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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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cover of the Photodrama of Creation

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Jehovah’s Witnesses belong to an international religious organization that traces its roots back to the American Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), said to have founded the movement in 1884.

From the perspective of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, this millennial religion was once called ‘International Bible Students‘ and ‘Millennial Dawnists.’

Around 1918, a schism occurred reminiscent of the Orthodox and Catholic split. The upshot was that Russell’s successor, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, wasn’t universally accepted. This resulted in two different religious groups, each claiming lineage to Russell: The Bible Students and The Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses took their new name in 1931. Believers interpret the Bible according to certain core beliefs. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the imminent second coming of Christ. They avoid worldly involvement and don’t abide by any law taken as a contradiction to God’s Law (e.g. taking oaths, entering military service and receiving blood transfusions).

The organization publishes the magazine The Watchtower, meets regularly and proselytizes through door-to-door preaching, called ‘witnessing.’

Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in the Christian idea of the Trinity. They deny the deity of Christ but see him as the messiah and God’s son. They also believe that before he was born, Jesus existed as the archangel Michael.

Jehovah’s Witnesses attest to a multitude of angels and also that 144,000 people will enter heaven and rule with Christ. The remaining virtuous people will apparently exist on a new, peaceful Earth.

Photo Credit: Tracie Masek

Photo Credit: Tracie Masek via Flickr

Although Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in hell, they do accept the idea of eternal death.

Jehovah’s Witnesses meet regularly at a church called the Kingdom Hall and observe an annual Lord’s Evening Meal (Last Supper) at the first full moon in Spring.

They reject Halloween and Valentine’s Day as ‘pagan’ events. Also, Father’s and Mother’s day are seen as a type of unhealthy ancestor worship, and Birthdays are said to draw too much attention to the self

On the Web:

  • “This trailer contains sample scenes from national broadcast on PBS series “Independent Lens” May 22, 2007. By Joel P. Engardio and Tom Shepard.
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4 thoughts on “Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. It is not correct to say that Charles Taze Russell was the founder of the religion called “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Russell did not believe in such an organization, nor its teachings. He preached against the formation of such an organization all the days of his life.

    After Russell died, Joseph Rutherford, by legal trickery and deceit, gained control of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and used that legal entity as a basis for forming a new organization, with himself as its head. Russell never thought of doing such a thing.

    Rutherford rejected the main teaching of Bible Students concerning the ransom for all, evidently because he did not see this doctrine as a tool to form an organization as he envisioned. He basically replaced the doctrine of ransom for all with the doctrine of second death for all who do not agree with him. One after another, Rutherford discarded any teaching of the Bible Students that he felt did not lend any benefit to his sectarian organization dogma, and replaced them with his own teachings that would support his main teaching of an organization, which he called “Jehovah’s organization”, but which was actually his organization, with himself as the head.

    The majority of the long-time Bible Students chose to remain free of this new organization, and thus the original Bible Students continue to this day free of the organization that Rutherford founded.

    Bible Students, BTW, do not deny the deity of Christ, but view that diety in terms of the usage of the Hebraic tradition that applies the words EL and ELOHIM (the Hebrew words translated into Greek as THEOS “God”) to others than Yahweh in a different sense than when applied to Yahweh.
    http://godandson.reslight.net/hebraictitles.html

    Bible Students do believe in the Bible hell, but they do not believe that the Bible hell is a place of eternal conscious suffering.
    http://hereafter.reslight.net

    Christian love,
    Ronald

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  2. Thanks for your comment. The entry has just been updated.

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  3. Pingback: Russell — Founder of the JWs?

  4. All he information about jehovaha’s witnesses you can find on there site http://www.watchtower.org/ dont believe any bad things people say about them because its all lies they are all really good honest, caring people and everything they teach the’ll show you from the bible they also do no think anyone on earth is higher then them they believe christ jesus is the head of there congregation and thats how it should be.

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