On a trip to my local old bookstore, I came across a set of Bible story books with illustrations that looked very much like what I have seen in Watchtower Society publications for the past several years. A friend had told me about these books and gave me some references to some pictures that appear to have been plagiarized. Shown below are three examples:
The first set is two pictures of birds, both from illustrations in two different books that depict a scene from the Garden of Eden.
The illustration on the left is from The Bible Story by Arthur S. Maxwell (Review and Herald Publishing Association 1955) Volume 1, Page 52
The one on the right is from My Book of Bible Stories
(Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. 1978) Story number 3. Notice that the Watchtower’s birds are an almost exact mirror image of those from Maxwell’s.
The second set of illustrations show Esau as a young boy, standing in front of a tent, about to shoot an arrow.
The left picture is from Maxwell”s The Bible Story
(Volume 2, Page 8 )
The picture to the right is from the Watchtower’s My Book of Bible Stories
(Story number 17).Aside from minor positioning and the Watchtower”s depiction of Esau a bit stockier, the boys are the same. Even the tent in the background is very similar. Notice that both tents have stripes going in the same direction and the positions of the two peaks of each tent in relation to Esau.
Finally, here are two illustrations of Sampson fighting a lion.
The one on the left is from Maxwell’s The Bible Story
(Volume 3, Page 131)
The image on the right is from the Watchtower’s My Book of Bible Stories (Story number 54).
Here again, we see the Watchtower’s version of this picture is a mirror image of Maxwell’s, right down to the red shirt and headband. Notice the positions of Sampson and the lion, the positions of Sampson’s hands in relation to the lion.
Since The Bible Story was published in 1955 and the Watchtower published My Book of Bible Stories in 1978, I have to conclude that the Watchtower either plagiarized from Maxwell or both Maxwell and the Watchtower plagiarized from another source.
At this point, I feel compelled to quote from the January 15, 1954 The Watchtower (page 38). In an article entitled “Do You Respect Plagiarists?”, The Watchtower accuses a New York minister of the Churches of Christ named Antonio Ochoa of plagiarizing artilces in The Watchtower and Awake! and published them in the Churches of Christ paper Gospel Broadcast.
WHAT do you think of a man that lifts articles from one magazine and has them published in another magazine? What do you think when he attaches his name as author of the stolen articles? What do you think of him when he continues to do it after he has been caught and has promised to quit? And does the fact that he claims to be a minister of religion shock you still more?
I might ask readers of the Watchtower – What do you think of an organization that lifts pictures from one book and with only minor adjustments has them published in another? What do you think when that organization attaches its name to the stolen pictures? And does the fact that that organization claims to be Jehovah”s channel of communication with mankind today shock you still more?
Again, what do you think of the magazine that uses the plagiarized articles? What do you think of the judgment of such a magazine when it denounces as false another magazine, then turns around and prints as truth the articles plagiarized from it? What do you think of the editor that tells the injured magazine its word is worthless when it brings the plagiarism to his notice? What do you think of him when he ignores the proof sent to him? What do you think when his magazine continues to use the stolen articles? And does not the fact that this magazine poses as Christian make the plagiarism even more reprehensible?
Since The Bible Story was published by someone other than the Watchtower, they are considered by the Watchtower to be part of Babylon the Great, the great harlot, denounced as false by the Watchtower. So, readers of the Watchtower, what do you think of the judgement of the publishers of a book that plagiarizes from sources it considers part of Babylon the Great? And does not the fact that this book poses as Christian make the plagiarism even more reprehensible?
Can you have confidence in such a writer? or in the magazine that uses his plagiarized copy? or in the editor that directs it? Consider the facts, then form your opinion.
Yes, consider the facts, then form your opinion.
Matthew 12:37 (New World Translation): for by your words you will be declared righteous, and by your words you will be condemned.”