In principle, the Governing Body demands that Jehovah's Witnesses unquestioningly accept their authority to interpret the bible; in turn, Matthew 24:45-47 is spun by the Governing Body in such a manner as to make it seem like those verses support the Governing Body's claim to divine authority.
We have also seen that disagreeing with the Governing Body's interpretation brings severe social (and economic) consequences for vocal dissenters.
So, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Governing Body has the divine authority to interpret the Bible for them. Why? Because the Governing Body says that the Bible at Matthew 24:45-47 is a prophecy that means the Governing Body is divinely appointed to interpret the Bible for them.
This is, as we have also seen in a previous installment, Spinning Wheels Within Wheels of Logical Fallacy, a logical fallacy - circular reasoning in the strongest sense of its meaning - coupled to fear as a psychological motivator.
A former elder of Jehovah’s Witnesses writes in this regard,
“It is very difficult to disabuse Jehovah’s Witnesses of this belief. They accept whatever the Society tells them because the Society is God’s channel of communication, which, in turn, they believe because it is the only religious organization on earth teaching the truth – a conclusion they defend because they accept everything the Society tells them. Although this is circular reasoning, it is the way that Jehovah’s Witnesses think. At some point after the so-called Bible study, or indoctrination program, which originally brings an individual into the organization, his or her chain of reasoning is twisted about and connected together end-to-end, so that the JW thinks in circles instead of in a straight line.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986, David A. Reeds, p.p.59-60.)
However, Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that they accept the interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 solely on the basis of the authority of the Governing Body to interpret the Bible for them. They argue, instead, that they have come to accept it on the basis of their own personal study of the bible; that the Governing Body's interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 conforms to their own personal conclusions after having studied the Bible for themselves; and not the other way around.
Nothing could be further from the truth (as we shall see).
In other words, it is claimed that Jehovah's Witnesses' acceptance of the Governing Body's interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 is based on their own independent thinking and understanding and interpretation of it.
However disingenuous I think that claim might be, let us digress for a moment to look at the peculiar method of Bible study that Jehovah’s Witnesses employ.
I will do that in the next post.
Afterwards, we will consider the Governing Body of the Watchtower’s interpretation of Matthew 24: 45-47 in a some detail.
If You Missed Anything, Read Previous Chapters of Cracks in the Walls of the Watchtower. There you will find the Table of Contents, updated after each new post.
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