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Do the Bible Students have a governing body?

Here is the Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

Although the Bible Students are few in numbers, they are spread all over the world—America, Canada, England, France, Germany, Lithania, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, India, Africa, Brazil, South America, etc.. . . .Generally, when possible, they are gathered together in “ecclesias.” This word “ecclesia” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is a compound of  “a calling out” and translated “church” in most common versions of the New Testament (Strong’s Concordance #1577).

Does the Bible Students Movement have a governing body? If not, why not?

The Bible Students do not have a governing body.  As far as the Scriptures go, there has only been one governing body: the Apostles. And they were really only set up as a group for the foundation and establishment of the Church.  They were NOT to lord it over the members of the Church, but rather begin the instruction of it as Jesus and God had taught them. “…not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but as being examples to the flock….” 1 Pet. 1:3.  Such lording over the brethren was one of the earliest mistakes in the church and soundly condemned as being of the Nicolaitans in Revelation. (Rev 2:6)

The Apostles never claimed to a monopoly of the teaching nor of the pastoral work.  Paul, in fact, described the many talents among the brethren for which they alone were responsible to exercise in Eph. 4:11-15, and 1 Cor. 12:28, 29.

No one should limit our personal responsibilities to examine the Scriptures and to prove what is truth for ourselves.  To do so would be to disobey many Scriptural injunctions to examine the teachings from others to see if they square with what we already know to be true from the Bible.  The Bereans were commended for such caution and conscience before the Lord (Acts 17:10, 11).

Nowhere in the Bible is there authority given for any outside group of the various local ecclesias (churches / study groups).  There was no apostolic succession authorized and only the original 12 (Judas having been replaced by Paul, appointed directly by the Lord) were ever authorized in such a role.  Mark. 3:14, Rev. 21:12-14; 2:2

In fact, the early Church was given instruction how to handle their own affairs by electing, locally, elders and deacons to serve them, in Timothy and in Titus, with such qualifications outlined that the Church is thus responsible to monitor its leaders spiritual growth and behaviors as would benefit all.  In the case of conflict, our Lord outlines in Matt. 18:15-17, specific actions to take which do not include any outside the local ecclesia.

We realize that the “governing body” of the JWs doesn’t claim apostolic authority, but their actions and ruling, and indeed, the very term “governing” belie the lack of such a claim.  Even our elders and deacons are mere servants of the greater body and are subject to review on a regular basis for their own character’s benefit as well as the Church’s.

As Bible Students, we believe each and every individual is responsible for his or her own doctrinal belief, character development, and support of every other individual.  It isn’t as easy as having some greater [human] power telling us what to think and do, but then, we have great privilege to learn of Jehovah how to conduct our affairs in order to glorify Him.  Jehovah has provided us with the tools needed for our personal Christian growth, including the Bible, Holy Spirit and the prayer relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ.  These tools are also to aid in the support and encouragment of all the body members of the Christ.

contributed by L.L.

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47 comments to Do the Bible Students have a governing body?

  • David Garcia

    Thank You! I’ll take it from here.

  • I’ve been studying your teachings and believe in how you understand the bible. I’d like to know more about being in touch with you. Thanks!

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Hello and Welcome David.

      I’m not sure what to say in response to your request because I’m not exactly sure what specifically it is you might have in mind that you’re wanting.

      I’d like to at least welcome you here, and encourage you to explore the content and opportunities that are available here. Hopefully you’ve seen the “Conference Calls” and “Studies” links at the top of the page.

      If you’re wanting interchange, feel free to post your comments, questions, or concerns on the “Ask Jacqueline” page.

      -greg

  • RICHARD TAZZYMAN

    Hello Barry,have sent you a e/mail with my particulars & am looking forward to hearing from you .Jehovah does have people on this earth,& they are the same as the Ist century Christians.We are bible students,we had the truth long before the JWs started under Judge Rutherford,who started to water down & add false teachings to the truths that had been revealed to Pastor Russell.We have not died out as the witnesses teach,we are here,we have meetings,we have conventions all without the help of a man made Organization,& the Most high has looked after us.God bless.Richard

  • Anonymous

    Second to last paragraph on the word governing. Is that something bad? Is it wrong to have a human or humans give direction on what we should do? Look at the last sentence.

    We have been given tools. Why? How did we get them? And who told us we should do something with them? What should we do with them?

    They are an aid to support and encourage. Just trying to understand your thoughts here. No human gave us these tools? And no human supports and encourages another human? Because it would mean directing another human to go in a different or same pattern as you think, would it not?

  • Richard

    Hello JACQUELINE,lIKE YOU I AM A EX WITNESS WHO SPENT NEARLY FIFTY YEARS IN A ORG THAT WAS EMPTY OF CHRISTS LOVE.TIME &TIME AGAIN I SAW SO MUCH SPIRITUAL ABUSE BY THE ELDERS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO SHEPPARD THE FLOCK WITH KINDNESS.I PIONEERED SINCE LEAVING SCHOOL UNTILL I WAS MARRIED.MY WIFE WAS BORN A WITNESS AND ALSO SERVED AS A PIONEER,ALL MY FAMILY WERE WITNESSES SERVING IN DIFFERENT CONGREGATIONS.AFTER SO MUCH HEART ACHE & DISAPOINTMENT WE LEFT.NEARLY TEN YEARS IN A SPIRITUAL VACCUM & AT THE END OF MY SEARCHING I FOUND NOTHING,SO IN DESPERATION I PRAYED TO JEHOVAH FOR HELP & THAT SAME WEEK I FOUND MY WAY TO THE BIBLE STUDENTS VIA THE INTERNET,WENT TO A CONVENTION IN AUSTRALIA,& KNEW THAT I HAD FOUND THE TRUTH THAT SETS YOU FREE.PLEASE E/MAIL ME SO WE CAN SHARE OUR EXPERIENCES.Your brother in CHRIST,Richard

    • Jacqueline

      Richard my brother and sister, I know how you feel when you find the truth and all of the pressure is gone. Come to the “Ask Jacqueline tab and tell us more about your new experiences. Others witnesses will be encouraged by it. They will see that JW are not the only one with the basic core doctrine of truth. They have mislead us about the BS. Many are finding them, and wonder how could they tell us they disappeared?
      See you on Ask Jacqueline. In Christ Jacqueline

    • Barry

      Hi Richard.
      I read your commeni on the BS Website, just to let you know what I’m about, first of all I’m more or lest an inactive JW sometimes I go to the meetings but I’m not that happy, I’m not so shore about some of the study articles in the Watchtower. What I would like to know how do I find the Bible Students in Australia and I would like to go to a convention. I hope you can help me. Kind Regards Barry

      • Jacqueline (Bible student)

        Barry, please put your contact information on the contact form. I will get in touch with Richard and pass it on to him and also let him know you are talking to him on the site. Take Care

        PS> Barry I sent your email to Br. Tazzyman and he knows you are speaking to him on the site when he gets the email.

  • Thanks for Liberty

    What has Bible study and religion done for humanity?

    What is THE WORD OF GOD? Is it correct to claim that the Bible is the word of God or ONLY contain some revelations, and dealings with humans?
    Are not other writings “All scripture inspired of God and beneficial…?
    What of the natural law of absolute right OBSERVED IN studying, and harmonizing THE knowledge, wisdom acquired from considering God (who created “ALL THINGS IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH” INCLUDING HUMANS)?
    Is the Bible not limited as to knowledge of God’s WORD, revelations of his NAME–really God’s character, reputation, knowledge and dealings sooo much more GRAND and we can know it if we seek, ask for, and knock. God through is power of spirit does reveal what we need. Humanity sure is short of any Godly sense! Pleas everyone everywhere WAKE UP and quit beating the dead horse, Bible and use wisdom that can be salvaged to BUILD ON!

  • Super-Duper web site! I’m loving it!! Will arrive again once more – taking you feeds also, Thanks.
    Hello. Good task. I didn’t anticipate this on a Wednesday. This is really a good story. Thanks!

  • Hi there, I discovered your weblog through Google although searching for first support for a coronary heart assault along with your post
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