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Although very much dismissive of spiritualism now, the Watchtower, up until  1983 relied very heavily upon one speritualist to regularly back up their doctrine and writings. This spiritualist was a Catholic priest by the name of Johannes Greber. . Click the link to go directly to the relevant Watchtower Quotes for Johannes Greber on this page.

Revelation, It's Grand Climax at Hand p.125 ch.20 A Multitudinous Great Crowd

This suggests that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today.

[Emphasis Added]

The Finished Mystery (1917) p.144

Though Pastor Russel has passed beyond the veil, he is still managing every feature of the harvest work.

[Emphasis Added]

The Golden Age 1924 July 30 p.702 Review of Book

Review of Book

"ANGELS AND WOMEN" is the title of a book just off the press. It is a reproduction and revision off [sic] the novel, "Seola" which was written in 1878, and which deals with conditions prior to the flood.

Pastor Russell read this book with keen interest, and requested some of his friends to read it because of its striking harmony with the Scriptural account of the sons of God described in the sixth chapter of Genesis. Those sons of God became evil, and debauched the human family prior to, and up to, the time of the great deluge. We call attention to this book because we believe it will be of interest to Bible Students, who are familiar with the machinations of the devil and the demons and with the influence exercised by them prior to the flood and also now in this evil day. The book throws light on the subject and it is believed, will aid those who carefully consider it to avoid the baneful effects of spiritism, now so prevalent in the world.

The book is revised and published by a personal friend of Pastor Russell, and one who was close to him in his work. It is published by the A. B. Abac Company, New York city.

The publishers advise that the regular price of this book is $2.00; but to all subscribers of THE GOLDEN AGE, it will be furnished at $1.00 per volume, when ordered in lots of ten or more. This is not an advertisement, but a voluntary comment.

[Emphasis Added]

The Golden Age 1924 Dec 3 pp.150-151 Angels and Women

Angels and Women

WE PRESENT some letters regarding this book (a review of which recently appeared in our columns) which we feel sure will be of interest to many of our readers:


Pardon me for taking this much of your time on what may be so simple a matter; but I was approached about going into a club to get a certain book called, "Angels and Women". I made some inquiries, and was told that it was a book that a fallen angel dictated to a woman, showing a desire to come back into harmony with God; and that Pastor Russell approved of the book. I had never heard of the book before; and as we are to shun anything akin to spiritism I should like to know positively whether the book has your approval before buying one; so if it is not asking too much would like a reply.

(Mrs.) W.S.Davis, Los Angeles, Cal.


With much pleasure and profit has the book, "Angels and Women" been read by many Truth friends. It contains so much to encourage one to loyalty and faith in God.

Do you think that it would be a real service to purchase these books in quantities of ten or more copies at a time so as to get the special $1 per copy rate, which you have so kindly secured for us, and thus to have them on hand as Christmas and birthday presents or for other gift occasions to give to our relatives and friends, whom we may have been unable to otherwise interest in Present Truth or only slightly so?

Would not some be disposed to read a fascinating novel of this kind, who might not be able to get first interested in "The Harp" or STUDIES?

Would this not be considered one way of instructing the people about matters concerning which there is so much ignorance, and direct them to the real Bible Keys, the WATCH TOWER publications?

Should we send such orders to THE GOLDEN AGE?

If not, will you kindly give us the complete address of the A. B. Abac Company? There are many who would like to get a little more information regarding these items.

An Appreciative Reader


TO BOTH above letters we reply as follows:

When Pastor Russell was here, he read a book dealing with conditions that obtained prior to the Flood. He requested some other brethren to read it. It was so much in harmony with the Bible account of the fallen angels that he regarded the book as remarkable. Under his supervision it was revised, and later published by one who was formerly his confidential associate. The new book is published under the title "Angels and Women". Scriptural citations are given. An appendix is added. Pastor Russell remarked that at some opportune time the book, revised, should be published.

As to its being a violation of the Vow to read this book, such idea is not worthy of consideration. It would be no more wrong to read it than to read "What Say the Scriptures about Spiritism" or "Talking with the Dead"; for both these books quote much as to what the evil spirits do. Many have derived much benefit from reading "Angels and Women" because it aids in getting a clearer vision of how Satan overreached the angels and overreached the human race, and caused all the havoc amongst men and the angels. It helps one to better understanding of the devil's organization.

The book is published by the A. B. Abac Company, Madison Square, P.O.Box 101, New York City, N.Y.

THE GOLDEN AGE does not handle the publication; but all who desire it should write directly to the publisher at the above address.

[Emphasis Added]

Light. Volume I. 1930. p. 218

Again the Lord sent his angel to carry out matters of great importance as pertaining to his people on earth. He caused his representatives or deputies, who are invisible to men, to direct what should be done by his visible servants on the earth. This is further proof of the completeness with which Jehovah keeps his hand in all his work.

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower. September 1. 1932. p. 263

There cannot be a question or doubt that Jesus Christ can and does direct every division of his organization and that he can and does use his holy angels to carry into operation his orders and direct the course of the remnant on earth, regardless of the fact that the remnant cannot see these agents or ambassadors of the Lord and can have no direct or audible communication with them.

[Emphasis Added]

Light. Volume 1. 1930. p 106

Visible human creatures had to do with that message, yet. in fact, it was a message of the Lord sent through his invisible angels, because without a doubt these are clothed with authority to direct the course of earthly members of God's organization.

[Emphasis Added]

Light. Volume I. 1930 p 120

Again God put in the the mind of his people, by his angel, to act and carry out his purposes.

[Emphasis Added]

Light Volume 1. l930 p 64

The Lord used The Watchtower to announce these truths. Doubtless he used his invisible deputies to have much to do with it.

[Emphasis Added]

Riches 1936 p 316

Jehovah has made the necessary arrangements within his organization to instruct his people, and all recognize that for some years The Watchtower has been the means of communicating information to God's people. That does not mean that those that prepare the manuscript for The Watchtower are inspired, but rather it means that the Lord through his angels sees to it information is given to his people in due time...

[Emphasis Added]

Light. Volume II.1930 p. 20

...the servant class on earth are directed by the Lord through his duly constituted deputies or angels.

[Emphasis Added]

Light Volume II. 1930. p. 12

Doubtless the Lord uses these holy angels to direct the course of his people on earth; what they shall take and what they shall do. The angels are a part of God's organization...

[Emphasis Added]

Vindication, Volume III. 1932 . p. 250

[Note: not available on 1993/1995/1999 CD-ROM]

...the heavenly messengers or angels of the Lord now used by the Lord in behalf of the remnant. These angels are invisible to human eyes and are there to carry out the orders of the Lord. No doubt they first hear the instruction which the Lord issues to his remnant and then these invisible messengers pass such instructions to the remnant.

[Emphasis Added]

Preparation 1933 p.36

Certain duties and Kingdom interests have been committed by the Lord to his angels, which include the transmission of information to God's anointed people on the earth for their aid and comfort.

[Emphasis Added]

Preparation, 1933 p.67

...angels of the Lord at the temple are used to enlighten and comfort the anointed ones and to bring them refreshing truths. Those of the remnant being honest and true, must say. We do not know; and the Lord enlightens them, sending his angels for that very purpose.

[Emphasis Added]

The Watchtower. April 1 1972 p.200

This would indicate that Jehovah's Witnesses today make their declaration of the good news of the Kingdom under angelic direction and support... the nations will see the fulfillment of what these witnesses say as directed from the heaven.

[Emphasis Added]

Court Trial Transcript, Scotland, 1954, p.29-40

[F. W. Franz, future president of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, testifying under oath]

ATTORNEY: 'In the fifth place, it is an article of belief that there is an innumerable number of angels which operate under divine direction?


ATTORNEY: And that they have a supervisory charge in relation to those who are Jehovah's Witnesses.

FRANZ: Yes. The Apostle Paul says so is Hebrews 1:14.

ATTORNEY: This matter of the angelic creation and their function in relation to Jehovah's Witnesses, is that to your knowledge a unique belief?

FRANZ: No. there are other religious denominations which believe in the existence of angels.

ATTORNEY: That is not unique?

FRANZ: That is not unique in itself.

ATTORNEY: But is there any unique element in the association between the belief in the existence of the various ranks of angels and their activities in relation to Jehovah's Witnesses?

FRANZ: Well. we believe that the angels of God are used in directing Jehovah's Witnesses.

[Emphasis Added]

Johannes Greber

Known as Spiritist; used to support doctrine for 28 years

Watchtower 1955 October 1 p.603 Part 3: What Do the Scriptures Say About "Survival After Death"?

It comes as no surprise that one Johannes Greber, a former Catholic clergyman, has become a spiritualist and has published the book entitled "Communication with the Spirit World, Its laws and Its Purpose." (1932, Macoy Publishing Company, New York) In its Foreword he makes the typical misstatement: "The most significant spiritualistic book is the Bible; for its principal contents hinge upon the messages of the beyond to those existing in the present.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1956 February 15 pp.110-1 Triumphing over Wicked Spirit Forces

10 Says Johannes Greber in the introduction of his translation of The New Testament, copyrighted in 1937: "I myself was a Catholic priest, and until I was forty-eight years old had never as much as believed in the possibility of communicating with the world of God's spirits. The day came, however, when I involuntarily took my first step toward such communication, and experienced things that shook me to the depths of my soul. . . . My experiences are related in a book that has appeared in both German and English and bears the title, Communication with the Spirit-World: Its Laws and Its Purpose." (Page 15, ¶ 2, 3) In keeping with his Roman Catholic extraction Greber's translation is bound with a gold-leaf cross on its stiff front cover. In the Foreword of his aforementioned book ex-priest Greber says: "The most significant spiritualistic book is the Bible." Under this impression Greber endeavors to make his New Testament translation read very spiritualistic.

11 Spiritualism claims that there are good spirits and bad spirits and that it does not want to have anything to do with the bad spirits but tries to communicate only with the good spirits. At 1 John 4:1-3 the Bible says: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." Greber's translation of these verses reads: "My dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to learn whether they come from God. For many false spirits have emerged from the abyss and gone out into the world, and are speaking through human mediums. This is how you can find out whether a spirit comes from God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ appeared on earth as a man, comes from God. While every spirit who seeks to destroy belief in Jesus as our Lord incarnated does not come from God, but is sent by the adversary of Christ. You have been told that such spirits would come, and they are already appearing in the world." Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his translation.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1961 January 1 p.30 Was There a Resurrection?

[Johannes Greber cited for support for Matthew 27:52-53.]

Nor is the New World Translation alone in rendering these verses thus. A modern German translation reads quite similarly: "Tombs were laid open, and many bodies of those buried were tossed upright. In this posture they projected from the graves and were seen by many who passed by the place on their way back to the city."-Matt. 27:52, 53.

[Emphasis Added]

"The Word" — Who Is He? According to John (1962) p.5

[This is a summary, not a quote]

[Johannes Greber cited for support for John 1:1.]

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1962 September 15 p.554 "The Word"-Who Is He? According to John

5 But most controversial of all is the following reading of John 1:1, 2: "The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This Word was in the beginning with God." This reading is found in The New Testament in An Improved Version, published in London, England, in 1808. Similar is the reading by a former Roman Catholic priest: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word, and without it nothing created sprang into existence." (John 1:1-3)*

* [Footnote to page 554]

The New Testament-A New Translation and Explanation Based on the Oldest Manuscripts, by Johannes Greber (a translation from German into English), edition of 1937, the front cover of this bound translation being stamped with a golden cross.

[Emphasis Added]

Make Sure of All Things: Hold Fast to What is Fine (1965) page 489

[This is a summary, not a quote]

[Johannes Greber cited for support.]

[Emphasis Added]

Aid to Bible Understanding (1969) p.1134 Memorial Tomb

Memorial Tomb



The text at Matthew 27:52, 53 concerning the memorial tombs [that] were opened" as the result of an earthquake occurring at the time of Jesus' death has caused considerable discussion, some holding that a resurrection occurred. However, a comparison with the texts concerning the resurrection makes clear that these verses do not describe a resurrection but merely a throwing of bodies out of their tombs, similar to incidents that have taken place in recent times, as in Ecuador in 1949, and again in Bogota, Colombia, in 1962, when two hundred corpses in the cemetery were thrown out of their tombs by a violent earth tremor.—El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia, July 31, 1962.

The translation by Johannes Greber (1937) of these verses reads as follows: "Tombs were laid open, and many bodies of those buried were tossed upright. In this posture they projected from the graves and were seen by many who passed by the place on their way back to the city."

[Emphasis Added]

Aid to Bible Understanding (1969) pp.1667-1669 Word, The




In the Christian Greek Scriptures "the Word" (Gr., ho Lo'gos) also appears as a title. (John 1:1, 14 ; Rev. 19:13) The apostle John identified the one to whom this title belongs, namely, to Jesus, he being so designated not only during his ministry on earth as a perfect man, but also during his prehuman spirit existence as well as after his exaltation to heaven.

Regarding the Son's prehuman existence, John says "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." (John 1:1, NW) The Authorized Version and the Douay Version read "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This would make it appear that the Word was identical with Almighty God, while the former reading, in the New World Translation, indicates that the Word is not the God, Almighty God, but is a "mighty one," a god. (Even the judges of ancient Israel, who wielded great power in the nation, were called "gods." [Ps. 82:6 ; John 10:34, 351) Actually, in the Greek text, the definite article ho, "the," appears before the first "God," but there is no article before the second.

Other modern translations aid in getting the proper view. The interlinear word-for-word reading of the Greek translation in the Emphatic Diaglott reads: "In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and a god was the Word." The accompanying text of the Diaglott uses capital and small capital letters for the God, and initial capital and lowercase letters for the second appearance of "god" in the sentence: "In the Beginning was the LOGOS, and the LOGOS was with GOD, and the LOGOS was God."

These renderings would support the fact that Jesus, being the Son of God and the one used by God in creating all other things (Col. 1:15-20), is indeed a "god," a "mighty one," and has the quality of mightiness, but is not the Almighty God. Other translations reflect this view. The New English Bible (1961) says "And what God was, the Word was." The Greek word translated "Word" is Lo'gos; and so Dr. James Moffatt's New Translation of the Bible (1922) reads: "The Logos was divine." The Complete Bible—An American Translation (Smith-Goodspeed) reads: "The Word was divine." Other readings (by German translators) are: By Boehmer: "It was tightly bound up with God, yes, itself of divine being." By Stage: "The Word was itself of divine being." By Menge: "And God (= of divine being) the Word was." By Pfaefflin: "And was of divine weightiness." And by Thimme: "And God of a sort the Word was." All these renderings highlight the quality of the Word, not his identity with his Father, the Almighty God. Being the Son of God (Jehovah), he would have the divine quality, for divine means `godlike.'-Col. 2:9 ; compare 2 Peter 1:4, where "divine nature" is promised to Christ's joint heirs.

A translation by a former Roman Catholic priest, Johannes Greber (1937 ed.) renders the second appearance of the word "god" in the sentence as "a god." And The Four Gospels—A New Translation, by Professor Charles Cutler Torrey (second ed., 1947), says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was god. When he was in the beginning with God all things were created through him ; without him came no created thing into being." (John 1:1-3) Note that what the Word is said to be is spelled without a capital initial letter, namely, "god."

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1975 October 15 p.640 Questions from Readers

Questions from Readers

• Does Matthew 27:52, 53 mean that at the time of Jesus' death some persons in the grave were resurrected?

Without wresting the Greek grammar, a translator can render Matthew 27:52, 53 in a way that suggests that a similar exposing of corpses resulted from the earthquake occurring at Jesus' death. Thus the translation by Johannes Greber (1937) renders these verses: "Tombs were laid open, and many bodies of those buried there were tossed upright. In this posture they projected from the graves and were seen by many who passed by the place on their way back to the city."-Compare the New World Translation.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1976 April 15 p.231 Insight on the News

Insight on the News

Event Clarifies Bible

• The recent Guatemalan earthquake affected even some of those already dead. "Time" magazine reports that "several mourners who went to bury their dead in family plots found that the coffins of long-dead relatives had been uncovered by the quake." Something similar occurred during an earthquake in the Jerusalem area at Jesus' death. At that time, dead bodies were customarily placed in vaults or chambers cut from Palestine's soft limestone rock, often in hillsides. A report in the Bible, as translated by Johannes Greber, says that when Jesus died, "the earth quaked, and the rocks were shattered. Tombs were laid open, and many bodies of those buried there were tossed upright. In this posture they projected from the graves and were seen by many who passed by the place on their way back to the city." Hence, rather than a resurrection, as some Bible translations imply, there appears to have been merely an exposure of the dead to observers, as in Guatemala.-Matt. 27:51-53.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1983 April 1 p.31 Questions From Readers

Questions From Readers

Why, in recent years, has The Watchtower not made use of the translation by the former Catholic priest, Johannes Greber?

This translation was used occasionally in support of renderings of Matthew 27:52, 53 and John 1:1, as given in the New World Translation and other authoritative Bible versions. But as indicated in a foreword to the 1980 edition of The New Testament by Johannes Greber, this translator relied on "God's Spirit World" to clarify for him how he should translate difficult passages. It is stated: "His wife, a medium of God's Spiritworld was often instrumental in conveying the correct answers from God's Messengers to Pastor Greber." The Watchtower has deemed it improper to make use of a translation that has such a close rapport with spiritism. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) The scholarship that forms the basis for the rendering of the above-cited texts in the New World Translation is sound and for this reason does not depend at all on Greber's translation for authority. Nothing is lost, therefore, by ceasing to use his New Testament.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower Publications Index 1930 - 1985

[Only these two references under the subject GREBER]

Greber, Johannes
w83 4/1 31
w62 554

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1959 October 1 p.607 Questions from Readers

Questions from Readers

• Who are the writers of the publications of the Watch Tower Society, and what are their educational qualifications?-M.D., U.S.A.


The literature published by the Watch Tower Society is published in the name of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Regardless of who may write certain articles, they are checked carefully by members of the governing body before they are published; so they are properly viewed as coming from the Society.

[Emphasis Added]

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