In 1982 the Jehovah’s Witnesses released a publication entitled You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. For the next 13 years, this book was used to start bible studies with prospective members. However, 7 years after it’s first release, some revisions to the publication were made. But what were these changes?
Note: This publication is no longer in print, nor is it available to download in PDF format from jw.org.
In its initial release, 5,000,000 copies of You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth were printed. By 1989, 72,600,000 copies were printed. With just about 8.6 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide in 2020, it begs the question: why didn’t the other 66 million people who read this book not dedicate their lives to Jehovah and get baptized?
Authorized Version or King James Version?
On page 53 in the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, they referred to the Authorized Version of 1611 in the 1982 edition. Evidently, this was an error even though the King James Version is often referred to as the Authorized Version. In any case, the publication was updated to reference the King James Version of 1611 in the 1989 edition.
No one would see Jesus after his death?
In the 1982 edition of You Can Live Forever in a Paradise on Earth, the writers made the fatal error on page 143 of stating “that people on earth would not see [Jesus] again after his death”. According to the Bible, Jesus was seen again after his death. This dreadful error was corrected in the 1989 edition where the writers changed “death” to “ascension to heaven” which made much more sense.
A resurrection of those in Sodom – Yes or No?
If you are one who is familiar with the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you’ll be aware that they have gone back and forth on certain aspects of their beliefs, mostly because the Bible says little or nothing about things of which they concern themselves. A notable example is found in You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth on pages 178 & 179.
In the 1982 edition of the book, the writers claimed that some of those unrighteous people of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah will be resurrected and will be present on earth during Judgment Day. They wrote that “Jehovah in his mercy will bring them back so that they will have an opportunity to learn about his purposes.” However, in the 1989 edition of You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, they changed their view completely saying about the people of Sodom and Gomorrah: “… for their excessive immorality the people of Sodom and of the surrounding cities suffered a destruction from which they will apparently never be resurrected.” And they support this revised claim by quoting Jude 6, 7; and 2 Peter 2:4-6, 9, 10a. No such Bible verses were provided in the 1982 edition of the book.
Branch Expansion & Increased Numbers
In the 1989 edition of You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Jehovah’s Witnesses were keen to show off their branch expansions in the United States, England, and South Africa. On pages 196 & 197, you can see updated computer systems, an expanded printery in Brooklyn, and an expanded site at Wallkill, New York. In South Africa they moved to a new location with a larger complex. In England their existing branch received an extension.
Furthermore, the writing department was eager to amend their numbers of increase. They revised publisher numbers upwards from 2,300,000 to 3,500,000. The Watchtower & Awake! printing increased from 1 million to 2 million magazines produced per day. Additionally, congregations increased from 43,000 in 1982 to 60,000 in 1989.
Missing Bible Text
They also appended the words “into one new man” in paragraph 6, page 205 of the 1989 edition of You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. Evidently a portion of Ephesians 2:18 was omitted from the 1982 edition of the book.
Getting Technical with Sin
In the 1982 edition of You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, the writers plainly state on page 248 that the “Bible allows only one reason for getting a divorce that frees a person to remarry, and that is adultery. If adultery is committed, then the innocent mate may decide whether to get a divorce or not.” That’s a fairly simple explanation of the Bible’s direction on divorce, is it not? Yet, the writers didn’t think the explanation was sufficient. In the 1989 edition of the book, they replaced the word ‘adultery’ with the word ‘fornication’ and introduced the Greek word ‘porneia’ and a translation of its meaning. What makes this Greek word so important to understand what adultery is? We leave our readers to decide.
“Continue in the Things That You Learned”
In the 1982 edition of the ‘book’, it contains this text on the inside back cover:
That is what the apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy. (2 Timothy 3:14) After reading this book, you know about the many good things God has in store for those who love him. But you need to continue to progress in a spiritual way. Jehovah’s Witnesses will be happy to help you, if you are not already receiving that help. Just write to the address for your country, as listed below, asking that a minister of Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your home and regularly study the Bible with you free of charge.
Also, upon your request, additional copies of this book will be sent to you for $2.50 (U.S.) each, postpaid. You can receive, too, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, a Bible in modern English, for $3 (U.S.). Send to Watchtower, using one of the addresses below.
– You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (1982)
In the 1989 edition of the ‘publication’, it contains this shorter version:
That is what the apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy. (2 Timothy 3:14) After reading this publication, you know about the many good things God has in store for those who love him. But you need to continue to progress in a spiritual way. Jehovah’s Witnesses will be happy to help you, if you are not already receiving that help. Just write to Watch Tower at the appropriate address listed below, requesting further information or that one of Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your home and regularly study the Bible with you free of charge.
– You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (1989)
Formatting of Text
On page 105 paragraph 2, page 143 paragraphs 4 & 5, page 147 paragraphs 16 & 17, page 155 paragraph 2, page 178 paragraphs 6 & 7, page 180 paragraphs 12, 13 & 14, and pages 198-199 paragraphs 18-20, the typeset was altered but no changes were made to the content.