The individual Watchtower member has been taught selected verses from both the Old and the New Testaments, which viewed on their own, in isolation from the surrounding chapters and the Bible as a whole, give the distinct impression of supporting Watchtower doctrine. A closer examination of some of these texts can be found in previous posts on this website.
The success of the individual Jehovah’s Witnesses in recruiting on the doorstep, could be said to be the result of having been fully trained in the use of these ‘proof texts’.
Their evident belief that they are in the truth, gives the illusion to both non-Christians and church goers who don’t know their bibles that they are speaking with someone with a thorough knowledge of what the Scriptures teach. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
Watchtower proof texts continue to be the key if the offer by the Jehovah’s Witness is accepted to take part in a Bible study. Watchtower bible studies are in all cases I have known, actually Watchtower book studies, where their teaching is presented and ‘proof texts’ used to give credence. The JW conducting the study is fully convinced that the ‘proof texts’ in the book are all that are necessary and relevant to confirm the Watchtower teaching being presented. Unfortunately in the key areas of Christian doctrine, the ‘proof texts’ therefore quoted out of context do not support what the bible teaches.
It was R C Chapman who said that every error may be based upon some part of Scripture taken from its connection; but no error can stand the test of all Scripture.
To summarise, if we are to arrive at a correct Scriptural understanding of any issue then all Scripture portions relating should be viewed together – one scripture throwing light on and qualifying another in order to fully understand what the bible is teaching. If we have chosen to ignore parts of Scripture which do not fit in with preconceived beliefs or doctrines then clearly we have moved into error. I remember the occasion when I gave two visiting JWs a very long list of Scriptures showing the divinity of Christ and asked them to take it away and study it. Upon their next visit, they said they had looked at it but were not inclined to make any comment. Their silence only confirmed the fact that their teaching was in conflict with the Scriptures and therefore in error.
For those Christians who are reaching out to those who believe they have found the truth in the Watchtower system therefore, it is key to have a thorough knowledge of what the whole Bible teaches. However, equally important is the ability to be able to back this up by showing where the various relevant Scriptures can be found.