THOUSANDS of REVISIONS in JW THEOLOGY
Does the Bible describe the Locomotive?
(Investigator 188, 2019 September)
It is sometimes stated that the alterations Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs)
have made to their so-called "Bible truth" and "Bible education" number
Is "thousands" an exaggeration?
1300 in ONE BOOK
Investigator #85 estimated the number of points in The Finished Mystery
(1917), a book of the early JWs or "Russellites",
that were later discarded or revised at 1300.
The method was as follows:
I selected 35 pages from The Finished Mystery using the Random Number
key of a Scientific Calculator and counted the number of statements
that disagree with present-day JW interpretations.
The 35 pages contained 79 interpretations of Bible verses that the JW
hierarchy later revised, an average of 2.26 per page, giving an
estimate for the entire 608-page book of 608 x 2.26 = c.1300
That's 1300 false interpretations and false predictions in just one book!
Since the JW leaders are even now almost every year revising more of
the "Bible truth" published in their previous publications their total
obviously number thousands.
DOES THE BIBLE DESCRIBE THE LOCOMOTIVE?
The "sample" of 35 pages from The Finished Mystery did not include pages 84-86 which we'll now examine.
Pages 84-86 interpret Bible verses describing "Behemoth" and "Leviathan" as referring
to steam engines and locomotives. About 40 words are interpreted as parts of the steam engine or locomotive.
Since no major religion interpreted Behemoth as steam engine or Leviathan as locomotive and
JWs no longer do either, that's about 40 theological errors in three pages!
The Finished Mystery (1917) p. 84-86 (retyped):
|Job also describes the steam engine—stationary, railway and marine.
following is a corrected translation of Job 40:15 to 41:34, with
comments thereon from the pen of one of Pastor Russell’s followers:
"Behold now one with great heat [the stationary steam engine], which I
have made to be with thee; he will consume fodder [peat, wood, coal] as
do cattle. Behold now his strength is in his loins [boiler plates], and
his power is within the parts bent in a circle [boiler shell] of his
belly. His tail [smoke stack—opposite the feeding end] will set upright
like a cedar; the couplings of his leaping parts [connecting rods,
pitmans] will be clamped together. His bones are tubes of copper; his
solid bones [grate bars] are as hammered-out bars of iron. He is the
greatest of the ways of power. He that made him [the Lord] can make His
sword [Word] to approach unto [reveal] him. [Isa. 26:20, 21.) He shall
rest under thin shelter [steam jackets] within a covering of fibrous
reeds [jute] and clay [mortar]. The willows of the valley [the trees
overhead] will enclose him around about. Behold [as a pumping engine]
he will drink up an overflowing river without much exertion; he will
cause the people to trust [that their cellars will keep dry], though a
Jordan should rush forth over its border. He will gather it up in his
fountains by means of traps and with a perforated nozzle.
"Thou wilt lengthen out leviathan [the locomotive] with a hook
[automatic coupler] or with a snare [coupling-pin] which thou wilt
cause his tongue [coupling-link] to drop down. Wilt thou not place a
ring [piston] in his nostrils [cylinders] or pierce through his cheeks
[piston-ends] with a staff [piston-rod]? Will be make repeated
supplication unto thee [to get off the track]? Or will he utter soft
tones unto thee [when he screeches with the whistle]? Will he make a
covenant with thee, that thou mayest take him for a servant forever
[without repairs]? Wilt thou play with him as with a bird [make him
whistle at will]? Or wilt thou bind [enslave] him for thy maidens [so
that you can take them to a picnic or convention]? Companies [of
stockholders] will feast upon him [his earnings]; they will share him
among speculators. [Psa. 74:14.] Thou wilt fill his skin with pointed
irons [bolts], and his head with a cabin of fishermen [a cab similar to
the cabins on fishing vessels]. Place thy hand upon him, be mindful of
the conflict [raging within the boiler] and thou wilt add no further
questions. Behold, his confidence [boiler] being deceived [not properly
supplied with water], shall not at once his mighty form be spread
asunder [by an explosion]? There is none so bold that he will stir him
up [to run at his very highest possible speed], and none who will then
place himself before him [to be run over]. Who will compete with this
one and endure [pass him on the track]? Under the whole heaven, none,
unless [one like] himself.
"I will not pass in silence his members, nor the cause of his mighty
forces, nor the beauty of his equipment. Who can strip off the facings
of his jacket? Who can penetrate between the double lap of his shield
[the overlapping sections of the boiler plates]? Who can force open the
doors of his shield [the boiler ends]? The circuits of his teeth [rows
or rivets] are formidable. His strength depends on courses of shields
[sections of plates] closed up tightly with a seal [calked]. They shall
join one upon another so that a hiss of air [steam] shall not escape
from between them. One to the other shall adhere. They will be welded
together that they cannot be sundered. In his sneezing [when he puffs
from the cylinders] light will shine, a flood of light prevading the
mass of vapors: and his eyes [headlights] will be as the eyelashes of
the morning [as rays of light from the rising sun]. Out of his mouth
[fire-door] will leap forth flaming torches, and [from the smoke stack]
glowing sparks will slip themselves away. From his nostrils [cylinders]
will issue forth vapor as from a boiling pot or caldron. His inhaling
[forced draft] will vivify burning coals, and a flame will leap forth
from his mouth. Within his neck abideth strength, and a desolation will
dance with joy [become a prosperous community] at his presence. The
separable parts of his body are connected together; all will be made
fast upon him; nothing will be shaky. His heart will be indurated
similar to a stone, and will be firm as a piece of the lower [rocks].
When at his full speed the most courageous will fear [lest]. from
accidents. they lose themselves. When dryness exalteth him [or renders
him furious], he will not have power to withhold; the curved vault
[fire box] being caused to tear away, and also the armor. He will
esteem iron as straw, and brass as rotted wood. The archer cannot make
him flee; missiles [of war] will be turned unto him as chaff. The
[strokes of a] hammer will be esteemed as chaff; he will rejoice at the
poking of the fireman. Hewed [or notched] timbers of the craftsman
[ties] are under him; he will spread an embankment [or trench] upon the
mire. He will [as a marine engine] cause deep [places] to become as a
boiling pot [about his propellers]; he will make the sea to appear like
boiling ointment. He will make a path to shine after him; one will
think the deep to be growing gray. [Psa. 104:26; Isa. 27:1.] Upon the
earth there is not his like—he that is [so] constructed that he can
fear nothing. He can oversee [control by his work] all that which is
great; he is indeed king over all conceptions of power."
One YouTube video features a JW on his cart ministry who refuses to
listen and leaves when a person approaches with The Finished Mystery and begins to
read pages 84 to 86 to him! That is typical JW conduct — they claim
superiority over every religion because they alone supposedly properly
understand the Bible, but run away when shown otherwise from their own
books. Their refusal to hear their own history is not an informed
individual decision, but by order of their Governing Body.
IT WAS THE TRUTH
The origin of The Finished Mystery (1917) was as follows:
With the "key" which brother Russell, as the Lord's servant, had placed
in his hands, brother Woodworth, by the Lord's grace, has been enabled
to bring together everything that Brother Russell wrote on
Revelation... (Preface, p. 6)
The Finished Mystery, like all JW books, was not advertised as containing speculation, not even as interpretation, but as truth from God:
Have you enjoyed this work thus far? Are you convinced it is of the Lord—prepared under His guidance? (p. 126)
Pastor Russell was the most prolific writer of Biblical truth that ever
lived. (p. 65)
In his search for Biblical truth and harmony he is
without peer in this Age… He has been too busy spreading Divine Truth…
The enemies of Truth were wholly unable to check the spread of knowledge. (pp 382-383)
The clergy, trying to stem the tide of Truth ... put every restraint on
the influence of Pastor Russell… Church members have been urged to get
rid of every scrap of paper bearing the Message of Present Truth...
Neither Pastor Russell nor his fellow-believers were permitted to utter
the Bible Truth before the congregations of ecclesiasticism. (p. 390)
Elsewhere we read:
It does not contain any erroneous doctrines. (The Watch Tower 1920 April 1, p. 103)
…the clergy have kept the people from the truth and led them into
darkness... Now the mask is torn off, and nothing ever published so
exposes the nefarious course of this instrument of Satan as does The
Finished Mystery. (The Watch Tower 1921, March 15, 93-94)
The JW hierarchy continued to praise The Finished Mystery to new
generations of JWs, even while hindering access to copies of it. We get commendatory descriptions such as:
... a stinging exposure of the clergy. (Qualified to Be Ministers l955, 314)
… sweet to the spiritual taste. (Then Is Finished The Mystery of God 1969, 258)
… drawing the fire of all these enemies and resulting in their exposure
as enemies of truth was the publication 'The Finished Mystery'.
(Yearbook of JWs 1973, 106)
…a stinging exposure of Christendom's clergy class. (Awake 1984, December 8, p. 10)
The book was banned in Canada and USA in 1918 which JWs blame on
clergymen who signed a petition. (Yearbook of JWs 1979, p. 108)
Some members of the cult who continued, despite the ban, and the book's
1000+ errors, to distribute The Finished Mystery, are described like
Yes, these faithful Christians were denied their freedoms because they
dared, as did Jesus, exposing the hypocrisy of the clergy. (Yearbook
COMPARISON WITH SCIENCE
JWs sometimes argue, "The Finished Mystery is an old book and scientists too revise their theories."
Mainstream scientists, however, don't claim that their scientific
conclusions are from God, call other scientists "enemies of truth"
deceived by the devil, urge people not to listen to them, or otherwise
oppose their work!
From 1918 onwards Russellites by hundreds, and later thousands, either
returned to mainstream Christianity or began to organize breakaway cults — and
the trigger was The Finished Mystery:
This volume...was the focal point around which an opposition party
arose within the society. (Convention Report 1950 Day 3, p. 2)
…this book crystallized the opposition of the 'evil slave' class. (Qualified to be Ministers 1955, 314)
In Australia dissenters founded the Peoples Paper in which they
published their objections to The Finished Mystery — pointing to its
already-failing predictions, interpretations that had been changed, and
outrageous verbal attacks on mainstream Christians. A doctor in New
South Wales wrote:
"…its vindictive and slanderous aspersions of other
religious thought, and its scurrilous cartoons, in no way indicating
the spirit of Christ, made me throw it aside…" (Peoples
Paper, September 1, 1918, p. 4)
It is impossible to get an honest description of JW history from JW
sources. The embedded distortions, omissions, rationalizations and
propaganda are too extensive.
Bible Dictionaries have long identified Behemoth in the Bible in Job
40 as the hippopotamus, and Leviathan in Job 41 as the crocodile, with which JWs in their book Aid to Bible
Understanding (1971) finally agreed.
The point to remember is that JW revisions to what they promoted as
God's Word and Bible truth number thousands.
|Can JWs, by publishing thousands of errors
involving every major doctrine and calling it all "Bible truth", be what they claim — that is "true Christianity" and "loyal to God's word"?
Are they right to stigmatize other religions as "false religion", "enemies of
truth" and "evil slave" when they themselves are so false?
With such a background, how reliable are their