Written in the NWT of a 12 yr old Witness child

Written in the NWT of a 12 yr old Witness child

Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their knowledge of the scriptures.  We train our children to learn Bible scriptures at an early age. We make scripture flash cards and quiz ourselves. It would be hard to argue that this is anything but a good thing for a Christian to do. However, there can be a downside to this. (1 Corinthians 8:1)  Memorized scriptures are learned solely to become “proof texts”. A proof text is a bible verse that is quoted or read to “prove” a certain doctrinal point or idea.


Here’s some of the more well known ones:


JOHN 3:16; MATT 24:14; JOHN 17:3; MATT 24:45-47; PSALMS 83:18; PROV 4:18; GAL 5:19-22; PSALMS 55:22; LUKE 16:10; MATT 7:21-23; JOHN 4:24; 1 COR 15:33; PSALMS 146:3, 4; ROMANS 6:7; MATT 6:9, 10; MATT 24:3; 2 TIM 3:1-5; LUK 22:19; PHIL 2:5-9; 2 TIM 3:16, 17; EZEK 18:4; GEN 3:15; GEN 1:28; JOHN 14:28; REV 11:18; PS 119:105; ECC 9:5, 10; REV 5:9, 10; REV 14:1; DAN 2:44; JOHN 10:16; LUKE 12:32; JOHN 8:32; REV 7:9,10; ZEPH 2:2, 3; ISA 65:13, 14; ISA 45:18; PSALMS 37:29; PSALMS 37:9-11


We are taught these scriptures primarily so we can refute doctrinal points of other Christians, like the Trinity (John 14:28) or the condition of the dead (Ecclesiastes  9:5, 10) or the future of the earth.  (Psalms 37:29)


Also, to set us apart and to understand our purpose as a Witness we learn scriptures like Matthew 24:14 and Psalms 83:18. The first scripture you learned as child is usually that one if you are raised around the truth.

If we lined up 1000 active and exemplary Witnesses, 98% would have the same ones memorized- about 40 to 50 verses. Some might know a few more, and the elders know a handful more related to their work in shepherding and in judging matters during a judicial committee, but that’s pretty much it. And there’s nothing wrong with learning these scriptures…


But what might be another reason, a better reason to learn scriptures? And what other scriptures could we focus on and maybe make our new favorite verse?

What about our own spirituality? Scriptures that are going to build us up? Psalms 119:165 is a great passage. Or how about it’s cousin, Psalms 119:105?

Aso, defending our faith and for Witnessing to others is good- scriptures like  1 Peter 3:15,16; 1 Timothy 2:5,6 are good. And 1 Corinthians 7:23 resonates with many of us because of the unfortunate circumstances we find ourselves in.

Another good one for those of us that want to gather together but don’t feel welcome at the Kingdom Hall is found at Matthew 18:20. Jesus said that it only takes two or three for him to be in their midst. Isn’t that encouraging- we don’t have to forsake the gathering of ourselves together as that other scripture that is so often referred to at the KH says. (Hebrews 10:24,25)  Could we commit Matthew 18:20 to memory?

Or how about Acts 17:11 or 1 Corinthians 4:6?  Then there’s John 8:32- what a gorgeous verse! Freedom from false beliefs is a point that we appreciate and so did Christ.


The scriptures free our minds- they don’t enslave us to a man or a group of men- NO! The scriptures point us to Jesus, to the glory of our Heavenly Father.  Peter said in John 6:68, “Whom shall we go away to?…”

So what scriptures do we want to study? Why do we study them? “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1) Our motive is an important factor.


Here’s something interesting- A study of every scriptural reference in the Watchtower magazine was done. What do you suppose were the top three scriptures- the most used scriptures from 1950 to 2010? That’s a 60 year period, a long time. Here is the each scripture along with the basic reason it is used so much by the WTO:

#1 – Matthew 24:14. Preach the Kingdom. It was head and shoulders above the other two verses.

#2 – Revelation 7:9.  The great crowd has an earthly hope and the Bible was not actually written for them.

#3 Matthew 24:45. The faithful slave is in charge.

Do you see how these three verses are used to emphasize Preaching, Earthly Hope, and the Authority of the GB?



But wouldn’t it be nice then for us to REALLY press on to maturity as Paul said? (Hebrews 5:11-14) No building on the same foundation over and over again, never completing the house but only repeating the same things, “learning” the same things over and over and over again…


Each of us does well to examine WHY we are studying the Bible- and appreciate that God’s Word frees our minds. And then find those favorite verses… and memorize them!


————————————  RESOURCES ————————————
This information in talk form:
Talk by JJ: What's Your Favorite Scripture?

A PDF file I made of some good scriptures to memorize. Print all pages, then line up the fronts and backs and cut out and tape.


A graph of the top three verses:



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19 Comments on What’s Your Favorite Scripture?

  1. LonelySheep says:

    JJ, nice post.

    Question though.

    The ‘number of citations’ is this figure per issue and what is the scale? In other words in 1960 was Mth 24:14 quoted 10 times or 100 times etc per issue or is the figure for the whole year?


    • JJ says:

      I did not make the graph it was gleaned but I believe the #s are for any particular year’s worth of WT magazines.

      Since for most of the years there was only 2 magazines per month = 24 per year so at an average of 40 times that means that nearly twice per issue Matthew 24:14 was cited and/or quoted.


  2. JWB says:

    Thanks Brother JJ for some interesting thoughts on the scriptures. I thought I’d share with the folk here the first scripture that came to my mind as a favourite (forgive me if I’m a bit sentimental). For me it just sums up the character of our Leader quite simply:

    “There also came to him a leper, entreating him even on bended knee, saying to him: ‘If you just want to, you can make me clean.’ At that he was moved with pity, and he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him: ‘I WANT TO. Be made clean.'” (Mark 1:40-41)

    Just an interesting note here. There are parallel accounts at Matthew 8:2-3 and Luke 5:12-13, but only Mark mentioned that Jesus was “moved with pity”.


  3. andrew says:

    Excellent talk JJ.
    You mentioned a few favorite texts of mine. Another favorite of mine is Galatians 5:6 (HCSB) “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.”

    I believe that in these few words you could not sum up Christianity any better.


  4. DanielB says:

    JJ it is true that Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their knowledge of the scriptures. Unfortunately the question arises more these days on the Watchtower understanding of these ready verses . And you informed us that nearly twice per issue Matthew 24:14 was cited and/or quoted .

    This is a good recommendation for all of the witness work done by these witnesses . If the news is truly good news , and it is truth on the Kingdom , then it is from God . This is what we would like to see . But several retractions of points of interpretation will be needed for the good news to be truthfully preached .

    – Just my .02 cents worth .


  5. Roy says:

    My two cents?

    I spend a LOT LESS TIME going to meetings or reading man-made writings, and a lot more time reading my bible, critically and analytically.

    I would encourage ALL to read the entire chapter seven of Revelation, and as you go along, ask yourself,

    “Is this verse (or half verse) FIGURATIVE or LITERAL in its meaning?

    (Pay particular attention to vs. 4a and vs. 9a)

    The results are quite enlightening. I would LOVE to see further discussion on this chapter, also on Rev. Chapter 14 – Verse by Verse.

    It is interesting that while the book of Revelation is seen as symbolic, a couple of snippets are applied as having literal application. Why should this be so?


    • Amos says:

      Greetings Roy,

      I would be very happy if we could have a verse by verse discussion as you have suggested. Perhaps it would be better to do this in the forum. Would you like to start new discussion either here or in the forum? If so could you then plese leave a notice here, if you start one in the forum.
      I’d suggest we start with chapter seven first & then go to ch 14 after we have completed ch 7, or we could run both chapters simultaneously.

      Your brother.


  6. Roy says:

    Greetings, Brother Amos.

    I am a babe to this website, so if you could direct my steps as to how to begin this discussion, I will follow!



    • Amos says:

      Hi Brother Roy,

      I was going to start the new blog about Rev. ch7 but seem to have lost the new blog tag from my page, so we may need to ask JJ to start the new blog for us.



  7. miscreant droid says:

    Thanks for this article. I’ve been enjoying finding out that so many of my concerns have been carefully considered by others before me. I probably would’ve tried writing this article myself if I hadn’t found it here first.
    Miscreant Droid


    • Rupunzelsawake says:

      Hi miscreant droid!! Bad robot!! Better not let borg mother catch you out!!! WELCOME to the site! It’s nice to have you posting here When I first came to this site I was astounded!: I did not have an original thought! Everything I thought, someone else had thought it before me! How reassuring that was. Even the comparison to “borg” off Star Trek! I will look forward to hearing more from you!


      • miscreant droid says:

        Hi Repunzel. Thanks for the welcome!
        Some years back I came across a book by Philip Yancy called “Disappointment with God”. I gave a quick perusal to this ‘apostate’ literature and found such heartfelt sincerity in the writing that my love for Jehovah was re-awakened. The WTBTS’s literature had become so routine by comparison that it made me feel I’d been asleep for years. Your moniker clearly shows you feel the same! I remember so many talks from elders and conversations out in service suggesting that Jehovah has given us free will because he doesn’t want a robotic loyalty, merely ‘programmed’ affection. Strange that we’re trained to be robots then! I’m not a perfect robot anymore, but my relationship with God has been strengthened by that. Thanks again for the welcome.


        • Rupunzelsawake says:

          I know what you mean about being asleep! Once you stop the daily sedatives (ie. day’s text) and the twice weekly hits of tranquilisers (meetings) your brain can start to wake up from paralysis! I’m glad that your relationship with our heavenly Father has strengthened. So many unfortunately come out of the organisation “lost”, and some actually turn to atheism, instead of experiencing the glorious Christian freedom we are called to have!


          • miscreant droid says:

            All too true! My brother left the Org. in his late teens. He’s far too decent to be argumentative about faith, but the condescending smirk that slowly spreads across his face whenever the topic comes up breaks my heart. Just before the Memorial, at the end of the last service meeting, we were instructed to be pleasant to any newcomers we might encounter…like, for a full HALF HOUR!!! There was a demonstration of people being polite to eachother! A demomstration!!! I was pretty tired after work that night and all I could think was “Why aren’t we studying the bible?…I got dressed up for this?” I mean, even the dirtiest, meanest, angriest church in all the Christian world will
            be nice to to any newbies. I got bored and read a chapter out of Isaiah instead.
            Time well spent.


  8. Rupunzelsawake says:

    What!! A demonstration of how to be polite? Hilarious!! I used to find myself reading the Bible during those boring parts on the service meeting. Plus I did all the cross-referencing. That’s in part how I ended up here at this site! Probably most of us here did that! I haven’t attended meetings since January although I did go to the recent one day Assembly for “information gathering” purposes! I am currently awaiting an “appointment” for a judicial meeting.


  9. Chris says:

    Ha! and I thought I was the only one :) Not!
    I even found myself reading 1 Cor.11 several times during the Memorial.
    This was partly to curb my irritation at the meaningless spiel being dished out from the platform.
    And partly to stop myself from going to sleep because of the meaningless spiel being being dished out from the platform.
    I just couldn’t decide :)


  10. miscreant droid says:

    I wonder what would happen if a brother decided to knit a scarf during the meeting. I certainly don’t need to look up the same verses over and over again, and I could be getting something useful done. Maybe we could get some tools for the back room so I could finish making that table…
    Anyway, I’m off on a camping trip ’til Tuesday, so I’ll catch up with you guys then.
    May Jehovah watch over over you.


  11. Buddhagan says:

    A couple of my favorite scriptures are the one about the fruitages of the spirit and the one where Jesus says to pay Caesar’s things to Caesar. Any scripture that points to common sense is ok in my book, like “bad association spoils useful habits” although I’d like to memorize other translations.


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