[From ws15/03 p. 19 for May 18-24]
“He gave five talents to one, two to another,
and one to still another.” – Mt 25:15
“Jesus gave the parable of the talents as part of the answer to his disciples’ question about “the sign of [his] presence and of the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 24:3) Thus, the parable finds its fulfillment in our time and is part of the sign that Jesus is present and ruling as King.” – par. 2
Please take note: The parable of the Talents is fulfilled in our time and is part of the sign that the Messianic Kingdom began in 1914. We’ll come back to this shortly.
In paragraph 3, the article makes many assertions about the application of the parables of the Slave, the Virgins, the Talents, and the Sheep and Goats. Since the Governing Body does not feel the need to substantiate any of them with even a single Scriptural reference, we can discount them entirely.
From paragraphs 4 thru 8 we have an explanation of our current understanding of the parable of the talents.
“Put simply, the talents refer to the responsibility to preach and make disciples.” – par. 7
“In the first century, starting at Pentecost 33 C.E., Christ’s followers began doing business with the talents.” – par. 8
This directly contradicts the statement made in paragraph 2. If the parable began to apply in 33 C.E. onward, then it has its fulfillment, not just in our time, but throughout the Christian era. Additionally, since the Governing Body teaches us that Jesus began to reign in 1914, how could a first century fulfillment of this parable constitute part of the sign of his presence?
Actually, the whole idea that this is part of the sign of Christ’s presence and the conclusion of the system of things of Matthew 24:3 makes no sense. How can a metaphor constitute a physical sign of something impending?
Using the Bible
It never hurts to read the actual verses upon which a Watchtower explanation is based. Just before imparting this parable, Jesus warns his disciples:
“Keep on the watch, therefore, because you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Mt 25:13)
Then without breaking stride he adds in the very next verse,
“For it is just like a man about to travel abroad who summoned his slaves and entrusted his belongings to them.” (Mt 25:14)
In my opinion, the NWT does a good job of rendering the adverb conjunction combination (Greek: ὥσπερ γάρ [just as, for]) into English syntax as “For it is just like”, showing that the previous verse is related to the parable. The parable is clearly talking about Jesus’ return, not some invisible presence, and the disciples are warned that they cannot know when that return will be, so they must work diligently and keep on the watch. There is nothing here that constitutes a sign of anything.
Paragraph 9 makes bold assertions that only Jehovah’s Witnesses have been making disciples of Christ since 1919 and that, while the assignment was given to anointed Christians, the millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses who consider themselves as unanointed, “other sheep” Christians are fulfilling the parable as well though they do not get the reward for doubling their talents. Instead, in a curious blending of parables, the Sheep and the Goats parable is merged into the Talents parable so that the other sheep get rewarded with life on earth for working with their anointed brothers in multiplying the talents. (Incidentally, the reward given the sheep makes no mention of location.)
Here we are told that the evidence that this parable is being fulfilled in the last days (from 1914 onward, based on JW theology) is that Jehovah’s Witnesses “have carried out the greatest preaching and disciple-making work in history. Their collective effort has resulted in hundreds of thousands of new disciples being added to the ranks of Kingdom proclaimers each year, making the preaching and teaching work an outstanding feature of the sign of Jesus’ presence in Kingdom power.”
So it is the numerical growth of the Organization that constitutes this part of the sign. First, where does Jesus say that the numerical growth of the Christian congregation would be part of ‘the sign of his presence and the conclusion of the system of things?’ (Mt 24:3) If it were, then what of the other movement like ours that grew out of the teachings of William Miller?[i] The Seventh-day Adventist Church (formerly Millerites) has grown more rapidly than that of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They now number eighteen million. How could they achieve such growth in about the same timeframe as Jehovah’s Witnesses unless they too were engaged in a worldwide preaching work? They are the sixth-largest highly international religious body. They have a missionary presence in over 200 countries and territories. Their methods may differ but they didn’t get this growth without some form of worldwide preaching of the good news.
In short, if the Governing Body is going to boast that the Organization is fulfilling the parable of the talents then perhaps they should lay claim to being the slave that was given the two talents and acknowledge that the evidence proves the Adventists must be the five-talent slave.
Of course, any Jehovah’s Witness worth his salt will discount this suggestion as outrageous, pointing to the fact that the Adventists teach the false doctrine of the Trinity, making their preaching of the good news a vain effort. However, to be fair, any Adventist could do the same, pointing to the unscriptural teaching of an “other sheep” class of God’s “friends” with no heavenly hope as proof that the JW good news teaching is invalid. (Gal. 1:8)
From paragraphs 14 thru 16, the article offers a new understanding of the wicked and sluggish slave. It claims that there is no actual fulfillment of this part of the parable. Like the wicked slave of Matthew 24:45-57, this is just a warning. So the faithful and discreet slave is a real fulfillment and the two slaves that doubled their talents are a real fulfillment, but the other half of both parables has no fulfillment, but is just a warning. Okeydoke!
The Floating Doctrine
In this magazine, the Governing Body has introduced changed understandings for the parables of the Ten Virgins, the Talents, and the Minas. Formerly, these were all used to “prove” that the modern-day faithful and discreet slave (formerly, all anointed JWs, but now just the Governing Body) had been appointed in 1919. As Apollos pointed out in last week’s review, the foundation for the doctrine that Jesus tested and approved the appointment of a JW faithful and discreet slave in 1919 is gone.
Jesus spoke of building two houses – one built on rock, the other on sand. However, our doctrinal house is now built on nothing. All the teachings we formerly used to support the idea that Jesus had reason to appoint the faithful and discreet slave in 1919 have been altered to fit a fulfillment at the time of Christ’s future return. Therefore, the doctrine that the Governing Body was appointed in 1919 is a house whose foundation has been removed, but like some JW version of Wile E. Coyote, the house remains suspended in thin air. It is kept up only by the faith the rank and file place in the word of the men of the Governing Body. However, one day the collective body of Jehovah’s Witnesses will look down to find no Scriptural ground under their feet. As Jesus predicted of all who hear his words but fail to do them, the collapse of the Organization’s house will be very great. (Mt. 7:24-27)
[i] Much of the numerology that permeated Russell’s writings came from William Miller’s work via Nelson H. Barbour.
WT 7/15/13 To clarify what is obviously a divisive confusing “new light”, they do not abandon the 1919 FDS appointment, they clarify who it is more specifically, in the GB’s own self appointment: “His domestics”: All who are fed, whether they are of the anointed or of the other sheep “Appointed over his domestics” In 1919, Jesus selected capable anointed brothers to be his faithful and discreet slave “He will appoint him over all his belongings”: Those who make up the composite slave will get this appointment when they receive their heavenly reward. Along with the rest of the 144,000,… Read more »
I believe they meet every Wednesday for a couple of hours, so perhaps there’s an FDS for about 10 hours a month, but I take your point. I hadn’t thought of it before, but it’s a valid point. It just shows how silly things get when men presume to interpret God’s word for their own advantage.
Great scripture, kev. I believe that is the key, being “rooted and grounded in love” according to the NASB, and knowing the love of Christ actually SURPASSES knowledge! Is this not the whole basis behind creation? That of love? (I don’t expect you to comment 🙂 CP – about three years ago when coming out of the organization, I, too was thinking exactly as you. But I was not fully awakened to salvation in Christ. I felt there had to be one road of pure truth amidst all the confusion in beliefs. Like kev, it became a goal to find… Read more »
I thought he became a new creation … and the same goes for the firstborn .. and maybe also for the rest of the creation when they are offered a covenant …
But when he, the Anointed One present himself one more time, it will not be to take away sin from the many who awaits him. Because when he reveals himself for the second time, it is without taking away sin, but in order to rescue. – Heb 9:28
I agree, BN, he firstborn become a new creation just as Christ. They are the spirit sons of God. Rom.8:14; John3:6; 1Pet.1:23 They are set free from slavery to sin and corruption. Rom 8:21 Heb 3:1 – Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” For if we have been united with him in a death… Read more »
And if God wants all of us to be saved why then so many religions?
Why did the Bible was not written in a simple language easy for everybody to understand and be saved?
Yes, if only people would read the Bible’s message as plain statements of fact and accept them as true, imagine the Christian unity that would be achieved. The following is taken from a book by a theologian of the last century, J. A. Seiss. He was actually a man who influenced Charles Taze Russell. Although I do not hold with his religious believes of course, there appears to be much wisdom in some of his approach to the scriptures. With regard to the Bible, he says: “It’s design is to instruct, and in the most familiar way to express to… Read more »
Jesus was asked a similar question by his disciples. “. . .So the disciples came up and said to him: “Why is it you speak to them by the use of illustrations?” 11 In reply he said: “To YOU it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those people it is not granted. 12 For whoever has, more will be given him and he will be made to abound; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations, because,… Read more »
Their blindness was self-induced because they chose not to listen intelligently to the saving words of Jesus. In Luke 8:15 Jesus spoke of the gospel word falling on some “good and honest” hearts. The choice is ours to understand the Gospel message of salvation which is offered to us all by God.
Good comment cp and i was thinking exactly the same thing this morning i do not feel encouraged at all by these disagreements about doctrine .. infact i feel the opposite .. I pray for the spirit and read my bible what more can i do ? Its love our knowledge i supposed to lead to . Love surpasses knowledge . Ephesians 3 v 17 to 19 . Kev . Im saying no more on this thread .
I just read the article and your comments, and I keep asking to myself why the search for the truth it became so confusing and difficult? If we are Bible readers why we do not know the real meaning of the Scriptures? Where is God’s Holly Spirit to guide us to understand the sriptures? What are we doing wrong? What is the truth?
Good review of the article again. Things from the article that gives me a headache are: In opening paragraph: Thus, the parable finds its fulfillment in our time and is part of the sign that Jesus is present and ruling as King. Since when are parables the same as prophecies??? Will all JW’s attending the study and reading the article now believe that parables are to be treated the same way as prophecies? Pfff… If, as stated in par 2, all parables are prophecies in answer to the question in Mat. 24:3, then what about the thief that is coming… Read more »
Hi qspf, I would like to take this opportunity to reply to your reply to me earlier! Thank you. There were reason why Jesus’ disciples may not have recognised Jesus, eg Mark 9:32. And Jesus would have been trying to reassure them, yes. This does not mean that he was not raised in his glorified human body – we know some of the abilities this body would have given him – walking through walls, altering his appearance etc. If this is the case, then Jesus may well have meant what he said, “Touch me and see, for a spirit does… Read more »
I think that separating heaven and earth is the first mistake,heaven and earth are both parts of Jehovah’s creation, the problem is our senses don’t extend into the spirit part of it,but its right there next to us in a different dimension, were our senses accute enough it may be a different story and may well be what humans get when the kingdom rules. Something I feel is connected to this is what happens when a person dies. There are an abundance of verses in the bible that say directly that our spirit goes back to Jehovah. My WT teaching… Read more »
Skye, consider Romans 6:9, which tells that now Christ has been raised from the dead, he dies no more. If these ‘materialized’ bodies were actually Christ’s real body of flesh resurrected, he would have to discard that body when he permanently ascended to heaven, a place incompatible with human life. So, that body would have to die, but the verse says that Christ dies no more. Thus, we are forced to conclude that these bodies were temporary ones, and not his own flesh resurrected.
qspf, If Jesus was resurrected with a glorified human body, there is nothing in scripture which says that it would be impossible for him to ascend to heaven. “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead,… Read more »
Skye, Certainly, it was not “impossible for him to ascend to heaven”. We have plenty of scriptural evidence that this is what happened. (John 3:13; 6:62; 20:17; Ephesians 4:7-10) But, ascending with a “glorified human body” is not in harmony with the Bible. The question really has two parts. First is whether the body Christ appeared with was the same one he died with, and second is whether that body, or any other, could ascend to heaven. I must repeat Romans 6:9: “For we know that Christ, now that he has been raised up from the dead, dies no more;… Read more »
Brothers how do we get around phillipians 3 v 20 and 21 . And 1 peter 1 v 3 and 4 . . I fully accept that revelation 21 speaks of the new jerusalem coming down out of heaven from god and the faithful are part of it . Also i understand that the earth was made to be inhabied by faithful mankind . . I think one of the problems is that when we speak of heaven we tend to think of a specific location somewhere out in the galaxy . Where i think its just possible that it… Read more »
Kev, I don’t think we can get around them. Our hope is a heavenly one. I agree with you on your take that the heavens represents a spiritual realm that is all around us. Because we live in four dimension, we cannot conceive of the heavens being anything but some literal location in the physical universe. Yet if God is there, it cannot be within the physical universe. We are dealing with things we cannot understand. What we can say with certitude is that we will be transformed into a spiritual body, something incorruptible. (1Co 15:44; 50-54) Paul spoke of… Read more »
Yes i agree with that meleti .. thanks for the work you put in with these watchtower commentries . kev
Unquestionably, our hope originates in the heavens. Life itself originates with the God of Heaven, and He sent His Son from heaven so that he could become the way, the truth and the life; he is the manna from heaven. Clearly, without heaven in the picture, we have no hope for life. But, just like I am a U.S. citizen, am governed by U.S. laws and spend U.S. money, but don’t live in Washington D.C., our hope can be in the heavens and originate there, without the need for we ourselves to actually live there. Consider these verses Meleti noted,… Read more »
I see your point, but for me there is another possible explanation. However, since you raise this point, please show how it harmonizes with the verse Kev brought to our attention in his comment.
Thanks qspf for the explanation and to be fair i can see your reasoning on ephesians chapter 2 v 6 being in the past tense . namely he seated us in the heavenly places even when they were still in thier fleshly bodies on earth . Theres also some similar wording at ephesians 1 v 3 to 5 if i may qoute it . Blessed be the god and father of our lord jesus christ for he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in union with christ just as he chose us in union with… Read more »
Kev, It is likely that what was foreordained was God’s purpose for there to be, in principle, a class of persons we now know as the 144,000, who will be king/priests in the Kingdom. It is less likely that any individual persons were specifically picked out and chosen in advance, since each one would still have had to prove their integrity to God, and each of them has free will. While God could use his divine power and wisdom to predict the future and figure out who those persons would be, the general consensus on such matters is that God… Read more »
This is a reply to Anonymous/Kev. You cited a number of verses, so I will reply to each one, as Meleti requested. Since you cited so many verses, this will of necessity be a lengthy reply; bear with me. — (Philippians 3:20, 21) But our citizenship exists in the heavens, and we are eagerly waiting for a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our humble body to be like his glorious body by his great power that enables him to subject all things to himself. Paul says, “As for us, our citizenship exists in the… Read more »
Righty ho then .
For any interested, I posted really good, in depth analysis of the parable of the talents on the DTT site (,a href=”http://discussthetruth.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=864&start=20#p10168″>here) from the NICNT-Matthew commentary.
There was a comment about “talents” relating to natural abilities. The commentary touches on that subject also.
Oops, that link was here.
it is interesting that you should post this as i was about to do the same and mention that the word ” talent” in French means exactly that, namely ” ability “. Does anyone know what the Greek root word for “talent” is ?
[ A-1,Noun,G5007, talanton ] originally a balance,” then, “a talent in weight,” was hence “a sum of money” in gold or silver equivalent to a “talent.” The Jewish “talent” contained 3,000 shekels of the sanctuary, e.g., Exodus 30:13 (about 114 lbs.). In NT times the “talent” was not a weight of silver, but the Roman-Attic “talent,” comprising 6,000 denarii or drachmas, and equal to about f240. It is mentioned in Matthew only, Matthew 18:24; Matthew 25:15-Matthew 25:16, Matthew 25:20 (twice in the best texts), Matthew 25:22 (thrice), Matthew 25:24-Matthew 25:25, Matthew 25:28 (twice). In Matthew 18:24 the vastness of the… Read more »
As a note of interest, the word “talent” in French means exactly that, “Ability”
So we all have to read applications of Jesus parables without WT ideas and interpretations, because everthing that’s presented is to support WT theology and organization,not to reveal truth . When I was a pioneer back in the late 80s I had 2 study’s, in the live forever book.The first guy stopped his study because as he said to me the explanation of the generation was a human attempt to preempt what Jehovah had placed in his durisdiction. The second guy stopped his study because as he told me, you are not separating the sheep from the goats, that’s Jesus… Read more »
“Therefore, the doctrine that the Governing Body was appointed in 1919 is a house whose foundation has been removed.” Those of us who have studied Don Cameron’s book Captives of a Concept realised years ago that there never was any foundational evidence in the first place for the 1919 claim. Historically the first major campaign after the supposed 1919 appointment was the Millions Will Never Die campaign from 1920-1925. Well those old enough to understand that message at that time have died, is that evidence of a divine appointment by a God who cannot lie? Do the false prophets scriptures… Read more »
If, as the w/t says, the talents represent solely the preaching commission, then why, does the scriptures say that only SOME of the disciples would be appointed as evangelizers? And also, why in the parable of the sheep and the goats, is the preaching assignment not utilized as a gauge for salvation? On another note. If we are no longer going to use types and antitypes unless the scriptures are specific about such things, then how come we have just done that with identifying the “faithful slave”? We say that since only a few disciples fed the crowd, it typifies… Read more »
yobec, you ask the right question but I’d reverse the order: Why, if the scriptures say that some (but not all) were given as evangelizers, does the WT say everyone must be? Sadly, we already know the answer. It’s because evangelizing brings in more members, who distribute more literature, which brings in more money, which adds to their power, which prompts them to call for more evangelizing. These things serve the interests of men. Matthew 6:8: “Also, when YOU pray, YOU must not be as the hypocrites; because they like to pray standing in the [kingdom halls] and on the… Read more »
Well, verse 27 makes it clear that the talents do not represent preaching (door-to-door): 27 Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest
The master would have been satisfied if the slave would have used others (people, methods etc) in order to increase the talent.
I have nt read the wt article – but what comes to my mind when the word talent is used in the parable would be using our gifts to bring people to God and Jesus – the society places too much emphasis on door to door preaching when there are many ways of reaching people – some plant, some water, etc. 1 cor 3:6 – taking care of widows and orphans jas 1:27- being a good Samaritan luke 10:25- 27 – being loving and kind 1 cor 13:1,2 – practicing the fruitage of the spirit gal 5:22-26 – and so… Read more »
Thanks for another good article Meleti. The G.B. is always quick to JUDGE other religions as being wicked by pointing to their false teachings of the Trinity. However, what constitutes a greater blasphemy, teaching that there is a Trinity or teaching that most all Christians ought not to partake of the bread and wine since Christ is not their mediator ? As regards to whether we will be going to heaven or live on earth, I would suggest that when we preach to others, we tell them that there are different viewpoints on this matter. Let’s face it, whatever we… Read more »
“As regards to whether we will be going to heaven or live on earth, I would suggest that when we preach to others, we tell them that there are different viewpoints on this matter”
Agree. It is all about entering and receiving eternal life inthe Kingdom of Heaven, regardless where it is.
qspf This was a good scripturally supported piece of writing. I really enjoyed it. And although I am still very confused about this heaven versus life on earth forever thing. I can see a sound and reasonable debate here. I have just been contacted again for the purposes of bringing me back into this religion (for I cannot call it the truth as such) I don’t quite know what to do about this as I believe in Jehovah and have deep respect for the honour that is due to Christ. I have asked that we “not” study books, for books… Read more »
I have felt the same attending JW meetings – im more encouraged when i read the bible than attending a meeting
indeed Billy (like the connotation of the name very funny) It is a liberating experience to read and then re read something in the bible. I even have the audacity to ask for some little bit of holy spirit to help me to understand. I don’t want to be lazy in my thinking, even though it is so unpopular within the societies rule. This is one forum that manages to stay on track with regard to biblical discussion. Nice to meet you
Why does the explanation of this parable and others always seem to have an application only in the preaching work . Its not too difficult to work out what jesus meant here . If we are applying these verses to the preaching work and the success and responsibilty to make other disciples falls on every christian to increase the masters by using the talents that each and every one of us have been given . Then would it not also follow that by doing such each and every christian would prove himself to be a faithful and discreet slave .… Read more »
Hi Kev, I can’t really tell if you’re using a play on the word talent, but for anyone who might be confused on this point, a “talent” was a weight measurement of silver or gold. See: http://biblehub.com/greek/5007.htm New International Version To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. New Living Translation He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last–dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He… Read more »
Yeah thanks anderstimme thats is correct what you say my understanding is that is was a measure of gold . i was using the term loosely to apply for our riches but what you say is right . Thanks . Kev
Its interesting also in the uk our currency is measured in pounds sterling . Which the paper money is a representation of a weight measure a pound of sterling silver . So britain has got talent we could say . Kev
I always appreciate a good pun!
Meleti, Regarding the Illustration of the talents … Anyone who has watched a “magic” show can be fascinated by apparently mystifying feats that defy explanation. But recently, there have been TV programs that do explain how these tricks are done. While they involve skill, finesse, careful timing and good showmanship, they don’t require supernatural power. The facts of the matter show that “magicians” are basically really good liars, highly skilled in deceiving people to make them believe something that isn’t true. Using their “hand is quicker than the eye” techniques, they move faster than people can pay attention, hoping the… Read more »
Like you, I don’t believe that Jesus’ brothers will govern by remote control. While the Bible does not give us sufficient detail to make arbitrary assertions, I too feel that those who belong to Christ will have a presence on earth. Just as Jesus, though a spirit, manifested himself in corporeal form so as to interact with his disciples in the 40 days following his resurrection, even eating and drinking with them, so the ones making up the New Jerusalem will also. But, that is my opinion. I cannot prove it. Still, it is correct to use heavenly hope to… Read more »
It is our understanding of what “Heaven” is that needs to be modified, that is for certain. For instance what did Jesus actually meant by this following statement that he made? : 1“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”… Read more »
In John 14, My Father’s “house” can also mean “household” based on the Greek word. Just as a man may have a number of grown children, each living in their own dwelling places, the father and his children are all part of the same “household” while not actually living in the same “house”. Thus, even if God intends to make special arrangements for some of his Son’s followers who are destined to have a rulership role in the Kingdom, it doesn’t mean those ones are going to reside in God’s presence. We should note carefully that Jesus did not say… Read more »
qspf. You say that the king/priests will rule on earth as humans of flesh and blood.
We don’t have details of our glorified human bodies, though we do realise of course that they will be different from our current bodies. Just a thought about what Jesus said at Luke 24:39 “….a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” He didn’t say “flesh and blood.”
Skye, My terminology of saying “humans of flesh and blood” and Jesus’ words of “flesh and bone” are simply figures of speech. Such expressions are used to explain a concept, and these two expressions mean exactly the same thing. It is not necessary to describe the whole inventory of human parts, as if we needed to include ligaments, tendons, hair, etc. Jesus just wanted to make a clear distinction between something the disciples might have thought was in their imagination, or was wishful thinking, or was a disembodied spirit attempting to deceive them, on one hand – and the fact… Read more »
Do you believe that Christ’s brothers will, like him, possess spirit bodies but have the ability to materialize fleshly ones for the purpose of ruling as kings and priests on earth?
No, I don’t believe Christ’s brother will ever have spirit bodies at any time, and will never “materialize” in the sense that Christ did in order to appear to his disciples. Christ HAD TO give up the body he was born into as a Son of God and a child of Mary, otherwise he would have taken back his ransom sacrifice. When he materialized after being resurrected, it was necessary for God to create these temporary life forms for the sole purpose of communicating with Christ’s followers on earth. In contrast, those destined to rule as king/priests on the earth… Read more »
It’s not about making more sense from a human point of view. We simply lack all the facts, and so any conclusion we come to, even if it sounds logical at present, is unconvincing, because there are too many unknowns. For example, suggesting that the brothers of Christ will have to become humans after their reign is over, because we can’t think of anything else that makes more sense for them to do is an opinion based on an unwarranted assumption. (See the fallacy: an argument from personal incredulity. Our concern on this forum is not to fall into the… Read more »
Whether in heaven or on earth, for sure there would be one major marked difference from humans now: Matt 22:30
Jesus words about marriage after resurrection has to apply.
Nick, Matthew 22:29-30 tells us, “In reply Jesus said to them [the Sadducees, who posed the riddle about a women having seven husbands]: “YOU are mistaken, because YOU know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God; 30 for in the resurrection neither do men marry nor are women given in marriage, but are as angels in heaven.” Some have concluded that this means that those resurrected will be angels, or will be spirit persons “as angels” are. Watchtower has waffled on this question, and seemingly the position now is that they are not sure and we should not speculate. The… Read more »
There are actually two issues here. Do Christ’s brothers go to heaven and are they raised as spirits. Let’s leave the first one for the moment and deal with the second, which is germane to the question of the application of Mt 22:29, 30. In Luke’s parallel account we have this: 34 Jesus told them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 For they cannot die anymore, because… Read more »
Meleti, We must understand that the Sadducees asked their question in order to trip up Jesus. Had he been unable to give the Sadducees an answer, it would have given credibility to their assertion that there was no resurrection. Thus, the primary message conveyed by Jesus’ answer is, ‘Yes, there is a resurrection’ and ‘your riddle does not invalidate the resurrection hope’. Anything else we might glean from this verse is secondary. We also have to acknowledge that the wording of these verses is somewhat ambiguous and problematic. If it were otherwise, people would not have had such difficulty understanding… Read more »
qspf: “We also have to acknowledge that the wording of these verses is somewhat ambiguous and problematic. If it were otherwise, people would not have had such difficulty understanding them. Watchtower itself struggled for years trying to come up with a coherent understanding, changing their minds many times. We have to face the possibility that there is simply not enough in the scriptures to go on to be completely certain of our understanding.” I disagree. The wording is quite straightforward. Why did the Watchtower struggle with this for years? Not because it’s difficult to understand that people who are resurrected… Read more »
We must also soberly consider this: Who is it that claimed that mankind’s future was in the heavens? Who said that humans would not die (they would be immortal) and live in the spirit realm like God does (they would be like God)? Satan did. We need to face the fact that when men expect to be changed into immortal spirit persons, and teach others to that effect when they espouse the doctrine of the heavenly hope, they are promoting the teachings of demons. In contrast, the Bible says that the heavens are for God and the earth is for… Read more »
I’ve lately come to agree with you on this. It ties up a lot of loose ends. For me, like the meek will inherit the earth, and Jesus promising the twelve not to drink the product of the wine until he drinks it with them in his kingdom. My wife has always been sure of this for the simple reason that Jehovah does not change his original purposes. Instead he rectified things to himself and his purposes. I also agree with mementos explanation that follows. A lot of these problems with our own understanding of things are just semantically problems… Read more »