I. A Few Basic Facts About The “Jehovah’s Witnesses” Religion.
A. They believe they are the true religion of the Bible, and the only true religion.
B. They are governed by what they would describe as their anointed governing body, which is the head of their
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and all Jehovah’s Witnesses.
C. They are obligated to believe religiously what their anointed governing body tells them to believe.
D. What we would call their local churches they call their “Kingdom Halls”.
E. They have their own Bible translation called the New World Translation which has altered various Bible verses
to agree with their doctrines. Verses which teach the Deity of Christ have been altered to deny His Deity.
F. They are allowed to “hide” things (meaning “lie”) to you. They call it “Theocratic War Strategy”.
G. They often hand out their doctrinal magazines called “The Watchtower” and “Awake”, sometimes their books.
II. Important Tips When They Come To Your Door.
A. Approach them and all people with love and concern for their souls (Matt. 16:26). Answer their doctrines and arguments, but don’t do this just to say, “Well I won, I answered them”. Make it your point to also talk with them about the Lord’s true church and plan of salvation. For besides defending the Truth your goal is to try to save them.
B. Always be polite with “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, they think when people are rude to them that proves they are
God’s true people.
C. Be firm answering their doctrines. We can never be most effective in our teaching studies with them or anyone unless we enter the studies with preparation. This includes having some knowledge of their religion and of their main doctrines, and obviously the Bible answers to refute them (Eph. 5:11).
D. If they knock on your door and you are not prepared to study with them about their main doctrines, simply tell them you did not know they were coming and will need time to prepare. Then arrange another time for the study. Ask a Christian who is knowledgeable about their doctrines to help you when they are scheduled to return for the study. If you are not knowledgeable about their doctrines when you begin a study with them, tell them you want to study about how to be saved, or about the one true church. They are not asked to study these matters as often and you should be better able to instruct them and answer their positions on these topics.
III. The Way I Begin A Study With Them.
I first ask them: “May we be saved, by reading and studying the Bible alone, without ever reading or hearing any Bible interpretation or instructions from the Watchtower Society’s anointed governing body?”
A. Sometimes they will answer “no”. When they do, tell them they contradict the Bible. Christ said the Bible is “Truth” (John 17:17), and “the Truth” (the Bible) makes us free from sin (John 8:31-32). We can understand the Bible by simply “reading” It (Eph. 3:3-4), without any man or supposed anointed governing body.
B. Sometimes they will answer “yes”. When they do, tell them they contradict their anointed governing body. Then quote their magazine, The Watch tower, Sept. 15, 1910: “Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the SCRIPTURE STUDIES [This is Charles Taze Russell, their first president’s, 6 volume work. –W.R.] aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years—if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the SCRIPTURE STUDIES with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures.” Their own organization says they cannot be saved by reading the Bible alone. They claim to be Bible students, but are just blind followers of blind men (Matt. 15:14).
IV. Answers To The Main Doctrines They Like To Talk About, And Other Matters To Mention To Them.
A. They teach the only Scriptural name of God is “Jehovah” (Ex. 6:3).
ANSWER: God is also called by other names:
The word “name” in each of these O.T. verses translates the same Hebrew word (“SEM”, noun, #8034).
1. “Jehovah” (Ex. 6:3; Hebrew word is “YEHOVAH”, noun, #3068).
2. “God” (Exodus 6:3; Hebrew word is “EL”, noun, #410).
“God” in the N.T. (Eph. 5:1; Greek word is “THEOS”, noun, #2316).
3. “Almighty” (Exodus 6:3; Hebrew word is “SADDAY”, noun, #7706).
4. “I Am” (Exodus 3:13,14; Hebrew word is “HAYAH”, verb, #1961).
5. “Lord” (Isaiah 54:5; Hebrew word is same as “Jehovah”, which is “YEHOVAH”, noun, #3068).
6. “Hosts” (Isaiah 54:5; Hebrew word is “SABA”, noun, #6635).
7. “Jealous” (Exodus 34:14; Hebrew word is “QANNA”, adjective, #7067).
8. “Holy” (Isaiah 57:15; Hebrew word is “QADOS”, adjective, #6918).
B. They deny the Deity of Christ. They say Christ being “firstborn” (Col. 1:15) means He is the first created being, not God. They call Him “a god” in John 1:1, meaning He is less than “God”. Their New World Translation has altered most verses like John 1:1; Heb. 1:8; and Col. 2:9 which affirm the deity of Christ.
ANSWER: Faithful Greek texts & translations call Christ “God”/“Deity” (John 1:1; Heb. 1:8; Col. 2:9, et al).
1. “Firstborn” in Col. 1:15 refers to Christ being the Creator of all created things, not to Him being created. For John 1:3 says of Christ that “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made”. Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation has not been altered in John 1:3 and teaches the same. Accordingly, Christ was not created, for that would mean He was “made”, but actually He made “all things” that were made. Col. 1:15 is also explained by the next verse, Col. 1:16. Like John 1:3 it says Christ is the Creator of “all things created”.
2. Christ is Creator “God” (John 1:1), not created. Rom. 1:25 condemns Gentiles because they “worshipped and served the creature more than (rather than) the Creator”. This would mean if Christ was actually created, a “creature”, as Jehovah’s Witnesses tell us, then any worship or service given to Him would be a sin—serving the creature rather than God. But we are to serve Christ (Rom 14:18), and worship is ascribed to Him (Rev. 5:9-14).
3. Their New World Translation unscripturally added “a” (in “a god”) in John 1:1, because it’s not in the Greek.
4. Their first published N.T. Greek interlinear (“Emphatic Diaglott”, 1942) in John 1:1 calls Christ “God” in the “New Version” beside the Greek text. The book explains on p. 8 that the New Version’s “rendering is based upon that in the left-hand column [in other words, their own Greek interlinear, W.R.], and the labors of many talented critics and translators of the Scriptures.” This quotation has Jehovah’s Witnesses saying where the New Version says Christ is “God”, that is what their Greek interlinear means when it says “a god”. Thus they contradict themselves about Christ.
5. Use a setup technique like under III. Turn to Isaiah 9:6 and show them Christ is there referred to as “mighty God”. Jehovah’s Witnesses will then say Christ is called “mighty”, but He is never called “almighty” like Jehovah. At that point say, “Let me get this straight. You are saying Christ is called “mighty”, but Jehovah is called “almighty”. That Christ is never called “almighty” and Jehovah is never called “mighty”? At this point they should tell you “yes”. Then you have them. For then you can turn to Jeremiah 32:18 and prove Jehovah, like Christ, is called “mighty”, and thus Christ, like Jehovah, is “God”. In both Isa. 9:6 and Jer. 32:18 “mighty” is the same Hebrew word. In Jer. 32:18 in the KJV, “Lord” is the Hebrew word for “Jehovah” and is translated that way in their New World Translation. They may point out their version in Jer. 32:18 says “mighty one” instead of “mighty God”, but it does not matter, for their version still calls Jehovah “mighty” in this verse, in contradiction to what they just told you.
C. They deny man has a “soul” which lives after the body is dead. They cite verses where “soul” refers to the life principle living men and animals have which moves our bodies, and claim that is our only “soul”. To support that assertion they claim “know not any thing” in Eccl. 9:5 means men become nonexistent when they die, and for eternity if they die in sin. They point out the Bible doesn’t say man has an “immortal soul”.
ANSWER: “Soul” is also used for the part of man which lives on after the life principle of the body dies.
1. “Soul” in Matt. 10:28 (Eccl. 9:5-6, Matt. 22:32, Luke 16:19-31 and all other verses agree) is that part of man which lives on after the body dies. God then places the soul (Eccl. 12:7) either in a place of blessing or torment in “Hades” (Luke 16:19-31, translated “hell” in the KJV in verse 23) until the resurrection (John 5:18-19). It is conscious, experiencing blessing or pain (Luke 16:22-23), and has memory, but “know(s) not anything”, i.e., does not have any more part, on earth (Eccl. 9:5; Luke 16:26-30). Jehovah’s Witnesses say Luke 16 is a parable. That’s not so, but if it was, a parable is a story from real life. So either way, Luke 16 also teaches that the soul lives on after the body dies. After the judgment, wicked souls will suffer in hell, the righteous will enjoy Heaven, for eternity (Mt. 25:46; Heb. 10:34).
2. Nowhere are animals said to have this “soul” which lives after the body dies, only man does.
3. We agree that the Bible does not say man’s soul is “immortal”. It is called “eternal” (II Cor. 5:2).
D. They say “hell” is just death / nonexistence, that God wouldn’t give eternal suffering for a brief life of sin.
ANSWER: “Hell” is the eternal place of torment wicked souls will be punished in (Matt. 10:28; C. above).
1. When “hell” translates the Greek “Gehenna”, as in Mt. 10:28, it refers to a place of eternal fire or punishment (Matt. 25:41,46), and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:30), etc., not to a condition of nonexistence, where pain cannot be experienced. (The verses in the N.T. where “hell” translates GEHENNA: Matthew 5:22,29,30; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 23:15,33; Mark 9:43,45,47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6.)
2. Men “fear” the real “hell” of suffering (Matt. 10:28), the real punishment God says a life of sin deserves. They don’t “fear” to become nonexistent (what Jehovah’s Witnesses say “hell” is) as punishment (?) for a life of sin.
E. Have them tell J.W. officers (governing body, President, in Kingdom Halls, etc.), ask for verses for each.
F. Show how God’s appointed “witnesses” in the N.T. were eyewitnesses, they are not (Acts 2:32; Acts 10:38-41; Acts 13:29-31; John 20:30-31; I Cor. 15:3-8).