Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tracing The Whereabouts Of Jehovah's Witnesses in History

When the Watchtower writing department was researching this topic for the Proclaimers book in the 1990's, Karl Adams gave Barbara Anderson, the researcher for the Proclaimers book, just four criteria to identify a group of Jehovah's Witnesses:
  • rejection of the Trinity
  • rejection of hellfire
  • rejection of immortality of the human soul
  • acceptance of the ransom sacrifice of Christ as defined by Jehovah's Witnesses
Even with this short list, not a single group could be found. The result is that the Proclaimers book was reduced to making the following broad statement:
    "Throughout the centuries there have always been truth lovers. To mention just a few: John Wycliffe (c. 1330-1384) and William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) furthered the work of Bible translation even at the risk of their life or freedom. Wolfgang Fabricius Capito (1478-1541), Martin Cellarius (1499-1564), Johannes Campanus (c. 1500-1575), and Thomas Emlyn (1663-c. 1741) accepted the Bible as God's Word and rejected the Trinity. Henry Grew (1781-1862) and George Storrs (1796-1879) not only accepted the Bible and rejected the Trinity but also expressed appreciation for the ransom sacrifice of Christ. Although we cannot positively identify any of such persons as "the wheat" of Jesus' illustration, certainly "Jehovah knows those who belong to him."" Jehovah's Witnesses-Proclaimers of God's Kingdom p.44
The majority of these people believed the Trinity so were not part of the Slave. No one is mentioned prior to 1300 A.D. as before then few people had access to the Bible, apart from the Catholic clergy, so few groups developed a belief system even vaguely similar to Witness beliefs.

During the 150 year period from Henry VIII to Charles I (1500 and 1600's) anti-Trinitarianism was pursued consistently and vigorously by 'heretics'. Many of these 'heretics' such as the Unitarian Bishop of Transylvania (Hungary) had such radical views in other areas they can not be considered acceptable to a Jehovah's Witness.

In 1919 The Finished Mystery pp.23-72 claimed that the Seven Messengers or Revelation 2 and 3 were St Paul, St John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe and Luther and Russell. However Waldo, Wycliffe and Luther were Catholics and Protestants whose beliefs were strongly at odds to both Russell and the essential doctrine listed above.

The groups closest to Witnesses that have been mentioned in Watchtower publications are the Waldenses, Cathari, Albigenses. Lollards and Huguenots. These were all basically Protestants and adhered to many Protestant teachings considered wrong by the Watchtower Society. The Minor Brethern (Socianians) is the group most similar to Jehovah's Witnesses today. A brief look shows none of these would be acceptable to be called a Jehovah's Witness.

36 comments:

Ronde said...

Carl Adams is spelled with a K.
And she is not one to be trusted.

We do not claim that there have always been ones with our beliefs.

Afterall, Jesus said that the wheat would grow with the weeds. The angels would not be able to distingish them apart. So the wheat would have false beliefs.

But that did not matter then.

What matters is now in the harvest,
the wheat are different from the weeds.

Governing Body Letters said...

"We do not claim that there have always been ones with our beliefs."
-------------
Jehovah's Witnesses claim that there have always been Jehovah's Witnesses on earth.
Please see the Reasoning book, page 202. "According to the Bible, the line of witnesses of Jehovah reaches back to Abel."
Of course, being always inconsistent with their teachings, other Watchtower publications teach that Witnesses can trace their line all the way back to Adam.
The witnesses want you to believe that the patriarchs and the apostles believed the same things that they do today, which can be proven false historically.
Furthermore, they cannot point to any group or person legitimately in the last 2000 years that believed their interpretation of the scriptures, until Charles Russell came along. And, if Russell were alive today and he taught the things he believed in, he would be disfellowshipped, labeled apostate and thrown out.

Thanks for the spelling correction. It is indeed Karl with a "K".

Carl said...

What is evident is that the understanding has become more clear. I don't care how much you trash the "new light" belief of witnesses, it is indeed Biblical and that is what has been occuring.

Imperfect human beings can never reach absolute understanding, but can do their best and pray to Jehovah for help by means of his spirit. If something was not understood at first, it was not the correct time deemed by Jehovah. The interpretations belong to him and He can make them available when he wishes.

Many teachings have been wrong and it is possible that some today are not correct, but the Witnesses have said many, many times that they are not infallible. Why do you find that so hard to understand? The fact is that this organization teaches the closest thing to the truth (even basic things that others cannot comprehend, and frankly things that you would have never come to learn if it wasn't for this organization [no matter how much you will deny that]).

JWs have Jehovah behind them.

Anonymous said...

GBL when you said "Wouldnt it be interesting if the name Jehovah's Witness would change", what did you mean?

Governing Body Letters said...

"JWs have Jehovah behind them."

Carl, all cults and sects think that God is leading them. That is how they appeal to people looking for guidance. Jehovah is always leading them and they are always imperfect.

"What is evident is that the understanding has become more clear. I don't care how much you trash the "new light" belief of witnesses, it is indeed Biblical and that is what has been occuring."

What is clear is that the witnesses having been making guesses about what the Bible says and when the guesses and personal opinions fail, then they make more guesses and call that new light. It is certainly not Biblical no matter how much you might wish it to be.

"Many teachings have been wrong and it is possible that some today are not correct, but the Witnesses have said many, many times that they are not infallible. Why do you find that so hard to understand?"

I don't find it hard to understand at all. I just believe that a group who speaks on behalf of the true God would not make so many stupid errors and doctrines. To say that they are not infallible is putting it mildly.

Governing Body Letters said...

"GBL when you said "Wouldn't it be interesting if the name Jehovah's Witness would change", what did you mean?"

I didn't mean anything other than what I said. The Society has made many changes and many more are to come. They are attempting to mainstream the religion so that it does not appear to be so kooky and cultish to most people.
When the name Jehovah's Witnesses is spoken, most people think only that we have Watchtower magazines and the witnesses are the crazy people who don't take blood.
Billions and billions of hours have been "preached" by the witnesses yet no one know who they really are or what they believe in.
There next step is to change all of that.
Stay tuned and keep your ears opened.

Anonymous said...

To GBL:

Regarding your announcement that pioneer hours will be cut to 50 a month...

I think this has now been proven to be 100% rumor. Further it provides proof that 'GBL' justs surfs other forums and reposts the same crap as everybody else. No real 'insider' information.

Just another apostate with nothing better to do with his life than try to place doubt in others minds.

Makes him feel important, and gives him a twisted sense of control and power.

Anonymous said...

"When the name Jehovah's Witnesses is spoken, most people think only that we have Watchtower magazines"

We? Surely you are not counting yourself among Jehovah's Witnesses. That can't be, after all you dedicate much of your time to criticize and attack the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. Therefore, you would not be among them secretly or anything like that. Right?

Governing Body Letters said...

"I think this has now been proven to be 100% rumor. Further it provides proof that 'GBL' justs surfs other forums and reposts the same crap as everybody else. No real 'insider' information."

---------------------------------
We'll see. We'll see.

"......gives him a twisted sense of control and power."

Well, I am sure that your association with the Watchtower has allowed you to see close up what happens when people have a twisted sense of control and power.

Anonymous said...

"We do not claim that there have always been ones with our beliefs."
-------------
Jehovah's Witnesses claim that there have always been Jehovah's Witnesses on earth.
Please see the Reasoning book, page 202. "According to the Bible, the line of witnesses of Jehovah reaches back to Abel."

Ronde

If you want to see well reasoned and more detailed information on the main points raised by LGB have a look at :-

http://www.jwfacts.com/index_files/slave.htm

Ronde said...

GBLetters said:
"Jehovah's Witnesses claim that there have always been Jehovah's Witnesses on earth.
Please see the Reasoning book, page 202. "According to the Bible, the line of witnesses of Jehovah reaches back to Abel.""

That does not mean that every day, every year there was an anointed past 33 CE. The quote referenced Heb 11 where Paul said that they faithful ones go back to Abel. In Israel all of the nation were JWs as per Isaiah 43:10-12.

But since John died, there was not an apostolic succession. It was not that at every moment one of the anointed was alive.

"Of course, being always inconsistent with their teachings, other Watchtower publications teach that Witnesses can trace their line all the way back to Adam."

No, it is not inconsistant, it is just how the reader reads it.

"The witnesses want you to believe that the patriarchs and the apostles believed the same things that they do today, which can be proven false historically."

Not true at all. Of course the patriarchs did not believe what we do today. They did not know who David and the Davidic covenant is or the Law or Jesus.

The point was that there were people faithful to God and his word from the intrinsic statements of God back then.


"Furthermore, they cannot point to any group or person legitimately in the last 2000 years that believed their interpretation of the scriptures, until Charles Russell came along."

Do we want to? Why would we?
Charles Russell was not alone, he had others with him. Wendell, Patton, etc.


" And, if Russell were alive today and he taught the things he believed in, he would be disfellowshipped, labeled apostate and thrown out."

If Russell were alive today he would be 150 years old and be labeled superhuman.


"Thanks for the spelling correction. It is indeed Karl with a "K". "

Of course, I do my research, you don't. But I have several talks that deal with the subject of weeds and wheat and the middle ages and Christianity in there.

Ronde said...

Carl said:
"What is evident is that the understanding has become more clear. I don't care how much you trash the "new light" belief of witnesses, it is indeed Biblical and that is what has been occuring."

I think that there is too much put into this new light. The simple answer is that people learn.
Why is it that prior to 1960 it was stated that no vehicle could accelerate faster than 200mph in the 1/4 mile, but yet today they can go 330 mph in the 1/4?

It is called progress and learning.

I would expect that same progress and learning to occur in everything else including religion.

Ronde said...

GBLetters said:"
I don't find it hard to understand at all. I just believe that a group who speaks on behalf of the true God would not make so many stupid errors and doctrines. To say that they are not infallible is putting it mildly."

Why do you look at the group? Why don't you look at yourself? What I mean is that I won't become like you because I have not lost the Eye of the Tiger. I have the will of the fight. AntiWitnesses are my enemy and I take them on. Thus I don't focus on the WTS, I focus on AntiWitnesses. So why don't you get the Eye of the Tiger?

Ronde said...

No announcement of pioneer hour change at our meeting last night.

Ronde said...

Anon said:
"We? Surely you are not counting yourself among Jehovah's Witnesses. That can't be, after all you dedicate much of your time to criticize and attack the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. Therefore, you would not be among them secretly or anything like that. Right? "

GBLetters is one of the many who have lost the fight because he has lost the focus. He has not made the truth his own, that is why he is so wrong in his criticisms.

He fails at the start of the meetings because he can't even sing the songs.

He focuses on the WTS but he does not realize that those who make the truth their own do make it their own.

Ronde said...

Anon said:
"Jehovah's Witnesses claim that there have always been Jehovah's Witnesses on earth.
Please see the Reasoning book, page 202. "According to the Bible, the line of witnesses of Jehovah reaches back to Abel."

Until 36CE, all Israelites were Jehovah's Witnesses and the faithful ones prior to Abraham were also considered via Paul in Heb 11,12 the faithful line of witnesses. They did not have the specific name Jehovah's Witnesses, but they had the feeling of being one.


"If you want to see well reasoned and more detailed information on the main points raised by LGB have a look at http://www.jwfacts.com"

That guy is a jerk. The problem with sites like that is that they quote the Watchtower. What about people like me who do not follow the Watchtower.

Governing Body Letters said...

"The point was that there were people faithful to God and his word from the intrinsic statements of God back then."
=================================
I don't get it. Are you being contrary on purpose or do you really believe this stuff?
In any event, witnesses are taught that there was an actual group of Jehovah's witnesses all through history. Furthermore, they also teach that a faithful and discreet slave class was on earth all through history.

"The point was that there were people faithful to God and his word from the intrinsic statements of God back then."

Of course, there were people faithful to God all through history. The point is those people had nothing to do with Jehovah's Witnesses.

Ronde said...

GBLetters said:
"I don't get it."

I know you don't get it.
You don't look for the truth in the right place.

" Are you being contrary on purpose or do you really believe this stuff?"

I noticed that you completely bypassed my explanation of the weeds and wheat.

"In any event, witnesses are taught that there was an actual group of Jehovah's witnesses all through history."

Not true at all. It is that they extend back to Abel. Not that every day there was someone agreeable to Jehovah.

" Furthermore, they also teach that a faithful and discreet slave class was on earth all through history."

Not exactly. We teach (you should put it in the first person not third) that there were the wheat class from the time of the apostles to the time of the harvest as per Jesus' words. But not every day, every year. There were periods of no one.

"'The point was that there were people faithful to God and his word from the intrinsic statements of God back then.'"

"Of course, there were people faithful to God all through history. The point is those people had nothing to do with Jehovah's Witnesses. "

We don't say that they had the name Jehovah's Witnesses, but Jehovah is pleased with them regardless of name.

Governing Body Letters said...

"I noticed that you completely bypassed my explanation of the weeds and wheat."

I didn't bypass it. It's just that it is so completely nutty I decided to leave it alone. I may come back to it. Maybe.

Anonymous said...

'---------------------------------
We'll see. We'll see.'


I'm not gonna drop this one... where did you get your info from? Just admit you repost from other forums.

Ronde said...

GBLetters said:
"I didn't bypass it. It's just that it is so completely nutty I decided to leave it alone. I may come back to it. Maybe."

I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

I have several friends that are elders and they mentioned the reduction in Pioneer hours.. I think the elders are aware of the change coming.

Anonymous said...

Why is 'she' one to be trusted?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, one NOT to be trusted.

Ronde said...

Why is Barbara Anderson one not to be trusted?

She betrayed her brothers and sisters and she sued the congregation.

How much lower can one get?

Anonymous said...

How much HIGHER can one get?

She knew the consequences of telling the truth and she was not afraid to do it. She remained true to herself and that is one of the most courageous things a person can do.

Anonymous said...

All of this can be summed up as "NO, MY VERSION OF CHRISTIANITY IS RIGHT!!"

Ronde said...

Christianity has no versions.

What there is, is people who want to do things their way rather than God's way. JWs do things God's way.

steve said...

JWs dont know what is God's way, unless God keeps changing his mind every few years, to keep in step with the Governing Body.

Ronde said...

Oh, so great and wonderful Steve, please enlighten us.

steve said...

I have no clue what is God's way.

The fact that there are 1000's of religions all claiming to be Christian, all making a case for their belief from the Bible, with devout and good people in every one, is like looking for a particular needle in a haystack made of needles...(would that be a needlestack?)

It has caused me to think that the writer of the Bible is not a very good communicator.

If someone is devout, is a good person, believes sincerely his religion has the truth,and practices it without hypocrisy, then a God who would come along and put him to death for simply not being in the 'right' faith, does not deserve to be worshiped or given respect and is a tyrant.

No one can prove beyond doubt that what they believe is the truth. You would not need faith if that were the case.

I only know the JWs do not have the truth and if it were not for the case that they are a very high control group and damage peoples lives, I would live and let live.

Why do I have to offer something else? There may be nothing else.

Ronde said...

Steve said:
"I have no clue what is God's way."

That is evident.

"The fact that there are 1000's of religions all claiming to be Christian, all making a case for their belief from the Bible,"

No, only a few make that claim.

"It has caused me to think that the writer of the Bible is not a very good communicator."

The Bible is fine, it is the people who have no faith.

"If someone is devout, is a good person, believes sincerely his religion has the truth,and practices it without hypocrisy, then a God who would come along and put him to death for simply not being in the 'right' faith, does not deserve to be worshiped or given respect and is a tyrant."

Why? JWs come to them and give them the truth. It works for us.


"No one can prove beyond doubt that what they believe is the truth. You would not need faith if that were the case."

IT is not about proving, it is about letting the word of God lead you.


"I only know the JWs do not have the truth and if it were not for the case that they are a very high control group and damage peoples lives, I would live and let live."

It is because we are a control group that means we have the truth. Lack of control means that devil has control on them.

"Why do I have to offer something else? There may be nothing else. "

I know you have nothing else.

james said...

This is a common JW response. They are under the illusion that they have all the answers and the absolute truth. When someone rejects what they say the JW says 'well, what else is there'. As the non JW is not under the illusion of thinking he has all the answers the JW takes that as proof that JW's are right. Unfortunately, just because you think you've got the truth, that doesn't mean you actually have. Especially when evidence is ignored or denied to protect that illusion. Others are just honest and realistic enough to say 'No, i don't know for certain what all the answers are'. That doesn't mean JW's win the arguement by default just because they think they have the truth.

Ronde said...

James,
You are a JW, what is your response?
Don't you feel that you have the answers and the truth, afterall you are taking it from the Bible?

Well, what else is there?

james said...

Ronde, i'm not a JW anymore, i was disfellowshipped for apostasy. I don't believe the bible has the answers because alot of it is nonsense, the Genesis flood for one. What else is there? As i've said before, reality.

jimfisher007 said...

Was there really a great flood?

Stories of a gre­at ancient flood pervade the mythology of hundreds of cultures. We­sterners might be most familiar with the story of Noah told in the Old Testament book of Genesis, but a great flood is reported in folklore from cultures around the world, from the Middle East to the Americas, India, China and Southern Asia to name just a few.

An ancient Babylonian flood myth, the Epic of Gilgamesh, tells us a story analogous to that of Noah and his ark.
American Indian legends also tell of people taking shelter in a boat to be saved from a flood. The stories go on and on, and scholars have noted similarities among accounts. Scientists have a few theories to suggest that yes, perhaps, there was.

The scientific community doesn't wholly doubt the possibility of a great flood.

There are two scientific theories in existence, one suggesting flooding around the area that is now the Black Sea and the other attributing devastating floods to a comet that struck the Earth. Let's first look at the more popular hypothesis: the flooding of the Black Sea, also known as Noah's Flood Hypothesis.

In the late 1990s, Columbia University geologists William Ryan and Walter Pitman proposed that a great flood in the Middle East resulted from rising water levels at the end of the last Ice Age about 7,000 years ago. At that time, the Black Sea was a freshwater lake and the lands around it were farmlands. When the European glaciers melted, the Mediterranean Sea overflowed with a force 200 times greater than that of Niagara Falls, converting the Black Sea from fresh to saltwater and flooding the area.

National Geographic Society explorer Robert Ballard, inspired by Ryan and Pitman's hypothesis, has discovered supporting physical evidence, including an underwater river valley and ancient shoreline as well as Stone Age structures and tools beneath the Black Sea. His team has also unearthed fossils of now-extinct freshwater species dating back some 7,460.

While this theory is still being reviewed, Bruce Masse, an environmental archaeologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, put forth his own theory about the great flood. He hypothesizes that more comets and meteors than we know have hit Earth throughout its history. He believes the seeds of great flood stories may have sprouted when a comet hit our planet about 5,000 years ago.

Masse's presumption is that a 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) wide comet crashed into the ocean off the coast of what is now Madagascar. The result? Worldwide chaos, including violent 600-foot (182.8-meter) high tsunamis and massive hurricanes spawned when superheated water vapor and aerosol particulates shot into jet streams. All of this terror was accompanied by a week of darkness caused by material expelled into the atmosphere.

Masse's theory derives from clues in cultural flood myths, including ancient petroglyphs, drawings and historical records, but it's the physical evidence he's after to make the case. Since Masse presented his idea in 2004, he's found support in the geological community.



The Bible has always been proven correct by Scientist and Archeologist.

You are a pitiful person.

Reality, in everyday usage, means "the state of things as they actually exist." In a sense it is what is real. The term reality, in its widest sense, includes everything that is, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. Reality in this sense includes being and sometimes is considered to include nothingness, where existence is often restricted to being.

I can't see the wind or gravity, but i see it's results.

Even the History Channel poved that a global flood was possible!

Selfish people do not want to answer to a higher power.