How
To
Witness
To
JWitnesses
The Do’s and Don’ts
Part 2
Here’s a Bit of Background to JWs and the Founder:
The sect known as Jehovah’s Witnesses began with Charles Taze Russell in the 1870’s. Russell was raised a
Presbyterian, then joined the Congregational church, and was finally influenced by Adventist teachings. By his own admission,
he had a hard time accepting the existence of hell. He sought out the Bible, and as his "studies" continued, he systematically began
to reject the major doctrines of historic Christianity. He ultimately established his own belief system, and in 1879 he started
publishing a magazine to promote his beliefs. This magazine was the precursor to today’s Watchtower magazine, by which
Jehovah’s Witnesses are typically known.
Is God’s Name Yahweh or Jehovah?
History of the Name Yahweh:
In Hebrew the name of God is spelled YHWH. Since ancient Hebrew had no written vowels, it is uncertain how the name
was pronounced originally, but there are records of the name in Greek, which did have written vowels. These records indicate that in
all likelihood the name should be pronounced "Yahweh."
Shortly before the first century A.D., it became common for Jews to avoid saying the divine name for fear of misusing it
and breaking the second commandment (Deut. 5:11 "You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain,").
When they read Scripture aloud and encountered the divine name, they substituted the Hebrew word, "Adonai" - Lord or my Lord.
Eventually Hebrew developed written vowels, which appeared as small marks called vowel points and were placed above and below
the consonants of a word. In the sixth or seventh century some Jews began to place the vowel points for "Adonai" over the
consonants for "Yahweh" to remind the reader of Scripture to say "Adonai" whenever he read "Yahweh."
About the 13th century the term "Jehovah" appeared when Christian scholars took the consonants of "Yahweh" and pronounced it
with the vowels of "Adonai." This resulted in the sound "Yahowah," which has a Latinized spelling of "Jehovah." The first
recorded use of this spelling was made by a Spanish Dominican monk, Raymundus Martini, in 1270.
JWs Beliefs about this:
Interestingly, this fact is admitted in much JWs literature, such as their (Aid to Bible Understanding - quoted
below) This is surprising because JWs loathe the Catholic Church and have done everything in their power to strip their church of
traces of Catholicism. Despite this, their group's very name contains a Catholic "invention," the name "Jehovah."
"The first recorded use of this form [Jehovah] dates from the 13th century C.E. [after Christ]. Raymundus Martini, a Spanish monk of
the Dominican order, used it in his book Pugeo Fidei of the year 1270. Hebrew scholars generally favor ‘Yahweh’ as the most likely
pronunciation" (Aid to Bible Understanding, pp. 884-885).
New Testament Greek always uses the word "Lord," and never "Jehovah," even in quotes from the Old Testament.
Encyclopedia Judaica, Webster’s Encyclopedia, Jewish Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, Universal Jewish
Encyclopedia and countless others agree that the title "Jehovah" is erroneous, grammatically impossible, and was never used
by the Jews.
Can You Trust the New World Translation?
History of the New World Translation
The New World Translation (NWT), the JWs’ own Bible version, was created between 1950-61 in several parts,
beginning with the New Testament. The translation was made by an "anonymous" committee, which transliterated and altered
passages that were problematic for earlier JWs.
There were 5 Translators:
These men were later identified as the men that created the NWT, which is used by no other sect.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Nathan Knorr
Fred Franz
Albert Schroeder
George Gangas
Milton Henschel
- No Biblical linguistic background
- Studied non-biblical Greek for two years, and taught himself Hebrew
- No Biblical linguistic background
- No Biblical linguistic background
- No Biblical linguistic background
The Transliteration-Translation called the NWT:
The text of the NWT is more of a transliteration to fit theological presumptions than it is a true translation. This can be
seen in key verses that the WTS changed in order to fit its doctrines.
Transliterations of Biblical Verses:
Theirs - (Jn. 1:1) “…the word was a god.”
True - (Jn. 1:1) “…the Word was God.”
This is to undermine the divinity of Christ.
Theirs - (Col. 1:15-17) "... by means of him all [other] things were created."
True - (Col. 1:15-17) “… for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth…”
If the text were left as the original Greek
WTS cannot afford to say that anyone but Jehovah created all things, so it inserted the word "other" four times.
Missed Transliteration:
1.
Jesus was to be worshipped in the 1950, 61, 70 editions of the NWT:
(Heb. 1:6) “And let all God’s angels worship him.”
WTS changed the NWT so that later editions (1984) would support its doctrines:
(Heb. 1:6) “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”
The translators then rendered the Greek (proskuneo) - worship - as "do obeisance" every time it is applied to
Jesus, but as "worship" when modifying Jehovah.
If the translators were consistent, then Jesus would be given the worship due to God:
(Matthew. 14:33, 28:9, and 28:17) (Luke 24:52) (John 9:38) (Hebrews 1:6)
2.
At the time of the Last Supper, there were over three dozen Aramaic words to say - (this means) (represents) (signifies)
Jesus used none of them in his statement, "This is my body."
Since the WTS denies the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist, they have changed our Lord’s words to (Matt. 26:26) "This means my body"
3.
NWT also translates the Greek word (kurios) - Lord - as "Jehovah" dozens of times in the NT, "Jehovah" is never used
by any NT author.
Asked why the NWT does not translate (kurios) as "Jehovah" in:
(Rom. 10:9) (1 Cor. 12:3) (Phil. 2:11) (2 Thess. 2:1) (Revelation 22:21).
If it did translate (kyrios) consistently, then Jesus would be Jehovah!
Is the Watch Tower Society Reliable?
In 1910 Russell wrote:
"If anyone lays the Scripture Studies [short for a 6-volume WTS publication entitled Studies in the Scriptures, hereafter
abbreviated as Studies] aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for
ten years—if he lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood the 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 will be in the light at the end of two years
…"[1]
The WTS maintains that it is God’s reliable mouthpiece to the nations, and it claims to be God’s inspired prophet [2]
Yet its prophecies have repeatedly proven to be false.
The only conclusion to be drawn is that the WTS is to be rejected as a false prophet.
The WTS predicted the following:
1889 - The ‘battle of the great day of God almighty’ (Rev 16:14) which will end in AD 1914 …" [3]
1891 - "With the end of AD 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already
shown from prophecy"[4]
1894 - "The end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble" [5]
1897 - "Our Lord is now present, since October 1874 AD" [6]
1916 - "The six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th day, the 1000 years of Christ’s reign
began in 1873" [7]
1917 - "Scriptures . . . prove that the Lord’s Second Advent occurred in the fall of 1874" [8]
1918 - "Therefore, we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the faithful prophets of
old"[9]
1922 - "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the scriptures than 1914" [10]
1923 - "1925 is definitely settled by the scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than
Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge"[11]
1925 - "The year of 1925 is here. . . . Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year" [12]
1931 - "There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the dates 1914, 1918, &
1925 . . . and they also learned to quit fixing dates" [13]
1939 - "The disaster of Armageddon is just ahead"[14]
1941 - "Armageddon is surely near . . . soon . . . within a few years" [15]
1964 - "Armageddon . . . should come sometime before 1972" [16]
1966 - "Six thousand years from man’s creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will
begin in the fall of 1975 C.E"[17]
1968"The end of the six thousand years of man’s history in the fall of 1975 is not tentative, but is accepted as a certain date" [18]
The WTS has had numerous changes in doctrine and practice:
WTS - "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant scriptural counsel to his
people…"[19] - 1964
Us - If this is so how does it make so many mistakes (as seen below) and why would Jehovah trust the WTS when they have been
wrong so many times.
Original - "To worship Christ in any form cannot be wrong …" [20] - 1880
Change - "It is unscriptural for worshippers of the living and true God to render worship to the Son of God, Jesus Christ" [21] - 1964
Original - The men of Sodom will be resurrected
Change - The men of Sodom will not be resurrected
Back to Original - The men of Sodom will be resurrected
Change - The men of Sodom will not be resurrected
Back to Original - The men of Sodom will be resurrected
Change - The men of Sodom will not be resurrected
Back to Original - The men of Sodom will be resurrected
Change - The men of Sodom will not be resurrected
(WT, 7-1879, 7-8)
(WT, 6-1-1952, 338).
(WT 8-1-1965, 479).
(WT 6-1-1988, 31).
(Live Forever, early ed., 179).
(Live Forever, later ed., 179).
(Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, 985).
(Revelation: Its Grand Climax at Hand! 273).
Original - "There could be nothing against our consciences in going into the army"
Change - Due to conscience, Jehovah’s Witnesses must refuse military service
[22] - 1903
[23] - 1951
Original - "We may as well join in with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event [Christmas]…"
Change - "Christmas and its music are not from Jehovah . . . What is their source? . . . Satan the devil"
[24] - 1904
[25] - 1983
Original - "Everyone in America should take pleasure in displaying the American flag"
Change - The flag is "an idolatrous symbol"
[26] - 1917
[27] - 1971
We must make it clear to JWs. Pin them down POLITELY and make them answer these questions.
Endnotes
[1] (WT Reprints, 9-15-1910, 4685).
[2] (WT, 4-1-1972, 197)
[3] (Studies, Vol. 2, 1908 edition, 101)
[4] (Studies, Vol. 3, 153)
[5] (WT Reprints, 1-1-1894, 1605 and 1677)
[6] (Studies, Vol. 4, 1897 edition, 621)
[7] (Studies, Vol. 2, p. 2 of foreword)
[8] (Studies, Vol. 7, 68)
[9] (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 89)
[10] (WT, 9-1-1922, 262)
[11] (WT, 4-1-1923, 106)
[12] (WT, 1-1-1925, 3)
[13] (Vindication, 388, 389)
[14] (Salvation, 361)
[15] (Children, 10)
[16] (They Have Found a Faith, 44)
[17] (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 29)
[18] (WT, 1-1-1968, 271)
[19] (WT, 5-1-1964, 277)
[20] (WT, 3-1880, 83)
[21] (WT, 11-1-1964, 671)
[22] (WT, 4-15-1903, 120)
[23] (WT, 2-1-1951, 73)
[24] (WT Reprints, 12-1-1904, 3468)
[25] (WT, 12-15-1983, 7).
[26] (WT Reprints, 5-15-1917, 6068)
[27] (Awake! 9-8-71, 14)