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Encyclopedia > The Watchtower
Part of a series on
Jehovah's Witnesses
About Jehovah's Witnesses
Demographics
History
Bible Student movement
Jehovah's Witnesses splinter groups
Organizational structure
Governing Body
Faithful and Discreet Slave
Legal instruments
Government interactions
Supreme Court cases
Civil Liberties
Beliefs
Beliefs and practices

God's name · Eschatology
Blood · Disfellowshipping Watchtower in Kostroma, Russia. ... As of August 2005, Jehovahs Witnesses have a reported membership of more than 6. ... The history of Jehovahs Witnesses dates from 1872 when Charles Taze Russell began to lead a Bible study group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... Charles Russell in 1911 The Bible Student movement is a religious movement with premillennialist expectations, that sprang from the teachings and ministry of Pastor Charles Taze Russell in the 1870s, whose followers generally call themselves Bible Students. Following a schism after Russell’s death in 1916, several offshoot groups formed... Jehovahs Witnesses have known several schisms throughout their history. ... The Organizational Structure of Jehovahs Witnesses is a religious hierarchy. ... The Governing Body of Jehovahs Witnesses is a body of elders who oversee all the activities of the denomination. ... Bible verses quoted from the New World Translation except where noted The spiritual authority among Jehovahs Witnesses is vested in the Faithful and Discreet Slave, which is a term used to refer to the remaining (living) portion of the group of 144,000 people with a heavenly hope. ... A number of corporations are in use by Jehovahs Witnesses. ... Jehovahs Witnesses face legal or governmental opposition in many countries. ... Internationally there have been numerous Supreme Court cases involving Jehovahs Witnesses. ... Main article: United States Supreme Court cases involving the First Amendment Since the 1940s, the Jehovahs Witnesses have often invoked the First Amendments fredom of religion clauses to protect their ability to engage in the proselytizing that is central to their faith. ... The following reflects the current beliefs and practices of Jehovahs Witnesses. ... This article is about a reading of the name of God in Hebrew scripture. ... The eschatology of Jehovahs Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. ... It has been suggested that Jehovahs Witnesses: Controversial Issues be merged into this article or section. ... Jehovahs Witnesses employ various levels of congregational discipline as formal controls administered by leaders of the congregation. ...

Controversies
Literature
The Watchtower · Awake!
New World Translation
Aid to Bible Understanding
Persecution
United States
Canada
Nazi Germany
Related people
Formative influences
C.T. Russell · William Miller
N.H. Barbour · Jonas Wendell
Watchtower Presidents
J.F. Rutherford · N.H. Knorr
F.W. Franz · M.G. Henschel
D.A. Adams
Notable Watch Tower Officials
Hayden C. Covington · A. H. Macmillan
Notable Former Jehovah's Witnesses
Raymond Franz · James Penton
Olin R. Moyle
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The Watchtower, April 1, 2006

The Watchtower (ISSN 0043-1087) is a semi-monthly illustrated religious magazine, printed and published by Jehovah's Witnesses via the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania in Wallkill, Ulster County, New York and branch offices around the world. This title come from Isaiah 21:8. It is known worldwide as the major publication (along with its companion magazine, Awake!) distributed by Jehovah's Witnesses in their door-to-door ministry. Jehovahs Witnesses have beliefs and practices that are commonly regarded as controversial; by mainstream Christians for their doctrines that differ from mainstream Christianity; by governments for their refusal to participate in patriotic activities; and by the general public for their beliefs about blood transfusions and their treatment of members... Jehovahs Witnesses have produced a large amount of literature. ... Cover of Awake! magazine Awake! is a general-interest magazine published by Jehovahs Witnesses. ... The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a modern-language translation of the Bible published by the Jehovahs Witnesses, specifically Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. ... Aid to Bible Understanding (1969) was the first doctrinal and biblical encyclopedia of Jehovahs Witnesses. ... Throughout the history of Jehovahs Witnesses, their history, their beliefs, doctrines and practices have met controversy and opposition from the local governments, communities, or religious groups. ... Main article: Persecution of Jehovahs Witnesses Nazi renunciation document Jehovahs Witnesses endured intense persecution under the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945. ... Charles Russell in 1911 Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916), known as Pastor Russell, was an American evangelist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who founded what is known as the Bible Student movement. ... William Miller William Miller (1782 - 1849) was an American Baptist preacher, whose followers have been termed Millerites. ... Nelson H. Barbour, (1824-1905) a Millerite Adventist (see Millerites) born in Throopsville (misspelled Toupsville in a newspaper profile), a village near Auburn, New York. ... Elder Jonas Wendell (December 25, 1815 - August 14, 1873) of Edenboro, Pennsylvania, was a zealous Adventist preacher following in the spirit of William Miller. ... Joseph F. Rutherford Joseph Franklin Rutherford 8 November 1869—8 January 1942, is best known as the second president of the Watch Tower Society, the legal organization used by Jehovahs Witnesses. ... Nathan Homer Knorr (April 23, 1905 - June 8, 1977) was the third president of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society doing so on January 13, 1942, replacing Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who had served in the position since 1916. ... Frederick William Franz - (12 September 1893–22 December 1992) served as President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the legal organization used to direct the work of Jehovahs Witnesses. ... Milton George Henschel (August 9, 1920 - March 22, 2003) was the person who succeded Frederick W. Franz as the president of Watchtower Society. ... Don A. Adams is the current president of the Watch Tower Society, the most important of the Legal instruments of Jehovahs Witnesses. ... Hayden C. Covington (January 19, 1911 - November 19, 1978) was legal counsel for the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society during one of its most difficult periods in the mid-20th century. ... Alexander Hugh Macmillan (June 2 1877-August 26, 1966), also referred to as A. H. Macmillan, was an important member of the Bible Students, later known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. ... Raymond Franz, circa 1980 Raymond Franz (born 1922) was a member of the Governing Body of Jehovahs Witnesses from 1971 until May 22, 1980[1], and served at the organizations world headquarters for fifteen years, from 1965 until 1980. ... James Penton, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta; Canada. ... Letter from Olin R. Moyle sent to J.F. Rutherford OLIN R. MOYLE Counselor 117 Adams Street. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, is the unique eight-digit number applied to a periodical publication including electronic serials. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... WT-Logo The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, headquartered in New York City, is the corporate entity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. ... The Wallkill Public Library Wallkill is a hamlet (and census-designated place), generally identified as coterminous with ZIP code 12589, telephone exchange 895 in the 845 area code and most of the Wallkill Central School District located mostly in the eastern half of the Town of Shawangunk, Ulster County, New... Isaiah the Prophet in Hebrew Scriptures was depicted on the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo. ... Cover of Awake! magazine Awake! is a general-interest magazine published by Jehovahs Witnesses. ...

Contents

Purpose

The Watchtower is used by Jehovah's Witnesses in their public preaching. Prior to the January 1, 2008 issue, the inside cover page of each issue had the following mission statement:

THE PURPOSE OF THE WATCHTOWER is to exalt Jehovah God as Sovereign Lord of the universe. It keeps watch on world events as these fulfill Bible prophecy. It comforts all peoples with the good news that God's Kingdom will soon destroy those who oppress their fellowmen and that it will turn the earth into a paradise. It encourages faith in God's now-reigning King, Jesus Christ, whose shed blood opens the way for mankind to gain eternal life. The Watchtower, published by Jehovah's Witnesses continuously since 1879, is nonpolitical. It adheres to the Bible as its authority.

From the January 1, 2008 issue onwards, the inside cover page of each issue has the following mission statement: This article is about a reading of the name of God in Hebrew scripture. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Bible prophecy is the concept held by various people that many Bible verses contain prophecies. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE, The Watchtower, is to honor Jehovah God, the Supreme Ruler of the universe. Just as watchtowers in ancient times enabled a person to observe developments from afar, so this magazine shows us the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecies. It comforts people with the good news that God's Kingdom, which is a real government in heaven, will soon bring an end to all wickedness and transform the earth into a paradise. It promotes faith in Jesus Christ, who died so that we might gain everlasting life and who is now ruling as King of God's Kingdom. This magazine has been published by Jehovah's Witnesses continuously since 1879 and is nonpolitical. It adheres to the Bible as its authority.[1]

The magazine is the main vehicle of communication from the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses to the association as a whole regarding doctrine and organizational procedures. This article is about a reading of the name of God in Hebrew scripture. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The Organizational Structure of Jehovahs Witnesses is a religious hierarchy. ...


History

Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, October 1, 1907
Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, October 1, 1907

The publication was started by Charles Taze Russell on July 1, 1879 under the title Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. The first issue stated as its prospectus: Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 444 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (740 × 1000 pixels, file size: 563 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Cover of Zions Watch Tower and Herald of Christs Presence, October 1, 1907 This image is in the public domain in the United... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 444 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (740 × 1000 pixels, file size: 563 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Cover of Zions Watch Tower and Herald of Christs Presence, October 1, 1907 This image is in the public domain in the United... Charles Russell in 1911 Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916), known as Pastor Russell, was an American evangelist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who founded what is known as the Bible Student movement. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

This is the first number of the first volume of "ZION’S WATCH TOWER" and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication.

That we are living "in the last days" "the day of the Lord" — "the end" of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of the "new" age, are facts not only discernible by the close student of the Word, led by the spirit, but the outward signs recognizable by the world bear the same testimony, and we are desirous that the “household of faith” be fully awake to the fact, that—

We are living, we are dwelling
In a grand and awful time;
In an age on ages telling
To be living is sublime.

In 1909 the name was changed to The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. In 1920, the Watchtower Society reprinted all the issues from 1879-1919 in seven volumes. This set is known as Watchtower Reprints, which has itself been reprinted through the years by other groups. Later on, in October 1939, the magazine was renamed The Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Presence, and, from March 1940 until now, its full name has been The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom. In the past, The Watchtower and its companion Awake! were sold for a small charge, varying over time and from country to country. Cover of Awake! magazine Awake! is a general-interest magazine published by Jehovahs Witnesses. ...


However, on January 17, 1990, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that sales of religious literature were subject to taxation, which would have required the Watchtower Society to pay tax on the price of the magazines. The Watchtower Society filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief arguing that the sale of religious literature should be exempt from taxation. [2] is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the... Amicus curiae (plural amici curiae) is a legal Latin phrase, literally translated as friend of the court, that refers to a person or entity that is not a party to a case that volunteers to offer information on a point of law or some other aspect of the case to...


From March 1, 1990, the journals were made available at no cost, on a freewill donation basis in the United States. This has helped to simplify their Bible educational work and to separate themselves from those who commercialize religion. The article "Use Our Literature Wisely" which appeared in the May 1990 Our Kingdom Ministry stated, that "there are growing pressures against all religious elements" and it went on to say that their main concern was to move ahead in the worldwide Kingdom preaching work, "without hindrance." is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The sale of the literature around the world was gradually eliminated soon thereafter. It continued until the early 1990s, and in some places until early 2000. The Watchtower is now distributed free of charge worldwide, its printing being funded by voluntary donations. For the band, see 1990s (band). ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ...


Distribution

The Watchtower has an average print run (according to the January 1, 2008 issue) of 37,100,000 copies and is printed semimonthly (although, the Public Edition is only printed monthly) in 167 languages (including Braille editions and video sign languages) making it the largest circulation magazine in the world[3]. Over 130 of these languages are published simultaneously including English, German, Swedish, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Indonesian, Hindi, and Zulu . [4] The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Arabic redirects here. ... Hindi (हिन्दी) is a language spoken mainly in North and Central India. ... Zulu (called isiZulu in Zulu), is a language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority (over 95%) of whom live in South Africa. ...


The magazine is distributed by Jehovah's Witnesses. They consider their work a public service. Witnesses commonly offer these magazines in the course of their house-to-house ministry. They are also distributed by approaching people in public places or informally to doctors, academics, politicians and acquaintances. The Watchtower may also be seen left as reading material in public places, including bus terminals, laundromats or other places. Distribution practices such as mailbox drops and placing large stacks in public places are strongly discouraged by the Watchtower Society as they are generally less effective methods of arousing interest versus a personal presentation of the literature. A laundromat in California powered by solar panels on the roof. ...


Editions

Over the years, Jehovah's Witnesses have added a variety of editions of the magazine, with a view to making it available to a wider public. In 1976, The Watchtower became available in Grade II English Braille. In 1988, it began to be produced on audio cassette for the benefit of the visually impaired as well as others who wished to listen to it. In 2003, a videocassette edition (of main study articles) in American Sign Language was produced, and this was extended to DVD in 2004. The Watchtower is now released monthly in American Sign Language on DVD. Select articles are available at their official website (www.watchtower.org). Additionally, 2004 saw the release of The Watchtower on compact disc (MP3 and later audio CD format). In 2006, a DVD edition of The Watchtower was made available in Brazilian Sign Language, and a Mexican Sign Language edition is now available. Braille code where the word (, French for first) can be read. ... It has been suggested that ASL Grammar be merged into this article or section. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... For other uses, see MP3 (disambiguation). ... Brazilian Sign Language, also known as Libras (from Língua de Sinais Brasileira), previously known as LSB or LGB, is the language of the Deaf communities of Brazil. ... Mexican Sign Language (“lenguaje de signos mexicano” or LSM, also known by several other names), is the langauge of the Deaf community in the urban regions of Mexico. ...


Content

The Watchtower, October 15, 1980
The Watchtower, October 15, 1980
The Watchtower Study Edition, January 1, 2008

Until recent times, each issue has contained two or three study articles based on Scripture. This will continue until January 2008. The Watchtower will then be produced in two editions. The issue dated the 1st of the month will be produced for the general public. The issue dated the 15th will be a study edition that Jehovah's Witnesses will use at their congregation meetings, which are open to the public. The Study Edition will usually contain either four or five articles written for the Watchtower Study. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 462 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 623 pixels, file size: 71 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Scanned Image File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 462 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 623 pixels, file size: 71 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Scanned Image File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ...


Virtually all of the Jehovah's Witness communities throughout the earth discuss the same information each week at the Watchtower Study. In this meeting a designated reader will read each paragraph aloud, after which the Conductor asks the question printed at the bottom of the page for that paragraph; a few minutes (depending on the subject matter) are alloted for the members of the congregation to answer the questions using the information read in the paragraph as a starting point. They are encouraged to put the information in their own words and also to "draw attention to scripture application, supporting arguments, or practical application of the material."[5]


A typical issue usually includes topics such as Bible prophecy, Christian conduct and morals, as well as the history of religion and the Bible. This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... History of Buddhism History of Christianity History of Eastern Orthodox Christianity History of Hinduism History of Islam History of Judaism History of Protestantism History of Rastafarianism History of Roman Catholicism History of Santeria History of Shintoism See also Religion Categories: Religion ...


Regular sections include "Life Story" and "Questions from Readers" (usually in alternating issues), and "Would You Welcome a Visit?" The February 1 issue contains the Witnesses' worldwide "Field Service" report (previously January 1 issue until 2004). Every four months, a section entitled "Do You Remember?" briefly summarizes points from recent issues of the magazine. The November 1 issue contains an article outlining the various ways that donations can be made to The Watchtower. is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Beginning issue in January 1, 2008, The Watchtower will have different focuses in the two issues that are published each month. The issue published on the first of each month will focus on religious articles that will be offered to the general public. The issue published on the fifteenth of each month will contain the congregational study articles for the month and other intra-organizational materials that will be directed to current members and other interested ones and will not be offered to the general public actively like the public edition will be.


The Watchtower's subtitle, "Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom," indicates its interest in eschatology, which has frequently been a topic for discussion within its pages. The eschatology of Jehovahs Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. ... For the eschatological beliefs of various religions, see End Times. ...


Authorship

There is a writing committee within the WBTS that oversees the research, editing, and development of the articles. The articles are mostly contributed by writing committees within the branch offices worldwide, which are then checked by a team of editors for accuracy, grammar, spelling, etc., and then translated into the languages of publication by other teams. Women are permitted to write articles provided that they are not of a spiritual nature. [6] The names of the authors (except in most first-person life stories), editors, etc. are never included in the final magazine, though all articles are produced under the authority of the Governing Body, and therefore the content is considered the official position of the organization.


External links

References

  1. ^ JANUARY 1, 2008 issue, page 2
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ The Independent 6 November, 2007
  4. ^ 1 January, 2008 issue, page 4
  5. ^ Our Kingdom Ministry December 1998 p. 8 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Watchtower Study Conductor
  6. ^ Branch Organization Manual p.24-1 Paragraph 4 “4. Those used as writers must be dedicated, baptized brothers or sisters in good standing with their local congregations and who have writing ability. They should be exemplary, modest, not inclined to talk loosely to others about their writing activity. ... 5. PREPARING MATERIAL: The subjects on which articles may be written are quite varied. Some articles will deal with spiritual matters, and these should be written by brothers.”

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