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Does the Bible support a Jehovah’s Witnesses Governing Body?

The Watch Tower Society originally used the term “governing body” in a strict legal sense, and in fact, used the term quite sparingly.  As stated in the Watchtower, it was not until “the year 1944 the Watchtower magazine began to speak about the governing body of the Christian congregation (italics theirs).” (Watchtower, Dec. 15, 1971, p. 755)  Since the 1950s, the term would frequently be used to refer to the first century, making assertions such as, “The apostle Paul belonged to the governing body in the first century” (Watchtower, April 15, 1951, p. 235 par. 7) without citing any scriptural backup. On the other hand, the magazine described the modern day “Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, [as] the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1950, p. 10 par. 2)

Election of Leaders by Congregation Voting.  In the Early Church, brethren met in various cities—Jerusalem, Antioch, Corinth, Thessonalica—and even in homes (Acts 11:22:13:1; 1Corinthians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; Romans 16:5; Colossians 4:15).  Each ecclesia (church group) was autonomous electing its  own leaders, its own “Elders—those not necessarily advanced in age, but mature in character.

Acts 14:23 “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”

How did they “ordain” their leaders?  The Greek for “ordained” is “cheirotoneo from a comparative of NT:5495 and teino (to stretch); to be a hand-reacher or voter (by raising the hand).” (Strong’s #5500).  Early Christians had the responsibility of voting for their Elders by the stretching forth of their hands!

Twelve Apostles not Succeeded in Authority. The twelve Apostles were chosen directly by Jesus, but they had no replacements except, of course, Paul replaced Judas.  Just as Jesus selected the original twelve, he selected Paul as a replacement (Acts 9:15).   The other Apostles were well meaning, but premature in selecting the replacement Apostle themselves (Acts 1:26).  Inspired by God, they were the “twelve stars” crowning  the head of the Early Church (Revelation 12:1); also identified the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem (Acts 21:14).  It would be hard to imagine that Paul as the greatest of the Apostles, would not be numbered among this special group of twelve.  There was no “apostolic succession” of any kind for a body of leadership authority through the Christian Age.

The only time one ecclesia recommended a ruling to the brethren at large was when a Jerusalem counsel decided that the Gentile brethren should not be forced to circumcise.   And, of course, at that time, there were actual Apostles in the ecclesia of Jerusalem making that recommendation [decree] to “abstain from meat offered to idols…” (Acts 15:22-29).

The independence of the Early Church is attested to by the fact that there were factions among the Corinthian brethren, some following either Paul, Peter or Apollos.  Paul said in 1 Cor 3:6-7, “I planted, A-pol’los watered, but God kept making it grow; so that neither is he that plants anything nor is he that waters, but God who makes it grow.” NWT.  Paul humbly said that He and Apollos were not anything.  Paul did not rule over the brethren.  In 1 Thes 2:7 he said, ” we became gentle in the midst of YOU, as when a nursing mother cherishes her own children.” NWT

Alas, as prophetically predicted, very soon the Christian Church evolved into dividing between “clergy” and “laity.”  (Acts 20:29; Matt 13:25; Rev 2:20; 1 Jn 2:18; 2 Thes 2:3)  On the one hand, some grasping for power took advantage of those ready to let go of their responsibility of electing their own leadership. Gradually a tower of authority built up with priests, bishops and finally a “pope.”  Again, the responsibility for decisions and authority to choose leader in the Ecclesia  rests with the congregation.

Qualifications for Leadership as Basis for Voting. While the Apostle Paul said the Ecclesia is to submit to and obey those which have “rule over you” (Hebrews 13:7, 17)—Paul also laid guidelines for selecting and voting for those who in the first place would be acceptable leader as an overseer!

When Paul gave Titus the responsibility for instructing new Ecclesias in Crete for organizing their leadership—he certainly was consistent with what he arranged earlier (Acts 14:23). “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain (elect) elders in every city, as I had appointed thee” (Titus 1:5).

Each congregation was responsible for electing Elders who qualified. He then laid out the qualifications for evaluation by the Ecclesia members quite clearly:

  • Above reproach (Titus 1:6);
  • Husband of one wife with children not unruly;
  • Not self-willed, quick-tempered or addicted to wine;
  • No striker; not given to filthy lucre (Titus 1:7);
  • Hospitable, sensible, just, self-controlled (Titus 1:8);
  • Holding fast the faithful word; able to exhort in sound doctrine (1:9)

In his letter to Timothy, Apostle Paul similarly lines up the qualifications for voting for overseers:

  • Blameless, the husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:1,2):
  • Vigilant, sober, of good beheaviore, givento hospitality:
  • Apt to teach (1 Timothy 3:2);
  • Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre;
  • Patient, not a brawler, not covetous (1 Timothy 3:3);
  • Having his children in subjection with all gravity (1 Timothy 3:4);
  • Not a notive  (1 Timothy 3:7);
  • Of good report of them which are without (1 Timothy 3:7)

Individual Responsibility for Raising the Hand in Voting. Thus, the Ecclesia is given criteria for voting wisely and determining Jehovah’s will for the the selection of their teachers and instructors.  Congregations do NOT need to have an outside authoritative body of leaders to tell them what to do and what to think and what to change for “new light.”

Each member is responsible for attempting to determine the LORD’s will and expressing it in voting by the raising of his/her hand.  So Bible Students base their leadership selection—as well as activity selections—by the voting of the Ecclesia.

MORE ON ELECTION OF ELDERS BY VOTE

According to the Bible, the election of elders was practiced in the Early Church.  The eventual elimination of this practice gradually led to Elders becoming the Lord’s of the Church, rather than its servants and opened the way for the development of the Antichrist system.

Paul and Barnabas went around to all the churches and conducted the election of Elders.

Acts 14: 23 – And in every Church, after prayer and fasting, they selected Elders by show of hands, and commended them to the Lord on whom their faith rested.  –  Weymouth

Rotherham and Young’s Literal translation say, “appointed to them by vote elders in every assembly.”

RVIC Revised Version Improved and Corrected says, “elected elders.”

In 2 Corinthians Paul speaks of a brother who was elected by the churches to travel with him:

2 Cor 8:19 – … he is the one who was chosen by the vote of the Churches to travel with us… – Weymouth

In another example, we recall that the Apostles asked the Jerusalem Church to select seven deacons.

Acts 6:3  Therefore, brethren, pick out from among yourselves seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, and we will appoint them to undertake this duty.   Weymouth

Who would have challenged the Apostles had they exerted their influence to appoint deacons themselves.  Yet instead they humbly asked the Ecclesia to make this selection.

OUR LIBERTY IN CHRIST

Romans 14:4  Who are you to judge the house servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand. – NWT

2 Tim 2:7 – 7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – NKJV

Gal 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.   NKJV

Gal 5:13 – For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  NKJV

2Co 3:17 –  …where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.   NWT

John 8:31, 32 – And so Jesus went on to say to the Jews that had believed him: “If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples, and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free.  NWT

DO BIBLE STUDENTS HAVE A GOVERNING BODY?

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214 comments to Does the Bible support a Jehovah’s Witnesses Governing Body?

  • Why is the Bible the authority whether or not there is to be a GB?

    Why not Christ being that authority? He is not dead, you know. How about praying to the Father – as Jesus directed us to – and asking Him?

    BTW, He is not dead either. Ask Him! I did!

    The answer received was loud and clear: He has not authorized the establishment of any religious system on earth in which His people are to go into.

    His people would be like his Son, who was not a part of any religious organization or a part of this world. Jesus was “without” religious association and membership to any religious organization.

    A city of refuge will come in the future, but has not arrived yet. When it comes, it will not rise up out of the ashes of is world, but will come from above. (Hebrews 13:14)

  • Wyatt

    Hi all concerned..I tried to follow the u tube link of RAY FRANZ but it says no longer available? Can someone help with that? Many thanks.
    W.

  • Wild Olive

    A point on the authority of the watchtower GB compared to what’s in the Bible.
    It’s been claimed by the Jw leaders and various other groups ,as has been pointed out on previous posts,that the decisions reached by the Jerusalem GB was something they came to under Gods direction,but if you examine the details this GB couldn’t make a correct discision without the input of the apostles who were the ones that had the true gifts of the spirit.
    Starting in Acts 11:1-3 Peter goes to Jerusalem to the apostles and older men,verse 2 says that AMONG this group where ones who contended with Peter over the issue of circumcision,these are meant to be the model of the modern GB,Peter then explained the Gentiles where now receiving the spirit and in verse 18 “they aquiesced” and changed their mind.
    So the question I want to introduce in here is,if the Jerusalem GB couldn’t work out what the situation was with the Gentiles,was God actually “directing” them?
    It doesn’t finish there,in Acts15:1it comes up again,if you follow the commentary you can see that Jews came toAntioch to dispute with Paul and Barnabas,FROM JUDEA,they now arranged for everyone to go back to Jerusalem to sort out the dispute.So again some of these in this historic GB still didn’t get it when it came to the Gentiles,are they directed by Holy Spirit,not yet it seems.
    So now back at Jerusalem ,only after Peter,Paul and Barnabas explain again,do they now get it and then come to the descision that became part of Christian conduct.
    My point of this is that this Ancient GB couldn’t make a descision without the input of its travelling overseers,so if the modern GB is following the biblical model,can you imagine three circuit overseers walking into Bethel New York and telling them they’ve got it wrong and need to change their minds and come under the advice of the three circuit overseers,I doubt it.

  • Brettstone

    The Scripture do indicate that the Apostles had some kind of authority! Wether or not as a Governing Body or not is simply I believe an argument of words. Call it what you want but the Apostles had authority over the congregations!

    2 Thes 3:9 “Not that we do not have authority”, but we wanted to offer ourselves as an example for you to imitate.

    Kingdom Interlinear 2Th 3:9 οὐχnot ὅτιthat οὐκnot ἔχομενwe are having ἐξουσίαν,authority, ἀλλ’but ἵναin order that ἑαυτοὺςselves τύπονtype δῶμενwe might give ὑμῖνto YOU εἰςinto τὸthe μιμεῖσθαιto be imitating ἡμᾶς.us.

    Byington 2Th 3:9 not that we do not have a right, but in order that we might give ourselves as a model for you to imitate.

    American Standard Version 2Th 3:9 not because we have not the right, but to make ourselves and ensample unto you, that ye should imitate us.

    King James Version 2Th 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

  • Brettstone

    Interestingly this statement in the above article diminishes the authority behind the Apostles, here is how.
    “The only time one ecclesia RECOMMENDED a ruling to the brethren at large was when a Jerusalem counsel decided that the Gentile brethren should not be forced to circumcise. And, of course, at that time, there were actual Apostles in the ecclesia of Jerusalem making that recommendation to “abstain from meat offered to idols…” (Acts 15:22-29).

    The apostles didn’t RECOMMEND! They made a decision and sent the disciples with DECREES, in other words a legal authoritative command Acts 16:4…..

    Now I’m not sure about the original Greek word here translated as DEREES but I do know the definition of the word decree and that’s much different than a recommendation which I think minimizes or attempts to take the authority out of this situation. Again I’m not saying there was the existence of a governing body or that there is today, because these were the Apostles we are talking about but please do not relegate their authority to a minor suggestion!!

    • Brettstone

      Kingdom Interlinear Ac 16:4 ὩςAs δὲbut διεπορεύοντοthey were going through τὰςthe πόλεις,cities, παρεδίδοσανthey were giving beside αὐτοῖςto them φυλάσσεινto be guarding τὰthe δόγματαdecrees τὰthe κεκριμέναhaving been judged ὑπὸby τῶνthe ἀποστόλωνapostles καὶand πρεσβυτέρωνolder men τῶνthe (ones) ἐνin Ἰεροσολύμοις.

      Jerusalem. Byington Ac 16:4 And as they went on through the cities they passed word to them to live up to the resolutions voted by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.

      American Standard Version Ac 16:4 And as they went on their way through the cities, they delivered them the decrees to keep which had been ordained of the apostles and elders that were at Jerusalem.

      King James Version Ac 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

      • Jacqueline

        Brettstone, great scriptures. We have always insisted that it was the Apostles and elders not a closed secret meeting body of men. It seems from the scripture that many others were there or at least we know they were there to choose the ones that took the message. The GB of Jehovah Witnesses meets in closed quarters. The whole association of brothers including women had received the “Anointing” of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They were of the body of which the Apostles is the foundation but all of the apostles might not have even been there if they were a governing body. Just how I have been able to reason this out.
        Acts 15:22 NWT “Then the Apostles and the older men together with the whole congregation favored sending chosen men…..”. 23- “They sent Letters”. These men sent were not a separate class from the other brothers, they just had a written and oral record of what was decided. Today the Postal service or email might have been the method. Just my thoughts.
        I just read the book “The Early Church Fathers” and it seems to indicate that the Apostles that walked with Jesus had great authority and even if you were one that knew a man that knew say Paul or Peter, you were sought out to help give discussions. So Jesus association was the key. Even some of the women that traveled with him wrote epistles of things he said.
        So to me it seems it was those with direct connection to Jesus that was the early fathers concern to get as close to the truth as possible. They weren’t forming a tribunal as according to this book they were scattered all over and traveled. The different apostles were reported kill in different parts of the world as they “discipled” as Jesus told them. He never told them to sit in Jerusalem and issue decrees as a governingbody. They were to be on the move. Acts 1:8
        The “Great Apostasy” was first to form bishops, then tribunals of authority. It seems the governingbody would want to stay away from that.
        Acts 16:4 I noticed one of your quotes said “voted” but it doesn’t exclude the congregation or say just a small group of apostles.

        • Brettstone

          Nice point made in Acts 15:22 the ecclesia was included in this part of the decision. Sister it sure is nice to have such open discussions is it not? And not be told we should not “speculate” but that we should “wait on the slave” my blood boils every time that statement is made and it is made often as I’m sure you can recall.

          • Jacqueline

            I was going to say the same thing about being able to reason and talk to someone without feeling you will face the brothers for reasoning out a thing. It is also nice to have a person that is reasoning back, it sharpens us.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Brettstone – I am not one to quickly throw up the white flag and surrender, however you are right and I am wrong. Yes, it was a decree by the Apostles, not a recommendation. So I inserted the word “decree” in brackets beside the word “recommendation.”

      I would say that this Jerusalem council is the only example that I am aware of on record of a decree by the Apostles. I am not saying they never made any other decree, however I think they counted more on reasoning by scripture and persuasion and counting on the holy spirit to guide the brethren to respect their authority. I think that in the early Church we don’t generally find the Apostles inflicting punishment on those who disagreed, but rather usually reasoning and persuading the majority in the congregation. In Corinth there were divisions where some followed “Apollos,” who was not even an Apostle. Not a good thing; however Paul rebuked them for the divisions in general and encouraged them to appreciate what Christ, Peter, Paul and Apollos contributed to their congregation. In 1 Thess 2:7 (NASV) Paul said, “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.” Paul may have had authority, however he went overboard to win the brethren over and not come across as a bully.

      Thanks Brettstone. I love your contributions!

      • Brettstone

        Peter
        I appreciate your humility and reconsidering that statement. And I whole heartedly agree with your comments. Definitely there is no evidence of the Apostles using this Authority they possessed, the way the JW governing body uses it today. Nor is there any evidence that they went beyond just simply reasoning on scripture and by means of respect the congregations followed these decrees. I would say Actss 15, 16 and Matthew 24:45-47 (if the GB makes up the Slave Class??) do not indicate the type of authority that exists in the JW organization today. And I believe it has changed rapidly over the last 20+ yrs. Matt 24:45-47 indicates this slave would provide food at the proper time not control every simple statement of faith and conscious. The account at Acts 15 doesn’t tell which Apostles were involved or who these Elders were but simply demonstrates the unity in faith to move past possible stumbling blocks by reasoning on the scriptures and being lead by Holy Spirit.

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Brettstone. Well said. I agree with you. Thanks.

        • Jacqueline

          Brettstone, I agree with your statement that it has changed rapidly over the last 20+ years. I wasn’t aware of it until about 2000 although I was married to an elder. He was well aware he said. I advised the brothers in 2004 that I could no longer carry the mags from door to door unless I was able to cut out certain pages. (pages said if you don’t agree with what the GB says you are free to leave the org. I felt no one should see this but witnesses.) Years later 2 elders told me I was not the only one that felt some things should not be sent door to door and thus we had the announcement of a publishers copy of the watchtower magazine.
          If for a moment I accept the authority of the appointment of the GB being from God, it is a poor representation of what he stands for. It is a Bully. It shows no love but rather is vengenceful if you cross it.

          • Brettstone

            Jacqueline-
            Just yesterday I was speaking to a brother who served as an elder for many years and he said he has been shocked the way this group on the GB have been putting their faces and names out there so often. He said just some years ago the GB members did not care to have their faces and names known and Infact most publishers didn’t even know there names. I remember and Elder school about 10yrs ago that encouraged us to make ourselves aware who each of these brothers were. Then within a year or two during CO visit he encouraged all of us to know who each of these member are and know their names. This raised my eyebrows then so to speak and I have seen this front and center ever sinse. You know yourself sister that this has become Golden Calf like among the friends. Many are taking notice of it but the control runs deep very deep and is difficult to break the control.

            • Jacqueline

              Brettstone on facebook as each of us let it be known we are no longer witnesses more and more are expressing themselves. In my family they waited to see if I dropped dead in a year or two. Now they say if you are not DF then slowly they are talking to me or putting I love you at the end of text messages. Lifting the veil from their mind takes time. My children are getting a lot freer with their kids and enjoying themselves more. They will do spiritual things as a family if we are on a camping trip or something. The grands are seeing a sermon and God rather than listening to one. Our families are getting stronger and closer as the ones that refuse to shun are having to ban together.
              I think the GB is going to go to far and if they know there is somewhere else to go many will form their own groups with the help from the Bible Students. This is just what I foresee could be one outlet. We do invite brothers to do this. In my area there are two classes within 20 min of each other but we formed our own.
              There are four of us xjw from the same circuit and congregation. So with 4 other on the Wednesday night phone in, we have regular attendance and know each other very well. We do Memorial either with the groups round about or use adobe connect and meet in my home. so it is working out just fine.
              I am in my fifth year associating with the Bible Students and have so many new friends and just love being able to attend different conventions all year round. I am loving it!
              PS: So far our group has 7 men and 2 women some are xjw elders. Also we have over 200 clicking on this site per day.

        • Lashell

          Thanks I needed to read this.

          • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

            Hi Lashall, welcome to the forum. Like all awakened witnesses, we know God has not appointed a governing body. Br Raymond Franz proposed the idea and fought for it. Then he realized he was wrong, that the counsel was not a governing body in scripture but the governing body he proposed turned on him and ousted him from Bethe.. He later wrote “Crisis of Conscience” and “In Search of Christian Freedom”. If you read the PDF of these books you will see exactly what goes on atBethe. with this manmade governing body.

  • Dupin

    I will respectfully point out that the Governing body of the Witnesses are not the only ones who use the passage in Act 15 as biblical proof that the early Church had an authoritative body over the Church consisting of the Apostles dictating doctrine to the brethren. I’ve noticed that the Roman Catholics Mormons, Lutherines, Anglican and many others interpret the passage and others the same way in order to bolster their own ecclesiastical authority over their flocks. It serves a dual purpose of appearing older since they connect in some way or another with the Apostles and gives the appearance that said authority is from God.

    The older Governing Body, now all gone, knew better. Franz even gave a discourse at the 1975 Gilead Graduation against the very idea even as the rest of the then current “Governing Body” were engineering a coup against him and Knorr after the 1975 debacle. Most of the new ones weren’t even around back then at those levels in the Society and probably don’t know any better since that was what they were taught throughout their careers with the Watchtower. Given the old guard didn’t allow anybody with the intellectual and educational weight of Franz anywhere near them, much less in their ranks, they are no doubt just as ignorant of the scripturally selective of the doctrine as the rank and file.

    The shallow nature of the publications they publish tells me there isn’t really anybody in their ranks with a truly deep knowledge of God’s word among them. They mostly seem to rely on the body of work produced in the final days of Franz’s life.

  • Jacqueline

    This is an earlier post on Fred Franz 3rd president of the society saying there was no governing body in the first century. He reasons out why.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-vYMDLW83c

    Many are not aware that it is Raymond Franz that pushed for a governing body according to what he felt was operating in the first century. But was fought off by the other members of the board.
    So why are the witnesses adopting an idea by a so called “apostate”? He later changed his mind about there being a governing body but it had formed already and it is what carried out the witch hunt during the 1980′s. Enjoy this talk by Freddie Franz at the graduation of a Gilead class

    • Daz

      Hi Jaqueline, hope you have been keeping well & enjoying your family. Thankyou kindly for your replies & the video link. That is very interesting regarding the Franz & the governing body, yes good point, very strange that they would adopt something that was put forward by someone they now class as an apostate??
      Thanks again Jacqueline.

      Warm & loving regards,
      Daz

    • Brettstone

      Jacqueline- Do you have any documentation that Ray Franz pushed or brought about the Governing body idea? I’ve never heard this before! Also maybe Peter you can add in your thoughts on my question. After the Apostles and Older men in Jerusalem made there decision on circumcision they sent Paul out to other congregations with decrees.

      Acts 16:4 As they traveled on through the cities, they would deliver to them for observance the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and the elders who were in Jerusalem.

      So it appears that these congregations accepted these “Decrees” (interesting word indicating rules or laws) demonstrating the existence of some kind of authority possessed by these men? What do you think?

      • Brettstone

        Decree- An official order issued by a legal authority.
        This is the definition given to the word decree which is also the same word used in the KJV
        King James Version Ac 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

        • Brettstone

          Now certainly I’m not comparing the JW GB to the apostles or comparing their authority especial because these brothers (Apostles) are said to be a part of the foundation of the new Jerusalem.

      • Jacqueline

        Brettstone, I don’t have documentation. I did read that a number of times. I think once was an excerpt from the times article on this and during the cleansing I remember hearing it. If you search the Web you might be able to find it or maybe it is mentioned in Br Franz books . Richard Rawe mentioned it also before his death so it might be on Sixscreens also.
        What do you conclude Br Franz is saying? Did he believe there was a governing body in your opinion? Also isn’t the organization set up more along the lines of the Sanhedrin system and more like the later Catholic system? Jesus mentioned disciples and them being brothers but never appointed lordship one over the other brothers in Christ if I am reading him correctly.

  • Daz

    Missing verses in the NWT 2013:
    I have been researching & I am sad to find that they have totally removed some verses in the latest 2013 revised JW bible. Surely they have gone against Jehovah’s commandment regarding not to add or TAKE AWAY as shown in Dueteronomy 4:2, 12;32 – Proverbs 30:6 – Revelation 22:18,19.

    Deleted scriptures:

    Matthew 17:21

    Matthew 18:11

    Matthew 23:14

    Mark 7:16

    Mark 9:44

    Mark 9:46

    Mark 11:26

    Mark 15:28

    Mark 16:9-20

    Luke 17:36

    Luke 23:17

    John 5:4

    John 7:53- 8:1-11

    Acts 8:37

    Acts 15:34

    Act 24:6-8

    Acts 28:29

    Romans 16:24

    • Jacqueline

      Daz I saw your comment earlier about adding to the Bible. I shared it and the person told me that that not adding to the text was only talking about the Revelation text. Have you heard that? and maybe Br. Peter will weigh in on it. Revelation 22:18,19. I couldn’t answer earlier as I had spotty internet.

  • Daz

    Missing verses in the NWT 2013:
    I have been researching & I am sad to find that they have totally removed some verses in the latest 2013 revised JW bible. Surely they have gone against Jehovah’s commandment regarding not to add or TAKE AWAY!
    Matthew 17:21

    Matthew 18:11

    Matthew 23:14

    Mark 7:16

    Mark 9:44

    Mark 9:46

    Mark 11:26

    Mark 15:28

    Mark 16:9-20 (all 12 verses) separated are the last 12 verses of Mark from the main text in an appendix “Some late manuscripts and versions contain a short conclusion after Mark 16:8

    Luke 1:28

    Luke 17:36

    Luke 23:17

    John 5:4

    John 7:53- 8:11 (all 12 verses)

    Acts 8:37

    Acts 15:34

    Act 24:6-8

    Acts 28:29

    Romans 16:24

    Colossians 1:2

    Colossians 2:2

    1John 5:13

    Rev 1:11

    Rev 2:15

    Rev 21:24

    1John 5:7

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Daz – The GNT Good News Translation (Roman Catholic endorsed) has made some of the same ommisions apparently based on manuscript evidence where in some cases the passage is missing. These ommisions needed to be exam ed more closely. It would help if the JW Org provided a publication explaining why the passages are omitted.

      • Daz

        Hi Peter hope you are well, thankyou for your reply, if that is the case then why were they not omitted from their 1984 NWT bible? Seems a bit odd to me. Also I noticed they have slipped in a reference to “the governing body” in the outline for Acts 15.

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Daz – I would disagree with them that we can find a governing body in Acts 15. The Apostles were passing along their advice and there were no consequences designed for any who disagreed.

          In the New American Standard version, there are notes for some of These verses indicating that they are not in the earliest manuscripts. We need to be very careful about what we criticize. There are many legitimate complaints that have been made about the JW Organization. However, when we criticize and are mistaken, we can lose our credibility. So, I think this is worth further investigation. However at this point I am not ready to object to the deletions.

          • Daz

            Hi Peter thankyou once again for replying to my post, I understand your viepoint on this & appreciate what you are saying, yes I think it needs further investigation too.

            Warm & loving regards,
            Daz

        • Erika

          Hello Daz,
          I also saw a few months ago when I received my copy of the new revised NWT that there are a few revisions that didn’t sit well with me as well. I noticed the insinuation of the “governing body” in the book of acts. This scripture actually is talking about a few elders and the apostles being the first of the “governing body” of the first century christians according to JW society. They were the apostles and a few elders who took the lead in sending a letter to a congregation that had been having some problems to encourage them to continue staying close to God’s laws. I guess it all depends on how you look at the term. Governing Body means: A group of people who formulate the policy and direct the affairs of an institution in partnership with the managers, especially on a voluntary or part-time basis. From this aspect I was able to overlook the term. The other aspect is in my opinion that there is a subtle way of inserting doctrine into a passage by using common day terms in scripture to further influence the way an individual thinks. I believe that is what was done here. There are also scriptures like colossians 1:15-17 where the usually bracketed word “other” (brackets mean they are letting you know they inserted that word) are now no longer in brackets. This reads as if that word was a part of the original transcripts and changes the entire meaning of those scriptures. There are other instances as well. If you read your bible starting from genesis alongside the new revised nwt you will find many little inserts and omissions and word changes. I leave this to my conscience to decide. Many other doctrinal bibles have done the same. Our Heavenly Father will deal with all of the word confusion in alot of translations in His due time. I personally use the 1611 KJ bible as well as the Geneva bible. I am actually starting a collection of bibles.

          • Daz

            Hi Erika, thankyou very much for your comments they are very much appreciated. Yes I also noticed the removal of the “brackets” & that bothered me also. I just don’t want to be mislead as I now feel that I was some-what mislead whilst I was invloved with the organization. All I want is the truth & the way I see it is that Jesus IS the TRUTH, not an organization. Jehovah God gave us his only son for a reason & that was to give us the truth, I now take my direction from him as he is the ONLY one God appointed.
            Thankyou once again Erika.

            Warm & loving regards,
            Daz

    • Dupin

      Hello there Daz!

      I couldn’t help but notice this question since The text of the Bible is one of my big passions. In the late 1990s Brother Jim Parkinson was the main driver in what is called The Revised Version Improved and Corrected (RVIC), a revision of the Revised Version done independently. The entire text and critical apparatus for the version is found at the website of the Pastoral Bible Institute (heraldmag.org) and may br found here: THE REVISED VERSION (American Edition)
      Improved and Corrected
      from manuscripts discovered and published to A.D. 1999

      It consist6s of downloadable Microsoft Word documents, so you will need either that word processor, Open Office or some other high-end word processor capable of handling it. Download Appendix 1 at the bottom of the page and you will find a wealth of information on textual criticism and a chart examining the evidence for and against the inclusion of all of the passages you listed. The Gothic is about the only early tranhslation Br. Jim doesn’t inclclude, among evidence, he basically brushes that fourth century translation off as irrelevant because Ufila appeared to use an early version of what later became the official church version of the NT as the basis for his translation of the NT into Gothic.

      You’ll note that in most of the cases the evidence consists of the oldest manuscripts not including them in the text. In some cases the oldest translations of the NT, among them the Vetus Latin, the Early and Peshitta Aramaic, and the Sahidic Coptic all agree with the oldest manuscripts in the Greek. Since the Watchtower, under Knorr and Franz, tossed its hat into the eclectic master text category by using the Wescott and Hort Text as the basis for their translation they are kind of in the position of having to support the elimination of mose of those verses by reason of early textual evidence.

      I have and often consult with the GNT, a master text prepared for the United American Bible Society. It has the best critical apparatus I’ve ever seen for the text of the Greek NT, though the text itself is virtually identical to the NA26/7 text (Nestle/Aland).

      I hope this long-winded post helps all concerned.

      • Daz

        Hi Dupin, thankyou kindly for the information you posted, very interesting. I noticed that the texts they have removed from the 2013 NWT is actually n the NKJ version so was interesting to read what had been removed, some are well known verses. I was under the impression that the New KJ version was a pretty good & truthful translation & as I said this has not omitted these verses.

        Kind & loving regards,
        Daz

        • Dupin

          I have the NKJV and it is a beautiful translation, which has some pleasantly surprising renderings in it, I’m sure the translators didn’t really think through for all they are accurate. The NKJV is based on the Textus Receptus , though the forward doesn’t state whether it is the one produced by the Trinitarian Society or one of the other versions out there. I used it asmy study Bible until I bought a copy of the ESV with more room for notes on the pages to use.

          • Erika

            Thanks Dupin,
            I am trying to find one that is in modern english that is the most accurate. I will look into purchasing both of the bibles that you have mentioned.

      • Erika

        Hello, Dupin,

        I hope I didn’t overlook the answer to my question in your reply, but what bible version to you prefer the most?

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