1. tracie harris says

    That was extremely entertaining. Thanks for posting that. Also, just for the record, JW’s not only differ on “hell” but also on the divinity of Jesus. They don’t beleive Jesus is god. But they do hold that he was a specially created being for the purpose of salvation. I don’t know the details. They also have their own brand of Bible translation that is different than all other Bibles–in order to support their doctrines. That’s why it’s a good idea to have another Bible available if you opt to debate Biblical passages with them. I think you were wise not to–but just fyi.

  2. says

    I never debate about specific word nitpicking in the Bible. I know you would be very good at that, but I’m much more familiar with the broad thrust of the Bible than I am with the fine details. There were several times when they tried to start telling me about what the Bible says, but I would say that I don’t believe in their book and they would slide away from the subject voluntarily.There was one time when the older woman read me this vague, fluffy passage that was clearly trying to make one philosophical point. All I said was “That’s interesting, what does that passage mean to YOU?” I think she was disappointed that I wasn’t floored by the piercing insight of the passage into my own life or something.

  3. tracie harris says

    Actually, even if I had the Bible memorized, I wouldn’t enter into debate about “what the Bible says,” because it’s too interpretive–but Xians don’t see that. Every one of them thinks it’s “clear”–but every one of them interprets that “clear meaning” differently than the other denominations.Also, for every passage, there is a counter passage–which is why it works so well. “Build your house on the rock”; but “give no thought for tomorrow”; the atheist looks at it like “you can’t win,” the believer, on the other hand, can’t lose–because no matter how he wants to see it, it’s right there in black-and-white.Anyway, just to say that your handling of it–not going there–I think is always the wisest move. Arguing the Bible is putting the cart before the horse, but it’s a common mistake atheists make; and as you illustrated, it’s just best to keep pointing out that you can’t really give it any weight unless you believe in god. If they can get you into discussing the Bible, that’s a quagmire nobody can ever come out of!

  4. says

    Tracie, the Bible put out by the JWs is actually not that different from most protestant bibles. The New World Translation (JW Bible) wasn’t even put out until the 1950’s, and most of the JW theology was developed before that, when they were using the American Standard Version. Now, the NWT does have a number of deviations from the original manuscripts (most notably the inclusion of “Jehovah” in the New Testament despite the fact that the tetragrammaton doesn’t exist in any NT manuscript).

    Most of them won’t insist that you use their Bible, and in fact will often go out of their way to point out they are willing to use any translation you wish, but they just use the NWT because they think it’s “more accurate” (read: their organization told them it was more accurate).

    That said, it doesn’t matter anyway since the superior tactic is to attack the Bible’s credibility itself.

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