This website offers a “free” Bible study. If they’re all free, why use the term?
Also: When someone signs up for this free study, do they study scripture exclusively or primarily focus on a book called “What the Bible really teaches?”
The word “free” is used to clearly inform anyone interested that there is no cost involved in studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. It distinguishes the Bible study program offered by Jehovah’s Witnesses from other Bible Study programs that require money up front or require the student to purchase study materials.
The book “What does the Bible Really teach?” is a Bible study AID. It references Bible truths in a topical and systematic fashion thus helping a person learn what the Bible teaches in an orderly and understandable way.
Therefore the program offered by Jehovah’s Witnesses can be called a BIBLE study, as the Bible is the primary textbook and ultimate source of truth.
An individual is welcome to study only from the Bible, if that is what he or she wishes, although most students appreciate the help of a Bible study aid.
Seeing that most religions today charge in one way or another for any of their services, we make this point so people are not put off from studying the Bible. Jesus said ‘you received free, give free’ in Mat. 10:8b), so we are self-supporting.
Personally, I was prejudiced and insisted to use only the King James version to study. Thirty years later I know different: Jehovah’s Witnesses START with the teachings of the Bible, using different study aids to focus on subject matter, just as you would study, say, a language. Perhaps you would first learn basic words, a little later some grammar, etc. The Bible study aids are help books designed to show a student where to go in the Bible to find the answer to a specific question. You have nothing to loose, but everything to gain (John 17:3).
Kind regards, Günter
Yes Jehovah Witnesses offer free at home Bible study. We use the word “free” because many people or religious leaders have charged people for their time. But we do not charge people of our time. Were always happy to help people to learn more about the Bible. When Jesus Christ was on earth preaching he never charged anyone. He was happy to help any one who came across his path.
We like to start off with the book called “What Does the Bible Teach?” Its a good book. Its also a Bible aid in helping the Bible students to understand more about the Bible. But if the Bible student wants to ask a question about a Bible verse we will be more than happy to answer. Here’s my email if you have anymore questions [email protected] I’m one of Jehovah Witnesses myself.
I have never paid for any instruction from the Bible in my own free home Bible study or at meetings.
When I’ve passed on what I’ve learnt to others, I have never charged them for their free home Bible study.
I have studied with people using just the Bible, no other book., so yes, you can have your free home Bible study using just the Bible.
The benefit of using “What does the Bible really teach?” is that it’s got easy to understand and remember points that explain what the Bible teaches in your free home Bible study.
Though your real attitude is clearly showing, still the question itself is legitimate even if your attitude is one of trying to attack rather than trying to learn.
I did not look at the site you posted, so I will not comment on it. But as far as Bible studies, the reason they say it is free is because there are some faiths that do require that people pay for the Bible study. That can be done either in outright charging, but more often by requiring tithes. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not require either to study the Bible with you.
As far as the book “What Does the Bible Really Teach?” it is based on the Scriptures. You can open the book, see what they say, and see the biblical backing for what they say by looking it up in your own Bible. In fact, they encourage that you do so. The same is true of any of the magazines like the Watchtower and the Awake! magazines. Anyone can check it if they would like, open up any of them, and if you fear “brainwashing” then just look to see the scriptures cited without actually reading the text of the magazine/book and check to see it yourself in your own Bible. You might compare each chapter to being similar to a sermon from your own church: the only differences are that it is written down and scriptures are provided so that you can check it yourself rather than just relying on the belief that your preacher is not lying to you or is mistaken. Same with the study conductor, you can check it yourself without blindly trusting the Witness who comes to your door.
You should never blindly trust anyone to tell you that the Bible says this and never check behind them.
Acts 17:10, 11– Immediately by night the brothers sent both Paul and Silas out to Be·roe´a, and these, upon arriving, went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11) Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·ni´ca, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.
Notice, the Apostle Paul considered the Beroeans to be “noble-minded” for checking behind him on what he and Silas said, and not just blindly accepting what they said as truth.
And yes, a potential convert, or even someone who is just curious and is not really intent on converting, can ask to study the Bible and the Bible only. In fact, I myself conduct one study that did precisely that, and we use only his Bible.
We emphasize “free” because most religions that offer Bible studies usually charge, not to mention the collection plates they pass around, obligating people to pay the church money. Jehovah’s Witnesses follow the scripture in Matt. 10:8: “You received free, give free.”
It doesn’t just mean the first one is free! They are all entirely free of charge, for however long you wish to study with them (just as with the Mormons too. Evangelical Christian Alpha courses and Christianity Explored courses are also free. The Gideons give out millions of pounds worth of free Bibles.)
Nobody signs up to the JW studies though. No paperwork involved whatsoever. No commitment called for. The JWs will keep coming for as long as you want them to, and/or for as long as they think there’s a chance of converting you. But if you keep disagreeing with their literature and using your Bible to show them why you disagree, you might find the studies ending.
Yes, the primary study aid is one of their books. They also use the Bible to look up Bible references in the literature and get students to do the same. They will be happy for you to use whatever translation you prefer, but it will soon become clear that when differences are spotted and commented on by the student, they will refuse to accept that a translation different to their own NWT is better.
I have never yet heard of JWs agreeing to use nothing but the Bible during a home Bible study with an interested person. They are not trained to do that, you see. They want people to read their literature, which gives their Society’s interpretation of scriptures, and to answer the printed questions for each paragraph, answering according to what’s said in those paragraphs.
Edit – Correction – I have just read Little Scrubbing Bubble’s answer and acknowledge that JW as using only the Bible.
They say their bible studies are free, but if you end up joining them, it may cost you a lot. A lot, as in your friends, family, sanity, mental health, and everlasting life.
Have yet to see any bible study cost any money, anywhere. That would be for any religion.
And, believe me, somebody is paying for those books they are carrying. The poor JW’s at the Kingdom Hall are stuffing the boxes in the back so that they don’t make the announcement at the end of the month that they need more money. Word is that they even have to pay for their share of the magazines they hand out. They’ll also ask for a donation…
Those little teaching books that the Jehovah’s Witnesses use are a carefully crafted form of mind control. The initiate studies the lessons as instructed and in order so the initiate draws the desired conclusions.
Mormons do the same thing only their material and approach is far more sophisticated.
Everyone has the right to believe what they want, but if you’re going to join something you need to do enough independent investigating to get the whole truth first.
As to your “free” question, that’s simple marketing. Everyone loves a freebie.
The Witnesses do not study the bible they study a re written document that looks like bible but is not.
Nothing they do is free you have to give them your soul.
It took em 18 years to deprogram from this cult