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Switch to Forum Live View What is your final authority
2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 4:21AM #1
DNT
Posts: 1,514
A while back i said that jw do not hold the Bible as there highest authority, i was basically told i was a liar. So i would like to ask jw and none jw, what do they consider is the highest authority a human being can go to in the search for the understanding of God and why.
1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
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2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 4:38AM #2
Newtonian
Posts: 11,954

DNT - When I responded to you on this, I said that since you are not one of Jehovah's Witnesses, you could be deceived - but as you were quoting someone who was one of Jehovah's Witnesses - that one was lying - not you.   That is because all actual Jehovah's Witnesses are taught only the Bible is inspired of God and infallible - not any human literature certainly including our literature - which is, btw, written by humans.


I have repeatedly quoted our literature on this - but as it keeps coming up I am glad you started a thread on this.


Here is one very recent quote as an example - from our book on Acts - commenting on Acts 17:11 and context:


"Though the Beroeans were hearing something new, they were not suspicious or harshly critical; neither were they gullible. First, they listened carefully to what Paul had to say. Then, they verified what they had learned by turning to the Scriptures, which Paul had opened up to their understanding. Moreover, they diligently studied the Word of God, not just on the Sabbath, but daily. And they did so with great "eagerness of mind," devoting themselves to finding out what the Scriptures revealed in light of this new teaching. Then, they proved humble enough to make changes, for "many of them became believers." (Acts 17:12) No wonder Luke describes them as "noble-minded"!


17 Little did those Beroeans realize that the record of their reaction to the good news would be preserved in God’s Word as a shining example of spiritual noble-mindedness. They did precisely what Paul had hoped they would do and what Jehovah God wanted them to do. Likewise, it is what we encourage people to do—to examine the Bible carefully so that their faith is solidly based on God’s Word. After we become believers, though, does the need to be noble-minded come to an end? On the contrary, it becomes ever more important that we be eager to learn from Jehovah and quick to apply his teachings. In that way, we allow Jehovah to mold us and train us according to his will. (Isa. 64:8) We thus remain useful and fully pleasing to our heavenly Father. - ""Bearing Thorough Witness" - About God's Kingdom," 2009, pp. 137-138


The Scriptural counsel being discussed:


(Acts 17:11) Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·ni′ca, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.


This has always been our belief, going way back to Brother Russell's time!


"Jehovah’s Witnesses greatly appreciate their Bible study aids, including The Watchtower, and they use these regularly. But they know that none of them take the place of the Bible itself. Back in 1909, Charles Taze Russell, the first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, wrote to readers of the Watch Tower magazine: “Never forget that the Bible is our Standard and that however God-given our helps may be they are ‘helps’ and not substitutes for the Bible.”


3


The inspired Scriptures have a depth and a force that no other book has. “The word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and their marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) The disciple Luke warmly commended people of Beroea, calling them “more noble-minded.” They not only eagerly received the word as preached by the apostle Paul and his associate Silas but also ‘carefully examined the Scriptures daily’ to determine the Scriptural basis for what was being taught.—Acts 17:11." - "The Watchtower," 5/1/95, pp. 13-14.


Now there are ones who lie out there who have stated we believe the opposite - thank you for asking for verification as to what we actually believe!  


Moderated by nanalulu222 on May 22, 2012 - 09:14AM
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2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 5:06AM #3
Newtonian
Posts: 11,954

Denis - Of course, our website accurately represents our beliefs - while anti-witness websites are filled with inaccurate statements about our beliefs.   We do know what we believe - and here is a list of our primary beliefs along with a few Scriptural reasons for those beliefs:


www.watchtower.org/e/jt/index.htm


The first two beliefs on the chart:'

WHAT JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES BELIEVE
BeliefScriptural Reason
Bible is God's Word and is truth 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21; John 17:17
Bible is more reliable than tradition Matt. 15:3; Col. 2:8

 


The last belief on the chart:

Christians gladly give public testimony to Scriptural truth Rom. 10:10; Heb. 13:15; Isa. 43:10-12

Many misconceptions about our beliefs are solved by referencing our website - you will accurately see points we actually agree on as well as points we may actually disagree on.


It eliminates the waste of time in arguing against beliefs some think we believe - when the truth is quite the opposite and we may actually believe the same as the one arguing against beliefs we do not actually believe!


Of course, there are cases where we basically believe the same - e.g. that Jesus died for our sins (John 3:16) whereas we may disagree on whether the person Jesus actually died (which we believe, btw - but some believe only Jesus' body died and his soul {=person} lived on.) [cp. Isaiah 53:12 - Jesus poured out his soul unto death]


It is very important that we agree the Bible is the highest authority - since 2 Timothy 3:16 shows we can then set matters straight on many Scriptural subjects by study of the Bible on these subjects.


This is why we offer our free home Bible study course - which offer is on our website also, btw!


And, yes, as brother Russell did, we do use 'Bible helps' or Bible study aids - but these never take the place of our Standard - the Bible!


Btw - here is the Bible help/aid we usually use in our free home Bible study course:'


www.watchtower.org/e/bh/article_00.htm


On this thread's theme, see especially this chapter on our view of the Bible itself as the Word of God:


www.watchtower.org/e/bh/article_02.htm

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2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 9:39AM #4
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

If it's left to me to decide what my final authority is, then obviously that authority is myself, because I am of necessity the final decision maker. And therein lies the fly in the ointment of any revelation-based epistemology, because except where mandated by law and threats of coercion, faith in this, that or what some other fellow said is a free choice by definition.


Now here's the sticky question. Does my final authority give me authority over you and your final authority? Does yours give you authority over me & mine? This seems to be the main bone of contention in the game of scripture-quote upmanship, otherwise known as proof text poker. And it goes nowhere because there is no one final authority when it comes to what the Bible really means and teaches. Unfortunately, there are approximately 38,000 final authorities on that topic alone, and for the most part they're not even on speaking terms with each other.


Onward, Christian squabblers!

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2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 10:18AM #5
marken
Posts: 3,695

a few years  ago,  I  thought  I  was  my highest  authority.  Then  Jehovah's  Witnesses  convinced  me  that  I  should  at  least  look  at  what  the  scriptures  teach.   I  began  to  realize  that  I  made  many mistakes,  that  I  often  sinned  against  myself  and  others, and  the  only  way  that  I  could  be  forgiven  for  these  mistakes  was  to  put  faith in  Jesus John 3:16,  and  then  learn what  the  will  of  Jehovah  is.   When  I  now  learn  that  the  scriptures  say  to  do  or not  to  do  something,  then  I  have  to  inculcate  that  command  into my  conscience, until  I  want  to  do  what  it  says.  I  realized  that  Jesus  said  that  the  good  news of  his  kingdom  would  be  preached in  all  the  inhabited  earth  and  that  I  must  try  to  do  this.  No, it  isn't easy  as  some  do  just  look  up  on  it  as  squabbling  when  I  try  to tell  them  that  soon  Jesus, as  a  mighty  King,  will  destroy  wickedness  and  that  he is  giving us  all  opportunity now  to  study  the  scriptures  and  put  our  faith  in him  and  do  the  will of  his  father.  Soon  that  opportunity  will  end so  I encourage  you  all now  to  study  the  scriptures  as  encouraged  by  Newtonian's post.  Every  command  of  the  scriptures  that  you  obey,  will  be  a  blessing  to  you.  Jehovah  never  makes  mistakes.  We  do!!


with affection  from  Marken

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2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 10:23AM #6
Kemmer
Posts: 16,219

... Every  command  of  the  scriptures  that  you  obey,  will  be  a  blessing  to  you.  Jehovah  never  makes  mistakes...



So it's OK to eat clams  and oysters now?  And God doesn't care anymore if I wear silk/linen shirts?

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2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 10:28AM #7
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

May 22, 2012 -- 10:23AM, Kemmer wrote:


... Every  command  of  the  scriptures  that  you  obey,  will  be  a  blessing  to  you.  Jehovah  never  makes  mistakes...



So it's OK to eat clams  and oysters now?  And God doesn't care anymore if I wear silk/linen shirts?




And slaughter a few Canaanites while you're up, wil ya?

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2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 5:01PM #8
DNT
Posts: 1,514

May 22, 2012 -- 9:39AM, cherubino wrote:

If it's left to me to decide what my final authority is, then obviously that authority is myself, because I am of necessity the final decision maker. And therein lies the fly in the ointment of any revelation-based epistemology, because except where mandated by law and threats of coercion, faith in this, that or what some other fellow said is a free choice by definition.


Now here's the sticky question. Does my final authority give me authority over you and your final authority? Does yours give you authority over me & mine? This seems to be the main bone of contention in the game of scripture-quote upmanship, otherwise known as proof text poker. And it goes nowhere because there is no one final authority when it comes to what the Bible really means and teaches. Unfortunately, there are approximately 38,000 final authorities on that topic alone, and for the most part they're not even on speaking terms with each other.


Onward, Christian squabblers!


Hey cherubino


I actually understand what you mean here, and it is a very interesting and indeed accurate that ultimately it is a free choice.


But i don't understand exactly what you mean about 38.000 final authorities, if you mean all the different denominations, i sort of understand why it would put you of Christianity, but if you have read the Bible you would see that the reason Paul was traveling to and throw from church meeting to church meeting was because that deception was creeping in to the Church from the very start, also God said that in the end days the world would be full of false Christianity,when you look at the church in Rome they were one of the soundest congregations, however, savage wolves crept in and they gradually were filled with pagan influences to such a point where this "church" could no longer be called Christian, this is the catholic church today, but if you look at the 7 churches in Revelations, they all started off good and sound, but they ended up being infiltrated by false teachers. Now this does not mean that every person in theses different denominations, are unsaved, the Bible talks about God sorting the sheep from the goats, this means eventually they will see the deceit of the false teachers and find a church that has the truth.


Now getting back to your point about it being ultimately your own decision, well that is true but what do you actually believe in, ie do you believe that aliens put us here, do you believe we came from nothing etc etc, you see there can only be one ultimate truth and i believe it to be the Bible, i say this because it stands up to every test you can think of, it has been found historically correct, scientifically correct, morally correct and most importantly prophetically correct, nothing has been produced to discredit it, or found it wrong in any thing, so logic dictates that the rest of it is truth, and as you said your choice determines what happens to us after death, heaven or hell, that's what it ultimately boils down to. This is why all the arguments, and why people don't like the Bible, because as you said in the middle of your post, i believe that the Bible is the ultimate authority, and it says that a person must be saved and it is Christians duty to warn of the perils of ignoring the Bible and the sacrifice Jesus did for us, so yes if the Bible is the ultimate truth then my authority is above what ever your authority is, but i my self have no authority over any one, Gods authority is above every authority because he is the creator of all things even you.


God Bless You


Denis. 


 

1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
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2 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 5:42PM #9
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

Hey Denis,


I was a freakin' Trappist monk for five and a half years, and prior to that I graduated from the top ranked Catholic prep school in the U.S. I have read the Bible cover-to-cover. By the time I was 25, I had more formal theology and scripture study under my belt than most Christians learn in a lifetime, and 48 years later I can still sing the Pater Noster in Gregorian chant. So preach away, my good man, but please don't talk down to me. I'm your equal in every respect.

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2 years ago  ::  May 23, 2012 - 11:09AM #10
Truthwillset
Posts: 1,267

May 22, 2012 -- 5:01PM, DNT wrote:


"...i believe it to be the Bible, i say this because it stands up to every test you can think of, it has been found historically correct, scientifically correct, morally correct and most importantly prophetically correct, nothing has been produced to discredit it, or found it wrong in any thing, so logic dictates that the rest of it is truth..."




Wow, that's a doozy...

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