Glossary: G

Glossary of American English Hacker Theocratese

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=== G ===

garage sale, yard sale
A sale of personal household items and clothing set up in a homeowner's driveway or front yard. These are common on weekend mornings in urban areas where there are many houses and good weather. Satan uses these to interrupt a brother's field service plans if he happens to be out with his wife or daughter. Of course, it is acceptable to stop for a sale if they are selling tools or sporting equipment.
gathering, get-together
A social {association} for the purpose of recreation; a euphemism for ``party''. Gathering has come to have a special flavor in the minds of Witnesses. It usually implies an occasion where at least two entire families and others are invited, in addition to the host(s), and where a whole meal, frequently contributed by those attending, or at least refreshments, are provided. It brings to mind an occasion where special attention has been given to include the elderly, the needy, and others who might sometimes tend to be left out, rather than just one's frequent companions. An evening where a single brother has a couple of buddies over to watch a playoff game on TV and drink a couple of beers might constitute acceptable Christian recreation, but the scenario would not likely be thought of as a typical gathering.
Misleading but {politically correct} euphemism for homosexual. A few readers whose first language is not English may not realize that until just 25 years ago, the word meant ``happily excited'', ``bright'', or ``lively'', and bore no unwholesome connotations. Those times are behind us. Nowadays the word is rarely used in any other way than to designate those whose ``sexual orientation'' (yuk!) is to perform immoral acts with members of the same sex. Interestingly, the Internet Webster's adds the definition ``given to social pleasures; licentious, lacking moral restraint especially in sexual matters''.
AMOOFL for {Governing Body}.
Contemporary people of a certain historical period, together with their identifying characteristics. Jesus spoke repeatedly in negative terms about the wicked Jewish generation of his day that ultimately rejected him as Messiah and had him put to death, and about the generation that would exist during the conclusion of the system of things, after he arrived in Kingdom power. One historian noted that ``A historical generation is not defined by its chronological limits.... It is not a zone of dates.''[88] For many years before 1995 we used to believe otherwise, which led some Witnesses to making futile guesses about the date of the outbreak of the {great tribulation} based on the supposed length of a generation, even though the Bible clearly says that we cannot guess the day or the hour. Both {study articles} in [w95 11/1] deal with this topic.
[88] Robert Wohl, ``The Generation of 1914''.
Gentile times
The term used in the {King James} and Revised Standard English translations, and the commonly used term for what Jesus called ``the appointed times of the nations''. (Luk 21:24 NW)
Physical body motions used to flavor speech. Effective gesturing is an aid in effective communication, often emphasizing shades of unspoken meaning behind the words being said. It is considered important enough as a speech quality to be covered as a separate counsel point in the school. ("Guidebook" book [sg] Study 26B.) One reader reminded me to mention what she describes as ``word whisker gestures'', e.g., mannerisms or gestures that are nervous habits, such as spontaneous hand motions unrelated to the words. These become meaningless as a result of frequent repetition.

One poor speech habit that can appear comical is seen when a speaker's gestures are out of sync with his words, perhaps because he has marked certain ones in his notes just before he needs to use them, and is tied too closely to the notes. <<And so, brothers [points thumb back over shoulder], let us avoid looking behind [points forefinger forward], but look only forward, to the future!>> The gestures need to be timed to be seen on the words behind and forward, not several words early.

See {gathering}.
Gilead School
A school that trains missionaries for {foreign service}. The school's full name is Watchtower Bible School of Gilead. It was originally called Watchtower Bible College of Gilead.
given ones
Non-{anointed} assistants to the {Governing Body} who, beginning on May 1, 1992, have been sharing in the meetings of Governing Body Committees, and receiving assignments aimed at helping to carry out the work of the Governing Body. The term is scripturally derived. The work of these men is comparable to that of the Nethinim and the sons of the servants of Solomon who returned from Babylonian exile with the Jewish remnant. (See [w92 4/15 12-17], and the ``Announcement'' on page 31.) <<I recently learned that an old friend at Bethel is now serving as one of the given ones.>>
1. To harvest grain left over by reapers. <<The Law given to Israel gave the poor the right to glean fields following the harvest.>> (Lev 19:9) 2. To gather information bit by bit. This simile is inappropriate when used to describe Bible study, because it suggests that personal study is tedious and unrewarding labor. <<Let's examine Luke chapter 10 to see what information we can glean about how to conduct our service.>> This chapter is a wellspring on that topic, containing far more than mere bits and hints. (Compare {bring out}.) 3. Some persons have compared the status of the preaching work in well-covered territories to gleaning work. Although the increases in such areas are not large, there is still some interest to be found.
go where [I, you] belong
This expression is used in reference to attending the congregation within whose territory boundaries one lives. The phrase can convey a sense of unwelcomeness contrary to Christian hospitality.

In 1991, {OKM} in the USA recommended that families living outside the boundaries of the territory assigned to their congregations give serious thought to changing congregations. This led to a massive migration, particularly in dense urban areas where congregations are close together and there is a lot of overlap. Before the moving around started one sister was heard to say: <<Are you going to be one of the loyal ones and go where you belong?>> Them's fightin' words, lady! Some people were moved to ask whether it was more important to belong where you go than to go where you belong. Eventually everything worked out just fine, as it always does in Jehovah's organization.

goal, personal goal
An objective that is striven for, particularly in theocratic service. We are encouraged to set spiritual goals for ourselves. One might have a long-range goal to enter Gilead service. But along the way many personal goals must be accomplished: establishing a good study schedule, developing a willingness to live in lowly circumstances, learning to be comfortable in dealing with people of a different background, becoming a regular pioneer and sticking with it for several years, and so forth.
In Jesus' illustration of the sheep and the goats at Matthew 25:31-46 the goats represent those who refuse to do good to his brothers. The image is fulfilled by those today who reject the Kingdom message as preached by all of Jehovah's people. Rather than allowing Jesus to make the judgment after the outbreak of the {great tribulation}, some people take it unto themselves to attribute goatlike characteristics to persons who have given them a hard time at the last door. (Though rarely in seriousness.) <<That last goat said ``Beat it! And don't ba-a-a-a-a-a-ather to come ba-a-ack!''[89]>> Sometimes the forms goatlike, goatish, goaty, and goatiest are heard. Some persons use the term like some persons in the world say butthead, not a polite term, or jerk, likewise not exactly a compliment.
[89] Ba-a-a-a is a sound that is usually attributed to a sheep, but only a shepherd would know the difference.
God's people
See {Jehovah's people}.
This word has many definitions, and surely every reader of this Glossary knows what they are. The reason it is included here is to remind us that it is an adjective, not an adverb. The adverbial counterpart is well. It is grossly common to hear a {School overseer} say <<You did good on your counsel points>>, rather than ``You did well''. Ugh! The problem may exist because when a student {does well} on a counsel point, his {Speech Counsel Slip} is marked with a letter G for good. I once heard a brother say: <<You did good on your pausing, and your volume was very well.[90]>>
[90] Really!
good association
Persons who live by Bible standards and influence others to do likewise. If there is {bad association}, there must also be good association. (Compare {spiritual credentials}.)
Good Guys
All of Jehovah's Witnesses who inhabit the Internet as a group, in contradistinction to the {Bad Guys}.
good news
Short for {Kingdom good news}.
good people
People whose conduct and lives generally conform to Bible principles, but who do not claim to be Christians. We often sigh over these because the Bible clearly shows that at {Armageddon} only those who take a stand on the side of the Truth will survive to live in God's {new world}. Often people put {finger quotes} around the phrase. <<There are many ``good people'' in this world who do not yet appreciate the significance of the good news.>>
good standing
The status of being accorded full acceptance by the congregation, irreprehensible, not disorderly or presently under charge of wrongdoing, not having {restricted} {privileges}. A person in good standing is generally viewed as loyal and obedient. (Compare {exemplary}.)
goody night
A night designated for enjoyment of association and refreshments following a {Congregation Book Study} meeting, when that meeting is held in private homes. Goody nights are rarely held by book study groups that meet at the Kingdom Hall for obvious logistical reasons. Such occasions are entirely unofficial, but widely endorsed because of the benefits of spending time with our brothers. Attendance usually peaks on these nights. (Rom 1:12) One common routine is to label one night a month, e.g., the last meeting of the month, as goody night. Attendees bring snacks and drinks. Sometimes the conversation can be stimulating. When I was brand {new in the Truth}, not even baptized, we had a book study in our apartment in New York.[91] The attendees were almost all young, mostly Bethelites. We put on a pot of coffee after every meeting, and sometimes had snacks. People rarely left before 10:00 PM.
[91] Such an arrangement would be unlikely today.
Gospel, synoptic Gospel
Literally ``good news'', namely the news that Jesus Christ is God's appointed {Messiah}, and that the {Kingdom of God} is now established and in operation. The Bible books Matthew, Mark, and Luke, which deal with the life of Jesus, are called synoptic Gospels, meaning that they each tell the same history from a slightly different viewpoint. There is much overlap in what they tell about. The remaining Gospel, by John, is not called synoptic because 92 percent of John's material appears in his Gospel alone.
Governing Body
The body of {anointed} Christian men that serves as the mouthpiece of the {faithful and discreet slave}, providing direction in matters of Bible teaching, organization, and all matters of concern to modern Christians. The term is not found in the Bible, but the function is. An examination of the Bible account indicates that the fledgling Christian organization had a body of men who had authority to make decisions affecting Christians everywhere. (Act 15) At that time those decisions were being made by the apostles and other older men in the congregation in Jerusalem. Today[92] that body consists of ten spirit-anointed men who reside at Brooklyn {Bethel}.

[92] March 1996

NOTE: The {GB} is not ``head'' over the faithful and discreet slave any more than a literal mouth is the whole head of a body. [w93 12/15 22, par. 22] The diagram in the style of a business organization chart that follows is an imitation of the one in [w77 16]. Notice that the Governing Body box is a cutout section at the bottom of the Faithful and Discreet Slave Class box, not a separate box above it.

grace [obs]
Used religiously, grace is Christendom's equivalent to the expression ``undeserved kindness'' as found in {NW}. It is used throughout Paul's letter to the Romans. (See especially Rom 3:23.) It refers to God's extending of unmerited favor toward mankind so they might come to enjoy a sanctified peaceful relationship with him. Because the language of Jehovah's people is so laced with terminology from NW, equivalent expressions from other translations, such as grace, have become virtual {archaisms} to us. 2. A prayer said before a meal. This too is a term of Christendom; although Witnesses always pray before meals, they rarely refer to the giving of this prayer as ``saying grace''.
Primary, highest in importance, lofty. The literature often speaks of Jehovah's grand purposes. <<Jehovah's works are greater, grander, more majestic, than any human could even imagine.>> [w92 12/15] And NW itself speaks of Jehovah as ``Grand Maker'', ``Grand Creator'', ``Grand Instructor'', and ``Grand One''.[93] In these contexts it is appropriate. However, grand is a borderline {fuddy-duddy} term when used in everyday speech, especially in exclamations like: <<That's just grand!>>, where it seems to lose its meaning.
[93] Always in {Capital Letters}, of course.
great crowd
Christians of the {other sheep} living in our time who will survive the {great tribulation}. (Rev 7:9; Joh 10:16; Mat 24:21)

NOTE: Some people say they are of the great crowd when they really mean they are of the other sheep. Although they may ultimately come to be a part of the great crowd, considering that this group is formed by those who survive the {great tribulation}, and because any person could die between now and then, it is technically premature for any person to presume that he personally will be a survivor. <<``Are you one of the anointed?'' ``No, I am one of the great crowd.''>> Not! Yet. Nevertheless, as the ``Questions From Readers'' in [w95 4/15 31] urged us, we should not be too picky about the precise terminology others use in this case.

great prophecy
In a sense every utterance of true prophecy is ``great''. But sometimes in the literature we read of ``Jesus' great prophecy'', referring to the one about the sign of his presence and the conclusion of the system of things that is recorded in Matthew 24--25. Parts of this are reiterated from a different viewpoint in other Gospels. [w95 5/15 12, par. 10]
great tribulation
The series of events that culminates in God's war of Armageddon and the abyssing of Satan. (Mat 24:21)
Greek Scriptures
The portion of the Bible written originally in the Greek language, namely the books from Matthew[94] to Revelation. Christendom refers to this portion of the Bible by the misnomer {New Testament}.
[94] Matthew apparently wrote his Gospel originally in Hebrew and later translated it into Greek. [si 176]
green Bible
The earliest complete edition of the {New World Translation} was published in an unfancy green cover. This package has been out of print for many years, but one occasionally sees one floating around. More important than the cover is the text, which has been updated several times since the green cover was last used. Because Witnesses tend to wear Bibles out at the rate of one a year or so, anyone who still uses a green Bible regularly probably does not read it, and is seriously out of pace with the organization. <<Yes, Daddy, of course my new boy friend is a Witness. He's been one so long he even has a green Bible!>> One brother quipped: <<If a sister is interested in a brother who has a green Bible, it is safe to conclude he's been away for a while and is desperate to find a good mate.>> Thus the saying has arisen: <<Beware of brothers with green Bibles!>>
Causing grief or sorrow. This word is pronounced GREEV-us, not GREE-vee-us. There are only two syllables in the word. This mispronunciation seems to be the exclusive domain of Jehovah's Witnesses.
group witnessing
Preaching and teaching activity that Christians do in connection with the schedules set by the {body of elders} for the congregation. <<Tomorrow I'll be going straight to my Bible study early in the morning, and so won't participate in group witnessing.>>
Synonym for {increase}. <<The growth in the former Soviet Union since the breakup has been unprecedented.>>
Guide, Guidebook
Short name for the publication Theocratic Ministry School Guidebook. <<As it says in the Guidebook, the key to giving good talks is careful advance preparation.>>

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