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Counter-Jehovah’s Witnesses

Books Reviewed

By Gary F. Zeolla

In the following reviews, references to comments about these books are referring to reviews of these books posted on Amazon’s or Barnes and Nobles’ Web sites. For details on my book Scripture Workbook mentioned in these reviews, see Scripture Workbook Preview.

Reasoning from the Scriptures With the Jehovah's Witnesses
by Ron Rhodes

I find some of the debates in these reviews interesting as they are mostly about the correct translations of Hebrew or Greek passages. The problem is, most of the people engaging in the debates problem don’t actually know either of these languages. And I have never met with a JW who did. So I would say it is best not to get into debates with a JW over translations. It usually just ends up with one person quoting an “authority” (often out of context) against the other’s quote.

It would be more fruitful to avoid such passages and look at the hundreds of verses in the Bible which bear on the question of Christ’s deity and the Trinity in general. And fortunately Rhodes does reference many such verses. And for many more verses in this regard, see the three chapters on the Trinity in my book Scripture Workbook. It contains hundreds of verses supporting the doctrine of the Trinity and refutes proposed arguments against it.

I also find it interesting that people say that discussing things like blood transfusions is a waste of time. But the fact is, many JWs have left the Watchtower over just this issue. When someone or his or her loved one is at death’s door, abiding by this belief becomes much more than just an academic issue. So I think it is good that Rhodes addresses such doctrines in his book, as I do in a chapter on various Watchtower doctrines in my book.

As for Watchtower false prophecies, claiming we are human beings who all make mistakes doesn’t negate the problem with the Watchtower in this regard. The fact is that the Watchtower has claimed to be a prophet, and the Bible declares that a prophet must be 100% accurate as Rhodes points out.

Moreover, many JWs’ lives have been ruined by such false prophecies. There have been many JWs who never got married, had children, went to college, or the like because they saw no reason too since the end was coming “soon.” But as “soon” dragged on into years and decades, the JW is left regretting his or her life and the things they never did.

So yes, get Rhodes book. It provides valuable information on various aspects of the Watchtower. And for more Biblical data on the Trinity and other doctrines relevant to JWs, consult my Scripture Workbook.

Index of Watchtower Errors, 1879 to 1989
David A. Reed (Editor)

This book is a collection of quotes from materials published by the Watchtower. The quotes show how the Watchtower has reversed itself on many issues over the decades. And it also chronicles the Watchtower’s false prophecies.

My favorite is on page 116:
The men of Sodom will be resurrected. WT 7/1879, p.8
The men of Sodom will not be resurrected. WT 6/1/1952, p. 479.
The men of Sodom will be resurrected. WT 8/1/1965, p. 479
The men of Sodom will not be resurrected. WT 6/1/1988, p.31.
The men of Sodom will be resurrected. Live Forever, earlier editions, p.179.
The men of Sodom will not be resurrected. Live Forever, later editions, p.179.
The men of Sodom will be resurrected. Insight, Vol.2, p. 985.
The men of Sodom will not be resurrected. Revelation, p. 273.

It should be noted that the last two books were both published in the same year, 1988. This issue is important to the average JW as whether the Sodomites will be resurrected or not has a bearing on whether their departed, non-JW loved ones will be resurrected or not.

JWs claim that such reversals on doctrines and false prophecies are just “human errors.” But such claims don’t negate the force of this information. The fact is that the Watchtower claims to be “God’s Channel of Communication” and a “Prophet” as Reed demonstrates clearly in this book. If the Watchtower is truly speaking for God, it should be infallible. And infallible means no errors or reversals of doctrines. If the Watchtower is not speaking for God, then it should not claim that it does.

Moreover, many JWs live their lives based strictly on what the Watchtower teaches. The reason for this is because they believe the Watchtower is God’s spokesman. So again, if the Watchtower is not it should make it clear to its members that it is fallible.

However, it should be noted that a JW probably wouldn’t look at this book. They are conditioned to not view anything that appears critical of the Watchtower. So one would have to attain the books themselves, or write out the quotes and their sources, give them to the JW and encourage him or her to research the matter in their group’s archives.

Also, addressing false prophecies and reversals of doctrines is only one way to deal with JWs. Another way is to address the doctrines of the Watchtower. Reed has other books that look at what the Scriptures have to say about Watchtower teachings. And there are three chapters on the Trinity and one on various other Watchtower teachings in my book Scripture Workbook.

So get this book by Reed to prepare yourself to address this area of the Watchtower, and get one of Reed’s other books or my book to prepare yourself for Biblical discussions.

Answering Jehovah's Witnesses Subject by Subject
by David Reed

Reed is a former JW and has been operating a ministry to JWs for years. So he is well versed in Watchtower teachings, and this shows in this book. He details Watchtower teachings with quotes and photocopies from the Watchtower’s own publications. So I can’t see why some JWs are claiming this book contains “lies” about the Watchtower.

Each of the subjects Reed addresses is important, and all have bearing on the authority of the Watchtower. The person wanting to talk to JWs and JWs wanting to be sure they are really in “the truth” should research each of these subjects and most of all study what the Bible has to say on them.

Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse
By David Reed

This book begins with a short introduction. It then has short chapters outlining the basic teachings of the Watchtower and critiquing the Watchtower’s “New World Translation.” Then the bulk of the book is an index of verses from both the Old and New Testaments that are relevant to JWs. Then the last three chapters contain a short outline of Watchtower history, “Techniques for Sharing the Gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses,” and Reed’s testimony of how he came out of the Watchtower.

The verse-by-verse evaluations are excellent. The cover both verses JWs cite that they claim support their doctrines and verses showing that their doctrines are false. For the former, Reed gives a concise explanation of how the JWs are misusing the verse. For the latter, Reed explains what doctrine of the Watchtower the verse refutes and why.

This is a very helpful resource to have around when a person gets “stumped” by something a JW says. He or she can look up the verse in this book and be prepared for the next time. And the JW, if he or she is open enough to listen, can see what “the other side” has to say about important verses.

The opening and closing short chapters also contain helpful information. But given their brevity they do not provide a lot of detail. For further study on such subjects one would have to consult other books. But Reed’s testimony is very interesting.

Reed’s companion book “Answering Jehovah's Witnesses: Subject by Subject,” would be another helpful resource to have around. It provides further details on subjects addressed in this book. And for additional Biblical study on subjects relevant to JWs, consult my book “Scripture Workbook: For Personal Bible Study and Teaching the Bible.” It contains three chapters on the Trinity and one on various other Watchtower teachings.

The above reviews were posted on this website June 19, 2001.

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