I thought I had the angle on them, but I was caught! Just before I could open up my door I was cornered. It is not that I avoid conversations with Jehovah Witnesses, I actually enjoy them when I have time, but I was in a rush.
There I was in the parking lot at Albertson’s on an extremely hot summer day in Southern California. In one hand was a bag full of groceries, in the other my keys. As I was vigorously walking toward my truck out of nowhere sprang two older women holding Watchtower and Awake Magazines. I detected them on my way into the store and tried to time it just right and make it to my vehicle unscathed, but to no avail. I thought I had the angle on them, but I was caught! Just before I could open up my door I was cornered. It is not that I avoid conversations with Jehovah Witnesses, I actually enjoy them when I have time, but I was in a rush.
Nevertheless, I politely received the Watchtower Magazine that was given to me. But instead of walking away and crumpling up the heresy, I couldn’t help myself. I decided to ask them who writes the articles contained in the magazine. A puzzled look flooded their faces. Then I asked them about the authors of the New World Translation (NWT), and the same mystifying look took over their once confident gaze. So I proceeded to share that I studied for hours with Jehovah Witnesses but don’t believe because the NWT has numerous mistranslations and inaccurate renderings of the Greek. I told them that those who translated it did not know the biblical languages and their demeanor immediately changed from mystified to maddened.
The woman on my left attempted to snatch the magazine out of my hand.
“Give me that back!” she demanded. Thankfully, by God’s grace, my cat-like reflexes prohibited that from happening.
“Hey, that’s not nice. You gave it to me. And, maybe I want to check out some of the articles,” I said with a smile. “Listen, none of the members on the NWT translation committee were scholars or had sufficient training in the biblical languages, Doesn’t that make a difference to you?” I asked them.
“What is your name? What is your name?” The feisty one asked as a smokescreen to evade my questions.
I ignored it and tried to appeal to their emotions, “Please look up why Fred Franz, one of the translators lied when he was on trial.” “Think about it, 99% of all Greek scholars do not agree with the translation.” “Why believe this translation when it is clearly incorrect?” “Even Charles Taze Russell got busted lying on trial also. Please look that up as well.”
An Appeal to Alex
It was at that moment that the quiet woman stood up boldly, arched her back with pride, and asserted that it does not matter who speaks against the NWT because apparently Alex Trebek of the game show Jeopardy stated that the most accurate translation of the Holy Scriptures was the New World Translation. She did not appeal to the Greek. She did not appeal to the Hebrew. She did not appeal to reason, or to Scripture. She appealed to the one, the only… Trebek, Alex Trebek.
This was not a dream. It was not a Celebrity Jeopardy Episode. It was real. In all my years of defending the faith and debating with Unitarians and Jehovah Witnesses, the Trebekkian defense has only been used this one time. As far as I know there was never a question on Jeopardy like this.
Where did this come from and is it circulating in your region?
Is it an urban legend gaining momentum in Kingdom Halls in the Inland Empire of Southern California? Did it originate from a homemade Jeopardy game used in youth groups to bolster young J.W’s faith? I don’t know and I don’t care.
What is your Authority?
Regardless of where it came from, there I stood, flabbergasted at this argument from a grown educated woman. This woman also serves as an illustration of our American society – educated in some things, maybe many, but that education and reasoning is thrown out the window when brought face to face with logic and truth that demands change.
When the truth of the Word of God, which is written on the pages of Holy Scripture and on the consciences of humanity, irritates the sinful pleasures of people and convicts us of our current way of living we are then faced with a serious choice. Will we stand with Scripture, repent and turn from our idolatry? Will we dismiss the clear testimony of the Holy Spirit and follow our feelings? What is our authority? Scripture or self? The Word of God or the Word of the World?
Some trust in game show hosts and a hypocritical media, and many in their own feelings, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God and his Word is our authority, they will be brought down and fall. But we will rise up and stand upright because of Christ alone.
Luther, after hours of prayer, when faced with the leaders of a society which did not stand upon God’s holy word but on the humanism of their day boldly declared:
Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other.
May all who claim to love the Lord Jesus Christ as he is presented in the Scripture increase their times of prayer and echo these words of Luther. Amen
Pursuers Proof of Douglas Walsh vs The Right Honourable James Latham, M.P., P.C., Scottish Court of Sessions, November, 1954
John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Fast Facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses, ATRI Publishing, 2012
Growing up in the east side of Moreno Valley, California, by way of Detroit, Michigan, liking all sports Detroit, while adding at the tender age of 8 a love for the Denver Broncos, a product of the public education system yet somehow by the grace of God managed to get some graduate degrees, serving the Lord out of Sovereign Grace of Perris, coaching Thai boxing and teaching and preaching the Word, also a proud father of 3, and husband to a faithful daughter of Abraham.