Friday, 25 April 2014

Still Misquoting The Bible

Awake!, July 2014, Page 15

The July edition of the Awake! magazine, (PDF) once again opens up the whole problem of misquoting used by the Jehovah's Witnesses.

In the article entitled "Can True Religion Be Identified?" it states:

"True religion teaches the truth from God’s Word, the Bible. (John 4:24; 17:17) It is not based on human philosophies." (Awake!, July 2014, Page 15)

The selected scriptures mention nothing about 'human philosophies' at all; even when using the New World Translation.

"God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth." (NWT, Joh 4:24)

"Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth." (NWT, Joh 17:17)

Not one mention of human philosophies. Taking in to account that the Awake! publication itself says true religion teaches from the Bible, and the publication misquotes the Bible, it would almost be a sign to anyone that the Jehovah's Witnesses are not a true religion. And that is not even bringing into account that policy changes by the Governing Body throughout the years would be classed as 'human philosophies' since the Bible hasn't changed.

The article then goes on to state:

"True religion focuses attention on God’s Kingdom, not man’s governments, as the only hope for mankind. — Matthew 10:7; 24:14." (Awake!, July 2014, Page 15)

Once again the recommended scripture:

"As you go, preach, saying: ‘The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’" (NWT, Mat 10:7)

"And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." (NWT, Mat 24:14)

Man's governments? Not mentioned, not even hinted at. Even if you read the verses surrounding them there is no hint, or mention, of governments anywhere. Both merely state the end is coming and the Kingdom of the heavens draw near.

Then the next section states:

"True religion promotes unselfish love. (John 13:35) It teaches people to respect all ethnic groups, to use their time and resources to help others, and to avoid sharing in the wars of the nations. — Micah 4:1-4." (Awake!, July 2014, Page 15)

To the scripture again:

"By this all will know that you are my disciples — if you have love among yourselves." (NWT, Joh 13:35)

"In the final part of the days, The mountain of the house of Jehovah Will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, And it will be raised up above the hills, And to it peoples will stream. And many nations will go and say: 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah And to the house of the God of Jacob. He will instruct us about his ways, And we will walk in his paths.' For law will go out of Zion, And the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem. He will render judgment among many peoples And set matters straight respecting mighty nations far away. They will beat their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, Nor will they learn war anymore. They will sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one will make them afraid, For the mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken." (NWT, Micah 4:1-4)

To be fair at least war gets a mention this time. But it doesn't say to avoid war just that when Jehovah sets up his house there will be no war. As for the scripture from John nothing about war, ethnic groups, time, or resources. It states you will know if you are one of Jesus' disciples if you have love among yourselves. On that basis any Christian religion could be the true religion as it is a quote from the book of Mark (Mar 12:31).

And finally the article says:

"True religion is a way of life, not just ritual or formality. Its members practice what they preach. — Romans 2:21; 1 John 3:18." (Awake!, July 2014, Page 15)

And for the final time here is the scripture:

"do you, however, the one teaching someone else, not teach yourself? You, the one preaching, 'Do not steal,' do you steal?" (NWT, Rom 2:21)

"Little children, we should love, not in word or with the tongue, but in deed and truth." (NWT, 1Joh 3:18)

The last scripture would be so easy to make an Elder joke with by I shall resist and merely state that if they wanted to say religion is 'in deed' they should have included verse 19 also (By this we will know that we originate with the truth, and we will assure our hearts before him). Adding verse 19 to 18 makes more sense - it says true religion is demonstrated by deeds and that is the way to tell if a religion is true.

As for the whole Romans 2:21 quote it does show the whole 'practice what you preach' bit quite well but once again it is used by almost every Christian religion.

Overall the quotes used throughout the article are misleading and not relevant to the point trying to be made. And as the whole point was meant to identify Jehovah's Witnesses as the 'true religion' it missed the mark completely.

I sometimes read the misquotes from the Jehovah's Witnesses publications and wonder if they have just given up. They have had so many failed prophecies, policy changes, new rules, and have rewritten the Bible again yet they still work on the idea that faithful Witnesses will take their word for what they say in their publications rather than pick up a Bible and check, and ultimately think, for themselves.

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