The Watchtower Society
Jehovah’s Witnesses like Mormons are very sincere in their beliefs, and we commend them for their dedication to what they believe as the truth. As with Mormons, we do not challenge the dedication and sincerity of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We challenge the teachings of the organization as those teachings compare to the Essentials of Christianity because of the eternal impact these teachings have. We want to focus on the truths of the teachings, not the sincerity of those who hold these beliefs. I stress again that truth is not determined by our sincerity or dedication.
In addition to being very sincere and dedicated, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are also similar in that the teachings of both religions deviate from the Essentials of Christianity; The identity and nature of God, of Jesus, of man, sin, salvation. Heaven, and hell. One of the primary differences between the two religions is that most of the deviations from the Essentials of Christianity taught by Jehovah’s Witness are located in their translation of the Bible, the New World Translation.
What are the essentials of the Christian faith?
Besides the Jehovah’s Witness Bible translation, the additional publications Jehovah’s Witnesses reference are two magazines; The Watchtower and Awake. I also found a reference to Studies in the Scriptures. The link to view the Studies in the Scriptures online is below.
According to the Sept 15, 1910 Watchtower issue, the Jehovah’s Witness organization places particular importance on these Studies as indicated by the quotes below.
"If the six volumes of Scripture Studies are practically the Bible topically arranged, with Bible proof-texts given, we might not improperly name the volumes— the Bible in an arranged form. That is to say, they are not merely comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself, since there is no desire to build any doctrine or thought on any individual preference or on any individual wisdom, but to present the entire matter on the lines of the Word of God. We therefore think it safe to follow this kind of reading, this kind of instruction, this kind of Bible study."
"Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years—if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures." Charles Taze Russell
Page 147 of PDF (pgs.298-299 of original document)
Left column - Paragraphs 4-5
This link is to the scanned editions of the 1910 Watchtower magazines. The official Jehovah's Witness site only has access to The Watchtower magazines going back to year 2000 www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/
I found another official link to earlier editions:
Watchtower Magazines online – 1950 to Present
Something to think about considering these quotes. Charles Taze Russell wrote them and didn't have them available to him until he wrote them. If someone will go into darkness within two years of not reading Studies In The Scripture, how did Charles Taze Russell not go "into darkness" being that he didn't have the Studies In The Scriptures available to him before he wrote them?
Additionally, I was not able to find the Studies In The Scriptures volumes on the Jehovah's Witness website. I was able to find a searchable database of Pastor Charles Taze Russell's writings, including Studies In The Scriptures, at the link below, and the actual scanned volumes of Studies In The Scriptures at the following https://archive.org site.
A Wikipedia entry on Studies In The Scriptures indicates under the Withdrawal section:
"The abandonment of several core doctrines under Rutherford's presidency prompted the Watch Tower Society to cease publication of all seven volumes of Studies in the Scriptures in 1927"
The following publications can be seen at the following links:
Searchable database of all Pastor Russell's writings
Watchtower Magazines online – 1950 to Present
I found the scanned volumes 1-6 of the Studies In The Scriptures at the following links at the https://archive.org site:
Studies In The Scriptures:
Vol 1: https://archive.org/details/studiesinscriptu01russ
Vol 2: https://archive.org/details/studiesinscriptu02russ
Vol 3: https://archive.org/details/studiesinscriptu03russ
Vol 4: https://archive.org/details/studiesinscriptu04russ
Vol 5: https://archive.org/details/studiesinscriptu05russ
Vol 6: https://archive.org/details/studiesinscriptu06russ
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