Glossary: P

Glossary of American English Hacker Theocratese

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=== P ===

1. A computer program that allows browsing or paging through a text file. An {editor} can also be used for this. A pager is simpler to use, and has the advantage that it protects the file being paged by not allowing changes to it, but an editor is far more powerful. The commonest paging programs are called more, less, and pg. One or more of these can be found on most every computer system. <<The plain version of the Glossary may be read with either an editor or a pager, or it may be printed directly by a line printer.>> 2. A portable electronic phone answering gadget on which callers can leave messages; a hideous torture device used by various wives and employers to keep their husbands and employees on a tether.
pair up, pair off
To choose partners for working in field service, usually in twos. The expression is usually used even when more than two are assigned to be together, as in the case of including children. <<Sister Stuckee, will you please pair up with Sister Rabbit and her triplets?>> Two is the usual number of publishers that work together because this is how Jesus sent forth his disciples. (Mar 6:7; Luk 10:1) In safe territory an odd person usually works alone. In dangerous territory three on a door may be normal, but is not desirable, because a large crowd will cause the householder to feel ill at ease. <<Oh no, hide---here come four of those people up the drive! And they're carrying ... suitcases!>> Working in pairs is an identifying mark of Witnesses.[143] When was the last time two salesmen appeared at your home together?
[143] Also Mormon missionary boys.
Sheer stockings that reach from toe to waist, worn by females. This is a subject I've never gotten into, :-) so I don't know a better way to describe the garment. One sister read the entries on {suit} and {tie} in a previous edition of the Glossary and wrote to request equal space for pantyhose. They are part of the standard feminine uniform worn during any theocratic activity, including {field service} in 115 degree heat. Although they make stubbly legs look nicer, they appear to be suffocatingly uncomfortable.

Another useless component of feminine gear is high heels, which shorten a woman's steps, hurt her back, and make it easier for her to fall down and therefore necessary for her to cling to a man. Add to this apparel a tight skirt that is also too short, about a pound of makeup, and one-inch fingernails, and you have a crippled princess, someone unable to do anything but have others wait on her, while laboring under the mistaken assumption that in this state she is somehow more feminine than others. Compare such a woman with Rebekah, who when she makes her first appearance is noted to be ``very attractive in appearance'', though she arrived attired for watering a caravan of camels singlehandedly. (Gen 24:16-20) I don't believe she was wearing pants at the time, either. But come to think of it, neither were any of the men.

A beautiful park or garden. It was Jehovah's purpose for all of mankind to reside in an earthwide paradise, as is evident from the conditions and commands given to Adam in the original paradise of Eden. When Jesus told the {evildoer} dying alongside him: <<You will be with me in Paradise>> (Luk 23:43), he meant the man would be resurrected to live on a cleansed and beautified earth once Jesus began ruling in his Kingdom from the heavens.
The study of The Watchtower and materials at the Congregation Book Study is conducted a paragraph at a time. In the {publications}, articles that are designed for group study have the paragraphs numbered, with {study questions} below. Frequently two or more paragraphs are grouped together, but the conductor may still say: <<Read the paragraph, please, numbers six through eight.>>
An illicit lover or mistress. This word is usually used figuratively to show the relationship between the institutions of false religion and politics. Of 45 occurrences in my online literature collection, all but four were variations of the model: <<The love with which Christendom has clothed herself is the love for the paramours of Babylon the Great, the political and social elements of this world, with whom she has committed religious fornication.>> [w82 12/15]
paraphrase Bible
A Bible translation rendered in a style that is consciously unliteral, in an effort to translate and explain simultaneously. Although sometimes interesting, they usually do a rather poor job of both, and must be used with caution in full recognition of the fact that they insert ideas that are not in the original.
Persons faced with the task of raising one or more children. The more they have, the more difficult their chore, and the greater their chance for failure. Any parent, married or otherwise, who succeeds in raising one or more sons or daughters to be servants of Jehovah deserves lavish commendation.

Most parents desire their children to become faithful good examples, mainstream Witnesses, but also hope to spare them the tribulation that comes from being viewed by non-Witnesses as religious geeks.[144] The Society has provided many tools to assist parents in raising spiritually vibrant and balanced children. Those who fail to use them have no right to complain when their children fail to take up a Christian way of life.

[144] A freak, which the Internet Webster's describes as a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake. It's not a pretty picture. Some people view a glassy-eyed kid standing on a street corner with a Watchtower as little different.'a
A Greek word meaning ``presence'', pronounced pair-oo-SEE-a, that has found its way into our {theocratic} vocabulary. It appears 24 times in the Bible. Jesus himself applied it to the period of time beginning with his enthronement in 1914 during which he would be invisibly involved in the affairs on earth of the Messianic Kingdom. Some versions translate the word as ``coming'' in some instances, shifting the emphasis to the arrival of Jesus, obscuring the presence that follows it. <<Since ``the days of Noah'' actually covered a period of years, there is basis for believing that the foretold'a of the ``Son of man'' would likewise cover a period of some years, being climaxed by the destruction of those not giving heed to the opportunity afforded them to seek deliverance.>> (See the article ``Jesus' Coming or Jesus' Presence---Which?'' in [w96 8/15 9--14]; also PRESENCE in [it].)
An assigned segment of a meeting. <<I have to prepare my part for the Service Meeting.>> The British call it a piece or an item. <<I say, old chap, I really quite enjoyed your Service Meeting item tonight. It was really quite smashing, you know.[145]>>
[145] Do they really talk like that over there?
One who shares in eating the bread and drinking the wine served at the annual {Memorial}, thus one who is {anointed}. <<Brother Kidding has been a partaker of the emblems for only two years.>>

NOTE: The number of partakers has generally dwindled over the years, e.g., from 10,526 in 1970 to 8,617 in 1994. However, the decrease has not been steady, and there have been a few increases, a fact that could lead one to speculate over whether some newer partakers are truly {spirit-anointed} Christians. We are entitled to our personal opinions in such matters, but there is really no need for other Christians to be disturbed about people who suddenly begin or stop partaking. As Jesus said: ``I am the fine shepherd, and I know my sheep.'' (Joh 10:14) Just as assuredly, Jehovah knows those whom he really has chosen as spiritual sons. [w96 8/15 31]

Literally a shepherd or herdsman. The word is used as a title by Protestant clergymen, in a manner similar to {reverend}. Charles Taze Russell came to be called Pastor Russell by his associates because of the work he did in shepherding the congregation of God, a designation that he accepted. (Eph 4:11) It was not a self-assumed title. Today Jehovah's Witnesses never use expressions like pastor or elder as titles, as is done by Christendom's clergy. [jv 54]
patient visitation group
Elders assigned to oversee the responsibility of visiting sick ones in the congregation, especially those in the hospital. Although it is a duty of every {elder} to visit the sick, congregations with sufficient elders assign some brothers to take the lead so that it does not get overlooked. The brothers assigned are often those who can make themselves available on short notice, e.g., retired persons, or brothers with flexible secular work schedules.
The location of the {Watchtower Educational Center}, and therefore synonymous with that facility. <<We're planning on visiting Patterson on our next vacation.>> They're going to visit the Educational Center, not the town. (Compare {Brooklyn}.)
1. AMOOFL for ``personal computer'', an expensive toy regarded as a powerful tool and a necessity by many Witnesses in affluent countries. Advocacy among some users approaches a subreligion. To some people the term PC is an abbreviation for IBM-PC,[146] the default computer, in much the same way that some uninformed persons automatically associate the terms Christian and Catholic. This religion is sometimes referred to as Microsoftolatry. Like its Roman counterpart, it is a religion of great age, steeped in complex ritual and tradition, and it commands the loyalty of the greater number of devotees. The Protestant reformers are the owners of Apple Macintoshes who believe that the best computer is one that requires you to know and do as little as possible, but users must be willing to pay a great deal of money for that freedom. Of course this metaphor would not be complete without the nutty and annoying but distinctly vocal Amiga users. They claim their computers are capable of doing more than expensive mainstream computers, do it better and always could, and they can demonstrate it with their enormous library of high quality public domain software, available {without charge}. But hardly anyone takes them seriously. We all know to what non-Catholic and non-Protestant Christian religion such behavior correlates. 2. AMOOFL for {politically correct}.
[146] Usually a clone rather than one made by IBM.
AMOOFL for ``politically correct speech''.
A peak is a highest recorded number, e.g., in meeting or assembly attendance, number of pioneers, and publishers. <<The tiny island of Lavaland experienced its 16th consecutive peak month of publishers, with a total of 17.>>
peer pressure
A form of the {fear of man} that causes one to yield to his social equals, e.g., those of the same age, or those with whom he has frequent contact. The expression is almost always applied to the problems young people encounter in dealing with others their own age, because a strong desire to be liked and accepted by others is characteristic of youth. Of course, adults are by no means immune to peer pressure, as even the apostle Peter demonstrated. (Gal 2:11-14)
penalty box
A section at the back of the Kingdom Hall where disfellowshipped ones seem to gravitate so as to avoid being noticed, or the embarrassment of someone new coming up to strike up a friendly conversation.
A stuffy way of saying ``wrote with a pen'', usually found in past tense, because it is most often used in attributing some verbiage to a Bible scribe. To me it conveys a picture of a bearded wise man deep in thought while sitting at a table with a quill, oil lamp, and parchment, laboring late into the night. <<Those words were penned by the apostle Paul while in prison.>> Most modern writers use a computer rather than a pen. Hmm. <<The following thoughts were word processed by ...>>[147] It loses some of the poetic flavor that way, doesn't it?
[147] And some long-time computer users who never use a traditional word processor would say ``were hacked by''.
In the Bible perfection is applied to things that are complete, full grown, or mature. Only Jehovah is absolutely perfect to an infinite degree, without limitation. (Deu 32:4) The perfection of any other person or thing is relative to the purpose for which it is made according to the design of its maker. <<The efficient Bethel printery produces thousands of perfect books daily.>> All the signatures and pages in the right order, the covers are tightly bound, the ink is not smeared, etc. It does not mean that they will never wear out.
The permanently frozen ground in regions where the average temperature is below freezing. The article ``Go On Growing in Knowledge'' in [w93 8/15 12-17] makes memorable illustrative use of permafrost to describe one whose mental powers are not actively involved with taking in, remembering, and using accurate Bible knowledge.
Harassment or injury that is deliberately inflicted on persons because of social status, racial origin, or religious faith and beliefs. <<Jehovah's Witnesses have been the most severely persecuted people in history.>> (See [jv], chapter 29.)
personal dedication
See {dedication}.
personal goal
See {goal}.
personal study
Bible study done on one's own, something absolutely necessary for anyone hoping to develop a personal relationship with the Creator. The Truth is a ``reading and writing religion'', as one circuit overseer put it. Accordingly, the {faithful and discreet slave} has provided an abundance of {literature} to assist serious Bible students in their quest for deeper understanding. <<To make progress in personal study one needs to establish a schedule for it and then stick to it.>>
Personnel Committee
A subcommittee of the {Governing Body} that has oversight of arrangements for personal and spiritual assistance to members of {Bethel families}, and invites new ones to enter {Bethel service}.
pet peeve
Something that annoys one so much that he is moved to gripe about it. As imperfect people, each of us has the potential to be the source of pet peeves. Some popular ones are:

[148] My personal grievance.
A bench-style seat in a church providing seating for several persons. It is reported that in some churches generous contributors get their own pews with a sign on it saying something like <<This pew provided by the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. B. Worthalot von Humptydump.>> This type of seating is not commonly found anymore except in churches. Kingdom Halls in the USA usually have theater style seats or individual chairs. However, there is an {Assembly Hall} in upper Manhattan that was converted from a synagogue which has bench style seats.[149]
[149] As of 1976, the last time I saw it.
A full-time preacher of the {Kingdom good news}. One outsider described them as ``the shock troops of Jehovah's Witnesses''. (See also {auxiliary pioneer}, {regular pioneer}, {special pioneer}.)
pioneer for a day
Occasionally {publishers} will dedicate a full day to working in field service in the same manner as {pioneers}. On such occasions they sometimes use the expression ``pioneering for a day'' to describe it. Sometimes announcements are even heard from the {platform} encouraging persons to consider doing this. Whereas it is a fine thing to expend some extra effort in the field, this form of service is not sponsored by the Society. Persons should use the expression judiciously, if at all.
pioneer rates [obs]
Until recently, and still true in places outside the USA, it was standard procedure to make literature obtained by pioneers from the Kingdom Hall or at assemblies available to them at pioneer rates, a cost that was less than what was asked of {publishers}. Now that we offer the literature in service {without charge}, all persons, publishers and pioneers alike, likewise obtain it from the literature counter without charge. Therefore there are no longer any pioneer rates for literature in this part of the world.
Pioneer Service School
A training school for {regular pioneers} who have completed at least one year of pioneering. Also sometimes called ``Pioneer Ministry School''.
AMOOFL for ``pioneer in training''. It is sometimes applied to zealous children. <<His children are the PITs in the congregation.[150]>>
[150] The expression is a play on the American slang term ``the pits'', meaning something exceptionally low class. <<This cheap hotel is really the pits.>> Of course, this wisecrack is universally understood as a joke, because children with spiritual goals are as classy as they come.
pit stop
An interruption in {service} to get a cup of coffee or a snack or to care for other personal urges. The term is derived from auto racing, wherein drivers must pull in to gas up and change parts. <<Let's make a pit stop while we plan our return visits.>>
A piece of literature left with an {interested person}. Placements are counted on the monthly field service report. <<When the Society switched to the donation arrangement, placements went up across the country.>>
See {purpose}.
The Kingdom Hall, assembly or convention stage, where speakers give their talks. (Compare Neh 8:4.) <<Brother Laborate has two demonstrations and a group discussion on his part tonight, so we need two brothers to work the platform.>> Hall platforms are generally elevated about two steps, though this is not required, and assembly platforms are usually stage height, elevated four to six steps.
Pledge of Allegiance
A prescribed litany of worshipful words spoken in tribute to the national emblem of the United States on patriotic occasions, and in most places by children at the beginning of each school day. It is called ``the Pledge'' for short. Jehovah's Witnesses regard such ceremonies as an act of idolatry. Although we do not prevent others from participating in patriotic ceremonies we ourselves conscientiously decline to do so. <<One of the most difficult tests that children of Jehovah's Witnesses have to face is the daily Pledge ceremony at school, because their nonparticipation often provokes hostile behavior on the part of other children and teachers alike.>> (See also {national anthem}.)
{Transliteration} of the Greek word pneu'ma, meaning ``spirit''. Most people pronounce it NEW-ma. The pneu- is the same as in pneumatic and pneumonia, English words derived from the same Greek word. At the Kingdom Ministry School I attended in 1975, the instructor, a long-time Bethelite, insisted that the proper pronunciation is: ^p_NEV-ma. Yes, you read that right. The ``p'' is raised because it is pronounced, though barely, by a mere touching of the lips, and the ``neu'' becomes ``nev' as in never. You say you don't believe it? The instructor told us this is how Brother Gangas, the Greek brother on the Governing Body, taught him to say it. He drilled the class; we sat there and repeated it at least 25 times while he conducted us like an orchestra, so that we would never forget. I have indeed never forgotten.[151] But guess how I pronounce it when faced with it in public reading? I say NEW-ma because it is easier than either stopping to explain and coming to be regarded as a pedant or plunging on and being thought of as an idiot. (See also {psyche}, {peer pressure}.)
[151] He kept telling us over and over: ``Repetition is the mother of something or other'', but I can't remember what it was.
AMOOFL for ``presiding overseer''. <<Brother Doalot is moving, so we need to select a new PO.>>
1. Another term for {lectern}, the desk that brothers stand behind to give talks from. A dictionary lists podium and lectern as synonymous. I have always called it a podium myself. A friend who has overseen or worked on the {platform} crew on every circuit and district assembly for many years tells me they always call it a lectern, and reserve podium to mean what is described in the next definition, namely: 2. Another term for platform, the stage that speakers stand on[152] to speak to the assembled ones.
[152] As contrasted with standing behind.
Writing that portrays experiences in language rich in meaning, imagery, sound, and rhythm so as to provoke an emotional response similar to that of music. Unfortunately, most of what is claimed as poetry falls short of that definition. Some speakers have an unfortunate penchant for concluding talks by reaching into their coat pockets to retrieve a tattered and oft-folded piece of paper that contains a few favorite lines and reading them. The better examples can be instructive, upbuilding, and even humorous, but should not be confused with real poetry. Some are real groaners, and at worst are embarrassing tear-jerkers. <<And to conclude this talk about resurrection I'd like to read to you the following poem, entitled ``My Mom''.>> Oh no!
politically correct speech
Euphemistic verbiage ostensibly designed to avoid offending others, particularly minorities. Jehovah's Witnesses, who are sensitive to the feelings of others, are willing to call people by whatever labels they prefer, as long as there is nothing intrinsically unscriptural about them.

Otherwise, we feel no obligation to go along with what is essentially a worldly trend that is subject to abuses, and is sometimes itself offensive. The question of whether to use PCS is more than a mere linguistic problem: it is thoroughly political. Witnesses, who do not directly involve themselves in the struggles of this world, should be careful to avoid suggesting by their speech that they are inclined otherwise.

Some PC terms do not necessarily make sense. The most common variety have to do with racial labels. For instance, there are the terms white, black, and Afro-American. Most so-called white people are closer to pink, most black people are closer to brown, and some are nearly white. Many Afro-Americans have never been any closer to Africa than the inner city they were born in, and neither were their parents or grandparents.

A more provocative question is why such labels should be used at all. For instance, it is a very bad habit of some white people, including Witnesses, to unthinkingly say things like: <<A black brother from a neighboring congregation gave the talk in our hall last week.>> Fine, but was there some special reason to mention the brother's race? Why? Was it to send a message that it is remarkable that a black brother can perform such a feat? That is what some people think. Would the same {commenter} just as readily have said ``A white brother ...''? Probably not. Persons who have this habit should break it! <<``Oh, so that was your friend you've been telling me all about? You never mentioned that she's black!'' ``Was I supposed to?''>>

One valid purpose for using labels is for identification. <<The black brother over there was asking about you.>> There are ten brothers standing over there; only one is black.

STORIES: 1. I once heard a brother from the {GB} give a talk where he repeatedly called Japanese people ``the Japs'', the abrupt truncation that was applied to them during WW II, when Japan and the USA were at war, and therefore enemies. 2. On a district convention drama in about 1975 I heard the line ``Your kids are running around the hall like a bunch of wild Indians!'' A sister in our congregation who is 80 percent Cherokee and had been raised on the reservation nearly fell out of first her chair and then the Truth. (Compare {stumble}.) 3. In about 1975 I conducted the questions for baptism with a group of about six or eight persons at one time.[153] One of the candidates was a Jewish woman who had suffered terribly in Nazi concentration camps during WW II. In the course of the discussion I covered Isaiah 43:10-12 to show where the modern organization got its name. I said words to the effect ``Think of it---the ancient Jews were Jehovah's Witnesses.'' The woman glared at me. At 7:30 AM on the Saturday of the baptism she called me at home to ask me directly: ``What did you mean by that comment?'' I had some serious explaining to do to assure her it was not intended as a racial slur.

[153] We deal with them individually now. Having that many ready at one time in a single congregation has become rare in these parts.

QUOTES: In collecting notes for this entry I acquired a file of nearly 4,000 lines. I was unable to use everyone's input, but a few notable quotes were left over that I could not leave out.

The art or science of winning and controlling people, especially by means of government. Jehovah's Witnesses are neutral to the political affairs of this world, knowing that the entire world, including its governments, is being managed by none other than Satan the Devil. (1Jo 5:19; Rev 13:2) On the other hand, being neutral is not the same as being uninformed. Nor does it mean being isolated from the world as in a monastery. Christians obtain information from the news media in order to be aware of what is going on in the world around them. Being knowledgeable about current events and issues better equips them to present the {good news} to those willing to listen. (Compare 1Pe 3:15.)
Marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time. The commoner form but lesser known word is polygyny, the state of having more than one wife. [w95 07/15 12] The practice was tolerated by God but regulated among the pre-Christian Israelites. (Mat 19:8)

Polygamy is forbidden for Christians. Although illegal in most countries, including the USA, it is still practiced in some {lands}. In these places it becomes a problem that must be resolved, sometimes with some pain of heart, among persons studying the Bible and hoping to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses, because Christians place God's laws above what mankind's governments, even when living up to that standard is inconvenient or difficult.

The Bible says that {Wise King Solomon} had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. It's a good thing for him they didn't have Bloomingdale's charge cards {away back there}. One brother speculated that it may have been standard protocol in those days when giving gifts to kings to throw in a woman with the deal.[154]

[154] Please imagine a very large {smiley} face at the end of that sentence.
1. The head of the Roman Catholic church, regarded by Catholics as God's personal representative. 2. A man regarded by many non-Catholics as an old Polish guy who wears a big hat and a dress.
Transliteration of the Greek word meaning fornication, i.e., illicit sex relations outside of scriptural marriage. The meaning of porneia is slightly different than fornication as it is sometimes understood. (See the Insight book [it] for specifics.) Therefore, this Greek word has become one of several that have found their way into our common vocabulary. (Compare {agape}, {Hades}, {parousia}.) <<We wrote the {branch office} the week before the announcement to inform them that Les Heart was disfellowshipped for the scriptural sin of porneia, having taken up the so-called gay lifestyle.>>
practice session
A form of {field service} training where one person attempts to make a {presentation} using a fellow Christian as a {householder} who attempts to throw up obstacles in the form of {objections} that the one presenting must attempt to overcome.
praise, glory, honor
Praise is an expression of commendation, admiration or worship. Glory refers to anything that makes a person or thing seem weighty or impressive. Honor is regard or esteem given to one thought worthy of special merit. The One who above all others is worthy of all three is Jehovah. (Psa 150:6; 1Co 10:31) One sister, known for getting her words jumbled, once said: <<That Jehovah is just wonderful, God bless him!>>

In the matter of passing out and accepting honors, the practices of Jehovah's Witnesses are markedly different from people of the {world}. We freely pass out compliments and commendation for jobs well done, and openly express gratitude to persons who have performed beyond the call of duty, though primarily in private rather than by exalting individuals from the congregation's teaching platform. To do so is both loving and scriptural. (Compare 1Co 11:2.) But we never award plaques or certificates or build monuments in recognition of achievements of men, and never honor humans by immodestly attaching their names to edifices. (Rom 12:2, 3) The practice of honoring men above God is common in Christendom. While attending a funeral at a church recently I noted that on one wall was a large stained glass window that included words honoring the one who contributed it. <<And if you'll step this way, you'll enter the C. Highbucks Drinkmore Memorial Library.>> Gross!

Respectful communication offered to God. The subject of prayer can be anything that affects one's spirituality, and anything that is in harmony with Jehovah's own will. (1Jo 5:14) Some insincere persons address God only when they want to get something from him, and rarely if ever simply to offer thanks or praise. God does not grant all requests, even sincere ones offered properly and in faith. <<It has often been remarked that sometimes the answer to a prayer is ``No!''>> Or as Mick Jagger put it in a song: ``You can't always get what you want. But you get what you need.''
preach, teach
To preach is to speak to people about the {Kingdom good news}, regardless of whether they accept what they are told. Teaching involves instruction, explanation, and proofs; therefore those we teach are those who listen to the {Kingdom message}, accept it, and continue to seek further information about it. [jv 572] <<Peter tells us that after his resurrection, Jesus preached to the spirits in prison.>> (1Pe 3:19) <<All Christians are obligated to master the Truth well enough to teach it to others.>> (Mat 28:19, 20; Heb 5:12)
One who speaks to unbelievers about {Kingdom good news}. The Bible commands all Christians to be preachers. In Christendom the word has come to be associated mainly with {clergymen}, especially the fiery type found in Baptist, Pentecostal and Fundamentalist churches who tend to get carried away by their own showy oratory.
See {destiny}.
premature expectations
A euphemism for a bad guess, a buzz phrase found in the Society's publications to explain the cause of disappointment encountered when people attach too much importance to the anticipation of seeing certain hopes realized in connection with {dates}. <<After 1975 some persons stopped serving Jehovah when their expectations concerning the end of this system of things proved to be premature.>> The expression is used numerous times in the Proclaimers book [jv], where the Society openly admits its own part in fostering this misunderstanding.
English translation for the Greek word parousia, the period of time that commenced in 1914, when Christ began ruling from the heavens as King, and continues to this day. Some older translations inaccurately translate it as ``coming'', thereby focusing on the moment of Christ's arrival, rather on the extended time period that follows. <<Religious nuts who carry around signs warning that Christ is coming would be surprised to learn that Christ came and has been present for over 80 years.>>
present truth
See {current truth}.
1. What we have prepared to say in service. <<I would like to practice my presentation; would you please act as my {householder}?>> 2. The talk given in service itself. <<I was impressed by the flexibility you showed in your presentation at the last door.>>
Literally, to stand before. Any elder who is conducting a meeting, or currently on the platform, is in a sense presiding at that moment. (Rom 12:8; 1Ti 5:17) However, see {presiding overseer}.
Various members of the {Governing Body} double as officers of legal corporations used by the {faithful and discreet slave} throughout the earth. The president holds that office only for legal reasons, but is an equal member of the Governing Body. <<Brother Milton Henschel became president of the Society when Brother Franz died.>> <<There were only four presidents of the Watch Tower Society in its first 100 years.>>
presiding overseer
The elder who serves as {chairman} at meetings of the {body of elders}, and coordinates many other congregation activities. He is an equal with all the other elders, not one who ranks above them.
1. A right granted as a benefit, advantage, or favor. Jehovah's people regard all assignments of service in his organization, no matter how lowly, as privileges, not as burdensome responsibilities. <<This weekend it will be our book study's privilege to clean the Kingdom Hall.>> 2. When used in the plural it sometimes refers to the basic rights of service that most persons in {good standing} enjoy, e.g., to comment at meetings, participate in meeting parts, and for brothers, to offer public prayer. A person can lose some or all of these as a result of judicial discipline. <<Brother Slipup has had his privileges restored, and so may now comment at meetings again.>> Often misspelled as priviledge. Boo, hiss! (See also {restrictions}.)
probation [obs]
A period of testing and trial to ascertain fitness. Formerly, the time following {judicial action}, during which a brother's {privileges} are {restricted}, was regarded as a period of being ``on probation''. We no longer use this term.
professed Christian
To profess something means to openly admit, claim, or advocate it. Thus a professed Christian is one who claims by his own mouth to be a Christian. The expression is usually used to hint that there is notable evidence to the contrary. It is well-known and scripturally correct to say that not all who make the claim of being Christian are recognized as such by Christ himself. (Mat 7:21-23) But we leave the matter of judging individuals to Jesus himself. <<By the fourth century, apostate practices were already commonplace. Not a few professed Christians were members of the Roman army.>> [w92 6/15 30]

NOTE: In searching my online literature database for this phrase, I noted several variations. The most common were: <<``professing to believe in God'', ``professing to be God's congregation'', ``professing to be anointed Christians'', and ``professing adherence to the Law of Moses''.>>

1. Forward-moving. Jehovah's organization is characterized as progressive because it is constantly working, changing, and adapting to newly understood truths and changing conditions in the world in order to accomplish God's work, and because of its willingness to accept and apply {new light} as it becomes available. (Pro 4:18) This trait constitutes a pronounced contrast with the cataleptically stodgy religious organizations of Christendom. 2. A Bible study is considered progressive if the student makes significant advancement toward becoming a publisher, dedication and baptism in a reasonable period of time.
The act of saying the component sounds of spoken language. It should be a goal of all Christians to pronounce words according to current accepted practice so as to avoid conveying the impression of being ignorant or illiterate. (1Ti 4:13) Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Worse yet, mispronunciations often propagate themselves. (See [sg 30]; Hab 2:2.) Several prominent examples are noted throughout this Glossary. A brother once gave a Service Meeting talk about pronunciation in which he said: <<You's gots ta loin ta pernunciate da woids good.>> The same brother once read 1 Thessalonians 5:17 as ``Pray inconsistently.'' Boo! Hiss! Terrible! Recently our presiding overseer said on a Service Meeting part: <<Some gringos have a thick tongue and can only pernounce certain letters, so need lots of practice.[155]>>

[155] He was making fun of himself, of course, which is permissible. Another unfortunate variation on pronunciation itself is pronounciation.

Listeners tend to be forgiving of speakers who are natively {foreign speaking}, recognizing that their accent is a case of mitigating circumstances. One much-loved now-departed brother used to give answers that sounded like:

Guvf vf n pnrfne-ebgngrq trarevp nafjre jvgu gur anzr bs Jehovah haebgngrq, nyfb gur lrne 1914, naq bs pbhefr jr zhfg raq jvgu Jesus Christ![156]

[156] Can you solve the riddle of this quote? The solution is shown in the LaTeX source text.

Ah well, he'd only been speaking English since 1948. We always commended him for his zealous participation. But everyone should strive to improve. If you were a missionary, would you be content barely to struggle along in a new language?

NOTE: A frequent problem area is Bible names and places. People get the accents wrong even when they are explicitly marked in {NW}. The All Scripture book provides a good explanation. [si 325, par. 27, 28]

prophecy, prophesy, prophet
To prophesy is to speak God's words in his behalf by divine inspiration. Often this includes predicting the future, but not necessarily. A prediction made by prophesying is a prophecy. One who announces prophecies is a prophet. <<Prophets prophesy prophecies.>> God's people today are collectively acting as his prophets. (Act 2:17) But they are not inspired in the same sense as the prophets who wrote Bible books, and they do not go around declaring themselves to be prophets.

Only God can know the future with certainty, and his prophecies are unerring. Persons presuming to speak in the name of God and under the influence of his spirit, but whose predictions do not come true, thereby prove themselves to be false prophets. Persons claiming to speak from God whose predictions do come true are not necessarily prophets. They may be {lucky} guessers. <<Some persons have described prophecy as history written in advance.>>

Relating to atonement. The reason the word is listed here is because its proper pronunciation is pro-PISH-ee-a-tor-ee, but is often mispronounced pro-PITCH-a-tor-ee.
1. A member of one of the thousands of sects of Christendom that splintered off the original apostate Roman Catholic church. They acquired the name because originally they protested the abuses of the parent church, more than because of differences in understanding of scriptural doctrine. Although the movement led in 1517 to the period called the Reformation, it did little to reform anything. Most of the unscriptural teachings and traditions that form the foundation of these religions remain intact in both Protestantism and Catholicism to this day. 2. Literally one who protests. However, the word protester is used to describe the run-of-the-mill rebel. Because Jehovah's Witnesses do not get involved in social or political struggles, they are not usually viewed as protesters, even though their beliefs are unpopular and not mainstream, and they openly proclaim that God's Kingdom will overthrow mankind's governments.
That long book of the Bible near the middle. The reason it is listed here is because there are differing opinions about how to cite it. Note that its name ``Psalms'' is in the plural, because a psalm (singular) is a sacred song, and can apply to other such songs than those that are included in the Bible canon, and the Bible book named ``Psalms'' is a collection of the lyrics to 150 such songs. Therefore each one is individually referred to as a Psalm (singular, and usually upper case when referring to one in the Bible).

Some have taken the stance that citing a verse by saying: <<According to Psalms 83:18 ...>> is wrong, because it is like saying: <<Let's conclude our meeting by singing songs 191.>> But the comparison is not quite accurate. In the latter case, the name of the current songbook is Sing Praises to Jehovah, but the book title is almost never cited. Nonetheless it would not be inappropriate to say something like: <<Let's conclude our meeting with a song from Sing Praises to Jehovah, number 191.>>[157] In the case of the Bible book, the name is ``Psalms'', in the plural. So although it is clearer, and therefore probably generally preferable to say: <<Let's read Psalm 83>>, or even: <<Let's read the 83rd Psalm>>, it is not really wrong to say: <<Let's read Psalms 83>>, where the words book of preceding Psalms and chapter or number preceding 83 are implied and understood by most listeners. <<Brother Stickler gave me a W on my talk for citing ``Psalms 150'' instead of ``Psalm 150''.[158]>> (Compare {Revelation}.)

[157] But remember to mention the title as well!

[158] One reader informs me that he heard a member of the Governing Body give a talk wherein he explicitly pointed out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying ``Psalms, chapter 83''.

AMOOFL for {Pioneer Service School}.
Transliteration of the Greek word psy.khe', meaning ``soul''. The English equivalent is pronounced SEYE-kee. At the same Kingdom Ministry School mentioned under {pneuma}, we had it drilled into us that the proper Greek pronunciation is: ^p_see-KHEE. The ``p'' is raised because it is barely pronounced, by a touching of the lips, and the consonant in the second syllable is slightly guttural.
Slangy short form for ``publication''. <<Brother Nosenbuch spends hours every day in the pubs.>> He is a diligent researcher. To someone in Britain the example would suggest that the brother has an unquenchable thirst.
Public Meeting
The meeting at which an {elder} or qualified {ministerial servant} gives a {public talk}. So called because new persons and the public in general are invited. Such persons are equally welcome at our other meetings as well, but it is the Public Meeting that specially addresses their needs.
public reproof [obs]
See {reproof}. A term that formerly described the act of `reproving before all onlookers' (1Ti 5:20) where a public announcement is read to the congregation that a judicial matter has been handled. Although the term is obsolete, many people persist in using it. <<That brother was publicly reproved last month.>> Bzzzt, wrong! The reproof itself took place in private, but a public announcement was made of that fact.

NOTE: Even worse is the expression on reproof, and still worse put on reproof. <<Brother Beaten is on reproof>>, apparently intended to mean that the brother is operating under {restrictions}. I am not sure if the term was ever considered acceptable. These phrases are probably holdovers from the days of {probation}.

public speaker
A brother who gives a {public talk}.
public talk coordinator, talk coordinator
The {brother} who schedules talks for local {Public Meetings}. He often swaps speakers in bunches with the coordinators from other congregations. This job is normally the responsibility of the {presiding overseer}, but often is delegated to another elder or to a capable ministerial servant.
public talk, public discourse
1. A 45-minute Bible lecture, designed to be of interest to new ones, held in conjunction with the {Watchtower Study}. 2. Sometimes used to mean the meeting itself, which is formally called the {Public Meeting}. <<Attendance at the public talk has been over 100 percent lately.>>
public witnessing
Preaching that is done in view of people in general. The expression calls to mind the fact that we are exposed and on view to others when engaged in the {work}. (1Co 4:9) <<It is important to look and act our best when going in public witnessing.>>
An individual case of a published work. Each publication has a different title. <<I left two copies of each of three publications with my new Bible study so she could share them with her husband.>>
publication names
These have not been listed in this Glossary, but some have been referred to using the {Society's} {publication symbol}, and a few have been quoted.

NOTE: Many publications, especially those with long titles, acquire one- or two-word abbreviated nicknames. Thus we speak about the Evolution book [ev], the Truth book [tr], the Aid book [ad], the Live Forever book [pe], the Creation book [ce], the Insight book [it], the Reasoning book [rs], the Revelation Climax book [re],[159] the Proclaimers book [jv], and so forth.

[159] Or sometimes just the Revelation book, which is confusing because of the existence of several other books that have dealt with the Bible book of Revelation.
publication symbol, publication code
The abbreviation used by the {Society} to identify each publication, sometimes with a hyphenated extension to identify the language. <<The English version of the book Jehovah's Witnesses---Proclaimers of God's Kingdom is identified by the symbol [jv-E].[160]>> Sometimes ``publication code'' is used, but the word symbol is used in the explanation section of the Watchtower Publications Index 1930-1985.
[160] I have added the square brackets around publication codes in this book to make them stand out better, particularly in the text file extraction. The use of brackets is not standard.
1. Anyone who participates in the sharing of the {Kingdom good news} along with the congregation, having a {Publisher Record card}, whether baptized or not, whether {regular} or {irregular}, but not {inactive}, and including {pioneers}. <<Our congregation has 100 publishers, including ten regular pioneers.>> 2. Term used to distinguish ordinary preachers from those with full-time assignments. <<``Are you a pioneer?'' ``No, I'm a publisher.''>> Compare with <<``Are you a publisher?'' ``Yes, I'm a pioneer.''>> Both are plausible responses.

NOTE: Some people will say ``No, I'm just a publisher.'' Publishers need never use self-belittling expressions about their contributions to the work. (Compare {servant}.)

Publisher Record card
The congregation record of a {publisher's} field activity and other vital statistics, kept by the {secretary}. Although any publisher may see his own card, it is the congregation's property, and he may not keep it. Notice the mixed capitalization. <<When changing congregations be sure to notify the secretaries of both congregations so that your Publisher Record card gets transferred.>>
Publishing Committee
A subcommittee of the {Governing Body} that supervises printing, publishing, factory operation, and legal and business matters.
An elevated platform found in churches from which a clergyman preaches or reads. Therefore the pulpit is symbolic of the authority and the message of Christendom's clergy. <<It was not too often that we heard Bible discussions from the pulpit, since the minister found it necessary to deal with more pressing issues than everlasting life.>> [w62 8/1] We don't have pulpits in {Kingdom Halls}, though in most the {platform} is raised a step or two. But an issue that rages hot in Christendom, and that we must be prepared to discuss, is the question: <<Should women be allowed to preach from the pulpit?[161]>>
[161] If we had one they wouldn't.
pure language
The universal language of divine truth that all of Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the world speak, whatever tongue they happen to speak it in. The phrase is taken from Zephaniah 3:9. <<Theocratese is firmly rooted in the pure language of truth.>>
pure worship
Largely synonymous with {true worship}. Calling it pure draws attention to the fact that it is not contaminated with false {Babylonish} teachings, and that the open practice of unscriptural and immoral behavior on the part of its adherents is not tolerated.
purple triangle
1. A garment patch Jehovah's Witnesses were required to wear as an identifying mark while in Nazi concentration camps. 2. Purple Triangles is the name of a video production about the integrity of a Witness family in Germany during the Nazi era.
purpose, plan
A purpose is an intention, a determination, or a resolution to achieve some end result. A plan is a procedure, a method devised for achieving an end result. Some people may view the terms as roughly interchangeable because for humans to accomplish some stated purpose, they need to formulate a plan of action. In contrast, the Bible never speaks of Jehovah as planning; only humans do so. (Pro 19:21) Whatever Jehovah purposes is as good as done. (Eph 1:9, 10) Therefore, in theocratic speech and writing, we are careful to note the difference, especially in avoiding expressions that talk about God's plans. [w95 5/15 24, par. 15]
push ahead
To propagate what one perceives as ``new light'' in the form of teaching or changes in practice apart from the congregation as a whole. Jehovah's {progressive} organization unitedly applies changes in understanding and procedure synchronously. It is important for Bible students to keep up with the latest understanding of things so as not to become outdated. Similarly, it is important that persons not move ahead of the organization, although one may think there is good scriptural reason to do so,[162] because it causes disunity. <<In John's second letter he warns that presumptuously pushing ahead is a form of apostasy.>> (2Jo 9-11; see also 1Sa 15:23.)

[162] The reasons are never justifiable!

AN ILLUSTRATION: Compare the case of the Israelites upon their exodus from Egypt. They all had to move swiftly and together, following the lead provided. Those who lagged behind would have been caught by Pharaoh's pursuing armies. Any who pushed ahead would have drowned in the Red Sea before it was parted. There is a proper time for everything. (Ecc 3:1) It is always more important to be loyal and unified than to be right. (Compare {accurate knowledge}.)

AMOOFL for {patient visitation group}.

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