Jehovah's Witnesses appeared in the second half of the nineteenth century in the USA. Their founder, Charles Taze Russell , was Christian, but became influenced by Arian and Seventh-Day Adventist teachings.
Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be "Christians believing in the Bible", hence their real danger to the unaware Orthodox Christian. The heresy of Jehovah's Witnesses is clearly presented in their books; some of which are the following:
- Their book "The Truth that leads to eternal life," P. 24: [The Holy Spirit is not a Person, but God’s effective Power.]
- Their book "Let God Be True", P. 113: [The allegation of the clergy that the Holy Spirit is a third Spiritual Person, is an allegation based on a weak basis. It is the result of bad translation of the Greek original text, giving a word that means Person. But actually the origin means "breeze" or "wind", for as the breeze or the wind is invisible so also is God's Spirit. Whenever God’s Spirit comes upon a person, that person receives an authorization from God to perform a certain work. The Holy Spirit is the Power of God Almighty and Invisible. He is the Power that motivates God's servants to do His will.]
- Their book "This is eternal life", P. 176: [The Spirit is Power not a Person. He is the Effective Holy Power originating from the bountiful source God.]
- Their book "Talk from the Holy Scriptures", P. 132: [God's Holy Spirit is His Effective Power.]
To sum up, their denial of the Hypostatic Nature of the Holy Spirit is a part of their denial of the Three Persons. Accordingly they deny the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Jehovah's Witnesses also believe that Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael. They say that Jesus Christ Himself does not have an immortal soul, but gained immortality as a reward for His success in the test and for His faithfulness to the Father until death.
Jehovah's Witnesses have their own false translation of the Bible, in which they have altered many verses to suit their doctrines. For example, John 1:1 in their New World Translation reads, "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." Other verses worth noting in this context include Acts 20:28 (reads "with the blood of His own" instead of the correct "with His own blood"), Luke 23:43 ("Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise" instead of the correct "Assuredly I say to you: 'today you will be with Me in Paradise'" - note the different meanings of 'today'), and 1 Timothy 3:16.
They believe in numerous resurrections, each one being for a particular group of people, and in an eternal earthly paradise as a literal fulfilment of Isaiah 65:21: "They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit" [earthly resurrection for the good (the "remnants" or the "other sheep"), with the exception of 144,000 (the "little flock") who would go to "Heaven"].
They do not believe in the immortality of the soul (sharing this belief as well as that of the earthly paradise with Seventh Day Adventists). Instead, they believe in the annihilation of the wicked (including, according to their beliefs, the annihilation of both Satan and Adam, the first man), i.e., they do not believe in the eternal punishment of sinners. They also do not believe in the intercession of the departed saints.
Jehovah's Witnesses predicted that Jesus would come in 1914 to judge the Earth and annihilate the wicked. When nothing supernatural happened in 1914, they changed the year to 1925 then many times thereafter.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept whole blood transfusions (even when life-saving) based on their false interpretation of Acts 15:28, 29.
Charles Taze Russell was a liberal Christian who denied hell and the deity of Christ as well as the Trinity.
He was also known to openly espouse Arius and his heresies. In one of his books, Russell openly calls Arius the sixth angel in Revelation and himself as the seventh angel based on the messages from Christ to the angels of the seven churches.
The New World Translation deliberately is at variance with the King James Bible, which we as Orthodox revere as being based on the Byzantine Greek text as opposed to the Greek of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, which were rejected by most of the Church in the beginning until the theories of rationalism became popular.
Check these verses out and contrast them.
1)John 1:1 (KJV) and John 1:1 (NWT). NWT negates deity of Christ deliberately by adding "a god" to replace "God" when it came to the Word being God.
2) John 8:24, 58 (KJV) to John 8:24, 58 (NWT). NWT negates Christ's deity again by removing the phrases: "I am" (the exclusive name for God) to "I have been"
3) Acts 20:28 (KJV) and Acts 20:28 (NWT). NWT tries to separate God from Christ by adding "Church of God which he has purchased through the blood of His Son" instead of the correct reading: "Church of God which he hath purchased through His own blood". Note that God has blood! Christ is God!
4) Hebrews 1:6, 8 (KJV) to Hebrews 1:6, 8 (NWT) NWT deliberately changes any notion of deity by removing the word 'worship' and substituting 'do obeisance to' in v6 and instead of having the Father addressing the Son in v8 as "Thy throne, O God...", it has changed the wording to: "God is thy throne".
5) I Timothy 3:16 (KJV) to I Timothy 3:16 (NWT) NWT has removed the word "God" from "God was manifest in the flesh" and substituted: "Who". This is a deliberate attempt to negate deity.
6) I John 5:7 (KJV) to I John 5:7 (NWT) Like all the other false bibles, NWT removes the whole verse which states clearly that there are three that bear record in heaven: The Father, The Word and the Holy Ghost and these three are one. NWT like the other perversions removes the whole verse and substitutes part of verse 6 and verse 8 into it.
7) Ephesians 3:9 (KJV) to Ephesians 3:9 (NWT) NWT has removed the whole phrase that clearly teaches that the world was created by Jesus Christ, thus trying to remove his role as Creator.
- Jehovah's Witnesses Watchtower Society Official Web Site
- Jehovah's Witnesses on Wikipedia
- Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses (Wikipedia)
- List of Jehovah's Witnesses literature (Wikipedia)
- New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Wikipedia)
- Jehovah's Witnesses - The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
- Bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate: Orthodox should be missionaries to the Jehovah’s Witnesses