The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society regularly reminds Jehovah’s Witnesses, that they are the best educated people on earth. As you read their publications, you will find that references to staying close to the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ as well as the Governing Body, are constant. Indeed, to separate yourselves from this self proclaimed body of Godly messengers, is not only a sin, but worthy of disfellowshipping (shunning).
Jehovah’s Witnesses boldly claim that they want you to study the Bible daily. They will point to the sign on their publishing buildings in Brooklyn, New York that reads “Read God’s Word the Holy Bible Daily” as proof that they are going out of their way to teach people to study God’s Word. You will find many references within their literature claiming that they alone understand God’s purpose… and that they’ve been sent to share it with the rest of mankind.
To speak with someone that is loyal to the Watchtower Society, you would leave believing they WANT a person to be highly educated on all things spiritual; that they are studious and encourage all of their members to read, as well as refine their public speaking skills. In recent years, they did away with their congregation book study night; creating a night called ‘family study night.’ In reality, the reason was far different than that, but that is a subject for another article.
However, for those of us that have spent the majority of our lives as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you soon learn that ‘encouragement’ to study has parameters that the Watchtower Society outlines. That they only encourage certain types of study, as well as the requirement to study only literature produced by the organization. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses are forbidden to read literature by anyone or any group that holds the Watchtower Society in a critical light. In fact, to read or study such literature would result in being labeled an ‘apostate’… and there is nothing worse to a Jehovah’s Witness. To be accused of apostasy among Jehovah’s Witnesses is a death sentence. For many years, the organization claimed that to even explore something without their direction may result in the ‘unforgivable sin.’
The Watchtower Society believes and openly teaches that they alone understand the Bible; therefore, there is no reason to ever read other literature! There is so much emphasis placed on their privileged carriers of Bible understanding, that even studying the Bible ‘too much’ or ‘without them’ is highly frowned upon.
Consider some of their bold claims… and these are but a sampling of the message consistently pounded into a Jehovah’s Witness:
“Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book,” (Watchtower, July 1, 1973, p. 402)
“We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization,” (Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981)
“Channel to understanding the Bible… All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the “greatly diversified wisdom of God” can become known only through Jehovah’s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave,” (Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1994, p. 8).