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Does the term "Society" still represent the organization?

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I know many years ago the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society ( the Society) was the main legal corporation of our organization.  But now that we have several different corporations many newer ones do not know what is meant when more experienced ones say "The Society has told us...." 

 

I've heard many substitute the "The Branch" or "The Branch office" for "The Society".  

 

Since Jehovah's chariot is moving super fast, does it mean many are having a hard time keeping pace?  What are your thoughts on this?

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I don't think 'The Society' is ever WRONG to use, but sometimes people can get confused between the spiritual out  workings of Jehovah's earthly organization and its legal identity. 

 

Using the Branch or the Branch Office is being more definitive ... the Society is a more collective term.

 

To keep pace with Jehovah's chariot ... it's not terms or words that will keep us up with it ... it is loyalty and obedience.

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What Is the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society?

 

If you are referring to the Writing, Publishing, Education and Charity then one is referring to the "Society." The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is not the whole Organization but a Tool used by Jehovah's Witness to accomplish our ministry.

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18 minutes ago, Jonathan77 said:

When it comes to organizational procedures, I would say for example, "We have received new direction from the branch", or use the word organization.

Yes, that's a good way to understand it, spiritual food comes from the FDS not from any legal cooperation, actually "the society" will cease to exist after the GT. We just need it in this system of things to satisfy Caesar.  

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7 minutes ago, Zebra555 said:

Yes, that's a good way to understand it, spiritual food comes from the FDS not from any legal cooperation, actually "the society" will cease to exist after the GT. We just need it in this system of things to satisfy Caesar.  

Actually what a lovely thought ... if you think about Russia, all they have done is dissolve the legal identity ... which is going to be dissolved anyway ... but in no way have they touched the organization from a spiritual aspect.

 

Our Russian brothers and sisters are leading the way!

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I remember hearing this, maybe in an annual meeting or zone visit talk.  The updated refined thought is that Jehovah has always had an organization, we are part of that organization. Direction comes from the Organization, thus we currently would say "the organization" as opposed to "the Society".  As mentioned, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is a legal entity.  

Wish I could pin point when this refinement was made.  

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8 minutes ago, booboo said:

I remember hearing this, maybe in an annual meeting or zone visit talk.  The updated refined thought is that Jehovah has always had an organization, we are part of that organization. Direction comes from the Organization, thus we currently would say "the organization" as opposed to "the Society".  As mentioned, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is a legal entity.  

Wish I could pin point when this refinement was made.  

*** w98 3/15 pp. 18-19 pars. 3-4 Living Up to Christian Dedication in Freedom ***

3 Someone may argue that the way the Witnesses speak about the Watch Tower Society—or more often just “the Society”—indicates that they view it as more than a legal instrument. Do they not consider it to be the final authority on matters of worship? The book Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom clarifies this point by explaining: “When The Watchtower [June 1, 1938] referred to ‘The Society,’ this meant, not a mere legal instrumentality, but the body of anointed Christians that had formed that legal entity and used it.” The expression therefore stood for “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45) It is in this sense that the Witnesses generally used the term “the Society.” Of course, the legal corporation and “the faithful and discreet slave” are not interchangeable terms. Directors of the Watch Tower Society are elected, whereas Witnesses who make up ‘the faithful slave’ are anointed by Jehovah’s holy spirit.

4 In order to avoid misunderstandings, Jehovah’s Witnesses try to be careful about how they express themselves. Instead of saying, “the Society teaches,” many Witnesses prefer to use such expressions as, “the Bible says” or, “I understand the Bible to teach.” In this way they emphasize the personal decision that each Witness has made in accepting Bible teachings and also avoid giving the false impression that Witnesses are somehow bound to the dictates of some religious sect. Of course, suggestions as regards terminology should never become a subject of controversy. After all, terminology is of importance only to the extent that it prevents misunderstandings. Christian balance is required. The Bible admonishes us “not to fight about words.” (2 Timothy 2:14, 15) The Scriptures also state this principle: “Unless you through the tongue utter speech easily understood, how will it be known what is being spoken?”—1 Corinthians 14:9

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So it would be correct to say:

 

Society's publication - The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society did publish the publication after all.

The Society's headquarters - the legal entity does have a headquarters base of operations.

The Society owns - the legal entity does have ownership...

 

The Organization would also work in any of those above statements.  The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is part of our Organization. The Organization controls the legal entity.  This legal entity would be included in the possessions or belongings that Jesus referred to in Matthew 24:45-47.

 

Using "The Branch" is a bit more specific.  We all are not under the same branch.  Those of us in the United States are part of the US Branch.  Canada has the Canadian Branch. Etc...  

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To be more specific, the turning point was 2001, when the members of Governing Body stepped down as directors of the Society (as of January 2001), the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses was formed (legal entity representing the US branch) and the US branch committee was appointed (as of April 2001) to oversee the Kingdom work in the Unites States. Since then the use of the term "the Society" in the sense used until then has been deprecated in favor of "the organization", "Jehovah's Witnesses", "the branch" etc., depending on the context. For example, a visible change for anyone reading our publications is that when the brothers refered to a title of a publication they used to put a footnote "published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc." Since 2001, any such footnotes read "published by Jehovah's Witnesses". This change also highlights more fully that the organization is a theocratic arrangement and that the legal instruments such as the Pennsylvania corporation, the New York corporation, CCJW and any other entities are just tools used under the direction of the faithful and discreet slave to fulfill our commission as followers of Christ.

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After 50-60 years of saying and hearing the expression "the Society", I am sure you will forgive me if I occasionally slip and use that term instead of "The Branch" or "The Organization".  Thank you in advance for your patience....❤️

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In Tagalog, "Society" is translated as "Samahan".

 

Last time we are watching a video from the JW Broadcasting. the scene was a Filipino brother is telling his experience in Tagalog. he used the word "samahan" but the english dubbing used the word "organization" not "society".

 

And many of us still use "Samahan" (Society) in normal conversation.

Edited by Danni

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41 minutes ago, jwhess said:

After 50-60 years of saying and hearing the expression "the Society", I am sure you will forgive me if I occasionally slip and use that term instead of "The Branch" or "The Organization".  Thank you in advance for your patience....❤️

I haven't heard you say "Mother" yet so i'll give you a pass. 

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I have used the word "organization" when asked a question about the Bethel (s) around the world.  When I would say "the society" a lot of people in my territory and my own neighbors don't understand, but when I use the word organization, they seem to get it.  That's my just mine two cents.

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15 hours ago, jwhess said:

After 50-60 years of saying and hearing the expression "the Society", I am sure you will forgive me if I occasionally slip and use that term instead of "The Branch" or "The Organization".  Thank you in advance for your patience....❤️

Same here. Changes are hard for us old folks.☺️

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7 minutes ago, Cornflake said:

For me society now sounds quite old fashioned. As has been said above, the usual expression used now is organisation. 

 

Society is going towards belonging with colporteurs and back calls and all the other words we don’t use any more. 😁

And for the many new ones in the truth, old terminology is more than confusing. 

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14 minutes ago, Cornflake said:

For me society now sounds quite old fashioned. As has been said above, the usual expression used now is organisation. 

 

Society is going towards belonging with colporteurs and back calls and all the other words we don’t use any more. 😁

Also Rendezvous upgraded to Service Group

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34 minutes ago, GrumpysWife said:

Same here. Changes are hard for us old folks.☺️

yes, it is.  I also have the problem that I use to go to the Spanish hall and the words and expressions translate differently.  I kept saying I was doing "corners" and the friends would look at me like "corners?", until someone told me it was street work.  I can very quickly pick up when someone was previously in a Spanish hall.  One of many embarrassing things I would say when I switched to English speaking hall.

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1 hour ago, carlos said:

If you think about it, for a non-Witness "the Society" sounds quite mysterious. As one of those secret societies.

Agreed!  A non-Witness might better understand it as "corporate" as in "corporate headquarters".

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55 minutes ago, Gimestr said:

yes, it is.  I also have the problem that I use to go to the Spanish hall and the words and expressions translate differently.  I kept saying I was doing "corners" and the friends would look at me like "corners?", until someone told me it was street work.  I can very quickly pick up when someone was previously in a Spanish hall.  One of many embarrassing things I would say when I switched to English speaking hall.

Ha ha. :lol: I know what you mean.  Which reminds me, I'll have to ask our Service Superintendent Overseer for a list of those participating en las esquinas in street work.

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JWTalk 18.9.15 by Robert Angle (changelog)