Top critical review
20 people found this helpful
Probably the worst book on JWs ever written.
on 24 December 1997
Instead of giving you my opinion, I would prefer to cite specific examples from different chapters of Rhodes' book, and then give you my opinion based on those examples. LIST OF 5 UNPROVEN AND MISLEADING STATEMENTS 1) On page 177 of Rhodes' book, he says, "The fact that Michael [the archangel] is ONE AMONG EQUALS [emphasis added] proves that he is not unique." Of course, the Bible nowhere says Michael is "one among equals." But he certainly is unique to Daniel, as he is "the prince of you people [=Israel]."--Daniel 10:21. 2) Rhodes, on page 123 of his book, cites the Greek-English lexicon by Bauer (commonly referred to as BAG), and says that this lexicon defines the Greek word ARCHE in Revelation 3:14 as "first cause." This is one of the definitions BAG gives, but the lexicon also states, "The the mng. [meaning] beginning=first created is linguistically poss. [possible]." Thus, Rhodes witholds this crucial qualification from his readers. 3) On page 63 of his book, Rhodes claims that Jesus used the expression EGO EIMI ("I am") "as a way of identifying Himself as God." But nowhere does he comment on the use of this expression by the man Jesus healed in John 9:9. Of course, EGO EIMI is often associated with Jesus' identity as the Messiah (compare John 4:25-26), not God. Rhodes' failure to deal with texts such as John 9:9 reveal that he is not interested in presenting a complete discussion of the facts, but only his dogmatic opinion. 4) This one is truly amazing. On page 113 of his book, Rhodes contrasts the New World Translation's rendering of John 8:58 ("I have been") with the New American Standard Bible's reading ("I am"). He then concludes on page 116 of his book, "Scholars agree that the Watchtower Society has no justification for translating ego eimi in John 8:58 as `I have been.'" However, Rhodes fails to recognize that the very same Bible he uses in comparision with the NWT, namely, the NASB, contains this alternate reading in the marign of its editions of 1960-73, "Or, I have been"! Also, it is NOT true that "Scholars agree that the Watchtower Society has no justification." In fact, one of the world's leading Greek grammarians, K. L. McKay, translates John 8:58, "I have been in existence since before Abraham was born."--A New Syntax of the Verb in New Testament Greek (New York: Peter Lang, 1994), 42. 5) Finally, as if the above were not enough to warn you of the misleading content of this book, consider Rhodes' unfounded statement on page 173 of his book, the opening words of Chapter 7: "According to the Watchtower Society, Jesus Christ is a MERE ANGEL." (emphasis added to "mere angel") The truth is, Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus Christ is the Archangel, and thus the ruler of the angels. Also, the Witnesses believe Jesus is second only to Jehovah God Himself. Such a being could hardly be considered a "mere angel"! Still, Rhodes misleads his readers into thinking that the Witnesses' view of Jesus is one that gives him no glory at all, and relegates him to the position of a "mere angel." There are many other statements from Rhodes' book that would also support my negative review, but the above should be enough to encourage any reader of his book to exercise great care, and to never take what he says as the final court of arbitration when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses. The reader should question Rhodes the same way you would question the Witnesses or anyone else. Never let the fact that someone put something in print convince you that it is true based on that fact alone.