FOR decades, men and women around the globe have appreciated and benefited from the Bible-based information published in the pages of The Watchtower. In July 2011, the first issue of a simplified study edition of this magazine was published in the English language. That issue explained: “This new edition will be tried for one year, and if it is helpful, it will continue to be printed.”
Now, it is a pleasure to announce that we have decided to continue to publish it. Moreover, in time a simplified edition in French, Portuguese, and Spanish will be available.
After receiving the simplified edition, several in the South Pacific reported: “Now the brothers are really able to get the full sense of The Watchtower.” Another letter said: “The time once spent looking up words and explaining expressions is now spent gaining an understanding of the cited scriptures and how they tie into the lesson.”
A college graduate in the United States says: “I spent 18 years speaking and writing in the abstract language of higher education. I developed a habit of speaking and thinking in a way that was more complicated than necessary. I realized I needed to make big changes in my way of thinking and speaking.” Now an effective evangelizer, she writes: “The simplified Watchtower has proved to be a great help. Its language gives me an excellent example of how to put things simply.”
A sister in England who was baptized in 1972 wrote regarding the simplified Watchtower: “When I read the very first issue, I felt as though Jehovah were sitting beside me with his arm around my shoulders and we were reading it together. It was like an earthly father reading a bedtime story to his child.”
A Bethel sister in the United States who was baptized over 40 years ago said that the simplified edition has at times provided her with new insight. For example, the box “Some Expressions Explained” in the September 15, 2011, issue described the expression “cloud of witnesses” at Hebrews 12:1 in these words: “There were so many that they could not be counted.” She said: “This illuminated my understanding of the verse.” Regarding the weekly meeting, she added: “Even if a child’s answers are directly from the simplified edition, they are not in the same words as the standard edition of The Watchtower that most have before them. So the child’s comments are fresh to the audience.”
Another sister at Bethel wrote: “I eagerly look forward to hearing the comments of little ones in the congregation. The simplified Watchtower has helped them to express themselves with such conviction. Their expressions have been an encouragement to me.”
A sister who was baptized in 1984 expressed appreciation for the simplified edition: “I feel that it was written just for me. It really makes it easy to understand what I am reading. Now I have confidence I can answer during the Watchtower Study.”
A TOOL PARENTS TREASURE
A mother of a seven-year-old boy commented: “Having to explain to him many sentences in our preparation for the Watchtower Study used to be long and tiresome.” How did the simplified edition help? She writes: “I am amazed that he can share in reading the paragraphs and really grasp their meaning. Since the words are not difficult and the sentences are shorter, he is not intimidated. He has begun to prepare his comments for the meetings without my help, and his attention is focused on the magazine throughout the entire study.”
The mother of a nine-year-old girl wrote: “Before we had to help her with her comments. Now she prepares her own. We seldom need to spend time explaining or breaking down the information. Because it is not over her head, she now feels that she is a real part of the Watchtower Study.”
HOW DO CHILDREN FEEL?
Many children feel that the simplified Watchtower has been provided especially for them. Twelve-year-old Rebecca requested: “Please keep the new edition going!” She added: “I love how you have the section ‘Some Expressions Explained.’ It is very simple for kids.”
Seven-year-old Nicolette feels similarly: “The Watchtower used to be hard for me to understand. I can now give more comments by myself.” Nine-year-old Emma wrote: “It has been a great help to me and my brother, who is six. We are able to understand a lot better! Thank you!”
Clearly, many are benefiting from an edition of The Watchtower that uses easily understood words in simple sentences. It is filling a need and will continue to be published along with the standard edition that has been such a valuable provision since 1879.