Watch Tower

Bible Answer Man

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Jehovah’s Witnesses and Matthew 24: “New Light” or New Hermeneutic?

Brian J. Wright and Timothy Ricchuiti

On October 2012, nearly five thousand Jehovah’s Witnesses gathered in New Jersey for the 128th annual meeting of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania to hear the Governing Body’s “new light.”1 The Governing Body, currently made up of eight men, is the sole entity responsible for defining orthodoxy and orthopraxy for roughly eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.

The most recent “new light” focuses on Jesus’ parable in Matthew 24:45–51, which begins with the question, “Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time?” (NRSV).

“In the past,” the Governing Body states, “our publications have said the following:…the slave represents all anointed Christians on earth as a group at any one time since then.” Going forward, though, “a small group of anointed brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food” is now the slave, and “these anointed brothers make up the Governing Body” (emphasis added).

In one radical announcement, the Governing Body designated themselves—and themselves alone—the faithful and wise slave. How should we assess such a claim? Is this really “new light” or is it a new hermeneutic?

According to experts in rhetoric,2 there are four solid reasons you can properly criticize someone else’s viewpoint: demonstrate that they are uninformed, misinformed, illogical, or incomplete in their justification. As Christians, we add a fifth category to their list: unbiblical.

Using these five categories, we will assess the latest interpretative shift coming from Jehovah’s Witnesses’ headquarters. We will focus on one key issue per category in an attempt to evaluate the radical shift at play in the Governing Body’s “new light.”

Read the rest of this article >…/jehovahs-witnesses-and-matthew…/ #Watchtower#theology#apologetics

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