One of the Watchtower’s worst kept secrets is that the long-running “Questions from Readers” section in the back of Watchtower magazines – not unlike most famous newspaper advice columns – has in recent years rarely used questions from anonymous subscribers.
Actually, if you have been paying attention, you may have noticed that many “questions” just happen to relate to other subjects covered in the same issue. Not only that, but the format and syntax of most questions indicate that they were not only edited – but likely prepared by volunteers in the Watchtower’s Writing Department. The very significant March 2015 “study edition” of the Watchtower magazine is an excellent example of this not so subtle misrepresentation about the sources of these so-called “Questions from Readers.”
A Major Change of Doctrine Buried in a “Question”
An amazing coincidence occurs in the March 2015 Watchtower magazine. In the study article with the rather awkward title, “This Is the Way You Have Approved,” the writers try to explain how the Watchtower has tried to use Biblical stories and examples to explain doctrines, principles, and critical details. Then they compare Jesus’ approach of using parables and examples to explain deeper truths and concepts. In a sense, they admit that, unlike Jesus, they have missed the mark at times when trying to repeat his successes.
Many Jehovah’s Witnesses – at least those who managed to stay awake during their weekly Watchtower Study meeting that covered this subject in early May 2015 – may have been shocked to discover that literally dozens of their long-held beliefs might be wiped away forever and end up in the closet with long forgotten books containing discredited teachings and predictions by “Pastor” Russell and “Judge” Rutherford.
Why? Because of their overuse and misapplication of so-called “types” and “antitypes” to try to explain complex or unsupportable Watchtower concepts and predictions. They’ve been doing this for decades – and now they indicate they were wrong to do so for most situations.
If the brothers and sisters were paying attention while studying the March 2015 Watchtower, they might have noticed that the framework for many beliefs promoted as “The Truth” for over 65 years may have been completely dismantled in what amounted to “a blink of the eye.”
Definitely Not a Reader’s Question
On the other hand, if they weren’t paying attention but passing the time by flipping pages, they may have incidentally happened across “Questions from Readers” in the middle of the magazine. The March issue contains a question that a rank and file Jehovah’s Witness would never dare ask local elders. Submit a question like that to Bethel Headquarters? Very unlikely; to do so could result in being branded “an apostate” and having to face a judicial committee.
Who wrote the question? The tone and subject matter would indicate it to be an insider job. As it turns out, that section actually provides an even clearer perspective to the new changes. Some may have been shocked to read:
In the past, our publications often mentioned types and antitypes, but in recent years they have seldom done so. Why is that?
The Watchtower of September 15, 1950, defined a “type” and an “antitype” this way: “A type is an image or representation of something that will come to pass at some future time. The antitype is the reality of the thing which the type represents. The type may properly be called a shadow; the antitype, the reality”…
Many years ago, our publications stated that such faithful men and women as Deborah, Elihu, Jephthah, Job, Rahab, and Rebekah, as well as many others, were really types, or shadows, of either the anointed or the “great crowd.” For example, Jephthah, Job, and Rebekah were thought to represent the anointed, while Deborah and Rahab were said to foreshadow the great crowd. However, in recent years we have not drawn such comparisons. Why not?…
Further down the article it continues:
Then they describe their change in how these persons or events will be handled in the future:
The article finally admits their past errors in judgment:
For more on this subject, be sure to read this recent Watchtower Documents article: Watchtower: Fewer “Types and Antitypes”?