Current Research by The Way International


The Way International (TWI) bills itself as a “research and teaching” ministry. “The Way International Research Books” section of offerings insights into its research efforts:


1.    The most recent volume listed on “The Way International Research Books” was published in 1985. How can it be that a “research” ministry hasn’t published a research book for forty years? The website says that TWI is careful not to publish research until it is “sure” of its knowledge. Does this mean that TWI has not been confident or convinced of its research for four decades? Or perhaps just inactive?


2.    The only author of the ten research books listed is founder Victor Paul Wierwille who died in 1985. However, he did not write or even edit two of these (Jesus Christ our Promised Seed, Jesus Christ Our Passover). The prefaces note that a “team” (mostly unnamed) cooperated or contributed, but they actually wrote and edited the books. Almost all of the team soon left TWI, alleging spiritual, leadership and organizational corruption. Newer followers of TWI would be hard pressed to recognize even one or two names of people on the team (some names were noted, others kept anonymous). Other books published by TWI in the past are not listed because they were written by defectors or dismissed leaders including Craig Martindale and John Lynn.


3. No current high level leaders, including the Board of Directors and Sunday Service teachers, hold recognized graduate degrees in Biblical languages, exegesis, history or theology. While some people claim that you don’t need a degree to be competent, they probably would hesitate to get medical or legal advice from people who have not shown basic  competence  by holding graduate (or at least undergraduate) degrees in those areas. Seminaries and academic institutions typically require instructors to have advanced degrees, and frequently note their new publications. Founder Wierwille had a master’s degree in theology, but he instituted “The Way Tree” structure which favors devotion to the president and founder above Biblical competency.


4. The most competent piece of research TWI ever produced was the three volume Aramaic-English Interlinear New Testament, which isn’t available today. One reason may be that it contradicts several TWI teachings and interpretations of key Bible passages, including: Jesus is not God / John 1:18, 3:13, 20:28, Gal. 4:6; Jesus was spared, not forsaken on the cross / Mark 15:34; be conformed to His death / Philippians 3:10.


5. Most of Wierwille’s books were stolen, sloppy and short. Most of Receiving the Holy Spirit Today and Are the Dead Alive Now, as well as parts of other books, were plagiarized, a practice that even middle school students know is wrong. TWI leadership has known this for forty years but has made no efforts to rectify this infringement. TWI claims that Jesus Christ is Not God is a thorough refutation of traditional Christian teaching, yet it is barely the length of a few magazine articles. Most of Wierwille’s research books are transcriptions of simple sermons, not careful examinations. It’s hard to find footnotes in Wierwille’s books, which show authors are acquainted with research in certain areas. (See the video YouTube Victor Paul Wierwille, Author.)


6. No TWI research books are sold to people outside TWI. Normally, researchers publish their ideas broadly in books and peer-reviewed journals to inform and convince others of their value. Perhaps TWI would be embarrassed by negative reviews. Or they may find that many of their sales are made to former members of TWI (about 97% of everyone who was ever in TWI has left), many of whom are not shy about revealing negative experiences they had in TWI.


7. The bookstore lists seven research books not published by TWI, though most are either very old or written for popular, rather than academic, use. Overall, students in a graduate program in Biblical studies would use more, and more proficient, volumes in just their first semester. Books, rather than classes, are important vehicles for thorough research because they are more detailed, call for documentation, include footnotes for further study, are more permanent, and can reach people outside the group.