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So.....we went to the Jehovah's Witness memorial
last night. Many of them remembered us from last year: the bikers in the midst
of suits; of course, right? We took communion and they seemed to frown upon
that since that is only for the 144,000 that are going to go to the new heaven
to live with Jehovah, and that we couldn't possibly be a part of that group
because we have not been "educated" by the Watchtower society.
Anyway, afterword we had the same rush of people that wanted to talk to us. Surprisingly,
none of them were interested in coming to our Bible study tonight. Never hurts to ask.

The most interesting conversation I had was with a
guy named Jonathan. I was talking to another guy about Jehovah Witness
ministry, my questions was: "Do you guys have ordained ministers, or does
it work some other way?" That's when Jonathan got involved. See, I go to
these things and I bring a New World Translation with me, and my Biblia Sacra (BHS
Hebrew OT and NA27 Greek NT in one volume) because I know they like to appeal
to the Greek and Hebrew sometimes.

Jonathan takes me to 1 Timothy chapter 3 and we
read that together the list of qualifications of a deacon. I told him that I
get that, but I was asking about the Jehovah Witnesses structure, do THEY have
ordained ministers. He said to me, "Ok, let's read something else together
in your Bible. What to you have, a King James?" I opened my Bible and said
"no, it's not a King James." I turned to 1 Timothy and he said,
"Whoa, is that Hebrew?" and then turned to Isaiah and said, "no,
THIS is Hebrew" I turned back to Timothy and said "This is Greek. Do
you understand Greek? Because if not, let's just use your Bible, eh?" He

We never got back to my question, but talked a
little about translations instead, and he seemed to have a beef with the NIV. I
told him that they are all translations, and even his revered New World
Translation is good in some places and poor in others. Then he said, "I
have a question for you. Why is it that the New World Translation is the only
one that "correctlyā€¯ has the word "Jehovah" in the New
Testament? I told him that was an excellent question and that I think I know
why that is. He then said, "Ok, why do YOU think that is?"

I told him that the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
has numerous names for God. The Greek New Testament has only three names for
God: 1) "pater", which translates the Hebrew word "av" and
means father; 2) "kurios" which translates the Hebrew word
"adoni" and means lord or master; and 3) "theos" which
translates the Hebrew word "elohim" which means God. I told him that
there is no Greek translation for YAHWEH, of which Jehovah is the presumed transliteration.
I told him this is relevant because the English translations (including the New
World Translations) all say that they are translated from either the majority Greek
text, or the UBS Greek text. The point is, that they are translations of one
the Greek texts, and if they have the word Jehovah in there, it is not based on
the Greek text but on someone's preference or speculation.

I told him that if they used the New Testament
Aramaic text they could use MARWAH which is the Aramaic version of YAHWEH and
they could find Jehovah in the New Testament that way, but that has two
problems that come with it: 1) none of the English translations he named are
translated from the Aramaic texts, they are translated from Greek texts; and 2)
the Aramaic texts today are actually Syriac, which is a 3rd century (or later)
language based on Aramaic. These Syriac texts are a translation of the Greeks
texts into Syriac, and are a translation themselves. My opinion is that you
might as well use an accurate English translation and have a text and a
translation; instead of a text, a translation, and a translation of that translation.

Unfortunately, they started shutting off the
lights to get us out of the building and we couldn't discuss it further. But,
it was fun. I'll be back next year with another question.

Edited by Coolhand
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Hi Cool I wish the best of luck. It is hard for a Jehovahs witness to question their teachings. The organisation drums it into them that their salvation depends upon it. They are controlled by a group of elders in their meetings and sent studies each week from the Watchtower. As I have been informed that only those who are active and witnessing JW's at the time of Jesus' return are going to heaven and this produces a lot of fear. So much so that they would rather stop talking to you than discuss things if you challenge them successfully. I know this because I have family who are JWs and they have been asked by their elders not to discuss their ministry with me anymore. I was also informed that some meting have a black book in which they put the names of people who are not to be resurrected. They see the 144,000 as the rulers with Jesus in the next life and they will be in power. So leaving the organisation or challenging it is not easy for people. There are families who do not talk to each other because of this organisation and I admit we had a difficulty for several years.

There are good organisations who are made of ex-members who will give you any insider info you may want. There is also a lot on line too.

I was in contact with one for a while to help me understand what was going on. I forget the name now but I will come back to you with the name when I look again at the info.

Edited by Pete
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They do not claim that all JWs are the 144,000. They claim that only part of them are the 144,000 and they will live with Jehovah in the new heaven, but most of them will live on the new earth and will not see Jehovah or go to the new heaven. A question I had one year was, "How to you know which group you belong to?" They said that you just know.

They throw out stats every year at this event. Last year they clamed that over 9 million world wide went to these memorial services, and out of them around 12,000 took the communion. So they teach and believe that there is a group within their group that is the 144,000 but not all are.

JW's have been around since the early 1900 yet they claim that Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, and others were JW.

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Cool - Yeah, glad you stopped sounds as if you have really been using your training and expanded your knowledge of the various languages of original Scriptural text. I am severely jealous and a good way! :) I have always wished I could grasp foreign languages but have a difficult time just dealing with the Swede and Norwegian I grew up with. From my own research in my path, yes, there is indeed a wide range of "translations" and "interpretation" from ancient/original text.

You have every right to be proud of your accomplishments a good way of course!

Pete, thanks for the link...not quite the manner to handle JW I've read before. This was very positive!

Blessings of Peace,

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I do not know AV. The group I had contact and supplied me with a copy of the New World translation and many of the documents about and from the Watchtower was called the Reachout Trust. The JWs have made many attempts because of my family being associated with the organisation to recruit me. All failed. I used to argue from the material of the Reachout trust. They would then go away and speak to the elders and then come back with their reply. This went on for about two years. I then gave up and asked them if they were enjoying this process. They said no and so I dropped it. Since then the tactic shifted to showering me with kindness but no more debates. However, recently one member tried again to convince me of the viewpoint they held. I just said I have studied the history of the bible and what I have learned is not compatible with being a JW. To my surprise he was lost for words. It seemed that they were all geared up to talk about the meaning of differing bible verses for them but not history.

I have witnessed the many meetings and the group practicing to answer difficult questions and they have also some useful programmes on their computer to help them answer questions but when it comes to history there was nothing.

Edited by Pete
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I was told by a Jehovah Witness once that if they see a member of their congregation with someone of the opposite sex who is not their spouse, child, cousin, sibling, etc. that they have to report this person to the Elders. I stated that the person is meeting a business associate or friend who just happens to be of another sex, and that this would not be an issue and that it wouldn't any of their business anyway. I was told that it is not their job to 'judge' which is why they have to report it to the Elders to make a decision as to what had occurred. I am not sure if the person was joking with me or if this is what they actually are taught to do.

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I'm assuming Ed, these "elders" have pockets full of stones?

Like you said, there are a number of valid reasons a man may be in public with a woman...none of them bad, deceitful or unusual. Now seen going into a motel room, which could also be completely harmless, meh, different "suspicion". This is one of the things I never understood about what I grew up with in the Evangelical/Lutheran crowd...convicting on "suspicions" not on facts.

The only time I've ever actually given much time to JW's at my door was in Willow Creek when they came by the droves due to the runes I had painted on a stone wall next to the front gate to my driveway (house was 300 yards back in on property) The runes simply said "Welcome and Blessings to All Whom Enter", but in their mind it was "Satanic symbolism". When they would all stand in front of the gate, singing and praying, meh, so what it bothered the neighbors but I couldn't hear a thing! When the Elder came up the driveway (first time) he had his Bible raised high above his head praying out loud.

Even after I explained to the group what the runes meant, showed them the "Book of Troth" pages with the meanings, they got all the more agitated due to the "idolatry" on the cover (same basic pic as my avatar) After about a year and a half, I finally had to get a restraining order for them to stop coming on my property. This was only after I had attended their church, talked to several elders and tried everything I knew to just be friendly with the JW folks from town, but no, they had made my "salvation" their priority and business.

When I went to the sheriff's office to get the restraining order, they didn't hesitate or ask why...found out over the years numerous mountain folks had done the same.

Now the Mormon fellows that use to come by my place in Cutton were a whole other story...I one to convert to Nordic Paganism due to his interest in his family's history and Swedish background. Too bad I moved out to Willow Creek as probably only one or two more contacts I would have had him!! :llol: But naw, just joking, it is never my intent to drag anyone away from what they earnestly believe.

Blessings of Peace,

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It is too bad that no proper Jehovah's Witness would be a member of this forum. It is never good to just hear one side of a story, specially when we are such an all inclusive group.

Might be because throughout all of human history there will only be 144,000 thousand proper Jehovah Witnesses so that doesn't leave many to be alive on the earth at any one time throughout history. :)

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As I understand it, the JW's believe the 144,000 is made up of only those who are practicing at the time when Jesus returns. It is not the full congregation of the JWs. Although I disagree with their perspective I find them to be very kind and loving people but that said I find that membership has many obligations which I would never accept or agree too.

That said I think Brother Kaman's comment is valid. Although I disagree with their viewpoint and the organisation has cause much stress to my family it would be good if they were able to join us and give their perspective first hand here. However, I doubt they will but who knows..

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