(Context is the believer's first line of defense when defending the indefensible in the Bible. It rarely works; context nearly always makes it worse.)
Here are the first five verses in Deuteronomy 13 from the Watchtower's New World Translation. (Does anyone know why the JW's use allcaps for "you" or "your" in this passage?)
In case a prophet or a dreamer of a dream arises in your midst and does give you a sign or a portent, and the sign or the portent does come true of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us walk after other gods, whom you have not known, and let us serve them,’ you must not listen to the words of that prophet or to the dreamer of that dream, because Jehovah YOUR God is testing YOU to know whether YOU are loving Jehovah YOUR God with all YOUR heart and all YOUR soul. ... And that prophet or that dreamer of the dream should be put to death, because he has spoken of revolt against Jehovah YOUR God ... and you must clear out what is evil from your midst.When he got to the part that said "and the sign or the portent does come true" I asked him to repeat it, since I expected the verse to say "and the sign or the portent does not come true." But no, he read the verse correctly. God commands us to kill prophets that correctly prophesy future events! He is testing us by sending true prophets from false religions. Or something like that.
Which seemed strange to me, strange even for the Bible.
So I checked to see what the Bible says about false prophets. It's covered a few chapters later in Deuteronomy.
However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: “How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?” when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (NWT)Which means you must kill prophets that falsely predict future events. (Like the Jehovah's Witnesses)
So to sum up.
God commands us to kill prophets who either correctly predict the future in the name of a false god or who incorrectly predict the future in the name of a true god.
I guess we can let live false prophets of false gods and true prophets of true gods. Unless someone knows of a scripture that says otherwise, that is.
This prophet-killing business can get so confusing sometimes. How do believers keep it all straight?