Yet the “biblical truth” they’re referring to isn’t found in the Christian Bible, but in their own deliberate misinterpretation of it, which they published in 1961 as The New World Translation (NWT). Dr. Bruce Metzger, during his role as professor of New Testament at Princeton, was among many other Bible scholars that characterized the NWT as “erroneous” and “reprehensible.”
Doctrinal tweaking continues to be a hallmark of this religion. So we might speculate that the Watchtower Society is comprised of poor listeners—or that God keeps changing His “truth.”
“Russell taught and published many doctrines that the current Watchtower Society totally rejects, and engaged in practices regarded by current Jehovah’s Witnesses to be of pagan origin. In fact, if Russell were a Jehovah’s Witness in the current Watchtower Organization, he would have been disfellowshipped for his beliefs and practices!”
One reason members cite for leaving the church is the amount of repeated false prophesy the Watchtower Society has put out. As one outsider noted, “The Jehovah’s Witnesses are the undisputed world champions of false prophecy.” Russell was but one church leader that prophesied a date for the end of the world. Russell chose 1914. When Jesus failed to show up for this scheduled Second Coming, the Watchtower Society assured members that Jesus had come—but was invisible.
Some of what the NWT now teaches: Jesus is God’s only direct creation, “the firstborn of all creation,” so He has earned the right to the title “son of God”; Jesus is actually Michael the Archangel in human form; after His crucifixion, Jesus was recreated as an immaterial spirit creature; and the Holy Spirit is not a person, but a specific manifestation of God’s power.
Say, what?? Jesus is the Archangel Michael?? Where does it say that in the Bible?
We have to agree with Dr. James White, a Christian apologist, that “Christianity is a religion of the Book. If you twist the Book, you twist the faith.”
Yet, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they alone know the “truth” of God. Thus they view all persons outside their religion—whether Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist or atheist—to be “the walking dead” who are “under God’s wrath.” The reason Witnesses spend so much time going door-to-door is to fulfill the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations.”
Per the JW website: “We endeavor to share our faith with others, hoping that they will benefit from God’s promises. But we don’t believe that we earn our salvation by engaging in our ministry. … He saved us because of His mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done.”
Why, then, do Witnesses not live with an assurance of God’s acceptance?
An interesting fact, per Dr. White: 99 percent of Jehovah Witnesses believe themselves to be among ‘The Great Crowd” that might get to enjoy an earthly paradise after the Millennium. An upper echelon of believers—a mere 144,000 of the most faithful Witnesses—get to be part of the “Anointed Class.” This small group, which the Watchtower Organization believes to be nearly full, will resurrect as spiritual beings and reign with Jehovah in heaven. Those who find themselves among The Great Crowd will resurrect as physical beings—but only through the Anointed Class gain access to Jehovah.
Followers who find the courage to leave—“apostates”—are formally shunned and “disfellowshipped” by the church. Even family members still in the church are prohibited from having any interaction with them. So, for some, to leave the church means being forced to break connections with the very people most special to them. Does shunning reflect the love Jesus asks of His followers?
Per the JW website, “Surely, someone who strives to obey Jesus’ commands can be called Christian.” In actuality, that barely gets to the heart of the matter. Even this tiny slice of church doctrine clearly show us that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have a biblical understanding of Christ.