HOW CAN I OBTAIN OLD WATCHTOWER LITERATURE?
“I’m looking for documentation of Watchtower false prophecies, doctrinal changes, etc. Where can I obtain copies of old Watchtower literature to use in witnessing to my Jehovah’s Witness friends? Some of my Jehovah’s Witness friends refuse to look at old Watchtower literature. Do you have any suggestions on how I can overcome this objection?”
Your interest in obtaining old Watchtower literature for use in witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses is very commendable. It has been our experience that Jehovah’s Witnesses find it much more difficult to excuse away the doctrinal and prophetic failures of their organization if they are able to read in context the embarrassing statements their organization has made throughout the years. These are the books we recommend. Most of these can be purchased through ebay.com if you take the time to watch and bid on the items when they become available:
- Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, 1969 or 1985 (either edition if fine) – This book provides the Greek/English text so it is good to show where the New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is distorted.
- Insight on the Scriptures volumes 1 and 2, 1988 – Shows the Watchtower’s view on many topics and has a lot of information to use when researching the Jehovah’s Witness position. The section on Jehovah’s name explains why pronunciation of “Jehovah” is not as accurate as “Yahweh”.
- Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985 or 1989 edition shows the Watchtower’s twisted arguments on a variety of topics
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, 1993 – Shows the Watchtower’s cover-ups of prophetic dates. It even shows a picture of the Beth Sarim “House of princes” the Society built for one of their Armageddon failure dates
- 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Page 88 says Jehovah’s Witnesses worshipped Russell in their early years
- Studies in the Scriptures volumes 1-7 from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s (especially The Finished Mystery, volume 7 (Not to be confused with the more recent publication Then Is Finished the Mystery of God) – These volumes are a gold mine of false prophetic claims concerning 1914, 1915, and 1918
- Revelation – It’s Grand Climax at Hand”, 1989 – Several subliminal images can be found in the pages of this book.
If you prefer not to purchase these books directly, you can always obtain photocopies of pages from these books through the books we sell in our bookstore: http://4witness.org/witnesses-for-jesus-bookstore/
HOW TO PURCHASE CD-ROMS OF RARE WATCHTOWER PUBLICATIONS
Other ministries provide CDs of rare Watchtower publications in PDF form. These are great as you can develop a complete library of the rare Watchtower publications without a lot of expense. To purchase these discs, see the following link to the Store:
CURRENT WATCHTOWER PUBLICATIONS:
There are also several brochures that we use that the Jehovah’s Witnesses distribute freely. They will often give them to you upon request, but if not, you can search for them on the Official Website of Jehovah’s Witnesses (jw.org) and download them there:
- What Does God Require of Us? 1996
- Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are They? What Do They Believe? 2000
- How Can Blood Save Your Life? – 1990
- The Divine Name that Will Endure Forever – 1984
WHAT IF YOUR JEHOVAH’S WITNESS FRIEND OBJECTS TO SEEING OLD WATCHTOWER LITERATURE?
When we consider the fact that the Watchtower claims to be God’s “channel of communication” to men and that it claims that “the Truth” can only be found within the pages of its literature, presenting documented proof of its errors made “in the name of Jehovah” can be effective to break a Jehovah’s Witness’ allegiance to the Watchtower’s faulty interpretation of Biblical passages.
However, some Jehovah’s Witnesses who are aware of errors in early Watchtower literature will question your “motive” for presenting “old” Watchtower literature to them. They reason that the organization has admitted its “mistakes” and no longer teaches these false doctrines. If this objection comes up, you can respond by asking the Jehovah’s Witness the following questions:
- Are you allowed to disagree with the Watchtower’s interpretation of a Bible passage and remain one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
- If the Jehovah’s Witness says “yes” ask, “If you can disagree with the Watchtower, what would happen if you could see that people pray to Jesus in the Bible? Would you be allowed to pray to Jesus during a Watchtower meeting?”
- At this point, don’t let the Jehovah’s Witness argue with you over whether or not the Bible teaches that we can “pray” to Jesus. Just make the point that IF the Jehovah’s Witness could see this in the Bible, he or she would not be allowed to hold to this belief while remaining a Jehovah’s Witness, because Watchtower interpretation takes precedent over a Jehovah’s Witness’ personal interpretation of the Bible.
- If using the example above, you are still unable to get the Jehovah’s Witness to agree with you that they are required to place the Watchtower’s interpretation over their own personal interpretation of the Bible, show them the following pages from The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, p. 19 and The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587 and The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, pp. 28-29
“We all need help to understand the bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization.”—The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, p. 19
“Thus the bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.” —The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587
“They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,’ they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom’s clergy were teaching 100 years ago….” —The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, pp. 28-29
- If the Jehovah’s Witness says “no,” you are ready to ask the next question.
- Since you are not allowed to disagree with the Watchtower’s interpretation because it claims to be God’s organization, can you see why it is important that we first establish if the Watchtower is indeed God’s organization before we discuss differences in our views of Biblical passages?
- Help the Jehovah’s realize that it would be futile for you to discuss with him or her from the Bible where you believe the Watchtower is wrong in its doctrines, if he or she is not allowed to disagree with the Watchtower interpretation of Bible passages in the first place. Once they see this point, then ask the next question.
- Can you see why it is important that we examine old Watchtower literature to see if this organization has truly lived up to its claim to be God’s organization?
- If the Jehovah’s Witness still has difficulty accepting the fact that we must examine the history of the Watchtower to prove whether or not it is God’s organization, it may be helpful for you to show him or her the following statements made by the Watchtower in regard to this. Click on the references below each quote given here to bring up printable Adobe Acrobat photocopies of these pages:
“Is Religious History of Any Benefit?…History also points to the existence of modern Christians who ‘keep on the watch,’ …This information has helped many people to identify Jesus’ true followers today.”—The Watchtower, September 15, 1987, p. 30
“So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? …This ‘prophet’ was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. …Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a ‘prophet’ of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. What does it show?” —The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 197
“Nineteen centuries ago, when the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ class was first formed, it survived the turbulent period of time prophetically described by Jesus in Matthew 24:4-22.… the Master came for the work of inspection at that time…Could they, by even their latest record down till 1919, prove that they themselves were the composite ‘faithful and discreet slave’ class of the heavenly Lord and Master, Jesus Christ?” —God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached, 1973, pp. 348-349
“Who is Ezekiel’s present-day counterpart, whose message and conduct correspond with that of that ancient prophet of Jehovah?… Who, then, are the group of persons who, toward the beginning of the ‘time of the end,’ were commissioned to serve as the mouthpiece and active agent of Jehovah? In order to determine this, check the history of 1919, the first postwar year after the first world war.”—“The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah”, 1971, pp. 58-59
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