Having JW's over for discussion

I am having a couple of JWs over to my house this coming Sunday for a brief discussion about the Bible. I would appreciate any advice you can offer to facilitate an opening to Catholicism that I can bring to the discussion.
Some background, These fellows have been to my house before on a few occasions in the past few years it has always been the same leader fellow, and we have had several brief discussions. They know I’m a Catholic, and that I read the Bible and I am familiar with it. They also know that I recognize that we do not share the same interpretation of Scripture. I know also that they have a very corrupted version of the Bible and have beliefs that are not compatible with Christianity.
Out of a sense of hospitality I said yes to them stopping by on Sunday after Mass to discuss the Bible. He said they would not be here more ten minutes. I would like some advice from anyone as to the best approach to take with these folks. They are very pleasant and respectful, and I would not want to offend them. But I don’t mind exposing them to the truth of the Gospel and I don’t mind being firm.
Thanks in advance.
Peace

John 10:30.

Pray before they turn up.

Nelka,
I will have been to confession, and to Holy Mass as well as have said a Rosary before they show up. Is there something else I should be doing, maybe? Thanks for your advice though.

I wouldn’t waste their time. 2 Timothy 2:23.

Be kind and courteous. Showing Christian charity while calmly and logically defending your faith is the best course of action.

Jerusha,
I will not participate in stupid, senseless controversies. I was hoping that maybe someone could suggest a profitable topic or line of reasoning to approach the meeting with. Thanks for your input.
Campeador,
I will attempt to remain courteous and polite and respectful. Thanks for your help.

Two things:

Be courteous and kind (looks like you’ve got that covered). JWs have the idea that all non-JWs (and especially Catholics) are horrible people who serve Satan and it shakes them up a bit to find that it may not be so.

My son surprised the heck out of a couple of JWs when he quoted from The Book of Wisdom, one of the deutero-canonical books of the OT. The JWs said they weren’t familiar with that passage, so my son explained that there are 7 books missing from the JW bible - that those books were in the bible for the first 1500 years of Christianity and are still in the Catholic and Orthodox bible, but were removed by the Protestant reformers. And that, for some reason, the JWs used the Protestant bible (instead of the original bible) as the basis for their New World Translation.
He also pointed out “an interesting bit of bible trivia” - that the only scriptural reference to the reason for Hanukah (the feast of dedication or feast of lights) is in the Catholic bible (in First Maccabees) - even the Jews don’t have it in their bible any more. The younger of the two JWs was very interested in reading what was in those books, whereupon the older one jumped up and said they had to leave. They never came back, but I wonder if that young man ever went to look up the deutero-canonical books in the Catholic bible.

Paul

The avenue I’d explore first, if I were in your position, would be to ask who acts as their authority on Scripture. We, as Catholics, have a very consistent stance, due largely to our adherence to the authority of the church. I don’t know much about the JW’s, but from an outsider’s perspective, I don’t know how they can trust in their interpretation of Scripture if it lacks authority. Left to their own devices, interpretation could be “group-think”, at best. To speak to that point, I’d have my catechism handy, and ask if they have any such reference material to guide their own understanding of the faith.

Top-notch points.

These are from a protestant site, but they are good questions for JWs to consider.

bible.ca/jw-questions.htm

Ask your Guardian Angel to pray for them and also to greet their Guardian Angels when they arrive. Angels are very powerful , theirs and ours. I had many conversations with JWs and I always had little pamphlets handy to offer them if they offered me a Watchtower to read, and I made them promise to read it before I took theirs. God Bless. Memaw

That’s great!

Wow! I never knew that. I must bring that up when I debate the Bibles with my Protestant friend.
:slight_smile:

Good advice.

I always aske my Guardian Angel to help when my wife is angry with me at getting any demon hat may be prowling in our home out of our house.

You might start with the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses:
catholic.com/tracts/history-of-the-jehovahs-witnesses

And then their strategies:


Sample Openings

Five openings are given under the heading “Bible/ God.” The first reads this way:

“Hello. I’m making just a brief call to share an important message with you. Please note what it says here in the Bible. (Read Scripture, such as Revelation 21:3-4.) What do you think about that? Does it sound good to you?”

Notice the hook: “an important message.” It works for the advertising industry; why not in this context? Then come the Bible verses, followed by questions. The missionaries don’t tell their listener what to think – at least not at this point. Instead, they elicit his views. Once he gives them, it’s awkward for him to back out of the conversation. They can toss out a few more questions, then make their point.

Notice also in this example and in many of the ones which follow, JWs typically ask prospective converts for their own opinion or feeling on a theological matter. The advantage this approach has for JWs is that virtually everyone has some kind of opinion on the subject matter presented, so this approach practically guarantees that JWs can successfully engage a person in a dialogue. Once the dialogue has been established, the JW is then on his way to potentially making a convert. Fortunately for the JW, the average person fails to realize that theological or religious truth does not depend on one’s mere opinion or feeling. …
catholic.com/tracts/strategies-of-the-jehovahs-witnesses

It should be obvious that such a discussion will involve more than the 10 minutes they told you. This is part of their strategy.

Then there are some “Stumpers for the Jehovah’s Witnesses”
catholic.com/tracts/stumpers-for-the-jehovahs-witnesses

Since they will probably be working from a script, you have to know your Bible better than they know theirs because they will have a particular passage to discuss, and you will have it sprung on you. I had one Witness pull out her bible to show me the quote of the day. Before she could start, I told her I did not accept her bible as a true bible. This worked to my advantage because I didn’t make the concession of accepting it.

I have had more than one Witness claim to be a former Catholic. Whenever they ask if I have a particular religion, I tell them. Their eyes light up because Catholics are plump plumbs for conversion, and they usually respond with, “Oh, I used to be a Catholic too.”

You might review the experience of the young man in Post #7.

Hope this helps.

This :thumbsup:

You can also google Catholic apologetics videos geared towards evangelizing JW’s. Some are available with numerous, easy to reference and reason bullet points. These points, universally held by almost all Christians, will really provide great difficulties for a witness’s scripted argument (try youtube). If you are going take the time to have them over you should prepare yourself (with regard to understanding what they believe). You owe it to them to give a proper witness to the faith we have received through the unfathomable mercy of Christ.

You are doing an act of spiritual mercy (#1 to instruct the ignorant). I try to engage these people with charity and see the face of Christ in them. It sounds like you do to. What a wonderful thing to do and on Divine Mercy Sunday no less! :wink:

OP, this is the kind of thing you need. Also, I wonder, who redacted their particular version version of the Bible and why? They won’t be able to answer, but they might start thinking about it.

Kindly show them how Kingdom Hall [with it’s mysterious lack of windows] is built on sand. Point out facts, not opinions, and let them draw their own conclusions. Give them something to think about. They as you suggest, wont be disrespectful about what you have to say. Good for you, for being so helpful, and for spreading our faith!

I visited with JWs a number of times until the point where they tried to convince me that Jesus is God’s first creation, not co-equal with the Father. * “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”* This quote is taken from their New World translation of the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Note the “a god” part. The lack of capitalization of god when speaking of Jesus and the “a” tell the story.

They are very good at pulling scripture quotes and using them. Here you have to be careful because they frequently will ignore the context of the quote they are using. If they get that far and want to do that with you, make sure you insist on also reading enough of the passage to have the true context of their quote and not just the part they want to use.

The folks I spoke with were very nice but eventually I simply told them that the current meeting would be the last because they would never convince me that Jesus was created by God. We parted amicably. I hope I planted a few seeds of my own in the process of our discussions. My intention at that time was learning not wasting their time.

What about John 18:5?

When Jesus said “I am”!

Remember when God said to Moses, “I am who I am”!

:blush:

Thank you all for the responses. God bless you all. I will do some youtube work and try to bone up on where they’re coming from. I studied the JWs some time ago in order to understand the nature of their faith. Many of these responses are reminding me of some of the aspects of their belief. Many thanks to all. I’ll repost on Sunday evening after our encounter. And report. Thanks, peace.

Yes, unless you are well versed in Scripture and well versed in their organization, I wouldn’t do this alone.

I watched this recently on EWTN and it was about converts to Catholicism from JW and they gave a good website to visit if you plan on evangelizing them:

Jehovah’s Witness Roundtable - The Journey Home (2-5-2007)
youtube.com/watch?v=XaHINbIZvjg

catholicxjw.com/

and

chnetwork.org/2011/01/dr-jeff-schwehm-welcome-to-the-universal-catholic-family-of-god/

Pray for them first and foremost! Don’t look at them as some sort of trophy just pray for God to open their hearts and minds and for the Holy Spirit to lead them to repentance and conversion. This will probably not happen immediately but perhaps by meeting with them a tiny seed will be planted and over time grow. Remember meet them where they are - do not attack the way they worship God or insult them in any way. Show them how much God has changed your life. I find when you talk about your own personal conversion or love and joy that you have for God, you can develop a personal relationship and then maybe once they get to know you on a personal level and that you really walk the talk, they might be open to the Catholic Church. Maybe sincerely ask them what exactly is a JW and how they worship God in their services and things that are personal not scriptural because we don’t use the same translations. And then share some of things you do as a Catholic Christian. I would also compliment them and tell them that you admire their courageousness to knock on peoples doors and approach people to know God. Tell them that you know many Catholics who are afraid or were never taught how to evangelize the Gospel of Jesus and ask them how we can work together to bring about people knowing and loving God.

May God’s Blessing be upon your meeting.

If I may add one more thing…
Get their names, at least first names!
The elder will not want to give you any name… they want you to call them by that title. It is a subtle means of control.
Then open the meeting with a simple prayer, mentioning their names and use the elder’s name whenever you address the conversation to him, if you want (and I usually do) address like “Elder (name here)” this is the same as I would do with a priest (Fr. (n) or Pastor (n) ) as it shows respect for his position in his church.

I’ve modified the Actiones Nostras a tad when I talk to JW’s and you are welcome to use it too if you like:

Father,
may everything that (elder’s name), (newbie’s name), and myself discuss
begin with your inspiration
and continue with your saving help.
Let our conversation always find its origin in you
and through you reach completion.
We ask this through Christ our Lord

Why? This does two things… invokes the Lord’s presence :slight_smile: and gives you a fair playing-ground for the meeting.

My late step-father (Baptist) would do something along these lines whenever the JW would visit. He knew the Bible (KJV of course) like the back of his hand. Fun to watch and I learned a lot by just sitting there and listening to him. He always got their names first… always… and he explained the above concept to me.

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