Saturday August 18th 2018

What Should Catholics Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses?

What Should Catholics Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses?

It is always good to have some back ground of the other faiths in the world.  Understanding their faith, in relation to your own will give you better knowledge to your own beliefs and conviction when speaking to others of other faiths.

Some basic information Catholics should know about what Jehovah Witness’ believe:

Basic History:

Jehovah’s Witnesses were founded in 1872 by Charles Taze Russell.  Jehovah Witness were one of a few religions that sprung up during the 1800’s.  There are three main sources of their Doctrine:

1)      Protestantism:  Charles Russell being a Protestant himself, took on many of the main Protestant beliefs such as, rejecting the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, purgatory, confession, and intercession of Mary or the saints.

2)      Adventism:  A religious movement in the 1800s that focused on a date for the second coming of Jesus.  The Mormons (1830), Seventh Day Adventist (1831), and the Jehovah Witnesses all began as Adventist religions.  These three religions all initially claimed to know the date of the second coming.  All three failed in their prediction.  Because the JWs were the last of the three Adventist religions, they borrowed some of their two predecessors teachings.  From the Mormons they took, the denial of the Holy Spirit as a person and that Michael the Arch Angel was actually Adam.  JWs taught Michael was Jesus, the Second Adam.  For the Seventh Day Adventist they taught that Man does not have a soul but is a soul and the soul goes into Sleep or disappearance after death until the Second Coming.  They also borrowed that hell is not eternal.

3)      Arianism:   They borrowed the beliefs of a 318 heretic Catholic Priest named Arius who denied the divinity of Christ.  JW hold Jesus in high regards but do not believe Him to be God.  In 325 the Catholic Church at the Council of Nicea condemned this heresy and do still to this day.  This heresy was not seen again until the 1800s.  The JWs claim the early Church did not believe Jesus was God, which is 100% false.

Below are the biggest Jehovah Witness beliefs that are very different that Catholic Doctrine:

JW belief:  Jesus was man, not God

The divinity of Jesus is the central doctrine that divides Christians from JWs.  There are many scripture readings that help defend this point.  Two very obvious are:  John 20: 28-29:  In Answer Thomas said to him:  “My Lord and My God!” Jesus said to him:  “Because you have seen me have you believed?  Happy are those who do not see yet believe.”   And John 14:9 :  Jesus Said to him:  “Have I been with you so long q time, and yet, Philip, you have not come to know me?  He that has seen me has seen the Father.”

Other scripture readings are:  Mt 1:23; Col2:9; Isaiah 43:11; Rev 1:8; Rev 22:12-13; Mt 28:19.

The JWs say that Jesus is “a god.” You can see this when they mistranslated John 1:1 to say, “the Word was a god.”  All other bible translations besides the NWT (The JW Translation) say, “the Word was God.”  The Bible makes it clear there is one true God.  So is Jesus just a false god or the God according to JWs?  There is no middle and is a good question to ask a JW in debate.

It is important for Catholics to know that Jesus possesses two natures:  a divine nature and that of human.  Jesus defers to his human nature at times when he makes statements like:  “the Father is greater than I am,” Jn 14:28.  This does not mean Jesus is not God.  It is that his human nature is not greater than his divine nature.  Always remember JN 10:30; “I and the Father are one.”  And “He that has seen me has seen the father,” Jn 14:9.

JW Belief:  Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand will go to Heaven

JWs teach that only 144,000 people will go to heaven.  It is “The Anointed” group.  All other people who are good and righteous before God will inherit an everlasting earthly paradise.  The JWs teach that the 144,000 began with the Apostles and hit the 144,000 number in 1935.  No JW can go to heaven any longer and only can have the earthly paradise.  JWs defend this belief by using two passages:  Rev7:1-8 and Rev 14:1-5.  These two passages refer to 144,000.  But if you take these passages literally only celibate Jewish males will make up the 144,000.

JW Belief:  Refusal of Blood Transfusions

JWs believe that there is a prohibition on eating of blood (rare steaks or blood sausage).  Mosaic Law did prohibit this; however, the law says nothing about blood transfusions.   Remember, in John 6, Jesus tells us we must drink His blood in order to have eternal life.  It is true that JWs believe Jesus was speaking symbolically, but regardless, Jesus would not ever ask us to commit an evil act, even a symbolically evil act.  Christians understand the Old Testament dietary laws are no longer in effect.  And, Christian should not be worried about eating rare steak or blood sausage.  But, JWs who do not eat kosher eat blood in their meat; their refusal to accept blood transfusions is inconsistent.  JWs used to forbid vaccinations and organ transplants but do now.  Maybe soon they will lift the ban on blood transfusions.

JW Belief:  Annihilation of the Soul

JW’s don’t believe that man has a spiritual soul but rather they believe that man is a soul.  JWs think that when a person dies, his soul is annihilated:  he ceases to exist.  At the end of the world the whole person will be created again from nothing.  Sacred scripture shows that this Is not the case.  In 1 Sam 28, Samuel, who had died, appears to Saul and delivers a prediction of doom from the Lord.  Samuel could not appear if annihilated.  Other scripture readings are:  Mt 10:28 where Jesus talks that your body could die but not your soul.  The transfiguration, Mt 17:1-8, when Moses appears to Jesus.  Rev 6:9-10 relates a vision of the souls of the martyrs who died for Christ.  They are pleading for those suffering on earth.   Mt:1028 and Rev 6:9-10 are especially important because they are so clear and because they are accurately translated in the JW Bible, the New World Translation.

Most reference for this post comes from Beginning Apologetics 2 – How to Answer Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham.   You can purchase this at The Catholic Company if you are interested.

Reader Feedback

30 Responses to “What Should Catholics Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses?”

  1. Katherine Razzi says:

    Thank you for posting this site and explaining many of the things I have been wondering about since I have made friends with a few JWs. In fact, they came to my home steadily, every Wed evening for 2 years before they finally gave up on me becoming a Witness. There were many things I liked about being with them. They are very reverent in prayer and taught me to look for answers in the Bible whenever I was troubled. For this, I owe them a lot of gratitude. But for all the reasons you just cited, the very tenants of their beliefs, I just cannot agree with and not because I am a staunch Catholic or set in my ways. There are still things about Catholicism that I question, and even challenge, but the JWs seem to almost be looking to go AGAINST other religions instead of finding commonality in the true spirit of Christianity. And that is one thing that really rubs me the wrong way. I have a massive collection of the Watch Tower and Awake and it seems the articles always include some kind of message, subliminal or not to put down other religions and in particular they tend to target the Catholic religion. The common template they use is … other religions believe this way, but that way is wrong. I don’t like when any religion puts down another and I have made my opinions quite clear to my JW friends. I have also attended the local Kingdom Hall, and watched the JW dvds on how they operate, which is very impressive and if nothing else, something to truly envy. They have a wonderful camaraderie amongst themselves and truly are very earnest in their mission. I told my JW friends that I will be happy if you want to come over and read the Bible and pray with me – which really did help me spiritually – there is no denying that! But I also made it clear that I will always be a Catholic first and foremost… and I’m sure they might have thought, “Well, we’ll see about that once we teach you a few things.” No doubt, the JWs are doing God’s will by preaching the Bible and are very passionate about making sure we all are saved by the Word of God.. Jehovah. For this reason, I am glad to have made their acquaintance, and even though they have stopped coming over on a regular basis, they will stop by to chat and drop off the Awake and Watchtowers for my collection.. I do read them and take what I will but reject what I do not believe. All in all, I do feel closer to God. One of my JWs said, “When you draw close to Jehovah, wouldn’t it be nice to call Him your friend?” I really liked that and took it to heart. So, when I am troubled and question things of this world, I turn to my Bible and leave “religion” out.

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  3. Paul R, Wilson says:

    I’ve been phoned or even visited by witnesses for years now, at unopredictable times. They’ve left messages on my answering machine, and a few times showed up in person. Of course,I could cell if a caller was a witness and refuse to answer the door.

    I do not want a mind-control sect and maybe you could watch “Mind Prison” which has almost 30 seconds of thrilling music, before the anti-Witness talk starts.

    I will not join the Catholic Church because of its stubborn opposition to family planning. I am also not a Mary worshipper, as the Bible says nothing about worshipping Mary, let alone calling her God, or Mother of God. It also preaches an eternal hell of agony, which I also reject, even tho I believe in the soul apart from the body.

  4. Benjamin Madore says:

    Ive been a Baptist my whole life. I dont understand how every religion has something against the other. People interpret the bible the way they want. Whos to say whos right and whos wrong. I have JW over every week and they know i dont agree with everything they do but they keep coming and helping us learn the bible which is more then i can say about my own church. They dont ask for money to do it either.

  5. Adam says:

    Paul, do you want me to misrepresent your beliefs? Then don’t represent mine. We have this fun thing called “Natural Family planning”, and up until 1930, all Protestants did too! God never changes, but oddly, Protestantism does. (As do JWs, LDS). And where does it say in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that Catholics, worship Mary? Tell me the exact place, Paul!

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  8. Bob Sax says:

    Dear Sir/Ms,
    I mean no disrespect, but show me anywhere in the bible that proves that Mary (and the dead saints) intercede on our behalf.
    I am an ex-Catholic due to what many, including myself, see to be false teachings.
    There’s just no basis for all these anomalies.
    Respectfully,
    Bob

  9. I totally don’t agree with what people say about jws. Before stating false facts about their work maybe people should listen to them first before commenting on what they do not know.

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  13. Ronald Day says:

    Charles Taze Russell was never a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Charles Taze Russell preached against the formation of such a sectarian authoritarian organization as the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Charles Taze Russell preached against the kind of Armageddon message that the JWs preach.

    Russell was definitely not the founder of that in which he did not believe.

    Russell preached that only way of salvation is through the blood of Jesus.

    Russell preached the divinity of Jesus. He did not believe that one should add to the faith once delivered to the saints the idea that Jesus’ divinity means that Jesus is the “one God” who is the source of all, the only true Supreme Being. — 1 Corinthians 8:6.

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    Commencing with the salesperson’s agenda is an abdication of the Sales Coach’s
    position in making sure that the organisation’s aims are placed firmly at
    the front of the queue.

    Income Coaches need to have some working experience of income.
    Not from the point of view of particular understanding of the product and/ or services
    becoming bought, but of the psychological pressures associated with getting in a income part.
    Salespeople are quite sceptical of coaches who do not have sales practical experience.
    Whether or not this is suitable or incorrect is immaterial.
    The fact is that you will are likely to get on superior with the
    concentrate on audience if you understand about marketing from knowledge.
    And receiving on with the salesperson is crucial. Profits coaching
    in this sort performs because the coaching connection is crafted on have confidence in. Belief
    from the salesperson of the mentor that functionality
    quick-falls and experimentation to make improvements to will not be criticised, even though any absence of
    effort and hard work might. Rely on from the mentor of the salesperson that the latter
    is hoping to improve and not just pretending.

    The Gross sales Coach does not need to have a major sum of know-how about the solution and/ or services the salesperson is
    promoting, but it could minimize the amount of money of time wanted
    to help the salesperson aim on enhancement answers. On the other hand, normally, prior in-depth knowledge of the solution and
    sizeable working experience of the true sales job can usually
    be a barrier to efficient income coaching. Really generally, the considerably less you
    know, the greater the coaching questions are.

    In profits coaching there has to be a evidently defined profits method –
    the Video game Approach. Without the need of a clearly defined recreation strategy, the Coach will be performing at Degree 1.
    A video game program focuses the two the Gross sales Coach and
    the salesperson on what has to be performed, and how it
    to be accomplished, in purchase to elicit an result – the general performance.

    If performance is minimal, then possibly the game system won’t perform and needs to be adjusted or the salesperson is not adhering to the recreation strategy – and could possibly
    have to be altered. The moment you have a video game prepare, it can be
    increased in purchase to enhance general performance but not in a
    person working day and not all at when. This brings me to the previous position in Stage
    two Profits Coaching – timescale.

  29. You could be receiving married (congrats, by the way) and hoping to make your mind up irrespective of whether
    or not to even use a wedding day photographer. You could be trying to make
    your mind up now on which pictures specialist to opt for for your
    wedding working day. You may possibly be a wedding ceremony photographer, attempting
    to realize the sensitive and confounding psyche of these who interact in wedding ceremony organizing.

    Whoever you are, for your looking through satisfaction, check out out the best ten myths of wedding day
    pictures as relayed by a photographer who however enjoys having photographs.
    These are damaged in to 3 classes: a. Myths about not hiring a
    professional at all b. Myths about the assortment approach and c.

    Myths about how the pictures should be performed.

    Classification A: I do not will need/want a wedding day photographer since:

    one. My cousin’s roommate from faculty just obtained the new Canon 999D and a myriad of ‘L ‘ professional collection lenses
    it will be excellent (and, did I mention, Free of charge!).

    Is it not possible to locate a great no cost photographer?
    No. Is it possible? No. Is it a very good plan?
    Nearly by no means. But hey, it is your wedding day working day.
    You can chance it on the stranger who could very effectively be overly
    intrigued by the bridesmaid who has just a little bit far too substantially to drink at the reception and commences
    to dance provocatively. That way, the bulk of your pictures could be of her.
    Great, suitable? And free of charge. In this circumstance, you can just place out to your kids, 20 several years
    down the street, that the photographer did acquire these pictures
    with truly chopping edge technology, which is why you
    can see just so significantly depth of the lewd lady at your wedding day with, how shall
    we say… ‘perky’ breasts. No, she just isn’t the bride, but will not she look like she is getting enjoyable?

    2. Why would I get a photographer? Everybody and
    their pet has a camera (even cell telephones photos are creeping up in the ‘megapixel’ race).

    The snapshots from guests will suffice.

    Of course, it is correct to condition that most of us now
    carry a digicam on our physique at all periods (on our cellphone
    at the quite least). Additionally, at a marriage ceremony, many if not
    most visitors provide some kind of additional digicam to memorialize
    the occasion (particularly things that go erroneous,
    if they you should not like you tears from the groom if they do).
    Nonetheless, demanding double blind scientific tests have been finished on the facts stream to which we are referring, and they all show 1 issue.
    These photos have a ninety nine.9982% possibility of sucking.
    Seriously terribly. There may well be one particular excellent photograph
    of the bunch, of a doggy at the stop of the aisle that intended so
    a great deal to Great Aunt Esther. It will be completely
    uncovered, targeted, and exhibit Sparky with a attractive stance working with
    excellent composition.

    3. Wedding ceremony images is also pricey – why would I support an field of so-called ‘professionals’ who actually
    only work a couple of hours a week. I do not know whether or
    not to be offended or jealous.

    You can be angry if you would like. You can even be jealous,
    considering that we have a work that (ideally)
    we really like, and get wonderful pleasure in. If you think we do the job a few
    hours for a one wedding ceremony, you are fooling your self.

    All those are the hrs that you see us at the wedding ceremony
    suffice it to say, many hrs of preparing went in to that
    particular wedding, numerous hours will continue on the close of
    wedding day working day in post-creation. When accomplished appropriately, the operate is intensive, enjoyment, and pays
    first rate.

    Classification B: I do have to have/want a wedding ceremony
    photographer, but the variety system need to be
    restricted:

    four. I’ll seek the services of my photographer right after all the other preparing is carried
    out. I will pick the bouquets, the venue, the
    dj or band, the bridesmaid dresses, the honeymoon hotel, and extra.
    Then I am going to think photography.

    Of study course you will hold out until the very last few months
    to seek the services of a photographer. Why would you want a wedding day specialist like a fantastic photographer
    to aid you with good referrals for all the other providers you will be in search of?
    While a excellent photographer will have worked with a spectacular cake small business in former weddings and gladly recommend that you examine them out, you can expend forty-7 several hours pouring about
    brochures that includes batman formed carrot cakes (a concept which will surely to get off when new
    brides truly stop and imagine about it). Truly, however, consider this – waiting will only restrict your choices.

    Photographers agreement for certain dates. When your arch enemy designs her marriage ceremony on the identical day as you (out of
    spite), she will also test to wrap up the providers of the finest photographer in town. Defeat her to that photographer for
    many years of bragging legal rights.

    5. I don’t want recommendations – why would I treatment what some
    other few claims about this photographer?
    I really like her web page it is shiny, happy, and new. It would make me smile on the inside.

    Elegant websites abound among the wedding
    photographers, for all of the apparent factors. You are taking into consideration shelling out them dollars for an artwork,
    so the designs they use for advertising and information and facts shipping, then,
    really should be similarly artistic. Nonetheless, get a swift glance at the photographers in your location, and I’ll bet that you
    locate 1 with an spectacular web page, with spectacular motion and animated vines expanding
    out of the keep track of and instant chat performance with on desire movies…
    and other neat technological points I do not even know
    about. Nevertheless, you may possibly also obtain that this specific photographer has suitable photos, and nothing additional.
    Then, I hope, you will realize that you should have far more than suitable images from a advertising
    expert who dabbles in photography.

    six. I’m looking for a photographer who can acquire pictures – that
    is ALL. Give me the solution, and then continue to keep on your merry way, Mr.
    Camera Person.

    Very well, it is not the situation that I am going to counsel you acquire a romantic
    relationship with your photographer that you would build with,
    say, the groom. Nevertheless, the talent or ability of taking fantastic photos actually is only component of the deal.
    A photographer should to also be ready to present
    up on time, dressed correctly, converse with the company, corral the marriage
    ceremony occasion, and so on. Or else, you will have the photographer
    who shows up at the improper locale, late, wearing her parka in the Florida summer time because of her
    ‘extreme anti-social’ nature and a desire to
    photograph only the frogs in close proximity to the wading pool.
    Yet again, the frog images may well be terrific. But
    you will have to reminisce about your marriage ceremony
    without any visual proof to support the memories.

    7. I want a photographer who does the most up-to-date publish-processing
    trend, and proudly displays it. An absurdly weighty
    vignette with shade location and ‘double exposure’? Groovy.

    Some photographers, myself bundled, groan just a small bit on the within when customers request a specific photographic trend that jeopardizes
    the timeless nature of photography. What we commonly shoot
    for are photographs that will speak to the occasion itself,
    and not provide as an sign of the era. Granted, some of the material of the photograph – the
    individuals and destinations photographed – will select out clothing variations, automotive or architectural style and design, and the like.
    But the photography itself – the image – ought to fall short to scream ‘This happened in 1984
    - no a person superimposes a ghost-like image
    of the grooms head more than the bride praying anymore.’

  30. Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post.
    Taking the time and actual effort to produce a good article… but what can I
    say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t seem to get
    anything done.

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