4

Is the content of the Jehovah Witness website final and binding?

For example, is the Bible Study guide definite and binding to all the Faithful? Or is it a usefull study guide that is open for the Faithful to critique.

3

No, not in the sense of teachings being irreversible. That's because many of their teachings have been changed over the past 100 years. The men who lead this organization do not claim to be infallible or to be prophets. However, they do claim that in 1919 Jesus chose them as his earthly organization and the eight men who make up the Governing Body have been appointed to dispense spiritual food to Jehovah's Witnesses world-wide.

“The Governing Body provides the direction given in our publications... All of us show respect for our Leader, Jesus, by being obedient and submissive to the men he is using to direct us... [Jesus] has supplied the faithful slave today with the same assistance (holy spirit, angels and God’s Word)... As we follow their direction, therefore, we follow our Leader, Jesus.” And this quote from the 15 September 2010 Watchtower, page 13: “What is taught is not from men but from Jehovah.”

Yet in paragraph 12 of that article they admit the Governing Body can (and does) err in doctrinal matters. It also claims that the faithful slave was not expected to “produce perfect spiritual food.”

However, there is no room to criticize or disagree with the teachings that come down from the Governing Body. Yes, baptized Witnesses can question anything they don't understand, but they must then accept the answers they are given. Any baptized Jehovah's Witness who speaks out against the Governing Body and who disagrees with their teachings and rules risks being disfellowshipped and subsequently shunned - even by their own flesh and blood.

Watchtower Publications Index Beliefs Clarified Index 1986-2015 http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200277174

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-study-february-2017/who-is-leading-gods-people-today/

  • Below is the complete thought as well as the link to the Sept 15, 2010 Watchtower you quoted: “The Governing Body publishes spiritually encouraging literature in many languages. This spiritual food is based on God’s Word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah. —Isa. 54:13.” jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w20100915/… – 1982 Mar 1 '18 at 3:03
6

The main site of jw.org contains the most up-to-date information on what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, so it's authoritative in that sense, but it isn't as authoritative as the Bible. The website is updated over time, and new clarifications are published yearly.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 (NWT)

16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.

There's a concept Jehovah's Witnesses have called "making the truth your own." Nobody is expected to blindly believe in something just because the website or one of the publications says it. If someone finds something they don't understand or agree with, that's a great opportunity to do more research on the subject.

Matthew 15:7-9 (NWT)

7 You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you when he said: 8 ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. 9 It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’”

Acts 17:11 (NWT)

11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·niʹca, for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

  • The question does not mention if a teaching can be irreversible , I read up on the bible passages and they have been ripped out of context. – aska123 Feb 23 '18 at 5:47
  • @aska123 I will edit to make it more explicit. The website is not as final as the Bible. Could you explain what you mean by "ripped out of context"? How are these scriptures being mischaracterized? – 4castle Feb 23 '18 at 5:54
  • The Bareans were not amazing because they examined scripture, they were amazing because they accepted the gospel presented to them. Even if they did accept the gospel blindly, their honor would still be intact. An amazing example of blind faith is Abraham. – aska123 Feb 23 '18 at 7:08
  • @aska123 Abraham's faith wasn't blind because he witnessed miracles which confirmed that God's promises come true, such as when Sarah gave birth to Isaac even in her old age. Regardless, the point I was making with Acts 17:11 was that 1st century Christians made sure to verify the things they learned using the Scriptures, setting the precedent for Christians today. – 4castle Feb 23 '18 at 7:33
2

Because all Jehovah’s witnesses believe ONLY the Bible is inspired of God, none of our publications that “expound meaning” into the scriptures are considered final or irreversible. (Nehemiah 8:8; Acts 8:30–31; Acts 18:26)

Also, the scriptures indicate that knowledge would increase as time goes on, so we expect refinements in our understanding. (Daniel 12:4 Prov 4:18)

However, because all Jehovah’s witnesses are ACTIVE preachers, we do view the most up-to-date information in our publications to be “binding” in the sense that if we are actively engaged in our ministry we do NOT spout personal opinions/speculations at someone’s door. We carry a unified message to all. To do otherwise would be unscriptural. (1 cor 1:10)

If we need clarification on a spiritual matter we would handle it as laid out in the Bible: Study, prayer, research, ask for assistance.

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2011767#h=1:0-6:687

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2004642

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