Catholic Bible 101

21st Century Catholic Apologetics for Mary's Spiritual Warriors

The Jehovah's Witnesses

The Jehovah’s Witnesses!  Who among us hasn’t had these nice looking people come to our front doorstep and try to convert us to their sect?  While their zeal is to admired for going door to door, their theology leaves much to be desired.  They usually leave tracts from the Watchtower Society, their print shop. It all sounds good on the surface, but once you take a deeper look at to what they really believe, you will find that none of it holds up, either through Christian tradition or biblically.

A Pittsburgh haberdasher (men’s clothing store owner) named Charles Taze Russell invented the sect known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1879, at the age of 27 years old.  He was raised in the Congregationalist denomination, but soon drifted into agnosticism, and then into the Adventist movement. When William Miller, the Adventist preacher, failed in his prediction that the world would end in 1843, and then said it would REALLY end in 1844, Russell, a high school dropout, decided to come up with his own personal brand of theology in 1879, and thus began the Watch Tower Society, now headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. (It should be noted that Russell was somewhat of a con-man, having sold a fraudulent cancer cure and “miracle” agricultural products which didn’t produce miraculous results.  He was sued for doing these things).

In order to support their peculiar beliefs, the Jehovah’s witnesses, invented their very own translation of the Bible, the New World Translation. It was written by 5 members of the JW’s, 4 of whom had NO background in biblical study. The fifth member had studied Greek for several years. What this means is that you and they will not be singing off of the same sheet of music biblically when they come to your front door!  For instance, in the New World Translation, John 1 says that “the word was a god,” whereas other bibles say that “the word was God.”  Mighty big difference there!

For the record, the JW’s did again predict that Armageddon, the final battle on earth, would occur in 1975. When it didn’t, they went back to the drawing board and said that there had been yet another math error.  Folks, this is NOT an infallible church guided by the Holy Spirit!

So now that we know a little about the creator of this man-made tradition known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, what exactly are Russell’s doctrines that are still believed today by his followers?

1. Hell does not exist

2. The unsaved will be annihilated (which he got from the Adventists)

3. The Trinity doesn’t exist.

4. Jesus Christ is really Michael the Archangel

5. The Holy Spirit isn’t a person of the Trinity, but rather a “force” (hello Star Wars!)

6. The soul is not immortal

7. Jesus will return in 1914 (obviously not)

8. Armageddon will occur in the lifetime of the generation alive in 1914

8. Only 144,000 people will get into heaven as spirits (the remaining faithful JW’s will remain on the new paradise earth in their resurrected bodies, and the unsaved will be totally destroyed (not sent to hell)).

9. No blood transfusions, ever

10. They will not serve in the military, salute the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, or run for any office, as they recognize no government authority.

11. There are no priests, pastors, or rabbis (no clergy).

12. Jesus did not rise from the dead in a bodily resurrection.


So let’s take a look at these one by one.


1. Hell does not exist/2. The unsaved will be annihilated (which he got from the Adventists)/ 6. Some souls are not immortal

Their JW New World Translation of the Bible says in Matthew 25:46: "And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life."  The weird term “cutting off” buttresses their argument that the unsaved will be annihilated, but the real Bible says “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."   And Revelation 14:11 tells us, "And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."  There are many other verses in the Bible which also mention hell and the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. This is nothing more than creative editing of the Greek text by their non-biblical text writers to make the bible conform with their own peculiar views.


3. The Trinity doesn’t exist/5. The Holy Spirit isn’t a person of the Trinity, but rather a “force” (hello Star Wars!)

The JWs believe that God the Father is superior to Jesus, who is a created Son, and the Holy Spirit is a “force,” not a person.  They get this from John 14:28: "If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I,” and "The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3).  But these are verses taken out of context, and refer to Jesus as a man, rather than to his eternal divinity. One only needs to look at John 10:30: "I and the Father are one," and John 14:9: "He who has seen me has seen the Father" to get the full context.  And there is also "The Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:18).  And Jesus certainly gave instructions to baptize “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" in Matthew 28:19.  The JWs relegate the Holy Spirit to a force, similar to electricity. This is very dangerous, as Jesus Himself said that He saw satan fall like LIGHTNING from the sky, and lightning IS electricity.  No, the Bible makes it very clear that the Holy Spirit is a person, not merely a “force.”  John 16:7 – “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”  Jesus calls him The Counselor, and “him.”   This is really a no-brainer.   And there is Matthew 4:1 : “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”   Here Jesus is led by the Spirit, not “electricity!”


4. Jesus Christ is really Michael the Archangel

The JWs assert: "Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God's Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return."  The JWs misinterpret Daniel 10:13 and 10:21 which talks about a “great prince” named Michael, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16, which talks about Jesus descending from heaven at the sound of an archangel’s voice.  Since Jesus is the son of the King God, and is therefore a prince, they associate the Daniel 10 verses with Jesus (called Michael before the incarnation).  And since he will be descending with an archangel’s voice, they again err and assume that since Michael is an archangel, therefore Jesus voice is that of Michael’s. But the 1 Thessalonians 4 verse NEVER says that the person descending from heaven and the person speaking are one and the same. That would be like saying a ballplayer and the umpire are the same person, because the ballplayer started playing at the sound of the umpire’s voice which said, “Play Ball!”  In fact, Hebrews 1:5 makes it pretty clear that no angel is God’s Son – “For to what angel did God ever say, "You are my Son, today I have begotten thee"?  Or again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?”  Of course, the answer to both questions is NO!”


7. Jesus will return in 1914 (obviously not)/ 8. Armageddon will occur in the lifetime of the generation alive in 1914

This calculating when Jesus will return thing seems to be a characteristic of these false shamans.  No one knows when Jesus will return, from Matthew 24:36: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."  So when this event failed to take place, the JW’s changed it to read that Armageddon will take place in the lifetime of those living in 1914. Well, guess what, most, if not all of those people alive in 1914 are dead.  This predicting of the second coming is a sure sign that these people don’t know their own bible. And for sure, it didn't happen in 1975 either.


8. Only 144,000 people will get into heaven as spirits (the remaining faithful JW’s will remain on the new paradise earth in their resurrected bodies, and the unsaved will be totally destroyed (not sent to hell)).

The Jehovah’s witnesses get this literal 144,000 number from Revelation 7 and Revelation 14, where it is a symbolic number (12 Tribes of Israel x 12 Apostles x 1000), which indicates that there will be both Old Testament AND New Testament people in heaven, and lots of them.  According to scripture, a literal reading of Revelation 7 and 14 would indicate that these are all male Jewish virgins, which, by the JW standards, would mean that the Blessed Virgin Mary is not in heaven, nor is the married Peter, nor is any gentile, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses!  There is no biblical mention of “embodied spirit people” remaining on earth who don’t get annihilated either. The JWs get this from Psalm 37:29 which speaks about the just inheriting the land forever, which is about the Old Testament promised land of Israel, not the New Testament Promised land of Heaven.  And in Revelation 21:27, we read that the unsaved are thrown into the pool of fire, which pretty much nukes the annihilation theory as well.  An additional heresy of the JWs is that only those who lived at or after the time of Jesus get into heaven!  But the astute Bible scholar knows about Matthew 8:11-12, which talks about everyone reclining in heaven at the table of the Lord WITH the Old Testament persons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  And as for remaining on earth instead of heaven, we have 2 Corinthians 5:1: ”For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."


9. No blood transfusions, ever

This heresy comes from the Old Testament prohibition of not drinking animal blood.  But, wait for it….human blood transfusions are from humans!  And an another important distinction here is that receiving a life-saving blood transfusion in your vein is NOT drinking blood, animal or human.  The book of Leviticus, where this prohibition is to be found, does not apply to New Testament Christians. It was written by Moses after the Golden Calf incident as a new set of stricter laws for the Jews, on top of the 10 Commandments, which they seemed to have trouble obeying. In other words, God got stricter with them for their licentiousness.  And the book of Leviticus also includes a prohibition against eating animal fat as well, so no ribeye steaks for the Jehovah’s Witnesses!


10. They will not serve in the military, salute the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, or run for any office, as they recognize no government authority. 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that all earthly authority is demonic, and therefore not to be served.  But this violates Jesus’ command to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and Paul’s admonition in Romans 13:1-2: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will receive judgment.”


11. There are no priests, pastors, or rabbis (no clergy).

The JWs get this from Job 32:21, which talks about not showing partiality to any person, and from Matthew 23:8-10, which are the verses about calling no man on earth your father. So do JWs honor their Father and mother, like it says in the 10 commandments, and do they celebrate Father’s Day?  This is all ludicrous, of course, since  the Job verse means not giving credit to a man for his gifts, but rather to God, the creator and giver of all good gifts. And the Matthew verse is hyperbole, because Paul calls himself our father in Christ Jesus in 1 Corinthians 4:15, and he certainly didn’t disobey Jesus.  He also called Abraham our father in Romans 4:12.  And the bible does speak about showing honor to church elders in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 – “respect those who labor with you and are over you in the Lord…..esteem them very highly in love because of what they do…” And in 1 Timothy 5:17, the bible says “Let the elders who govern you well be doubly honored.”


12. Jesus did not rise from the dead in a bodily resurrection.

This one is really off the wall.  Their dogmatic statement says, "We deny that he was raised in the flesh, and challenge any statement to that effect as being unscriptural.  Jesus’ fleshly body "was disposed of by Jehovah God, dissolved into its constitutive elements or atoms. In order to convince Thomas of who he was, he used a body with wound holes.  He was raised as an invisible spirit creature, with no physical body......”  But 1 Corinthians 15:7 says “If Christ has not been raised from the dead, your faith is in vain.”  And there is the promise of Christ to the Pharisees that he would raise his temple (his body) in 3 days.  And in Luke 24 Jesus says that it is really him after the resurrection, because a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones.  And there is NO scripture verse about God the Father disposing of Jesus’ body!

This Jehovah’s Witness heresy can be easily disputed by anyone with a cursory knowledge of sacred scripture. This so-called religion is really a man-made cult invented by a con-artist, and no one who considers himself to be a Christian should have anything to do with it.  It is recommended that you print out this webpage and keep it by your front door for a handy reference the next time they come by!




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