Thursday, May 24, 2007

Posing as an Expert

You may already be familiar with the following dialogue between Charles T. Russell (founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses) and an Attorney. Under cross-examination, Russell proved he was no expert in Greek (and that he frequently contradicted himself):

Attorney: "Do you know the Greek alphabet?"
Russell: "Oh yes."
Attorney: "Can you tell me the correct letters if you see them?"
Russell: "Some of them; I might make a mistake on some of them."
Attorney: "Would you tell me the names of those on top of the page, page 447, I have got here?"
Russell: "Well, I don't know that I would be able to."
Attorney: "You can't tell what those letters are? Look at them and see if you know."
Russell: "My way..." [he was interrupted at this point and not allowed to explain].
Attorney: "Are you familiar with the Greek language?"
Russell: "No."
(Quoted in Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults, 84-85.)
I make reference to this infamous account, not to make a point about Jehovah's Witnesses alone, but to all those who try to pass themselves off as "experts." It is particularly dangerous when such impostors pretend to deal with matters of the soul.

I could not verify this story of a Fundamental Baptist professor making up Greek words, but I certainly don't doubt that it could have happened. (Even if the story is made up or the details have been clouded, it's still good for a laugh, and my point still stands).

HT: Daniel Phillips

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