Definition of sole (Entry 1 of 4)
1 a: being the only one
she was her mother’s sole support
b: having no sharer
2: functioning independently and without assistance or interference
let conscience be the sole judge
3: belonging exclusively or otherwise limited to one usually specified individual, unit, or group
4: not married —used chiefly of women
5 archaic : having no companion : SOLITARY
In case you’re not familiar with the term “sole,” Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it for us here. It is the root of the word “solitary” which most of us understand as alone, or as clearly stated here “having no companion.”
For the members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s understood that to rely on information from any other church or religious organization other than the Watchtower Society, would be in violation of not recognizing who Jehovah has chosen to dispense spiritual food at the proper time. This is why the leadership at the Watchtower is often referred to as the “sole channel” through which Jehovah God speaks.
“That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end. It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.” —Watchtower 2013 Jul 15 p.20
Through their weekly study of the Watchtower magazine and other books, this faithful slave continually affirms this belief that THEY are the SOLE CHANNEL on whom to depend.
But “the channel” requires their members to read the New World Translation Bible which they produce, and also offers a self published study guide called “All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial” which introduces each book of the Bible with questions and commentary. John’s gospel is book number 43 and appears on page 198 of this blue study companion. The question in paragraph 32 asks:
32 By what expressions does Jesus show his own relationship with his disciples and that he is the sole channel through which blessings of life come to mankind?
Notice that their question points to Jesus as the “sole channel” through which blessings flow to mankind. And what follows is their explanation which states clearly that Jesus is the “sole channel through which God’s blessings are extended to these and to ALL MANKIND.”
32 What of Jesus’ relationship with his disciples? Jesus’ role as the sole channel through which God’s blessings are extended to these and to all mankind is continually kept to the fore. (14:13, 14; 15:16; 16:23, 24) He is referred to as “the Lamb of God,” “the bread of life,” “the light of the world,” “the fine shepherd,” “the resurrection and the life,” “the way and the truth and the life,” and “the true vine.” (1:29; 6:35; 8:12; 10:11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1) It is under this illustration of “the true vine” that Jesus makes known the marvelous unity that exists not only between his true followers and himself but also with the Father. By bearing much fruit, they will glorify his Father. “Just as the Father has loved me and I have loved you, remain in my love,” counsels Jesus.—15:9. (All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial, Bible book number 43 John, page 198, paragraph 32)
I’m confused. If “sole” means “the only one,” then who is the “sole channel?” Is it Jesus or is it the faithful slave?
Keep yourself in God’s love,