FORMER Jehovah's Witnesses....

What made you decide that JWsing was not for you? Was it something somebody showed you? How well did you know about the JW religion before you left it?

I have a cousin (JW) who wants to know how I can believe in the Trinity when “YHWH/JHVH” was only translated to “LORD”, that is, we’re missing something in translation…

Of course, I can use the Bible, and ONLY the Bible. :wink:

Any help?

And, I mean, any personal help? I already am looking through the tracts and the Encyclopaedia on this site…

Not a former JW but why did Christ in Matthew say we are to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

A good question, surely, but, why has “YHWH” or “JHVH” been changed to “LORD” in both the Old and New Testament? Why has His Proper Name be translated like this?

The best answer, from what I can see, is that it was done during the translation of the Septuagint.

I cannot address pseudo-translation issues. I describe these as such because these names do not appear in either the original Hebrew (OT) or Greek (NT). If someone wants to argue with you regarding original translations, they need to be actually be qualified to do so. Therefore, if they are not qualified to actually translate, they cannot realistically make an argument based on translation.

What names? JHVH/YHWH?

I was born and raised Jw, and I was a ministerial servant, pioneer,
and a Bethelite.

I did not consider that we could possibly be wrong until after bethel. That is when I knew that we have the same problems that
Christendom has, exept we keep it

I always thought we were so much
better then Christendom, and that
Bethel was the example of how God was directing Jw…until I got
to bethel.
We had racism, immoral behavior,
etc…etc… The difference is that if
you speak out about these things
you would be shunned, yes my congregation was turning on me
because I was telling them things
that they did not want to hear.

Our conduct was no better then
christendom. Then I examined
our preaching work, it made no sence that we have 7 million or so
members if our method was the best, because every other major
Christian religion had made more
diciples then us. Did God realy wait
2000 years for someone to start Jw’s…simply for 7 million people?

As far as God’s personal name, If
it was sooo important that God wanted people to use the exact name…then why do Jw’s pronounce it incorrectly? Jehovah
is not the exact way to pronounce
the divine name.

“Lord” in Greek is “Kyrios”, which was a title applied to Jesus.

Prayers and my husband taking hold of the spiritual reigns of our family. Once I started RCIA it was like the veil was lifted, though. So it wasn’t any one particular thing, it was a little bit of everything, kwim?

I was born and raised in it. Actively involved in the door to door work, holding Bible studies, and doing everything a good little JW must to be in the good graces of the organization. I was in my early 30’s before it hit me. And I had been inactive for a few years with the JW’s before that. So for me, I think the time was right. I had been out of their mind games/control for a few years before I was ready to continue my journey.

But Catholics also use Tradition and the Catechism. Neither of which would be recognized as a reliable source by a JW. Their logic and reasoning is circular and you can’t really get around it in a logical way.

Also, they pull quotes out of context for their books and magazines. It’s best to view the full text of the quote before deciding it does support the JW POV. And, for some of their Bible verses, they have selectively left parts out/added stuff in.

Just don’t give up. Don’t expect to win any arguments only expect to plant the seed. It could take a very long time for it grow :stuck_out_tongue: I’m not good with book recs, etc. Just always be there for them, one of the hallmarks of the group is to alienate family/friends that don’t agree with them.

Sorry if this is off topic, I wasn’t sure if I should reply here or start a new thread…

Are the above levels (if that is the right word) something everyone goes through? How do you pass from one level to the next? Based on years of experience, test, etc? Thanks, just never heard of those before.

What is a Bethelite?

…And, alright, then, for everybody: what is the deal with God’s Name?

Edit: Hmmmm…seemed to have answered my question:

I am a former JW. Joined in college, of all places, and was in for about 4 years before I got out. I was an ax-Poineer doing field work for 60 hours a month.
Anyways what got me out was a few things, but namely Education. I wanted to stay in school and get a ‘real’ job instead of housekeeper like many of the pioneers around me. I was ostracized in the congregation by not receiving invites to gatherings and getting the ‘pity’ stare when I mentioned I was in school. Higher education is very much frowned down upon in JW - Armegdon (sp) is around the corner - why waste time making money now – use the little time remaining to save your neighbor from destruction. BTW - this was almost 20 years ago. The message is still the same if my sources are correct.

What kept in for as long as I was, was the trinity issue. I wrote an 80 page research paper referencing the Bible only to ‘prove’ that Jesus, while the Christ was not God with the capital G. I had proven to myself that the trinity was a pagan concept and since the JW’s were the only ones (Christophians, I didn’t know about at the time) who rejected all incarnations of the doctrine - this must be God’s organization.

It has only been within the past 2 years, surrending myself to God and His Catholic Church, that I have even remotely come to accepting the trinity. I still don’t understand it, but I have two thoughts that have shown me that the theory isn’t that out there.

Number 1 is the atonement. JWs and the like, believe that Jesus as a perfect man ransomed what the perfect man, Adam, took away, namely - death. That works for a while. Common belief is that Jesus died for every single human that has been, is and will be on earth - not just Adam. Only an infinite being could do such a thing and thus is out of the scope of a perfect man - even one endowed from on high by Jehovah himself.
Second, is the concept of Love. Ever read the book 'The Shack?" It was an interesting fluffy read, but one concept I got from it was this. Love can only be expressed in a relationship. If God is Love as Scripture teaches it - then God must be a relationship - so the Trinity would satisfy. Since He is complete unto Himself - He must be a relationship of persons.

Scripturally proving the Trinity for me is a tall order. Scripture can go either way. It takes faith in God, His Church AND His word to even contemplate the mystery of the nature of God.

Finally to address the Tegramaton issue (JWHW), I had read that the Hebrews refused to say the name of God in fear of breaking the commandment to not use the name of God in vain, substituting LORD. The Greek Scriptures (New Testament) quoted from the altered Hebrew ones and thus the use of JWHW had been lost. You can still look up the quoted OT in the NT and back reference them. If you find a LORD as opposed to Lord in the OT - that would be the JWHW use. So the name isn’t truly lost - just substituted. Hope that helps.

A ministerial servant is like a deacon. A pioneer is like a LOCAL
missionary, with a monthly requirement of 70 hours every month of preaching.

Bethel is the world headquarters of Jehovahs witnesses. I guess it would be like working at the Vatican for the Pope.

People that work at bethel are called bethelites. We were full time volunteers, receive no pay.
And it is one of the highest honors
a Jehovahs witness can get.

Many people apply to work there,
but only a limited number is chosen.

As a witness, I was completely brain washed…I was willing to die
for the organization if necessary.

Thanks for the explanation. I hadn’t heard those terms before.

I remember visiting Bethel often, when I was a Witness on Long Island. Bethelites were looked up almost reverently. I never really wanted to go, but thought it was pretty neat nonetheless- everything seemed so clean and organized. I remember visiting a brother’s room with a friend and he played Van Halen - we were mildly shocked a Bethelite would listen to such worldy music. That’s the standard applied to Bethelites.

I guess the pioneer hours have come down a bit. Back in my day, it was axuillary = 60 and pioneer was 90. Also, pioneers got a discount rate on publications, back when you had to actually pay for the materials in advance to collect back from the people you witnessed to. I think it was a quarter for the magazines and $1 or $1.25 for the small bound books and $3? for the big bound books. I think they have scaled back to paperback now. I was a member when they had to stop charging for the literature and only accept “donations” There went the pioneers’ gas money.

…Don’t you mean for Jehovah? I mean, most of us might be willing to die for our faith, but, not anything less.

And on what grounds would it have been “necessary”?

Blood issues are quite serious. They may have relaxed somewhat very recently, but if you were having a surgery or needed any kind of transfusion, you were to refuse at all costs. That went for your child as well. You should let them die before you give in and get a blood transfusion. Google it. Scary stuff.

The difference between Jehovah and the Organization gets a little fuzzy.

Ahhhh…yes. Thank you for reminding us. I was thinking more along the lines of an attack on the JWs, but, this makes sense in context. Thank you.

Catholics are from mars Jw’s are from venus, basicly we are talking completely different cultures that are worlds apart.

For Jw’s the Organization itself is
Holy. I hear Catholics complain openly about bishops as if they were nothing…well a good Jw would be fearful of speaking out
openly against an elder much less
anyone higher in rank.

You die for the Organization when
they tell you not to take blood
transfusions etc…etc…

There is not a big difference between the Organization and God
for a Jw.

Finally to address the Tegramaton issue (JWHW)

Just a small correction…

The tetragrammaton isn’t JWHW, it’s JHWH, sometimes pronounced "YAHWEH, or it can be written JHVH, which can be pronounced “JehoVah.”

God Bless!

And yet you can ask a lot of protestants that and they’ll state the Bible is quite explicit in teaching the trinity (despite never using the word for it). I agree it’s not a simple thing to get your mind around though.

That’s not the case actually, if you read the “” link given a few posts back you can read the real reason:
Jews do not casually write any Name of God. This practice does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord’s Name in vain, as many suppose. In Jewish thought, that commandment refers solely to oath-taking, and is a prohibition against swearing by God’s Name falsely or frivolously (the word normally translated as “in vain” literally means “for falsehood”).

Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.*

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