teach?, 2005, page 64)

What Does The Bible Really Teach?, page 64

Remember that last quote. It becomes important as we travel back to 1920, when Joseph Franklin Rutherford was President of the Watch Tower Society.

In 1920 Rutherford published a booklet entitled "Millions Now Living Will Never Die". Talking about demons, on page 59 it states:

"God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to tartarus, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved  unto judgment." (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, page 59)

Millions Now Living Will Never Die, page 59

Yep, Rutherford claims that the demons will be cast down to tartarus. Where is Tartarus? Hell. Well, actually it is, according to Greek mythology, the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans. As far below Hades as the earth is below the sky, Tartarus is the place where, according to Plato in Gorgias (c. 400 BC), souls were judged after death and where the wicked received punishment.

This means, according to their own publications, that in 1920 the President of the Watch Tower Society can say there is a Hell (or a Greek mythological version), but by 2005 this place does not exist.

It leads to two questions:
  • If this Tartarus no longer exists what happened to all the demons that were supposedly to be held there until judgment?
  • If the 2005 version is right, then back in 1920 Rutherford 'dishonored God' by teaching about Hell.
For a religion that has only been around since the 1870s they have changed their views on many subjects over and over again.

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