Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses/Archive 52

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For older discussion, see archives:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,

21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40,

41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60

The following discussion is an archived section of Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section at Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses. No further edits should be made to this page.

Contents

Inclusion of Scriptures

We had agreed some time ago that scripture citations could be included in the text and footnotes in certain situations. Especially dealing with the section eschatology, the terms used and ideas are not common to the average person, and can sound like they are being pulled out of the air. The scriptures that talk about these need to be presented in order to make any sense, a couple in the main text of the eschatology and also in footnotes there and other places. The Bible is the authority of Jehovah's Witnesses, even more so than Watchtower literature. "All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness." Natural (talk) 20:28, 7 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

It is appropriate to cite a scripture with a specific explanation of how JWs interpret it if their interpretation of that specific scripture is being discussed. However, as is indicated at the JW WikiProject page, articles should not just cite scriptures Watchtower-style as if the scripture fully supports their view and cannot be interpreted any other way. See WP:JW#Use of scriptures.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:40, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I remember that from the last discussion, thanks for the reminder.Natural (talk) 10:07, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

Doctrinal Criticisms Section - Use of references that do not support allegations

These two references do not support the statements that are being made in the Wikipedia article

Messengers of Godly Peace Pronounced Happy", The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 21 ^ Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Society, 1993, page 708.

They don't talk about JW being a prophet, but the general idea presented in how JW come to doctrine, through reading the scriptures, etc.

Natural (talk) 10:19, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

Didn't we just discuss this very point? BlackCab (talk) 10:24, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Do not isolate themselves from society a necessary statement in intro

They do not isolate themselves from society completely, but limit their social interaction with non-Witnesses.

This is a necessary statement. By removing that statement, it can imply that JW are more or less totally seperate from Society. The statement made by Holden is not accurate to begin with. JW do not view "secualar society" as a place of m oral danger. They do limit association with non-JW. The emphasis is on religious society, political, and moral. See also 1 Cor 15:33. But it needs to be clearly stated for anyone who knows nothing about JW, that JW work in public schools as teachers, in normal jobs, our children go to public schools, etc. Otherwise, it can give JW a look similar to the Amish, or similar groups. So the statement is not arbitrary or redundant. I really have no idea what you mean by that. It's like, just throwing words around. Natural (talk) 10:36, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

There is a specific Watchtower article that deals with this very point, Walk With Wisdom with Regards to those on the Outside, something like that. I'll post the exact article later today. It is 1993 or 1997. The article previous to it brings out the seperateness Christians maintain from politics, false religion, etc. The next article brings out that Christians need to be reasonable in being seperate, that we don't insulate ourselves from non-Witnesses but keep seperate from any practices which are against the Bible. This is especially true with family members. The Wiki article, as it is being edited, has tried in the past, and in this mis-statement by Holden, to depict JW as persons who are completely antagonist to all elements of society, and the idea given isn't accurate. Especially in the past 30 years, reasonableness has been emphasized in this area and in many other similar areas, not to go to extremes with these type of things. Natural (talk) 10:42, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

It is unnecessary to state that they do not isolate themselves. It is stated that they minimize social contact with non-Witnesses. There is nothing in that sentence that suggests they refuse social contact. Your wording simply sounds defensive. BlackCab (talk) 10:59, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I feel that your deletion of any clarification makes JW appear extreme, which may be part of the bias in your editing. So I feel that a second statement is needed. I'll post that on the NPOV page in the next few days to a week. Natural (talk) 19:50, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

Cult accusation in Wikipedia article

It is necessary to have secular references in addition to the reference from the Watchtower with this very serious accusation. This is why JW are again experiencing persecution in Russia, the labeling of being "extremists" which the cult label certainly invokes. If religious opposers and "former JW" accuse JW of being a cult, then there needs to be authoritative references in support of the counterside of that claim. Natural (talk) 10:53, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

All of these detailed fringe criticisms of JW are not necessary on this page. They should be relegated to the Criticisms of JW page. If you insist on keeping these here, then there needs to be ample space to defend JW also, through secular references and Watchtower references. If there is still an issue with this and similar issues, then an appeal would need to be made to the NPOV page, or similar pages by myself or a similar editor. Thanks. Natural (talk) 10:53, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

The section is a summary of the Criticisms article. How many times do you need to be told this? Your bias towards this religion is affecting your ability to act in a neutral way when editing this article. You are intent on removing criticism simply because you think it presents your religion in a less than flattering light. If you want to raise a NPOV complaint, do it and we'll get some outside opinion. You spend all your time whining about bias and point of view while plainly trying to impose your own. BlackCab (talk) 11:04, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
The "cult accusations" in the article body are beautifully balanced by providing references to JW's own writings and to secular scholars who claim that JW is not a cult in the pejorative sense of the word used by the anti-cult movement. No need to change anything here and there is clearly no pov problem.·Maunus·ƛ· 11:27, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
It is unnecessary, and probably quite inappropriate, to say that arguments made in this article are in some way responsible for or related to "persecution in Russia", which sounds a lot like an emotional ploy. JW publications have at various times rejected claims they are a cult, indicating that the claims that they are a cult are not merely "fringe" claims, otherwise they would have little reason to mention them.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:36, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Look, the way the cult part is balanced now at this moment is alright, the way it was a few days ago, was without the clarifications. That was the message, nothing more. I posted that before someone reverted my edits. Thanks.Natural (talk) 19:48, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

Further Reading and sites

These are a few sources that are of interest in research and publications to the reader on Jehovah's Witnesses that I feel should be included in the further reading section and sites.

Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich Detlef Garbe English University of Wisconsin Press; English Ed edition (March 28, 2008) 0299207943

Armed with the Constitution: Jehovah's Witnesses in Alabama and the U.S Supreme Court, 1939-1946 ~ Merlin Newton (Author) University Alabama Press (June 28, 2002) English 0817312285

Site - Religious Denominations in the United States by Frank S. Mead; Samuel Hill, Craig Atwood. Complete Chapter- Jehovah's Witnesses Handbook of Denominations in the United States, 12th Edition Abingdon Press (October 2005) ISBN-10: 0687057841 jehovahs-witnesses-beliefs.info/

This is a very good easily accessible non-biased reference on Jehovah's Witnesses from the Methodist publisher Abingdon. The book is currently ranked 20,000 on Amazon, which is a very high ranking for a non-fiction book.

Facing the Lion (Abridged Edition): Memoirs of a Young Girl in Nazi Europe by Simone Liebster Grammaton Press, LLC; Abridged edition (January 15, 2006) Language: English ISBN-10: 0967936691 This is an very well read autobiography of a Jehovah's Witness girl in Nazi Germany. It gives the reader the human scope of being a Jehovah's Witness and what it was to experience the pressure involved with not conforming with the Nazis.

Natural (talk) 20:49, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

Russell

The Photo Drama of Creation was one of Russell's major life achievements and works, and should be mentioned, as well as his debates, or speeches against hellfire. Those are two of the most significant aspects of his life's works. I'll provide references if you want, but should be well known to most of the editors here. Thanks. Natural (talk) 20:11, 1 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

The article isn't about Russell or the Bible Students, and only needs to include enough information about them to explain the development of JWs.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:14, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Jeffro77 - In a way I agree with you. However, the issue is, is that in this article, the failings of the individuals such as Rutherford, Russell, and Franz are given full consideration, in that the emphasis is on highlighting the failure of certain expectations in dates, which isn't necessary for the article. But if that be the case, then equal weight should be given to positive aspects of their works. If there is going to be a criticisms section which gets into details about failings of Jehovah's Witnesses, then there has to be equal weight given, so that a balanced view is presented of these individuals such as Russell, etc.Natural (talk) 10:15, 8 June 2010 (UTC)Natural
So you just want to make the article longer so the criticisms section looks shorter? That doesn't make much sense. The amount of criticism in the entire article is quite small compared with neutral and positive material. BlackCab (talk) 10:22, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
You are putting words in my mouth. You said that the article was too long. I said, if the article is too long, take out more of the criticisms section. There is still room to give a few small additional facts about certain aspects that are noteworthy of JW. If you really cared that the article was too long, you wuold have picked up on the idea of cutting back criticisms to one paragraph, and keeping it on the one page dedicated to that subject, so you are a bit hypocritical in your ideas of editing in this case and others. Talk straight, talk honest, be what you are and stop hiding. Natural (talk) 19:50, 9 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

Organization - Assitance to Governing Body

It should be noted that while the Governing Body does not solicit advice from other members of the anointed, there are many that are not of the anointed who work as assistants to Governing Body Committees and help to provide spiritual food and formulate policy, decision making. Additionally, the Governing Body appointes Branch Committees which have a certain amount of autonomy in decision-making. The line saying that, in practice the Governing Body... gives a misleading impression about the role of the anointed, and that of the Governing Body, like saying, "we are the GB and we don't need any help." That's not how it is. In practice, and you won't find this anywhere, there are informal established communication lines between anointed outside of Bethel and those in, and it is considered by the GB. The GB stated in the Watchtower, that they don't individually call every member of the faithful slave class, or that all of the anointed are not consulted on every issue, but it doesn't mean that there is no communication either. The Branch Committees regularly communicate with the Governing Body. The only thing being, that there is communication from the bottom up, but it is as the Bible says, "decently and by arrangement". There are many lines of communication that have been formally and informally established. Additionally, there are circuit and district overseers who are of the anointed, and these communicate with the GB through the regular channels. The anointed outside of Bethel do not resent that they might have a less prominent role than that of the Governing Body. Each is happy to have his own share in God's work. Natural (talk) 20:12, 9 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

Thank you for your original research, but Wikipedia articles rely on reliable published sources. I have removed your comments from the article. BlackCab (talk) 20:55, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Biblical criticisms

The "Biblical criticisms" section criticizes New World Translation, a book not a religion. There's lots of Jehovah's Witnesses who don't even use that book, so this criticism here seems incongruous. I guess you could rename and refocus the section to criticize JW's for using the name Jehovah, since that's something they all do. --68.195.234.154 (talk) 12:45, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

The NWT is produced by and for JWs, and it is the only denomination to officially use that translation. To say "there's lots of Jehovah's Witnesses who don't even use that book" is, at best, a gross exaggeration.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:55, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it is possible to be an active Jehovah's Witnesses and not use the New World Translation. In any case mentioning that Witnesses do or don't use it would require a reference to a reliable source.·Maunus·ƛ· 15:48, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
The translation is a product of the Jehovah's Witness religion. The criticism is largely based on the view that parts of the translation have been rendered in a way that supports existing JW doctrines. Further criticism also surrounds the decision by the religion's leaders to refuse to identify the names and qualifications of the translators, which is a standard procedure that helps any translation to be assessed, and the claim that those Witnesses who did translate it lacked the qualifications to do so. All those issues are directly related to the religion. Your suggestion is clearly part of your ongoing campaign to remove all criticism of your religion from the article and not soundly based. BlackCab (talk) 12:18, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Thats interesting. Is it verifiable that the translation committee was entirely JW's working with JW officialdom? If so (which seems possible if someone seaches for it), that should be added here so that this section doesn't seem so random. If not, maybe here one line could criticize the JW religion for preferring a criticized translation and New World Translation can criticize the translaters for requesting anonymity and translation decisions. --68.195.234.154 (talk) 14:31, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Though it is of course entirely unsurprising, here is a source, as requested by the anonymous editor, confirming the translation committee members for the NWT were JWs... The Watchtower, 15 January 2001, p 30: "...the group of anointed Witnesses of Jehovah comprising the New World Bible Translation Committee."--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:32, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Reading through the Watchtower references that discuss the release of the NWT, is is odd how coy they are in explaining the real origin of the translation. Most peculiar is that the translation was supposedly carried out by anointed Witnesses (ie, members of the slave class) without the knowledge of the Governing Body. The sources are quite clear that the GB was told of the existence of the committee and its translation only as the committee neared completion of the work ... and, oddly enough, again the following year when the president read some chapters from it to the GB and they accepted it as a gift to the society. Group amnesia perhaps? BlackCab (talk) 12:13, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
It does certainly sound coy. However, the article says that "the Watch Tower Society" became aware a year later, not specifically that the GB didn't know about the "translation committee". It 'may be' (read, "is most likely") that there was no official announcement to others at Watch Tower headquarters beyond the GB, and it is considerably unlikely that it was commissioned entirely without the GB members' knowledge. I would even go as far as to say that of course the GB knew about it. Indeed, the whole description seems like a coy way of 'not saying' the "translation committee" were in fact several of the Watch Tower Society directors themselves, which is wholly consistent with the list of writers suggested by other sources: Nathan Knorr, Frederick Franz, Albert Schroeder, George Gangas, and Milton Henschel. However, we're quite unlikely to have an official JW source admit as much.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:54, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Bearing in mind, of course, that the governing body of JWs was at that time the WTS board of directors. BlackCab (talk) 21:43, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. It sounds like the 'gift' of the translation from the 'anonymous' committee might have been a bit of a show put on for the directors of the New York corporation and possibly other Watch Tower Society shareholders.--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:07, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Holden's exact quote, and understanding of the Bible w/o JW

I could be mistaken, but in reading Holden's book, I believe he said that pronouncements from the GB carry as much weight as the Bible, but didn't say more weight than the Bible. Also, The Watchtower Society today, is a corporation of which the Governing Body does not run, it is simply a legal corporation, of whom, none of us really know who are the members. Don Adams? I don't know, know one knows who Don Adams is. There are certain Bible doctrines that would be difficult to understand without studying the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses. The Watchtower Society really means nothing today, it is one corporation among many that are used by Jehovah's Witnesses. Certainly some of the Bible can be understood without any association with Jehovah's Witnesses, so there needs to be a clarification with that as well. Natural (talk) 20:23, 9 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

Additionally, the rebuttal of the erroneous statement by Holden about the Witnesses own beliefs on that needs to be included. It had been edited by the editors here, but it does need to be included. In the belief of JW, what Holden says here (like many of Holden's sloppily worded comments, some of his book is good, some is sloppily worded, like he was in a rush to get the book done and meet a deadline, without checking his facts), is not at all true. Personally for me, and for my family, who are JW, it is totally not true. The Bible is the authority. I certainly respect the GB, but the Bible says, "Make sure of all things, hold fast to what is fine." "In practice," that is how it usually goes with most JW. We follow first the Bible, not any men's opinions. That is why my family and I are still JW, having been JW before 1975 and after 1975. We aren't following men, we are following the Bible and Jesus Christ. Christ is our leader from heave, not any man on earth.Natural (talk) 20:27, 9 June 2010 (UTC)Natural

You may think that it true of you, but the series of flip-flops on the understanding of "this generation" prove that few Witnesses actually care what the Bible says. It's whatever the Watchtower says that counts. "The generation was the people who were alive in 1914? Of course it is!" "Say what? The generation is actually a group of people whose lives overlap people people who lived in 1914? Of course it is! Why didn't I see that before?" "When God told Noah not to eat animal blood, of course he meant he preferred people should die rather than accept medical treatment involving transplanting of human blood!" "When Revelation speaks of the great crowd gathered before the throne, of course it means they weren't in heaven with him!" "When Acts spoke of the apostles preaching in houses, of course it means all Christians today have to go out in organized groups knocking on doors and report to their superiors how much time they spent doing it!" Be honest, Scott, if the Watch Tower Society turned around tomorrow and changed its mind on a fundamental belief, all Witnesses would follow them too. Holden was accurate. BlackCab (talk) 21:08, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
If Holden or other notable critics do or do not make the specific claim that the GB carries more weight than the Bible, then we should reflect that accurately.
For me, it's like comparing peaches to peach cobbler. The Bible does say some things clearly, but others are much more ambiguous. GB teachings fill in the blanks that Bible scholars debate about, like the added flavor added to the peaches to make cobbler. So if someone enjoys peach cobbler, but not peach jam, does that mean they love cobbler more than peaches? Maybe. It's a sketchy and subjective criticism, and attempts to divorce two things that are hopelessly intertwined. Despite my doubts, Holden probably knows more about the kind of study than I do. Whatever.
Returning to the point, we can't say that notable critics say something that they don't say. ...comments? ~BFizz 04:36, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
The current wording, that Holden said the "pronouncements of the Governing Body, through Watch Tower Society publications, carry as much weight as the Bible" is accurate. And you're right, there's a lot of cobblers about this religion's teachings. BlackCab (talk) 04:59, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Irrespective of intentionally ambiguous semantics about JWs receiving doctrine from JWs, or whether JWs share a personal affinity with individual GB members, we all know that the Governing Body establishes doctrines, and the Watch Tower Society publishes those doctrines.
Naturalpsychology, you're simply asserting your own POV regarding your claim that "There are certain Bible doctrines that would be difficult to understand without studying the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses." Indeed, there are a great many people who would disagree with you here, both in the belief that JWs have 'the correct' understanding, and that others (non-JWs) cannot possibly believe that they don't find the Bible difficult to understand (irrespective of whether their understanding agrees with whatever the Watch Tower Society currently teaches). In regard to 'making sure of all things' and "the Bible being the authority", I could rebut with instances of JW doctrine that are certainly at odds here, but that's for another venue.
This section is allegedly discussing something Holden said, but the actual statement from Holden is nowhere to be found. So... if someone can supply what Holden actually said, maybe we can assess whether the article accurately conveys it.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:48, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Holden quote and a similar observation by Penton are now in the article. BlackCab (talk) 12:05, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Thanks for that. ...comments? ~BFizz 07:39, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

"Claimed" not "taught"

Teach (v): to impart knowledge of or skill in. Knowledge (n): acquaintance with facts or truths as from study or investigation.

As religion is based on faith rather than evidence, to be objective and unbiased I think the article should read 'it was claimed', not 'it was taught' etc.

If this is not Wikipedia policy, please explain why. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.190.147.38 (talk) 05:20, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Religion#Qualifying_statements.--Jeffro77 (talk) 05:37, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Teaching (n): Something taught by a religious or philosophical authority. - wikt:teaching.

In my mind, the word 'taught' obviously does not imply that the 'teaching' being taught is related to concrete evidence. Though Jeffro's link is not yet WP policy, I agree with the general sentiment. It would kill the quality of the prose to restrict the article to using 'claimed' all over the place. However, 'claimed' may be more appropriate than 'taught' in some specific cases. ...comments? ~BFizz 07:19, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Regardless of whether what is taught is actually true, teach and related words convey the sense of information imparted by someone considered to be in a position of authority. Using claim in its place cannot convey the same sense.--Jeffro77 (talk) 07:22, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely agree. Just as claims is sometimes more appropriate than teaches, the converse is also true. ...comments? ~BFizz 07:38, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Refs in intro

I thought we had cleaned these up a little while ago, but they're apparently back. According to WP:LEADCITE, "Leads are usually written at a greater level of generality than the body, and information in the lead section of non-controversial subjects is less likely to be challenged and less likely to require a source" (emphasis mine). It is not controversial to say that JWs are millenarian, we don't need a reference in the lede for that kind of statement. Other non-controversial factoids, like the assertion that JWs stem from the Bible Student Movement, do not need citations in the lede, since there will surely be some in the body text.

The current statement that "Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distribution of literature such as The Watchtower and Awake!, and for their refusal of military service and blood transfusions even in life-threatening situations" is more touchy, but certainly does not merit four references for a lede sentence, especially since both JWs and critics agree with this statement.

I didn't want to jump into the ref cleanup without making clear what my intentions and underlying assumptions were, though. What do you think? ...comments? ~BFizz 07:34, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Finding no opposition to the proposal, I've cut out most of the refs in the intro. Feel free to rescue any that you feel can be used in the article instead. ...comments? ~BFizz 05:39, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Though I agree in principle, I think some of the refs you've removed should be reinstated, particularly in cases where it is not immediately obvious to place them in the body text. In particular, some of the refs from the first sentence should probably be reinstated because they include "material that is challenged or likely to be challenged" per WP:LEAD.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:08, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Jeffro speaks with experience. According to WP:LEADCITE "The verifiability policy advises that material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, and quotations, should be cited....a lead should be determined on a case-by-case basis by editorial consensus. Complex, current, or controversial subjects may require many citations; others, few or none." This was why the quotes appeared for many years now. History has shown that without the quotes the information is often challenged and changed. eg. denomination to cult/sect. (See the many discussions on "Christian" and "denomination", etc. below) The quotes were part of the consensus for years. Thus they should be removed by the consensus. I will thus restore them since this seems fair to all the past discussions on this. On the other hand, it does look nice without the quotes and ideally it would be good without them, however on a controversial issue it may be best to keep them. If not we may start going in circles again, and I get dizzy! Do we really need to go over all this again? I am afraid that after so many years of archiving and reaching a consensus we may have to repeat all of this again if our intro is not verified by quotes. see archives below:

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] many More on Archive 25 over 3 years ago... [15] ETC. Johanneum (talk) 20:56, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Fizz's intent was good and there needs to be a commonsense approach. The intro section was heavily loaded with refs that can adequately be located within the appropriate sections lower down. I agree that the more contentious claims (Christian etc) deserve refs to deal with those issues at the outset. BlackCab (talk) 00:16, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from RJasonKlein, 17 June 2010

Please change the words "Jehovah's witnesses" in the last sentence of the second paragraph to read "Jehovah's Witnesses" (with a capital "W"), as the name is a proper name and should be capitalized. Additionally, the article should be checked to ensure that all instances within are handled correctly. RJasonKlein (talk) 02:39, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

i'm declining the change as this was the correct usage at the time mentioned. Please view source it has a special note Hell In A Bucket (talk) 02:45, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Throughout most of the article, the capital "W" is used. The only exceptions (there are only 2 or 3 occurrences) are where the historical name is directly referred to—the situation HiaB describes. ...comments? ~BFizz 05:46, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Requirement for monthly reports

User:Johanneum has objected to wording that discusses the "requirement" to provide a monthly report on preaching activity.[16] This has previously been discussed here. I have reworded it to reinstate the clear "instruction" and "responsibility" to report activity. BlackCab (talk) 04:19, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

They are specifically instructed to, there are special terms used for members who don't, and if they don't report, they aren't counted as 'publishers' in the worldwide statistics, so it's fair to say it's a requirement.--Jeffro77 (talk) 05:12, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
The word "must" is a little strong and not entirely accurate. Encouraged? yes. But the fact that some do not do so, is in the article and they are called, "irregular" but are still Witnesses in good standing. Johanneum (talk) 12:31, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
It is a requirement to submit a report to be counted as a member, however I also think it's sufficient to say they're instructed to submit the reports, so long as there is an indication that terms exist for those who do not submit reports. It would also be appropriate to indicate that only those who report preaching activity are included in official membership statistics.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:23, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Joanneum is either fooling himself or being less than honest. When an organization tells its members ""Jehovah’s organization today instructs us to report our field service activity each month ... At the end of the month, the book study overseer makes sure that all in the group have followed through on their responsibility to report their activity" ... that is a "must". It is a requirement. If a cop pulls you over and instructs you to step out of the car, do you think you have an option? I don't know why he objects to the phraseology. He is part of an organization that tells its members what they must do. Their instruction is to report activity monthly. BlackCab (talk) 10:31, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
My anecdotal experience is closer to agree with Johanneum than with Blackcab - I know m,any witnesses that are less than regular in their reports with no negative consequences for them in their relation to the congregation. However we need to base this article on sources - what do the reliable sources say about the strictness of the report-requirement?
I've already added to the article that there are special terms for those who don't, and have not indicated that specific negative action is taken towards members who don't report. However, it may be worth mentioning that reporting is required for inclusion in official statistics and that those who don't report for extended periods receive 'shepherding calls'.--Jeffro77 (talk) 07:54, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Currently, the article says this:

.

Witnesses are instructed to devote as much time as possible to preaching activities and are also required to provide a monthly report on their 'witnessing' activity. Baptized members who fail to submit a report every month are referred to as 'irregular'; those who do not submit a report for six consecutive months are referred to as 'inactive'.

I suggest something more like this:

Witnesses are instructed to devote as much time as possible to preaching activities. and are also required to provide a monthly Witnesses report on their 'witnessing' activity to (fill_in_the_blank) each month. Baptized members who fail to submit a report every month are referred to as 'irregular'; those who do not submit a report for six consecutive months are referred to as 'inactive'.

The whole "required" notion, imho, is best left to the final sentence, which clarifies the level of expectation for preaching work. ...comments? ~BFizz 03:59, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

For the sake of accuracy it should be noted that Witnesses are under instructions to report their witnessing activity. Your wording states that they do report, but not that they are told to report. The statement that those who fail to turn in their reports are given a name, in this case "irregular" (in line with the general JW policy of categorising everybody, either "active", "worldly", "interested", "opposed", "apostate", "murmurer", "disassociated" etc etc) doesn't make that clear. The requirement to report their witnessing activity is a distinctive feature of the religion. Many religions promote the idea of "witnessing" or "sharing the gospel"; I know of no other that instructs members to hand in a monthly slip of paper detailing the hours spent in that work. The figures are kept on file permanently and are often checked by elders and discussed with individuals later if elders note a decline in their enthusiasm. In short, I support the current wording. BlackCab (talk) 05:43, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I hesitate to embrace the wording with "required" because it is unclear what the consequences are for failing to meet this "requirement". Obviously, Witnesses are still considered part of the religion if they don't report every month, though they are given a different label. What, then, is the requirement for? For example, I am "required" to plug in my computer, but only in order to use a functioning computer. If I don't need to use my computer, the requirement no longer applies to me. What is the "in order to" of the "requirement" to report witnessing time every month? ...comments? ~BFizz 01:38, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Jeffro mentioned that they are not counted as "publishers' if they do not meet this requirement. Is there a way to make this transparent to the reader? Is there a source for it? ...comments? ~BFizz 01:40, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Informally, the requirement to provide a monthly report is to remain "in good standing", but I doubt there'll be anything written about that. Still, maybe there is -- I'll have a look in their books. Male Witnesses are offered the carrot of "privileges of service" if they get enough hours -- roles such as "ministerial servant" or "elder" -- and must provide proof of acceptable witnessing activity even to hold microphones in the meetings, operate the sound system, adjust the microphones on stage, handle the books, magazines and finances and act as attendant. The pressure to conform is so strong that the mere "instruction" to hand in reports is enough to gain the required result. Refusal would be a sign of rebelliousness; a general failure would be a sign of uninterest and would probably result in a visit from the elders to ask them what's going on. Those who failed to report might well receive a phone call or face-to-face request from an elder asking what their numbers are so they can file the report for them. That happened to me several times. When I failed to report my witnessing activity on my honeymoon (I was engaged in a different type of activity as I recall) the congregation secretary simply made up some numbers and submitted them in my name. Towards the end of my time in the org, I generally made up figures as well, as I'm sure many Witnesses do to stay under the radar. Quite how your question can be answered using a published source may be a little tricky, but as I say, I'll check it out. BlackCab (talk) 05:58, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I've already indicated some of the sourced repercussions of not submitting reports, specifically, the labels 'irregular' and 'inactive'. I'm not sure about a specific unambiguous reference that concisely says only those who report are counted, though the yearly 'Worldwide Reports' show totals for 'Peak Publishers' (as the identifying term for 'members'), and other articles indicate that the worldwide reports are compiled from the reports submitted by members. (BlackCab's personal experiences constitute original research.)--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:17, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I have read through an Our Kingdom Ministry article (December 2002) on filing reports and I don't see that there is a direct answer of the type Fizz is seeking other than what the article already includes. The OKM article says that "conscientiously reporting your activity shows respect for Jehovah’s arrangement" and that it "contributes to a report that accurately reflects what was accomplished in the field". The article says that "field service reports help the elders identify those with potential to expand their ministry as well as those who may need assistance" (confirming my point above about attracting the attention of elders). The Organized to Do Jehovah's Will book (2005, page 88) impresses upon Witnesses the need to "cultivate the right attitude toward reporting our field ministry", but there is nothing that mentions any adverse consequences for those who fail. The May 1984 OKM says that "Each month the congregation secretary should provide each book study conductor with a list of those in his group who have not reported field service activity. Study conductors will do their part by giving particular attention to the spiritual needs of these, offering personally to assist them in the ministry or arranging for someone else to do so. And, of course, the service overseer, working through the study conductors, will take the lead in helping to reduce irregularity in the congregation." Yes, it's a requirement. But the nearest any WT source comes to identifying direct consequences is, as noted, Witnesses will be counseled by elders and defined as either "irregular" or "inactive". BlackCab (talk) 11:35, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
The trouble with religious 'requirements' is that a religion's doctrine on a 'requirement' is often ambiguous, yet alludes to the idea that "you should do this if you want to be saved." And yet there are exceptions, there is forgiveness, and, well, it's a little more fuzzy than plain black-and-white 100% fulfillment or not 100% fulfillment. Since no Watchtower publications seem to use the word "requirement" in reference to monthly reporting, I don't think we should either, which is why I made an alternate proposition. ...comments? ~BFizz 22:21, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't see the problem, but the word "required" can be replaced with "instructed" without losing the sense of the organizational command. BlackCab (talk) 23:53, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Blood transfusion fractions

In the paragraph on blood transfusion, it says that Witnesses may not accept red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc. Yet it goes on to say that fractions created from these components may be accepted at the discretion of the individual. I think the text is mistaken. Red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and so on are all fractions of blood. I'm not sure how one is supposed to fractionate any of them, since they are themselves homogeneous fractions. I'm not a Witness myself so I can't vouch for what their doctrine is, but this needs clarification. It's really important for doctors and Witnesses to know exactly what they believe in. - Richard Cavell (talk) 09:03, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Despite the apparent dichotomy, it is indeed the case that although Witnesses may not accept any of the major 4 components of whole blood, substances that are further fractionated from those components are considered to be a "conscience matter", which individual Witnesses are allowed to accept if they so choose.
For brevity, a chart in The Watchtower (15 June 2004, page 22) presents their "stand" as:
Basic stand on blood
Whole blood
Unacceptable Red cells White cells Platelets Plasma
Christian
to decide
Fractions
from
red cells
Fractions
from
white cells
Fractions
from
platelets
Fractions
from
plasma
I hope that clarifies for you. However, there are many other similar statements in JW literature, including in the article that accompanies the table above.--Jeffro77 (talk) 10:25, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Use of Neutral sources

The following source, rather than being neutral, being the first on this list, isn't neutral, but rather from a pretty dogged opposer of Jehovah's Witnesses.

I would suggest that a more neutral source be used in it's place.

Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses by M. James Penton. Penton, professor emeritus of history at University of Lethbridge and a former member of the religion, examines the history of Jehovah's Witnesses, and their doctrines. Read selections from: Apocalypse Delayed: the Story of Jehovah's Witnesses University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3 (Canada, 1998) (Google book search) Natural (talk) 21:28, 2 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

We have gone over this point innumerable times, Scott. Penton obviously expresses viewpoints in his book, as does any author of any book. That does not exclude its use as a source. The key here is that the information is used in an editorially neutral manner and that any claims he makes that are plainly colored by his personal experiences be noted as such. The Watch Tower Society is not a neutral source either, but its material is used here with the same caution. BlackCab (talk) 22:00, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

JW encouraged to have a balanced view to the world

JW are encouraged to be balanced as to separateness from the world.

On the one hand, separateness is encouraged from the attitudes such as love of money, desire for personal prominence, incessant pursuit of pleasures, rebellion against authority, etc. in addition to politics and false religion. June 1 1994, p. 16,17.

On the other hand, the 11/1/1997 Watchtower article encourages balance in the entire article "Jehovah’s balanced attitude toward the world should guide his worshipers."

with quotes such as these:

"Shortly before his death, Jesus told Pontius Pilate: “My kingdom is no part of this world.” (John 18:36) In harmony with these words, Jesus had earlier rejected Satan’s offer to give him authority over the kingdoms of the world, and he had refused to allow the Jews to make him a king. (Luke 4:5-8; John 6:14, 15) Yet, Jesus showed great love for the world of mankind. An example of this was reported by the apostle Matthew: “On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” Out of love, he preached to the people in their towns and villages. He taught them and healed their infirmities. (Matthew 9:36) He was also sensitive to the physical needs of those who came to learn from him. We read: “Jesus called his disciples to him and said: ‘I feel pity for the crowd...."

With that in mind, in the opening statements, the term "secular society" being morally corrupt is a very broad term. The Wikipedia page is referenced society which again, is extremely broad.

JW do not believe that all of secular society is corrupt. But, they do remain separate from much of the world. Therefore, the clarifying adj. "much" would better help to qualify the broad statement regarding society made in the opening comments in the Wikipedia article. Natural (talk) 21:58, 2 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The 1997 Watchtower that you quote also states that "This “world” is the mass of humanity that is alienated from God. True Christians are no part of this world, and it hates them." By "humanity that is alienated from God" the article means 'people who aren't JWs', not 'some ambiguous portion of society in general'. It also states that "In the Bible the word “world” (Greek, ko′smos) often designates unrighteous human society, which “is lying in the power of the wicked one.”" The only distinction that JW doctrine makes is that JWs are separate from 'the world', not that they are separate from only 'particularly bad parts of the world'. Whilst most of them maintain secular jobs, and many maintain friendships with 'worldly people' that would not be endorsed by the leadership, the official position is that 'the world' is all of human society except JWs, and JWs are not supposed to form close friendships with any worldly people who don't show an interest in their beliefs.--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:27, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
The point of the two articles in the 11/1/1997 was basically the opposite of that idea. It's trying to help JW to be balanced with regards to separateness to the world. This is the idea given in the article, and the idea behind the view of JW toward's people who do not share their form of religion,
You are taking the article out of context. The article certainly does make a comparison between different applications of Greek kosmos to mean either 'the (entire) corrupt world' and 'the world of mankind JWs should preach to', but it does not make the distinction you are implying, that only part of the 'world' is corrupt. The point is that JWs (believe they) should show love for the people in the 'morally corrupt world' by preaching to them, but also that they should, for any purpose other than potential conversion, avoid close association with all in that morally corrupt world.--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:10, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Title of article: Christians and the World of Mankind
13 While preaching, many of us meet individuals who are disillusioned with organized religion. They may, however, still be God-fearers, believing in God to some extent and trying to live good lives. In this twisted and increasingly godless generation, should we not rejoice to meet people who have some belief in God? p. 12 par. 13 Natural (talk) 13:21, 3 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
And what of those many millions who have totally turned their backs on religion, becoming atheistic or agnostic? Moreover, what of those who heed with almost religious fervor modern philosophy or the pop psychology that is published in the numerous self-help books found in bookstores? Should any of such people be shunned, considered beyond redemption? Not if we imitate the apostle Paul.p16
I feel, that to a certain extent, the Wikipedia article is trying to make JW look unbalanced, when the literature from JW themselves is trying to help JW to be balanced. Natural (talk) 13:23, 3 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
The sentence you wish to change is a summary of the section further down on separateness. The article is not trying to make JWs look like anything. It simply makes statements that reflect the views of reliable sources. You seem to be arguing that, contrary to what WTS publications say, only parts of the world lie in the power of the wicked one. If Witnesses do not believe secular society is corrupt, why do they believe God will destroy it anyway? BlackCab (talk) 13:40, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

On accusation that JW preaching work is coercive

These two quotes were used in rebuttal to R. Franz's accusations. The point being that Jehovah's Witnesses are admonished to do whatever they reasonably can, but are not coerced to preach. Comments? There would need to be some rebuttal to Franz's accusation.

cite article | Take Refuge in Jehovah | date = January 1, 1994 | publication = The Watchtower | quote = "Thus, whatever time we spend in service each month, especially if that time represents the best that we can do, is good, not shameful. Was not the widow’s mite fully appreciated by Jesus and his Father?—Luke 21:1-4."

cite article | Keep the Right View of Kingdom Preaching | date = March 15, 1970 | publication = The Watchtower | page = 176 | quote ="However, this is not the case. Jehovah God does not require more from his servants than they are able to give. He is greatly pleased even with the ‘widow’s mite’ when this is all one is able to offer. (Luke 21:1-4; Matt. 11:28, 29) So the right view is that a Christian should do what he can in the preaching work. This is all that God requires." Natural (talk) 20:19, 3 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

  • w08 1/15 p. 4 par. 1 “Keep Watching the Ministry Which You Accepted in the Lord”: "Failure to assume the responsibility of warning people of the choice that lies before them could result in our incurring bloodguilt."
  • w00 7/1 p. 11 par. 13 Eagerly Declare the Good News: "We also preach out of love for people and in order to avoid bloodguilt."
  • w06 7/1 p. 30 par. 17 Youths, Make It Your Choice to Serve Jehovah: "Fulfilling our dedication involves ‘buying out time.’ How do we do that? By taking time that we would otherwise spend in futile pursuits and devoting it to serious Bible study, regular meeting attendance, and the fullest possible share in preaching the “good news of the kingdom.”"
--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:00, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I am going to take time to respond to these, but don't have time now. I disagree with your personal interpretation. Jesus Christ commanded his followers to preach. Matthew 28:19,20, "Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, teaching them all the things I have commanded you, and look I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things." 1 Tim 4:16, "Preach the word, be at it urgently, in favorable season and troublesome season." Acts 20:20, "And every day in the temple and from house to house," they preached. The issue, then is against Christianity, rather than against JW. Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul were also coercive. Your stand is against the Christian ministry that has been going on for 20 centuries, not against Jehovah's Witnesses. The stand of R. Franz and that Wikipedia editors here take is the stand of the lazy Christian. The Christian that doesn't want to do the work Jesus did. We, as JW preach, because of Jesus command, not any command from the org. of JW. The bible itself gives the command to preach. As Jesus said, "You are very much mistaken." You can take some isolated quotes from the Watchtower to try to twist them to your own point of view, but that is all it is, a point of view. That is your point of view. Our point of view is different. Wikipedia isn't skewed to your pesronal point of view, but is supposed to show all points of view. You opt for the lazy Christian approach, that's fine, that's R. Franz's thinking, we think the way Jesus said, that is a different point of view. Natural (talk) 19:55, 4 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
This isn't an argument over an editor's "personal interpretation" on whether Christians should preach. Reliable sources have accused the JW leadership of coercing members to keep on knocking on doors month in, month out for the rest of their life. The article has included that criticism. Your personal disagreement with that criticism is irrelevant. Perhaps to appease you we could add in the "Beliefs/Evangelism" section of the article that Witnesses are "commanded" to give up their free time to knock on doors to distribute WTS material. BlackCab (talk) 22:39, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Whether Jesus ever actually said many of the things attributed to him is highly debatable, let alone how they should be inferred if he did say them. But aside from that, even if Christians are 'meant' to preach, it doesn't change the fact that JW literature tells JWs that they must spend as much time as they can doing so, lest they be 'bloodguilty', and that such a threat looming over them can quite reasonably be considered coercive. More importantly, the point being contended is stated in cited sources and is not merely the opinion of Wikipedia editors.
Additionally, Acts 20:20 does not support 'house-to-house' preaching in the manner you imply; the literal translation of what is rendered in the NWT as "house to house" is actually "according to the houses" and referred to meetings of Christians in the homes of people who were already Christians.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:41, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
What needs to be realized is that the Bible itself is what talks about being bloodguilt for not giving a warning. It is not something JW made up.
7 “Now as regards you, O son of man, a watchman is what I have made you to the house of Israel, and at my mouth you must hear [the] word and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to someone wicked, ‘O wicked one, you will positively die!’ but you actually do not speak out to warn the wicked one from his way, he himself as a wicked one will die in his own error, but his blood I shall ask back at your own hand." Natural (talk) 10:56, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
That's a scripture from Ezekiel, which was written about 600 years before Christ. I don't see a direct connection between that book, dealing with the destruction of Judea, and the Watch Tower Society commanding members of a 21st century religion to fulfil a certain number of hours per month knocking on doors to remain "in good standing". BlackCab (talk) 11:16, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Context needs to be considered in the way quotes are being used in this article to prove points

A person can take three quotes from Ronald Reagen to prove that he was a Communitist, You can take three quotes from the Bible to prove that early Christians and Jesus himself, recommended cannabilism. The quotes used to prove points, need to be taken into the entire context of what is being said, as well as the the context with which the entire thought is being transmitted by JW. Often times this isolated quotes, are not giving the full picture in either the article, or the entire body of writings of Jehovah's Witnesses. We need to quote with intellectual integrity, to give an accurate generalization. Natural (talk) 11:03, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

I have no idea what you're talking about. Is this a general rant about society or are you addressing something in the article? BlackCab (talk) 11:07, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to encourage you to be polite in editing on Wikipedia.
To explain this point to you, please, two editors on the Wikipedia Jehovah's Witness team, are using quotes out of the general context of the complete body of Jehovah's Witnesses literature, in an effort to do what Russia has attempted to do, but that the European Court condemned, that is, to make Jehovah's Witnesses look extreme. One can pull quotes out of Jehovah's Witness literature, to prove pretty much whatever point one is trying to prove against Jehovah's Witness, but the entire context of both the article, and clarifying information, as well as the context of the entire body of current Jehovah's Witness literature needs to be taken into context. This is intellectual integrity. It is necessary in an encyclopedia. 69.115.172.182 (talk) 11:53, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
I assume you also take issue with the selective pro-JW quoting by User:Naturalpsychology. The comparison of Wikipedia editors with a Russian court case is amusing, but irrelevant.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:16, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Bible's view of preaching and Jesus words

Also, Jesus said this to his disciples with whom he entrusted his "belongings,"

24 “Finally the one that had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be an exacting man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not winnow. 25 So I grew afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 In reply his master said to him, ‘Wicked and sluggish slave, you knew, did you, that I reaped where I did not sow and gathered where I did not winnow? 27 Well, then, you ought to have deposited my silver monies with the bankers, and on my arrival I would be receiving what is mine with interest. 28 “‘Therefore TAKE away the talent from him and give it to him that has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone that has, more will be given and he will have abundance; but as for him that does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 And throw the good-for-nothing slave out into the darkness outside. There is where [his] weeping and the gnashing of [his] teeth will be.’

It would seem, then, that the issue isn't so much with Jehovah's Witnesses per se, as it is with the entire Bible and Christianity.

Your eyeglasses only let in negative light. You need to get glasses that let in positive light also!

To the apostate, the preaching work is a chore and duty, and burdensome, for us as Christians it is a joy and delight!

Also, the Apostle Paul said these two things, "Really, woe is me if I did not declare the good news." 1 Cor 9:15 and to Timothy, and to all Christians he said, "I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is destined to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his kingdom, 2 preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season, reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all long-suffering and [art of] teaching. 3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, whereas they will be turned aside to false stories. 5 You, though, keep your senses in all things, suffer evil, do [the] work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry."

Paul, commanded, encouraged, exhorted Christians to preach. This is coercion? No, it is the work of Christians.

"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." Matt 24:14. These words of Jesus have influenced Christians for 2,000 years, including true Christians today. As the Apostle Paul said, "How will they preach unless they have been sent forth?" Rom 10:14.

Are Jehovah's Witnesses to be singled out for criticism by opposers because they repeat the words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul? No, they are to be commended for taking up this assignment. Natural (talk) 10:56, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

Some non-JW have written about the preaching of Jehovah's Witnesses positively as, "a remarkably comprehensive missionary effort". F. Mead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs) 10:59, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Whatever, Scott. I'm happy that you find it a joy to give up your weekends to sell Watch Tower literature. But right now we're discussing the content of an encyclopedia entry that is simply noting that some commentators have criticised the WTS leadership for coercing JWs to spend a certain number of hours every month publicly preaching. You seem to want to use this page to convince us that your religion has a biblical basis for placing that pressure on its members, but it's all beside the point. The wording is accurate. BlackCab (talk) 11:05, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Just to make a small correction. Watch Tower literature isn't sold. I haven't received any type of contribution for "Watchtower literature," in I don't know how long. Also, most of my time involves conducting Bible studies with people, and often times, helping them with their problems. Natural (talk) 11:25, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
It is technically true that JW literature hasn't been sold since Jimmy Swaggart lost the case about tax on the sale of religious literature, however, the literature is still payed for by means of donations; indeed often it is paid for twice, by the JWs when they collect their literature, and then when in-kind donations are given at the doors (unless the JWs pocket those donations for themselves, which they're told not to do).
Why are you worried about it? Natural (talk) 14:04, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
I didn't say it worried me. You said the literature isn't sold, so I indicated that money is still accepted (and is occasionally solicited) on a donation basis when literature is distributed.--Jeffro77 (talk) 14:45, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
What does your 'conducting Bible studies' have to do with this discussion?
Do you count time spent 'helping people with their problems'?--Jeffro77

(talk) 11:46, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

BlackCab is making personal statements towards me on this page which are better put on my personal page, or not at all. I was replying to his derogatory comments towards me, disparaging my ministry.Natural (talk) 13:59, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
Also, your comment about "counting time helping people with their problems" reflects a negative bias to Jehovah's Witnesses organizational arrangements, and a disparaging attitude toward our Christian work. Jehovah's Witnesses do many works besides preaching house to house, and individually that might not be considered part of the preaching work. A person working at Bethel might spend 40-50 hours a week at his assignment, and only "count" 10 hours in a month in public preaching. For your editing to be effective, one should try to keep one's personal disdain out of the picture. Try to be positive, stick to the facts. When I go to work, as I'm sure you do, I have to punch into a time clock. I don't particularly like it, but it is good in that you are guaranteed your pay. There are certain structures which are used in society for one reason or another, which have a good purpose, but might slightly limit one's personal freedom. The same is true in the Christian organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. This is in response to the disparaging remarks about "counting time" That's the second time you've brought that up, so it must irk you, that particular aspect of the ministry of JW. Don't let it bother you, it's no big deal.Natural (talk) 14:03, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
It doesn't really worry me, but I seem to have hit a nerve. You didn't answer the question though.--Jeffro77 (talk) 14:45, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
And you indicate your bias against other Christian religions. So what? We both agree that other Christian religions are full of unnecessary rituals and incorrect beliefs. I just believe that yours does too. But it doesn't stop me from being able to be objective when editing articles, and I edit articles about it because I happen to know a fair bit about it and will defend the articles against both positive and negative bias.--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:15, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Rebuttal to the accusation of apostate Ray Franz on preaching work being coercive

The admonitions to preach that are used to support this criticism, from Watchtower literature, in giving this viewpoint, as expressed by Wikipedia in this article, need to be balanced with the continued comments in the Watchtower, such as these points, to get a complete view of the issue, in addition to the support that Jehovah's Witnesses draw from in the Bible itself.

  • "Whatever time we spend in service each month, especially if that time represents the best that we can do, is good, not shameful. Was not the widow’s mite fully appreciated by Jesus and his Father?—Luke 21:1-4." January 1, 1994
  • "However, this is not the case. Jehovah God does not require more from his servants than they are able to give. He is greatly pleased even with the ‘widow’s mite’ when this is all one is able to offer. (Luke 21:1-4; Matt. 11:28, 29) So the right view is that a Christian should do what he can in the preaching work. This is all that God requires." March 15, 1970 p. 176
  • "Showing balance, not driving youngsters beyond their limitations, parents can help them to find joy in the ministry.—Genesis 33:13, 14. June 1, 2004. p.17 par. 12
  • "Engaging in the field ministry as a family will draw you closer, yet the unique needs of children require a commitment of your private time and emotional energy. Therefore, balance is needed to determine how much time you can use for the preaching work or congregation duties while you also care spiritually, emotionally, and materially for ‘those who are your own.’ You must “learn first to practice godly devotion in [your] own household.” (1 Timothy 5:4, 8) To help fathers, especially, to get the balance needed between family obligations and ministerial duties, the September 15, 1959, issue of The Watchtower urged: “Let proper weight be given to the interests of your own family. Certainly Jehovah God would not expect a man to use all his time in congregational activity, in helping his brothers and neighbors gain salvation, and yet not look after the salvation of his own household. A man’s wife and children are a primary responsibility.” November 1, 1986 p. 22
  • We can be sure that Jehovah knows our circumstances and abilities. He fully realizes what it is possible for us to do, and he would never require us to do more than we can accomplish. Whether we can do a great deal or very little, Jehovah will make up for any lack. September 8, 1995 p. 21
  • Reasonable Expectations Bring Blessings

Cultivating a reasonable view of what we can do will spare us many frustrations. By setting balanced goals, we have a sense of achievement despite our limitations. We thus rejoice over what we can accomplish, even if it is relatively modest.—Gal. 6:4. July 15, 2008. p. 32

The conclusion being, yes Christians are commanded to preach. No it is not coercive, rather, reasonableness is emphasized. R. Franz accuses JW of constantly trying to coerce JW to "do more, do more". This is not the case. Jesus and the Bible give the command to preach. The literature and tone of Jehovah's Witnesses is that balanced is needed in caring for all of our obligations, and not to do more than what we reasonably can.
There are two sides to the issue presented here, that need to be mentioned if the editors here feel they need to have a criticisms section of JW on the main page. If they are going to raise many damaging criticisms, then regardless of their personal viewpoint, or the personal viewpoint of apostates they quote from, then a reasonable explanation or rebuttal is necessary on all of these issues. Natural (talk) 11:22, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
Why are JWs so very in love with the word apostate? And yet apostates who leave other religions to become JWs are never referred to as such. The pejorative usage is clearly an ad hominem thought-terminating cliché. But all that aside, the article simply notes that critics have said JW literature places coercive pressure on JWs to preach. Whether JWs believe what those critics have said do not alter what the critics say, nor the statements in JW literature that support such reasoning.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:36, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

This statement misrepresents what JW beleive

Jehovah's Witnesses consider secular society to be morally corrupt. I've tried a number of times to more accurately represent what JW believe here, but have not yet been successful. Any suggestions? Natural (talk) 20:32, 3 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

  • WT 93 1/15 "But he knew that permanent relief could not be had within the framework of a human society that was under divine condemnation because of inborn sin and that was being manipulated by unseen wicked spirit forces."
  • WT 84 6/1 "In a world that is morally corrupt and dark, the witness of Jehovah must stand out brilliantly as an illuminator."
  • WT 81 8/15 "As for us, we can agree that the world today is likewise morally corrupt."
  • WT 80 9/15 "Like Sodom, the old system of things on earth today may appear attractive. But that appearance is deceptive. Actually, that system is morally corrupt, and its destruction is just as certain to come as God’s fiery judgment came on ancient Sodom."
  • WT 73 2/1 "One would have to live as a hermit, isolated from human society altogether, if one would avoid all contact with worldly people. However, beyond the association that is absolutely necessary at our secular jobs, at school, while one is in the field ministry, or at other times, there should not be any desire to expose ourselves to the corrosive thinking and often perverted conduct of worldly people."
  • WT 60 2/15 "Any person that loves righteousness should be sickened by the corrupt state of modern society ... No wonder that God, through his Word, commanded Christians to have no friendship with the world. To have friendship for it would make one an enemy of God. But because modern society is corrupt, it does not mean that a society without crime is impossible."
My suggestion is to leave it as it is. It is an accurate reflection of WTS teaching. BlackCab (talk) 11:43, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Have to agree with BlackCab on this one. The only half-hearted suggestion I could offer is to use one of the Watchtower's terms listed here, such as "modern society", "the world", or "human society" rather than "secular society". Natural, perhaps you could explain what part of that statement you feel is an unfair portrayal of JW belief? Is there a way to say it that conserves the true meaning without insinuating the part which you feel is untrue? ...comments? ~BFizz 04:42, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Violation of NPOV in Criticisms section -introductory sentence of serious accusations against Jehovah's Witnesses

It would not be necessary or advisable for Wikipedia to draw emphasis to the serious accusations against Jehovah's Witnesses, including highlighting in an introductory sentence the accusation of sexual abuse, in the beginning of the criticisms section. These were in a sentence, with no rebuttal in that sentence, and that would violate the neutral point of view of Wikipedia.69.115.172.182 (talk) 11:49, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The sentence, which read "Jehovah's Witnesses have attracted criticism over issues surrounding their Bible translation, doctrines, their handling of sexual abuse cases and what is claimed to be coercion of members" was a summary of the areas of criticism. It does not breach policies on editorial neutrality, nor does it need any rebuttal. BlackCab (talk) 12:08, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
On this point and some others, I'm going to wait to see what is accepted by the editors. But I'm going to appeal to the NPOV page, because there is an anti-Jehovah's Witness bias here by the main editors of this page. So, I'm going to wait a few days, to see what transpires in the editing, but after that, I'm going to post a message on the NPOV.
First, this editorial team argued very forcefully against taking the majority of the criticisms off of this page, and leaving it where there is already a 6,000 word article on criticisms of Jehovah's Witnesses. Second, any attempts to clarify the position of Jehovah's Witnesses are forcefully surpressed. Apostate views are being strongly propagated. So, I'll wait a few days, but by the end of next week, depending where we stand, I'm going to post on the NPOV.
This particular edit, highlighting the criticisms section, emphasizing it, adds weight to the critical arguments against Jehovah's Witnesses. Additionally, by surpressing attempts to clarify this information with quotes which support Jehovah's Witnesses, or quotes from Jehovah's Witness literature clarifying this view, a strong case is presented against Jehovah's Witnesses by Wikipedia.
The purpose of the two main editors of wikipedia at the present time on this page seems to be to present a negative bias against Jehovah's Witnesses and a strong case for criticisms against Jehovah's Witnesses, while surpressing anything information and quotes which disagree with their bias.Natural (talk) 12:21, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
"This editorial team argued very forcefully against taking the majority of the criticisms off of this page. What garbage. In fact I trimmed the section as an act of good faith after your barrage of complaints. The only person attempting to "suppress" information is you. You have run a one-man campaign to remove criticisms of your religion from the article and have continued to delete material tonight. It is possible your intent is to ensure that members of the public who do show curiousity about the religion discover as little as possible about areas of criticism. Fortunately Wikipedia is not subject to the same powers of information control that your religion has. Despite your obsession with censoring criticism, the article is still strongly neutral and contains far more positive and neutral information about the religion than negative material. BlackCab (talk) 13:07, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
The criticism section presents criticism as found in notable sources. The section does not state that those criticisms are right or wrong; it simply presents them. While it is appropriate to have clarifying statements from JW literature, it is both unnecessary and inappropriate to try to disprove the criticisms or rebut with apologetics.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:22, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Mead's quote stating that Jehovah's Witnesses are not "blind fanaticism" necessary in criticisms section

Even though the Wikipedia criticisms section does not come out and say that Jehovah's Witnesses are blindly fanatic, it implies it with the string of accusations made against it, including that of it's position on blood transfusions. Therefore, the use of that quote in the criticisms section is warranted and necessary, in defending the collective position of Jehovah's Witnesses in all of these areas. If it is the desire of the editors here to put that quote in the conclusion or elsewhere in the criticisms section, that would be fine, but it fits into the context of the current sentence.Natural (talk) 12:09, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

There is no reason to introduce the term "blind fanaticism" as a rebuttal without first indicating such a claim. More generally, the article simply indicates what critics have said. The article does not need to prove those criticisms right or wrong.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:23, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
The statement is unrelated to the criticism, which is that the religion coerces members to do certain things, usually by means of the threat to expell those who disagree and require that all JW associates and family avoid speaking to them or acknowledging them for the rest of their lives, a technique not uncommon in high-control cults. Your statement about blind fanaticism relates to a separate issue concerning the docile, unquestioning obedience of members out of a misplaced sense of loyalty. One is not a rebuttal of the other. BlackCab (talk) 12:28, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Good point about the seperate issue concerning where the point is more appropriate to be placed. Natural (talk) 13:33, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

Verifiable Wikipedia-worthy sources needed for statement/accusation

Concerning the accusation that former Jehovah's Witnesses make about "false prophet", Wikipedia makes this statement, "Some former Jehovah's Witnesses have accused the religion of being a false prophet for making those predictions, particularly because of assertions in some cases that the predictions were beyond doubt or had been approved by God." Are there verifiable sources that meet Wikipedia standards for this claim? If so what are they? thanks.Natural (talk) 13:36, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

I have removed the unsourced statement claiming that it merely 'former members' that make the accusation of being a 'false prophet'. The JWs' Reasoning book contains a section for responding to a 'common objection' that JWs are false prophets, (page 137) which could be used as a source noting that it is a widespread accusation if another suitable reference cannot be found.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:47, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia standards in criticism section and througout the article

In the criticisms section, one can quote other sources for their alleged criticisms, but it is not the place to invent one's own criticims using Watchtower sources to support one's gripe or argument. So, in the mentioning of "bloodguilt" and the preaching work, that statement would be permissable, if there was a Wikipedia-worthy reference or references of those who make that criticism, but it wouldn't be the place to use a Watchtower reference to strenghten one's argument, or to air one's personal grievance. Does Ray Franz or others use that argument? Then that can be used. The "others" in this section cannot be used at present, that is James Penton, because we still don't have a quote from his book, the pages 114-116 are not avaialable, and until the editor who wishes to use that reference can come up with verifiable proof that that is in fact what Penton stated, then it wouldn't be up to the Wikipedia code. There have been a number of unsubstantiated references up until this point that have had to be removed because they do not support the statements made. We don't know, at this point, what Penton's actual statements were on this reference. Natural (talk) 17:58, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

You are simply continuing with your campaign to remove criticism from the article and have seized upon the novel idea that sourced statements should be removed because you haven't read the book. Please read WP:SOURCEACCESS. BlackCab (talk) 21:05, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Accuracy of statment about C.T. Russell and Armageddon -1874

In this reference, 18^ C. T. Russell, The Time of the End, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1889, page 101.

did Russell say that Armageddon began in 1874 or that Christ's presence began in 1874? I think it was Christ's presence, not Armageddon. (mistatement here and wrong grammar also, begun rather than began). Natural (talk) 18:09, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The wording "Armageeddon began in 1874" does seem a bit odd, and whether or not those were Russel's words, the statement may be unclear to the reader. ...comments? ~BFizz 22:49, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
From page 101: "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A. D. 1878, and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty " (Rev. 16: 14.), which will end in A. D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's Word." (In a later edition "1914" was replaced with "1915". See also p.141 and p.250.) I think his statement is quite clear and should be understood by most readers. Download the book at [17]. BlackCab (talk) 06:29, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
An editor can question an interpretation with {{Template:Request quotation}}, which displays asneed quotation to verify.
In this case, BlackCab proactively posted above a relevant quote from the citation, which is good. Sadly, however, BlackCab aka LTSally has often misinterpreted original sources, and does so again here. Most obviously, the misinterpretation ignores the plain words with which Russell concludes the cited work; Russell writes: "the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty is impending [that is, yet-future]" (The Time is At Hand by C. T. Russell, ©1889 Watch Tower, page 365, emphasis added).
Even though Russell wrote on page 101 that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty...is already commenced", his meaning is clear for two reasons:
1. "Commence" has a different connotation than "begin", and is more likely to be understood as anticipatory (perhaps "set to begin" versus "literally in progress").
2. For decades, Watch Tower publications have taught that the Bible uses the terms "Jehovah's day" and "day of Jehovah" in reference to the period of "great tribulation" which leads up to and includes Armageddon.
The Watchtower, January 1, 1971, page 31, "That day of Jehovah’s anger is the foretold “great tribulation,” including Armageddon"
Thus, a reader today or in 1889 might infer "Armageddon" when "great tribulation" was intended. I've edited the article to remove the misinterpretation. --AuthorityTam (talk) 21:16, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Wrong on both points. (1) There is no ambiguity in Russell's use of the word "begun". At page 250, he wrote: "And since, as we have just shown, the great Day of Jehovah began in A. D. 1874, will continue forty years, and will end with the expiration of Gentile Times in the complete overthrow of worldly and Satanic dominion in the earth, and the full investiture of Immanuel - Christ Jesus and his saints - with all power and dominion, it is important for us to show here that Elijah has come."
(2) AuthorityTam is imposing on Russell's writings his own errant interpretation in suggesting that his reference to "the great day of God Almighty" meant the current Jehovah's Witness concept of the great tribulation. Russell, as far as I can see, didn't use the term "great tribulation" in that context.
Today's Watch Tower theology is fairly clear on one point. The Watchtower of April 1, 2008, notes: "Armageddon, or Har–Magedon, is also known as “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” Jehovah God will use his Son, Christ Jesus, to muster an angelic army to war against the combined forces of all the wicked rulers of the earth.—Revelation 16:14; 19:11-16."
Russell clearly believed God's great war had begun in 1874 and would last 40 years. That "war" in Rev 16:14, which he cites, is two verses later identified as occurring at Armageddon. Today that war is still identified by the WTS as Armageddon. It seems reasonable to me to say that Russell believed Armageddon had begun in 1874. Only later did Rutherford alter the date of Armageddon, shifting it to a future point. BlackCab (talk) 21:51, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
It is silly and ignorant for BlackCab aka LTSally to pretend that Rutherford was the first to teach that Armageddon was "a future point". The Watch Tower of September 1914 carried a subheading by Russell entitled "Armageddon Still Future":
Watch Tower, September 1914, page 260, Reprints 5527, "While it is possible that Armageddon may begin next Spring, yet it is purely speculation to attempt to say just when."
So...it seems best to simply state some facts.
  • Russell's concept of Armageddon was different from that of most Christians (then and now), including current Jehovah's Witnesses.
  • Russell used terms like 'great day of God Almighty' far far more often than he used the explicit term "Armageddon" (perhaps to avoid a disconnect with readers' understanding of the latter term?).
  • In 1881 and 1883, Russell used the explicit term "Armageddon" in reference to yet-future events.
Watch Tower, June 1881, page 4, Reprints 233, "[Bible prophecy says: That] Israel shall be "brought back from the sword," and numbers of the Jews are to return... That it will result in all the nations of Europe being gathered together in the great battle of Armageddon. ...I ask what of the outlook? Are they being fulfilled as evidence that God has spoken? Most assuredly they are. The Jews are slowly but surely turning their wandering feet toward Jerusalem." [emphasis added to future tense]
Watch Tower, July 1883, page 6, Reprints 510, "Armageddon means mount of DESTRUCTION; and this describes what will be the result of this doctrine. It will unite all these systems in one cause as against the masses of the people and their liberties, and the result will be the total destruction of all those erroneous systems of Church and State. They shall fall." [emphasis added to future tense]
  • Despite claims that Russell dated Armageddon to 1874 in his 1889 work, the fact is that page 365 of the very work says explicitly that "the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty is impending", that is, it is yet-future.
The article should prefer a quote from Russell over a questionable interpretation of Russell.
--AuthorityTam (talk) 07:22, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
You're quite right, AuthorityTam, that by 1914, when he wrote the Watchtower article you quote, Russell was already backtracking as fast as he could, altering the dates of his predictions with each revised edition of his books to cover the failure of his predictions. The sentence of the article we're discussing, however, relates to what he wrote in 1889, when he saw the "great day of God Almighty" of Revelation 16 (or Armageddon, or the "great tribulation" as he was calling it by 1897, in The Battle of Armageddon) as a 40-year event that had begun in 1874. The fudging of dates to cover prophectic failures was a pattern the Watch Tower Society still follows faithfully, hoping no one notices. And very successfully too, as seen by the most recent doctrines of the overlapping generations.
And thanks for the new personal insult. It hasn't taken you long to revert to your usual level of discussion, despite the complaints made against you here. I particularly like the way you ducked for cover as soon as the complaints were made rather than deal with the issue and resurfaced when you thought it was safe. Very noble behavior. BlackCab (talk) 11:29, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Indeed; even when AuthorityTam was explicitly advised to strike out the irrelevant and dishonest information from the AfDs,[18] he failed to do so, but instead simply dropped off the editing radar for a couple of weeks.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:01, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Informed editors likely recognize disingenuousness in the protestations of BlackCab aka LTSally.
Returning to the thread...the relevant section of the article currently uses the terms Russell himself used; it says: "Russell taught that "the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' ... is already commenced" and would culminate with the overthrow of all political rulership in 1914". That avoids confusing readers with a far-from-irrefutable and likely-misleading insistence on the term "Armageddon" there. There seems little encyclopedic reason to change it back, is there?
My interest here is neither in hiding nor in exaggerating Russell's faults. My interest here is in improving the quality of this encyclopedia and in furthering the best interests of the Wikipedia community. While I'd enjoy spending more time on Wikipedia, other responsibilities prevent that. Incidentally, I've not been dishonest. Please note that accurate terms such as "ignorant" (that is, "uninformed") are not "personal insult" when accompanied by the informing references; in any event, that pales in comparison with the invective heaped by others.
--AuthorityTam (talk) 15:51, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
"Informed editors likely recognise"?? Please keep your weasels under control. Interesting that you're so keen to get back on topic though. So, back on topic...
Russell said in 1889 both that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" ... "is already commenced" (page 102) and that it was "impending" (page 336). Other than concluding that Russell simply contradicted himself, the only other valid interpretation was that Russell was saying that it "is already commenced" and that its climax was "impending" (thanks for the completely unnecessary wiktionary link); it is not simply a matter of BlackCab'misinterpreting' the text in some bizarre fashion and your claim that BlackCab (to whom you've felt some irrelevant need to refer to as LTSally three times in this single thread) "has often misinterpreted original sources" is simply irrelevant ad hominem. The fact that Russell later changed his view on the matter entirely is also irrelevant.--Jeffro77 (talk) 16:34, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I notice that the terms "great day of God Almighty" and "battle of the great day of God Almighty" do not seem to be entirely equivalent, the former (according to BlackCab's quote from page 250) commenced in 1874, and the latter predicted to end in 1914. ...comments? ~BFizz 16:07, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Both instances in the original text of The Time is at Hand (pages 102 and 366) use the full phrase, "Battle of the great day of God Almighty".--Jeffro77 (talk) 16:34, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I am content for the original wording from the book to remain. It is clear from the book that Russell at the time believed the battle had begun in 1874 and would run 40 years before concluding in 1914. It is clear that he later used the terms "Armageddon", "great tribulation" and others to describe the battle and that he later decided it hadn't started in 1874. The sentence in the article deals, however, only with his initial teaching. BlackCab (talk) 21:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Sources used to support that Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be a prophet

There are different ways of using the term prophet. Jehovah's Witnesses, in the quoted sources listed in Wikipedia, refer to themselves as a prophet in the sense that they are used by God to "preach the good news of God's Kingdom." They do not refer to themselves in these references as a prophet in the sense that Wikipedia here accuses them, that is in giving predication of events to come, which is how most people consider the use of the term prophet.

These are the four references -

1. w72 4/1 p. 200 ‘They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them’ ***
The scroll was doubtless delivered to Ezekiel by the hand of one of the cherubs in the vision. This would indicate that Jehovah’s witnesses today make their declaration of the good news of the Kingdom under angelic direction and support. (Rev. 14:6, 7; Matt. 25:31, 32) And since no word or work of Jehovah can fail, for he is God Almighty, the nations will see the fulfillment of what these witnesses say as directed from heaven.
Yes, the time must come shortly that the nations will have to know that really a “prophet” of Jehovah was among them. Actually now more than a million and a half persons are helping that collective or composite “prophet” in his preaching work and well over that number of others are studying the Bible with the “prophet” group and its companions.
2. w59 1/15 p. 40 par. 12 Down with the Old—Up with the New! ***
They have specialized on preaching just one thing, and that is, God’s kingdom of good news. This they have preached, as Jesus commanded, “for the purpose of a witness to all the nations,” including the nations behind the Iron Curtain.
All the preaching and all the Bible educational work that they have done till now in 175 countries and islands of the sea they confess has been, not by help of a military army, nor by human power, but by God’s spirit, his invisible active force. (Zech. 4:6, AV) It has been because Jehovah thrust out his hand of power and touched their lips and put his words in their mouths. It has evidently been because he commissioned them to be over the nations and over the kingdoms. Happy are all those who have seen what the work of Jehovah God for now is and who have volunteered to do it.
3. w97 5/1 p. 19 par. 5 Messengers of Godly Peace Pronounced Happy ***
“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.” (Matthew 24:14)
Jehovah’s messengers of godly peace back in 1919 as they set out to preach the good news to all mankind
following 1935, the witnessing work was carried forward with increased momentum by these faithful companions.
4. This reference does not refer to Jehovah's Witnesses as a prophet.
Kingdom Proclaimers p. 708 says nothing about JW being any type of prophet. Rather, it says,
      • jv chap. 31 pp. 708-709 How Chosen and Led by God ***
Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Gen. 40:8) If in their study of the Scriptures a certain passage is difficult to understand, they must search to find other inspired passages that shed light on the subject. Thus they let the Bible interpret itself, and from this they endeavor to understand “the pattern” of truth set forth in God’s Word. (2 Tim. 1:13) Jehovah leads or guides them to such understanding by means of his holy spirit. But to get the guidance of that spirit, they must cultivate its fruitage, not grieve or work against it, and keep responsive to its proddings. (Gal. 5:22, 23, 25; Eph. 4:30) Moreover, by zealously applying what they learn, they keep building up their faith, as a basis for gaining clearer and clearer understanding of how they must do God’s will in the world of which they are no part.—Luke 17:5; Phil. 1:9, 10.
Jehovah’s dealings with his chosen servants in Bible times confirm that clear understanding of his will and purposes often comes gradually. It should not surprise us that in modern times too, Jehovah has often led his people as a progressive organization, gradually enlightening them as to Bible truths. It is not the truths themselves that change.
The Wikipedia article therefore, is not using these references accurately, in terms of trying to create an argument accusing Jehovah's witnesses of making false predications and being a prophet in that sense. Jehovah's Witnesses do not claim that, but it is an interpolation, beyond what Jehovah's Witnesses have written about themselves. Natural (talk) 14:18, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
You don't need to 'prove' that the criticism is wrong. The article simply presents what has been said.--Jeffro77 (talk) 14:46, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Jeffro,the Wikipedia article is weaving its own argument, not based on verifiable sources, misquoting Watchtower material to try to prove its own point. That is fine for your own blog, but it's not encyclopedic, or up to Wikipedia standards. These are misquotes.Natural (talk) 15:33, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
This was discussed at length here. Witnesses may squirm at their religion being described as a false prophet, but when it has suited it, the WTS has been quite happy to describe itself as a "prophet organization" and has certainly been comfortable with a role in which it announces to the world things it believes will happen in the near future. As noted in this and related articles, WTS publications made specific predictions of events that would take place in specific years. They were made with dogmatic statements that they were God's dates, not theirs and were completely reliable. None occurred. BlackCab (talk) 23:45, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
However you personally wish to interpret the Watchtower literature, that's your private interpretation, and that is fine. However, what you are saying the Watchtower literature is saying in those 4 references, is misquoting the publications. If you have other references that support the claim you are making, or if you have references up to Wikipedia standards to use that's fine also, but Wikipedia is not the place to weave your private interpretations or speculations. So, that particular sentence is creating a synthesis that the Watchtower literature does not create, but that the editor in this case wants it to create. These references, then, do not support the thesis that the Wikipedia editor is endeavoring to create, and cannot be used. Perhaps there are other references that support this idea, but these do not, and as it is, it would have to be edited to maintain the integrity of the article and the stated purpose of Wikipedia.Natural (talk) 17:26, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

If you wish to use the references that you had before for the statement that is there now, it would be accurate. That Jehovah's Witnesses have stated that God has used them as a prophet in terms of their role in the kingdom preaching work. The two older references that are referred to do support that statement. But the statement that Jehovah's Witnesses more or less declare themselves to be a prophet to pronounce future events, is not one that is supported by Watchtower literature. It is creating a synthesis, which is not permitted by Wikipedia. The way it is edited now, maintains the integrity of the thoughts expressed by the Watcthower literature, and removes the synthesis that the Wikipedia editor himself created.Natural (talk) 17:33, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

So, if another religion interprets a scripture as meaning that such-and-such will happen at some time, they're making a false prophecy. But if JWs interpret a scripture as meaning that such-and-such will happen at some time, they're simply indicating a possible interpretation of scripture. Seems like a bit of a double-standard. However, it is irrelevant. The relevant fact here is that the religion has been called a "false prophet", and JW literature has acknowledged that others have called it such. It is entirely appropriate to note the sourced criticism in a criticism section.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:32, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Jeffro, that's not the point here that we're trying to make. It's not debating whether Jehovah's Witnesses are a fp or not a fp, or they deserve to be called that or not. That's not at all the issue in this section. The point is this, Wikipedia is not a sounding board for personal views. It refers to authoritative references.
It's also not a place where one spins an argument of his own making in making one's own criticisms. If Wikipedia is refering to a reference it needs to be accurate. It can't say, look this is what JW say and this is why they are wrong.
The section is Critisms of JW. It is examining the criticisms that authorities have made against JW. It is not the place to spin one's one criticisms and one's own arguments, no matter how valid those arguments might appear.
The fact that JW have a section called False Prophet in the reasoning book, doesn't allow Wikipedia to have a section with personal reasons why one feels JW are a false prophet.
If there are authoritative sources that make this claim, or make a reasonable argument, that is not considered a fringe theory, then the argument that has already been spun by that authoritative resource can be included. It's not the place though, for anyone to come up with their own original arguments as to why JW are a false prophet, whether that be true or not true. That's best left to a blog or one's own site.
Natural (talk) 01:35, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
I have added a citation for the specific claim that Jehovah's Witnesses are guilty of false prophecy. The claims are made in Crisis of Allegiance: A Study of Dissent Among Jehovah's Witnesses by James A. Beverley, associate professor at Atlantic Baptist College in Moncton, New Brunswick. He devotes several pages to examples of false prophecy in Watch Tower Society publications. This should overcome any concern you have that the claims are the invention of Wikipedia editors. BlackCab (talk) 11:07, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
User:Naturalpsychology, you have either not understood, or have chosen to distort, my position. I have repeatedly stated that it is not the role of the article at all to say that JWs are or are not a false prophet (or in your words, "debating whether Jehovah's Witnesses are a fp or not a fp". The criticism section of the article simply presents what notable critics have said.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:07, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Grammer in these sentences should be in the past tense, rather than the present

Some critics have accused Jehovah's Witnesses of employing organizational policies that make the reporting of sexual abuse difficult for members. Some victims of sexual abuse have also asserted that they were ordered by local elders to maintain silence so as to avoid embarrassment to both the accused and the organization.[338][339] Both references are from nearly 10 years ago, giving JW time to respond and adjust, if needed, which JW frequently do. The proper grammer for the past tense is "had" rather than "have". It is not necessarily a current criticism, unless there are new, current accusations along these lines.

To illustrate - I had been accussed of being a "wild man," but that was a number of years ago, before I settled down and took life seriously. To say that I have (present) tense, been accused of being a "wild man," wouldn't be fair or accurate, because I haven't been a "wild man" for a number of years, and have made some changes along those lines. I had been accussed of that at one time, but it hasn't been a valid criticism of me for a long enough period of time, that it is something in the past, not present.

If it is to be a valid current accusation, than it would have to be significant, and it would need to be from reliable Wikipedia-type sources.Natural (talk) 21:12, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The "grammer" (grammar) is correct. You seem to be confused about past tense versus past participle. (a lazy simplification) The statements are already in the past tense, because the critics have accused and the abuse victims were ordered. Additionally, there are critics who still accuse JWs for their management of child sex abuse cases, irrespective of whether the criticisms are valid.--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:37, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
There are critics who will always accuse JW of something or another, but, we're talking about sources of authority, not every critic on the (internet) block. Natural (talk) 02:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
To clarify, the 'present perfect' ("have been") is the correct grammar for describing a completed action without a corresponding relative event. This is not the same as the 'present tense' ("are"). The 'past perfect' ("had been") is only correct if a corresponding relative event is also supplied, which is not the case in the sentence in question. So, to use your example ("wild man"... wow... harsh), the following are grammatically correct:
  1. People have called you a wild man. (present perfect)
  2. People had called you a wild man, before you settled down. (past perfect)
  3. People called you a wild man. (past tense)
  4. People call you a wild man. (present tense)
Of those examples, the sentence in question takes the form of (1) because they have already been called something. It can't take the form of (2) because the sentence has no relative event. It shouldn't take the form of (3), because that would suggest that critics don't say it anymore, which would require a source. It can't take the form of (4) because we don't have a source supporting the immediate present.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:10, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I must admit I find it extremely hard to accept the credibility of comments to improve the grammar level in an article when the user cannot spell grammar correctly. Jamie (talk) 10:36, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Criticisms: Autocratic

The article states that critics have described the religion's leadership as autocratic. User:Naturalpsychology has added, as a rebuttal, the statement that 'Watchtower literature, though, emphasizes that elders should be "yielding," "reasonable," and "balanced," to treat the flock with "love," and to be "compassionate," displaying a "sincere interest" in the flock, rather than being "autocratic"'. (my emphasis) If critics claim an organization is autocratic (a statement based on observation of behavior), is it a rebuttal that the organization publicly declares its members shouldn't be autocratic? BlackCab (talk) 23:23, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

There are two lines of rebuttal on the accusation that JW are "autocratic. 1. The statements by JW literature, which gives ample evidence that they are not autocratic, but teach quite the opposite. 2. Statements such as this by sociologist Stark,
"Jehovah's Witnesses are expected to conform to rather strict standards, [but] enforcement tends to be very informal, sustained by the close bonds of friendship within the group. That is, while Witness elders can impose rather severe sanctions (such as expulsion and shunning) on deviant members, they seldom need to do so -- and when they do, the reasons for their actions will be widely-known and understood within the group. Moreover, even if leaders are not always very democratic, the path to leadership is. As a result, Witnesses tend to see themselves as part of the power structure, rather than subjected to it. It is this, not 'blind fanaticism' (as is so often claimed by outsiders and defectors), that is the real basis of authority among Witnesses." (Journal of Contemporary Religion)
You might personally disagree with this, but a recognized authority gives his summation based on observation of how Jehovah's Witnesses operate and how JW in general view it. So, this also would be an appropriate rebuttal to the "autocratic" accusation. Natural (talk) 13:51, 3 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
Point 1: The statements of JW literature do not rebut the observation by many writers that the WTS is autocratic. Sports commentators may note that a football team is sloppy, unfit and always loses matches because of that. It is no rebuttal that the sports club issues a press release saying that players should be fit, focused and well trained. Yet the comments you inserted "elders should do this, elders should not do that, are exactly the same.
Point 2: Stark does not reject the claim they are autocratic. He states that they are not democratic and also notes that Witnesses perceive that they do not see themselves as powerless pawns. The people of North Korea may very well see themselves in much the same way because of much the same indoctrination process. The Chinese during the rule of Chairman Mao enthusiastically joined in crushing dissidence when they detected it in their neighbours and workmates because they were carried along on the wave. That didn't alter the fact that his rulership was autocratic. BlackCab (talk) 23:51, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
The entire message of Stark as quoted above is that JW are not autocratic, there is not "blind fantacism" and that elders are not overbearing, which seems to be the direction that the current Wikipedia article is trying to paint JW as being. Natural (talk) 02:07, 18 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
You are reading into his article what you want it to say. The issue of blind fanaticism has nothing to do with autocratic leadership. Stark's comment remains in the article as an additional view of Witness leadership, but he certainly does not disagree with the accusations of autocratic leadership as you keep writing into the article. In fact he does not explicitly address the issue. BlackCab (talk) 02:32, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Original research in criticism section, Quotes from Watchtower Publications-out of context and Synthesis

In the criticisms section, this is the small section which I believe to be misquoting Watchtower sources, and also, falls into the category of original research, as well as creating a synthesis of ideas, that goes beyond what the Watchtower claims.

  • Watch Tower Society publications have claimed that God has used Jehovah's Witnesses (and previously, the International Bible Students) as a "prophet" to declare God's will[292][293][294][295] and has equipped them with advanced knowledge about future world events.[296]

1. The preceding is not quoting from an authoritative source. Clearly, the Watchtower is not criticizing itself, but in this case, the editors of Wikipedia are pulling up Watchtower references to offer their own criticism. This, then, would be considered "original research," which is not permitted by Wikipedia.

2. The 2 references [292] and [293] that are used to make the statement that JW claim to be a prophet, directly lead to the next sentence about advanaced knowledge. This is miquoting the idea presented in [292] and [293], from 1959 and 1972, which are outdated, that JW are a prophet in the sense that they declare the "good news of God's kingdom. Nowhere in either article does it state that JW are a prophet in the sense that Wikipedia is making the claim, "advanced knowledge," which is one meaning, among several, of the world "prophet". JW do not make that claim in references [292] and [293.

3. Reference [295] says nothing to support the sentence about JW declaring themselves to be a prophet. It is not an appropriate reference for this statement. It does not mention "advanced knowledge," and the word "prophet" is not used in this reference. Reference [294] similarly does not explicity say that JW declare themselves to be a "prophet". This is an inference by the editor of Wikipedia who put in those references.

  • Jehovah's Witnesses' publications have made many predictions about world events they believe were prophesied in the Bible.[293][297]
The failure of some of those events has led to the alteration or abandonment of some doctrines.[298]

Again, this is original research. This is a synthesis of several ideas, to make an original argument on wikipedia. If Robert Cromptom makes this claim, then that would be needed to support this statment.

Additionally, the Wikipedia's argument that JW are a false prophet is twice as long as the defense, which also reflects a bias. Natural (talk) 13:18, 14 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The sentence you quote from the article is not original research, nor is it even a criticism. It is the basis for which critics have made the criticisms that appear later in the paragraph. The term "prophet" is in quotes, indicating that JW literature has used that specific term, and it is clear from later in the paragraph that JW literature does not claim the term in the sense of being directly 'inspired'. I do agree though that the stated point does not require all four references.--Jeffro77 (talk) 14:00, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Length of prose is not the only measure of bias; this isn't a court case, we're just presenting the notable ideas and viewpoints out there. It doesn't always take a long rebuttal to refute a long criticism. ...comments? ~BFizz 16:07, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed on the length point by Fizz. However, the point remains, this isn't a forum for criticizing Jehovah's Witnesses. This is an encyclopedia with specific criteria. You can't post your own criticims based on JW literature which you feel prove your point. The idea behind Wikipedia is to go to reputable resources (third party, as it were), to present information about the topic. Comptom is the only reputable resource in this section that alludes to the criticisms that Wikipedia elaborates on, the rest are synthesized from Jehovah's Witness literature. While it might be true that some criticize JW for being a FP, at the same time, there has to be reputable, Wikipedia-worthy resources that make that specific accusation, and that support the specific statements that Wikipedia is making. Otherwise, this whole paragraph has to be removed -
  • Watch Tower Society publications have claimed that God has used Jehovah's Witnesses (and previously, the International Bible Students) as a "prophet" to declare God's will[292][293][294][295] and has equipped them with advanced knowledge about future world events.[296]
This paragraph is not appropriately worked according to Wikipedia's criteria, and what's more the references do not support the claim Wikipedia is making.
If we can't agree on that, I'll post it on the NPOV board, and we can see. Natural (talk) 16:29, 14 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
There is no 'synthesis'. The brief single paragraph in the criticism section first presents what JW literature has actually said about being a "prophet", then it presents what notable critics have said, then it presents the Watchtower Society's rebuttal to the critics' claims. The sentence you are complaining about is directly sourced from JW literature about the specific statements appearing in their literature.--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:31, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Each of the references Naturalpsychology disputes is relevant and used accurately and fairly. They make direct comparisons between the JW religion and Old Testament prophets, and they speak of the JW belief that God uses that religion to proclaim his will and purpose to the world, including what they believe he will do in the future. Indeed, their teachings are centered around their belief that God will soon destroy everyone who does not join their religion. They warn people of what is to come and what they need to escape a horrible demise.
Naturalpsychology also provides no support for his opinion that certain Watchtower articles are outdated. At what point does a Watchtower article become outdated? Two years? Five years? Twenty years? The WTS makes available 60-year-old articles on their CDRom for use by Witnesses, which indicates they are still worthwhile. In this case the 1959 and 1972 articles claimed God uses the Witnesses as his prophet to declare his will and warn people of what is to come. Has the WTS since indicated it doesn't believe this any more? Naturalpsychology's argument makes no sense and appears to be yet another tactic to try to remove material from the article that might help inform members of the public about this religion. He, it seems, would prefer people remain in ignorance. BlackCab (talk) 10:08, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Alright, I'm going to post it on the NPOV page and we can see where it turns out. Natural (talk) 20:59, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
The notice was posted today on the NPOV NOticeboard for the deletion of the following paragraph, This pargarph, then, should be removed -
  • Watch Tower Society publications have claimed that God has used Jehovah's Witnesses (and previously, the International Bible Students) as a "prophet" to declare God's will[296][297][298][299] and has equipped them with advanced knowledge about future world events.[300] Jehovah's Witnesses' publications have made many predictions about world events they believe were prophesied in the Bible.[297][301] Failure of such predictions has led to the alteration or abandonment of some doctrines.[302]
I feel that it violates a number of Wikipedia policies, including NPOV. Natural (talk) 02:46, 18 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

JW preaching work statement

With regards to this statement on "coercive pressure" by Raymond Franz, "Raymond Franz and others describe the Watch Tower Society's continual admonitions to preach door-to-door as coercive pressure." The others here, James Penton is quoted. Might one please provide the exact statements (in context) please, where Penton makes that claim. Thanks. Natural (talk) 22:29, 2 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The page references are cited in the footnotes. BlackCab (talk) 22:41, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I do realize that. My question is posted here, because those specific pages don't seem to be available on the Internet. They are blanked out on googlebooks. In some other references on the Wikipedia page, the references didn't support the statements being made. I wanted to see the actually reference that is made by Penton, the statements about coercive pressure. Is he quoting Ray Franz, saying that Franz says this or that? Or is he offer his own opinion on it, or giving some evidence for that with his own writing? So, did you have the book? or does someone have the exact quote from Penton? Natural (talk) 13:12, 3 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
Perhaps you should buy the book. You might learn something about your own religion your leaders haven't told you. BlackCab (talk) 13:41, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
To be quite honest, I've seen and heard much apostate reasoning and don't agree with Ray Franz's opinions, or James Penton's. I'm not really interested in what my "leaders" tell me, because I think for myself and make my own religious decisions, I don't need any leader to tell me what to believe or think. I'm not really interested in buying Penton's book. I am already throughly familiar with the positive aspects of the Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as the imperfections and shortcomings. What I'm asking is the pages that are used for Penton's statements, do they actually support the claim made on Wikipedia or not? Otherwise, it would be necessary to remove the word "others" from that sentence, if Penton is not making that statement, or if he is just saying that this is what Ray Franz states. 69.115.172.182 (talk) 13:47, 3 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
It doesn't seem to be unreasonable to request a quote from the book if someone already has it. Does someone already have it?--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:47, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
As indicated by the citation, an entire chapter of Franz's book is devoted to a discussion of the issue. One sentence on page 203 reads: "There is certainly nothing wrong about going from door to door in religious activity of itself that is contrary to Scripture (although as will be shown in a later chapter there is equally nothing in Scripture that advocates it). What is wrong is the coercive pressure involved, the attempt to impose feelings of guilt on any who do not participate therein, as though by not participating they are unfaithful to God, disloyal to his Son, lacking in zeal and devotion for righteousness, even portraying them as undoubtedly proud and self-sparing. Such tactics are inexcusable from a Christian standpoint." On page 185 he writes of the expectation that Witnesses turn in a monthly field service slip as a "notable means for exerting such pressure".
On pages 114-116 of his book Penton discusses the 1972 acknowledgment by the WTS that Acts 20:20 referred to the apostle Paul's holding services in homes rather than going from door to door. He notes: "In the post-1975 period the governing body decided that virtually everything possible had to be done to press the Witness faithful to more strenuous efforts in the preaching work; new converts had to be found to replace those who were leaving the organization in such ever-increasing numbers. Thus, for what amounted to purely pragmatic reasons, Acts 20:20 was again given its pre-1972 meaning ... the governing body was determined to enforce its resurrected doctrine as an article of faith; district and circuit overseers were instructed to teach that anyone questioning it was verging on apostasy. Hence, one district overseer declared publicly that a refusal to accept the society's 1979 doctrine on Acts 20:20 was equivalent to spiritual adultery." BlackCab (talk) 09:38, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I think that covers it pretty well.--Jeffro77 (talk) 10:04, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Excessive sequence of edits

User:Naturalpsychology has made a series of 15 successive edits containing a range of inaccuracies and injection of POV. These included the deletion of sourced statements and the fallacious claim that sociologist Stark "disagreed" with a statement about autocratic leadership when he answered no such claim. I have reverted the lot rather than picking through them one by one to undo the inaccuracies. It is unhelpful to make so many significant changes in one hit, thus making it difficult to challenge or correct them singly. Please edit this article in a more measured and reasonable fashion. BlackCab (talk) 21:18, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Also, Natural, please provide an edit summary for each edit, explaining why you are making the change. ...comments? ~BFizz 22:46, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Some of the edits were relatively minor. However...
  • The assumption that "Armageddon" should be changed to "Christ's presence" in relation to 1874 was simply wrong.
  • The Photo-Drama is already appropriately mentioned in the Bible Student movement article, and it does not add anything significant to this article. Russell was not a JW, and this article only needs information about Russell that is relevant to the development of JW doctrines and corporations.
If Russell was not a JW, and if that is a valid argument in favor of Russell's production of the Photodrama of Creation being mentioned, then, the failure of 1914 bringing Armageddon should not be mentioned either, in the opening paragraphs, or in the paragraphs about him. Why would only something that serves the purpose of discrediting Russell be used, and even elaborated on, when Russell himself was not a JW, but something positive about him be supressed? These points of the failures of JW are also discussed in detail on other pages, notably, Criticisms of JW. We need to have a consistent standard for what will and what won't be in the Wikipedia article. Natural (talk) 20:57, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
Also, Rutherford was not a JW before 1925, but only after 1932. So, in the introduction in the Wikipedia article, it doesn't seem appropriate to mention 1914 and 1925, as that wasn't JW, but before the formation of JW, pre-JW. If that were mentioned in an article on Rutherford, then that would be more appropriate, or perhaps on The History of JW, rather than an article that is current and on the subject the singular subject of JW. Natural (talk) 21:47, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
1914 is directly relevant to JW eschatology and Russell's ideas about it are directly relevant to the development of those doctrines. Rutherford instigated the shift from Bible Students to Jehovah's witnesses, so his activities are important and directly relevant to the subject. 1925 is also directly relevant because it was a belief postulated by Rutherford who took control of the movement that dead guys who were supposed to zombify in 1925 and commissioned his summer home, Beth Sarim.--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:42, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Still, it doesn't warrant using the 1914, 1925, 1974 in the opening paragraph, unless your purpose is to put things in the article that discredit or highlight errors or seeming errors of JW. So, I disagree, if you are going to put so many details of information which endeavor to discredit JW and those associated with it, then the positive shouldn't be consored out of the article either. Because the article damages the reputation of Russell, and others, whereas it hides their more favorable works. I believe that this is bias in editing. Natural (talk) 02:32, 14 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
I am not solely responsible for the lead in general, nor for the inclusion of the failed dates in particular. Whatever the imagined opinion of 'my purpose' might be is therefore irrelevant. So long as the notable dates are mentioned in the article, I don't particularly care whether they are individually mentioned in the lead, so long as there is consensus among editors and the lead provides an appropriate overview.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:15, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I have added information on the Photo-Drama and extent of the syndication of Russell's newspaper sermons. They are certainly noteworthy. The statements of Rutherford and Russell prior to 1933 are relevant because they were published in Watch Tower Society publications. The WTS continues to be used by Jehovah's Witnesses as an outlet for its doctrines and Jehovah's Witnesses have consistently claimed an unbroken link with material published in The Watchtower and WTS books since its foundation. They frequently refer in complimentary tones about statements in Russell's writings, so there is no support for the idea that they have no connection with those earlier statements. BlackCab (talk) 07:36, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I remain unconvinced that the Photo Drama is directly relevant to Jehovah's Witnesses (aside from the historically inaccurate allusion that the Bible Students were simply renamed Jehovah's witnesses rather than a separation resulting from a leadership dispute). The Photo Drama did not in itself result in the development of JW doctrines, and was not presented by JWs. Though it was certainly a notable presentation and an important event in the history of the Bible Student movement, it isn't especially notable in the context of this article.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
All books that discuss the history of Jehovah's Witnesses include all significant developments from the time Russell set up his Bible study groups. That should be a strong influence on what is included in this article. Though the style of leadership and many doctrines lurched markedly after Rutherford seized the reins, there is still obviously a direct link between today's JWs and the Bible Students through the WTS and its principal journal, The Watchtower. The Photo Drama and the syndicated newspaper sermons were important in the promotion and dissemination of Watch Tower Society doctrines and many of those doctrines survive today in the JW religion. BlackCab (talk) 09:21, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
If it's demonstrable that the Photo Drama is discussed in third-party (non Watch Tower) publications specifically about JWs, that would be sufficient.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:53, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
There are hundreds of different sites, including Wikipedia, of various levels of authority and commercialism, that turn up when you Google "Jehovah's Witnesses" and "Photo Drama of Creation" Natural (talk) 21:11, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
Most of those results appear to be from blogs, forums, and personal websites, which do not constitute reliable sources.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:11, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I haven't seen any evidence that President Wilson personally intervened in releasing Rutherford, only that a letter was written to him, and that a petition was started but never shown to him. If he did take direct action, please provide a source.
The video, Jehovah's Witnesses Faith in Action Part 1: Out of Darkness, has a photo of a signed letter from President Wilson, in his defence of the Bible Students, then in prison, and stating that the prison terms were excessive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs) 01:50, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
But did he personally intervene??--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:42, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I have to look at it again to see exactly how it was presented.Natural (talk) 02:29, 14 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
  • The comment about elders appointed locally could remain if it can be sourced.
Article Watchtower, Cooperating with the Governing Body Today, March 15, 1990, p. 20 par. 21.
Also see - *** w01 1/15 p. 15 par. 17 Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed *** 17 When recommendations for appointment of overseers and ministerial servants are submitted to a branch office of the Watch Tower Society, experienced men rely on God’s spirit for guidance in making the appointments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs) 01:58, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
"Under the direction of the holy spirit, Branch Committees recommend mature, spiritual men to serve as circuit and district overseers." Traveling overseers submit reports to the branch office. With the help of the holy spirit and the inspired Scriptures, they share with local elders in recommending qualified brothers for appointment as ministerial servants and elders by the Governing Body or by its representatives.
The representatives in this case refer to the local branches service department in the various branches in the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs) 01:55, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I have to look for a source on that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs)
  • There seems no good reason to remove references to JW publications indicating the manner in which JWs claimed to be a "prophet"; JW publications have explicitly claimed that they have been given "advance knowledge" by god, and there the wording "In some instances, the Watchtower has offered interpretations of Bible prophecy, concerning knowledge of future world events" comes across as apologetic.
Wikipedia is claiming that JW claim to be a prophet in the context of knowing future events. Jehovah's Witnesses state in one place about "advance knowledge" but do not mention being any type of prophet there. The other places where JW refer to themselves as a prophet, and the references are 1972 and 1959, outdated references, one can say, "in the past, and give the dates, but in the past 35-40 years, I don't think there are any such references.
Also, the two places where JW refer to themselves as a prophet, has nothing to do with advance knowledge, they specifically state that throughout both articles, that it is in the sense that they proclaim the "good news of God's kingdom" and does not in any way mean that they are a prophet in that of coming up with "original" ideas of advance knowledge, which is what most people think of when they think of a prophet and is how Wikipedia here "synthesizes" the point, with what appears to be original research from Watchtower literature, and not from quoting an authority source.
all of that is un-Wikipedia —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs)
This is discussed above. I have added an authoritative source who makes such an explicit claim. There is no question of synthesis by any Wikipedia editor. BlackCab (talk) 11:16, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • There might be a middle-ground for the two versions regarding the presentation of Stark's comments; I'll think about that more a little later.
  • It does not seem honest to remove a Penton reference about JW preaching and then say that only Franz says something about preaching.
The point of that, is that no one seems to have the book, to show the reference, whether or not her really said what is being claimed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs)
  • There is no reason to water down what is said in JW literature about failing to preach resulting in blood guilt, though I don't have a problem with either must/should later in the sentence.
Again, this is a case of "original research". This isn't permitted on Wikipedia.
Original research is not Wikipedia standard or permitted. These are the original research references for the statements about bloodguilt, ^ "Keep Watching the Ministry Which You Accepted in the Lord". The Watchtower: 4. 15 January 2008.
^ "Eagerly Declare the Good News". The Watchtower: 11. 1 July 2000. If there is an authoritative reference who criticizes JW for this specific point, that can be used, but original research such as this isn't permitted on Wikipedia. Natural (talk) 21:04, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs)
Not original research. The article presents the JW teaching that failure to preach (allegedly) resulting in 'bloodguilt', with sources.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Failure to specifically mention the other relatively minor edits does not constitute endorsement.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:06, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for this very clear summary. Natural (talk) 01:48, 13 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

Clarification needed on this sentence

  • In practice it does not seek advice or approval from any "anointed" Witnesses other than high-ranking members at Brooklyn Bethel when formulating policy and doctrines or when producing material for publications and conventions.[94][95]

This makes it seem like only the Governing Body makes any decisions in policy, or has any influence, when in fact, the GB has helpers on all of the committees who are always consulted with, and who have influence in decision making, policy, and in content of JW literature and teaching programs. Are references needed for this? It's pretty common knowledge. The Wikipedia bent, is that the Governing Body are control freaks, that they make all the decisions, they are bigger than the Bible itself, they are the sole channel, the don't consult with anyone nor do they need to. That's Wikipedia's bias. That, my friends, isn't true. There are many different channels of communication from the anointed outside of Bethel, inside, some of those are informal. Also, anointed and other circuit and district overseers communicate outside in. There are many who are not anointed, who have considerable influence and who are consulted with in Bethel. The point of that article, quoted in Wikipedia, is that being anointed doesn't entitle one to special privileges, or a higher position, just because one is anointed, it was saying that the GB are so high up, they don't get anyone's help or need it, as Wikipedia is implying here. Natural (talk) 21:52, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

As you have been told many times, Wikipedia articles depend on reliable, published sources, not the opinions of editors. The statement in the article is sourced. Your view that it is wrong because "it's pretty common knowledge" is no reason to remove the statement. Please stop your rambling defences of your religion. If you can provide a sourced statement that disputes the claim, then add it. BlackCab (talk) 22:42, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia currently gives the impression that the Governing Body does now consult with anyone except "high-ranking" members of the anointed at Bethel, when making decisions. This gives the wrong impression. The point of the article that Wikipedia uses to make that statement takes it out of context. The point was that being of the anointed does not automatically entitle one to special privileges. There many in the group spoken of below who are regularly consulted with on all issues who are not part of the Governing Body.
I feel that the Wikipedia article gets too deep into things that are difficult to understand for those unfamiliar with Jehovah's Witnesses, that it's not necessary to get into these very deep things which are based on the Bible, but the Scriptures in the Bible are not currenlty being presented on the Wikipedia page.
1993- In view of the tremendous increase worldwide, it seems appropriate at this time to provide the Governing Body with some additional assistance. Therefore it has been decided to invite several helpers, mainly from among the great crowd, to share in the meetings of each of the Governing Body Committees, that is, the Personnel, Publishing, Service, Teaching, and Writing Committees. Thus, the number attending the meetings of each of these committees will be increased to seven or eight. Under the direction of the Governing Body committee members, these assistants will take part in discussions and will carry out various assignments given them by the committee. This new arrangement goes into effect May 1, 1992. For many years now, the number of the remnant of anointed Witnesses has been decreasing, while the number of the great crowd has increased beyond our grandest expectations.
"Announcement", The Watchtower, April 15, 1992, page 31
^ "Organizing for Further Expansion", 1993 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 253-254
Natural (talk) 11:22, 18 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
There doesn't seem to be anything particularly "difficult to understand" here. The article states that the Governing Body is posited as the 'spokesman' of the 'faithful slave', which is indicated to correspond to the remaining 'anointed'. The article then correctly states that the other 'anointed' are not consulted in formulating doctrine. It is a brief and accurate summary. The quoted announcement about a small number of 'helpers'—who by their very position on the committees can be described as 'high-ranking'—does not in any way invalidate the statement that the majority of the 'faithful slave' have no input into formulating doctrine.
As previously stated, it may be appropriate (at the main Governing Body article) to briefly explain that JWs believe that first century Christians also had a 'governing body', however those "very deep things" (not really so deep) would not be necessary in the summary in this article.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:52, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
The information you present here does nothing to contradict the statement in the article from a reliable source that relates to the claim by the eight-man Governing Body that it acts as a representative of the 10,800 anointed Witnesses yet does not consult any but a handful before making decisions. BlackCab (talk) 12:02, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm also surprised by your view that the article goes into too much depth. It is a fundamental belief of Jehovah's Witnesses, presented repeatedly in their literature, that God uses a "faithful and discreet slave class" as his channel for dispensing "new light". Members of the public, and indeed Witnesses themselves, might well be intrigued by the process by which Jehovah's Witnesses are led and doctrines are established. Other religions are quite candid and transparent in those matters; the Witnesses are not. It is certainly of relevance and any suggestion that it's all based on scriptures that are just too deep for the ordinary joe to understand is a rather pathetic smokescreen. Let's just tell it like it is. Or is this just another uncomfortable fact you'd like to suppress? BlackCab (talk) 12:27, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't even put it in the 'uncomfortable fact' basket. It's just an issue of semantics. They have a structure to which they apply some special names. Any number of corporations have shareholders who don't have much say in company actions. In this case, the 10000 or so 'faithful slave' members outside the GB might be seen as (non-financial) 'shareholders' of a sort who don't actually contribute to 'company policy'. It is entirely appropriate to mention it in the article.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:50, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Fact not complete.

Adultery v fornication

Under Jehovah's Witnesses, Ethics and Morality, the statement is made that divorce is granted only on the grounds of adultery. However the reference (206) uses the term fornication. This is taken from the Greek word Pornea which encompasses more than adultery. It includes any and all forms of gross sexual immorality including homosexuality, lesbianism, beastiality, sex outside the marriage arrangement, sex between unmarried persons. The common understanding of adultery is far too limited in scope, allowing other sexually deviant acts to be practiced without consequence.--24.129.228.26 (talk) 00:29, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

The common understanding of adultery doesn't require any substantial change to the article wording on the matter.
Webster's and others define adultery as "sexual intercourse by a married man with another than his wife, or voluntary sexual intercourse by a married woman with another than her husband". Expressions such as "another than his wife" and "another than her husband" seem to have been chosen specifically to include animal or same-sex sexual partners; JWs have for decades agreed with this secular view (although technically, Catholics and some other Christian religions do not). JWs do not use the English term "fornication" to refer to any sexual practice between only a husband and wife, and JWs permit an "innocent" spouse to divorce a mate who has had oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, or manual sex (so-called "mutual masturbation") with any other partner (animal, hetero-, or homosexual). The current article wording on this matter seems unlikely to confuse or mislead. --AuthorityTam (talk) 16:46, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Difference between doctrinal critisms and name calling

These are more akin to doctrinal criticisms from the criticism of JW page These include the use of "torture stake" instead of "cross" throughout the New Testament;[2] the rendering of John 1:1, with the insertion of the indefinite article ("a") in its rendering to give "the Word was a god";[2][12] Romans 10:10, which uses the term "public declaration", which may reinforce the imperative to engage in public preaching;[2] John 17:3, which uses the term "taking in knowledge" rather than "know" to suggest that salvation is dependent on ongoing study,[2] and the placement of the comma in Luke 23:43, which affects the timing of the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to the thief at Calvary.[13]

This is name calling or labeling, which is a propaganda tool - Jehovah's Witnesses use "mind control". Jehovah's Witnesses are a "false prophet". Natural (talk) 14:51, 19 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

I agree that the section labeled "doctrinal criticisms" is entirely focused on the "false prophet" idea, which in and of itself isn't entirely a doctrinal issue. I also agree that using the term "false prophet" is religiously charged, and that more scholarly terms should be used to explain this criticism. I've made a few small changes to the section; please review and improve. ...comments? ~BFizz 23:04, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
A few dubious parts of this section that may need review:
  • WTS publications claim God...has equipped them with advanced knowledge about future world events - This sounds like synthesis, is that an actual WTS quote?
  • Failure of some predictions has led to the alteration or abandonment of some doctrines. - This sources a Watchtower publication; can I get the quote supporting this?
  • "beyond doubt" or "approved by God" - I added the quote marks in because to keep the sentence this way we should have quotes from the WTS with these words, or change them to phrases that the WTS has explicitly used
When we deal with criticisms of the form "The WTS said X, which critics criticize", then we need clear evidence that the WTS really did say X, whether or not we agree with the criticism of X. ...comments? ~BFizz 23:16, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
(1) I am quite happy for the new subhead, "Criticism of failed predictions", to stand.
(2) The reference to advance knowledge of future world events is contained in the article "Execution of the Great Harlot Nears" (WT Oct 15 1980), which includes the following: 'The Creator, Jehovah God, knows exactly what will take place in the future ... he knows the details about the “finale” of this system of things at the coming “great tribulation.” Because he is a God of love, he reveals enough of these details to those who serve him loyally that they can be properly informed, upbuilt and protected ... God gives his humble servants special knowledge that others do not have ... Having advance knowledge from Jehovah, his servants are equipped — indeed, commissioned, by God — to herald throughout the world the warning of this system’s approaching end, along with the comforting message of the new order. Since Jehovah provides his loyal servants with advance knowledge about this system’s end, does this include information that will enable them to discern when the “great tribulation” actually has begun? Yes.'
(3) Reference to abandonment of dates because of failed predictions is drawn from the Proclaimers of God's Kingdom book, which has a fairly lengthy section on doctrinal adjustments. This includes (page 632):
  • 'Based on the premise that events of the first century might find parallels in related events later, they also concluded that if Jesus’ baptism and anointing in the autumn of 29 C.E. paralleled the beginning of an invisible presence in 1874, then his riding into Jerusalem as King in the spring of 33 C.E. would point to the spring of 1878 as the time when he would assume his power as heavenly King. They also thought they would be given their heavenly reward at that time. When that did not occur, they concluded that since Jesus’ anointed followers were to share with him in the Kingdom, the resurrection to spirit life of those already sleeping in death began then. It was also reasoned that the end of God’s special favor to natural Israel down to 36 C.E. might point to 1881 as the time when the special opportunity to become part of spiritual Israel would close.'
  • 'In the lecture “Millions Now Living Will Never Die,” delivered by J. F. Rutherford on March 21, 1920 ... attention was directed to the year 1925 ... many hoped that perhaps the remaining ones of the little flock would receive their heavenly reward by 1925. This year also was associated with expectations for resurrection of faithful pre-Christian servants of God with a view to their serving on earth as princely representatives of the heavenly Kingdom. If that really occurred, it would mean that mankind had entered an era in which death would cease to be master, and millions then living could have the hope of never dying off the earth ... Though mistaken, they eagerly shared it with others.'
  • 'Later on ... a review of the overall framework of Bible chronology revealed that a poor translation of Acts 13:19, 20 ... had thrown off the chronology by over a century. This later led to the idea — sometimes stated as a possibility, sometimes more firmly — that since the seventh millennium of human history would begin in 1975, events associated with the beginning of Christ’s Millennial Reign might start to take place then ... some of their time calculations and the expectations that they associated with these gave rise to serious disappointments.'
(4) The words "beyond doubt" and "approved by God" are found in WTS publications applying to predictions. I'll add these soon. BlackCab (talk) 23:53, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
There are numerous references in JW literature claiming "advance knowledge". e.g.:
  • "By opening up an understanding of prophecies already in the Bible, Jehovah is still giving his loyal servants advance knowledge, and surely we should pay attention to it." (The Watchtower, 1 April 1984, page 15)
  • "Since Jehovah has blessed us with advance knowledge of coming developments, we are able to face the future with confidence as to the outcome." (The Watchtower, 15 May 1984, page 22)
  • "Since Jehovah provides his loyal servants with advance knowledge about this system’s end, does this include information that will enable them to discern when the “great tribulation” actually has begun? Yes." (The Watchtower, 15 October 1980, page 17)--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:45, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for responding; these quotes put my mind at ease with the article's current wording, which does now seem justified. Work these quotes into the references of the article as you see fit; quotes for "beyond doubt" and "approved of God" will likewise be much apprecited, BlackCab. Thanks. ...comments? ~BFizz 14:46, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Rebuttal from JW needed to Holden's erroneous (in view of JW) claim

Sociologist Andrew Holden's ethnographic study of the religion concluded that pronouncements of the Governing Body, through Watch Tower Society publications, carry as much weight as the Bible.[130][131]

Previously, I had placed a responding sentence which shows why from JW literature, this is not true, from the perspective of JW, but it had been removed. I would request that I would be allowed to put a short rebuttal sentence with JW references on this particular pointing, which is damaging to the reputation to JW, as JW are Christian, and hold the Bible as the ultimate authority. I can attest to that personally. I don't personally hang on every word of the GB, but do hang on every word of the Bible. Like the Boreans, they carefully examined the scriptures to see if these things were so, not blindly follow the Apostle Paul. So, a rebuttal sentence with references is needed. I'm working on that now.

"Now the latter were more noble minded than those from Thessolinica, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." Acts 17:11. Natural (talk) 21:17, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

w9/1/85 p. 26 God’s Ministers Prove Their Qualification

In a modern parallel, especially since this journal was first published in 1879, the anointed remnant of Christ’s disciples, though not inspired as was Paul, have produced much Bible literature.

w2/15/81 p. 19 OUR VIEW OF THE “SLAVE”

We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his “slave” to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using. At the Brooklyn headquarters from which the Bible publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses emanate there are more mature Christian elders, both of the “remnant” and of the “other sheep,” than anywhere else upon earth.
True, the brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)

In contrast, this is how JW view the Bible - w4/1/06 p. 32 Is God Still in Control?

It will consider what God says and promises in his infallible Word, the Bible, regarding these vital questions...Natural (talk) 21:29, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Natural Natural (talk) 21:29, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

Also, in this sentence, there needs to be clarification, based on the quotation/reference. The reference implies that the bible cannot be fully understood without the organization. That needs to be added to this sentence, to accurately reflect what JW believe and teach, and the reference used in Wikipedia.

Also, the leadership of JW claims to be the sole visible channel in the 20th century until today, not the solve visible channel in histor or even in Christian history. They acknowledge that there have been faithful anointed Christians, whom God has used as part of the "faithful and discreet slave class," and therefore, part of the channel that God has used, since the time of the Apostles, until the early part of the 1900s, that it was only after 1919 or thereabout, that God brought together the "anointed" into a "spiritual nation" and used JW "leadership" as Wikipedia puts it, as the "sole channel". If references are needed on that I'll provide them, but most JW who know the deeper things are aware of that teaching. Natural (talk) 21:46, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses claims to be the sole visible channel, presently, of Jehovah and asserts that the Bible cannot be fully understood without associating with Jehovah's Witnesses.Natural (talk) 21:46, 15 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

More rambling, barely coherent defences of your religion containing scriptural quotes that are of no relevance here. Wikipedia articles need reliable sources, not your personal opinions. If you wish to make a point, do so clearly and succinctly. BlackCab (talk) 22:45, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Please desist from quoting scriptures as if they can only be interpreted to support JW beliefs. The paragraph in question already stated that JWs regard the Bible as the source of all their doctrines, and I have added in the 'final authority' bit and moved the associated new references. The rest of the sentence that was added today was redundant.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:34, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
BlackCab aka LTSally persists in removing the word "almost".
The word "almost" has been restored, per the actual quote from the actual source.
Holden quote: "Materials such as The Watchtower are almost as significant to the Witnesses as the Bible." (emph added)]
The weakness of Holden's scholarship has been previously discussed.
--AuthorityTam (talk) 16:01, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I thought we'd been through this. Please don't remove "almost" if the source actually says it.--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:29, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry folks, I was a bit trigger-happy. I misread it and was focusing on the phrase "believed to contain as much truth as biblical texts". "Almost" is fine. Crisis averted, stand down all troops. BlackCab (talk) 07:31, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

More categories?

This article is listed in too few categories. I feel that adding it to Anti-war and Peace Organisations categories would be appropriate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sarat Chandra M (talkcontribs) 23:52, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Though they are neutral in regard to war, they do not actively seek to prevent or stop wars, nor do they identify as pacifists.--Jeffro77 (talk) 05:38, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Jehovah's Witnesses Criticism Section

If you want to have a criticism paragraph, in the main page of Jehovahs Witnesses, and you want it to be neutral according to Wikipedia standards, it should be more along the lines of criticisms from the history, Russell, Rutherford, first of opposing religions, and 2nd from those from among JW. Similary today, it should be more historical. Criticism from religious oppossers, in the 1960s a few dissenting voices from among JW, and in 1980 from dissenters Ray Franz, and James Penton, as well as a few others who left from among JW.

If it did it that way, and then directed to the main Criticism page, it would be more balanced, cohesive with the whole idea of a general article that branches out into more specific articles, rather than an opening sentence that launches directly into specific criticisms with rebuttals.

It is incongruous as it is now, and is very obvious that it is the work of critics themselves, rather than that of someone putting together a Wikipedia article on JW. Natural (talk) 15:18, 19 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The criticisms section already conforms to WP:DETAIL. The content is fine. Given your history of trying to suppress criticism from the article, your suggestion here is insincere. BlackCab (talk) 22:00, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
The WP:DETAIL section basically brings out that the parent article should be more general and summary oriented, with more specific details in daughter articles. Natural (talk) 13:13, 26 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
To clarify my purpose in editing: My purpose with the criticism in these Wikipedia articles is that the criticsms be honest, and not biased, that both sides of the issue be presented, and that a Neutral Point of View be projected on Wikipedia, and not a biased and critical point of view. It is not to suppress criticism. Some of the criticisms and statements currently on Wikipedia do not accurately reflect the religion of JW or present both sides of the issue on the main page and others on this subject. Again, this isn't a personal webpage or blog.Natural (talk) 13:13, 26 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
Not all criticism is necessarily true, because it often represents the opinions of sources (in the same way as JW beliefs are theological opinions). The benchmark for inclusion is that those opinions are verifiable and notable, not whether someone thinks the criticism is fair. (Of course, such opinions should always be properly attributed as such.)--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:33, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Original Research

The addition of the sentence about failure to preach resulting in bloodguilt, also, is original research. Is that a reference from a reliable source? it comes directly from Watchtower publications. All the criticisms spun directly from Watchtower references are original research, which Wikipedia doesn't permit, whether they are justified criticims or not. They have to come from other sources. The same with this bloodguilt sentence. Natural (talk) 13:38, 26 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The statement is drawn from Watchtower magazines, and cites those magazines. It is a relevant fact and is presented neutrally. It is not original research. BlackCab (talk) 02:35, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
It is only as much "original research" as it is to look up any source material. It is properly cited, and is based on direct statements in the original material.--09:30, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The existence of WTS teaching should be supported by WTS sources. The existence of criticism of WTS teaching should be supported by critical sources. In this case, the criticism about "coercive pressure" are sourced with R. Franz and P. James, while the WTS teaching is sourced with The Watchtower. However, I somewhat agree with Natural; this section approaches synthesis. Did Franz mention these particular examples in his criticism of the WTS? BlackCab's tendency has been to state the WTS teaching, state the criticism, and let readers come to the conclusion that he has set up for them. Instead, this section should focus on simply presenting the criticisms themselves. We should supplement neither the criticism nor the rebuttal. If the critics themselves do not clearly indicate the reasoning behind their criticism, it is not our place to fill in the blanks for them. ...comments? ~BFizz 20:24, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Franz did indeed criticize the teaching that those who don't do enough door-to-door work would be bloodguilty, so I have moved that line into his direct criticisms. I have also reworded the rebuttal to present the WT view. BlackCab (talk) 21:17, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Looks good, thanks for making that improvement. ...comments? ~BFizz 21:56, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

James Beverly quote

James Beverly's book is quoted with respect to mind control. Again. That resource is not readily available on the pages mentioned for reference. Are there please exact quotes that can be presented on James Beverly stating the JW use mind control? Is James Beverly quoting Ray Franz? Does he use different terms that the editors are interpolating as "mind control". If please the exact quotes and context of those quotes could be provided. Thanks. Natural (talk) 12:05, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural Reference in question - 305^ James A. Beverley, Crisis of Allegiance, Welch Publishing Company, Burlington, Ontario, 1986, ISBN 0920413374, pages 25-26, 101.Natural (talk) 12:06, 5 July 2010(UTC)Natural

Beverley does not use the words "mind control" at that point. In the sections of his book cited in the article he does claim that a complex set of forces created by the WTS results in Witnesses surrendering their ability to make personal decisions, with the result that, given conflicting claims about their religion, they believe only what they are told by the Governing Body. Beverley has included a fairly lengthy section about the "intellectual dominance" of members by the WTS and its warnings "about independent thinking and the peril of questioning the organization". On page 101 he writes of the "fear of disobedience to the Governing Body" that keeps JWs from checking, among other things, allegations of false prophecy, faulty scholarship and injustice. He notes: "Witnesses are told not to read books like this one and there would be resistance to in-depth investigatiuon of disupted issues in the Watch Tower's past or present". He quotes an observation by another author (not Franz) that JW dogmatism "is characterised by complete absence of tolerance and the presence of a rigid opinion that the professor refuses to alter even in the face of contrary facts -- it is the facts that are altered or ignored where they do not fit in". His claims are an adequate supporting reference to the statement, mainly drawn from Franz, that critics accuse the WTS "of causing mental isolation with the intent of mind control".
It's a good book, Scott. You'd find it very interesting. I bought mine through Amazon, I think. It's written by someone who was never a JW and is therefore not an apostate, and it certainly describes a set of events you'll never read about in the Watchtower, which will only ever present a distorted one-sided view. BlackCab (talk) 12:54, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
It seems like Beverley read R. Franz's book and is reiterating it. Franz wrote Crisis of Conscience. Beverley wrote Crisis of Allegiance. Both seem to say basically the same thing.Natural (talk) 15:34, 5 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
Having read Beverley's book, unlike you, I would say it is his own observation. You seem to do nothing but reiterate what you read in Watch Tower Society publications, which provide you with your complete set of beliefs and opinions. BlackCab (talk) 22:43, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
You are very much mistaken about that. I'm making my own observation about the very close similarity between the two books in their titles, and from what I could see the content. You are mistaken about my editing here, my beliefs, and Watchtower publications. Much of what is what might be considered, putting JW in a bad light is in both the Proclaimers book, and the 1975 Yearbook. Also, new material from JW, also doesn't gloss over the errors in the history of the organization. The only thing lacking is vitrolic hatred. Besides that, everything is out in the open from JW themselves, including the errors.Natural (talk) 17:36, 7 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
I think it's a bit much to assume that any one particular thought from Beverley's book must be derived from Franz on the basis that the books have similar titles. (I have not read either book.)
Also, while there are some relatively frank admissions in Proclaimers, there are issues of bias including in regard to Russell and Rutherford in comparison to any who disagreed with them. Additionally, the book and other JW publications claim that Bible Students are simply 'as JWs were then known', minimizing the schism in the Bible Student movement rather than acknowledging that "Bible Students" continued to (and still) exist separately to JWs.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:28, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
"Mind control" is a loaded term which should not result purely from an editor's interpretation.
The article currently has Beverly as a ref for the statement: "Critics...have accused the Watch Tower Society of causing mental isolation with the intent of mind control."
Is Beverly such a critic? So far, this thread hasn't included any quotes wherein Beverly 'accuses Watch Tower of intending mind control'. --AuthorityTam (talk) 17:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Beverley does add some strong criticism. As noted above, he does not use the term "mind control", so I have added one of the phrases he does use when discussing the level of control of Witnesses' decisions and thinking. BlackCab (talk) 20:55, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The article now attributes to Beverley the claim he actually made, regarding "intellectual dominance" rather than "mind control". --AuthorityTam (talk) 22:11, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Some "predictions" of Jehovah's Witnesses based on Bible prophecy did come to pass

It should be noted in the article that some "predictions" of Jehovah's Witnesses did come to pass in the section on "failed predictions".

Declaring the Good News Without Letup (1942-1975)

On the final day of the assembly, Brother Knorr delivered the discourse “Peace—Can It Last?” In it he set out powerful evidence from Revelation 17:8 that World War II, which was then raging, would not lead into Armageddon, as some thought, but that the war would end and a period of peace would set in. There was still work to be done in proclaiming God’s Kingdom. The conventioners were told that in order to help care for the anticipated growth in the organization, starting the next month the Society would send “servants to the brethren” to work with the congregations. Each congregation would be visited every six months. Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, p. 93. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs) 13:50, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Respectfully, saying that WWII would not end in one way is not a prediction of note and the quote does not support the comment that was just removed from the article. All wars eventually end is some fashion. The reason they stated that WWII "would not lead into Armageddon" is because they had previously made the claim that it would (either outright or through suggestive wording). For a proof of a satisfied prediction, there will need to be some notable neutral party that has shown this to be the case with actual evidence. The WatchTower's attempt to reframe their wording (in the above quote) is not evidence. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 19:57, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't know of any prediction that World War II would lead to Armageddon. But let's get this clear. Naturalpsychology is suggesting that God was using Nathan Knorr as a prophet to predict the future. Knorr's statement in 1942 was that though some thought WW2 would culminate in Armageddon, it actually wouldn't; the war (like WW1) would end and result in a period of peace. If that's an example of God equipping his servants with special knowledge of things to come, then it's a poor one. It's about as impressive as predicting the president of the USA would die one day. Absoluite nonsense. BlackCab (talk) 07:34, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Whether or not the predictions are impressive to you is not the point. It is extremely subjective to determine exactly what constitutes an official WTS prediction, and what determines whether it "failed" or "came to pass". However, the current wording does not suggest that all predictions failed, so I don't really see why Natural started this talk section. If it was a proposal to include this content in the article, I do agree with BlackCab that this particular example is not really notable enough for this article. ...comments? ~BFizz 20:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
BlackCab is pretty insistent in highlight what he personally, and other opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses feel are "failed predictions". It is needed to demonstrate, that what the opposer perceives as "failed predications" can also be perceived from the opposite way by those who do not share that particular viewpoint. If the Wikipedia article were not so insistent in making it's argument about false prophet and "failed predications" it wouldn't be necessary. "Failed predictions" is one viewpoint, others have adifferent viewpoint. BlackCab's arguments are primarily from 1. Watchtower publications to makes his point. So, it is not incongruent to use Watchtower publications to highlight a different, or oppositve Point of View. Natural (talk) 13:12, 28 July 2010 (UTC)Natural
The fact that the cited sources state that predictions of JWs have failed is not merely something BlackCab (or anyone else) has fabricated. The critics said JW predictions have failed, and JW literature said JW predictions have failed (couched in phrasing such as "Jehovah’s people have had to revise expectations from time to time. Because of our eagerness, we have hoped for the new system earlier than Jehovah’s timetable has called for it"), and there would be no need for JW literature to say they are not infallible if their predictions had not in fact failed. There is no editor opinion expressed in those statements.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:52, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

District and Circuit Overseers appointed by branches not by Governing Body

To note on this same paragraph above, Local branches rather than the Governing Body appoint circuit and district overseers. See -"Under the direction of the holy spirit, Branch Committees recommend mature, spiritual men to serve as circuit and district overseers." The references are noted in an above paragraph. Natural (talk) 14:27, 19 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

Source says they recommend them for appointment, not that they appoint them. The source you have partially quoted (The Watchtower, 15 March 1990, page 20) actually says, "Under the direction of the holy spirit, Branch Committees recommend mature, spiritual men to serve as circuit and district overseers. After being appointed directly by the Governing Body, they serve as traveling overseers." (emphasis added)--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
You're right, it does say that about circuit and district overseers.Natural (talk) 13:16, 26 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

Traveling overseers appointed by GBJW

Relatedly, the article Organizational structure of Jehovah's Witnesses should probably have two new subheadings under Governing Body, for:
That would make the place of those persons (role descriptions) more clear in the organizational flowchart. As is described elsewhere regarding JWs...
  • Whereas a branch office may be under a corporation, branch committees answer directly to the GBJW.
  • Whereas districts and circuits are under branches, district and circuit (and zone) overseers in significant respects are answerable primarily to the GBJW (the various branch office staff handles secondary workaday matters).
I'll try to get around to it, but am pretty busy IRL. --AuthorityTam (talk) 22:11, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Copied to Talk:Organizational structure of Jehovah's Witnesses#Traveling overseers. Preferable to discuss at that article's Talk page.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:55, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

"Failed prophecies" references

Two references here under subheading "Failed prophecies" do not support BlackCab's Viewpoint about the word "prophet". These two references do not state or imply that Jehovah's Witnesses are a "prophet". They can't be used in this spot to support BlackCab's personal viewpoint and that of some other religious opposers. The word prophet is not to be found in the Jehovah's Witnesses - Proaclaimers of God's Kingdom referenced here.

^ "Messengers of Godly Peace Pronounced Happy", The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 21 ^ Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Society, 1993, page 708.

Natural (talk) 13:12, 28 July 2010 (UTC)Natural

The Proclaimers book quite clearly refers to God revealing to Jehovah's Witnesses his "will" and purpose for the future. You are correct that the word "prophet" does not appear in the Proclaimers book at that point. However it makes an identical point to that presented in the 1972 WT cited, which reads, "In ancient times he sent prophets as his special messengers. While these men foretold things to come, they also served the people by telling them of God’s will for them at that time, often also warning them of dangers and calamities ... So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? ... Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses". The "Proclaimers" book discussion has blindingly obvious connections to the other material cited at that point that states the Watch Tower teaching that the organization and slave class are his modern day prophet. The four sources cited make a parallel point. The fact that one of those lacks the word "prophet" does not negate it as a support for the full statement of the WT teaching. BlackCab (talk) 13:35, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree that those references do not clearly express a claim to be a prophet, though the the May 1 1997 Watchtower does imply such by the scripture quoted in the introduction, "The Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a thing unless he has revealed his confidential matter to his servants the prophets", followed by statements that those prophets acted as messengers, and that JWs do the same thing today. I do not object to those references being removed. In any cases, the point does not require four separate citations; however, the other two references for the statement are entirely suitable.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:52, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
I have divided the sentence, applying the references to the explicit claims. Where publications have made the claim that Witnesses are God's modern prophet, the sources are cited. Statements that God uses the Witnesses to declare his will and intentions but fail to directly use the word "prophet" cite those sources. BlackCab (talk) 11:28, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
JW's are criticized for being false prophets. It doesn't really matter if JW's outright declare themselves as prophets for this statement to be factual. They are criticized for making false claims about the future, which some sources term as being "false prophets". If this is determined to be inflammatory, I'm in favor of more diplomatic language, however, the statement itself is factual. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 16:54, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Trim

I intend to do some trimming of this article in the very near future. The article is currently 126kb; by comparison, Catholic Church is 91kb and Seventh Day Adventist Church is 81kb. The editing guideline for long pages suggests splitting articles over 100kb. I don't intend at this stage (subject to change) to remove any whole sections.--Jeffro77 (talk) 07:04, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

The depth and detail of the footnotes section adds a fair bit to the length. At its current editible length (120kb) its readable prose is about 108kb, which is only a little above the arbitrary 100kb figure mentioned in WP:SIZERULE. BlackCab (talk) 07:57, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. I'll be looking for unnecessarily long quotes in references when I take a closer look later too, when I'm a little more focused. Thanks for the trimming you've already done.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:35, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
The criticisms subheading of this article seems a bit large in comparison with the rest of the article. Since there trimming to be done, I recommend relying on the Criticism of Jehovah's Witnesses article for much of this material, and shortening this section up a bit. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 17:09, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
I have, on more than one occasion, attempted to trim the criticisms section. It always seems to expand again as both critical and counter-critical statements are added for "better balance" and "clarity/understanding". Best of luck; let me know if I can help in any way. ...comments? ~BFizz 21:34, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
I have trimmed the criticisms section, deleting some of the lesser issues and rebuttals. They all remain in the main spinout article. BlackCab (talk) 23:47, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Is the "Main publications used" section needed in the main article? It strikes me as unnecessary detail and not terribly informative to casual readers. Deleting that section would help reduce the article length without any great loss. BlackCab (talk) 23:51, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

I support condensing the Criticism section, but I don't think it should be done in quite the manner as Pediainsight's approach of simply deleting all but the first paragraph of a subsection. It needs closer attention than that to retain only the most important points. I'll take a closer look at this on the weekend.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:22, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

I too support condensing the criticism section. May be also History section if possible. Catholic church criticisms given in a separate article is too large when compared to JW's. Even then in the main Catholic church article not even a single line in given about criticism. Also please note of the comments I have given below about importance of a persecution and legal Challenges heading...matrix356 (talk) 18:18, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

distinct from mainstream Christianity

The statement "distinct from mainstream Christianity" in the opening sentence seem extraneous and overly specific and rather redundant to the rest of the sentence. Given the fact that the referenced "mainstream Christianity" itself is also dubious, I propose removing this seemingly unnecessary and weaselly comparison. An item is defined by what it is, not by what it is not. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 17:03, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

But when you say a church is "Christian", most people assume mainstream. So the distinction is important for the opening sentence. We define the church as Christian, and refine our definition by saying "not mainstream". This sentence has been discussed ad nauseum in the talk archives and I personally think it's about as good as it's gonna get. ...comments? ~BFizz 21:47, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
The current wording was arrived at after yet another lengthy debate about whether JWs are 'really' Christian. Please refer to Talk archives 49 through 51.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:29, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
The distinction from mainstream is necessary.By then why is the template box on Christianity given at bottom? Is it necessary? I am not sure if a debate had occurred before about it, anyway it makes article look clumsy with two large templates along with an info-box..matrix356 (talk) 18:28, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Each of the three boxes (2 templates, 1 infobox) is directly relevant to the article, and they are located in the best possible sections with respect to relevance. The article is about Jehovah's Witnesses so the templates related to them must be first. The Christianity template is in the Beliefs section (not simply at the bottom of the article) for contrast with JW beliefs. If we remove the Christianity box, people complain.--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:27, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Persecution and legal challenges

It is noteworthy that one of the major religion which was persecuted in 20th Century is JW's. Also legal challenges for them had considerable effect on most countries legislation.But in this article not even a sub-heading is given for persecution and legal Challenges.Only some minor statements about persecution inside the history heading is given.But more importance is given to criticisms.As per wiki rules articles above 100 KB should be trimmed.Sexual allegations and social Issues may be brought under a heading Other criticisms and some statements can be shifted to criticism main article. I suggest editors to consider shift the persecution contents from history section to a Persecution and legal challenges section below Demographics with a link to main article for Persecution and Legal Challenges..matrix356 (talk) 15:32, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Jehovah's Witnesses in Cuba

This article is not linked yet. Sarcelles (talk) 12:52, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

As indicated at the AfD for that page, JW activities in Cuba are not especially notable, and the article is not properly supported by reliable third-party sources. Even it were, there would be little reason to conspicuously link to it from the main JW article. If it is retained, it might be appropriate to link to it from Demographics of Jehovah's Witnesses and/or Jehovah's Witnesses by country, however that action would currently be premature, pending the result of the current AfD.--Jeffro77 (talk) 14:38, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Sexual allegation merge inside social Issues

I have merged Sexual allegations inside social Issues. The Sexual allegations(not proved as a fact) is a minor issue which is made famous only by few Ex.JW's. Further 'Sexual allegations' heading can make the reader to misunderstand it as a similar serious case's found in other churches. Never found any such criticism section(Even criticism topic) in main article about other church. Even then it is here, but sexual allegation with a special heading is too much. I am not comparing with other articles but saying a honest fact. Further it can find right place inside Social issues heading. Seem like a POV necessary since their is no topic on opposition or persecution (see http://jw-media.org for current oppositions) but four great headings given on criticism.

Further if the editors where honest why should they give a heading criticism on blood which is widely known than sexual allegations? Following the model of criticism main article I have given three graspable headings-Biblical criticisms,Doctrinal criticisms and Social criticisms- Honestly..Flowerman75 (talk) 13:04, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Sexual abuse issues warranted a separate section in the spinout criticisms article and the Jehovah's Witnesses and child sex abuse article. It is therefore worth a subheading of its own. Is User:Flowerman75 by any chance from Kerala, India and therefore a recently blocked user in a new guise? 13:50, 28 August 2010 (UTC)BlackCab (talk)
You seem like an one sided editor. In no time I wasted it with editing. I am confident that this article won't improve its status unless the issues I mentioned are made clear. If you were honest you would have replied to issues I raised. Well If some user was blocked I am in no need to answer any identity questions..Flowerman75 (talk) 14:10, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Child abuse cases among JWs have been documented in mainstream media is several countries, and the JW media site devotes considerable effort to addressing the issue, so it is clearly not simply a "minor issue ... made famous only by few Ex.JW's [sic]". JWs are a very minor religion (less than 1% of the population in most countries and exceeding 2% on only two small islands) and they are mostly known for controversial issues, so it is appropriate for the main article to include a section on those notable controversies.--Jeffro77 (talk) 04:05, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
For Jeffro77-You justified this
JWs are a very minor religion (less than 1% of the population in most countries and exceeding 2% on only two small islands) and they are mostly known for controversial issues, so it is appropriate for the main article to include a section on those notable controversies
But you neglected this universal truth..
JWs are a very minor religion (less than 1% of the population in most countries and exceeding 2% on only two small islands) and they are well known for Opposition. Ken Jubber writes that "Viewed globally, this persecution has been so persistent and of such an intensity that it would not be inaccurate to regard Jehovah's witnesses as the most persecuted religion of the twentieth century". Throughout the history of Jehovah's Witnesses, their beliefs, doctrines and practices have engendered controversy and opposition from the local governments, communities, or religious groups. Don't you cover this truth purposefully??
For LTSally-You justified this
Sexual abuse issues warranted a separate section in the spinout criticisms article and the Jehovah's Witnesses and child sex abuse article. It is therefore worth a subheading of its own.
Your eye always go on criticism But What about this???
Opposition issues warranted many separate sections in Supreme Court cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses by country, Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses, Jehovah's Witnesses and governments,Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Canada, Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany,Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States,.etc.According to the book Judging Jehovah's Witnesses, the Witnesses have helped to widen the definition of civil liberties in most western societies, hence broadening the rights of millions of people, due to their firm stand and determination. Their religious activities are currently banned or restricted in some countries, for example in China, Vietnam, and many Islamic states. Don't you realize it is therefore worth a subheading of its own??
This place is a kingdom dominated by disgruntled Ex.Jw's like LSTally and Jeffro77. They are ready to make para's on criticism but will cover up positive issues on their back(inside History section in our case).
Where is persecution section? where is opposition section? where is legal cases section? Who will not say this is not a clear POV?

..65.91.198.57 (talk) 16:29, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

The inclusion of a brief summary of criticism about the Witnesses' handling of sex abuse cases within their congregations is unrelated to the issues you raise about persecution. Some aspects of persecution are already in the article, but it could benefit from a very brief summary of the issue under its own subheading. The fact that it hasn't been added to the article so far is only because no one has written it rather than proof of "a clear POV". BlackCab (talk) 22:41, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Anonymous editor, opposition to JWs is a controversial issue, and is therefore implicit in my original statement.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:48, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
By the way,Who changed the correct title Handling of Sexual Abuse allegations to Sexual Abuse allegations?. Editors Revert this purposeful change as early as possible..193.37.152.204 (talk) 11:46, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't know who replaced it. Shall reinstate it. I also feel "Handling of sexual abuse cases" was the right heading. Because the matter inside it and the introduction say the same. Mere Sexual abuse allegation can mean very differently. Also I included obvious bias (omission of positive statements) in the view points of JW critics by comparing with NW criticism main article. Also clarified JW's view on criticism. Shall also try to include a small section on opposition. A clean up may be required on opposition section if I include it. I also request the editors not to trim criticism section anymore(because it will multiply) but can try on History section (It looks big and not as important as criticism section). Thanks--  Logical Thinker  16:04, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Continuing the discussion you began under a different username, evidently. BlackCab (talk) 11:40, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

"In the Truth"

The expression made note of in the introduction of this article in this partial sentence

         and adherents consider themselves to be "in the Truth".

is based on Bible verses in the books of 1 John through 3 John. Because it is something in the Bible, and it isn't Jehovah's Witness terminology and because Wikipedia makes a point of mentioning that expression, it would be appropriate to include the scriptural references for that expression, if the editors still want to keep that sentence in the article.

(3 John 2-4) . . .. 3 For I rejoiced very much when brothers came and bore witness to the truth you hold, just as you go on walking in the truth. 4 No greater cause for thankfulness do I have than these things, that I should be hearing that my children go on walking in the truth.

3 John 8 We, therefore, are under obligation to receive such persons hospitably, that we may become fellow workers in the truth.

2 John 4 I rejoice very much because I have found certain ones of your children walking in the truth,

About Satan, words of Jesus - (John 8:44) . . .That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth. . .

Natural (talk) 21:46, 8 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

"in the truth" is used by JWs in a far more idiomatic sense than simply 'what is true' as is used in the Bible; it is used by JWs to mean 'current JW beliefs', to the exclusion of other outdated beliefs. The article could state that the expression is derived from the Bible, however those verses do not use it in the same sense.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:47, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Inclusion of 'support from scripture' for this jargon term only gives the impression of trying to 'defend' use of the term, which is unnecessary. The reference template was botched anyway, and 'The Bible' is not a specific published work.--Jeffro77 (talk) 16:44, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Mind Control Accustion and Andrew Holden's dissent with that view

If the editors wish to put the "mind control" accusation on this page, it is a serious accusation, the type of accusation which JW have been severly persecuted in Russia in recent years and months. Andrew Holden's dissent with that viewpoint should also be noted. It was previously on the Wikipedia page, but was edited out.Natural (talk) 10:42, 10 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

The notion of mind control is a fringe view within psychology, it is not a notabole viewpoint in relation to Jehovah's Witnesses - it is not just Holden who disagrees with the idea that JW uses mind control but the majority of sociologists and psychologists of religion.·Maunus·ƛ· 18:43, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Where does Holden dissent from that view? BlackCab (talk) 21:03, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
It's pretty much the point of his book which shows detailedly the mechanisms of social control within the organisation and their limits.·Maunus·ƛ· 21:33, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I think Holden would be surprised to discover that the point of his book was to dissent from a claim that Witnesses are under a form of mind control. I'm asking where he states that view. BlackCab (talk) 21:42, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
You know as well as I that Holden doesn't mention mind control in his book, but detailedly describes the actual mechanics of social control within the organization. I don't think Andrew Holden would be dismayed if it were said that the descriptions of mechanics of social control AND the description of how witnesses wilfully and rationally choose to be a part of the organization because of the safety that that social controls provides them with is the most important point in his book. He doesn't need to say that "JW's do not practice mind control", because social scientists know there is no such thing as mind control.·Maunus·ƛ· 21:58, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I have previously[19] requested a citation for the claim that Holden rejects the idea of mind control. When none was provided, I deleted the claim. The issue was discussed at some length here. Once again User:Naturalpsychology, having convinced no one of his arguments, is recycling his complaints. BlackCab (talk) 22:15, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
In any case I think the section as it is now is both balanced and well written.·Maunus·ƛ· 22:27, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Autocratic accusation

On the accusation that JW are "autocratic" several points are raised - 1. JW are autocratic 2. Requirement for loyalty and obedience 3. Practice of shunning

The accusation, to this point, is not adequatly defended, the opposing point of view from authoritative sources that was currently in the article said simply that the arragment is "informal," which does not adequately address issues 1 and 3.

Starks comments below, address those issues, and should be a part of the Wikipedia article. Then a NPOV can be attained on the issues raised in this sub-section.

Stark ----- Jehovah's Witnesses are expected to conform to rather strict standards, [but] enforcement tends to be very informal, sustained by the close bonds of friendship within the group. That is, while Witness elders can impose rather severe sanctions (such as expulsion and shunning) on deviant members, they seldom need to do so -- and when they do, the reasons for their actions will be widely-known and understood within the group. Moreover, even if leaders are not always very democratic, the path to leadership is. As a result, Witnesses tend to see themselves as part of the power structure, rather than subjected to it. It is this, not 'blind fanaticism' (as is so often claimed by outsiders and defectors), that is the real basis of authority among Witnesses.

This detail is necessary in order to maintain NPOV. Wikipedia makes serious and slanderous accusations against Jehovah's Witnesses, and it is necessary to provide a balancing POV on the page. The POV presented in Wikipedia results in marital difficulties and problems from unbelieving husbands who get a biased impression of Jehovah's Witnesses from statements such as Wikipedia is trying to pruport. Stark's comments are necessary, if these accustations against Jehovah's Witnesses are to be written in the main Wikipedia article.Natural (talk) 12:19, 10 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Natural (talk) 10:48, 10 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Being called authoritarian isn't an accusation - lots of organisations in the world are authoritarian and lots of people think authoritarian leadership is good - probably more than believe in democracy and freedom. JW's definitely think authoritarianleadership is good and do not believe in democracy or freedom as is evident from most of their publications and from several independent sources such as Beckford and Holden. Anyway Stark is already in the article I agree he provides a good complement providing a feeling for why JW's may not find authoritarianism leadership to be restrictive or unwarranted. ·Maunus·ƛ· 12:29, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Agree. Autocratic, maybe is a different meaning than authoritarian. Thanks. Natural (talk) 19:21, 10 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Comparison of Old Testament Prophets

Jehovah's Witnesses do not in any of their literature, equate themselves with the Old Testament prophets as Wikipedia claims. (Jehovah's Witnesses do not use the term Old Testament). Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the "Old Testament" prophets, in what they wrote in the Bible, were inspired of God and infallable. 2 Tim 3:16,17. There are already references in this Wikipedia article which highlight these facts. By contrast, Russell, Rutherford, and all of the Jehovah's Witness anointed since Russell, have claimned fallability. While they look to the "Old Testament" prophets in the spirit of Heb 11, trying to imitate examples of faith, they do not make themselves prophets in the way the "Old Testament" prophets were. In the 1972 and 1959 articles on prophets, they refer to themselves only in the sense of preaching the message of the Kingdom, that is already in the Bible. They do not claim to make new prophecies. This section in Wikipedia has as strong POV, trying to interlace an argument using Jehovah's Witness literature, that Jehovah's Witnesses do not try to make. It takes the writings of Jehovah's Witness literature out of context. Natural (talk) 12:19, 10 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

We've been over this a few times already.·Maunus·ƛ· 13:03, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

1874 Correct term used is Presence (parousia), rather than coming

The issue Barbour and Russell had and that they agreed on was the the "presence," Greek, parousia, was invisible, and that it was different from the "coming" of Jesus Christ. This was based on Matt 24:3 and the remaining part of the chapter. That is what united Russell and Barbour. It was Barbour that convinced Russell of that date, it was not something they come up with together, as Wikipedia here implied. So, it would be more accurate to use the term "presence" . Additionally, 1914 was not a date that Russell came up with. It was something that a number of ministers previously had elabroated on. So, it should be noted, not attribute too much to Russell, and give the correct viewpoint of him, from whatever perspective you look at him, that many of his teachings were things that were already written about by other ministers, that he gleaned from. The teaching of the immortality of the soul and hellfire are two examples also, that Russell had read about from other ministers, and then expounded on them. If Russell is going to be used in the article as the start of Jehovah's Witnesses, then the article should give an accurate view and information.Natural (talk) 11:14, 12 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

See quotes above- 4. Russell and Barbour - Time Prophecies - The Three Worlds Natural (talk) 11:15, 12 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

watchtower 5/1 1993 5/1 pp. 10-11 par. 2 Shedding Light on Christ’s Presence
In Volume 2 of Studies in the Scriptures, pages 158 to 161, Charles T. Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, wrote: “Parousia . . . signifies presence, and should never be translated coming, as in the common English Bible . . . The ‘Emphatic Diaglott,’ a very valuable translation of the New Testament, renders parousia properly, presence . . . , not that of coming, as being on the way, but presence, as after arrival [Jesus] says, ‘As the days of Noah, so shall also the parousia [presence] of the Son of man be.’ Notice, that the comparison is not between the coming of Noah and the coming of our Lord . . . The contrast, then, is between the time of the presence of Noah among the people ‘before the flood,’ and the time of the presence of Christ in the world, at his second advent, ‘before the fire’—the extreme trouble of the Day of the Lord [Jehovah] with which this age ends.”—Matthew 24:37.Natural (talk) 11:19, 12 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
Russell made bold and ongoing claims about 1914—even claiming that they were fulfilled in 1914 itself—and those claims are directly relevant to core JW doctrines. What other people said about 1914 isn't particularly relevant here, though you are welcome to cite their beliefs about 1914 in the relevant articles about those other people. Your objection implies that Russell's ideas about 1914 were merely incidental, which is clearly false. Earlier when you boasted about a newspaper 'vindicating' Bible Students about predicting 1914, you did not then fall back on your current reasoning that it was predicted not by Russell but by "other ministers". You can't have it both ways. The article gives an overview of Russell's core beliefs as relevant to the development of core JW doctrines. It requires neither apologetics, nor excessive elaboration.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:00, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
By that reasoning, then, the lengthy Criticisms of Jehovah's Witnesses in a number of different areas isn't necessary. In others words you are saying that any explanations which criticize or go into details criticizing Jehovah's Witnesses are necessary, but any references which "vindicate" or defend Jehovah's Witnesses are unnecessary. We have already a lenghty Criticism of Jehovah's Witnesses page, why do we need to reiterate it again on the main Jehovah's Witnesses page? There are double standards being applied here, according to the above reasoning.Natural (talk) 11:09, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
Incorrect. Russell was never a JW, and JWs did not exist during Russell's lifetime; as previously indicated, the article need only comment about Russell as much as is necessary to indicate information directly relevant to the development of core JW doctrines. That is entirely dissimilar to notable published criticisms about the religion that is the subject of this article. It may be possible to trim the criticism section, but not on the grounds you suggest.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:53, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
  • IIRC, Melton (9th edition) comments on this re-interpretation of parousia; being a secondary source, Melton would be better to use here than the primary source. --JN466 15:05, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Russell

The Wikipedia article currently has this detail, which is provided, perhaps, to "expose" another eschatological error of Jehovah's Witnesses.

In 1889, Russell taught that "the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' ... is already commenced" and would culminate with the overthrow of all political rulership in 1914, at the end of "the Gentile Times".[20]

If this detail stays in the article, it would be appropriate to add some few words of clarification on some other details in that paragraph, to keep in Neutral NPOV.Natural (talk) 11:32, 12 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

You're a conspiracist, Scott. The statement is there to show the gradual development of Watch Tower Society teachings on the last days, which is still a core and fundamental teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses. They had a date and were certain about it, then later changed it. There's no point scoring here; it's a simple statement of fact and an important part of the group's history. BlackCab (talk) 12:07, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Your suggestion that a change is required to keep the statement neutral is rather foolish. It is a statement of historical fact, written in an editorially neutral tone. There is no point of view expressed. BlackCab (talk) 21:38, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
In other words, Wikipedia is going into some detail, usually about dates and Jehovah's Witnesses, but omitting clarifying details.
What you say is a fact, true, but clarifying details help to put it in perspective.
You can say, Bob burned his neighbors house down.
You are left with the impression that Bob is a criminal or psychopath.
But if you add the clarifying detail, Bob was working on his neighbor's gas line as a favor, when there was an expolosion. The house burnt down.
Now you get an entirely different impression of Bob.
The same is true in the way things are worded on Wikipedia, what details are allowed, and what details are edited. This is the case with Charles T. Russell, by adding a small detail, you get a better picture of this date 1874 and 1914.

Natural (talk) 23:14, 13 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

In such a brief summary of the development of doctrine, the details of how Russell decided Christ returned in 1874 is unimportant. Your own wording is trying to impart some other meaning, but I'm not sure why. BlackCab (talk) 00:03, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
The wording I was suggesting is that Russell did not come up with the idea of 1874 along with Barbour as the Wikipedia article implied. But rather, Barbour came up with the idea, or advanced the idea, not knowing if was even original with Barbour, and convinced Russell. After that they wrote the information together on that. Previous to that Russell had been against any such time prophecies.
1914 also was not an original idea from Russell, although after he took up that teaching, he was a primary advocate of it. But it was not "his" teaching. It was a teaching advocated by various ministers, including some Adventists or Adventis, that Russell took up and then advanced in his publications. That detail is not slanted towards Jehovah's Witnesses or against. It might be more favorable in the viewpoint of JW to think that Russell came up with the idea. It's just a fact, giving the correct account of where the eschatology of 1914 came from.Natural (talk) 11:06, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
The sentence implies nothing. The Three Worlds marks the first publication in which Russell attached his name to the dates of 1874 and 1914, dates which remained pivotal to his teachings about the last days until the day he died. Jehovah's Witnesses have since abandoned the 1874 date, but retain the 1914 date. Obviously it is important to note when he, as the founder of the Bible Student movement, began using those dates. That's all it is saying. BlackCab (talk) 11:28, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
User:Naturalpsychology, you are repeating yourself. Already responded.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:56, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Obedience and Loyalty First To Jehovah Stressed

The statement here in Wikipedia - Witness publications emphasize the need for members to be obedient and loyal to the Watch Tower Society.

The Witness publications never (presently,maybe in 1960 they did, I'm not sure), stress obedience to the Watch Tower Society. Maybe Ray Franz complains about that with that terminology, if he does, it would be either outdate or innacurate.

In terms of obedience and loyalty, Witnss publications stress obedience and loyalty to, 1. Jehovah 12/15/2008 Wa. p. 10 par. 14 10/01/2006; p. 6 12/15/1992 p. 13 par. 19 2. God 10/1/1991 p. 14 par. 3 3. Obedience to Bible principles Wa. 7/1/1997 p. 9 par. 5 (to Jehovah and his laws - Wa. 1/1/1993 p.22 par.16 4. Having an obedient and humble spirit Wa. 12/15/1997 p. 14 par. 13 5. Messainic Rulership (in the paradise earth). 9/15/1991 p. 8 6. To those taking the lead (elders). 9/15/1989 p. 20 par. 20; p.25 par. 23; 9/1/1993 based on Hebrews 13:7,17 7. That elders should be loyal. 9/1/1980 p. 26 par. 21 8. That Jesus was obedient and loyal. 11/1/1980. p. 9 1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 7:26. 9. Obedient and loyal to the truth rather than to sin in terms of holiness. 2/15/1976

This covers everything that has been written in Jehovah's Witness publications since 1976 (35 years) that has the words obedient and loyal

The first instance of anything resembly that idea that we should be obedient and loyal to The Watchtower Society, is in 1976, 10. loyal cooperation with the remnant. 12/15/1976

11. loyal spirit creatures, obedient [spirit] sons, about the angels. 10/15/1974 12. loyal subjects of the Kingdom 1973

There doesn't seem to be anywhere in any Jehovah's Witness literature where mention is made of obedience and loyalty to the Watchtower Society. Natural (talk) 11:49, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Also, the term here, submissive to the religion's leaders isn't used by Jehovah's Witnesses. Jehovah's Witnesses recognize Jesus and Jehovah as their leaders, even though some (opposers) might dispute that idea in its practice. Jehovah's Witness literature and the Governing Body, including Rutherford, emphasize that they are not the groups leaders.
A reference would be needed to show what exactly is meant here, the Governing Body? Theocratic arrangements? Natural (talk) 12:01, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
JW literature makes no real distinction between obedience to God and obedience to the Watch Tower Society. For example, "We must obediently follow the direction Jehovah provides through his Word and his organization." (The Watchtower, 1 February 2007, p. 24) It is unnecessary to provide further examples. Obedience to the leadership (the "organization") is specifically posited as being synonymous with obedience to God.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:15, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Also, there is no need for uncertainty regarding publications from the 1960s. If you check your Watchtower Library CD-ROM, available to all JWs, you would readily find "And lastly, we can stay awake by being respectful and obedient to the organization, the Watch Tower Society and its appointed servants." in the 1 September 1961 Watchtower.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:18, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't seem relevant that one reference in a 1961 Watchtower, from 40 years ago, establishes the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses stress obedience to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which is a legal corporation, that present, the Governing Body are not members of.
The Watchtower does make distinction between obedience to God, his commandments in the Bible and obedience to direction from the slave class, as was shown by the articles above.
The Watchtower stresses obedience to Jehovah, but saying that obedience to Jehovah is the equivalent obedience to the Watchtower Society is synthesis of ideas by Wikipedia.
You could say, based on the 1961 reference, that the Watchtower has mentioned once (1961) obedience to the Watchtower Society, but to say it stresses it, from one 1961 reference is a biased interpretation from one viewpoint,

that of the former Jehovah's Witnesses who resents the authority structure which is outlined in the Bible.

Jehoavh's Witnesses mention many things in their literature, but to say they stress one thing or another indicates that they put undo, or repeated reference to that point. In truth, there is a balance in many points which are mentioned in Watcthower literature. Love is stressed, Christian qualities is stressed. Loyalty is stressed in many different contexts, to one's mate, to the congregation, to Jehovah personally, which is not synonomous with loyalty to the organization, except through an agnostic viewpoint. Jehovah's Witnesses are encouraged to build a personal relationship with Jehovah God through his Son and make a personal dedication to God. Natural (talk) 16:18, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural


Natural (talk) 16:18, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Andrew Holden writes: :The structure of the movement and the intense loyalty demanded of each individual at every level demonstrates the characteristics of totalitarianism" (p.32). "Like some of the examples I have used in previous chapters, it is difficult to tell whether Diane's sense of loyalty is to Jehovah or to the movement itself, since devotees see no distinction." (p.121). Beckford writes: "The habit of questioning or qualifying Watch Tower doctrine is not only under-developed among the Witnesses, it is strenuously combated at all organizational levels." (p.221) Franz spends a fairly lengthy section of his book "In Search of Christian Freedom" discussing the issue. You deleted that reference because you simply have a personal dispute with the claim. These articles rely not on our personal beliefs, but on reliable published sources. BlackCab (talk) 20:56, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

1975 References -Overdoing it

64][65][66][67][68][69] Don't really need all of these references to make the point. Two references on this point seems to be enough. Natural (talk) 11:11, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Also, the wording in this section about expectations

were proved wrong. is a little awkward and sounds like there was a group there that had to prove that the date was wrong. Or that, Wiki is saying, Ha Ha, we proved you wrong. In other words, the word proved, in this sentence seems to be an action verb. When it was more like, it proved to be, no one had to prove it, it just came to pass, that the idea was not correct.

Perhaps a better way to phrase it might be,

proved to be unfounded

proved to be incorrect

or something like that. Natural (talk) 11:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

You're right. Two were duplicated references. Two that remain quote directly from WT literature and the other two are other books that refer to those articles and make the claim. BlackCab (talk) 11:43, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Also probably don't need so many references for this point, [102][103][104][105][106] Two are probably enough.Natural (talk) 12:04, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
Again [123][124][125][126] too many refernces for the point, probably is better to use current references, rather than going back to 1961 and 1967 to make the point. United in Worship out of print and not used. Replaced by other books. Natural (talk) 12:10, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Edit request from 130.102.158.15, 13 September 2010

Jehovah's Witnesses is not a Christian denomination, it is a sect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.102.158.15 (talk) 06:02, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that a) Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian sect rather than a denomination, or b) Jehovah's Witnesses are a sect that is not Christian? If the latter, that biased POV has been discussed at length before. If the former, the term sect is ambiguous and confrontational.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:19, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Is there any way to report this chump? Apparently he's done something similar recently to the page on the Latter Day Saints, where he put "They are a sect, that is, they have perverted Christianity" after the opening paragraph. It was deleted, but come on. (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints&diff=prev&oldid=384532854) Vyselink (talk) 05:07, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
If the anonymous editor attempts to do the same again (either here or at the other article), both instances should probably be reported. For now, maybe we can cautiously/optimistically assume he's gotten the point.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:37, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth is Out of Print and has been replaced

You Can Live Forever in Pardise on Earth is out of print and is replaced by What Does the Bible Really Teach. It may not fully reflect current thinking of Jehovah's Witnesses in its details, or emphasis of what Jehovah's Witnesses currently emphaasize in its details. Quotes to demonstrate current Jehovah's Witness teaching are better taken from the current publication, What Does the Bible Really Teach. Natural (talk) 11:57, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Also, Worship the Only True God is out of print and has been replaced by the book Keep Yourselves in God's Love. While the points in the book are probably still valid, they might not emphasize what Jehovah's Witnesses currently emphasize. I've not heard the book referred to in many years, 10. I think it is two books back as a secondary study book for new people.Natural (talk) 12:08, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Feel free to update with references from the newer corresponding publications for points addressing current views. This does automatically mean that references to older publications are automatically invalidated, particularly in relation to points to do with historical or doctrinal development.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:23, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
The teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses in the What Does the Bible Teach book, are refined. While many books might still be valid years later, there are certain books which are revised and refined. The What Does the Bible Teach book, which replaced the You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, does not make similar statements about this topic on the organization and survival. It states in the corresponding chapter,

Remeber, too, that you have made a dedication to Jehovah God himself, not to a work, a cause, other humans or an organization. What Does the Bible Really Teach. p. 183. Natural (talk) 16:49, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

It's unclear what you're saying this corresponds to, and I don't feel like hunting.--Jeffro77 (talk) 22:14, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
In the paragraph about oganization. Wikipedia makes a lot to say about the organization. The direction of Jehovah's Witnesses is that JW are not dedicated to an organization or work, but are dedicated personally to God. It is an important point, especially with the other side trying to be highlighted in this article, that Jehovah's Witness literature stresses that JW be obedient to the "organization" or something like that. JW literature says definitely that our dedication is to God, not to an organization. Now maybe there is some literature somewhere in the past that words it differently, but the most current book for Bible study is that JW are dedicated to God and not to an organization. It is a point that should be a part of the article, esp. if there are any issues that continue in the article concerning JW and their "obedience," etc. It has to be made clear, that as a religion, our focus is on God, not on humans on earth, whci is the sum of it in truth.Natural (talk) 23:48, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
I have just replied to the same point under a different thread. The article is based on written material, not on your personal viewpoint. BlackCab (talk) 10:13, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not a question of personal viewpoint, it's a question of being current. If you were to say on Wikipedia,
The United States is engaged in a cold war struggle with Eastern Europe and there is threat of Mutually Assured Destruction because of difficult relations with Russia.
That statement is in print. But it is not current. It would be current in the 1960s and 1970s, but not in 1990 or 2010. If an editor is going to post, for example, criticisms of Jehovah's Witnesses that have already been addressed, then they should be noted as historical criticisms. If a book of Jehovah's Witnesses was replaced with an updated version, maybe it was updated for that reason, that they recognized the need to adjust the wording and did. But critics, including Wiki. perhaps, prefer to quote from the old wording, because it makes a better case against JW. Keep it current.

69.115.172.182 (talk) 00:19, 16 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

The Truth

We had all agreed that Scriptures could be used in certain places. The Wikipedia article gives the false impression that JW came up with the jargon, the truth. In fact it is a Bible expression. Jeffro had agreed that the point that mentioning that fact would be appropriate, with a footnote to the Scriptures in the letters of John that use those expressions. Comments? The statement was put in, but edited out by one of the editors. Thanks.Natural (talk) 00:03, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

I did not categorically agree that those scriptures support the term as used by JWs. My actual response was, ""in the truth" is used by JWs in a far more idiomatic sense than simply 'what is true' as is used in the Bible; it is used by JWs to mean 'current JW beliefs', to the exclusion of other outdated beliefs. The article could state that the expression is derived from the Bible, however those verses do not use it in the same sense."--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:29, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I had put in the article that the expression was derived from the Bible. I will try again. Whether or not the Scriptures are put in is up to the panel. Natural (talk) 20:11, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Tense in wording about sexual abuse

The criticims cited here are from around 10 years ago, concerning events more distant into the past. The more correct tense would be made, past tense, rather than make, present tense, unless there are accusations current which are still questioning current policies.

Some critics have accused Jehovah's Witnesses of employing organizational policies that make the reporting of sexual abuse difficult for members. Natural (talk) 23:44, 13 September 2010 (UTC)Natural


I believe the correct tense is "make", as according to the official Watchtower Site:

We need to be careful to take this quote below in context, the quote is not talking about child abuse in general, but it is talking about repressed memories.
This is the preceeding sentence - Still, an accusation should not be made hastily if it is based solely on "repressed memories" of abuse.
That gives the context of what is being stated below. The policies for child abuse and elders is not what is stated below. Also, the article cited is not official policy, but an Awake article on comfort for those with child abuse.

Natural (talk) 21:04, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural


I would say that most people who are Witnesses believe that what the Awake and Watchtower magazines say are equivalent to official policy. I know when I was actively involved with JW's often a response to a question would be "Let us see what the Watchtower (or Awake) has to say on the matter".Vyselink (talk) 00:08, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

"What if the sufferer decides that he wants to make an accusation? Then the two elders can advise him that, in line with the principle at Matthew 18:15, he should personally approach the accused about the matter. If the accuser is not emotionally able to do this face-to-face, it can be done by telephone or perhaps by writing a letter. In this way the one accused is given the opportunity to go on record before Jehovah with his answer to the accusation. He may even be able to present evidence that he could not have committed the abuse. Or perhaps the one accused will confess, and a reconciliation may be achieved. What a blessing that would be! If there is a confession, the two elders can handle matters further in accordance with Scriptural principles.

If the accusation is denied, the elders should explain to the accuser that nothing more can be done in a judicial way. And the congregation will continue to view the one accused as an innocent person. The Bible says that there must be two or three witnesses before judicial action can be taken. (2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19) Even if more than one person "remembers" abuse by the same individual, the nature of these recalls is just too uncertain to base judicial decisions on them without other supporting evidence. This does not mean that such "memories" are viewed as false (or that they are viewed as true). But Bible principles must be followed in establishing a matter judicially.

What if the one accused—though denying the wrongdoing—is really guilty? Does he "get away with it," as it were? Certainly not! The question of his guilt or innocence can be safely left in Jehovah's hands. "The sins of some men are publicly manifest, leading directly to judgment, but as for other men their sins also become manifest later." (1 Timothy 5:24; Romans 12:19; 14:12) The book of Proverbs says: "The expectation of the righteous ones is a rejoicing, but the very hope of the wicked ones will perish." "When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes." (Proverbs 10:28; 11:7) Ultimately, Jehovah God and Christ Jesus render everlasting judgment in justice.—1 Corinthians 4:5."

That first paragraph basically says that the abused is being told that they must approach the accused directly. It is phenomenally hard for victims to do this, and some may not have the necessary strength to go through with it. The "done by telephone or perhaps writing a letter" idea allows time for the accused to gather himself and begin to create a story (if he/she is guilty). That last line, "If there is a confession, the two elders can handle matters further in accordance with Scriptural principles" is not very hopegiving to the abused, as "Scriptural principles" may not effectively handle the matter.

The second paragraph makes it quite clear that if the accused denies it, and no hard evidence is given, which, as the paragraph states, means that unless there are two or more witnesses, and VERY rarely (unfortunately) are there two witnesses to abuse, then nothing is done. The paragraph also states that even "if more than one person 'remembers' abuse by the same individual, the nature of these recalls is just too uncertain" without the "supporting evidence" (meaning two witnesses to the abuse) to do anything about it, meaning that "the congregation will continue to view the one accused as an innocent person" and the abused will have to deal with it. So if the abuser is abusing many people, and they all come forward and speak, unless they actually witnessed the the abuse of the others, it doesn't matter.

The third paragraph is basically a way to pass the buck to Jehovah so they won't have to feel bad: "It's all in His hands, so we don't even really have to worry about it if the abuser gets away, because when he dies (after abusing who knows how many others) he'll get his comeuppance" is what the paragraph is saying.

What all this boils down too is that "make" is the correct tense, as this information is still valid and can be readily found on the JW official site (http://www.watchtower.org/e/19951101a/article_01.htm) Even if the actual allegations are old (which I have found some allegations from much more recent than 10 years, one in England was just a few months ago) the sentence "Some critics have accused Jehovah's Witnesses of employing organizational policies that make the reporting of sexual abuse difficult for members" is correct as is, with "make", as the offical policy as stated above does make it difficault to report abuse. Vyselink (talk) 21:20, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Quoting the Watchtower policy doesn't really signify that verifiable sources are currently finding fault with the Watchtower for the way they handle child abuse cases. What you stated, might have some validity. There might be a need to look at policy on child abuse more closely.
However, we have seen situations, not in the congregation, but having to do with teachers at secular work, where children do make up stories for one reason or another, and the teacher is innocent, they are investigated, but innocent.
If anyone in the congregation comes forward, without evidence of child abuse, they have every right to go to the authorities for an investigation and Jehovah's Witnesses support that. In some states, there is mandatory reporting of any incidents of child abuse, and Jehovah's Witnesses and elders support that also and are instructed to do so. Jehovah's Witnesses do not deal with the law, though, and they cannot accuse someone who denies that they did not do something, without evidence. It would be one persons word against another. Elders are not in that position legally or otherwise. State child abuse agencies are in the position, legally, to make investigations into child abuse. I've personally been involved in reporting those type of investagations from children who have talked to me about situations that happened at home. An elder is not in that position legally though, to investigate, all they can do is talk to the person. If the person denies it, they really can't assume him or her guilty, unless there is more evidence. Child abuse is something you can go to jail for and you can get into a situation where a person's reputation is irreparably damaged if they are accused of something they didn't do. Natural (talk) 22:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
But my question to Vyselin, is this, is can you provide the link from England, is it on Silent Lambs, or a newspaper. Silent Lambs isn't real strong site for factual information. But a newspaper report or something like that would be verifiable. Thanks. That would make a difference, because I really don'tknow if there are current issues with policy of Jehovah's Witnesses, elders and child abuse. Thanks again. But, I personally am 100% in favor of anything that can be done more to protect children. Natural (talk) 22:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
I have doubts about your first statement ("If anyone in the congregation comes forward, without evidence of child abuse, they have every right to go to the authorities for an investigation and Jehovah's Witnesses support that") as on that same page from the JW site it also says "Wisely, Solomon said: "Do not go forth to conduct a legal case hastily." (Proverbs 25:8) If there is some valid reason to suspect that the alleged perpetrator is still abusing children, a warning may have to be given. The congregation elders can help in such a case. Otherwise, take your time. Eventually, you may be content to let the matter drop. If, though, you want to confront the alleged perpetrator (after first assessing how you would feel about the possible responses), you have a right to do so." That statement more than implies (but stops from directly saying) that they should "come to us first" and that going over the elders heads would not be in keeping with Biblical standards. I understand that allegations against innocent people are a terrible thing, and I truly hope that it does not happen. However, placing a policy of "two witnesses are needed because the Bible says so" is overly restrictive, impossible to even comprehend that such a case could occur where TWO people would witness something as horrible as child abuse and NOT say something until AFTER the child steps forward, and give the abuser the ability to say "you don't have two witnesses, therefore I am innocent".
As for your second question, here is a link from the Yorkshire Post dated Dec 2009 (http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Respected-Jehovahs-Witness-groomed-and.5911846.jp). Here is another one from Sierra Leone dated April 17, 2009 (http://standardtimespress.net/cgi-bin/artman/publish/article_3910.shtml) Here is one from San Diego from Jan 2009 (http://www.10news.com/news/18433734/detail.html) This one is from 2007 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21917798/), but I think better highlights the idea that people still find fault with the reporting/non-reporting of allegations (although it does not come right out and SAY that they are at fault, the tone is rather self evident). The one I mention from 2010 was from the Hull Daily Mail but it has apparently been erased from their archives as everytime I try to find it it says "please come back later, we are having difficulties". All of these, most not even two years old and one just about three, have one common theme: "man used JW's as cover" to abuse children.
My main argument is that although nobody may have said recently that "Some critics have accused Jehovah's Witnesses of employing organizational policies that make the reporting of sexual abuse difficult for members", the argument is still valid as "make" because the policy has not changed, and abuse is still happening in Kingdom Halls and by elders and other JW's. "Made" makes it appear that it is no longer an issue, that the abuse is something that happened in the past, but not anymore, and that is simply untrue. I believe your argument that "most are from around 10 years ago, concerning events more distant into the past" is an invalid one. Vyselink (talk) 04:15, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I read the articles in the newspaper. The first three there, were saying that there were Jehovah's Witnesses who were arrested and sentenced, and didn't find fault with the way Jehovah's Witnesses handled it. With the California situation. When it came out, it was dealt with and the men were disfellowshipped. It is possible that in 1993 and 1994 and preveious, when those cases were handled by elders they weren't handled correctly.
The Watchtower article quoted is an article on child abuse, but it is not official current policy to elders on handling child abuse cases. Also, the part quoted has to be taken in context. I have to read the article more carefully, but it seems like it is talking about repressed memories, rather than current or recent child abuse. In other words, memories from many years or decade ago. I have to read the article more carefully later before commenting on it. There doesn't seem to be current articles, so far, there might be, that are finding fault with current policies and situations involving elders and their handling of sexual abuse. Not that there might not be sexual abuse anywhere in the Jehovah's Witness religion. In any case, it is a delicate issue, and I'm abhored by child abuse as much as anyone. Whatever can be done more to protect children anywhere, including Jehovah's Witnesses is important. Natural (talk) 21:00, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
This is one public statement on child abuse and policy, in part. (Jehovah's Witnesses)

http://www.jw-media.org/aboutjw/article23.htm

::::When any one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is accused of an act of child abuse, the local congregation elders are expected to investigate. Two elders meet separately with the accused and the accuser to see what each says on the matter. If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him and the victim to restate their position in each other’s presence, with elders also there. If during that meeting the accused still denies the charges and there are no others who can substantiate them, the elders cannot take action within the congregation at that time. Why not? As a Bible-based organization, we must adhere to what the Scriptures say, namely, “No single witness should rise up against a man respecting any error or any sin . . . At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses the matter should stand good.” (Deuteronomy 19:15) Jesus reaffirmed this principle as recorded at Matthew 18:15-17. However, if two persons are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrongdoing, their testimony may be deemed sufficient to take action.

However, even if the elders cannot take congregational action, they are expected to report the allegation to the branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses in their country, if local privacy laws permit. In addition to making a report to the branch office, the elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities. If so, the elders receive proper legal direction to ensure that they comply with the law. Additionally, the victim or anyone else who has knowledge of the allegation may wish to report the matter to the authorities, and it is his or her absolute right to do so.

Natural (talk) 21:08, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Here is a youtube video from MSNBC from 2007. Regardless of the polices enacted since that time, I would say that this serves as recent criticism of JW's stance on child abuse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLAC9kS_EqM Vyselink (talk) 01:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I appreciate your concern about this matter. I watched the video and understand the issue raised. I can't make judgments on the information, but I am very much in favor in anything that can help protect children more completely. The only question I had, and this in no way takes away from the issue, is the MSNBC report, it seems as if it was posted in 2007, but is there a date for the actual report? In any case, again, I appreciate your concerns, I had asked if there was anything current on it. So, I'm not trying to dispute this point, if it is in fact a current objection. I was trying to get the facts on it. Thank you. Natural (talk) 10:01, 16 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
I understand your desire for facts, and I agree with them. I hope you understand that this is not a personal attack on you, as I believe you are very sincere about the issue. It just seems to be disingenuous to change a word to past tense simply because we can not find any current sources who have share that criticism. However, I am more than willing to leave it up to the other editors. Vyselink (talk) 17:11, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps something along the lines of "As late as 2007, the media reported" such complaints might be acceptable? John Carter (talk) 18:00, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
That wording would be fine. I wasn't sure if the date on the YouTube was the date the video was posted or the actual MSNBC report, because most of the information was from 1994 and previous. Natural (talk) 19:24, 16 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

I agree with that wording as well. That video has to be from at least 2004 as Brian Williams didn't become anchor until that time. Vyselink (talk) 03:47, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Citing JW publications in biased manner

This is the sentence there is an issue with, please.

Publications have also claimed God uses Witnesses as a modern-day prophet, warning about what is to come in a similar manner to Old Testament prophets.[294][295]

Jehovah's Witnesses do not equate themselves as a modern-day prophet and are not to be equate with Old Testament prophets. The two references used do not make that statement, and do not imply that statement. Wikipedia is misquoting and giving its own interpretation. Jehovah's Witnesses clearly state, as has been posted on this board already several times, that their words are not inspired, their publications are not inspired. The only prophesying Jehovah's Witnesses are involved with is that of proclaiming what has already been written in the Bible. The one sentence is the issue in this paragraph. I would ask that it be removed, with the two references which are outdated, and which are misquoted, and which give a misleading impression. If the sentence stays, I'll have to post it to the WP:NPOV and other boards. Natural (talk) 21:16, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

This is a claim you have raised, and posted on numerous boards, repeatedly. There was no support for your view. BlackCab (talk) 21:54, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Your POV is biased in this matter. I've posted it to the NPOV board again, specific to that sentence. If you wish to debate it there, it is already posted.Natural (talk) 23:26, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
Additionally, I would have never known this, unless I just saw it on the Criticisms of Jehovah's Witnesses page, that it is Ray Franz who uses those 1959 and 1972 references about Jehovah's Witnesses. Ray Franz is biased. Wikipedia is merely repeating Ray Franz's bias.
What is being insisted on here is not only biased, but also unethical. It reiterates Ray Franz's argument without disclosing that fact.
Note From Criticisms of Jehovah's Witnesses page -- where is states, as cited by Raymod Franz, but which is not mentioned on the main Jehovah's Witnesses page.
^ "They Shall Know That a Prophet Was Among Them", The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, as cited by Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, 2007.
^ The Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1959, pp.39-41|"Whom has God actually used as his prophet? ... Jehovah's witnesses are deeply grateful today that the plain facts show that God has been pleased to use them. ... It has been because Jehovah thrust out his hand of power and touched their lips and put his words in their mouths..."

Natural (talk) 23:46, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Can you please explain what you mean about Franz's discussion of prophecy, and whether that explains why you deleted the statement[20] without any edit summary. You raised the issue here, claiming the inclusion of the statement was biaed and unethical. BlackCab (talk) 04:02, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
The actual Watchtower 1972 and 1959 references used by R. Franz do not support the view that equates Jehovah's Witnesses literature with the writings of the Old Testament prophets. R. Franz's work had a bias. Wikipedia repeated in the main Jehovah's Witnesses article Ray Franz's research and his interpretation of that research, without disclosing the fact that the research and idea was directly from R.Franz's writings. That is unethical. The statment about the Old Testament prophets is a matter of interpretation. In this case, Wikipedia is using R. Franz's research and interpretation and stating it as its own. That violates Wikipedia policy. The statement about the Old Testament prophets in question, then, would best be left out of this main Jehovah's Witnesses page.
The statement in question is here, and the matter has already discussed in length by contributing editors. Many of them have stated that going back directly to JW publications to express viewpoints wouldn't be proper on Wikipedia, which encourages editors to use outside, verifiable sources. Additionally, if an opinion is expressed by an outside source, than it has to be stated as an opinion and not a fact, and the origin of that opinion should be clearly stated in the article.
This is the statement in questions - Publications have also claimed God uses Witnesses as a modern-day prophet, warning about what is to come in a similar manner to Old Testament prophets.[294][295]
The conclusion being, it would be best to edit out of the main Jehovah's Witness article this sentence [User:Naturalpsychology|Natural]] (talk) 09:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
I have added the attribution to Franz, making clear it is his claim, and added the WT publications he cites. BlackCab (talk) 10:27, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
If Ray Franz's accusation is to be included, it would be necessary to give the countering view from Jehovah's Witnesses or from secondary sources.Natural (talk) 13:29, 16 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Second baptism question

The second baptism question says what? Something like, do you recognize that by getting baptized you are identified as one of Jehovah's Witnesses? Not sure exactly the wording. But it doesn't say anything about obedience and loyalty to the Watchtower Society or to the organization. What are the exact words?

There are ample references above which indicate that Jehovah's Witness literature does not emphasize obedience to the Watchtower Society or the organization. It has a very small list of references on that, which is comparable to the Bible's emphasis on that subject. The Bible mentions it directly in some places, and Jehovah's Witnesses mention it in some places. But the Bible doesn't empasize it, it mentions it. JW literature also mentions it, but doesn't dwell on it. Hebrews 13:7,17. Natural (talk) 00:01, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

If we're discussing the Organization section, it does not currently discuss baptism questions. You added a sentence about baptism, evidently in defence of something that wasn't raised. I don't see any justification for discussing baptism in that section, and certainly not to deny an accusation that hasn't been made. And I have no idea what you're talking about when you say the Bible emphasises obedience to the Watch Tower Society. The statement above that Jehovah's Witness literature does not emphasize obedience to the Watchtower Society or the organization is your opinion. Franz, a reliable source, says otherwise and Holden also notes the "intense loyalty demanded". BlackCab (talk) 10:11, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
There are two Watchtower references for the sentence that refers to obedience and loyalty and the organization.
Jehovah's Witnesses literature does not use this term -
- religion's leaders
It should be phrased in harmony w. JW literature, if you are going to use Watchtower references.
The part about baptism questions was raised, because BlackCab raised the issue. Also, the point about baptism was added because Wikipedia is making an issue of obedience and loyalty to the organization or Watchtower being stressed by Jehovah's Witnesses. The counterview in the What Does the Bible Teach book is that when a Jehovah's Witness is baptized, he is not dedicating his life to an organization, but to God personally. The Wikipedia article gives the impression that Jehovah's Witnesses are dedicated to an organization, so this is a point that is needed to give the true idea and to keep a NPOV. Thanks. Natural (talk) 11:20, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
Wikipedia articles need not employ specific jargon of a particular group when discussing that group. JW literature often refers to loyalty to "the organization" and to "those taking the lead". It is entirely appropriate to refer to the "leaders" of the religion in place of stock phrases.
It flows better with taking the lead, and use the term leaders creates confusion, because it is an issue that comes up in times of persecution. Who are your leaders? has been asked in different countries during bans? The response from Jehovah's Witnesses invariably is, Jehovah and Jesus. So, using the term leaders, and Watchtower references for the statement to support the sentence, especially when the editors here apparently have an issue with submission and obedience and Jehovah's Witnesses, unless you have a specific reference other than Watchtower, or unless it will be explained elsewhere in the article the Jehovah's Witness position on leaders, it would be simpler to put it the way Jehovahs' Witness literature puts it, which flows better anyway.Natural (talk) 20:37, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
The other thing is that Jesus prohibited calling anyone leader on earth. Jehovah's Witnesses closely follow that. So, it goes a little farther even than using one expression or another, or a certain type of jargon. It gets into Scriptural issues, Christ's direct teachings and Christianity itself.Natural (talk) 20:42, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
The actual second baptism question is "Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?", which does indeed strongly suggest loyalty to the organization rather than only "to God personally". (Of course, as a JW, you could readily confirm that using your own copy of the Watchtower Library CD-ROM.)--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:16, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I believe it was in the 1980s that that second question was modified to include emphasis on the organization. The second question was previously the more scriptural and less secular, "On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit?" It is my understanding that this change was somewhat related to supposed legal implications of acknowledging submission to the Watchtower Society, though the implied verbal contract would be void without proof that the organization is actually 'spirit directed'.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:23, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I have added a sentence about baptism because at the point of baptism Witnesses are required to acknowledge they are henceforth associated with that organization. You have once again raised the issue of a neutral point of view, but once again I cannot see that the inclusion or exclusion of that small fact adds anything to a viewpoint. BlackCab (talk) 12:22, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
That's fine. I put the point that baptism is a personal dedication to Jehovah God and not to a man, work or organization.
That is the idea, that balances the paragraph and gives it a neutral view. Natural (talk) 20:29, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
This is the paragraph from the Bible Teach book
Going beneath the water symbolizes that you have died to your former life course. Being raised up out of the water indicates that you are now alive to do the will of God. Remember, too, that you have made a dedication to Jehovah God himself, not to a work, a cause, other humans, or an organization. Your dedication and baptism are the beginning of a very close friendship with God—an intimate relationship with him.
The point being, loyalty and obedience is first to God. Natural (talk) 20:31, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
The stated purpose of the change to the second baptism question was "so that candidates could answer with full comprehension of what is involved in coming into intimate relationship with God and his earthly organization." (The Watchtower 15 April 1987, p. 12) This more specific statement is not invalidated by the more vague statement about 'dedication' in Bible Teach. (Of course, "with full comprehension" really just means 'what they happen to purportedly believe at the time'.)--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:42, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

The truth, and expression derived from the Bible

We discussed this point. Jeffro gave specific wording to use. I made the edit, and then it seems like Jeffro undid the edit. What's up? We had discussed it and came to an agreement based on what Jeffro stated. The point is the expression the truth is not something JW came up with out of the hat, it is a Bible expression used many times. People need to know that JW jargon, is not something that is always pulled out of the air, like they are accussed sometimes, its based on the Bible. Wikipedia is making an issue or point that JW use this jargon, but the point that it is a Bible expression, regardless if you might think there is a nuance in the way it is used in the Bible compared to the way JW use it. Wikipedia gives the false impression. The line can be deleted, it is an unnecessary detail. Not sure why you want it in here. But if you do want it in, it should be noted that it is from the Bible. Natural (talk) 09:22, 17 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Being "in the truth" is a distinctive JW phrase. Referring to fellow church members as "brother" and "sister" is a distinctive JW behavior. Identifying people who have left the religion and dared to express their opinion as an "apostate" is a distinctive JW practise. "Publisher", "pioneer", "auxiliary pioneer", "accounts servant" and "field service overseer" are terms peculiar to that religion. Whether some or any have a basis in some obscure bible text or not is barely worth mentioning. They are simply part of the vocabulary that helps to reinforce the Witnesses as an exclusive, isolationist sect. And I don't see it as something to beef about, unless your sudden obsession with questioning everything on every JW article is an indication that you are counting the time you are taking and adding it to your monthly "field service report", another handy JW phrase. BlackCab (talk) 11:21, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Blackcab, please learn to be more polite. Your bias in editing is very clear and you make no effort to hide it!
Brother and sister are biblical terms. The early Christians used those terms in referring to each other. Jesus Christ stated, do not be calling anyone father on the earth, for you are all brothers. Apostate is both Biblical and secular. Secular religious scholars use the term freely to describe those who have left their former religion, include such religions as Catholic and Buddhist, and who renounce their faith and become more or less enemies of their former faith. Your goal is made readily apparenet here in mentioning this point about Jehovah's Witnesses use of the term in the truth, which is what I suspected from the start, that you wish to portray Jehovah's Witnesses as an exclusive, isolationist sect.
PS- I don't count field service time on Wikipedia and never have and make it a policy not to lie. Revelation 21:8.
The term "in the truth" is mentioned in the Christian Greek Scriptures in a similar context, though not an exactly in the same way, several times, as referred to above. That is where Jehoavh's Witnesses get the expression. The other terms you mentioned, pioneer, auxillary pioneer, etc. are Jehovah's Witnesses terms, this is true, not Biblically based.
However, brothers, sisters, in the truth, little flock, overseer, elder, ministerial servant, city overseer, apostate, are all Bible based. Thank you. Natural (talk) 20:58, 17 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
The term 'apostate' is never used in the Bible in the sense used by JWs, and where the term appears in the Old Testament of the NWT, the rendering of 'apostate' is not supported by any other translation, or by Strong's Concordance, as indicated previously.--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:22, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

What is an Apostate?

This statement has come up often that the word apostate is Jehovah's Witness jargon.

These are the comments based on the work of Bryan Wilson of Oxford University -

Apostasy has been a common phenomenon in the history of the various denominations of the Judaeo-Christian-Muslim tradition.
Apostasy may be considered no less to occur when a single erstwhile believer renounces his vows and his former religious allegiance. [all the more so] if that member then proceeds to ridicule or excoriate his former beliefs and to vilify those who were previously his close associates. [Jehovah's Witnesses use the term for those who match this [all the more so] description.]Natural (talk) 21:35, 17 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
In recent decades, given the emergence of so many new religious bodies which make strong demands on the loyalty of their members, instances of apostasy have become matters of considerable attention for the mass media. The apostate’s story, in which he is usually presented as a victim, is seen as good news-copy for the media, particularly if he offers to “reveal” aspects, and perhaps secrets, of the movement to which he formerly belonged.
Apostates and New Religious Movements
Professor Bryan Ronald Wilson is the reader Emeritus in Sociology at the University of Oxford. For more than 40 years, Professor Wilson has conducted studies of Scientology, Christianity and many other beliefs. He is one of the most well-known British scholars of religion and provides here a thought provoking study on the subject of apostates and apostasy.
http://www.religiousfreedomwatch.org/religious-experts/credible-experts/apostates-and-new-religious-movements/
Natural (talk) 21:33, 17 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
Please stop ranting about 'apostates'. You have previously been shown to be wrong about the JW pejorative use of the word as a proper characterisation. The fact that JWs restrict their use of the term to the 'all the more so' category quite clearly indicates their intention in using that term to ostracise dissidents and minimise exposure to research about the religion. We understand their use of the term, and we understand it is inappropriate.--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:15, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Additionally, your repetitive quoting of Wilson is a misleading appeal to authority. Wilson specifically indicates the general sense of the term apostate, before he focuses on a subset of how apostasy often relates to new religious movements. Further, Wilson's discussion about apostasy in new religious movements does not at all constitute a broad secular view of the term 'apostate'.--Jeffro77 (talk) 04:22, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Taking the lead rather than leader

Blackcab edited out taking the lead and installed leader. He hadn't give a response to this, and I feel to use leader, then in the article, there will have to be installed, after the sentence that uses the term leader, an explanation of the Jehovah's Witnesss belief on that, if Blackcab is going to be insistent use that term. It is more than jargon, it is a direct command from Jesus Christ, not to use the term leader. It distorts the doctrine of Jesus and of Jehovah's Witnesses. So it needs explanation. It would be simply to use the term taking the lead. But if you want to say leader, then a sentence will be added to explain Jehovah's Witnesses position and teaching on that dotrinal point.Natural (talk) 09:15, 17 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

This is what I had written previously and there was no response to it. If there are issues that are raised on the Talk page concerning edits, and if the editors don't respond, that is your opportunity to respond, not after it is edited on the main page. If there is an issue with it, respond and explain your reasons.

Previous --

It flows better with taking the lead, and use the term leaders creates confusion, because it is an issue that comes up in times of persecution. Who are your leaders? has been asked in different countries during bans? The response from Jehovah's Witnesses invariably is, Jehovah and Jesus. So, using the term leaders, and Watchtower references for the statement to support the sentence, especially when the editors here apparently have an issue with submission and obedience and Jehovah's Witnesses, unless you have a specific reference other than Watchtower, or unless it will be explained elsewhere in the article the Jehovah's Witness position on leaders, it would be simpler to put it the way Jehovahs' Witness literature puts it, which flows better anyway.Natural (talk) 20:37, 15 September 2010 (UTC)Natural Natural (talk) 09:15, 17 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

You really need to take more time about writing your comments and stick to the point. It is often incredibly hard to understand what the hell you are talking about and half the time I don't even bother to try. "Ones taking the lead" is WTS jargon for leaders. It is as stupid as a school describing its teachers as "those imparting instruction" or a transport company referring to its drivers as "those holding the steering wheel and directing a vehicle through traffic". The Watchtower can use as much long-winded justification as it likes, but clearly a person who takes the lead is a leader. Trying to dispute that is just double-talk, and a secular encyclopedia has no place for that. BlackCab (talk) 11:12, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, where did Christ command not to use the term "leader"? Vyselink (talk) 02:28, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Jesus said about the Pharisees, But (F)do not be called (G)Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9"Do not call anyone on earth your father; for (H)One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10"Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11"(I)But the greatest among you shall be your servant. (New American Standard Bible; also NWT).Natural (talk) 12:14, 18 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

Whether Jesus ever actually said these words attributed to him at Matthew 23:8-10 is arguable, but if he did say them, he was addressing his disciples, after having described the motivations of the Pharisees. The Watchtower often emphasises loyalty and obedience to 'the organisation' and to the Governing Body. The scripture quoted from Matthew is clearly the reason they like to avoid the word 'leaders', however, semantics aside, that scripture has no real bearing on the real-world use of the term rather than the wordy jargon phrase 'those taking the lead'.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:34, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Then how about this, after the sentence, could put,
Jehovah's Witnesses reject (or do not use) the term leader in their religious vernacular. footnote, Matthew 23:7-10.Natural (talk) 12:56, 18 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
Not at all noteworthy. BlackCab (talk) 14:18, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

1914 - Failed predictions section. Ny newspaper's statement of fulfilled prophecy

Jeffro, in one viewpoint 1914, which is highlighted in this article is a failed prediction, from the New York newspaper's viewpoint that was quoted and deleted from the maintext, 1914 was a fulfilled prophecy. You can provide either viewpoint to make the point, but both viewpoints are valid. It might be that an editor personally disagress with the evaluation, but it is a matter of one's own point of view. With some, they look at 1914 predictions as half empty, others look at it half full. Both viewpoints should be presented. Natural (talk) 14:31, 18 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

The sensationalist comment from the NY newspaper cannot be used as any kind of reference to claim that Russell's actual statements about 1914 were 'fulfilled'. To do so is blatantly dishonest. The August statement cannot at all be used as verification for predictions that were supposed to occur in October, and it wasn't the right thing that occurred anyway. The newspaper simply makes a co-incidental connection between events that occurred in that year and religious predictions that something would occur.--Jeffro77 (talk) 23:54, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Like BlackCab had directed on this point, if you want to say,

Jehovah's Witnesses point to...., JW state..., that's fine too, but there are too different viewpoints. I'm of the viewpoint that Knorr's statements in 1942 about the United Nations is significant, as well as the coming peace as a time when the good news would spread throughout the earth, as a prediction that was fufilled. You have a different viewpoint. It's a matter of viewpoint. But both can be presented if there is a reference. If you are editing a section on Jesus, it would be included that the Bible states Jesus is the Son of God, even though many people might not accept it and an opposing viewpoint could also be presented, as an example.Natural (talk) 14:35, 18 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
The article can say something like JW believes that xyz was fulfilled. However, it can't say JWs predicted that the UN would rise after the League of Nations fell, because they never predicted that.--Jeffro77 (talk) 23:54, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
We have agreed on this, but when it is put in the article, one editor or another who are opposed to JW remove it, as it is now. If please we can please a sentence on this point, without someone taking it out. Thanks.Natural (talk) 20:15, 21 September 2010 (UTC)Natural

New World translation

Witnesses prefer New World Translation is correct, but it is only used when available in their language. I don't use NW because in my language because its not available(only christian Greek is available since 2009). It is not only in my case but many other languages too. Watch tower publications quote from New World Translation, but it also extensively use other translations. The sentence given in the intro makes the reader to misunderstand that the NW is totally different(or wrong) from other translations. But NW is considered as a very good translation by scholars except for the name Jehovah . Its notable that most of the major beliefs of JW are derived from other translations and NW was published only in 1950. Also in field service many witnesses encourage people to read from their own bible. I hence strongly recommend to change the statement like this; Witnesses base their beliefs on the Bible, and prefer the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures if available in their language. Its also notable that the statement is about the usage of bible by witnesses and not about watchtower society. Hence in many congregations bibles available locally is extensively used. Hence it is important and not redundant  Logical Thinker  07:59, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

If I prefer chocolate icecream, and there is only vanilla icecream available, I might have the vanilla icecream, despite my preference. It does not change the fact that if there were chocolate icecream available then I would have that instead. It is obvious that a person wanting to read the Bible would use some other translation if their preferred version doesn't exist in their language. It seems unlikely that if the NWT were available in your language that you would still opt for the other translation. It is therefore redundant to say JWs prefer a version only if it's available in their language.
Watch Tower publications cite many scriptures, and only a very small fraction of those citations refer to translations other than the New World Translation; references to other translations are occasional, not extensive.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:29, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate your reasoning. I am convinced-  Logical Thinker  23:39, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Response to failed predictions

Recently blackCab removed my edit on the response to failed predictions. He said that the point I gave is not found in criticism main article. The response given for failed predictions is not clear as stated by witnesses.In the reasoning book the answer is directly given as below. Why have there been changes over the years in the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses? The Bible shows that Jehovah enables his servants to understand his purpose in a progressive manner. (Prov. 4:18; John 16:12) Thus, the prophets who were divinely inspired to write portions of the Bible did not understand the meaning of everything that they wrote. (Dan. 12:8, 9; 1 Pet. 1:10-12) The apostles of Jesus Christ realized that there was much they did not understand in their time. (Acts 1:6, 7; 1 Cor. 13:9-12) The Bible shows that there would be a great increase in knowledge of the truth during “the time of the end.” (Dan. 12:4) Increased knowledge often requires adjustments in one’s thinking. Jehovah’s Witnesses are willing humbly to make such adjustments. This is the proper response and the response given their are confusing and are only sub points. Hence I recommend to include the following main statement, Quoting the scriptures Proverbs 4:18 and Daniel 12:4 Witnesses argue that, in the last days Jehovah enables his servants to understand his purpose in a progressive manner. Increased knowledge often requires adjustments in one’s thinking adding that Jehovah’s Witnesses are willing humbly to make such adjustments.1 other responses may be trimmed and could be added as supporting ideas to this omitted main point.  Logical Thinker  08:11, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

The article already mentions the concept of 'progressive revelation'. There is no need for subjective religious rhetoric about 'humbly making adjustments'.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:33, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
But progressive revelation is the primary answer to failed predictions, hence its important to mention it in the response to failed predictions. The reasoning book is published for answers to such questions. Hence it is important to include it there. But if you find that the term 'humble' is a religious rhetoric it could be changed in to other words which not so rhetoric. I would make a try..  Logical Thinker  09:09, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
The article already explains the doctrine of progressive revelation. The rebuttal in the "failed predictions' section discusses the WTS justification of necessary adjustments. Please remember that this is a summary only of the main artcicle, Criticism of Jehovah's Witnesses, where such eleborations may be appropriate. BlackCab (talk) 10:55, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I do accept your opinion on not repeating the explanation on progressive revelation. But its important to at least mention the term as a reminder there because progressive revelation is the major counter argument against failed prediction. And if someone ask such questions most witnesses tend to use the concept of progressive revelation as the counter argument-  Logical Thinker  23:44, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
The cited source for the response, WT March 15, 1986 deals directly with claims that Witnesses are false prophets, but makes no reference to progressive revelation. You'll need to find a reference to progressive revelation as a rebuttal for the claim of false prophecies, or remove that statement. BlackCab (talk) 01:20, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah sure, Reasoning from scriptures clearly states about it-  Logical Thinker  01:45, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I have removed the misleading statement "Witness publications also claim that many of their interpretations of Bible prophecy have been fulfilled" along with WTS references that supposedly support that claim. WT publications commonly refer to current world conditions fulfilling biblical descriptions of the "last days", however that is not one of the predictions made by the Watch Tower Society, which is the subject of this section of the article. For a selection of such WTS predictions, see Criticism of Jehovah's Witnesses#Unfulfilled predictions. BlackCab (talk) 03:06, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I do accept that change. That statement is not necessary particularly because JW's do not make large predictions but would only wait and reinterpret the prophecy. And no more prophecy are yet to complete other than related to Armageddon. -  Logical Thinker  03:15, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Ditto on Logical Thinker. There is a strong issues the opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses are trying to present on this site about failed predictions. The failed predictions are a matter of interpretation in some cases. Some interpret 1914 as a partly fulfilled prediction as has been referenced. Jehovah's Witnesses see predictions based on Bible prophecy that they have noted fulfilled. This should be noted in the article. It seems the BlackCab has attempted to claim ownership of the article and has the first right for editing, according to his viewpoint. Both viewpoints need to be expressed. Natural (talk) 20:13, 21 September 2010 (UTC)Natural
For something as contentious as this, it might be better to start a thread with the proposed wording. Once consensus is reached, it can be added. The problem is that some editors are expressing a personal viewpoint without it having sufficient verifiable third-party support to be accepted in an encyclopedia. BlackCab (talk) 21:01, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
    • ^ Reasoning from scriptures page 204 paragraph 1







    Creative Commons License