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.:ARE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ALLOWED TO STUDY THE BIBLE BY ITSELF?
We can understand your confusion over our claims about Jehovah’s Witnesses not being allowed to study the Bible on their own without Watchtower literature. It is true that they are often encouraged to read the Bible on their own, but “reading” the Bible is not the same as “studying” and “interpreting” the Bible by itself. Let’s consider what the Watchtower organization has said about independent Bible reading, study and research:
If Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible does not belong to “individuals” but only to the Watchtower organization and that “the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind,” how can they believe that they can “study” and “interpret” the Bible on their own without Watchtower literature?
Why would the Watchtower say that we “need help to understand the Bible” and we “cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside” its organization, if Jehovah’s Witnesses believe you can “study” and “interpret” the Bible on your own without Watchtower literature?
If Jehovah’s Witnesses are discouraged from doing “independent research on Bible-related subjects,” isn’t that the same as discouraging them from studying the Bible by itself? Why would the Watchtower discourage Jehovah’s Witnesses from “literature, meetings and Web sites that are not produced” by its leadership, if they have nothing to hide?
Why would the Watchtower warn against reading the “bible exclusively…alone or in small groups at home,” if Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that it is ok to read the Bible alone without using Watchtower literature? If the Watchtower Society is honestly interpreting the Bible in context, why would it have to warn its readers that those who read the Bible by itself will end up believing the so-called “apostate” doctrines of Christianity? Doesn’t this raise a red flag in your mind that they are twisting the Scriptures to fit their doctrines?
Don’t you find it amazing that not only has the Watchtower had to warn its readers against reading the Bible “alone” without its guidance as recently as in its 1981 - 2007 publications, but its warnings against going “to the Bible alone” have extended as far back as its 1910 editions of the Watchtower?
If Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they can understand the Bible by itself, why would the Watchtower discourage Jehovah’s Witnesses from relying “simply on personal Bible reading and interpretation” and tell them that they cannot “progress” without Watchtower literature no matter how much “Bible reading” they do?
As we have seen from the above Watchtower quotes, Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to read the Bible on their own, but they better not lay aside their study of the Watchtower publications to do so; nor are they allowed to rely upon “personal bible reading and interpretation” and be part of groups that do “independent research on Bible-related subjects” if they hope to remain in the so-called “truth” of Watchtower teachings.
Indeed, even the Watchtower admits that if a Jehovah’s Witness goes to the “Bible alone,” he or she will end up believing the doctrines of so-called “apostate” Christianity! Can you see why they encourage you to “read” the Scriptures they reference in the meetings as long as you are continuing your “studies” with your Jehovah’s Witness teacher from the Kingdom Hall who is authorized to discuss those Bible verses WITH you so that you get their twist on what the Bible is teaching?
******************* Response From The Person Studying With Jehovah’s Witnesses *******************
OUR SECOND RESPONSE:
They encourage you to study the Bible yourself BECAUSE you are also studying WITH them and their publications—thus, you are getting their SPIN on what they say the Bible is teaching. Your email is a good example:
It sure looks like they’ve done a good job of twisting your understanding of the Bible. You are safe reading the Bible yourself now because you are reading it through their rose-colored, Watchtower glasses!
For more information see:
They are all there for me!
“I had Jehovah’s Witnesses visiting for six years. … The sad thing is now I have their beliefs in my head. So I put myself into God’s hands and asked for direction. …Well, the feeling of freedom is amazing. I am like a child, learning again for the first time. The reason I had to write to you was the Karen and Cindy conversations. Instead of me asking for help, one question at a time, they are all there for me!! It seems as if ‘Karen’ could read my mind.It’s so lovely for things to fall into place, mainly that ‘What happens when we die?’ This was a very big issue for me. I was scared while I did not understand even the tiny bit I do now. It’s such a joy. Instead of feeling unworthy(were all sinners I know) and feeling I would never be saved or go to Heaven. So, please thank God and Jesus with me for such help.”
I have to tell you how your website saved my life.
“I have been a baptized Witness since 1995, and I have to tell you how you have saved my life. Every couple of years I get this gnawing sense that this is not quite right, that I am not 100% vested in what the Watchtower Society says. …Lately, I have stopped attending meetings and my daughter, 13, has begged me not to make her go back. So I have been praying and chatting with friends outside the organization……I can’t tell you my sense of relief when I stumbled upon your site and started to read the articles. I want to cry, but I’m at work. I can’t wait to get home because I am so excited I can barely stand it! Please, please, how can I meet others who feel this way? I sure could use the fellowship. Again, thanks for the work you do.”
God bless you for the difference you are making.
“My brother and I were raised by a Jehovah's Witness mother. I am 52 years old now and still haven't been able to shake the stigma of the experience. My brother wasn't as lucky as me and ended up taking his own life at 17. I have been through everything ... I can't express how much I appreciate what you are doing... God bless for the difference you are making.”
I do not feel so alone!
“Thank you for creating this website. After reading stories of former Jehovah's Witnesses, I do not feel so alone. My resolve to stay out of that religion has also strengthened. I have also come to realize that my depression, anxiety, and many other emotional scars inflicted by the organization and those in the ‘truth’ will take time to heal. But your website has also come to help me ... Thank you.”
Just as I was about to enter the Jehovah’s Witnesses again, God led me to your website.
“Hi…I am an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness from South Africa. ...I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses not because I did not agree with their beliefs, but because my wife could not handle it with me being a Jehovah’s Witness and she not. I became an anti-religious person. Then, just as I was about to enter the Jehovah’s Witnesses again, God led me to your website… Today, I prayed to Jesus for salvation after I read your article on your website…”
I’m so glad that I have run across this site.
“After reading the article that David Reed wrote on your site, I’ve looked at things in ‘a new light’ so-to-speak. ...I’m so glad that I have run across this site. I’m sure that it was the Holy Spirit that directed me to all of you!”
Your website is a great source for truth
“Your website is a great source for those seriously seeking the truth.… The Jehovah’s Witness elders shun me. I’ve known these guys for 30 years... Well, when I walk into the Hall they turn their backs to me. I have not seen my Jehovah’s Witness ex-wife, or daughter for two years. ...They hide my family from me. When I go to their homes, they smile with arms folded and say nothing.
The stories I read at your website were loud and clear - conditional love by the ‘brothers’! I have learned more in the Christian Church about unconditional love than 30 years as a Witness. When I accepted Christ, who He really is, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see both sides clearly. ...Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to know the real TRUTH! Keep up your good work.”