What would you say if I asked you to quit reading your Bible? Or, how would you respond if I told you that you were permitted to read your Bible, but, it had to be in conjunction with my “Scripture studies” or “Scripture helps” – how would you respond? As someone who loves God, I personally would respond that the words of Jehovah God are plane in the text of Scripture, and as a result, I would trust Jehovah Himself to guide me in my path of both knowing Him and loving Him.
Charles Taze Russell believed differently, opting for the first and second solutions above, rather than the latter. In his work, The Watchtower, from Sept. 15, 1910, Russell proclaims the following;
In short, Pastor Russell’s message is both quite simple and disturbing, and it can be summarized as follows; “If you read the Scriptures alone, you will come away with a much different message than if you read the Scriptures through my interpretative lens.” If you are a Jehovah’s Witness reading this today, please prayerfully consider what Russell is asking of you. He wants you to abandon your privilege of reading the Bible, in lieu of reading his words. Is this the mark of a true prophet? It certainly is not, because Russell in this quote attempts to draw the reader of Scripture away from God and His revealed word, and to himself, which is the mark of false teaching and a false Gospel.
Deut 13.6-10 ~ “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. 9 But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.