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Encyclopedia > Jehovah's Witness


Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) are members of a worldwide Christian Note that this kind of denomination is not that of a coin or banknote. A religious denomination, (also simply denomination) is a large, long-established subgroup within a religion that has been in existence for many years. The term is frequently used to describe the different Christian churches (Eastern Orthodoxy... denomination. Some of the core beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses include:

  • Use of the The Modern Hebrew language is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family. What makes it unique is that the original Hebrew Bible, the Torah, that Orthodox Judaism teaches to have been recorded in the time of Moses 3,300 years ago, was written in Biblical Classical Hebrew. Jews... Hebrew name of God, The Tetragrammaton in Phoenician (1100 BC to 300 CE), Aramaic (10th Century BC to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts. The Tetragrammaton (Greek: τετραγράμματον word with four letters) is the Hebrew name for God, which is spelled (in... Yahweh, more commonly rendered The Tetragrammaton in Phoenician (1100 BC to 300 CE), Aramaic (10th Century BC to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts. The Tetragrammaton (Greek: τετραγράμματον word with four letters) is the Hebrew name for God, which is spelled (in... Jehovah in The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. It is the third most common first language (native speakers), with around 402 million people in 2002. English has lingua franca status in many parts of the world, due to the military, economic, scientific, political and cultural influence... English
  • Neutral stand in all political affairs and military conflicts
  • Visible Religious conversion is the adoption of new religious beliefs that differ from the converts previous beliefs; in some cultures (e.g. Judaism) conversion also signifies joining an ethnic group as well as adopting that groups religious beliefs. Conversion requires internalization of the new belief system. The Convert, the... proselytizing, including personal visits to neighbours, and conducting free home study courses using their literature and the Bible.

They actively share with others their beliefs about Jehovah This article focuses on the monotheistic concept of a singular God. See deity or goddesses for details on divine entities in specific religions and mythologies. The term God designates a universal Supreme Being. There are countless variant definitions of God, however. For example: Many religious and philosophic systems consider God... God. Jehovah's Witnesses conduct their The term ministry can refer to the following: A ministry is a department of a government. The ministry refers to all government ministers (whether or not they are in cabinet) led by a prime minister. The Ministry (also known as the Áireacht) was the cabinet of the government established by... ministry in obedience to their understanding of This article is about the figure known by both Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ. For other usages, see Jesus (disambiguation). This 11th-century portrait is one of many images of Jesus in which a halo with a cross is used. Jesus of Nazareth (b. about 6–4 BC... Jesus' command to teach and make DISCiPLE, Miles Gordon Technologys first product, was a floppy disk interface for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer. Like Sinclairs own Interface 1, the DISCiPLE was a wedge-shaped unit fitting under the Spectrum. It was designed as a super-interface, providing all the facilities a Spectrum owner... disciples ( The name Matthew comes from Hebrew מתי Mattay, a short form of Hebrew מת(נ)יהו Mattanyāhû/Mattayyāhû, which is itself a variation of Hebrew נתניהו Nəṯanyāhû, which means gift of... Matthew 24:14;28:19-20). Jehovah's Witnesses identify themselves as Christians, but do not accept doctrines that they believe do not originate in the Bible, even those taught by most other List of Christian denominations ordered by historical and doctrinal relationships. (See also: Christianity; Christian denominations). It should be noted that some denominations are large (eg. Roman Catholic, Lutherans, Anglicans or Baptists) while others are just a few small churches. It should also be noted that modern movements such as Fundamentalist... Christian denominations, such as the This article concerns the holy Trinity of Christianity. For other uses of trinity, see disambiguation. The Blessed Trinity is God according to the doctrine of most branches of Christianity. The doctrine says that though God is one God, He exists in three distinct persons, usually referred to as God the... Trinity or that all true Christians will go to heaven.

Contents

Origins

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that some time after the death of the last Alternate meanings: See Apostle (Mormonism), The Apostle (1997 movie) The Apostles were Jewish men chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth (as indicated by the Greek word απόστολος apostolos= messenger), by Jesus to preach the Gospel to both Jews and... apostle, the This article is about the Christian buildings of worship. For other uses of the word, see Church (disambiguation). The Memorial Church at Stanford University. A church building is a building used in Christian worship. See also altar, altar rails, confessional, dome, nave, pew, pulpit, sanctuary, lych gate. Etymology The word... Church generally departed in a " The Great Apostasy is a term of opprobrium used by some religious groups to allege a general fallen state of traditional Christianity, or especially of Catholicism and (often merely by implication) Eastern Orthodoxy: that it is not representative of the faith founded by Jesus through his twelve Apostles. This view... Great Apostasy" from the original faith in major points. They believe as stated in their literature: "It was the 1900-year-old 'faithful and discreet slave,'[ parable--Matt. 24:45] the old Christian congregation, that was entrusted with this precious Kingdom service. . . obedient in its centuries-old commission to be witnesses in the earth, . .the matured 'slave' as represented by a remnant now stood ready for new assignments of service." (Watchtower 15 July 1960 p.436) They believe this occurred in 1919. Jehovah's Witnesses feel that true understanding of the scriptures began to be reassembled when Charles Taze Russell, (February 16, 1852 _ October 31, 1916), founded the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society in 1881 as well as the International Bible Students organization in 1914, both of which evolved into what is today Jehovahs Witnesses. Brief biography Charles Russell in 1916 Russell was born in... Charles Taze Russell and his friends started a Bible study in the 1870 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). Events January - April January 6 - The inauguration of the Musikverein ( Vienna). January 10 - John D. Rockefeller incorporates Standard Oil January 15 - A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the United States Democratic Party with a donkey (A... 1870's in There is also Allegheny County and several Allegheny Townships in Pennsylvania. Allegheny was a city in western Pennsylvania, located on the north shore of the junction of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, across from Pittsburgh. It has since been absorbed by the neighboring larger city as the neighborhood of Northside... Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Born a Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed churches family of denominations of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin which traces its institutional roots to the Scottish Reformation, especially as led by John Knox. There are many separate institutional entities that subscribe to Presbyterianism, in different nations around the... Presbyterian, Russell had gained an appreciation for the importance of Bible study from his earlier involvement with the The Millerite tradition is a diverse family of denominations and Bible study movements that have arisen since the middle of the 19th century, traceable to the Adventist movement sparked by the apocalyptic teachings of William Miller. Miller was a profitable farmer, a Baptist layman and amateur student of the Bible... Millerites and related groups. They formed the A number of corporations are in use by Jehovahs Witnesses. They deal with legal issues and represent the interests of the religious organization. Some of the Legal Entities Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was founded by Charles Taze Russell and his friends in 1881. It was... Watch Tower Society in Events January - April January 16-24 ? Siege of Geok Tepe ? Russian troops under general Skobeleff defeat Turkomans January 25 - Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company February 5 - Phoenix, Arizona is incorporated. February 13 - First issue of the feminist newspaper La Citoyenne is published... 1881, and in 1884 is a leap year starting on Tuesday (click on link to calendar). Events January 4 - The Fabian Society is founded in London. February 1 - Edition one of the Oxford English Dictionary is published. March 13 - The siege of Khartoum, Sudan begins (ends on January 26, 1885). April 22 - Colchester... 1884 it was incorporated with Russell as president.


In 1914 is a common year starting on Thursday. (see link for calendar) Events January 4 - 77 seal hunters freeze to death on ice near Labrador. January 5 - Ford Motor Company announces an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $5 for a days labor. February 13 - Copyright: In... 1914 they founded the A number of corporations are in use by Jehovahs Witnesses. They deal with legal issues and represent the interests of the religious organization. Some of the Legal Entities Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was founded by Charles Taze Russell and his friends in 1881. It was... International Bible Students Association in Great Britain lies between Ireland and continental Europe. Great Britain is an island lying off the northwestern coast of Europe, comprising the main territory of the United Kingdom (UK). Great Britain is also used as a political term describing the combination of England, Scotland, and Wales, the three countries which... Great Britain. Russell died in 1916 is a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar) Events January-February January 1 -The first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled. Impressionist Monet paints Water Lilies. January 8 - Allied forces withdraw from Gallipoli January 17 - The Professional Golfers Association... 1916.


The period following Russell's death has seen some significant doctrinal changes in the organization. Some adherents of Russell's teachings chose to disassociate themselves from the WTB&TS, believing that, after the death of Russell, the purpose of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society completely changed.


In 1931 is a common year starting on Thursday. Events January-March January 4 - Female aviator Elly Beinhorn begins her flight to Africa January 6 - Thomas Edison submits his last patent application. January 22 - Sir Isaac Isaacs sworn in as the first Australian-born Governor-General of Australia January 25 - Mohandas... 1931, when Joseph Franklin Rutherford (November 8, 1869- January 8, 1942), is best known as the second president of the Watch Tower Society, the legal organization used by Jehovahs Witnesses. He was preceded by Charles Taze Russell, and followed by Nathan H. Knorr. Rutherford was born to a farm family in... Joseph Franklin Rutherford was president of the WTB&TS, those who maintained their association with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society adopted the name "Jehovah's Witnesses." This is based on Isaiah (Hebrew ישׁעיהו Yeshayahu or Yəša‘ăyāhû) is a book of the Hebrew Bible, Judaisms Tanakh, known to Christianity as the Old Testament. It was originally written in a very complex poetic Hebrew containing prophecies attributed to... Isaiah 43:10 which reads, "'You are my witnesses,' is the utterance of Jehovah..." ( The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a modern-language translation of the Bible published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. and the International Bible Students Association of Brooklyn, New York (corporations in use by the religious organization commonly known as Jehovah... New World Translation) ("Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD..." - This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). The King James Version (KJV) is an English translation of the Holy Bible, commissioned for the benefit of the Church of England at the behest of King James I of England... King James' Version). Their name is one of the more obvious aspects differentiating them from other List of Christian denominations ordered by historical and doctrinal relationships. (See also: Christianity; Christian denominations). It should be noted that some denominations are large (eg. Roman Catholic, Lutherans, Anglicans or Baptists) while others are just a few small churches. It should also be noted that modern movements such as Fundamentalist... Christian denominations.


Membership

Main article: Organizational structure of Jehovah's Witnesses


The group's members are noted for their diverse but close-knit brotherhood, and their markedly different teachings and practice. 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. It was designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) Elections were held in 73 countries during 2004. See a list of elections... As of August 2004, Jehovah's Witnesses have a practicing membership worldwide of more than 6.5 million individuals. According to data reported in the Annual Worldwide Statistics at the Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information of Jehovah's Witnesses (http://www.jw-media.org/people/statistics.htm):

"While other religious groups count their membership by occasional or annual attendance, this figure reflects only those who are actively involved in the public Bible educational work."

This statistic is based on the service report completed by each publisher every month indicating the amount of time they have personally spent in the ministry and other relevant information. (Publishers are both baptized and non-baptized persons who engage in any and all aspects of the evangelizing work.) These reports are compiled and forwarded to the appropriate Branch Office. To be classed as an active member, and counted in the yearly collated figures, members must serve at least one hour a month in the preaching work, or 15 minutes a month for elderly members, or those that are otherwise physically restricted.


Jehovah's Witnesses commemorate the Memorial of Christ's death, (also known as the Lord's Evening Meal or Lord's Supper), annually. Worldwide attendance at the 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. It was designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) Elections were held in 73 countries during 2004. See a list of elections... 2004 celebration of the Memorial was 16,760,607. This is obviously in excess of the more than 6.5 million individuals regularly associated with the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses around the world, but includes many visitors and interested persons. Of this only 8,565 persons participated in eating and drinking the memorial emblems of the unleavened bread and of the wine. These are the only anointed ones, or "remnant," Witnesses believe are going to heaven out of a literal 144,000. See the 2004 Report of Jehovah's Witnesses Worldwide (http://www.watchtower.org/statistics/worldwide_report.htm) which shows the "memorial partakers" at the bottom of the spreadsheet.


Jehovah's Witnesses generally exhibit a high degree of commitment to their religion, attending meetings three times a week (totaling approximately five hours) in their local Kingdom Hall is the name of meeting places for Jehovahs Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Honolulu, Hawaii. Jehovahs Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of their worship and Bible... Kingdom Halls and in private homes. Larger gatherings (called assemblies or conventions) are held usually three times a year in assembly halls that are owned or maintained by the Watchtower Society or in rented public facilities, such as sports stadiums or auditoriums. The offices of the world headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses are located in For other meanings, see Brooklyn (disambiguation). The Brooklyn Bridge in 1890, seven years after its opening Kings County in New York State Brooklyn is the most populous of the five boroughs of New York City. With about 2.5 million inhabitants, it would be the fourth largest city in the... Brooklyn, New York. There are over 100 Branch Offices (http://www.watchtower.org/how_to_contact_us.htm) in various countries and lands around the world. -

See also Practices of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Beliefs and doctrines

See the related article Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses for additional details.


The teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses differ from most Christian groups in several ways. For example, they reject the doctrine of the This article concerns the holy Trinity of Christianity. For other uses of trinity, see disambiguation. The Blessed Trinity is God according to the doctrine of most branches of Christianity. The doctrine says that though God is one God, He exists in three distinct persons, usually referred to as God the... Trinity, holding it to be a pagan belief derived from ancient Babylonian religion. They also reject the Immortality is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite or indeterminate length of time. Throughout history humans have had the desire to live forever. The most commonly conceived form of immortality involves a spiritual existence after physical death. Most people still believe in immortality of this type today. Many... immortality of the This page is about the core essence of a being. For the music genre, see soul music; for the chief city of South Korea see Seoul. The soul, in several philosophical movements and many religious traditions, is the core principle of life. Some traditions considered it immortal; others mortal. In... soul, and eternal punishment of the wicked in Medieval illustration of the Mouth of Hell Hell is, according to many religious beliefs about the afterlife, a place of torment, of great weeping and gnashing of teeth. The English word hell comes from the Norse Hel, which originally referred to the goddess of the Norse underworld. The original meaning... hell. They believe that the earth will, following In Christian apocalyptic literature (the Book of Revelation), Armageddon or Har-Mageddon is the site of the final battle between the kings of the earth (incited by Satan) and the Christian God. The term is also used for the battle itself, or more broadly for an Apocalypse. A similar concept... Armageddon, be restored to global paradise in accord with their beliefs of God's original purpose, and that God will permanently destroy the wicked - ending their lives rather than eternally punishing them in Medieval illustration of the Mouth of Hell Hell is, according to many religious beliefs about the afterlife, a place of torment, of great weeping and gnashing of teeth. The English word hell comes from the Norse Hel, which originally referred to the goddess of the Norse underworld. The original meaning... hell.


Divinity of Christ

Because of their rejection of the Trinity doctrine, many conclude that Jehovah's Witnesses deny the divinity of Jesus. Their belief is that Jesus was Guido Renis archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Sta. Maria della Concezione, Rome) tramples a Satan with the vividly recognizable features of Pope Innocent X. Michael (Hebrew מיכאל Michael or Mîkhā’ēl) is an archangel, who is only mentioned... Michael the archangel who became a man (The Watchtower, May 15,1963, p. 307; The New World, 284) and he is God's son, and the appointed ruler over God's Kingdom for a thousand years. They believe Jesus is 'a god' and even a 'Mighty God' and the Prince - not King- of Peace (a title applied to him from Isaiah 9:6). They believe that the Greek term theos, also applied to Jesus, at John 1:1 can correctly be translated 'divine.' (Many non-Witness Bible translators render this as 'God' at John 1:1, though they render it as 'a god' at Acts 28:6) This word is also applied to Greek and Roman gods as well as angels. Therefore Jehovah's Witnesses reject the doctrine that Jesus is Jehovah, the "Almighty God." Rather, they believe that when Jesus is called “the firstborn of all creation,” “the beginning of the creation by God” (New World Translation - Colossians 1:15; Revelation 1:1; 3:14), this signifies someone who was created by the Almighty God.


God's Name

Their use in English of the common pronunciation "Jehovah" for the Hebrew name of God is based on its familiarity in that language. It also emphasises their disbelief in the This article concerns the holy Trinity of Christianity. For other uses of trinity, see disambiguation. The Blessed Trinity is God according to the doctrine of most branches of Christianity. The doctrine says that though God is one God, He exists in three distinct persons, usually referred to as God the... Trinity. For more information see the The Tetragrammaton in Phoenician (1100 BC to 300 CE), Aramaic (10th Century BC to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts. The Tetragrammaton (Greek: τετραγράμματον word with four letters) is the Hebrew name for God, which is spelled (in... Tetragrammaton article.


Different Rewards

Jehovah's Witnesses hold that believers are classified into two groups. The one class is called "the anointed." These are limited in number to 144,000 based on the passages of scripture in the book of Revelation, and those of the anointed class remaining alive today are called "the remnant." The anointed are considered the "joint heirs" with Christ, and will rule and reign with him from heaven, and are the only believers with a hope of heaven. Although Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, they hold that some scriptures in the Bible are directed only to the anointed class and therefore do not apply to the majority of Jehovah's Witnesses in a direct way. One example of this is the passage John 3:3. Jehovah's Witnesses hold that only the "anointed" are "born again" in accordance to Jesus' words to Nicodemus, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."


The other class according to Jehovah's Witnesses' belief, was identified in 1935, and was then called the "Jonadab class." Today they are referred to as the "other sheep" based on the passage in John 10:16 where Jesus speaks of having "other sheep. . . that are not of this fold." This identification for the "other sheep" differs radically from the current mainstream view of this passage, namely that Jesus would bring his Jewish believers (little flock) and Gentile believers (other sheep) together into one fold, in his Church.


This "other sheep" class of Jehovah's Witnesses make up more than 99% of their believers today. Though they are not "born again" as reigning "kings and priests" in God's Heavenly Kingdom, they anticipate being part of God's kingdom on the earth. This doctrine of two classes of believers is unique to Jehovah's Witnesses, having no corresponding doctrine within the rest of Christianity. Many churches have accepted various doctrines regarding restoration promises for both heavenly and earthly life at some time or another, as reflected in the The Lords Prayer (sometimes known by its first two Latin words as the Pater Noster, in Greek as the , or the English equivalent Our Father) is probably the best-known prayer in the Christian religion. According to the New Testament, the prayer was given by Jesus of Nazareth as... Lord's Prayer.


Evolution

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God is the creator of all things. They do not accept theories of A group of organisms is said to have common descent if they have a common ancestor. In biology, the theory of universal common descent proposes that all organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor or ancestral gene pool.¹ A theory of universal common descent based on evolutionary principles... universal common descent that suggest that as the first living organism(s) reproduced it (they) changed into different kinds of living things, ultimately producing all forms of plant and animal life that have ever existed on this earth. Rather, they believe that living things were created 'each according to their kind,' referencing the Bible book of This article is about Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible. See Genesis (disambiguation) for other usages of the word. Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin; translated from Hebrew בראשׁית... Genesis.


They also do not agree with the concept of Abiogenesis, in its most general sense, is the hypothetical generation of life from non-living matter. Today, the term is primarily used in the context of biology and the origin of life. Some confusion exists on this topic, because early concepts of abiogenesis were later proven to be incorrect. These... abiogenesis, often incorrectly attributed to the theories of This article is about biological evolution. For other possible meanings, see Evolution (disambiguation). Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory Evolution generally refers to any process of change over time. In the context of life science, evolution is a change in the genetic makeup of a population of interbreeding individuals... evolution, that state that the first living organism developed from lifeless matter by wholly naturalistic means.


Neutrality

Jehovah's Witnesses also do not salute the flag of any country for two reasons. First, to do so would be a compromise of their belief of being politically neutral. Secondly, they believe that such an act would be tantamount to worshiping an idol. (Daniel 3:1-30) Correspondingly, they do not use any images or The Savior Not Made By Hands (1410s, by Andrei Rublev) An icon (from Greek εικων, eikon, image) is an artistic visual representation or symbol of anything considered holy and divine, such as God, saints or deities. An icon could be a painting (including relief painting), sculpture... icons in their worship, including the symbol of the The traditional form of the Christian cross, known as the Latin cross The Christian cross is a familiar religious symbol of most Christianity. Its significance lies in the belief that Jesus Christ was executed by the governor of Judea on a large wooden cross. The New Testament reports that the... cross.(Exodus 20:4,5)


Jehovah's Witnesses are discouraged from voting in elections, but not prohibited from voting. (Watchtower 1 Nov 1999. p.28) They do not however run for any political office, in following the example Jesus set in fleeing from those who sought to make him king. (John 6:15) On the other hand, they do not seek to prevent or discourage others (non-Witnesses) from doing so, if they so desire.


Regarding other denominations and religions

Witnesses believe that there is only one true religion - that taught by Jesus Christ in the Bible, namely true Christianity. They consider that their faith is the only true restoration of that This article outlines the history of Christianity and provides links to relevant topics. Roots of Christianity The Jewish background Christianity emerged as one of the many sects of Judaism that existed in the first century of the Common Era. Christianity brought from Judaism its scriptures (the Old Testament), its way... first-century Christianity. They believe that the existence of This article is primarily concerned with truth as it is used in the evaluation of propositions. For example, The world is a sphere is true. When used in this way, it is properly contrasted with false. Truth is a concept of primary importance to philosophy, science, law, and religion. See... absolute truth precludes the possibility that different religions, confessing a multitude of conflicting doctrines, are equally acceptable. Hence, they do not participate in Interfaith is to cooperate with people of other faiths. The interfaith movement has gathered much interest after the 1960s. In 1962 the Roman Catholic Church under Pope John XXIII made major policy changes in what came to be called Vatican II. Vatican II was helpful in improving the churches relationships... interfaith initiatives or the The word ecumenical comes from a Greek word that means pertaining to the whole world. It primarily describes a pluralist religious ethic, though in Christianity it only applies to the Christian church, and describes the pursuit of unity in the Christian world, between Christian denominations, and the universality of the... ecumenical movement.


While considering the teachings of other religious organizations to be in error, Jehovah's Witnesses recognize that there are sincere people in all religious traditions and respect the right of each person to choose his religion. Young persons who are Jehovah's Witnesses are encouraged to respect their parents, even if one or both does not share their convictions.


Publications

Jehovah's Witnesses make vigorous efforts to spread their beliefs throughout the world in a variety of ways, with particular emphasis on the written word. The Bible is their prime source of teaching.

  • The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a modern-language translation of the Bible published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. and the International Bible Students Association of Brooklyn, New York (corporations in use by the religious organization commonly known as Jehovah... New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a modern-language translation of the Bible published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc (a legal organisation body for Jehovah's Witnesses). This is the Bible translation primarily used by Jehovah's Witnesses. The English edition of this translation is available in many editions, including both print, A Czech braille calendar There is also an asteroid 9969 Braille Braille is a tactile writing system used by blind people. It was invented by Louis Braille of France who was blinded in a childhood accident. At the age of 15 he modified a military system for reading orders at... Braille, audio, and electronic online media. The translation has also been re-translated into many other languages, although most of these rely on translations from the English edition rather than the original texts, in part due to the difficulty of acquiring skilled interpreters between the original languages and many of the more obscure modern languages. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society also publishes other translations and references many others in their publications. The New World Translation has been heavily criticized. The claims are that it is biased in its translation to support the Jehovah's Witnesses theology.

Their teachings are presented through a wide variety of A book is a collection of leaves of paper, parchment or other material, bound together along one edge within covers. A book is also a literary work or a main division of such a work. A book produced in electronic format is known as an e-book. In library and... books, This article is about the magazine as a published medium. For other meanings, see magazine (disambiguation) A collection of magazines Magazines A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles on various subjects. Magazines are typically published weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly, with a date on the cover... magazines and other publications. Their publications make extensive use of references and quotations from the Bible. They are perhaps best known for their use of a particular pair of journals:

  • Awake! is a general-interest bi-monthly magazine published by Jehovahs Witnesses. The magazines predecessor, first published in 1919 by International Bible Students (an earlier name of Jehovahs Witnesses), was entitled The Golden Age. From 1937 it was called Consolation. (In some countries it was also known... Awake!, published in over 87 languages, is a general-interest semimonthly magazine covering many topics from a religious perspective. It has an average circulation of 22.8 million copies per issue.
  • This article is about the magazine. For information on watchtowers, see Fortification. Jehovahs Witnesses offer copies of The Watchtower from door to door or, where approval is given, where people might read them. The Watchtower is an illustrated religious magazine printed and published by Jehovahs Witnesses via their... The Watchtower, published in more than 150 languages, focuses mainly on Doctrine, from Latin doctrina, (compare doctor), means a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. The Greek analogy is the etymology of catechism. Often doctrine specifically connotes a corpus of religious dogma as it is... doctrine. With an average circulation of 26.4 million copies semimonthly, The Watchtower is the most widely distributed religious magazine in the world, and is available in various editions and media formats.

Both The Watchtower and Awake! are published simultaneously in dozens of languages. In addition to the formats mentioned above, both magazines are available in various audio and electronic formats and some of the articles from these magazines are available online. After the end of each year the issues are collected and re-released in a printed annual edition, commonly referred to as a bound volume. In addition to this, the Watchtower Library computer program contains several decades worth of articles for both magazines and is updated on an annual basis. (Until 2003, this was only done Biennial is a term referring to a period of two years, much in the same way centennial refers to 100 years. If an event occurs every two years, it can be said to occur biennially. This is commonly used in reference to legislative agendas in U.S. states (often as... biennially.)


New books, brochures, and other items pertaining to their current understanding of biblical teachings are released from time to time, major releases being announced at their annual conventions. Additionally, a number of For the meaning of cassette in genetics, see cassette (genetics). typical audio Compact Cassette. The compact audio cassette audio storage medium was introduced by Philips in 1963. It consists of a length of magnetic tape from BASF inside a protective plastic shell. Four tracks are available on the tape, giving... audio cassettes, The video cassette recorder (or VCR, less popularly video tape recorder) is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. Many VCRs have their own tuner and can be... videocassettes, and DVD is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for storing data, including movies with high video and sound quality. DVDs resemble compact discs: their physical dimensions are the same—12cm or 8cm—but are encoded in a different format and at a much higher... DVDs have been produced featuring various aspects of the group's beliefs, practices, organziation, and history. Some of these also provide This article refers to the art form. For the town, see Drama, Greece. Drama is a term generally used to refer to a literary form involving parts written for actors, either real or computer-generated. Performed dramas can be in a variety of media: live performance, film, television, and so... dramas based on various Biblical accounts. Recent years have seen a proliferation of material available on their website.


Jehovah's Witnesses and governments

Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and governments.

Jehovah's Witnesses take seriously the Biblical injunction to "Render . . . to all their dues." (Romans 13:7)Thus, paying taxes and in other ways obeying the laws of their respective countries are strongly encouraged, and they have often been commended for doing so. However, primarily because of their stance on political neutrality Jehovah's Witnesses have had conflict and at times outright persecution from some governments and their legal systems. This has been true even in several democratic countries with a rule of law and standards of human rights, including Canada is an independent sovereign state in northern North America, the northern-most country in the world, and the second largest in total area. Bordering the United States, its territorial claims extend north into the Arctic Ocean as far as the North Pole. Canada is a federation of ten provinces... Canada, The French Republic or France ( French: République française or France) is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in western Europe, and which is further made up of a collection of overseas islands and territories located in other continents. France is a democracy organised as a... France, Greece, formally called the Hellenic Republic ( Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία), is a country in the southeast of Europe on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. It has land boundaries with Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav... Greece and the The United States of America — also referred to as the United States, the U.S.A., the U.S., America¹, the States, or (archaically) Columbia — is a federal republic of 50 states located primarily in central North America (with the exception of two states: Alaska and Hawaii... United States. The justifications brought forth by governmental authorities were that certain practices of the Witnesses were contrary to the rules of society. Among the cited reasons (not all apply in the case of each country; see main article):

  • some manifestations of the Witnesses' insistence on "remaining politically neutral", in practice:
    • refusal to salute the national flag;
    • refusal to participate in the military;
    • refusal to participate in political processes, even democratic ones;
  • the refusal of blood transfusions for any reason, including for minor children.

In some undemocratic regimes, the refusal to salute the flag and to participate in military operation is often viewed as In law, treason is the crime of disloyalty to ones nation. A person who reneges on an oath of loyalty or a pledge of allegiance, and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor. Orans Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason... treason. The issue of the flag salute and Jehovah's Witnesses was first raised in Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. The Third Reich is an Anglicization of the German... Nazi Germany in the years prior to World War II. The Nazi regime sent German and Austrian Jehovah's Witnesses who refused allegiance to the Nazi state and military service to A concentration camp is a large detention centre created for political opponents, aliens, specific ethnic or religious groups, civilians of a critical war-zone, or other groups of people, often during a war. The term refers to situations where the internees are persons selected for their conformance to broad criteria... concentration camps. See Jehovah's Witnesses and the Holocaust.


Today, most countries that practice mandatory military service routinely place Jehovah's witnesses in jail for their refusal to accept military duties, along with other A conscientious objector is an individual whose personal beliefs are incompatible with military service, or sometimes with any role in the armed forces. This constitutes a conflict in the case of conscription. The reasons for refusing to serve are varied. Many conscientious objectors are so for religious reasons -- notably, the... conscientious objectors. In Singapore, for example, Jehovah's witnesses face a three-year jail term (military service is two years) and in Taiwan, a jail term is imposed before a further 33 month period serving alternative practices such as fire-fighting or nursing.


According to the book Judging Jehovah's Witnesses, Jehovah's Witnesses have helped to widen the definition of civil liberties in most western societies, hence broadening the rights of millions of people, due their firm stand and determination. According to the preface to the book State and Salvation: “One of the results” of the Witnesses’ legal battles “was the long process of discussion and debate that led to the Charter of Rights,” which is now part of the fundamental law of Canada. Thus these books claim that Jehovah's Witnesses have contributed more in the area of civil rights than any other religion.


Opposition to Jehovah's Witnesses

Throughout their history, their beliefs, doctrines and practices have met controversy and opposition among societies and other religions, including Christian groups. Many religious groups consider the interpretation and doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses to be false teachings (see Christian cults, Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox... Heresy). The Witnesses are sometimes mentioned on lists of " This article does not discuss cult in its original sense of religious practice; for that usage see cult (religion). See also destructive cult and Cult (disambiguation) for more meanings of the term cult. In religion and sociology, a cult is a group of people devoted to beliefs and goals which... cults" because their religious beliefs are different from those normally held by the majority of Christians, or because of issues with their organizational structure, or because of their positions on blood transfusions. Others claim the Witnesses' status as a cult is derived from recruitment and indoctrination techniques, including alleged Brainwashing controversies According to research and forensic psychologist Dick Anthony, the CIA invented the brainwashing ideology as a propaganda strategy to undercut communist claims that American POWs in Korean communist camps had voluntarily expressed sympathy for communism and that definitive research demonstrated that collaboration by western POWs had been caused... brainwashing. These critics point out the self-evident invalidity of any religion which strips its believers of free will, and claim that the Jehovah's Witnesses fit that description. [1] (http://www.carm.org/cults/cultlist.htm), [2] (http://www.rickross.com/sg_alpha.html), [3]  (http://www.goodcathinfo.com/ccarchdefncult.htm)


They have often been the subject of religious and political controversy. Political and religious animosity against them has at times led to Ochlocracy (Greek: οχλοκρατια; Latin: ochlocratia) is government by mob or a disorganized mass of people. In Classical Antiquity, the term is slang for democracy. Additionally, it is a term in civics that implies that there is no formal authority whatsoever, not... mob action and A government is an organization that has the power to make and enforce laws for a certain territory. There are several definitions on what exactly constitutes a government. In its broadest sense, govern means the power to administrate, whether over an area of land, a set group of people, or... government oppression, including the targeting of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Holocaust and widespread criticism from those of other faiths.[4]  (http://www.religioustolerance.org/witness1.htm), [5] (http://jehovah.to/gen/holocaust/yonan.htm), [6] (http://www.jw-media.org/), [7] (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=jehovah%27s+witness&btnG=Search)


MOB VIOLENCE, USA: For example, in the United States in the late 1930s and into 1940, mob violence against Jehovah's Witnesses became widespread and rampant. On June 16, 1940, the United States solicitor general, Francis Biddle, made a radio broadcast over a coast-to-coast network in an effort to quiet the mob action. Here is an excerpt from that statement:

" . . . Jehovah's witnesses have been repeatedly set upon and beaten. They had committed no crime; but the mob adjudged they had, and meted out mob punishment. The Attorney General has ordered an immediate investigation of these outrages. The people must be alert and watchful, and above all cool and sane. Since mob violence will make the government's task infinitely more difficult, it will not be tolerated. We shall not defeat the Nazi evil by emulating its methods."

Strong resentment and anger were sometimes directed at the group (then called Bible students) in the 1910s and 1920s due to the Watch Tower Society's outspoken manner, even carrying placards outside many churches and in the streets proclaiming the imminent destruction of church members along with both church and government institutions if they did not flee from "false religion". Typical examples are found in the Watch Tower Society's book publication The Finished Mystery (SS-7), 1917 edition: "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.'" (Page 485) "The people who are the strength of Christendom shall be cut off in the brief but terribly eventful period beginning in 1918 A.D. A third part are 'burned with fire in the midst of the city.' Fire symbolizes destruction. . . .After 1918 the people supporting churchianity will cease to be its supporters, be destroyed as adherents, by the spiritual pestilence of errors abroad, and by the famine of the Word of God among them." (Pages 398, 399) The Bible Students believed religion was a "racket and a snare" and refused to be identified as a 'religion' for some time.


The language used by the Witnesses and their organisation was widely considered inflammatory and was deemed illegal This article is about the type of communication. For other meanings, see Propaganda (disambiguation). North Korean propaganda showing a soldier destroying the United States Capitol building. Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation aimed at serving an agenda. At its root, the denotation of propaganda is to propagate (actively... propaganda in many societies for inciting intolerance and potential violence, hatred or sedition (although they refuse to bear arms or partake in political struggles). The Finished Mystery Watchtower’s book pg 128: "It seems conclusive that the hour of Nominal Zion's travail is fixed for the Passover of 1918. (See Rev. 3:14.) That will be 7 years prior to 1925. At that time there is every reason to believe the For fallen angels, see the main entry on fallen angel. Fallen Angel is also the title of several things: Fallen Angel (film), a 1945 film Fallen Angel (video game), an Amiga video game Fallen Angel (comics), a superhero comic book by Peter David See also Fallen Angels. This is a... fallen angels will invade the minds of many of the Nominal Church people, driving them to exceedingly unwise conduct and leading to their destruction at the hands of the enraged masses, who will later be dragged to the same fate." The churches of Christendom and their members were mindful of the propaganda directed at them, and the Watch Tower Society's members were less than welcomed by many in society for their previous outspoken highly vocal warnings of destruction and death directed towards governments, unbelievers, churches and church members, again, at the hand of God.


Many criticize the organization's practice of Excommunication is religious censure which is used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. The word literally means out of communion. Christianity Calvins view on excommunication In John Calvins Institutes of The Christian Religion, he said (4.12.10): For when our Saviour promises that what... excommunicating termed " Excommunication is religious censure which is used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. The word literally means out of communion. Christianity Calvins view on excommunication In John Calvins Institutes of The Christian Religion, he said (4.12.10): For when our Saviour promises that what... disfellowshipping" members, a practice claimed to be based on scriptural Precedent is the principle in law of using the past in order to assist in current interpretation and decision-making. Precedent can be of two types. Binding or mandatory precedent is a precedent under the doctrine of stare decisis that a court must consider when deciding a case. Advisory precedent... precedent, such as that found at 1 Corinthians 5:1-13. Disfellowshipping occurs when a member unrepentantly or repetitiously violates the moral standards Jehovah's Witnesses accept as Biblically binding on all. Choosing to no longer be one of Jehovah's Witnesses by submitting a written letter would result in the same. When a member is disfellowshipped, their believing friends and family do not speak to them, except in cases of neccessity.(Ex:Living in the same house.) Members of the congregation who otherwise repetitiously engage in conversation with disfellowshipped individuals risk being disfellowshipped themselves.


Since members are strongly discouraged from forming strong personal relationships outside of the organization, the practice can make it very difficult to leave. Many also criticize the Witnesses' policies of not participating in political activities, or in some activities commonplace outside of their faith community, and thus allege that the Witnesses willfully do not integrate into their community, and prevent their children from doing so.


Many also view door-to-door Evangelism is the proclaiming of the Christian Gospel. The word evangelist comes from the Greek word (eu-aggelos) for bringing good news (εὐάγγελος). As a specialised usage, Evangelist can designate each of the authors of the four Gospels in the New Testament... evangelizing as an invasion of privacy, especially in societies where religious beliefs are considered a private matter not discussed with strangers, and thus prozelytizing is considered unusual and rude. They may also view it as an annoyance akin to door-to-door peddling; some people pretend to not be at home when the Witnesses stop by. Some people have concerns about prozelytizing among minors (see below). Some Christians avoid welcoming prozelytizing Jehovah Witnesses, citing obedience to 2 John 1:8-12. On the other hand, Jehovah Witnesses base their practice of evangelism on scriptures, such as Matthew 28:18-20; they cite Acts 20:20 as scriptural support for the manner in which this activity is carried out, and receive additional encouragement in this activity from their literature and local congregations.


Hostility from traditional, Fundamentalism is a movement to maintain strict adherence to founding principles. In comparative religion, fundamentalism can refer to anti-modernist movements in various religions. In many ways religious fundamentalism is a modern phenomenon, characterized by a sense of embattled alienation in the midst of the surrounding culture, even where the... fundamentalist and Evangelism is the proclaiming of the Christian Gospel. The word evangelist comes from the Greek word (eu-aggelos) for bringing good news (εὐάγγελος). As a specialised usage, Evangelist can designate each of the authors of the four Gospels in the New Testament... evangelical Christians has been common, perhaps because of this group's rejection of many of the doctrines of mainstream Christian groups. For example, they teach that Jesus Christ is God's first creation rather than God Himself, and that the The Holy Spirit, from the Christian viewpoint, while related to Gods will, is not Gods will personified. The Christian and Jewish views of the Holy Spirit vary greatly. In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) the Hebrew term Ruach HaKodesh is used many times; it is translated literally as... Holy Spirit is not a person but God's active force (Colossians 1:15). Traditional Christians believe this contradicts the translation of John 1:1 given in the This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). The King James Version (KJV) is an English translation of the Holy Bible, commissioned for the benefit of the Church of England at the behest of King James I of England... King James Bible and other popular English translations; Jehovah's Witnesses translate this verse differently. (See also The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a modern-language translation of the Bible published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. and the International Bible Students Association of Brooklyn, New York (corporations in use by the religious organization commonly known as Jehovah... New World Translation for more on this controversy.) Many have been critical of their opinion that our current time period is "the For a more general eschatological view, see eschatology The Last Judgement - Tympanum sculpture at the Abbey Church of Ste-Foy, Conques-en-Rouergue, France The end times are, in one version of Christian eschatology, a time of tribulation that will precede the Second Coming of Jesus. Specifically, what is usually... last days."


Depending on geographic location, Jehovah's Witnesses have been accused of misleading youth, engaging in satanic worship or supporting zionism, communism, fascism, capitalism, democracy or pacifism. Because of their neutral political stand, Jehovah's Witnesses have often been accused of being disloyal to the state in both totalitarian and "free" nations. They have been sent to prisons, concentration camps, and even been executed. At times non-Witness family members and acquaintances have presented stiff, even violent opposition to their faith.(Watchtower 4/15/1982; 12/1/1980; 9/1/1979)[8] (http://www.jw-media.org/)


Although uncommon, A hate crime (bias crime), loosely defined, is a crime committed because of the perpetrators prejudices. This is a controversial political issue within the US. The U.S. Congress (HR 4797 - 1992) defined a hate crime as: [a crime in which] the defendants conduct was motivated by hatred... hate crimes have occurred against Jehovah's Witnesses because of their beliefs and practices. On the other hand, many people are cordial to the Witnesses. [9]  (http://www.freeminds.org/history/conflicts.htm)


The installation of Kingdom Hall is the name of meeting places for Jehovahs Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Honolulu, Hawaii. Jehovahs Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of their worship and Bible... Kingdom Halls (the Witnesses' meeting places) is sometimes met by local opposition. As an example, in 1995 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. It was the first year of the International Decade of the Worlds Indigenous People (1995- 2005): http://www.unesco.org/culture/indigenous/ Events January January 1 Austria, Finland and Sweden enter the European Union Fred West, accused... 1995 the inhabitants of the village of Remomeix (resp. Deyvillers) in the Vosges is a French département, named after the Vosges mountain range. History The Vosges département was created on March 4, 1790 like the 83 other original départements of France. It was made of territories formerly part of Lorraine. In 1793 the independent principality of... Vosges The départements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties and are now grouped into 22 metropolitan and four overseas régions. They are subdivided into 342 arrondissements. Départements are also found in Côte dIvoire. Administrative role Each... département of The French Republic or France ( French: République française or France) is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in western Europe, and which is further made up of a collection of overseas islands and territories located in other continents. France is a democracy organised as a... France opposed the installation of Kingdom Halls. [10] (http://www.lexpress.fr/info/societe/dossier/jehovah/dossier.asp?id=30400)[11]  (http://www.bethel-fr.com/afficher_info.php?id=12358.109) Reasons given were the fear of aggressive prozelytizing of minors, and the large size of the installations. In both cases, the number of Jehovah's Witnesses attending the Hall would have well exceeded the total population of the village.


Jehovah's Witnesses and the question of blood

It is well known that Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept Blood transfusion is the taking of blood or blood-based products from one individual and inserting them into the circulatory system of another. It can be considered a form of organ transplant. Blood transfusions may treat medical conditions, such as massive blood loss due to trauma, surgery, shock and where... blood transfusions [12] (http://watchtower.org/library/hb/). This is based on their understanding of the Bible admonition to "keep abstaining from blood" (Acts 15:28, 29), Jehovah's Witnesses refrain from accepting any blood transfusion or whole blood products. See also Genesis 9:4 and Leviticus 17:10.


The refusal of blood transfusions is one point of contention concerning Jehovah's Witnesses. In several countries, law may impose limitations on physicians on the ability to withhold or withdraw blood transfusions or blood therapy from minors, particularly in life-threatening situations; parents who have prevented children under their care from receiving blood therapy in life-threatening situations may be considered criminals.

See also Practices of Jehovah's Witnesses: Medicine and Health for additional information on this subject.

Jehovah's Witnesses and Albrecht Dürer - Four horsemen of the Apocalypse Eschatology literally means the study of the eschaton, the times of the end, last things, or end times. In Zoroastrianism, Christianity and in Norse heathen theology, eschatology is a theology concerning the end of the world, as predicted in the prophecies of... eschatology

Since their formation in the 1880s, leaders of the organization have sought to identify dates for end-time events such as the enthronement of Jesus as King in Heaven, the return of Jesus Christ, the return of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and for the "end of this system of things," culminating in In Christian apocalyptic literature (the Book of Revelation), Armageddon or Har-Mageddon is the site of the final battle between the kings of the earth (incited by Satan) and the Christian God. The term is also used for the battle itself, or more broadly for an Apocalypse. A similar concept... Armageddon.


In the group's early period, during the late 1800s, Jehovah's Witnesses (then called Bible Students) believed that the return of Jesus Christ would be a visible, dramatic and world shattering event, a position also commonly held among many other Christian groups. They believed that the "time of the end" (also called the "last days") had started in 1799, and that the culmination of Armageddon would occur in 1914, and for nearly fifty years believed and taught that the date for Christ's enthronement as heavenly King had occurred in 1874. Many years later in 1930, the Witnesses' organization moved the dates forward, and believed the beginning of the biblical "last days" and the enthronement of Jesus Christ as King, had now occurred in 1914, not 1799 and 1874, and that his return in 1914 was invisible to all but those with "eyes of understanding." The Bible passage urging believers to watch for Jesus' return, which would come "in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven" ( The Acts of the Apostles (Greek Praxeis Apostolon) is a book of the Bible, which now stands fifth in the New Testament. Abbreviated in Bible citation: Act. The author names it treatise (1:1). It was early called The Acts, The Gospel of the Holy Ghost, and The Gospel of... Acts 1:11, KJV) is understood by Jehovah's Witnesses to be visible only with the "eyes of understanding."


Other dates proclaimed to be time of God's judgement on humankind and the culmination of Armageddon, were 1915, 1918, 1920 and 1925. The return of The Old Testament or the Hebrew Scriptures constitutes the first major part of the Christian Bible, usually divided into the categories law, history, poetry (or wisdom books) and prophecy. All of these books were written before the birth of Jesus. Canon of the Old Testament Main article: Biblical canon The... Old Testament men including Abraham (אַבְרָהָם Father/Leader of many, Standard Hebrew Avraham, Tiberian Hebrew ʾAḇrāhām; Arabic ابراهيم Ibrāhīm) is the patriarch of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. His story... Abraham, Isaac or Yitzhak (יִצְחָק He will laugh., Standard Hebrew Yiẓḥaq, Tiberian Hebrew Yiṣḥāq; Arabic اسحاق ʾIsḥāq) is a biblical patriarch, the son and heir of Abraham and the father... Isaac, and This article needs cleanup. Please edit this article to conform to a higher standard of article quality. Jacob Wrestling with the Angel – Gustave Doré, 1855 Jacob or Yaakov, (יַעֲקֹב Holder of the heel, Standard Hebrew Yaʿaqov, Tiberian Hebrew Yaʿ... Jacob was an event anticipated by many Jehovah's Witnesses in the year 1925 based on writings in their Journal, This article is about the magazine. For information on watchtowers, see Fortification. Jehovahs Witnesses offer copies of The Watchtower from door to door or, where approval is given, where people might read them. The Watchtower is an illustrated religious magazine printed and published by Jehovahs Witnesses via their... The Watchtower, the book Millions Now Living Will Never Die, and various other Watch Tower Society publications. When these events did not occur, there was a period of discouragement and some left the organization at that time, but the majority saw it only as a temporary disappointment. In 1929 the second president of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford (November 8, 1869- January 8, 1942), is best known as the second president of the Watch Tower Society, the legal organization used by Jehovahs Witnesses. He was preceded by Charles Taze Russell, and followed by Nathan H. Knorr. Rutherford was born to a farm family in... Joseph F. Rutherford, also called "Judge Rutherford", built a luxury villa in California called Beth Sarim for the claimed purpose of housing the prophets and godly men of old, who were expected to be physically resurrected after Armageddon to help with Christ's Millennial reign over the earth, even though they had failed to materialize as predicted in 1925. A local paper published a humorous interview  (http://www.bibletopics.com/biblestudy/89a.htm) with Rutherford about the villa in March 1930. Rutherford used the villa himself for many years until his death in 1942, and in 1948 the luxury villa was sold.


The Watch Tower Society's claimed authority as "God's one and only true channel to mankind" is continually reinforced into the minds of the Witnesses, as its prophecies were classed as "of God," and "God's interpretations," therefore to question their validity was to question God Himself. They were never suggested to be the thoughts of imperfect men, or mere theories of men. This is demonstrated clearly in two issues of the Watchtower magazine published by the organisation: "It is on the basis of such and so many correspondencies-in accordance with the soundest laws known to science that we affirm that, 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. Present-truth chronology is a secure basis on which the consecrated child of God may endeavor to search out things to come." (Watchtower, 15 June 1922, p. 187.) "This chronology is not of man, but of God. Being of divine origin and divinely corroborated, present-truth chronology stands in a class by itself, absolutely and unqualifiedly correct."—Watchtower, 15 July 1922, p. 217.


During the 1960s and early 1970s, many Witnesses, stimulated by suggestive articles in their literature and further encouraged by overzealous speakers at their assemblies prior to 1975, believed that Armageddon and Christ's thousand-year millennial reign would begin by 1975. Although this view was never fully, or explicitly supported by the Watch Tower Society, many in the organisations' writing department heavily suggested that Christ's millennial reign over earth would begin in 1975. While Witnesses have always been encouraged to increase the preaching work, and avoid secular life goals or careers, this emphasis was especially strong prior to 1975. A larger than usual number of Witnesses gave up jobs, college, scholarships, put off medical treatments, abstained from having children, and some sold their houses in the hopeful expectation that God's Kingdom would literally be established on earth in 1975 after the biblical Armageddon. Some ran up debt hoping not to have to pay it back, and some spent their life savings thinking they would not need them. There were many hundreds of thousands who left the organisation (or became inactive) in the late 1970s. While baptisms continued at over 100,000 per year (around 200,000 in 1976) the organisation lost more members than it gained after 1975 for a few years until 1979 when numbers started to recover and increase.


Jehovah's Witnesses have preached that these are the biblical "last days" leading to Armageddon since the year 1914. They taught for many decades that the "generation alive in 1914 would not pass away before Armageddon came and the new system under Christ's rule started." This literal interpretation of the term "generation" in The Gospel of Matthew is one of the four Gospels of the New Testament. The gospels are traditionally printed with Matthew first, followed in order by Mark, Luke and John. Synopsis The book is divided into four parts: Containing the genealogy, the birth, and the infancy of Jesus (1; 2... Matthew 24:34 was abandoned by the group in 1994, eighty years after 1914. The Witnesses' viewpoint of the " This article is about the religious concept. For other meanings, see End of the World (disambiguation) Many religious faiths teach that the end of the world, or Apocalypse, will occur at some unknown point in the future. While such an event is often symbolised by the destruction of human civilization... end of the world" differs significantly from that of other apocalyptic religions. While the Witnesses do believe that the present system of things is at its end, they do not believe that the earth itself will be destroyed or that all of humankind will be wiped out. Rather, they believe that only wicked mankind (including political, false religious organizations, and those who support them) will be destroyed. For further discussion of this, see "Beliefs and Doctrines" above.


Main articles

See also:

  • Legal instruments of Jehovah's Witnesses - A brief history of the legal corporations of Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Jehovah's Witnesses and the Holocaust
  • List of Christian denominations ordered by historical and doctrinal relationships. (See also: Christianity; Christian denominations). It should be noted that some denominations are large (eg. Roman Catholic, Lutherans, Anglicans or Baptists) while others are just a few small churches. It should also be noted that modern movements such as Fundamentalist... List of Christian denominations
  • Christology is that part of Christian theology that studies and defines who Jesus Christ is. It is generally less concerned with the minor details of his life; rather it deals with who he was, the incarnation, and the major events of his life (his birth, death, and resurrection). Important issues... Christology
  • The Holy Spirit, from the Christian viewpoint, while related to Gods will, is not Gods will personified. The Christian and Jewish views of the Holy Spirit vary greatly. In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) the Hebrew term Ruach HaKodesh is used many times; it is translated literally as... Holy Spirit
  • This article is about the theological doctrine of Arius. See Aryan, Aryan race for the ethnic concept. Arianism was a Christological view held by followers of Arius in the early Christian Church, claiming that Jesus Christ and God the Father were not of the same fundamental essence, seeing the Son... Arianism
  • Socinianism summarises the beliefs of the Socinians, followers of Laelius Socinus (died 1562 in Zürich) and of his nephew Faustus Socinus (died 1604 in Poland). The Socinians congregated especially in the Transylvania, in Poland (see Polish brethren) and in the Netherlands. They held sceptical views on reason and rejected... Socinianism

External links

Official websites of Jehovah's Witnesses

Additional websites

  • West Virginia Board of Education Vs. Barnette et al. (http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/barnette.html) - Documentation of 1943 Supreme Court ruling regarding Jehovah's Witnesses' rights in not saluting the flag
  • ReligionFacts.com  (http://www.religionfacts.com/jehovahs_witnesses/contents.htm) - About Jehovah's Witnesses, including comparision chart with mainstream Protestant Christianity.
  • Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (http://www.religioustolerance.org/witness.htm) - About Jehovah's Witnesses.
  • Religious Movements: Jehovah's Witnesses (http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/Jwitness.html) A profile by the Religious Movements Homepage Project at the University of Virginia
  • Beliefnet:Jehovah's Witnesses (http://www.beliefnet.com/story/80/story_8034_1.html)
  • Faith on the March (http://reactor-core.org/faith-on-the-march.html) A history of the origins of the group written by A.H. Macmillan in 1957.
  • Thank Jehovah's Witnesses for Speech Freedoms (http://www.adherents.com/largecom/jw_freedom.html) short article outlining legal battles of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, resulting in greater freedoms for Americans as a whole (dated 30 March 2000)

Links critical of the group

Real estate


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Jehovah's Witnesses incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps were given the opportunity to be freed, if they signed the statement renouncing their beliefs.
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Among Jehovah's Witnesses the social and peer pressure is extremely subtle and is never intertwined with punishment, though it may be intertwined with non-rewards, or withdrawal of association or friendship.
Among Jehovah's Witnesses the individual rejecting the social pressure to conform, say to the standards of grooming might simply be avoided or at most given "dirty looks" or receive some "counsel" from the elders regarding their nonconformity.
Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong to reject this form of modern medicine but this is not enough to justify the cult label.
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