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Don’t Spoil a Good Doctrine by Strict Adherence to the Facts

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs fly in the face of almost every basic Christian doctrine.  Let’s take a romp through the JW Garden of Doctrine.

God’s Name is “Jehovah”

This name is derived from the Hebrew characters used in the oldest manuscripts available that translate out to “YHWH.”  Ancient Hebrew didn’t use actual vowels, but scholars have generally agreed that the translation of this name is “Yahweh.”  There is some evidence that the Latinized pronunciation of this name is “Jehovah,” but there is a good deal of controversy surrounding it.

Back in the 1920s, after a huge debacle involving a failed prophecy that The End would come in 1925, the President of the International Bible Students Association (IBSA), J.F. Rutherford, decided to more or less “rebrand” the organization.  A huge number of adherents had left, and the organization needed a boost.  Rutherford latched onto the name “Jehovah,” maybe because nobody else was using it.  JWs have been defending it ever since they formally adopted the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in 1931.  In fact, their version of the Bible is positively crammed to bursting with the name “Jehovah.”  They’ve even shoehorned it into places where it really doesn’t belong, most notably the New Testament.  They claim that somewhere along the line, someone, perhaps a fiendish monk, deliberately removed every instance of it from the New Testament.  That’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

Creation

The very first thing created was the being who would become known as Jesus Christ (or, as they call him back home, “Michael”).  After that, God settled back in his Lay-Z-Boy and let Jesus do all the heavy lifting.  So, it was really Jesus who created the earth and the animals and man.  Since he was fairly new at this creating thing, that could be an explanation for mosquitoes, platypuses, and rutabagas.

Now, they don’t believe in the creative period being a literal six 24-hour days, but they do cling to a belief that man has walked the earth for only 6000 or so years, despite abundant fossil evidence to the contrary.

“Creative Days” are “days” in the sense of the term, “back in the day,” or “someday we’ll be together.”  In other words, an ambiguous length of time.  They say that each creative day is 7000 years long, but to be quite honest, I can’t remember the reasoning behind that.  In any case, that’s the figure they use.  Now, through the magic of ignoring actual historical facts and some fancy chronological footwork, they figured out that 1975 was the end of 6000 years of human history.  Since the last 1000 years of the seventh creative day was to be the “Thousand-Year Reign of Jesus Christ,” which was to follow Armageddon, they reasoned that 1975 would be the date of the Big A.   Of course, that was a soul-crushing disappointment for those of us who were JWs back then.

However, the Watchtower Society switched to the “spin control” cycle and pointed out that the sixth creative day did not end until the creation of Eve.  Adam was alone for some unknown period of time before God said, “Okay, that’s enough.  He’s having meaningful conversations with ducks.  Send him a woman.”  Doing the math, since the Big A hasn’t happened yet, that means that Adam was alone for at least 37 years.  That’s a freakin’ long time to be alone.  Even Thoreau threw in the towel after a couple of years.

So there you have an explanation of how the earth and mankind came to be, if you’re willing to cover your ears and sing “la-la-la-la” when someone points out the obvious issues with chronology and scientific fact.

Death and the Afterlife

I’m sorry, according to JWs there will be no zombie attacks anytime soon.  Instead, when a human being dies, they more or less go to sleep and exist no more, the body returning to dust.  Unless, of course they are part of that select group of 144,000 who, upon their death, ascend immediately to heaven and assume spirit “bodies.”

For the unwashed masses the only hope is resurrection to a paradise earth, a hope that they have plucked from a few scriptures in Isaiah and Revelation, the latter being written in “signs” by admission of the author, and the former being almost entirely composed of prophecy which, conveniently enough, can be contorted to mean anything you want it to mean.  Jesus (the founder of Christianity) never mentioned resurrection to earth, although he performed a couple of resurrections himself.  His only statement about life after death was made to the evil-doer who was hanging beside him on the cross (oops, stake) when he said, “…you will be with me in paradise.”  Since Jesus was not going to be resurrected to a paradise earth but was going to heaven, Bible scholars have reasoned that the evil-doer would be with Jesus in heaven.

Not so! say the Witnesses.  Through some convoluted reasoning and dissection of ancient Greek words they have come to a much different conclusion.  The evil-doer would be among those resurrected to a paradise earth and would “be with” Jesus in the sense of being united in worshipping Jehovah.  Okey dokey, keep moving, people.  No need to stare at the train wreck.

Next time:  More doctrinal romping.

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7 responses »

  1. Hard to believe that so many “sane” and “bright” mature adults find these teachings to be so factual and accurate that they stake their lives on it. But as you so eloquently tell us…..it is all so true…..they really do believe all this rubbish.

    Reply
  2. Next time: More doctrinal romping.

    Tuesday mornings are becoming my new favorite time of the week !!!

    Thx Scottleblog – Cheers – Brad

    Reply
    • Holy cow. Let me understand all this……Jesus is well over 6000 years old, and was not born to Mary and Joseph? I’m lost! Not being a big Bible expert, isn’t the story of Jesus’ birth actually in there? Is it not in the JW Bible? Or are you saying the Jesus who created the world, is not the same Jesus in the Bible….color me way beyond confused.

      Reply
      • Jo – The way they tell it, Jesus had a prehuman existence in heaven as a spirit creature known as “Michael.” When it came time for the Messiah to appear God transferred his life force into Mary’s womb so that he could be born as a human. I’ll elaborate on that later.

  3. An interesting tidbit I read on the WT Teachings of Adam and Eve, and the “in your face” type flip flop.

    Is it true that Christ’s 1000 year rule cannot be reckoned from September of 1975 because there is a time lapse of unknown duration between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve? AWAKE! (10/8/68, p. 14) tells us that the creation of Adam and Eve was in 4026 B.C.E. All doubt should be eliminated (from the standpoint of Watchtower publications) by looking at two other books. The NWT (Genesis 5:3) declares: “And Adam lived on for a hundred and thirty years. Then he became father to a son in his likeness, in his image, and called his name Seth.” The Aid to Bible Understanding (p. 538 ties the know by stating: “At the age of 130 another son was born to her. Eve called his name Seth,…” because Adam and Eve were both 130 years old when Seth was born, the time lapse had to be less than one year! We can only conclude then that The Watchtower (10/1/75, p. 579) has been proven wrong from other official publications when it said: Does this mean, then, that mankind has now reached 6,000 years into the 7,000-year period that God ‘blessed and made sacred’ as his great ‘rest day,’ is to be reckoned from September 1975? – Gen. 1:27, 31; 2:2,3: Rev. 20:1-6. No, it does not mean that. Why not? Well, the Bible record shows that God’s creations on the ‘day’ just preceding that 7,000-year ‘rest day’ did not end with Adam’s creation. It shows a time lapse between the creation of Adam and that of his wife, Eve. During that time, God had Adam name the animals. Whether that period amounted to weeks or months or years, we do not know. So we do not know exactly when Jehovah’s great ‘rest day’ began, nor do we know exzactly when it will end.

    Reply
  4. LizHurleyLovesNoiseMusic

    Great blog by the way, so glad I stumbled across it.

    This posts been an interesting read that’s reminded me of some of the key illogical horse **** that the JWs pass off as fact and doctrine. I really can’t believe having spent almost 20 years as a good little Xtian (who didn’t and couldn’t believe in the arch silliness of the Trinity and Hell fire, hence found at least two JW teachings appealing) I went to waste almost another 10 years of my life as a JW.

    Maybe I’ve just read the “wrong” posts but I was wondering do you still believe in Xtianity?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the compliments!

      The Christianity question is a tough one. I’d say I’m on the fence about it but leaning toward not believing. I had an “aha” moment when I watching the documentary “Religulous” with Bill Maher. I’d always believed that the whole virgin birth/dying as a ransom sacrifice teaching was unique to Christianity (never having looked at other religions, like a good little JW) but Bill mentioned that the Christ story had been floating around the Mediterranean area for thousands of years before Jesus was born. In fact, many religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism had similar teachings, although Jesus was not involved in any of them. That kind of burst my Christian bubble.

      Reply

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