World Religions - Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses

What do Jehovah's Witnesses believe?


Jehovah's Witnesses (also known as "Witnesses" or "JW's") is a religion that has some distinctly different beliefs to the teachings of main-stream Christianity.

The Bible Students (as JW's were initially known) were led by Charles Taze Russell in the latter part of the 19th century. Russell founded a Bible Society called Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, and printed a weekly magazine called Zion's Watchtower, explaining Bible teachings and prophesy. It continues to be published down to today. It is still called "The Watchtower". It has a companion magazine called Awake!

In 1931 the International Bible Students adopted the name Jehovah's Witnesses, based on Isaiah 43:10.

As of 2012, there were approximately 7,659,000 Jehovah's Witness active in 236 lands, publishing the New World Translation Bible and its literature in 204 languages.

There are a number of significant differences in the Jehovah Witness' Bible which result in a very different understanding and teaching of who God is, who Jesus is and how you can be saved or have eternal life.

Witnesses claim to base all their beliefs on their New World Translation of Bible. They published the first New World Translation of the scriptures in 1961. They teach that this version of the Bible restores the personal name of God back into the text where they believe it had been removed and replaced almost 7,000 times. Prior to that, the KJV and the ASV were used for study although they will not accept these versions today to be correct.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is a false doctrine adopted from paganism. They also believe that Jesus is not God, but "the son of God". They claim that scripture suggests that he may well be the Archangel Michael. They believe that Jesus was resurrected "in the spirit" and appeared in a materialized body of flesh to his disciples, as other spirit beings had done in times past.

They believe the Holy Spirit to be the power or active force of God sent from him to accomplish his will. They do not believe that the holy spirit is a person or part of a mysterious godhead.

Some Specific Jehovah's Witness Beliefs:

  • God: He is one person and His proper name as stated in many places in the Bible is YHWH, translated in English as Jehovah. Sometimes it is transliterated as Yahweh.
  • Jesus: Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus is not God. Instead he is merely the created "firstborn" and "only-begotten son" whom the Father used to bring all other things into existence. They believe that Jesus is "the son of God". They claim that scripture suggests that he may well be the Archangel Michael.
  • Holy Spirit: Jehovah's Witnesses deny the deity of the Holy Spirit and instead teach and believe that the Holy Spirit is the impersonal active force of Jehovah (but not a person or being as such). They believe that it is just a name given to the force of God by which He used to create the raw materials of the universe and is also used to empower God's servants. They also believe that in the first century, it was used to enable mere mortals to perform miracles, beginning with Jesus.
  • Trinity: The Jehovah's Witnesses believe this to be a pagan doctrine, the concept of which precedes Christianity by centuries.
  • Bible: The sole authority upon which all teachings are based. Scripture is used to interpret scripture.
  • Heaven: A place that is reserved and limited to 144,000 Disciples of Christ, beginning with the apostles and carrying through to the present day. Their anointing is God's choosing of them for a special assignment, that of ruling as kings and priests in heaven with Christ. The majority of mankind will "inherit the earth".
  • Hell: Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the concept of an eternal fiery Hell to be a pagan notion. "Hell" is translated from "sheol" (Heb) and "hades" (Greek), both mean the common grave of mankind. Despite what main-stream Christians claim to be numerous scriptures regarding hell that indicate a real place of torment and suffering, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that "Gehenna" and the "lake of fire" are symbols of eternal death, not eternal suffering.
  • Refusal of military service or political involvement: Both of these are in opposition to Jesus' teaching to be "no part of the world" and to "love your enemies".
  • Refusal of blood transfusions: God's law forbids the consumption of any blood. Not because it is tainted but because it is sacred to God. Breaking this law carried the death penalty in Israel. When an animal was killed for food, its blood was to be poured out on the earth, symbolically returning its life back to the Creator.
  • Celebrating Christmas and Birthdays: Jehovah's Witnesses not observe holidays like Christmas, Easter and birthdays because they are believed tol have their roots in paganism. Observing and celebrating these occassions and events is considered to be adopting the ways of those who worship false gods.
  • Death: Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Death is a state of non-existence and that there is no life after death. They teach that the ultimate goal of one's life should be to serve Jehovah wholeheartedly so as to uphold his Sovereignty and see his name cleared of all reproach. Salvation is offered to those who remain loyal to Jehovah in his long running battle with the devil for the hearts and minds of men.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the imminent destruction of the present system of things will occur at Armageddon, and at that time God's kingdom will begin ruling over the earth.
Please post your question or comments below or visit the forum link for Jehovah's Witness discussions >



Jehovah's Witness Forum


0 #10 2014-10-29 16:19
So was he a free mason Charles Taze Russel
0 #9 2014-10-29 16:16
 16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory 1tim3:16

You see, it pains me a lot each time I see witness' preaching and walking under the hot sun. They will get no reward. They don't teach things that bring life, they teach doctrines they believe. And how do you say only 144000 will make it to heaven. Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you and where I am there you too shall be. Paul said we are not citizens of the earth but of heaven from whence we await a saviour even Jesus. Phillipians 3. There is no life in being a witness I have been one before. Jesus is God I have come to realize.
-1 #8 Jane Daniels 2013-02-11 09:32
Part 3
It is also stated above that "Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus is not God. Instead he is merely the created "firstborn" and "only-begotten son" whom the Father used to bring all other things into existence. They believe that Jesus is "the son of God". They claim that scripture suggests that he may well be the Archangel Michael."

The use of the word "merely" is misleading as JW's do not treat Jesus Christ as a "merely created" anything. He is the "only begotten son of God" as the scriptures state. There is no one like him in existence. He is the Logos, Jehovah's 'right hand man', who was entrusted with the responsibility of saving mankind. The fact that he is not God does not diminish his role in the outworking of God's purpose nor does it diminish his personage in relation to his Father...who is also his God.

I really needed to make these points clear. I hope you don't mind. There is nothing more frustrating that being misrepresented.
0 #7 Jane Daniels 2013-02-11 09:31
Part 2.
Along with the substitution of the divine name YHWH (Jehovah) which has been omitted from all modern translations today, we felt that because God's name was used freely by Bible writers and was to be "hallowed" by Jesus followers, it should be restored back to all the places from which it had been removed. You can hardly sanctify a name you never use.
0 #6 Jane Daniels 2013-02-11 09:19
Hi Admin, I know that you are very busy at the moment, but when you have time, it would be appreciated if the suggested modifications could be applied as the definition of our beliefs is still in error as I have pointed out.

Since the NWT was only published in 1961, our beliefs are not based upon its teachings. We based our beliefs on the KJV and the ASV up until that point. The need for the NWT came about as a result of finding much trinitarian bias in the KJV translation. Saying that "they will not accept these versions today to be correct" is simply not true as we will study any translation of the Bible if people have a preference for it. I studied the KJV myself in the beginning.
+1 #5 Jane Daniels 2013-01-07 07:04
Thank you, I will submit it as soon as I have edited your description.

I am grateful for the opportunity. Jane
+1 #4 Faith-Admin 2013-01-06 14:48
@Janr Daniels,

Thanks for the feedback. We will be happy to consider any suggested changes you have to the above article about what Jehovah's Witnesses teach and believe. I have sent you an email so that you can reply to submit a revised article for our team to review in consideration for this website on world religions. We appreciate your interest and are open to making improvements or any changes where it can be shown that they might be any incomplete or wrong details.
+1 #3 2013-01-06 11:41
I too would like to comment on the above, "What do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe?"

If one is going to give a definition of a belief system, please allow the members of that belief system to describe themselves. Catholics should provide information on Catholic beliefs and Baptists on theirs.
There is not much accuracy at all attached to the above description of our beliefs. Any wonder people get confused about who we are and what we believe when such things are presented as facts.

In all fairness, and with permission, I would be glad to submit a revised description based on modifications to the above.

Please email me and I will rewrite it so that it is an accurate assessment of our beliefs, instead of inaccuracies and half truths.

Thank you.

-1 #2 2012-10-17 20:35
What about Taze Russel being free Mason?? and how come u change your name from zion .... to Jehovah witnese?? don't tell me because u're Jahovah witness (because GOD don't need u to witness him)
+1 #1 Brionne 2012-10-14 21:28
Hi, I am a Jehovah Witness and I just wanted to let you know of a few inaccuracies in your inforamtion.

1. We number only 7million baptized witnesses worldwide.

2. Our central belief is not that the world will end, but that the current system of world rulership will end by Gods kingdom which will not come to earth, but will rule mankind from heaven.

3.Regarding shunning, The action taken is called 'disfellowshippi ng' Once a christian is disfellowshiped the rest of the congregation must cease fellowship with that person. It is a disciplinary action with a scriptural foundation for an unrepentant wrongdoer.

4.the meetings are for the study of Gods Word the bible... we use various study aids including the Watchtower articles, but not limited to the watchtower.

Add comment

Comments are moderated to eliminate blatant advertising. It's fine to disagree with content. We encourage discussion and debate on our forum (see top FORUM tab). Please keep all comments respectful and they will be posted. Spam will be deleted immediately and IP addresses will be blocked.

Security code

We are not alone. There is something out there bigger than ourselves. Where will you go after you die? What do you believe and why do you believe it? What is the point of having a mind if you never change it? Here's a surprisingly unsurprising statistic: Everyone dies sooner or later; there is no escaping it and you will be dead for longer than you are alive. This suggests that eternity might be worth more than a passing thought.

Are you ready for the inevitable? There is no need to be fearful of that inevitable moment, so long as you are prepared and as long as you are not taking comfort in something that sounds nice but is really just positive but wishful thinking. Make your life journey count, consider your eternal destination. Just believing in a lie wont make it truth, no matter how much you want it or how appealing that lie is. It is better to know the truth than to live in the delusion of a lie. No one likes being deceived, but in a world of political correctness, acceptance and anything goes, it is easy to side-step the truth of reality. What REALLY is true?

Can we just make up our own truth and say "well that is true for you, but my truth is something else"? Surely we can't all be right, especially when there are so many contradictory beliefs and top world religions out there.

FREE eBook download

Written for those with an interest in spirituality and spiritual leaders, such as the Buddha and the Dalai Lama, Jesus The Man Who Came From God explains the life of Christ and his teachings. It provides a comparison with Islam, Judaism, and other world religions.

What do you believe?

What do you believe in?

Your Feedback

What do you think of this website?

What do you Believe? Can You See Your Faith of Choice Below?

Atheism Buddhism Roman Catholicism christianity evolution freemasonry hinduism Im a good person
islam Jehovahs Witness Judaism Church of Latter Day Saints New Age Movement Satanism Scientology Sikhism