Now on to this week’s study.
Paragraph 2 makes the point that we should imitate the Israelites of Nehemiah’s day and not let our mind drift during our meetings. Good counsel, but they are overlooking one key element. Ezra and the other Levites were reading from God’s word. God’s word is vibrant and enthralling. Quite a contrast to our weekly fare. We spend precious little time in our meetings reading from God’s word. Instead we engage in repetitive parts dealing with Organizational topics. Consider this past week’s BS/TMS/SM. The Bible Study covered the most basis of information on the organization. We spent 30 minutes covering 8 or 9 short, simplistic man-authored paragraphs, in contrast to a mere 10-minute discussion of 6 long information rich chapters of the book of Revelation. How about making our Bible Study a true Bible Study? Or, failing that, call it what it really is, a WT Publication study. Of course, that’s not all. During the service meeting we spent another 30 minutes discussing what we accomplished in our most recent tract campaign, how youths can praise Jehovah by preaching at school and how we are going to go about studying our next publication in the Bible Study. We’ve heard this all before. Hundreds of times. Recently, I’ve learned many perception-altering and life-changing truths from the Bible that in 50 years of dedicated service I’d never known. Why did I not learn this at our meetings? Why instead do I get the same repetitive drills, policies, peer pressure directives, and organizational instruction week after week, month after month, and year after year, and decade after decade?
It is any wonder that my mind wanders?
Ironically, this particular study Watchtower Study is a deviation from the norm in that it spends a lot of time discussing the Bible verse by verse. It’s a bit of a hodgepodge with no real theme, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some valid lessons that can be gained from it. I think we’d all prefer even a hodgepodge bible consideration to a well-organized and thematic indoctrination study.
Paragraph 11 states: “The name Jehovah means “He Causes to Become,” signifying that God, through progressive action, causes his promises to come true.” Actually, God’s name in Hebrew is derived from a verb which cannot be given a single meaning. Its meaning changes based on context. It can mean “He exists”; “He will exist”; “He is” to name just some. I haven’t found any basis for “He Causes to Become” outside of the Organization. If someone can give us an independent source for this, I’d appreciate it. To my knowledge there are no Hebrew scholars connected with headquarters. However, if this is an accurate rendering of the meaning behind the name, I’m sure some Hebrew scholar somewhere has written about it.
Apollos, Sorry for the delay. While one might argue that one is trying to get a sense of it in the LXX, we must also ask whether the translators were trying to reflect Hellenistic thought onto God and so provided this rendering. We should note that Theodotion and Aqulia both render it as esomai hos esomai in Greek, and esomai means I will be. It would see if the LXX was conveying the proper sense they might have followed it, but instead they went the more literal route. If ehyeh here = eimi, one could render it as Paul wrote.… Read more »
From Yahoo Answer search of “He Causes to Become” In the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures published by the Watchtower Society in 1969, there is a footnote under John 8:58. The last sentence of the footnote reads, “It is not the same as ὁ ὢν (ho ohn’, meaning ‘The Being’ or ‘The I Am’) at Exodus 3:14, LXX.” So, apparently the Watchtower Society is aware that ho ohn’ means “I AM,” not “he causes to become.” Psalm 90:2: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to… Read more »
Ho on doesn’t mean I am at all, so that is an odd comment for them to make.
The Hebrew mind would not have said God is, but that he becomes what is needed for his people.
Can you substantiate that?
Sure… Ho is the article the and on = wn is the participial form of eimi, meaning existing or being. You I am who I am is much closer to what Paul said in 1 Cor. 15 eimi hos eimi.
On the Hebrew mind of the time, see ISBE or TDOT.
That was substantiation? I’m just trying to follow what you wrote. Perhaps if we break it down .. 1) What’s the translation for the article? 2) What’s the translation for this form of the verb? 3) If we put those together what do we get? (If possible without making abstract reference to the mindset of a reader whose mindset we can’t read). I’m sorry to be blunt, but I really think that if you offer “substantiation” it needs to contain a little more substance. I am genuinely interested so I hope you will be able to expand on what you… Read more »
The article is simply the. If one wanted to say I am the God it would be ego eimi ho theos, where ho = the.
On = being or existing one.
You can look at Benton’s translation of the Septuagint, which can be found free online.
Ego – I
Eimi – am
Ho – the
On – being
Now I understand where you are coming from a little better. It still seems to be a leap to get from there to “he causes to become”. However before we even get ahead of ourselves, isn’t it true that the Hebrew text simply repeats the two verb forms of “hayah” (eh’yeh)? If so, then is it not true that “eh’yeh” is best translated as “ego eimi”, and “ho on” is simply a mechanism used by the Greek translators of the Septuagint, much the same as the English translator makes a choice in John 8:58 to try and get the sense… Read more »
I never pass up an opportunity during the Bible Highlights to illuminate the brothers. I mentioned during my part that the 12 tribes mentioned in Revelation chapter 7 could be symbolic because it appears the 12,000 are subtracted or taken out from a larger number. You should have seen the heads go down and really look at the verses. who would the
Now that I’ve found my Interlinear I should point out that the footnote doesn’t say that. Perhaps it did in an earlier edition, but in mine it simply justifies the translation of “ego eimi” and doesn’t mention “ho on” at all. It does however refer to an Appendix that simply points out the text of the LXX in Ex 3:14 as “Ego eimi ho on” in order to make a distinction between this and John 8:58. So the assertion made in that “Yahoo Answer” appears to be inaccurate, although as I say it’s possible that an earlier edition had a… Read more »
This was a irritating watchtower study as evident by the long painful pauses between asking and answering the questions. The boredom and yawning was taking over the brothers and sister in my KH one by one. I find it difficult to not say what I really want to during my comments and it is soul killing not to be able to really give a testimony about prayer. We constantly focus on the Hebrew scriptures where the people were beholden to the earthly priesthood as intercessor based on the Mosaic Law, this does a great disservice to Jesus and the new… Read more »
This was one of the most irritating studies ( if you can call it that) to date. I looked around my KH and could not help but notice the lack of interest in the subject. The yawning and pauses between asking and answering the questions was painfully pronounced. I actually felt bad for the brother conducting. Has anyone else noticed the disinterest on the faces of the brothers and sisters.
Indoctrination study? That’s exactly what they are. I can’t get anybody to get me a reasonable answer as to why we are studying this brochure. Who is the target audience? Why do we need a refresher on how the organization was started? No studying of the Bible is taking place at all so why is on the “Bible Study” program?
I once told a friend that I wished we had 30 minutes for the bible reading and 10 for this brochure because it didn’t make any sense. Her answer was that it is for new ones coming into the congregation and that we have to go through it for their benefit. My response was: wouldn’t they get more benefit from a 1/2 hour discussion of the bible and she changed the subject.
I asked a friend this very question and her response was that it is for the new people that come into the organization. I said wouldn’t they benefit more from a 1/2 hour discussion of the bible more than a brochure, which if I am not mistaken you should cover in the person personal ( awkward) bible study… she responded by changing the subject.