Scripture verses are from the Authorised Version (King James Version) of the Bible, unless otherwise noted. All primary works from the Jehovah’s Witnesses were published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Brooklyn, New York.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. History of the Jehovah’s Witnesses II. Watchtower Authority
III. False Prophecies and Contradictory Date-Setting
IV. The Scholarly Incompetence and Dishonesty of the Watchtower
PART TWO V. Christology
VI. The Trinity and the Holy Spirit (Theology / Pneumatology)
VII. Salvation (Soteriology)
VIII. Death and the Soul (Eschatology / Anthropology)
IX. The Doctrine of Hell (Eschatology)
X. Assorted Secondary Beliefs
Jehovah’s Witnesses (henceforth referred to as “JWs”) are, in many ways, a modern manifestation of the ancient heresy Arianism, named after Arius, a priest from Alexandria, who began airing his anti-trinitarian views in the early 4th century A.D. Arius taught that Jesus was not God the Son, but rather, God’s first and greatest creation, who served as an “agent” in the creation of everything else (including the Holy Spirit). Arianism was condemned as a heresy at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.
2. Founder Charles Taze Russell: Early Influences
. . . When 1874 came and there was no outward sign of Jesus in the literal clouds and in a fleshly form, there was a general re-examination of all the arguments . . . It was soon discovered that the expectation of Jesus in the flesh at the second advent was a mistake . . . that Jesus was quickened or made alive in spirit . . . Though the manner in which they had expected Jesus was in error, yet the time . . . was correct, and that the Bridegroom came in the Autumn of 1874. (Watchtower, Oct/Nov 1881, 3)
As we look backward, we can see that our pathway has been . . . progressive . . . A new view of truth can never contradict a former truth . . . Bro. Keith (one of our contributors) was used of the Lord . . . His surprise was, at finding that the Greek word parousia, which signifies “presence,” had in our common version been improperly rendered “coming” . . . Can it be possible that Jesus does not come in a fleshly body at his second advent? . . . Examination revealed the fact that Jesus since his resurrection is a totally different being from the Jesus who died . . . he is no longer a natural, but a spiritual body. (Watchtower, February 1881, 3)
Earnestly endeavoring to counteract such erroneous teachings, in 1873, twenty-one year old C.T. Russell wrote . . . a booklet entitled The Object and Manner of the Lord’s Return.
I am deeply impressed . . . that the Master is come . . .
4. Present-Day JWs Acknowledge Russell as Their Founder
JWs today have a markedly ambivalent attitude towards Russell, but they don’t deny that he is their founder:
In the early 1870’s, Charles Taze Russell and some of his friends began to make a thorough, nondenominational study of the Bible . . . This was the beginning of the modern-day activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Jehovah’s Witnesses — Unitedly Doing God’s Will Worldwide, 1986, 8)
Firm determination to uphold and declare Biblical truth had resulted in divine blessing for those Bible Students of the 1870’s . . . God had acted to identify the “wheat” or true Christians. (1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1974, 38)
The Watchtower, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses continuously since 1879 . . . (The Watchtower [henceforth, “WT”], 1 April 1983, 2)
Vol. 1: The Divine Plan of the Ages (1886)
Vol. 2: The Time is at Hand (1889)
Vol. 3: Thy Kingdom Come (1891)
Vol. 4: The Battle of Armageddon (1897)
Vol. 5: The Atonement Between God and Man (1899)
Vol. 6: The New Creation (1904)
Vol. 7: The Finished Mystery (1917)
(prepared, with additions, by Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher)
. . . people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself . . . if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside . . . after he has read them for ten years . . . and goes to the Bible alone . . . within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read 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 two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures. (WT, 15 September 1910, 298-299)
. . . never attended the higher schools of learning, knows comparatively nothing of philosophy, systematic or historical theology, and is totally ignorant of the dead languages . . . “Pastor” Russell was never ordained, and has no church affiliation . . . he married Miss Marie F. Ackley, who divorced him a few years ago on the ground of cruelty and having wrong relations with other women.
Under oath, he positively and most emphatically denied every charge made against him. (Some Facts and More Facts About the Self-Styled “Pastor” Charles T. Russell, p. 17)
“Pastor” Russell’s Watch Tower publication advertised wheat seed for sale at $1.00 a pound . . . it was asserted that it would grow five times as much as any other brand of wheat . . . Government departments investigated the wheat . . . The “Miracle Wheat” was low in the Government tests . . . The Eagle won the suit.
It was shown in many cases that the sermons were never delivered in the places that were claimed.
God’s due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out. (WT, 15 July 1906, 229)
. . . if any oppose the Lord by opposing the Channel and the Servant the Lord has delegated to do his work, to that extent he loses the favor, the Spirit of the Lord, light becomes darkness, and he is soon outside. (Preface, 1909 Convention Report)
Charles Taze Russell, thou hast, by the Lord, been crowned a king; and through the everlasting ages thy name shall be known amongst the people, and thy enemies shall come and worship at thy feet. (WT, 1 December 1916, 376-377)
. . . no one . . . can honestly say that he received a knowledge of the divine plan from any source other than by the ministry of Brother Russell . . . the Lord’s Servant. Then to repudiate him and his work is equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord. (WT, 1 May 1922, 132)
He listened to the word direct from the mouth of God . . . (The Finished Mystery, 1918 ed., 387)
It will be found that the place next to St. Paul . . . will be occupied by Charles Taze Russell. (Pastor Russell’s Sermons, 1917, 3)
. . . Satan has attempted . . . to cause the Lord’s people to believe that Brother Russell was not the only channel by which the Lord would lead his people. (WT, 15 September 1922, 279)
Brother Russell . . . was made ruler over all the Lord’s goods. (WT, 1 March 1923, 68,71)
The idea adopted by many was that C. T. Russell himself was the “faithful and wise servant.” This led some onto the snare of creature worship. They felt that all the truth God saw fit to reveal to his people had been presented through Brother Russell . . . In February 1927 this erroneous thought . . . was cleared up. (1975 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1974, 88)
Who is preaching the teaching of Pastor Russell? Certainly not Jehovah’s Witnesses! . . . they neither quote him as an authority nor publish . . . his writings. (Awake, 8 May 1951, 26)
Russell and his companions forthrightly championed . . . Bible teaching. (Let Your Kingdom Come, 1981, 143-144)
. . . a marvelously used servant of Jehovah God. (Then is Finished the Mystery of God, 1969, 111)
. . . his faithful service and his record of integrity . . . provides a stimulating record . . . Prejudice against his name still lingers. In spite of it, however, the facts speak for themselves . . . Jehovah’s Witnesses admire the qualities he possessed as a man. (Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, 1959, 62-63)
The history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in modern times has been filled with dramatic events. From one small Bible study in Pennsylvania back in 1870, the Witnesses by this year 1978 have grown to over 2,000,000. (Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 20th Century, 1979, 9)
. . . angels are delegated by the Lord to convey his instruction to the members of his organization on earth. Just how this is done is not necessary for us to understand. (WT, 1 December 1933, 364)
12. 4th President: Frederick W. Franz (1977-1992)
Q. Have you also made yourself familiar with Hebrew?
Q. So that you have a substantial linguistic apparatus at your command?
A. Yes, for use in my biblical work.
Q. You yourself read and speak Hebrew, do you?
A. I do not speak Hebrew.
Q. Can you . . . translate . . . that fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis?
A. No, I wouldn’t attempt to do that.
I was offered a Cecil Rhodes Scholarship. I took an examination for that in the University of Ohio, the State University at Columbus, Ohio . . . in 1914.
Franz . . . carried away the honors of the University of Cincinnati and was offered the privilege of going to Oxford or Cambridge under the Rhodes Plan. Instead, in 1914, he entered the ministry . . . He is also a scholar of Hebrew and Greek as well as of Syriac and Latin.
1. JW Claims of Extraordinary Spiritual and Theological Exclusivity
One who . . . no longer considers himself to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . is renouncing his standing as a Christian. (WT, 15 September 1981, 23)
True religion, as represented on earth by Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . (WT, 15 January 1981, 15)
. . . a name that would distinctly identify Christ’s true followers in this day . . . Jehovah’s Witnesses. This name has properly distinguished Jehovah’s true Christian worshipers from others who claim to be Christian today. (Jehovah’s Witnesses — Unitedly Doing God’s Will Worldwide, 1986, 11)
The one organization that Jehovah is using in the earth today. (WT, 15 August 1981, 28)
Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. (WT, 1 July 1973, 401-402)
. . . the one approved channel representing God’s Kingdom on earth . . . (WT, 1 March 1981, 24)
Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using . . . we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do. (WT, 1 December 1981, 27)
Jehovah’s organization alone . . . is directed by God’s holy spirit. (WT, 1 July 1973, 401-402)
He does not impart his holy spirit . . . apart from his visible organization. (WT, 1 July 1965, 391)
To serve and praise the Universal Sovereign, one must associate with the organization of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses. (WT, 1 July 1973, 401-402)
The Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind. (WT, 1 October 1967, 587)
The Catholic spirit is one of compromise with demonism, Babylon’s religion, for world control. Christendom today . . . is another Babylon or Babel . . . Though independent of the Pope, the Protestant systems are still in bondage to Babylonish religion. Christendom’s religion in all its sectarian forms is an apostasy. (What Has Religion Done For Mankind?, 1951, 277, 293-295, 319)
Christendom’s religions were based on Babylonian doctrine and ritual . . . not on God’s Word . . . false religion. (Let Your Kingdom Come, 1981, 143)
The antichrist . . . finds its expression in present-day Christendom . . . the most powerful part of Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, under the emperorship of Satan the Devil. (WT, 1 May 1981, 14)
A. Jehovah God is the Creator, the Former and Founder of the organization . . . he is its directive Head . . . it is governed by Jehovah God, the Most High.
Q. It is for that reason that Jehovah’s Witnesses accept without questions doctrines and biblical interpretations as expounded by the Watch Tower . . . through its Directors?
Q. In publications both periodical and in book form?
(pp. 24-25 of Pursuer’s Proof)
Q. A Witness has no alternative, has he, to accept as authoritative and to be obeyed the instructions issued in The Watchtower or . . . Awake?
A. He must obey those.
Q. You have promulgated — forgive the word — false prophecy?
A. We have . . . That was the publication of a false prophecy, it was a false statement . . .
Q. And that had to be believed by the whole of the Jehovah’s Witnesses?
A. Yes, because you must understand we must have unity; we cannot have disunity with a lot of people going every way; an army is supposed to march in step . . .
Q. If a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses took the view himself that that prophecy was wrong and said so would he be disfellowshiped?
A. Yes, if he said so and kept persisting in creating trouble, because if the whole organization believes one thing, even though it be erroneous, and somebody else starts on his own trying to put his ideas across then there is disunity and trouble; there cannot be harmony, there cannot be marching together . . . the organization would disintegrate and go in a thousand different directions. Our purpose is to have unity.
Q. Unity at all costs?
A. Unity at all costs, because we believe and are sure that Jehovah is using our organization . . . even though mistakes are made from time to time.
Q. And unity based upon a forced acceptance of a false prophecy?
A. That is conceded to be true.
Q. And the person who expressed his view, as you say, that it was wrong, and was disfellowshiped, would be in breach of the Covenant, if he was baptized?
A. That is correct.
Q. And . . . would be worthy of death? . . .
A. I will answer yes, unhesitatingly.
Q. Do you call that religion?
A. It certainly is.
Q. Do you call it Christianity?
A. I certainly do.
Q. So that what is published as the truth today by the Society may have to be admitted to be wrong in a few years?
A. We have to wait and see.
Q. And in the meantime the body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been following error?
A. No. They have been following misconstructions of the Scriptures.
A. Well, error.
A. The date has been corrected.
Q. But once the date was published by the Society all Jehovah’s Witnesses were bound to accept it as Scripturally true?
Q. And liable to be disfellowshiped if they demurred to that date?
A. If they caused trouble over it, because the Scriptures say that if anyone is a disturber inside the congregation he is hindering the growth of the congregation . . . and should be disfellowshiped.
Q. Even though he perchance were supporting that date now taken by the Society when the Society was publishing a wrong date?
A. . . . he will abide by what is published for the time being . . . he gets blessing because of his submission and waiting upon Jehovah and not leaving it to his own understanding.
Raymond Franz, the disfellowshiped former member of the Governing Body and nephew of the 4th President, wrote:
I know many persons who clearly evidence concern (for truth), yet who are labeled as “apostates,” “antichrist,” “instruments of Satan.” In case after case after case, the sole basis for such condemnation is that they could not honestly agree with all the organization’s teachings or policies. (Crisis of Conscience, Atlanta: Commentary Press, 1983, 32-33)
Haters of God and His people are to be hated . . . We must hate in the truest sense, which is to regard with extreme and active aversion, to consider as loathsome, odious, filthy, to detest . . . We cannot love those hateful enemies, for they are fit only for destruction . . . The modern-day Moabites are the professing Christians. (WT, 1 October 1952)
Under certain conditions and at certain times it is proper to hate . . . This hate does not seek to inflict injury on others and is not synonymous with spite or malice. Rather, it finds expression in its utter abhorrence of what is wicked . . . Christians rightly hate those who are confirmed enemies of God . . . men who have deliberately and knowingly taken their stand against Jehovah . . . Christians have no love for those who turn the undeserved kindness of God into an excuse for loose conduct. (Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, “Hate,” 719; echoed almost word for word in Insight on the Scriptures, 1988, vol. 1, 1043)
We need to examine . . . what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination. (The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, 1968, 13)
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that all religious teachings should be subjected to this test of agreement with the Scriptures, whether the teaching is offered by them or by someone else. They invite you, urge you, to do this in your discussions with them. We are sure that you have other questions about Jehovah’s Witnesses and their beliefs. Perhaps some of them are controversial in nature. We would like to answer them. (Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 20th Century, 1979, 3-4, 31-32)
[The Bible condemns date-setting at Matthew 24:42, Mark 13:32-33, Luke 21:8, and Acts 1:7]
The marshaling of the hosts for the battle of the great day of God Almighty, is in progress while the skirmishing is commencing. (WT, 1 January 1886, p. 817 in reprint)
In this chapter we present Bible evidence that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that date  will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men . . . that at that date the Kingdom of God . . .  will have obtained full, universal control, and that it will then be “set up,” or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions.
Secondly, it will prove that he whose right it is thus to take the dominion will then be present as earth’s new Ruler . . . the overthrow of these Gentile governments is directly caused by dashing them to pieces . . . (Ps. 2:9, Rev. 2:27) and establishing in their stead his own righteous government.
Thirdly, it will prove that  some time before the end of A.D. 1914, the last member of the . . . Church of Christ . . . “the body of Christ,” will be glorified with the Head; because every member is to reign with Christ . . .
Fourthly, it will prove that from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles . . .
Fifthly, it will prove that by that date, or sooner, Israel’s blindness will begin to be turned away . . . (The Time is at Hand, 1912 ed., 76-77)
 “will see the disintegration of . . . ”
 “will begin to assume control, and that it will then shortly be “set up” . . .
 “some time before the end of the overthrow . . . “
Within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved. (The Time is at Hand, 1889, 98)
We consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914. (The Time is at Hand, 1906 ed.; the 1915 edition reads, “near the end of A.D. 1915”)
The “battle of the great day of God Almighty” (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership is already commenced. (The Time is at Hand, 1909 ed., 101)
. . . the full establishment of the Kingdom of God in the earth at A.D. 1914. (Thy Kingdom Come, 1907 ed., 126; the 1925 ed. reads, “. . . after 1914”)
With the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy. (Ibid., 153)
That the deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914 is manifest. (Ibid., 228; the 1923 ed. reads, “very soon after 1914”)
. . . measuring down the “Entrance Passage” . . . to find the distance to the Entrance of the “Pit,” representing the great trouble and destruction with which the age is to close . . . we find it to be  3416 inches, symbolizing the 3416 years . . . This calculation shows  A.D. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble . . . Thus the Pyramid witnesses that  the close of 1874 was the chronological beginning of the time of trouble . . . Nor should any doubt the fact that the  forty years of judgment and trouble began in the fall of 1874. (Thy Kingdom Come, 1901 ed., 342)
 “3457 inches, symbolizing 3457 years”
 “A.D. 1915”
 “the close of 1914”
 “forty years of ‘harvest’ . . .”
The date of the close of that “battle” is definitely marked in Scripture as October 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October 1874. (WT, 15 January 1892, 21-23)
. . . 1914 date . . . we see no reason for changing the figures — nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God’s dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble. (WT, 15 July 1894)
. . . end of the “Times of the Gentiles,” October 1914 (The New Creation, 1904, 579)
. . . the harvest began in A.D. 1874 and will end in A.D. 1914 in a world-wide trouble which will overthrow all present institutions and be followed by the reign of righteousness of the King of Glory and his bride, the Church . . .
Suppose that A.D. 1915 should pass . . . with the evidence that the “very elect” had not all been “changed” and without the restoration of Natural Israel to favor . . . What then? Would not that prove our chronology wrong? Yes, surely! Would that not prove a keen disappointment? Indeed, it would! (WT, 1 October 1907, “Knowledge and Faith Regarding Chronology,” 4067 in reprint)
October 1914 will witness the full end of Babylon, “as a great millstone cast into the sea,” utterly destroyed as a system. (WT, 15 June 1911)
There is absolutely no ground for Bible students to question that the consummation of this Gospel age is now even at the door, and that it will end . . . in a great time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. (WT, “Chronology Based on Faith,” 5450 in reprint)
Christ is about to take to himself his great power and reign . . . Armageddon may begin next spring, yet it is purely speculation. (WT, 261-263)
The war will proceed and will eventuate in no glorious victory for any nation, but in the horrible mutilation and impoverishment of all. Next will follow the Armageddon of anarchy. After that, peace . . . it will be brought in by Messiah’s Kingdom. For forty years I have been proclaiming this very war and its glorious outcome . . . with the close of the present year Messiah should . . . begin his glorious reign of a thousand years, the beginning of which . . . will be a very dark hour. (New York Times, p. 8, “Distress of Nations With Perplexity”)
We did not say positively that this would be the year. (WT)
. . . just how long after the Gentile Times close will be the revealment . . . we do not know . . . we might expect a transition to run on a good many years. (WT, 327)
The present war is permitted for the weakening of the nations, preparatory to the utter collapse of the Present order of things — and the ushering in of the New Order — the Reign of Righteousness, under Messiah’s Kingdom. (WT)
The Battle of Armageddon, to which this war is leading . . . will signify the complete and everlasting overthrow of the wrong, and the permanent establishment of Messiah’s righteous Kingdom. (WT, 1 April 1915, 5659 in reprint)
The Times of the Gentiles ended in October, 1914, and . . . a few more years will witness their utter collapse and the full establishment of God’s Kingdom in the hands of the Messiah. (WT, 5950 in reprint)
. . . our eyes of understanding should discern clearly the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty now in progress. (WT, 265-266)
The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of the Scriptures. (Pastor Russell’s Sermons, 676)
Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale, and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of “Christianity.” (The Finished Mystery, 485; the 1926 ed. of the italicized words reads, “. . . begins to destroy the churches . . . “)
. . . the ravages of worldwide all-embracing anarchy, in the fall of 1920 (Rev. 11:7-13) (Ibid., 542)
There will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other faithful ones of old . . . We may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel . . . fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth. (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, J. F. Rutherford, 88-90)
Scripturally, scientifically, and historically, present-truth chronology is correct beyond a doubt. Its reliability has been abundantly confirmed by the dates and events of 1874, 1914, and 1918. (WT, 15 June 1922, 187)
The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures. (WT, 1 September 1922, 262)
1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. (WT, April Fool’s Day, 1923, 106)
Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. (WT, 1 January 1925, 3)
It is to be expected that Satan will try to inject into the minds of the consecrated the thought that 1925 should see an end to the work. (WT, 1 September 1925, 261)
It matters not whether he proclaims his message with deliberate, willful and malicious intent to deceive, or whether he is the blinded and deluded dupe of Satan . . . In either case, he is a false prophet, and hence the agent of Satan. (WT, 15 May 1930, 154)
The great climax is at hand. (Light, J. F. Rutherford, vol. 2, 327)
Armageddon is at hand . . . within an early date. God’s judgment is upon Christendom and must shortly be executed.
There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1914, 1918, and 1925 . . . they also learned to quit fixing dates. (Vindication, J.F. Rutherford, vol. 1, 147, 338-339)
. . . in the remaining months before Armageddon. (WT, 15 September 1941, 288)
Armageddon is surely near . . . We can well defer our marriage until lasting peace comes to the earth. (Children, J.F. Rutherford, 366)
. . . the unknown day and hour of the beginning of the final war is dangerously near. (The Truth Shall Make You Free, 341)
. . . it is becoming clear that the war of Armageddon is nearing its breaking-out point. (You May Survive Armageddon Into God’s New World, 331)
Through this agency he is having carried out prophesying on an intensified and unparalleled scale. All of this activity is not an accident. Jehovah is the one behind all of it. (WT, 15 June 1964, 365)
The seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975. (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 29)
Within relatively few years we will witness the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies that have to do with the “time of the end.” (Awake, 8 October 1966, 19-20)
Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed . . . Does it mean that Armageddon is going to be finished, with Satan bound, by 1975? It could! It could! . . . Time is running out, no question about that . . . (WT, 15 October 1966, 628-629, 631)
. . . autumn of the year 1975 . . . Will it be the time when God executes the wicked and starts off the thousand-year reign of his Son Jesus Christ? It very well could, but we will have to wait and see . . . The time is close at hand . . . the time is short. (WT, 1 May 1967, 262)
Within a few years at most the final parts of Bible prophecy relative to these “last days” will undergo fulfillment. (WT, 1 May 1968, 271-273)
[Title of Article] Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? (WT, 15 August 1968, 494)
There have been those in times past who predicted an “end” to the world, even announcing a specific date . . . They were guilty of false prophesying . . . Missing from such people were God’s truths and the evidence that He was using and guiding them. (Awake, 8 October 1968)
Regardless of how Christendom views or regards this group of anointed witnesses of Jehovah, the time must come, and that shortly, when those making up Christendom will know that really a “prophet” of Jehovah was among them. (The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah — How?, 70)
Does Jehovah have a prophet . . . ? . . . Who is this prophet? . . . This “prophet” was not one man, but was a body of men and women . . . Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses. They are still proclaiming a warning . . . under angelic direction and support . . . And since no word or work of Jehovah can fail . . . the nations will see the fulfillment of what these witnesses say as directed from heaven . . . Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a “prophet” of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. What does it show? . . . Jehovah is interested . . . in vindicating his “prophet.” (WT, April Fool’s Day, 1972, 197, 200)
Does this admission of making mistakes stamp them as false prophets? Not at all, for false prophets do not admit making mistakes. (WT, 1 November 1972, 644)
It is not advisable for us to set our sights on a certain date. (WT, 15 July 1976, 440-443)
Not human predictions, but the inspired prophecies of God are what come true with unerring accuracy (Is. 46:9-11; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Hence, God’s word condemns false foretellers of events — Deut. 18:10-12. (WT, 1 May 1981, 11)
Shortly now there will be a sudden end to all wickedness and wicked people at Armageddon. (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 154)
. . . the need to revise our understanding somewhat does not make us false prophets. (WT, 15 March 1986, 19)
Most importantly, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new system before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.
2. Further Date-Setting Contradictions in JW Theology and Eschatology
Jesus’ Invisible “Presence”: 1874 or 1914?
Jehovah never makes any mistakes. Where the student relies upon man, he is certain to be led into difficulties. (Prophecy. J.F. Rutherford, 1929, 67-68)
False prophets were to be put to death — Zech. 13:2-3; Deut. 13:5. (Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, “Prophets: Distinguishing the True From the False,” 1348)
A faithful witness will not lie; but a false witness will utter lies. (Proverbs 14:5)
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that he shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
. . . grossly misleading . . . ridiculous . . . diabolical and abominable . . . distortion of the Word of God . . . deliberate dishonesty . . . distortion of other people’s translations . . . We need to be exceedingly suspicious of what they have given in their New Testament that’s contrary to what you find in the regular translations of the New Testament. (taped lecture)
In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. (NWT)
The Word was God: KJV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, NIV, NAB, MLB, Amplified, NKJV, Phillips, Beck, Williams, Rotherham, ASV, Douay, Knox, Jerusalem, Darby, Weymouth, 20th Century, Montgomery, Geneva, Wesley, Riverside, NT in Basic English, Young’s Literal Translation, Confraternity.
God was the Word: Lamsa and the following interlinears: Follett’s, Berry, Zondervan, Jay Green, Nestle, and Marshall.
What God was, the Word was: NEB, REB
. . . he was the same as God: Today’s English Version (aka Good News Bible)
Christ . . . is himself God: Living Bible
The Word was as to His essence absolute deity: Wuest
The Word . . . shared his nature: Translator’s NT
The Word was divine: Goodspeed
The Logos was divine: Moffatt
The nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God: Barclay
The Word was with God and was truly God: CEV
Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his translation. (WT, 15 February 1956)
. . . a work of the flesh . . . It appeals to the desires of the sinful flesh, not to the things of the spirit, and the apostle warns that “those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom” — Gal. 5:19-21 (Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, “Spiritism,” 1550)
. . . The Watchtower has deemed it improper to make use of a translation that has such a close rapport with spiritism (Deut. 18:10-12). The scholarship . . . in the New World Translation is sound and for this reason does not depend at all on Greber’s translation for authority. Nothing is lost, therefore, by ceasing to use his New Testament.
There is no statement in our grammar that was ever meant to imply that “a god” was a permissible translation of John 1:1 . . . you have been quoting me out of context.
As it stands, the other persons of the Trinity may be implied in Theos . . . “The word was deity” . . .
The Watchtower has, by judicious cutting, made me say the opposite of what I meant to say . . . The Watchtower has . . . left the conclusion that Jesus is not God in a way that suits themselves. They missed the whole point.
. . . grammatically impossible. It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest.
Matthew 6:24: You cannot slave for a god and riches.
Luke 1:35: . . . what is born will be called holy, a god’s Son.
Romans 1:17: . . . a god’s righteousness is being revealed.
Philippians 2:11: Every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of a god the Father.
Titus 1:1: Paul, a slave of a god . . . [making Paul an idolater . . . ]
Before Abraham came into existence, I have been. (NWT)
“I am” (ego eimi). Undoubtedly here Jesus claims eternal existence with the absolute phrase used of God. (Word Pictures in the NT, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1932, vol. 5 of 6, 158-159)
Jesus’ life was from and to eternity. Hence the formula for absolute, timeless existence, I am (ego eimi)
. . . All (other) things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all (other) things. (NWT)
Our endeavor all through has been to give as literal a translation as possible . . . word for word, the exact statement of the original . . . sometimes the use of so small a thing as the definite or indefinite article or the omission of such may alter the correct sense of the original passage. (Kingdom Interlinear Translation, 1969, Foreword, 10)
. . . some forty translations of the Bible in many different languages were consulted . . . In this way the best scholarship . . . could be brought to bear on each subject . . . Knowledge of the original languages of the Bible — Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek — has been greatly increased by the research of lexicographers . . . In our considering such material, care was exercised to evaluate properly the views advanced and the conclusions drawn by secular researchers and other scholars, in this way distinguishing between mere theory and clear fact.
Photo credit: Jehovah’s Witnesses founder Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) in 1911. [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]