Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses

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"Past racist teachings"[edit]

The source for this, Jerry Bergman, is described as a "a fairly typical creationist: he's a loon, and he's dishonest" in his article. Also, one of his papers is titled, "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Have Mental Problems". [1] Let's have better sources for a good article please. --NeilN talk to me 17:30, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

I think this source is good enough. I think also that some editors just want to suppress this hot topic on this page.--79.192.46.103 (talk) 17:34, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Look at Jehovah's Witnesses, Blacks and Discrimination, there are not any factual mistakes.--79.192.46.103 (talk) 17:38, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Bergman's views on JW's might be notable for his article but I fail to see why a fringe biologist should be used as a source here. --NeilN talk to me 17:44, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
He is a doctor and his views of evolution do not matter in this article.--79.192.46.103 (talk) 17:47, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Also he got a degree in social psychology, so he knows about what he is talking.--79.192.46.103 (talk) 17:49, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Okay, in what journal was the paper you want to use as a reference published? --NeilN talk to me 19:11, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
This 'argument' has been attempted before at this article. However, there are no reliable sources that indicate a degree of racism among JW teachings any greater than society in general at the time the statements were made.--Jeffro77 (talk) 02:20, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

Regarding this, I fail to see how the wording changes improve the article in any way. "The Governing Body collectively decide what all Jehovah's Witnesses are required to believe, basing such mandates on their personal interpretation of the Bible." is particularly sloppy wording. --NeilN talk to me 21:32, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

The tone of the new wording is not neutral and I doubt it's supported by the existing sources which it now purports to cite. I have removed it. BlackCab (TALK) 22:36, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

There seem to be numerous 'hostile edits' from anonymous users, claimng that their '3rd party' rhetoric is somehow impartial. I don't see integrity in such claims. MaynardClark (talk) 15:53, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Regarding this edit
I find it hard to understand that (I quote) most organisations have websites. not notable (end quote) is true, when we speak about a website that is available in over 500 languages, provides literature in over 700, and has appr. 80 sign-languages as well, one would say that this does make it notable. It is documented by third parties. I do understand that the hardcore editors of this category have guarded propaganda from these articles, but come on.. this could hardly be called that! I understand that the website is not notable enough for having it's own article. Randykitty wrote about it, saying: (link)
  • Personally, I don't think a separate article is justified. It can be reduced to two lines without loss of information (most translated website -if there's an independent source confirming that- and banned in Russia) and easily integrated into the main article.

Kind regards, Ro de Jong (Talk to me!) 01:26, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

The claim that it is most translated is not even correct. Providing a limited amount of literature in a large number of languages (the site actually says 688, not over 700) is not the same as the site being translated in that number of languages. The number of languages in which the site is available is actually about 500, and of those, many provide only basic information about the religion in that language rather than a 'translation' of the entire site—even the content on the home page of the site is reduced in many of the languages. It may have a page in the highest number of languages, but it is not the most translated, nor does it have content in the greatest number of languages, which goes to the Global Recordings Network.
There was a single court case in Russia attempting to ban a religious website, and the case was overruled. The minor case is appropriately covered elsewhere (but it is in need of a secondary source), and is not notable within the scope of the main JW article.--Jeffro77 (talk) 02:00, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
1. I stand corrected about the number of languages. I thought that it showed 701 a few days ago. But that can be a mistake on my part.
2. A mistake on your part though would be, not carefully reading what I correctly wrote; exactly the same as you now did. :-D ... "a website that is available in over 500 languages, provides literature in over 700, and has appr. 80 sign-languages as well". The Watchtower Online Library is available on jw.org in 169 languages. (publications available between 2000 and 2014 (or 2013). Other languages provide indeed less content on jw.org, but doesn't mean that that is not translated. It is.
3. "nor does it have content in the greatest number of languages, which goes to the Global Recordings Network." I never heard about this, and will read up what that is about. On this point... For now ... I stand corrected :-)
I would like to conclude however by saying that jw.org is the best website ever, and I am the best! Nah - just kidding, don't worry.
Kind regards, Ro de Jong (Talk to me!) 02:23, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
I made no mistake. You attempted to use Randykitty's statement as justification, and I pointed out that the statement is incorrect. Many of the foreign-language sites have a static home page with a basic message (which doesn't appear on the main site) and links to a small number of publications in that language. It is misleading to say those are translations of the main site.
In any case, since you're a member of the religion, and the parent corporation is involved in a campaign to promote the site, which includes 'encouraging' members to promote the site, it would be best if you leave it to independent editors to assess the notability of the web site. This will help to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.--Jeffro77 (talk) 02:39, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
1. I disagree with your statement. You wrote The number of languages in which the site is available is actually about 500 - stating it as if I had stated it otherwise, which I did not :D
My previous edit in the article states:
Although "House to house"-evangelism is still their primary way, the Witnesses have found other ways by using i.e. portable trolley's or small book stands on public places, and the use of their website jw.org. With over 500 languages it is the worlds most translated website, and provides publications in various formats in over 700 languages, including appr. 80 Sign Languages.
2. You [reverted it back again, stating 190 languages of which the given source actualy states: As of 2013, we publish Bible-based literature in some 700 languages and distribute it in 239 lands.
3. About it would be best if you leave it to independent editors to assess the notability of the web site. - I'm not pushing. I wanted to understand why. That I do now.
4. And again.. the campaign was in August. Not September.
5. As I found the website of Globalrecordings... They only provide the website in 15 languages. I am not sure about the languages they record in, as lots of them are mere dialects of which every one can contribute (Just like Wikipedia?). But an accomplishment it is.
Kind regards, Ro de Jong (Talk to me!) 03:08, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
But let's drop it. You win, I have peace of mind. Take a beer and celebrate it :-D Have a good night, I'm off to bed (5:13 am here) so I need my beauty sleep! Peace! Kind regards, Ro de Jong (Talk to me!) 03:13, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
If there is a minor error in a number in the old version, it can be corrected without adding the superfluous details. Trivial details about numbers of languages (e.g. elaboration about sign language) are not notable for the main article about JWs.
And no, the campaign to promote the site has not ended. Only the 'tract' campaign ended in August. Even in the November issue of Our Kingdom Ministry (a JW newsletter), there is a section telling members to promote the JW website. And the September issue has a full section entitled "Use jw.org in Your Ministry".--Jeffro77 (talk) 03:36, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

What "early Christians" did[edit]

A paragraph has been added to the "Separateness" section citing two book titles that assert that "the early Christians did not believe in participating in political affairs". I have two problems with this: (1) What are those two books? Who wrote them and are they reliable sources? This is impossible to verify, and the editor simply says "the source is the web, respect the edition"[2]. The material is actually a word-for-word copy of the JW website [3], but is is also unknown if the JW website has accurately represented the material in those two original books. (2) There is no clear connection presented linking what "the early Christians" may have done and the position the JWs today take on singing patriotic songs, working for the military and minimizing social contact with non-JWs. The paragraph implies that JWs base some of those stands on what early Christians did, but this is not clear and will need an explicit statement of that fact if it is to remain. BlackCab (TALK) 21:47, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

I have removed it as it is out of scope. This article is about Jehovah's Witnesses, and does not need to appeal to what 'early Christians' are believed to have done. This is an encyclopaedia entry, not a religious tract. It is not necessary to convince readers that JW's political views are 'justified' by the purported acts of 'early Christians'. The last sentence of the removed paragraph is all that is relevant, and I have added into one of the other existing paragraphs.--Jeffro77 (talk) 23:24, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Expectation of baptism[edit]

Your latest edit at Jehovah's Witnesses regarding the expectation that "Bible studies" will take the step to baptism is going over old ground. You, I and other editors discussed this previously; that discussion (resolved I thought) is in archive 60 on the JW talk page. BlackCab (TALK) 12:30, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

I can not see any concensus reached in the archive. Grrahnbahr (talk) 12:45, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
I have re-worded the sentence to be more consistent with the cited source. As it is nearly verbatim per the source, you should be happy with the change.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:54, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
It sure is closer to the wording, so thanks. Grrahnbahr (talk) 15:08, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
The edit in fact obscures the key fact that JWs conduct so-called Bible studies for a specific purpose: to gain recruits. The KM article (whose citation is now rather redundant thanks to Jeffro's last edit) specifically states that within a short time the JW is expected to steer the person to baptism; if the person shows no such inclination (eg is fascinated by the novel JW doctrine in an academic sense but has no wish to commit themselves to the self-assumed authority of the religion's leaders with all their legislative and judicial powers) the study course is to be terminated. The current wording suggests a measure of altruism in the home Bible study procedure. To be accurate it must include the fact that it is being done for a specific purpose -- a purpose never explained at the outset to the potential convert. (I joined the religion via that method and spent much of the next two decades engaged in similarly surreptitious behavior). Anyway ... I'm relaxing on a beach at the moment and with only an iPhone not well equipped for extensive editing tasks, but will return to this when I'm back home. BlackCab (TALK) 21:24, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
It is a distinct difference between expectations toward a Bible Study leader, as listed in the km article, and expectations toward the 'study object', and a distinct difference between a stated goal/aim for the Bible study teacher, and expectations toward the 'study object'. It is a POV-issue, as I can see it appairs an interest of making a claim for being recieving a Bible Study, or information, is catching the 'study object' into the religion, as "is expected [...] to become baptized as a member of the group" indicate a more than a light pressure for a 'study object' to become a JW. It is may fair to make a claim of a certain pressure against children of members of the religion, but I can't see the latter should be a very different practice from a majority of other conservative Christian groups. The km ref, at least as it was quoted, was not about "completed studies", only about continuing or terminating a study, obvious in a matter of efficience. Grrahnbahr (talk) 22:09, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I understand very little of what you said there. Despite what you seem to be suggesting, the KM article was not about the study conductor being better at conducting the study: as the question preceding the article makes clear, it is solely about how long a study should go on before being deemed unfruitful and then abandoned. BlackCab (TALK) 22:28, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the previous wording was certainly more honest about the intention of the 'study' program. I don't agree that it can only be "accurate" by stating a certain fact, though it may be incomplete. Apparently, Grrahnbahr is either ignorant of, or being misleading about, the actual purpose of the JW 'study' process, as the expectation certainly is that those who complete the 'study' be baptised as JWs. Recruiting new members is the entire purpose of the 'study',and the entire 18th chapter of their current 'study' publication is devoted to that expectation (and similar material was present in all their previous 'study' publications). The Our Kingdom Ministry piece certainly indicates that 'Bible studies' that are unlikely to result in new recruits are 'terminated' (at which time any social contact with the student is also generally terminated by the JW 'teacher'), and this certainly supports that expectation that those who complete the study also join the religion. Perhaps Grrahnbahr is confused because that article also indicates the related expectation on the 'teacher' to achieve that goal.--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:19, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I have again re-worded the sentence to better encompass both the actual aim of the 'study' program and the outcome where individuals show no interest in becoming members of the religion.--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:51, 2 January 2015 (UTC)