Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses/Archive 51

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How to archive JW talk pages

I'm putting this at the top of the talk page to help preserve it, hopefully it won't be another year before the talk gets archived. Our system is a bit different from the normal WP:ARCHIVE. Here's how:

- Create the page: Search Wikipedia for the archive you want to create (even though it doesn't exist yet e.g. "Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses/archive 26") or click on an existing archive link, then enter the number of the archive you want to create in the URL (Change: ...//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Jehovah%27s_Witnesses/archive_25 to ...//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Jehovah%27s_Witnesses/archive_26)

- Add the text: Wikipedia will indicate that the page does not exist and provide you with the option: "Start the Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses/archive 26 page". Start the page, copy/paste (ctrl + c for copy, ctrl + v to paste) all the material from the current talk page that you want to archive.

- Add the templates: Before you save it add the following three templates to the very top of the page: {{talkarchive}} {{JWArchiveNav}} {{JWArchiveNotice}}. Preview, then save the page.

- Edit the {{JWArchiveNav}} template: (By now the archive page is already created, now we just need the link to archive page "26" to display on the main Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses page). Wiki search for Template:JWArchiveNav (or click the link here), then go to "edit this page". Add another line of text (copy/paste an existing and just change the number to 26, don't forget the comma) e.g. From [[Talk:Jehovah%27s_Witnesses/archive 25|25]] to [[Talk:Jehovah%27s_Witnesses/archive 26|26]] (you may or may not need a comma at the end of the new line, just preview it first to make sure that the Archives 1-26 all display in one row). Save it, you're done. Duffer 09:14, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Semi-protected?

Why is this page not semi-protected? Should not all pages on religion be protected as the pages of Atheism and Christianity are? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sidious1741 (talkcontribs) 01:53, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

WP:SEMI indicates that semi-protection is applied only where it's warranted because of vandalism. This page suffers from bouts of vandalism, but nothing so serious it can't be undone promptly. What prompts your question? LTSally (talk) 02:55, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Well I asked because I guess I did not realize that few Jehovah Witnesses edit this article. It shocked me because I would consider religious topics to be the first to be heavily biased. What do you mean by "undone promptly"? Do you mean that only small parts change compared to the articles on Atheism and Christianity? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sidious1741 (talkcontribs) 19:15, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

This article does occasionally get semi-protected when there are spates of vandalism, but hasn't generally warranted full-time protection thus far. If it becomes a frequent problem, that may change.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:24, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Your mention of bias doesn't really have much to do with the need for protection of the article. Wikipedia has its own policies for dealing with bias, and semi-protection – limiting edits to the article to registered users – doesn't address this at all. Your answer, and "shock" that few JWs edit the article, appears to suggest that you think only Jehovah's Witnesses should edit the article, which is outside the policies and spirit of Wikipedia. That course, in fact, would introduce its own bias. As to your comparison of edits of this article with edits to Atheism and Christianity, I have no idea, and I'm not sure why you think this is relevant. Feel free to look through some of the changes made to this article recently to see the scope of changes. LTSally (talk) 08:46, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I was shocked that few JWs edit this article but you understood me to say the opposite, I DON'T think that any JWs should edit this article (I said any in this case because they are not upfront about anything). I love Wikipedia but I'm not really familiar with all of its regulations (I just now learned about signing). So I was actually talking about strong bias instead of actual vandalism. I guess that that's why I thought semi-proteced exists, to protect from bias.--76.251.250.246 (talk) 00:01, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to sound contrary, but the presence here of JWs does help to maintain balance, even though a bit of head-butting goes on from time to time. The page was locked down for a couple of weeks this year after the disagreements became too heated, meaning the disputed content was thrashed out on the talk page until some consensus was reached. Then normal hostilities resumed! Welcome to Wikipedia, anyway. LTSally (talk) 01:03, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
LTSally - According to your user page, you are a former JW who clearly has become disenchanted with JW doctrine. You also appear to be one of the main individuals, along with Jeffro, that contributes to this article and sub-articles, specifically those of former JWs like Raymond Franz. It's interesting to me that the articles about JW doctrines seem biased against them. Yet the articles about former JWs seem biased towards. I'm not going to reference every single edit and revert you and Jeffro made to these articles, as that would be a WIKI article in itself. It's clear to anyone who looks at the history and talk pages. I suggest the neutrality of a former JW is just as, or more, questionable as any JW. I have observed you two reverting many entries by those who slant toward JW doctrines in favor of your own entries. I was even threatened once by Jeffro for questioning his motives. Why are your entries and sources more reliable than any one else's? Just wondering. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.54.14.79 (talk) 18:46, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
There is no such thing as a "neutral" editor. We all have our opinions on everything and come from some background that gives us an interest in the subject. All we do is try to ensure the text in the article meets WP standards on editorial neutrality. If you noticed that edits by other people slanted the article towards JW doctrines, then I'd say that's why I made changes to those edits, because the article shouldn't have any slant. I don't claim my "entries and sources more reliable than any one else's". I seek reliable sources on the subject; many are WT publications and many are books by non-Witnesses. As long as they're reliable I'll use them. I'm not sure which articles you refer to when speaking of "articles about former JWs". I've made a couple of small edits to the Franz article. LTSally (talk) 21:29, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Unnamed editor, please supply the edit where you alleged that I "threatened" you. I've been accused of making edits that are both anti- and pro-JWs, so I will not comment on your other misguided claims.--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:44, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
Jeffro, kudos. Since the rules of wikipedia are clear and the article is fair, the unsigned author appears to be frustrated that FACTS they feel are negative are included within the article. So, instead of contributing to the process, they decide to attack other contributors. The unsigned author's comments are borderline libel. On another note, why is the dispute tag up on the article again? This article is likely one of the most vetted and neutral articles in wikipedia. I question the motives of someone that would add that tag. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 18:08, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Reminder on use of scriptures

Please note the guideline at Wikipedia:WikiProject Jehovah's Witnesses#Use of scriptures regarding the use of scriptures in JW articles: "Do not cite supporting scriptures when explaining doctrines or practices, unless the issue is the interpretation of a particular passage." An example of inappropriate use of scriptures is in the current intro, in the section that reads: "Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the current world order will be destroyed at Armageddon, and they hope to be saved at Armageddon. However, they also believe that it is not their job to judge who else may be saved, and so they leave this matter up to their God. They base this belief on Isaiah 33:22". Such a scripture may be located in a reference footnote if at all, and is certainly not needed in the articles's lead section, which is a summary only of content below. The scripture itself has only a tenuous link to the doctrine, so it is poor support for the claim. LTSally (talk) 00:29, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry but there is really nothing wrong in using scripture to support a statement in the article. The important thing is that you have another source explaining or confirming why JW's believe. Not doing so violates synthesis and original research policies. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 01:06, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree that policies on synthesis and OR would be violated if there was no source cited. However the appropriate source, footnoted, would be a WT publication or another reliable published source. The scripture is usually not nececessary in the article text. The Beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses article has been written without a scripture in sight and still imparts the information accurately. LTSally (talk) 01:15, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I feel that many of the comments about Jehovah's Witnesses cannot be understood unless there is a Scripture citiation, otherwise it seems like it is something they just pulled out of the air. For example, and this isn't a part of the article. "Jehovah's Witnesses believe that a day stands for a year in the Bible book of Daniel, about the 70 weeks concerning Jesus first coming." ???? where do they come up with that? If you have the scripture citation, though, you can see that this is a general part of the Messianic prophecies that the Jews in Jesus day expected, comparing the Scriptures in Daniel and Luke. So, in that case, there has to be a Scriptural citation, as it is a matter of, as the Wiki rules on that point out, "unless the issue is the interpretation of a certain passage." So, this is just an way out example, but there are certain places in this article where Scripture citations might be appropriate. --Natural (talk) 23:13, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
When discussing such a teaching as the Day-year principle, a reference to the Bible text is necessary. In saying that it is God who judges who lives and dies at Armageddon, a scripture reference, if needed at all, is better included as a footnote. This is an encyclopedia, not a Watchtower article. LTSally (talk) 23:22, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't necessarily agree with that thinking, because Armageddon means many things to many people. Most don't know it is in the Bible. Up front the Watchtower is quoted as saying that only Jehovah's Witnesses will survive, in other words, it starts off with a controversial point. That is a big question, one that I'm discussing now on a forum on Jehovah's Witnesses. Some people have a hard time with that idea. So, it is that type of controversial thing where things are sometimes stated a little differently in different Watchtower articles. So there might need to be some balancing quotes on that point, or scriptures. --Natural (talk) 23:46, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Natural (talk) 23:34, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Elaboration of something like the 'day-year principle' is beyond the scope of the general JW article, but in more specific articles, such as Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses, it may be necessary to explain a JW interpretation of a scripture. Even then though, don't just state an interpretation and follow it with a scripture citation in parentheses as if that scripture is a definitive source that can only be interpreted one way; instead, say something like Jehovah's Witnesses believe [interpretation], based on their interpretation of [scripture] [maybe adding which states [quote]] or Jehovah's Witnesses understand "[quote]" at [scripture] to mean [interpretation].--Jeffro77 (talk) 09:34, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the belief "Only Jehovah's Witnesses will survive" seem controversial as well. Considering none of the references claim that only JW's make up the great crowd.MageCraft (talk) 17:02, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Again, no need to add the entire scripture referring to Armageddon as a footnote. Armageddon has its own article. WP:PROVEIT explains that sources are to be cited for material likely to be challenged, so adding verses of the Bible mentioning Armageddon is unnecessary and doesn't actually explain anything. LTSally (talk) 01:22, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Clarification on Discipline and Disfellowshipping, elders role

The Watchtower literature indicates that the primary purpose of elders is to restore the faith of the errant believer rather than to punish. Andrew Holden indicates that "counseling" is the most common form of "discipline" rather than disfellowshipping, which he describes as uncommon. He gives the example of the congregation he attended in doing his resarch where there was only one case of disfellowshipping in 8 years. So although many are disfellowshipped each year, he brings out that "more than half" are reinstated, sometimes in a relatively short period of time. So there are two sides of disfellowshipping.

Addditionally, the elders role is primarily that of shepherds, not disciplinarians, in the Christian congregation. Watchtower 11/15/06 Article: Quotes: Always Accept Jehovah’s Discipline

"The elders gladly comply with this counsel: “Continue showing mercy . . . , doing so with fear.” (Jude 23) By falling into sexual immorality, some Christians have sinned seriously. But if they are truly repentant, they can expect merciful, loving treatment by elders eager to help them spiritually. Including himself, Paul said regarding such men: “Not that we are the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy.” (2 Corinthians 1:24) Therefore, never hesitate to seek their spiritual assistance.

18 If you have sinned seriously, why can you have confidence in the elders? Because they are primarily shepherds of God’s flock. (1 Peter 5:1-4) No loving shepherd beats a docile, bleating lamb for hurting itself. When elders deal with erring fellow believers, therefore, it is a matter, not of crime and punishment, but of sin and spiritual restoration where possible. (James 5:13-20) Elders must judge with righteousness and “treat the flock with tenderness.” (Acts 20:29, 30; Isaiah 32:1, 2) Like all other Christians, elders are to ‘exercise justice, love kindness, and be modest in walking with God.’ (Micah 6:8) Such qualities are vital when making decisions involving the life and sacred service of “the sheep of [Jehovah’s] pasturage.”—Psalm 100:3." end quote

That being the case, the opening remarks on disfellowshipping in the introduction, if they are to remain there, need some clarification.

I had inserted some simple clarification, but it was removed, so I am posting the reasons for that clarification here first for discussion. Thanks. Thoughts welcome.--Natural (talk) 00:29, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

It's important to remember that at Wikipedia we aren't argueing what witnesses believe. Rather proving it through their literature. You need to be able to back those up through Watchtower sources. Not having these additional verification makes this WP:OR and WP:SYNTHESIS Hell In A Bucket (talk) 02:43, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the ref on WP:OR, it helps to clarify things on that matter. The above quote, above "end quote" is from the Watchtower. So, it is from JW literature. The WP:OR brings out that you can refer to analysis and secondary sources, within paramaters. The [[WP:SYNETHESIS}} points are also of note, that you can't combine material from different sources to try to come up with a viewpoint beyond what the original sources intended. Thanks--Natural (talk) 12:06, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

"Too few opinions" tag

User:Hell in a Bucket added the "Too few opinions" tag on January 8. The tag claims that "The examples and perspective in this article may not include all significant viewpoints". The link in the tag refers users to Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias, which deals with articles suffering an imbalanced coverage of a subject, "thereby discriminating against the less represented demographic groups". Hell In a Bucket didn't start a thread discussing that topic and there has been no more mention of it. Precisely what is the complaint, or deficiency, regarding this issue and what can be done to remedy it? The article draws from an expanding range of sources and leaves no significant topic uncovered. LTSally (talk) 21:22, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to address the above question in the next few days, be patient please, I'm working on some small things that might help to address that. thanks. By this weekend or sooner. --Natural (talk) 22:21, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
It's a simple question that shouldn't take time to address, particularly since you say they are small things. Which demographic groups are insufficiently represented in the article? And are the issues you have identified the same as those identified by the user who added the tag? LTSally (talk) 22:44, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually the purpose and my intention with the tags is just that the Nuetraility of the article is disputed. I think that is fairly obvious based on the disputes between anti-JW and pro-JW. if you think this issues are resolved by all means remove, I myself think that azll invovled fall under WP:WRONGVERSION Hell In A Bucket (talk) 22:51, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Amusing. I see an argument for the neutrality tag, but not for the second one. Unless you have a specific reason for the second tag and wish to discuss that, it might be better deleted, since it seems not to apply. LTSally (talk) 23:05, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Fell fre to remove, no objections. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 18:49, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
The neutrality flag was because, I believe, maybe not, I posted the COI on LTSally. There are still issues with POV on the site, and I want to address that today, to Saturday. I might not have enough time to put the few things together until Saturday, so please wait. There are issues with POV on the article, in which Wikipedia policy is involved, and I would like to address them. Thanks. --Natural (talk) 22:37, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I've not seen any comments that would qualify this whole article as being in dispute. Most statements are well referenced and well worded. I suggest removing the neutral hatnote, and instead marking the individual statements under dispute with an appropriate tag. And, to the pro-JW editor(s) current criticizing this article, before attacking other editors, please keep in mind that the editors Jeffro and LTSally have been protecting this article from actual anti-JW's for a very long time. There has been a great many attempts to twist this article into a hate rant against JW's, and Jeffro and LTSally have acted admirably to prevent those attempts. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 18:59, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Protecting main article page

The Jehovah's Witnesses main article page would benefit from page protection. The reasons are, public opinion of Jehovah's Witnesses is of importance because the freedom of worship in many countries is not guaranteed. Prison without trial, torture and deaths have and are taking place for some even now. In Russia, freedom of worship is a governmental issue, with Jehovah's Witnesses and other minority religions feeling the heat presently and religious freedoms denied in some sectors. http://www.jw-media.org/rus/index.htm Jehovah's Witnesses suffered thousands of deaths there in past decades. For some freedom of worship is life or death. http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=15198 (The situation in Eritrea is ongoing). By protecting the page, because it is a polemic topic and controversial, then only editors would be allowed to edit. This would be of value on this topic. --Natural (talk) 21:19, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Scott, if you read WP:PP you'll see the main reasons for page protection are content disputes (edit warring) and persistent vandalism and disruption. The page does receive an irritating level of vandalism, but I don't see that the suffering of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is in any way related to either of those issues. IP traces on anon users shows most of the vandalism is coming from the US. Feel free to post a request for protection at the appropriate place, but any argumentation should be based on Wikipedia policy rather than your sadness over the treatment of Witnesses. LTSally (talk) 21:51, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with LTSally on this one. Several editors are keeping vandalism under control, and while we do encourage contributors to log in, anonymous editors can still help improve the quality of the article. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 19:05, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
HiaB requested temporary protection, which has been granted for 10 days. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 09:20, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the responses, it helps me with the other step now of LTSally's request for having the page at a point where it is not considered biased, and where whatever edits are necessary can be considered. One of the problems has been in making any edits, or additions, the additions or small edits are always taken out anonymously, it seems, so that someone is going in and changing things, without a trace, and all the work I put into the page, gets lost as fast as I enter it, by someone unknown. That's one of the reasons, also, I had wanted to ask for protection. So I don't know if that is part of Wiki policy, that particular matter. Thanks again. --Natural (talk) 00:13, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

The ability to track the history of each article is one of Wikipedia's strongholds in fighting against vandalism. You may be interested in reading Help:Page history. If someone (anonymous or otherwise) undoes your work without explaining why, feel free to fix it, always making clear what you are doing and why. Invite the user to discuss on the talk page if there is a disagreement, and avoid violating the WP:3RR. As long as your actions are sound and in accordance with Wikipedia policy, with the intent of making Wikipedia better, we'll be here to back you up. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 20:34, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

What does this mean "moderate man"?

"Knorr is described by critic Tony Wills as a "moderate man".[78]"

What is this suppose to mean? Could this comment be expanded or removed, as it doesn't really seem to have a point. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 19:45, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

The point it is making is that he wasn't fanatical or extreme. He was "moderate". I don't know what more to see to expand that, and I feel it is a important point because, of the confusion sometimes as to JW being extreme or their "presidents," that Nathan Knorr was considered unextreme, and moderate. So, what more can be said or how it could be edited or added to, to make it more complete, I'm not sure, but I feel that it is an important statement with regard to N. Knorr and Jehovah's Witnesses in any article that goes into detail, as this one does. Don't have so much time to review the N. Knorr section right now for more details. Thanks for the observation. --Natural (talk) 00:15, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

There is nothing in the article that states or suggests any of the presidents, including Knorr, were extreme, so it is redundant to state that Knorr was moderate. LTSally (talk) 01:10, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Unless the source that called him "moderate" specifically indicated him to be so in contrast with the other presidents, there seems little value in keeping the statement, unless some notable context is provided.--Jeffro77 (talk) 10:24, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

New World Translation publication year

A question that comes up with the New World Translation is did JW always use the NWT? The statement made in the beginning of the article flows better and is more neutral, if the publication year is added.--Natural (talk) 00:25, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

It's a small and unimportant detail that is unnecessary in the lead section, as it is covered below. LTSally (talk) 11:11, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
It seems as if the statement, "with preference to their own translation" is raised in a kind of challenging way. People wonder if JW always used the New World Translation and most are not aware that the NWT was only used by JW in the 1960s. By adding that detail, it softens the challenge or controversy raised right in the first paragraph, with the words, "with preference to their own translation". So I feel that the detail added is need and appropriate, that it helps take the obvious bias strong POV, out of the first paragraphy. That is why the sentence was included.--Natural (talk) 18:28, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
The trouble is you see bias and controversy with almost any wording about every aspect of the Witnesses. It's a simple statement of fact: the Witnesses prefer to use the New World Translation, which was produced by them, for them. Adding the year of publication does nothing to alter that. LTSally (talk) 20:33, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I can see where Natural is coming from on this one. Stating that they prefer their own translation is almost too obvious to be valuable...why would they bother to make their own translation if they didn't prefer it? The only purpose in explicitly stating that they do prefer their own translation is rhetoric: causing the reader to think a certain way about the situation. Of course, an added purpose of mentioning it in the intro is simply for the sake of mentioning the new world translation in the intro, which I agree with. The year of publication is also a simple statement of fact. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 20:59, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
The year of publication is already covered in the article. Why repeat it? LTSally (talk) 21:04, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Because in three words it is made clear that JWs have only "preferred" their version of the bible since 1961(ish), almost 100 years after the religion began. Adding in the fact helps to soften the negative spin that seems to accompany "with preference given to their own translation." But we aren't really reaching consensus here, are we? Let's try something different. See my most recent attempt at rewording the statement. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 05:57, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
No. Your edit removes the clear statement that doctrines are established by the Governing Body, who draw their interpretations from the Witnesses' own Bible, which has signficant deviations from most other Bibles. The NWT is used almost exclusively in meetings and WT literature, and no amount of spin is going to change that. The existing source states that Witnesses prefer to use their own Bible. They have never expressed embarrassment about that, so what possible objection could there be to stating the fact? LTSally (talk) 06:35, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

─────────────────────────My problem isn't with the idea, it's with the way it's stated. We are stating things that should be obvious to the reader, but stating them in a way that leads one to think negatively of the Witnesses. "...based on their interpretation of the bible" - isn't this in an abstract sense true of ANY Christian religion? "...with preference given to their own translation" - why would they have bothered to translate it in the first place if they didn't prefer it? It seems simpler and more neutral to say "Witnesses base their belief on the bible, and have published their own translation of it: the NWT." It in no way removes the understanding that JW leadership prefers the NWT.

In a related strain of thought, your reasoning seems backwards, LTSally. JW belief obviously influenced their translation of the bible. Saying that their translation of the bible influences their belief seems oddly circular, in that regard. In any event, when I propose the wording "they base their beliefs in the bible", I'm not talking about the NWT, the KJV, or to "the way the Bible is commonly translated into English". I should imagine that the statement refers to the septuagint and other documents from which modern bibles were translated. I feel it fair to imply that their beliefs stem from such documents, rather than emphasizing the translated version of them. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 04:10, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

I have no objection to your new wording, though the phrase "literal, conservative" needs sourcing. Re my reference to their Bible reflecting their beliefs: Anthony Hoekema, in his "The Four Major Cults" (1963) spends a good part of his discussion of Witness beliefs on the NWT. On p.238 he notes:
"We gratefully recognize that Jehovah's Witnesses thus clearly state their dependence on Scripture as their final source of authority. As we examine their theology it will become quite evident that this by no means a fair and honest statement of the case. Instead of listening to Scripture and subjecting themselves wholly to its teachings, as they claim to do, they actually impose their own theological system upon Scripture and force it to comply with their beliefs. ... the NWT ... is a biased translation in which many of the peculiar teachings of the Watchtower Society are smuggled into the text of the Bible itself."
I'll add his comments to the NWT article to provide a little balance to what is otherwise an entirely complimentary article on the translation. Other sources too have identified scriptures that are reworked to fit with pre-existing WTS doctrines. In this way the NWT is used to support those doctrines, many of which are unique to the Witnesses, allowing Witnesses to point to their version and say, "See? It's right there in the Bible!". I think that's where the circular reasoning begins. LTSally (talk) 05:38, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad that we agree on the wording now. As for referencing the "literal, conservative" bit, I pulled that from the NWT article. Feel free to grab whatever reference it uses there, or maybe I will when I have a little more time on my hands. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 03:49, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Russell's interpretations of Bible Chronology

Russell's Bible chronology wasn't original, he was influenced by a few different schools of thought on the chronology, and so it couldn't really be referred to as "his" intepretations. If a reference is needed, it will be provided, otherwise, it is only a minor clarification. Thanks--Natural (talk) 01:26, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Russell put together a set of doctrines drawn from other writers and with additions of his own. Although John Nelson Darby had published his ideas of dispensationalism, Russell created the notion of parallel dispensations and added them to his set of teachings. They were most certainly his interpretations. LTSally (talk) 01:37, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Whether any of the chronology came from Russell or not, the aggregation of different schools of thought into a particular view, by him, can fairly be called "his interpretations", imho. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 21:03, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Minor edits for accuracy

Under Rutherfords change where all appointments "are made" centrally, it should read "were made" because today, the arrangement is different, and appointments are made at the various branches in each respective country. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalpsychology (talkcontribs) 01:32, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Some small edits made

Some small edits were made, based on discussions over the past week or two. If there are any issues with the edits by Natural, please deal with them individually, rather than blanking out the whole work, because it took a lot of time, and because there is some issue with Neutral POV, and it was an attempt to give a more balanced, neutral viewpoint, and explain or give basis for certain statements, especially in the introduction, where people might not read the whole article, but just the first few paragraphs, controversial issues being raised in the introduction. Hopefully, this well help the quality of the article. Thanks.--Natural (talk) 02:39, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

One or two of your edits were helpful, but I don't see that they did anything to address your perceived issues of bias. Jehovah's Witnesses are a religion that has attracted controversy throughout the lifetimes of every single president from Rutherford on, and in Russell's day before that when Watch Tower publications represented the views of the Bible Students. An encyclopedia article should contain coverage of that fact. But I believe the article in its present form is fair, accurate and neutral in its treatment of those controversial issues. LTSally (talk) 11:17, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

A number of Ray Franz References that should be edited

This is getting back to the emphasis on this article on Ray Franz's complaints with JW. A few statements in the history of this time period rely heavily on RF's summation of matters. The Commentary Press seems to be a born again Christian type of press. Born again Christians have strong opinions of their own, and have a decidedly oppositional approach to JW. The Commentary Press itself, isnt the type of source that Wikipedia refers to as preferred, that is a university press. And the apostate is not a credible source for info. That being the case, a few statements, such as here, "Focus on 1975 was intensified with talks given at conventions;"[91] ^ Franz, Raymond. "Chapter 9". Crisis of Conscience. --Natural (talk) 01:47, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Also, this wording, "the year were proved wrong"

would more clearly be expressed, "proved to be unfounded" "proved to be in error" "Were proved wrong" is more like, someone came along and proved them wrong, so a slight wording change would be more accurate.--Natural (talk) 01:47, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

There is no "emphasis" on Franz's "complaints". He is a reliable source. Regardless of your personal view that he is an apostate OR that Commentary Press "seems to be a born again Christian type of press" and is therefore automatically antagonistic towards JWs, the information he provides is often valuable. You are better identifying specific statements sourced to him than speaking in generalities. The issue of the focus on 1975 intensifying as the year approached is supported by numerous other sources and I'll add some to show that Franz is not alone in that view. LTSally (talk) 04:12, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I know little about Franz and cannot really say much about his credibility, but it may interest you to review WP:SOURCES. Also note that in this article, Franz's statements are typically not used to assert facts about the Jehovah's Witnesses, but to illustrate the existence of criticism. That criticism exists is a verifiable fact, and the existence of said criticism should be duly noted. As for the wording issue, from a purely editorial perspective, the passive voice should be used as little as possible. It can be (but is not always) the vehicle for weasel words. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 21:23, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia states on WP:SYNTHESIS that "reliable sources are "peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers."
Commentary Press is not of this caliber. It is hard to find Commentary Press in any listing of publishing houses and it has a few religious books and R.Franz's. It doesn't sell to mainstream sources but to ma and pa religious stores, and it is not "peer-reviewed" or published by a university.
So, the type of source that Wikipedia requires for controversial information, information with a strong viewpoint, or to support opinionated statements that put Jehovah's Witnesses in a negative light, needs to be better supported than with references to R. Franz, or to R. Franz's references to JW literature or other books.
Also, the article should not contain a large percentage of apostate references. If cricitism of this type is part of the article, the Wikipedia Encyclopedia is not a forum for apostate material against any religion. --Natural (talk) 22:27, 18 January 2010 (UTC) I'll come up with more specifics later this week. Thanks.--Natural (talk) 22:27, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately if it can be sourced it can be included. You are free to find equalizing sources that prove things differently however Wikipedia isn't censored. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 03:54, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Grow up. Your obsession with apostasy is becoming pitiful. If you favor the removal of all sources that are not academic publications, then presumably you'll have no objection to the removal of all Watch Tower Society literature as well. If you believe there is synthesis in articles, identify it and we'll all deal with it. LTSally (talk) 07:01, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
As has been mentioned before, sources that provide information about Jehovah's Witnesses are almost always for or against them, and rarely neutral. We need to make do with what we've got. A neutral point of view isn't achieved by suppressing pro- and anti- points of view, but by showing all points of view. As for reasons why an "apostate" might be cited, see my previous comment, in which I have bolded the relevant bit. Generally, surrounding a word in double square brackets is to provide a wikilink. I've added "WP:" in front of "SYNTHESIS" in your comment to link to WP:SYNTHESIS. There is no official policy on citing apostates. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 07:28, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Natural, your insistence on labelling editors and sources with the JW pejorative form of the word 'apostate' is of no benefit to the article. Please be specific in indicating what actual statements in the article you have a problem with, and refrain from ad hominem attacks.--Jeffro77 (talk) 13:24, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
In LTSally's case, the term apostate technically applies. ;) In any event, Jeffro is right. Natural, if you can provide quality sources to replace or stand alongside "apostate" citations for specific facts in the article, feel free to do so. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 06:06, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines apostate as a person who renounces a former belief, so yes, I'm an apostate. Nathan Knorr, born into the Reformed Church, was an apostate. Fred Franz, raised as a Presbytarian, was an apostate. Don Adams, the current WTS president, is an apostate, having been raised in an Episcopal family and renouncing that faith to become a Jehovah's Witness. Those men were all responsible for the publication of literature that denounced other religions, so by User:Naturalpsychology's definition are therefore unreliable when speaking on the subject of religion. Anyone who changes religions is an apostate, and Jehovah's Witnesses make it their lifelong goal to turn churchgoers into apostates. It's only apostates who dare to criticise his religion he hates, obviously. LTSally (talk) 08:41, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Scripture footnotes?

We had agreed in a previous discussion that scriptural footnotes were appropriate. Why were they deleted? Thanks.--Natural (talk) 18:18, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

There is no value in quoting a scripture from Revelation when referring to Armageddon. There is a Wiki link in the article to Armageddon, which explains what the term means. You added a quotation of the scriupture from Isaiah when referring to Rutherford renaming the Bible Students, which was unncessary because the scripture was already identified in the texct. Similarly there is no need to quote a series of scriptures when referring to house-to-house preaching. At best a scripture or two may be cited in the footnotes, but only if accopanied with an explanation of their revelance to the article. In no case when you added scriptures did you indicate any relevance. LTSally (talk) 20:27, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
If we are to explain why Witnesses believe what they do, referencing the bible is inevitable. But particulars on the topic should generally be relegated to Beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses (see WP:SUMMARY). If a reader wants to know the intricacies of JW belief, then they should probably turn to the source: JW publications like Awake! (keep in mind WP:What Wikipedia is not). Also, referencing bible verses is best done with a template like {{bibleref}}. If there is an online location where the New World Translation can be read, then I could probably make a template (or modify an existing one) for citing it. Using templates helps to preserve a uniform look and feel on Wikipedia. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 21:43, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
For a lot of people, terms such as Armageddon, great crowd, are terms that seem like that they might have been pulled out of the air, and are not aware that these terms are biblical. So, in some cases, if this page is going to get into a lot of detail about JW beliefs, and also make an attempt, as it currently does, to raise controversial issues of JW early on in the article, with little explanation, then it would be appropriate to add scripture references. If some of the details which might be difficult to understand or which are controversial were discussed only in sections where the ideas can be elaborated on, if it is the desire of the editors to get into that kind of detail in this article (something that is not done in other encyclopedia references on this subject), then either Scripture citations can be used to help to support the idea, and to help persons see the reference for this terminoloy which is not used every day or that many might not know is in the Bible. For a person who had been a Jehovah's Witness, it goes without saying that they understand that the word Armageddon is in the Bible, for many young people, they have little idea that the Bible mentions it, but have reference with a movie or something else in reference to that word. So, that's the idea behind a few of the scripture references. Understood that Isaiah is mentioned later in the article. --Natural (talk) 22:20, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Which is why Wikipedia has links within articles. Don't know what Armageddon means? Click on the link. It will tell you a lot more than a quotation of several verses fron Revelation that mean many things to different people. LTSally (talk) 22:25, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. See WP:LINKS for tips and advice in the use of wikilinks. A section out of that style guideline page (talking about the use of links in the lead section) states: "On the other hand, in technical articles that use many uncommon terms in the introduction, a higher-than-usual link density in the lead section may be necessary to facilitate understanding; but, if possible, try giving an informal explanation in the lead, avoiding using too many technical terms until later in the article". The advice is generally applicable in the situation of summary articles such as this one. See also WP:DETAIL, a subsection of WP:SUMMARY, which states "The parent article should have general summary information and the more detailed summaries of each subtopic should be in daughter articles and in articles on specific subjects." Cheers. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 05:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Disfellowshipping sentence in beginning of article

If the controversial subject of disfellowshipping is to be mentioned in the beginning of the article, then there needs to be some clarifying information. Twice the clarifying information I've included on the subject in the introduction has been deleted. If the opposing editors here want to delete that clarifying information, then I feel, and would insist, that the mentioning of disfellowshipping be taken out of the introduction. Some might have a personal issue with disfellowshipping and for that reason want that mentioned in the beginning of the article. That might be true of any disfellowshipped persons who may be editing on this site also.

However, this form of discipline, Holden states, is not common, in the congregation he attended, it had been 8 years since anyone had been disfellowshipped, and he states that counseling is the first method that is most often used. Also, private reproof is much more common than disfellowshipping. So, there is no need to launch into a series of controversies early on in the article, but that particular line either needs clarification or it needs to be removed and stated in the paragraph that deals with that subject much later in the article, where an explanation can be elaborated on.--Natural (talk) 22:34, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

The sentence in the lead section refers to the JWs' system of discipline, which is quite unusual for a religion and therefore notable. It refers only to the most severe form of discipline, which is disfellowshipping, which is again unusual and is a controversial subject. That also makes it notable. If an article on Texas referred to the fact that it still administers the death penalty, there would be no need to add information in ther lead section on all other forms of punishment including probation and fines. There is similarly no need to add the lesser options available in the Witnesses' elaborate system of judgment and punishment of members. Further details are contained in an article linked further below.
Yes, I deleted the statement you wrote that claimed "The majority who are disfellowshipped, however, are reinstated to the congregation." That statement was sourced from Holden, page 79. On that page he writes, of a conversation with one elder: "He informed me that disfellowship does not mean permanent exclusion and that, upon repentance, the majority of disfellowshipped members are allowed to return to the congregation." (Emphasis mine). Need I spell out that (a) one elder expressing a personal viewpoint is not an authoritative statement of the worldwide situation of JWs and (b) He was referring only to those who repent. It may be that of all JWs disfellowsipped, only 10 per cent repent. Therefore only a tiny minority of those DFd are "allowed" to return. But who knows? Unless the WTS publishes some statistics, it's all conjecture.
That's the reason I deleted your statement, which fails to measure up to any sort of verifiability. Your assumption that its deletion reflects an agenda by former Witnesses who "have an issue with disfellowshipping" is, sadly, a reflection of your own prejudices. LTSally (talk) 06:57, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I feel that the statement needs to be clarified if it is to be kept in the introduction, if not it should be deleted. Many might read only the introduction and not the clarifying points. Also, Holden brings out, I hope I don't need to get the page number, but it is common knowledge, disfellowshipping is a last thing, it is not the most common. Counseling and shepherding is the priority. If disfellowshipping is mentioned in intro, then reinstatment needs to be mentioned, as well as counseling and reproof, very simple, not an elaboration.--Natural (talk) 21:51, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Also, BFizz brought this to my attention, and it applies to some of the details and technical/uncommon terms in the introduction of this article,

[Natural quotes User:B Fizz, from a previous talk section:] A section out of that style guideline page (talking about the use of links in the lead section) states: "On the other hand, in technical articles that use many uncommon terms in the introduction, a higher-than-usual link density in the lead section may be necessary to facilitate understanding; but, if possible, try giving an informal explanation in the lead, avoiding using too many technical terms until later in the article". The advice is generally applicable in the situation of summary articles such as this one. See also WP:DETAIL, a subsection of WP:SUMMARY, which states "The parent article should have general summary information and the more detailed summaries of each subtopic should be in daughter articles and in articles on specific subjects." [close quote]

Such a term as disfellowshipping in the intro,then, according to this would not be necessary or according to the Wiki guidelines. --Natural (talk) 21:51, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The article correctly applies such policies. Disfellowshipping as the most severe form of discipline is mentioned in the lead section and frurther detail is contained in the article and in the spinout article. By referring to "technical" articles you are grasping at straws to have mention of disfellowshipping deleted. LTSally (talk) 22:12, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The 8/1/1974 Watchtower indicates that 40% of those disfellowshipped at that 10 year time period were reinstated. The percentage is probably higher today, with the emphasis on shepherding and mercy. --Natural (talk) 03:55, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

I feel that this line needs to be modified or deleted, I have to insist on that point. This is not an expose (ex-po-zay) for disfellowshipped or potentially disfellowshipped persons to air their griefs against Jehovah's Witnesses. This is an encyclopedia article. Both sides of the issue have to be presented, according to Wikipedia, a neutral point of view, not a bias. NPOV--Natural (talk) 03:57, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Your edit is straying once again from verifiable fact. (1) Members are disciplined for violating the organization's interpretation of biblical moral principles. That explains why, for example, Catholics can smoke cigarettes and Witnesses can't. Each has interpreted certain scriptures in different ways to decide what is acceptable to God and what's not. (2) Excellent work in tracking down a statistic on DF and reinstatement, but at best it could be said that in a 10-year period almost 50 years ago, a little more than a third of those DFd were reinstated. If you have evidence that "the percentage is probably higher today", please add it. "A large percentage" is a poor substitute for the actual figure, which turns out to be significantly less than half. In either case, the appropriate place for this material is in the body of the article or in the spinout article. It is excessive detail for a summary. (3) Holden says counselling is one of the most common forms of discipline. You have decided it is the most common, which is altering the claim in the source material and dishonest.
If, however, there's a general opinion that the brief mention of disfellowshipping in the intro be expanded to include its current wording embracing both the full range of disciplinary actions applied by JW church courts and the rate of reinstatement as it applied 50 years ago, there should also be a mention of the fact that members who choose to voluntarily leave the religion at any point are also publicly named in meetings and shunned. LTSally (talk) 07:25, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
The JW jargon term "counsel" is employed fairly arbitrarily, and can refer to advice that may be formal or informal. Anyone who receives other JW 'discipline' first gets some kind of 'counsel', so it's fair to say that it is the most common form of JW discpline. However, it also often quite mundane. I have changed the wording to indicate that counsel is inherent, without giving it more attention than is necessary in the lead.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:59, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

That is an acceptable edit. Thanks. Also at the end of that sentence reinstatment should be mentioned. The last published stats on reinstatement that I could find stated that 40% are reinstated. A sentence should be added to that introduction that, "a large perecentage that are disfellowshipped are later reinstated to the congregation." If you want a more exact number, 40% can be mentioned, it is probably higher today, because since the 1970s there has been greater emphasis on helping disfellowshipped ones to come back, elders meet yearly with any disfellowshipped person who expresses some desire to come back, and also give support in the process of reinstatement, including shepherding and counseling on many matters, including family problems.--Natural (talk) 15:09, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Holden's commnent on free choice of individuals who become Jehovah's Witnesses vs. extreme views by critics

Andrew Holden is not a fan of Jehovah's Witnesses, and his book expresses some favorable comments, and many which would not be considered favorable by Jehovah's Witnesses. However, the "mind control" idea is an extreme POV expressed only by apostates. It is a "fringe theory" and doesn't have a place on any reputable account of Jehovah's Witneses. Hodlen states,

"Throughout my study, I interviewde many Witnesses who told me that thier religious conversion had brought them happiness and well-being - a declaration that flies in the face of the generally negative profile which religious movements have been given over the years by the popular press. The mass media thrive on stories of families being torn aprt by the loss of their loved ones allegedly entieced by religious maniacas demanding total compliance. Sensationalism of this kind tends to portray all heterodox religious devotess as brainwashed extremists, and this makes their zeal difficult to comprehend.

In the end, I recognized that the confuson and conflicet that desirve from religious converision are often teh result of people's inability (and sometimes unwillingness), to understand of a different way of life from their own." page 6,7

Additionally, Dr. Margaret Singer in her book on Cults in Our Midst, links together brainwashing and mind control as very close to synonymous, in her detailed description of cults.

The 3 references on this are from 3 apostates and are listed in listings of Jehovah's Witness best apostate literature. These are not reliable sources of information on the subject of JW and don't feel it is necessary for the article, and violates the NPOV policy of Wikipedia.--Natural (talk) 04:29, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

The reference to mind control is contained in the criticisms section. It is a well-sourced criticism of the religion. It is clearly labelled as the opini0on of the sources. I don't see that anything you've quoted by Holden has any bearing on that issue. LTSally (talk) 06:28, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Comment: Natural, what sort of information do you suggest should be placed in the Criticism Section if not assertions by critics? So long as disclosure is made of the source of the criticism and any relationship with the Witness community, then I see no problem. What problem do you see?--Marvin Shilmer (talk) 14:05, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

If the criticism is coming from sociologists or social critics, that is one thing, but the critism is from former Jehovah's Witnesses and apostates in this particular case. So, it should be labelled as such. "Former Jehovah's Witness apostates," Ray Franz, etc... The way it is worded, it gives the false impression that these are unbiased sources, which is the basis of Wikipedia, NPOV. These three sources are biased sources, therefore, the information in this is biased, and reader should be made aware that these three references are from apostates. These are not social critics or sociologists. The wording should make that clear, if this type of biasd information is to be kept in the article. --Natural (talk) 14:58, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Comment: Referenced material in the Criticism Section is overwhelmingly from the single biased source of Watchtower itself. Do you find this objectionable?--Marvin Shilmer (talk) 17:13, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Comment: When ex-Witness critics are cited it appears to me individuals are presented as "former" or "ex" members. Isn't this what you recommend?--Marvin Shilmer (talk) 17:13, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

For example, with the Wikipedia article on Seventh Day Adventists, it states clearly, "Many high profile critics of the church are former Adventists, such as D. M. Canright, Walter Rea and Dale Ratzlaff." So, similarly, if this type of Fringe Theory is to be included, which I don't think it should, I have to look closer at the Wikipedia policy on Fringe Theories, it should clearly state, Critics of Jehovah's Witnesses among former Witnessses, notably, Ray Franz, naming the other two apostates as well. Then it will be clear, that this is not an accepted theory by sociologists, or by anyone but the apostates and their supporters.

Also, if it is to be included, then a defense by a reputable sociologist should also be included, and I'll include a quotation later that supports that. --Natural (talk) 15:05, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Comment: And what if no "reputable sociologist" presents a defense to whatever is the specific criticism? What do you suggest in that event? --Marvin Shilmer (talk) 17:17, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Comment: And what if a "reputable sociologist" presents an even more scathing criticism? What then? Are we to turn the Criticism Section into dueling experts? --Marvin Shilmer (talk) 17:17, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Andrew Holden is a sociologist and James Penton is professor emeritus of history at the University of Lethbridge. --Sungmanitu (talk) 16:35, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
There's not issue with Holden. Penton is an apostate. Any citings from apostates have to be taken with a grain of salt. They often times have personal issues, as does Ray Franz, who was asked to leave Bethel and his position with the Governing Body (not disfellowshipped), just, like, honorably, or dishonorably discharged. His pride was wounded, and he used his book to justify his own "honor" and so his work can't be taken all that seriously. He lashes out at some of the former Governing Body members he worked with, (I feel unfairly), and Penton also, he has some personal issues, and his status as a professor shouldn't be used for cover for his own personal grievances or annoyances.

There are plenty of good sources on the subject without focusing on apostates, who have conflicts of interest in their writing, often writing to justify their own personal grievances, even if they have a degree or work in a college.Natural (talk) 21:22, 22 January 2010 (UTC)Natural

It is true that sources by former members of an organization should be considered for bias, it does not automatically discredit those sources, and your infatuation with the JW pejorative jargon, apostate, is unnecessary. Given that JWs officially are 'not allowed' to read Franz' books, on what do you base your claim that "His pride was wounded, and he used his book to justify his own "honor" and so his work can't be taken all that seriously." Sounds like ad hominem to me - unless you have some first-hand information about this? Can you indicate anything specific in this article that is merely Penton airing "his own personal grievances or annoyances"?--Jeffro77 (talk) 23:10, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Naturalpsychology, your continued bleatings about apostates and your personal attacks on living persons, combined with the rather stupid generalilsation that "any citings from apostates have to be taken with a grain of salt", mark you as a person of deep prejudice with little capacity to view contentious issues with any sort of reason. Your comments are becoming increasingly irrational and despite your succession of threads accusing others of bias, you choose not to provide any specific examples to back your claims. Wikipedia is a communal project that relies on co-operation, but your fanatical comments, reflective of a cult mentality focusing on "apostates" who spread "lies" about your religion, serve only to antagonise. It certainly doesn't contribute to a better article. LTSally (talk) 11:19, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Source Citation?

Good article but I have a citation concern. Under the section "Jesus and Jehovah" it's stated, "They believe that references in the Bible to the Archangel Michael, Apollyon (a.k.a. Abaddon), and the Word all refer to Jesus.[147][148][149]"

What references? The included sources all cite Watchtower material, not the Bible. The qoute specifically states the "Bible" claims to have these references. Where? Please provide a Chapter and Verse where "Jesus", or more vaguely the "Messiah", is identified as "Michael the Archangel". If one cannot be provided, the article should be re-worded or the reference removed. Your thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.242.1.15 (talk) 18:54, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Comment: The references are to support the statement of belief, not to support the belief's theology.--Marvin Shilmer (talk) 21:29, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
When the article says "JWs believe that references in the bible to...a, b, c...all refer to Jesus", it means that they consider passages such as John 1:1 (which talks about a being called "the Word") are actually talking about Jesus. They believe this even though the bible does not explicitly or clearly say that "the Word" = Jesus. The article makes it clear that Jehovah's Witnesses believe this or that. The article often supports the fact that such is indeed their belief by citing JW material. This article does not attempt to assert that this particular belief is factual, or even biblical. In short: just because their belief is based on the bible doesn't mean that the bible explicitly states everything they believe in an unambiguous way. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 03:50, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Your conclusion makes good sense. However, point of clarrification - the Bible does clearly indicate the Word = Jesus. John 1:14 "...The Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." Anyways, not germane to the discussion. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HBSOCAL (talkcontribs) 17:38, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

MiszaBot talk page archival

With the permission of you all, I'd like to automate the archival of this talk page via MiszaBot I. ...but what do you think? ~BFizz 06:57, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Please do! this was a extremely long page...Hell In A Bucket (talk) 07:05, 21 January 2010 (UTC)


NWT and Divine Name in Greek Scriptures

Some Bible scholars, and many other translations also use the Divine name in the Greek Scriptures, although, perhaps, not to the same extent as the NWT. http://www.conservapedia.com/New_World_Translation_of_the_Holy_Scriptures

George Howard (University of Georgia) who wrote in Journal of Biblical Literature (Vol. 96, 1977, p. 63: “Recent discoveries in Egypt and the Judean Desert allow us to see first hand the use of God’s name in pre-Christian times. These discoveries are significant for N[ew] T[estament] studies in that they form a literary analogy with the earliest Christian documents and may explain how NT authors used the divine name. In the following pages we will set forth a theory that the divine name, הוהי (and possibly abbreviations of it), was originally written in the NT quotations of and allusions to the O[ld] T[estament] and that in the course of time it was replaced mainly with the surrogate [abbreviation for Ky′ri·os, “Lord”]. This removal of the Tetragram[maton], in our view, created a confusion in the minds of early Gentile Christians about the relationship between the ‘Lord God’ and the ‘Lord Christ’ which is reflected in the MS tradition of the NT text itself.” Natural (talk) 21:54, 22 January 2010 (UTC)Natural

Henschel resigning as president

The statement that Henschel resigned leaves one hanging in the air, did he leave JW? Actually, his resigning was part of an organizational restructuring giving more authority to regional branch committees throughout the world, part of a "simplification" process, which is a term that had been used from the 1990s on, with the organizational structure of JW. Also, a means of delegating more responsibility to the branch committees in each country or region, including that in the U.S. Milton Henschel remained a member of the Governing Body until his death a number of years ago.Natural (talk) 22:00, 22 January 2010 (UTC)Natural

That's a bit like saying people aren't sure if George W. Bush is still American.--Jeffro77 (talk) 23:28, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what is meant by that. R.F left the JW. So, in not explaining it, then, it leaves you up in the air, what happened to him, did he leave too? Why did he resign? Did he disagree with the GB also? You know, that's the idea. The world at large doesn't know who Milton Henschel was.--Natural (talk) 23:45, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Specifics about Milton's resignation aren't necessary in the general scope of this article, so the question need not be raised at all. It is simpler to just indicate the years he was president, as with other later presidents who did not have a significant impact on shaping JW doctrine. Elaboration on Henschel's resignation and the reasons for it would be more suitable at the GB article. --Jeffro77 (talk) 23:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Present stats

The article might benefit from some sort of conclusion, or modern stats. These were of 2009 from the 2010 yearbook. People are sometimes curious about the actual stats, and these might add to the interest of the article.

Branches of Jehovah's Witnesses 118 Number of lands 236 Total Congregations 105,298 Percentage of Increase 2008-2009 3.2% Number baptized 276,233 --Natural (talk) 23:47, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

The approx number of JWs is already indicated in the article. For more specific statistics, see (and edit as necessary) Demographics of Jehovah's Witnesses and Jehovah's Witnesses by country.--Jeffro77 (talk) 23:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

doctrinal changes

The failed expectations for 1925, coupled with other doctrinal changes, resulted in a dramatic reduction in attendance at their yearly Memorial, from 90,434 in 1925[63] to 17,380 in 1928.[64][65]

I would propose at least a rewording, likely a deletion. this is a conclusion drawn from numbers in these publications, correct? A statement that memorial attendace dropped is fine if it is prestned properly, but I think this is not the location.George (talk) 02:50, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Your assumption is wrong. Penton explicitly links the falloff in numbers with both the failure of the 1925 prediction and Rutherford's doctrinal changes. In a section dealing with doctrinal changes, mention of the sudden departure of followers is very pertinent. LTSally (talk) 08:23, 23 January 2010 (UTC)