The Watchtower organization otherwise known as Jehovah Witnesses strongly discourages bible study on your own. They want to interpret everything for you otherwise you might leave their organization and become a Christian. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Well that is indeed what they said.
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IS IT WRONG TO STUDY OR THINK FOR YOURSELF?
As strange as it sounds, the Watch Tower has strongly discouraged people from studying the Bible on their own or thinking for themselves. This teaching is in contrast to what the Bible teaches. In the Bible we are told to study the Scriptures for ourselves. We are also told that the Holy Spirit can teach us, even without the aid of a human teacher.
We are warned of false teachers. How can you recognize what is a falsehood unless you study the truth?
Read these Bible verses: 2 Timothy 2:15, Ezra 7:10, John 14:6, 1John 2:27, Acts 17:11,1 John 4:1-3, 2 Peter 2:1, Galatians 1:7-8, Romans 16:17, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15;
After you have read this Scripture, compare its teachings to the Watch Tower teachings below.
Can I read the bible alone? Or do I need Watchtower Literature?
Watch Tower, Feb.15, 1981, pg.19 (JW) (PDF pg. 115)
Watch Tower, August 15, 1981, pgs.28-29 (JW) PDF pg. 508-509)
The most interesting implication of this statement is the assumption that those who read the Bible, alone or in small groups, will “revert back” to Christian doctrine, rejecting doctrines they were taught as Jehovah’s Witnesses. I would think that should tell them something.
Watch Tower, October 1, 1967, pg.587 (JW)( PDF pg. 587)
Watch Tower, October 1, 1967, pg. 591 (JW) (PDF pg. 591)
Watch Tower, May 1, 1957, p. 274 (JW) (PDF pg. 274)
Watch Tower, February 1, 1952, pgs. 78-79 (JW) (PDF pg. 78-79)
“Down to this day the legal corporation, the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, has been used as an agency to publish for and direct and unify the preaching activities of the society of witnesses overspreading the earth. When Christ came for judgment in 1918 he found some associated with this group that thought the Lord had delayed his coming and they were oppressing their fellow slaves in Christ. These were cast off as the ‘evil slave’ class. Those faithfully serving God were identified as the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ class.
“What is the Master's decision regarding the discreet slave? ‘Truly I say to you that he will appoint him over all his belongings.’ Before this promotion the slave is over only the Lord's domestics or body of attendants, to give them their spiritual food at the proper time…”
(pg. 79) “…Are we assigned as individuals to bring forth the food for the spiritual table? No? Then let us not try to take over the slave's duties. We should eat and digest and assimilate what is set before us, without shying away from parts of the food because it may not suit the fancy of our mental taste.”
Watch Tower, July 1, 1973, pg. 402 (JW) (PDF pg. 402)
So a fair question is: Do Jehovah Witnesses study the Bible? I think that it would be correct in saying that they do not. Rather they use the bible when studying Watchtower Literature. I think the verses used at the beginning of this subject show we can just study the bible alone.
Next one may ask is it wrong to study other religions? We can see that the Apostle Paul while in Athens examined some of their idols and even quoted one of their poets while showing them the error in their ways and pointing them to Jesus. Act 17: 21-33. Keep in mind that Paul also said that he was not ignorant of the devils schemes. (2 Cor. 2:11) One must somehow become aware of the devils schemes. We can see some of Satan’s tactics in scripture. By studying these we become aware of them and recognize them. Furthermore we are told to contend for the faith Jude 1:3-4 This is certainly much easier to do if you understand the opposition’s arguments.
I can honestly say that debating with others with opposed views has caused me to really dig in and study. This in return has greatly strengthened my faith in the Bible and Christian doctrine.