FOR many years, people all over the world have benefited from the information in The Watchtower. In July 2011, the simplified study edition of The Watchtower in English was started. 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 printing it. There will also be a simplified edition in French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
WHAT MANY LIKE ABOUT IT
Some in the South Pacific wrote that the simplified edition has helped the brothers there to understand The Watchtower much better. A sister from another country wrote that she and her family used to spend a lot of time trying to find the meaning of words in a dictionary and to understand expressions in the study articles. But now they use that time to understand the scriptures and the reason they are being used in the articles.
A sister in the United States who studied at a university said that for 18 years, she spoke and wrote in a way that only people with a higher education could understand. She said: “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.” The simplified Watchtower has helped her to become a better teacher of the Bible. She explained: “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 about 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 sister who serves at Bethel in the United States and who was baptized more than 40 years ago said that the simplified edition has helped her to understand the Bible more clearly. For example, the box “Some Expressions Explained” in the September 15, 2011, issue described the expression “cloud of witnesses” at Hebrews 12:1. It said: “There were so many that they could not be counted.” The sister said that this explanation made it much easier for her to understand this verse. She also wrote about the weekly Watchtower Study. She said that even if a child reads his answer from the simplified edition, the words are different from the standard edition. So his answer sounds interesting to the audience.
Another sister at Bethel wrote that she now enjoys the comments of the children in the congregation even more. The simplified Watchtower has helped them to give answers from their heart. She added: “Their expressions have been an encouragement to me.”
A sister who was baptized in 1984 wrote about how grateful she is 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 GREAT HELP FOR PARENTS
A mother whose son is seven years old said that preparing the Watchtower Study with him was tiring because she had to spend a lot of time explaining sentences to him. How did the simplified edition help her? She is amazed at how easily her son can now read the paragraphs. And because the words are not difficult and the sentences are shorter, he understands and enjoys the article. She wrote: “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.”
A mother whose daughter is nine years old wrote: “Before we had to help her with her comments. Now she prepares her own.” The parents hardly ever have to explain the information to their daughter because she can understand it. She now enjoys the Watchtower Study much more.
WHAT DO THE CHILDREN SAY?
Many children feel that the simplified Watchtower has been made especially for them. Rebecca, who is 12 years old, wrote: “Please keep the new edition going!” She added: “I love how you have the section ‘Some Expressions Explained.’ It is very simple for kids.”
Nicolette, who is seven years old, feels the same way. She said: “The Watchtower used to be hard for me to understand. I can now give more comments by myself.” Emma, who is nine years old, 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 words and sentences they can easily understand. The simplified edition helps many to understand the Bible more clearly and will continue to be printed together with the standard edition that has helped so many since 1879.