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Jehovah's Witnesses 




Grand Rapids, Michigan 

' Copyright 1963 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 

All rights reserved 

ISBN 0-8028-1489-1 

Printed in the United States of America 

The material in this book is an updating of 

material originally appearing in The Four 

Major Cults, Fourth printing, August 1972. 

Reprinted, March 1986 


Abbreviations 6 

Preface 7 

I. History 9 

Charles Taze Russell 9 

Joseph Franklin Rutherford 14 

Nathan Homer Knorr 18 

Statistics and Activities 20 

II. Source of Authority 25 

Norm for Interpreting Scripture 25 

Method of Interpreting Scripture 37 

III. Doctrines 45 
Doctrine of God 45 
Doctrine of Man 55 
Doctrine of Christ 60 
Doctrine of Salvation 70 
Doctrine of the Church and Sacraments 77 
Doctrine of the Last Things 85 

IV. Appendix: Jehovah- Witness Teaching on 

the Person of Christ 122 

A Revival of Arianism 122 

Critique of Watchtower Exegesis 126 

Bibliography 142 





Paradise Lost 

Religion for Mankind 


Survival After Death 

You May Survive Armageddon 
Your Will Be Done 

American Standard Version 
King James Version 
New World Translation, 1961 ed. 
From Paradise Lost to Paradise 

What Has Religion Done for 

Revised Standard Version 
What Do the Scriptures Say 

about "Survival After Death"? 
You May Survive Armageddon 

into God's New World 
Your Will Be Done on Earth 

(Note: All Scripture quotations not otherwise identified are from 
the American Standard Version.) 


The discussion of Jehovah's Witnesses found in this book is orga- 
nized as follows: First, a brief history of the movement is given, in 
terms of the events that occurred during the presidencies of Charles 
Russell, Joseph Rutherford, and Nathan Knorr. Next comes a sum- 
mary of statistics and activities. Then the question of the final source 
of authority for the group is taken up. The doctrines taught by Je- 
hovah's Witnesses are next expounded in the order of the customary 
divisions of Christian theology: God, man, Christ, salvation, the 
church, the last things. An appendix critically examines Jehovah- 
Witness teaching on the person of Christ. 

In setting forth the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses, I have used 
primary sources exclusively (Watchtower Society publications). 
Whenever there was uncertainty about what was being taught on a 
certain doctrinal point, information was obtained directly from 
Watchtower leaders. References to the source materials used are 
given in the footnotes. A bibliography lists primary sources, Bible 
translations, histories of Jehovah's Witnesses, and a number of gen- 
eral works. 

Readers of this book are referred to the author's Four Major Cults 
(Eerdmans, 1963) for further material. One will find in this last- 
named volume an appendix, not found in the present work, which 
deals critically with teachings common to both Jehovah's Witnesses 
and Seventh-day Adventists on "soul-extinction" in the intermediate 
state and on the final annihilation of the wicked. Besides setting forth 
the doctrinal teachings of Christian Science, Mormonism, and Sev- 
enth-day Adventism, The Four Major Cults also includes chapters 
on the challenge of the cults, the distinctive traits of the cult, and the 
approach to the cultist. 


8 Jehovah's Witnesses 

May the Lord use this book for the advancement of His kingdom 
and for the glory of His name. May He particularly use it to lead 
many from the errors of the Watchtower to the truth as it is in Christ. 

Anthony A. Hoekema 
Grand Rapids, Michigan 
July, 1972 

I. History 

Charles Taze Russell 

The history of Jehovah's Witnesses is very closely tied in 
with the history of the three presidents of the organization who 
have so far held office. The first of these was Charles Taze Russell 
(1852-1916).' He was born in the town of Allegheny, now part 
of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February 16, 1852. His parents 
were Presbyterians of Scotch-Irish descent. At the age of fifteen 
Russell was already in partnership with his father, operating a 
chain of men's clothing stores. By this time he had joined the 
Congregational Church, finding it more to his liking than the 

Russell was soon troubled, however, by some of the doctrines 
taught in this church, the doctrines of predestination and eternal 
punishment giving him particular difficulty. By the time he was 
seventeen, in fact, he had become an avowed skeptic, discarding 
the Bible altogether. He explains how this happened in these 
words : 

Brought up a Presbyterian, indoctrinated from the Catechism, 
and being naturally of an inquiring mind, I fell a ready prey 
to the logic of infidelity, as soon as I began to think for myself. 
But that which at first threatened to be the utter shipwreck of 
faith in God and the Bible was, under God's providence, over- 

1 This biographical sketch is based chiefly on material found in two 
Watchtower publications: Qualified to he Ministers (Brooklyn, 1955), pp. 
297-312; and Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose (Brooklyn, 1959), 
pp. 14-63. Except where otherwise indicated, the information which 
follows has been gathered from the above-mentioned volumes. 


10 Jehovah's Witnesses 

ruled for good, and merely wrecked my confidence in human 
creeds and systems of Bible misinterpretations. a 

One day in 1 870 he dropped into a dusty, dingy basement hall 
near his Allegheny store 

to see if the handful who met there had anything more sensible 
to offer than the creeds of the great churches. There, for the 
first time, I heard something of the views of Second Adventism, 
by Jonas Wendell. . . . 

Though his Scripture exposition was not entirely clear, and 
though it was very far from what we now rejoice in, it was 
sufficient, under God, to re-establish my wavering faith in the 
Divine inspiration of the Bible. . . . 3 

His interest in Bible study aroused to fever pitch, Russell now 
organized a Bible class of six members who agreed to meet regu- 
larly. This group met in Pittsburgh from 1870-1875. Russell and 
his associates were disappointed by the Adventist view that 
Christ was coming again in the flesh, being convinced that His 
Second Coming would be a spiritual or invisible one. Russell 
therefore issued a pamphlet entitled The Object and Manner oj 
the Lord's Return, of which some 50,000 copies were published. 

In 1876 Russell came into contact with N. H. Barbour of Roch- 
ester, New York. Barbour was the leader of a group of disaffected 
Adventists who had left that movement because they, like Russell, 
believed that the Second Coming of Christ was to be a spiritual, 
non-visible one. The Pittsburgh group and the Rochester group 
now joined, with the result that the magazine The Herald oj the 
Morning, formerly published by Barbour, became a joint venture. 
In 1877 Barbour and Russell jointly published a 194-page book 
entitled Three Worlds or Plan oj Redemption. 

- Watchtower magazine, 1916, pp. 170-71; quoted in Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 14. Note here a typical cult phenomenon: 
the rejection of all "human creeds." 

s Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 14. It is important to 
note that, by his own admission, it was the Adventists who delivered Russell 
from his early skepticism. Though the term "Second Adventism" which is 
used in the quotation does not represent any known Adventist denomination, 
I conclude, from the similarities which exist between Seventh-day Adventist 
doctrines and Jehovah-Witness teachings, that this group was either a Sev- 
enth-day Adventist congregation, or a group of Adventists who held doc- 
trines similar to those of Seventh-day Adventism. From the Adventists Rus- 
sell obviously borrowed such doctrines as the extinction of the soul at 
death, the annihilation of the wicked, the denial of hell, and a modified 
form of the investigative judgment. 

History 1 1 

This book set forth their belief that Christ's second presence 
began invisibly in the fall of 1874 and thereby commenced a 
forty-year harvest period. Then, remarkably accurately, they 
set forth the year 1914 as the end of the Gentile times. . . . 4 

In a few years, however, Russell broke with Barbour because 
the latter began to deny that the death of Christ was the ransom 
price for Adam and his race. Russell now started a new periodical 
called lion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, the 
first issue coming off the press on July 1, 1879. 5 

The new magazine proved to be an important factor in the ex- 
pansion of the movement. By 1880, for example, some thirty 
congregations had come into existence in seven states. Zion's 
Watch Tower Tract Society was established as an unincorporated 
body in 1881, with Russell as its manager. On December 13, 
1884, this Society was granted a legal charter and was organized 
as a corporation; we may therefore recognize this date as the 
official beginning of the Jehovah's Witness movement." The 
purpose of the society, as stated in Article II of the charter, was 
"the dissemination of Bible truths in various languages by means 
of the publication of tracts, pamphlets, papers and other religious 
documents, and by the use of all other lawful means. . . ." 7 

In accordance with this purpose Russell now issued the first of 
what was eventually to become a 7-volume series of doctrinal 
books. This first volume, appearing in 1886, was called The Di- 
vine Plan of the Ages. The entire series, first called Millennial 
Dawn, later came to be called Studies in the Scriptures. These 
books had a wide circulation; over six million copies of the first 
volume were distributed. 

In 1889 the society acquired a building in Allegheny, Pennsyl- 
vania, which served as its headquarters for the next twenty years. 

4 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 300. It will be noted, therefore, that 
as early as 1877 Russell specified that Christ had invisibly returned 
in 1874. 

Though at first this magazine was published monthly, in 1892 it 
began to appear semi-monthly. In 1909 its name was changed to 
The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence; in 1939 the name 
became The Wutchtower and Herald of Christ's Kingdom; later in that 
same year the title by which it still appears was assumed: The Watch- 
tower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom (Jehovah's Witnesses in the 
Divine Purpose, p. 21, note m). 

" Though at first the society went by the above-mentioned name, in 
1896 the name was changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society 
of Pennsylvania (Qualified to be Ministers, p. 303). 

" Ibid., p. 304. 

12 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Russell made his first trip abroad in 1891, and in 1900 the society's 
first branch office was established in London. Soon books and 
pamphlets began to be published in languages other than English. 
In 1903, while Russell was on a second European tour, a branch 
of the society was set up in Germany; in 1904 one was opened in 

A new avenue of expansion opened up when, in 1908, Joseph 
Franklin Rutherford, the society's legal counselor, obtained prop- 
erty for the society in Brooklyn, New York. In order to hold this 
property, the society had to form another corporation; hence in 
1909 the People's Pulpit Association of New York was incor- 
porated. 8 

In Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose it is said that 
during the years 1909-1914 Russell's sermons were sent out weekly 
to about 3,000 newspapers in the United States, Canada, and 
Europe (p. 50). Martin and Klann, however, in their Jehovah 
of the Watchtower, give documentary evidence to prove that in 
many cases these sermons were never delivered, as reported, in 
the places claimed. From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of February 
19, 1912, the authors quote a news story affirming that a sermon 
allegedly delivered by Russell in Honolulu on a certain date was 
never preached. 9 On a later page the authors reproduce a photo- 
static copy of a letter sent to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle by a Hono- 
lulu editor stating that on the designated day Russell had stopped 
in Honolulu for a few hours, but had made no public address. 1 " 

Martin and Klann also tell how Russell's periodical once adver- 
tised so-called "Miracle Wheat" for one dollar a pound, claiming 
that it would grow five times as fast as any other brand. After 
the Brooklyn Daily Eagle had published a cartoon ridiculing the 
"Pastor" and his "miracle wheat," Russell sued the newspaper for 
libel. When this wheat was investigated by government depart- 

R In 1956 the name of this corporation was changed to the one it now 
bears: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. There 
is also a British corporation, which was formed in 1914, under the name 
International Bible Students Association; it has a Brooklyn address as 
well as a London address. The work of the organization is done by 
all three of these corporations; it is the Pennsylvania corporation, how- 
ever, which is the controlling body and which provides the other cor- 
porations with financial support {Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Pur- 
pose, pp. 48-49). 

9 Walter R. Martin and Norman H. Klann, Jehovah of the Watchtower, 
rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1959), pp. 15-17. 
10 Ibid., opposite p. 30. 

History 1 3 

merits, however, it was found to be, not five times as good as, but 
slightly inferior to, ordinary wheat. Needless to say, the Eagle 
won the suit. 11 

It should be mentioned at this point that Russell was married 
in 1879 to Maria Frances Ackley. No children were born of this 
union. For many years Mrs. Russell was active in the Watchtower 
Society, serving as the first secretary-treasurer of the society and 
for many years as associate editor of the Watch Tower. In 1897, 
however, she and Russell separated. In 1913 Mrs. Russell sued 
her husband for divorce on the grounds of "his conceit, egotism, 
domination, and improper conduct in relation to other women." 12 

Russell's appalling egotism is evident from a comment made 
by him about his Scripture Studies series : 

. . . Not only do we find that people cannot see the divine 
plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if 
anyone lays the "Scripture Studies" aside, even after he has 
used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he 
has read them for ten years — if he then lays them aside and 
ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has under- 
stood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within 
two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had 
merely read the "Scripture Studies" with their references and 
had not read a page of the Bible as such, he would be in the 
light at the end of two years, because he would have the light 
of the Scriptures. 13 

Russell, in other words, considered his books so indispensable for 
the proper understanding of Scripture that without them one would 
simply remain in spiritual darkness. 

In June, 1912, the Rev. Mr. J. J. Ross, pastor of the James 
Street Baptist Church of Hamilton, Ontario, published a denuncia- 
tory pamphlet about Russell entitled Some Facts about the Self- 

11 Ibid., p. 14. The authors quote from the Nov. 1, 1916, issue of the 
Daily Eagle, which contained an obituary article about Russell. 

12 Bruce M. Metzger, "The Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus Christ," 
Theology Today, April. 1953, pp. 65-66. Dr. Metzger refers his readers 
to Herbert H. Stroup's The Jehovah's Witnesses (New York: Columbia 
University Press, 1945), pp. 9-11, for a more detailed account of the 
divorce proceedings. 

is Watch Tower, Sept. 15, 1910, p. 298; quoted in Martin and Klann, 
op. cit„ p. 24. See also J. K. Van Baalen's Chaos of Cults, 3rd ed., 
p. 269, n. 2, where this same passage is quoted from the July, 1957. 

1 4 Jehovah's Witnesses 

styled "Pastor," Charles T. Russell.™ Russell sued Ross for libel. 
In the trial, which took place the following year, Russell was proved 
to be a perjurer. When asked by Attorney Staunton, Ross's 
lawyer, whether he knew the Greek alphabet, Russell replied, "Oh, 
yes." When he was further asked to identify the Greek letters 
on top of a page of the Greek Testament which was handed him, 
he was unable to do so, finally admitting that he was not familiar 
with the Greek language. 15 Russell, furthermore, had previously 
claimed to have been ordained by a recognized religious body. 
Staunton also pressed him on this point, finally asking him point- 
blank, "Now, you never were ordained by a bishop, clergyman, 
presbytery, council, or any body of men living?" Russell an- 
swered, after a long pause, "I never was." 16 In this trial, there- 
fore, Russell's deliberate perjury was established beyond doubt, 
and the real character of the man looked up to by his followers as 
an inspired religious teacher was clearly revealed. 

Russell died on October 31, 1916, while aboard a train near 
Pampa, Texas, on his way home from a California speaking trip. 
It is claimed by Jehovah's Witnesses that during his lifetime he 
traveled more than a million miles, gave more than 30,000 ser- 
mons, and wrote books totalling over 50,000 pages. 17 

Joseph Franklin Rutherford 

On January 6, 1917, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, who had 
been serving as the society's legal counselor, became the second 
president of the Watchtower Society. 18 Rutherford was born on 
November 8, 1869, in Booneville, Missouri, of Baptist parents. 
When he was sixteen years old, he entered college for the purpose 
of studying law. At the age of twenty-two he was admitted to the 
bar and began to practice law, later serving four years as public 
prosecutor for Booneville. Still later he was appointed special 
judge for the Fourteenth Judicial District of Missouri. During 

14 Martin and Klann, op. cil., p. 18. 

10 Ibid., p. 20. The authors quote from a copy of the Russell- 
vs.-Ross transcript on file in the Brooklyn headquarters of the Watch- 
tower Society. 

16 Ibid., p. 22. For the entire story of this trial, which includes 
other examples of Russell's deliberate lying under oath, the reader is 
referred to pp. 18-22 of Martin and Klann. 

17 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 310. 

i 8 This sketch of the history of the Jehovah's Witnesses during 
Rutherford's presidency is based chiefly on pp. 312-32 of Qualified to be 
Ministers, and on pp. 64-195 of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. 

History 1 5 

this time he occasionally served as substitute judge when the 
regular judge was ill. Hence he came to be called "Judge" Ruth- 
erford. In 1894 Rutherford came into contact with representatives 
of the Watchtower Society; in 1906 he joined the movement; and 
in 1907 he became the society's legal counselor. 

When he became president, Rutherford proceeded at once to 
reorganize the Brooklyn office and to encourage the members of 
the society to engage in a more active program of witnessing. 
Shortly after Rutherford's accession to the presidency, dissatis- 
faction arose within the ranks of the society. This dissatisfaction 
culminated in open rebellion, after which the leaders of the dis- 
affected group were dismissed from their official positions. This 
dismissal led to the formation of certain schismatic groups. 

In July of 1917 the seventh volume of the Studies in the Scrip- 
tures series, The Finished Mystery, was published. This book, 
which was compiled by Watchtower editors from the writings of 
Charles T. Russell, was chiefly a commentary on Revelation and 
Ezekiel. A 4-page extract from this book entitled "The Fall of 
Babylon" was distributed in great quantities to church members, 
beginning on December 30, 1917. According to this tract, Cath- 
olic and Protestant religious organizations together form present- 
day Babylon which, it was predicted, would soon pass into obliv- 
ion. The furor which the tract aroused soon led to governmental 
action. In February of 1918 the Canadian government forbade 
anyone to possess copies of Watchtower publications; it was alleged 
that they contained seditious and anti-war statements. 19 William 
J. Schnell, a former Jehovah's Witness who left the movement, as- 
serts that during this time Rutherford was pursuing "a seemingly 
anti-war editorial policy" in the Watchtower magazine. 20 In May 
of 1918 warrants were issued by the United States District Court 
of Eastern New York for the arrest of eight of the society's lead- 
ers, including Rutherford, charging them with conspiring to cause 
insubordination and refusal of duty in United States military and 
naval forces. 21 On June 20 the eight were found guilty of these 
charges, and the next day they were sentenced to twenty years 
imprisonment in the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, Georgia. 22 

19 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, pp. 75-76. 

20 Thirty Years a Watch Tower Slave (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1956), 
p. 37. 

- 1 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 315. 

22 ibid. Actually, to eighty years, since they were sentenced to twenty 
years each on four different counts (Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine 
Purpose, p. 80). 

16 Jehovah's Witnesses 

The Brooklyn headquarters were now closed, operations of the 
society being conducted, for the time being, from Pittsburgh. 
After the war ended in November of 1918, society members be- 
gan to petition their congressmen and governors for the release 
of the Watchtower leaders. On May 14, 1919, the convictions of 
the eight leaders were reversed, and soon thereafter they were set 
free. 23 

The Brooklyn office was now reopened, and the society received 
a new lease on life. During the course of this year a second maga- 
zine, The Golden Age, was launched, the first issue appearing on 
October 1, 1919. 2 * 

Printing activities were now expanded, the society deciding to 
do all its own printing. In 1 92 1 the society published The Harp of 
God, the first of a series of books by Rutherford, who proved to 
be an even more prolific writer than Russell had been. 2s Soon 
the Rutherford books were replacing Russell's volumes as standard 
expositions of Watchtower doctrine. 

In 1920 all the members of the congregations who participated 
in the witnessing work of the society were required to turn in 
weekly reports. William J. Schnell, whose Thirty Years a Watch 
Tower Slave is a revealing account of the inner workings of the 
movement, contends that during Rutherford's presidency there 
emerged a basic change in Watchtower policies. Whereas em- 
phasis had previously been laid on Bible study, character develop- 
ment, and the cultivation of the fruits of the Spirit, all the stress 
came to be laid on the placing of literature, the making of calls, 
and the reporting of these calls to Watchtower Headquarters. 
Schnell claims that as a result of this change of purpose, more 
than three-fourths of the Bible Students originally associated with 
the movement left the group. 20 

In connection with the increased emphasis on witnessing, there 
began to appear, in October of 1922, a monthly service sheet of 
instructions called The Bulletin. Though these instructions had 
been issued since 1917 to "pioneers," who devoted full time to 
witnessing, they were now made available to all members of the 
society to help them in their propagandizing activities. 27 

2:1 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 316. 

24 The name of this semi-monthly was changed in 1937 to Consolation; 
in 1946 the name was changed to Awake, under which title it is still 
published (Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 89, note v). 

2r > See the bibliography for Rutherford's other publications. 

26 Op. tit., pp. 29, 41, 42. 

27 In 1935 the name of this monthly was changed to Director; in 
1936, to Informant; and in 1956, to Kingdom Ministry (Jehovah's Wit- 

History 1 7 

In 1931, at a convention held at Columbus, Ohio, the members 
of the society adopted a resolution affirming that, from then on, 
they were to be known as Jehovah's Witnesses, basing this new 
name particularly on the words of Isaiah 43:10, "Ye are my 
witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have 
chosen. . . ." 28 

In 1940 the society began its street distribution of the Watch- 
tower and Consolation magazines, offering them to people on street 
corners. This policy is still followed. Another witnessing method 
which had been in vogue from 1934 — the playing of phonograph 
records at the doors of homes — was abandoned in 1944, however, 
in favor of personal presentations by the members. 29 

During World War II the policy of neutrality which the society 
had adopted in 1917 was reaffirmed, with the result that many 
Jehovah's Witnesses were convicted and imprisoned for refusing 
to serve in the armed forces. After 1940 most male witnesses 
were able to establish their ministerial status before their local 
draft boards so as to obtain 4-D exemptions from military service. 
Not all were successful in obtaining such exemptions, however; 
hence some 3,500 Witnesses were imprisoned during the war 
years. 3 " It is significant to note that the number of Jehovah-Wit- 
ness "ministers" doubled between the years 1939 and 1945, the 
number given for the latter year being 141,606. 31 

On January 8, 1942, Rutherford died. He had been president 
of the society for twenty-five years. During his presidency the 
society moved from a more or less democratic organization to a 
"theocratic" one, 32 in which the directors of the various local con- 

nesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 104 and p. 148, n. u). 

28 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, pp. 125-126. The entire 
text of the resolution is there reproduced. 

2y Qualified to be Ministers, p. 334. 

3fl Ibid., pp. 327-31. The statement about "most male witnesses" 
is found on p. 331. On pp. 223-24 of Jehovah's Witnesses in the 
Divine Purpose, however, we are told that, during these war years, 
only a few Jehovah's Witnesses were given ministerial exemption. 
One wonders how these two apparently contradictory statements can 
be reconciled. 

31 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 332. "Ministers" are Jehovah's Witnesses 
who are actively engaged in witnessing. Even those who do not 
devote their full time to these religious activities are considered by the 
group to be "ministers." 

S2 "Theocratic" means God-ruled. Since Jehovah's Witnesses believe 
that they are directly ruled by God, the adjective "theocratic" is applied 
by them not only to their type of organization, but also to ali their 
activities: they speak of "theocratic ministry," "theocratic warfare," and 
so on. 

1 8 Jehovah's Witnesses 

gregations were no longer elected by local assemblies, but were 
appointed by the governing body in Brooklyn. 33 

Nathan Homer Knorr 

On January 13, 1942, Nathan H. Knorr was elected to be the 
society's third president. 34 He was born in 1905 in Bethlehem, 
Pennsylvania. At the age of sixteen he had already resigned his 
membership in the Reformed Church and had associated himself 
with the Allentown, Pennsylvania, congregation of Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses. At the age of eighteen he became a full-time preacher, and 
joined the headquarters staff in Brooklyn. Soon he was made co- 
ordinator of all printing activities in the society plant, becoming 
general manager of the publishing office and plant in 1932. In 
1934 he became one of the directors of the New York corporation, 
and in 1940 he became vice-president of the Pennsylvania cor- 
poration. 35 

Knorr is not as well known as the previous two society presidents 
were; few outsiders even know his name. One of his major con- 
cerns while in office has been the improvement of the society's 
training program. A major step in this new educational program 
was the establishment, in 1943, of the Gilead Watchtower Bible 
School in South Lansing, New York (near Ithaca). An im- 
portant next step was the organization of "theocratic ministry 
schools" in every Jehovah's Witness congregation. In order to 
aid the congregations in their local training programs, three text- 
books, containing information about Bible contents, witnessing 
methods, and history, were published over a ten- year period: 
Theocratic Aid to Kingdom Publishers (1945), Equipped for 
Every Good Work (1946), and Qualified to be Ministers (1955). 

In addition to the above titles, a new series of doctrinal books 
is being published during Knorr's presidency. Unlike previous 
Watchtower publications, however, these books are not the work 
of a single author. Although it is surmised that Mr. Knorr is their 
primary author, the books pass through several hands before pub- 
lication, 30 and are issued anonymously. One of the first of these 

33 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 320. 

34 The following information about the history of the Jehovah's Witnesses 
since 1942 is based chiefly on pp. 332-45 of Qualified to be Ministers, and 
on pp. 196-295 of Jehovah's Witnesses in tlie Divine Purpose. 

35 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 196. 

36 This information was obtained from Mr. Ulysses V. Glass, Press 
Secretary to Mr. Knorr, in an interview at Brooklyn Headquarters on 
June 6, 1962. 

History 19 

books, which are now considered authoritative doctrinal guides 
by the Witnesses, taking the place of previous publications by 
Russell and Rutherford, was The Truth Shall Make You Free, 
published in 1943. In 1946 came Let God Be True, a Jehovah- 
Witness doctrinal summary, which was revised in 1952, and of 
which, so it is claimed, more than 17,000,000 copies have been 
printed, in 50 languages. Make Sure of All Things, which first 
appeared in 1953 and was revised in 1957, is a compilation of 
Scripture passages on seventy topics; Jehovah's Witnesses use this 
volume as a handy Scripture reference book when making calls. 
From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, published in 1958, 
represents a new format: the type is larger and easier to read than 
that used in the other books, and there are many illustrations. By 
means of these publications, which have been sold by the millions, 
the society now spreads its teachings far and wide. 37 

Another important project carried out during Knorr's presidency 
has been the translation of the Bible into modern English. In 
1950 the first of these translations appeared: The New World 
Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. The translation of 
the Old Testament has been released in portions: Volume I was 
published in 1953, Volume II in 1955, Volume III in 1957, Vol- 
ume IV in 1958, and Volume V in 1960. In 1961 the entire 
Bible in the New World Translation was published in one volume. 
The translators make clear that this one-volume edition may be 
considered a revised edition of the New World Translation, since 
certain changes from previous editions have been made in it. 38 
The names of the members of the New World Bible Translation 
Committee which did the translating are not divulged; the members 
of this committee have requested that they remain anonymous even 
after their death. S!) This translation is by no means an objective 
rendering of the Bible into English; it incorporates many features 
which support Jehovah-Witness doctrines. 40 

During Knorr's regime as president, there has been a tremendous 
expansion of the work into foreign countries. Whereas in 1942 

37 For other titles published since Knorr assumed the presidency, see 
the bibliography. 

ss New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, revised a.d. 1961 
(Watchtower Society, 1961), p. 6. 

39 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 258. 

40 For scholarly and competent analyses of these translations, the 
reader is referred to Bruce M. Metzger, op. cit., pp. 67, 74-80; and 
to Walter E. Stuermann, "Jehovah's Witnesses," Interpretation, Vol. 
V, No. 3 (July, 1956), pp. 323-45. See below, pp. 26-30. 

20 ■ Jehovah's Witnesses 

witnessing was carried on in only 54 countries, in 1971 work was 
done in 207 countries. 41 

Among the most publicized aspects of Jehovah-Witness activity 
during the fifties were the Yankee Stadium conventions in New York 
City, which were attended by Witnesses from all over the world. The 
Yankee Stadium Assembly held in 1950 attracted a peak attendance 
of 123, 707; 42 the 1953 assembly reported a top attendance of 
1 65,829 ; 43 and the 1958 assembly, held simultaneously in Yankee 
Stadium and the Polo Grounds, drew a record attendance on Sunday, 
August 3, of 253,922 persons. 44 

Statistics and Activities 

Though the Watchtower Society keeps no membership roll, it does 
keep a record of the preaching activities of Jehovah's Witnesses. 
Since 1948, the January 1 issue of The Watchtower has contained 
the so-called "Service Year Report" for the preceding year. From 
the January 1, 1972, issue we glean the following information: in 
1971 the average number of active Jehovah's Witnesses throughout 
the world was 1,5 10, 245. ,5 This figure represents an increase over 
the previous service year of 125, 000. 40 

Jehovah's Witnesses do not recognize ordination in the sense in 
which Christian churches do; every active Witness is called a "min- 
ister." The closest analogy to an ordained minister among the Je- 
hovah's Witnesses is a "pioneer publisher" — a person who devotes 
his full time to witnessing and distributing literature. In 1971 the 
average number of pioneer publishers throughout the world was 

41 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 340; Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1972, p. 25. 

42 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 342. 
■*» Ibid., p. 344. 

44 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 291. 

4r ' Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1972, p. 25. This is the figure given for "1971 Av. 
Pubs." Pubs, stands for publishers, a common designation for active Witnesses. 
Since it is said on p. 27 of this issue that these individuals "arranged to go from 
house to house or to declare the good news of God's kingdom in some other 
way every month during the past year," we may assume that this figure repre- 
sents the total number of regularly active Witnesses for the year. Because the 
Jehovah-Witness service year runs from Oct. 1 to Oct. 1, this figure reflects the 
situation as of Sept. 30, 1971. The article from which the above figure was 
taken goes on to say, "However, before the year ended, the number [of pub- 
lishers] grew to 1,590,793" (p. 27). Apparently the number of adherents far 
exceeds the number of active Witnesses, since the number who attended the 
Memorial or Lord's Supper in 1971 is given as 3,453,542 (p. 25). 

46 Ibid., p. 27. The report also states that 149,808 people were baptized 
in 1971. 

History 2 1 

95,501. The total number of congregations listed for the year 1971 
was 27, 154. 47 

What is the geographical distribution of Jehovah's Witnesses? 
The average number of active Witnesses in the United States for 
1971 was 402, 893. 4S This figure represents twenty-seven percent of 
the average number of active Witnesses in the world during that year. 
In 1971, therefore, the relationship of active Witnesses in the United 
States to those outside the United States was as follows: twenty-seven 
percent in the United States, and seveny-three percent in foreign 
countries. In other words, in 1971 approximately three out of every 
four active Jehovah's Witnesses were to be found outside the United 

From the January 1, 1972, issue of The Watchtower we learn, 
further, that the foreign country in which the most Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses were found in 1971 is West Germany (87,976 active Wit- 
nesses listed) . Next is Nigeria, with 75,372; then Brazil, with 66,460. 
The British Isles come next with 62,813; then the Philippines, with 
54,264; and then Zambia, with 52,369. 51,256 active Witnesses are 
listed for Mexico, and 48,100 for Canada. Other countries where 
the Witnesses claim to have had at least 5,000 active workers in 1971 
include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, 
Congo (Kinshasa), Denmark, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, 
Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, 
Puerto Rico, Rhodesia, Malawi, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Swit- 
zerland, and Venezuela. 49 

During the year 1971 Jehovah's Witnesses claim to have put in 
291,952,375 hours of witnessing, and to have distributed 18,168,- 
032 bound books and Bibles, 10,590,176 booklets, and 213,898,563 
copies of The Watchtower and Awake. It is further stated that they 
made 133,785 back calls and conducted 1,257,904 Bible studies in 
1971. 50 

As was noted previously, the two chief Jehovah-Witness periodi- 
cals are The Watchtower and Awake, each of which appears bi- 

47 Both of the above figures were obtained from the Jan. 1, 1972, Watch- 
tower, p. 25. 

■"* Ibid., p. 22. It is interesting to note, however, that separate figures are 
given for Alaska (823) and Hawaii (3,450). 

4il A great many more countries are listed where a smaller number of active 
workers are found. It must be remembered, of course, that I am simply repro- 
ducing Jehovah-Witness figures here. We are not told how these figures are 
arrived at, nor what criterion is used to determine whether a person is a pub- 
lisher (active worker). 

s <» Watchtower, Jan. I, 1972, pp. 25, 27. 

22 Jehovah's Witnesses 

weekly, one alternating with the other. In the July 15, 1972, issue of 
The Watchtower it is claimed that 7,850,000 copies of this issue were 
printed, in 74 languages. The July 8, 1972, issue of Awake reports 
an average printing of 7,500,000 copies, in 27 languages. 

Most of the literature of the society is printed and bound at its own 
printing plant in Brooklyn, New York. Some idea of the scope of this 
work may be gained from the fact that of one of the society's books, 
The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, published in 1968, 53 million 
copies have been printed in 76 languages. 51 All those working at the 
printing plant receive room and board, a modest yearly clothing 
allowance, and fourteen dollars a month/' 2 This extremely low salary 
is undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons why Jehovah's Witnesses 
can still sell most of their bound books for as little as fifty cents 
a copy. 

Office workers at Bethel Headquarters (as the Brooklyn apart- 
ment and office building is called) work for the same "salary" as 
the employees of the printing plant. In addition, there are two 
"Kingdom farms" — one near Ithaca, New York, and one about 
fifty miles from New York City — which provide vegetables, fruit, 
and dairy products for the "Bethel family." 

For approximately thirty years the Watchtower Society owned 
and operated Radio Station WBBR on Staten Island, New York. 
In 1937, however, the society withdrew from the commercial use 
of radio, and in 1957 Radio Station WBBR was sold. 53 

As far as is known, the society operates no hospitals, sanatoriums, 
clinics, or dispensaries. There are no Jehovah-Witness elementary 
schools, high schools, or colleges. It has been noted, however, that in 
1943 the Gilead Bible School was opened. In 1960 this school was 
moved from its former location in South Lansing, New York, to 107 
Columbia Heights in Brooklyn — across the street from Bethel 
Headquarters. 54 This school has facilities for about 100 students; it 
has a twenty-week curriculum, divided into four quarters of five 
weeks each. sr> The students, many of whom come from foreign 
countries, are trained in such subjects as Bible content, doctrines, 
languages of the countries in which they will be working, and minis- 

51 Letter from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society dated July 4, 1 972. 

52 Ibid. It should be remembered, however, that the people thus housed are 
either single individuals or married couples without children. There are no 
facilities at Bethel Headquarters in Brooklyn for married couples with children. 

53 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, pp. 120, 138, 283. 

54 1961 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 59. 

55 Watchtower brochure entitled Watchtower Bible School of Gilead, p. 2. 

History 23 

terial activities."' There are other training schools in foreign coun- 
tries, which give instruction on the Bible-school level for the various 
types of Jehovah-Witness ministry/' 7 

As far as the organization of the Watchtower Society is con- 
cerned, mention has already been made of the three corporations 
under which the society operates, and of its "theocratic" method 
of appointing people to positions of leadership. Below the central 
controlling powers are the so-called "regional servants," of which 
there are six in the United States. These supervise the work done 
in their areas, and report to the Board of Directors. Under these 
are the "zone servants," which number 153 in the United States. 
These must work with the congregations in their zones and must 
conduct occasional "zone assemblies" at which the constituent 
groups meet together. 58 The local groups, which are never larger 
than two hundred, are called "companies" or "congregations," and 
the person in charge of each congregation is called a "company 
servant." 1 "' 9 The congregations meet in unpretentious buildings 
called "Kingdom Halls." 60 

Jehovah's Witnesses consider Christmas to be "a celebration 
that is neither commanded nor mentioned in Scripture, but that 
was borrowed from . . . pagan celebrations" 61 ; they oppose the 
use of Christmas trees. 62 They are unalterably opposed to blood 
transfusions, 63 and they refuse to salute the flag of any nation. 64 
Though they do pay taxes and make social security payments, 
they do not vote or hold political office. 65 In times of war Je- 
hovah's Witnesses take a position of strict neutrality. They claim 
that "the preaching activity of Jehovah's ministers entitles them to 
claim exemption from performing military training and service in 
the armed forces," adding that they have conscientious objections 
to noncombatant as well as to combatant military service. 66 

■"'6 Ibid., pp. 2-3. 

• r ' 7 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 293. 

58 Ibid., pp. 189-90. 

59 Ibid., p. 189. 

90 For most of the above information I am indebted to Charles S 
Braden, These Also Believe, pp. 365-66. 

61 Awake, Dec. 8, 1961, p. 8. 

62 Braden, These Also Believe, p. 379. 

63 Make Sure of All Things, p. 47. 

64 Let God Be True, 2nd ed. (1952), pp. 242-43. 

65 Personal interview with Ulysses V. Glass, June 6, 1962. 

66 Letter from Watchtower Headquarters, Jan. 21, 1963. 

24 Jehovah's Witnesses 

There have been a number of defections from the Jehovah- 
Witness movement. One of the best known is the so-called Dawn 
Bible Students' Association, which broke away from the parent 
group after Russell's death; its headquarters are in East Ruther- 
ford, New Jersey. Another prominent splinter group is the so- 
called Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, which originated 
in 1917. The first leader of this group was Paul S. L. Johnson; 
its headquarters are in Philadelphia. Kurt Hutten is of the opinion 
that approximately twenty groups have left the Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses. 67 

67 Die Glaubenswelt des Sektierers (Hamburg: Furche-Verlag, 1957), 
p. 96. 

Source of Authority 

Norm for Interpreting Scripture 

As we begin our examination of the doctrinal teachings of 
Jehovah's Witnesses, we shall first of all take up the question of 
their source of authority. The Watchtower Society has not issued 
a set of statements of belief comparable to the "Fundamental Be- 
liefs of Seventh-day Adventists," or the "Articles of Faith" of the 
Mormons. To find the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses on vari- 
ous doctrinal points we must consult their publications. It will 
be recalled that the anonymous books and booklets published since 
1942 are now considered their authoritative doctrinal guides, re- 
placing earlier publications authored by Russell and Rutherford. 

When we approach these publications with the question, What 
do Jehovah's Witnesses consider to be their ultimate source of 
authority? the answer seems to be the same as that given by the 
Protestant churches: namely, the Bible. "The Holy Scriptures of 
the Bible are the standard by which to judge all religions." 89 
Scripture, it is said, is the written revelation of the true God 70 ; the 
Bible is therefore not a human product, but a book of which 
God is the primary author and inspirer. 71 

In Let God Be True, a widely circulated and well-known Jehovah- 
Witness doctrinal book, it is unequivocally stated, "We shall let God 
be found true by turning our readers to his imperishable written 
Word." 7 - On another page it is said, 

69 What Has Religion Done for Mankind? (Brooklyn: Watchtower 
Bible and Tract Society, 1951), p. 32. 
''« Ibid., p. 26. 

71 Ibid., pp. 29-31. 

72 Rev. ed. (Brooklyn. 1952), p. 18. 


26 Jehovah's Witnesses 

To let God be found true means to let God have the say as 
to what is the truth that sets men free. It means to accept his 
Word, the Bible, as the truth. Hence, in this book, our appeal 
is to the Bible for truth. Our obligation is to back up what 
is said herein by quotations from the Bible for proof of truth- 
fulness and reliability. 73 

And another statement appears later in the volume: "The Word 
of the Most High God is the dependable basis for faith." 74 From 
both Old Testament and New Testament it is shown that the oral 
traditions of men were not considered authoritative either by the 
Bible writers or by Jesus Christ; hence the authors of Let God Be 
True decisively reject such a second source of authority next to 
the Bible. 75 

We gratefully recognize that Jehovah's Witnesses thus clearly 
state their dependence on Scripture as their final source of au- 
thority. As we examine their theology, however, it will become 
quite evident that this is by no means a fair and honest statement 
of the case. Instead of listening to Scripture and subjecting them- 
selves wholly to its teachings, as they claim to do, they actually 
impose their own theological system upon Scripture and force 
it to comply with their beliefs. 

As evidence for this I advance, first, the fact that their New 
World Translation of the Bible is by no means an objective render- 
ing of the sacred text into modern English, but is a biased transla- 
tion in which many of the peculiar teachings of the Watchtower 
Society are smuggled into the text of the Bible itself. The Watch- 
tower Society, for example, has intruded into the New World Trans- 
lation its own peculiar teaching about the Holy Spirit. Jehovah's 
Witnesses deny both the personality and the deity of the Holy 
Spirit, defining the Holy Spirit as "the invisible active force of 
Almighty God which moves his servants to do his will." 76 So 
pervasively has this teaching been incorporated into the New 
World Translation that no person reading this Bible without previ- 
ous theological training would ever get the impression that the 
Holy Spirit is a divine Person. 

Let us observe how this is done. Though we are not told why 
the New World Translation capitalizes words which have to do 
with God, we may assume that they do so as a means of designat- 

■ra Ibid., p. 9. 
7 * Ibid., p. 121. 
7r > Ibid., pp. 11-18. 
7 « Ibid., p. 108. 

Source of A uthority 27 

ing deity (for example, God, Lord Jehovah, Rock, King, Shep- 
herd, and so on). As is well known, Jehovah's Witnesses deny 
the full deity of Jesus Christ, maintaining that Christ is "a god" 
but not "Jehovah God," that He is not equal to the Father, and 
that He is not the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. It is, how- 
ever, quite striking that the New World Translation capitalizes 
various titles which designate Jesus Christ: for example, Word 
(Jn. 1:1, 14), Son (Mt. 11:27), Saviour (Lk. 2:11), and Lord 
(Jn. 20:28). The capitalization of these titles presumably indi- 
cates that, though Christ is not recognized as equal to the 
Father, He is nevertheless honored as the highest of all God's 

Against this background it is highly significant that the word 
spirit, when used to designate the Holy Spirit, is never capitalized 
in the New World Translation. In Matthew 28:19, for example, 
we read, "Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the 
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son 
and of the holy spirit." By this type of translation Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses are affirming that they refuse to ascribe to the Holy Spirit 
even the honor paid to Christ as the highest of all God's creatures. 
This rendering thus not only denies the deity of the Holy Spirit, 
but even denies His equality with Jesus Christ, who is considered 
inferior to the Father. A comparable passage is II Corinthians 
13:14, "The undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ and 
the love of God and the sharing in the holy spirit be with all of 
YOU." 77 To cite a few more examples, the words spirit or holy 
spirit also occur in uncapitalized form in the following passages: 
Isaiah 63:10 ("But they themselves rebelled and made his holy 
spirit feel hurt"); John 14:26 ("But the helper, the holy spirit, 
which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach YOU 
all things and bring back to YOUR minds 'all the things I told 
YOU"); Acts 8:29 ("So the spirit said to Philip: 'Approach and 
join yourself to this chariot' "); and I Corinthians 12:3 (". . . no- 
body can say: 'Jesus is Lord!' except by holy spirit"). 78 

Despite their claim to be only listening to Scripture, Jehovah's 

77 You is printed in capitals in the New World Translation to indicate 
that the pronoun is in the plural number. 

78 One cannot appeal to the Greek text to settle the question of 
whether Holy Spirit ought to begin with capital letters, since in the 
oldest manuscripts of the New Testament all the letters of every word 
were capitals. The capitalization of words in a translation, therefore, 
reflects the judgment of the translator or editor. 

28 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Witnesses are here reinterpreting the Bible in line with their 
Unitarian ideas about God. Most emphatically does the Bible 
teach the deity of the Holy Spirit. This is evident even from the 
New World Translation of Acts 5:3-4. In this passage, after Luke 
has recorded Ananias' sin, he reports Peter's words to him: 
"Ananias, why has Satan emboldened you to play false to the 
holy spirit. . . . You have played false, not to men, but to God." 79 
The Holy Spirit, to whom Ananias has "played false," is here 
unmistakably designated as being God. What clearer proof could 
be asked for the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses pervert the Scriptures 
to suit their purpose? 

There is, however, another way in which Jehovah's Witnesses 
pervert Biblical teaching about the Holy Spirit by means of their 
translation of the Bible. As was noted, they also deny the per- 
sonality of the Holy Spirit. This denial, too, they obtrude into 
their supposedly objective rendering of God's Holy Word. Let 
us note a few examples of this. John 14:26, in the New World 
Translation, reads as follows: "But the helper, the holy spirit 
which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach YOU 
all things and bring back to YOUR minds all the things I told 
YOU." The relative pronoun which conveys to the unsuspecting 
reader the thought that the "holy spirit" here spoken of is not a 
person but an impersonal power (since, in modern English, whom 
is used to designate a person and which to designate a thing). 80 
The Greek, to be sure, has ho, which is the neuter singular form 
of the relative pronoun. The reason for this, however, is that the 
antecedent of the relative is pneuma (spirit), which is a neuter 
noun in Greek. That the Evangelist did not intend to say that 
the helper whom the Father would send was a thing or an im- 
personal force is evident from the form of the demonstrative pro- 
noun, ekeinos (translated that one in the New World Translation). 

79 Since there are some variations between the text of the New 
World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures which was published 
in 1950 and revised in 1951 and the later edition of the entire Bible, 
it should be noted that all quotations from the New World Translation 
appearing in this book, unless otherwise designated, are from the 
1961 edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. 

80 Because which as a relative pronoun could be used to designate 
persons in 17th-century English, the King James Version of 1611 could 
properly render the opening words of the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father 
which art in heaven" (Mt. 6:9, Lk. 11:2). In modern English, however, 
which may not be used to refer to persons; hence recent versions have sub- 
stituted who for which in Mt. 6:9. 

Source of A uthority 29 

Though there is a neuter singular form of this pronoun, ekeino, it 
is not the neuter form which is here used but the masculine singu- 
lar form, ekeinos. The meaning is clear: that one, that person, 
will teach you all things. The New World rendering, "which the 
Father will send," is therefore a biased rendering which denies the 
personality of the Holy Spirit. 81 

Another example of this type of mistranslation is Romans 
8:16, "The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are 
God's children." Still another example is found in Ephesians 
4:30, "Also, do not be grieving God's holy spirit, with which 
YOU have been sealed for a day of releasing by ransom." If 
any Scripture passage teaches the personality of the Holy Spirit, 
surely it is this one; for how can one grieve an impersonal force — 
say, an electrical current? Yet the New World Translation 
again uses which instead of whom. It should be clear by now 
that these impersonal renderings of pronouns referring to the 
Holy Spirit are not objective translations but perversions of the 
Bible. 82 

There are other ways in which the New World Translation dis- 
torts the text of Scripture. More passages of this type will be 
examined in detail in the Appendix. Enough evidence has been given 
on the preceding pages, however, to establish the point that Jeho- 
vah's Witnesses are not simply going back "to the Bible alone" when 

si How would Jehovah's Witnesses explain the latter half of the verse, 
"that one will teach you all things," in the light of their insistence 
that the Holy Spirit is "the invisible active force of Almighty God"? 
Can an impersonal force "teach all things"? 

8a If Jehovah's Witnesses wish to justify their use of the pronoun 
which with reference to the Holy Spirit on the ground of the fact 
that pneuma is a neuter noun in Greek, we would remind them that 
the New World Translation at other times uses a masculine or feminine 
pronoun to refer to a neuter noun. For example, in Mt. 14:11 we 
read, "And his head was brought on a platter and given to the maiden 
(korasion), and she brought it to her mother." The Greek verb 
translated "she brought" is eenegken, a third person singular form. 
This form may be translated either as "he brought," "she brought," or 
"it brought." The implied subject of the verb is korasion, a neuter 
noun, meaning little girl or maiden. If a neuter noun always called 
for a neuter pronoun, the translation should have read, "it brought it 
to her mother." Here, however, the translators correctly interpreted the 
neuter noun as standing for a person, and hence rendered the clause, 
"and she brought it to her mother." We can only conclude, therefore, 
that when the New World translators refer to the Holy Spirit as it 
or which, their choice of pronouns is not based upon grammatical grounds 
but upon their own preconceived conception of the impersonality of the 
Holy Spirit. 

30 Jehovah's Witnesses 

they use their New World Translation, but are putting into people's 
hands a biased rendering of the sacred text, by means of which their 
heretical doctrines are subtly insinuated into the minds of unsuspect- 
ing readers. 

A second ground for the assertion made above (namely, that 
Jehovah's Witnesses do not subject themselves to the claims of 
Scripture but impose their own beliefs upon Scripture, thereby 
forcing it to comply with their teachings) is that their method 
of using Scripture is to find passages which seem to support their 
views, and to ignore passages which fail to provide such support. 
As an example of this technique, I present their attempt to dis- 
prove the doctrine of the Trinity in Let God Be True. 

After asserting that the doctrine of the Trinity originated not 
with God but with Satan, the authors of this volume adduce four 
Scripture passages which, so they say, are "the main scriptures 
used to support the trinity doctrine"* 3 : I John 5:7, John 10:30, 
I Timothy 3:16, and John 1:1. They then proceed to show that 
I John 5:7 is probably spurious. S4 On this point they are correct — 
this verse is not found in the oldest manuscripts of the Greek New 
Testament and hence, though found in the King James Version, 
it is omitted in all the modern versions, including both the ASV 
and the RSV. sr ' It should be added at once, however, that 
no reputable theologian from any evangelical denomination would 
use this passage today as a proof -text for the Trinity! 

The authors next proceed to interpret John 10:30 ("I and 
the Father are one") as teaching merely that Jehovah and Christ 
are regarded as "one in agreement, purpose and organization." 86 
What the authors fail to mention, however, is that, according 
to verse 31, the Jews took up stones to stone Jesus, giving as 
their reason for this action, "For a good work we stone thee not, 
but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest 
thyself God" (verse 33, ASV). A mere claim of agreement in 
purpose with God would never have made the Jews cry "blas- 
phemy!" The clear implication of this word, understood against 

83 Let God Be True, p. 102. 

m Ibid., p. 103. 

85 In the King James Version I John 5:7 reads, "For there are three 
that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy 
Ghost: and these three are one." Though these later versions do have 
a verse which is called verse 7, the words which comprise this 
verse were part of verse 6 in the King James Version. 

«« Ibid., p. 104. 

Source of A uthority 3 1 

the background of Jewish monotheism, is that the Jews under- 
stood Jesus to be claiming full equality with God the Father. 

The authors of Let God Be True next cite 1 Timothy 3:16. 
Here the King James Version reads, "And without controversy 
great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh 
. . . ." The authors reject this reading in favor of the rendering 
found in the American Standard Version: "He who was mani- 
fested in the flesh," adding that Moffatt has also adopted this 
reading. 87 They might have added that all the modern trans- 
lations (including the RSV, the New English, the Berkeley Version, 
and Phillips) have "he who" instead of "God," because the 
manuscript evidence for the former reading is much stronger than 
that for the latter. The above facts should make it clear that the 
churches which confess the doctrine of the Trinity do not base 
this tenet upon the older rendering of I Timothy 3:16, as Je- 
hovah's Witnesses claim. 

The last passage adduced as supporting the Trinity doctrine is 
John 1:1. In agreement with the Emphatic Diaglott 6 * and the 
New World Translation, the authors render the last part of this 
verse, "and the Word was a god." In the Appendix it will be 
demonstrated that this rendering of the Greek text is a mistransla- 
tion. Suffice it to say here that the entire argumentation of this 
paragraph is based on this mistranslation. 89 

After discussing these four passages, the authors of Let God be 
True go on: "In the four scriptures which the clergy erroneously 
quote as supporting the trinity. . . ." i " ) This assertion, however, 
is quite misleading, since no reputable "clergyman" or theologian 
today who accepts the Trinity would use I John 5:7 in the King 
James Version as a proof for that doctrine, and since no modern 
version of the New Testament contains the reading of I Timothy 
3:16 to which Jehovah's Witnesses object. 

Confusion is worse confounded when the authors say, "There- 
fore, if, as claimed, it [the doctrine of the Trinity] is the 'central 
doctrine of the Christian religion,' it is passing strange that this 

" Ibid., pp. 104-105. 

ss An interlinear Greek Testament, originally published in 1864 by 
Benjamin Wilson, a self-educated newspaper editor of Geneva, Illinois. 
Because many of Mr. Wilson's theological conceptions were similar to 
Watchtower teachings, the Watchtower Society now publishes the Em- 
phatic Diaglott. 

s» Let Cod Be True, p. 106. 

»° Ibid., p. 107. 

32 Jehovah's Witnesses 

complicated, confusing doctrine received no attention by Christ 
Jesus, by way of explanation or teaching." 91 The authors are 
here guilty of deliberate misrepresentation, for they have failed 
even so much as to mention the Great Commission of Matthew 
28:19, where Jesus clearly teaches the Trinity: "Go ye therefore, 
and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the 
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" 
(ASV). Nor has any mention been made by them in this 
chapter of the Apostolic Benediction of II Corinthians 13:14, 
the Trinitarian implications of which are quite obvious: "The 
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the 
communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" (ASV). Neither 
has there been the slightest reference to I Peter 1 : 1 and 2, a passage 
which gives equal honor to all three Persons of the Trinity: 
"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are so- 
journers of the Dispersion . . . according to the foreknowledge of 
God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience 
and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. . ." (ASV). 

Many more passages could be quoted to show that the Bible 
definitely does teach the doctrine of the Trinity; passages of this 
sort can easily be found in any standard evangelical textbook 
of Christian doctrine. Enough of these passages have been cited 
above, however, to demonstrate that, in "proving" their doctrines 
from Scripture, the Witnesses deliberately select passages which 
can be twisted so that they seem to favor their views, while dis- 
regarding other texts which fail to support their views. Again we 
see that, instead of listening to Scripture, Jehovah's Witnesses 
impose their own ideas upon Scripture. 

A third ground for the above-mentioned charge is the organi- 
zation's insistence that their adherents may only understand the 
Scriptures as these are interpreted by the leaders of the Watchtower 
Society. Though ostensibly Watchtower leaders claim the Bible 
alone as their sole source of authority, actually they say to their 
adherents: You must understand the Bible as we tell you to, or 
else leave the movement and thus run the risk of everlasting 
destruction! For proof of this accusation I advance the following 
evidence : 

( 1 ) Charles Taze Russell affirmed that anyone who studied only 
the Bible, without the aid of his Studies in the Scriptures, would 
soon be in spiritual darkness. 11 - 

»i Ibid., p. 111. 92 See above, p. 13. 

Source of A uthority 3 3 

(2) During the 1890's, while Mrs. C. T. Russell was an associ- 
ate editor of the Watch Tower magazine, she tried to 

secure a stronger voice in directing what should appear in the 
Watch Tower. . . . When Mrs. Russell realized that no article 
of hers would be acceptable for publication unless it was con- 
sistent with the Scriptural views expressed in the Watch Tower, 
she became greatly disturbed and her growing resentment led 
her eventually to sever her relationship with the society and also 
with her husband. im 

Well might she be disturbed and resentful! For the editorial 
policy of the magazine was obviously this: Whatever you write 
must agree wholly with the interpretation of Scripture taught by 
the group in control; if it does not, your contribution will not 
be accepted. 

(3) In 1909 certain leaders of study classes were asking that 
Watch Tower publications should no longer be referred to in 
their meetings, but only the Bible. Russell himself replied to 
this suggestion in a Watch Tower article: 

This [the suggestion just made] sounded loyal to God's Word; 
but it was not so. It was merely the effort of those teachers to 
come between the people of God and the Divinely provided 
light upon God's Word. M 

A moment's reflection on the implications of these words will 
reveal that, according to Russell himself, the interpretations of 
the Bible furnished by Watch Tower writers are not at all in the 
category of helpful but fallible guides for the understanding of 
Scripture. On the contrary, these interpretations are alleged to 
be "the Divinely provided light upon God's Word." Surely at 
this point we are not far removed from the position of the 
Mormons, who affirm that God gave His people additional revela- 
tions through Joseph Smith which are determinative for the proper 
understanding of the Bible. 

(4) To meet the possible objection that what has been described 
above may have been true in Russell's day but is no longer true 
today, let us see what Let God Be True has to say about this ques- 
tion. After quoting Luke 12:37, the authors of this book go on to say 
that Jesus Christ is today the provider of spiritual food for his people 
and that he does so "through a visible instrument or agency on earth 

1,3 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 45. 

!M \y a tch Tower. 1909, p. 371; quoted in Jehovah's Witnesses in the 
Divine Purpose, p. 46 (the italics are Russell's). 

34 Jehovah's Witnesses 

used to publish it [this spiritual food] to his slaves." 95 Matthew 24: 
45-47 is then quoted in the New World Translation: "Who really is 
the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his 
domestics to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that 
slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, 
He will appoint him over all his belongings." Now follows this 

This clearly shows that the Master would use one organiza- 
tion, and not a multitude of diverse and conflicting sects, to dis- 
tribute his message. The "faithful and discreet slave" is a com- 
pany following the example of their Leader. That "slave" is 
the remnant of Christ's spiritual brothers. God's prophet identi- 
fies these spiritual Israelites, saying: "Ye are my witnesses, 
saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen" (Isa. 43: 

From and after a.d. 1918 this "slave" class has proclaimed 
God's message to Christendom which still feeds on the religious 
traditions of men. The truth so proclaimed does a dividing 
work, as foretold, the ones accepting the truth being taken to 
the place of security, and the others abandoned. Those who 
have been favored to comprehend what is taking place, and 
who have taken their stand for Jehovah's Theocracy, have un- 
speakable joy now. The light of his truth is not confined to a 
small place, or one corner of the globe. Its proclamation is 
world-wide. In the thirty-three years from 1919 to 1952 in- 
clusive Jehovah's Witnesses distributed more than half a billion 
bound books and booklets, hundreds of millions of magazines, 
tracts and leaflets, and delivered hundreds of millions of oral 
testimonies, in over 90 languages. 98 

As we study this quotation, several points become clear: 
( 1 ) The "faithful and discreet slave" in Jesus' parable is under- 
stood as designating an organization, namely, the "remnant of 
Christ's spiritual brothers." This means, in Jehovah-Witness 
terminology, the "anointed class," or 144,000, who play a leading 
role in directing the Watchtower Society and who hold all the 
more important offices." 7 

»"' Let God Be True, rev. ed. of 1952, p. 199. 

»« Ibid., p. 200. 

1,7 Ibid., p. 303. How these authors have come to apply the term 
"faithful and discreet slave" to an organization is one of the mysteries of 
Jehovah-Witness exegesis. In earlier days the expression was applied 
by this group to C. T. Russell. It was during Rutherford's time that 
the term came to be applied to the anointed class, this shift being, in 
fact, the occasion for a rather serious split within the movement 

Source of A uthority 3 5 

(2) The "domestics" over whom the "faithful and discreet 
slave" is placed are, apparently, the "other sheep," or "great 
crowd" — Jehovah's Witnesses who do not belong to the 
"anointed class," but who take an active part in the work. 98 

(3) The great task of the "anointed class" is that of providing 
spiritual food for the "other sheep." This implies that the "other 
sheep" must constantly look to the "anointed class" for the proper 
interpretation of the Bible and that they are not allowed to 
engage in any independent investigation of the Scriptures. 

(4) The "spiritual food" which the "anointed class" provides is 
"his [Christ's] message," "God's message" [in distinction from 
"the religious traditions of men"], "his [God's] truth." This 
truth is of decisive importance since all those who accept it will 
find spiritual security, whereas those who do not accept it will 
be abandoned by God. 

(5) It is this truth which is being disseminated throughout the 
world by means of the various publications of the Watchtower 
Society and by means of the oral testimonies of its members. 

It is now quite evident that, despite the claim 6f this movement 
to depend on the Bible alone, the real source of authority for 
Jehovah's Witnesses is the interpretation of the Bible handed down 
by the "anointed class" at Watchtower headquarters. To use their 
own language, the Witnesses insist that the Watchtower Society 
is "the instrument or channel being used by Jehovah to teach his 
people on earth." 99 All Christian groups outside their fold 
are thus alleged to be walking in darkness, no matter how diligent- 
ly they may study the Scriptures; only the Jehovah's Witnesses are 
said to be walking in the light, since their "anointed class" is God's 
channel of enlightenment for all people on earth. 100 

Instead of really listening to Scripture, therefore, Jehovah's 
Witnesses superimpose their own system of interpretation on the 
Bible, allowing it to say only what they want it to say. As an 

{Jehovah's Witness in the Divine Purpose, pp. 69ff.). Actually, it will 
be apparent to any careful reader that Jesus in this parable is not 
referring to any earthly organization at all, but to spiritual overseers 
over God's people (like pastors or teachers), considered as individuals, 
who are either faithful or unfaithful to their task. 

s8 This point is made clear in a discussion of this passage found in 
another Watchtower publication: Qualified to be Ministers, p. 353. See 
also New Heavens and a New Earth, 1953, p. 260. 

99 Qualified to be Ministers, p. 318. 

10,1 Yet, in Let God Be True, pp. 11-18. the authors solemnly claim 
to recognize no second source of authority next to the Bible! 

36 Jehovah's Witnesses 

example of this type of treatment of Scripture, I present their 
interpretation of Romans 13:1-7. From the earliest years of the 
Christian era this passage has been understood as applying to 
earthly governments and as teaching that lawfully appointed civil 
magistrates have been ordained by God. The reference to the 
sword in the ruler's hand (v. 4) and to the payment of tribute 
(v. 6) make it quite clear that the Apostle Paul was here dis- 
cussing the believer's attitude toward governmental authorities. 
One wonders how, in the light of this passage, Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses can justify their insistence that all governmental authorities 
are part of the devil's organization. 

Their reply is really quite simple: the church has never properly 
understood Romans 13! 

In 1929 the clear light broke forth. That year The Watch- 
tower published the Scriptural exposition of Romans chapter 13. 
It showed that Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, rather than world- 
ly rulers and governors, are "The Higher Powers". . . . m 

In another volume we are told that the submission which Romans 
13 tells us to render to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, as our 
"Superior Authorities," includes "Theocratic submission" to those 
who have divine authority in the Theocratic organization — in 
other words, to the "anointed class." 10 - The authors of This 
Means Everlasting Life further inform us that the sword of verse 
4 is to be understood in a symbolic sense, as standing for God's 
power of executing judgment. 1(W Most inconsistently, however, 
the tribute of verse 6 is interpreted quite literally, as referring 
to the payment of taxes to the government!" 14 Why the sword is 
to be understood symbolically and the tribute must be interpreted 
literally, we are not told. Is further proof required to show that 
Jehovah's Witnesses do not arrive at their interpretations of 
Scripture by thorough, diligent, contextual study of the Word, 
but by imposing their preconceived ideas upon the Word? 

Kurt Hutten, one of the ablest students of the cults in our time, 
has aptly summed up the Witnesses' claim to be Jehovah's sole 
channel of truth in the following words: 

i<" The Truth Shall Make You Free, 1943, p. 312. See also Let God 
Be True, p. 248, and What Has Religion Done for Mankind?, 1951, p. 
292. Note the implication of the statement quoted above: previous 
to 1929 no one properly understood this passage! 

'"-' This Means Everlasting Life, 1950, p. 203. 

»>» Ibid., p. 199. 

1M Ibid., p. 200. 

Source of Authority 37 

The members of the [Jehovah-Witness] organization are obli- 
gated to unconditional obedience. This obligation includes 
the duty of accepting the word of God only in the interpreta- 
tion offered them by the Brooklyn publications. The Watch- 
tower Society has divine authority and hence also possesses 
a monopoly on the truth and on the proper proclamation of the 
Gospel. It is forbidden to nourish oneself from other sources 
or to think one's own thoughts. Those who do this disregard 
"the light which comes to them through God's channel with 
reference to His Word," and imply that "The Watchtower is not 
sufficient for our time." They thereby commit an offense 
which entails disastrous consequences, and are by Jehovah not 
reckoned as belonging to the "sheep" but to the "goats." For 
to despise the Theocratic organization is to despise Jesus 
Christ. 105 

Method of Interpreting Scripture 

It is, of course, conceivable that someone might say, Granted 
that the Jehovah's Witnesses recognize a superior source of author- 
ity in their own Watchtower publications, might it not be possible 
that the Watchtower publication staff does a fairly competent 
job of interpreting Scripture? By way of anticipating this type 
of question, I should like to describe briefly the methods of 
Scriptural interpretation used by this group. As we examine these 
methods, it will again become quite clear that Jehovah's Witnesses 
do not really subject themselves to the authority of God's Word, 
but simply manipulate the Scriptures so as to force them to 
agree with Watchtower teachings. 

The interpretation of Scripture found in Jehovah-Witness publi- 
cations is often characterized by absurd literalism. For example, 
Jehovah's Witnesses prohibit their members from receiving blood 

"'•"> Seher, Gruebler, Enthusiasten, 6th ed. (Stuttgart: Quell-Verlag, 1960), 
p. 105 [translation mine]. It is significant that this complete domination 
of Scripture interpretation by Watchtower leaders is precisely what 
William J. Schnell experienced during his thirty years with the movement. 
See, e.g., p. 43 of his Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, where he ex- 
plains how the leaders of the society put themselves "into the sole position 
of giving the Organization's instructions on how to worship, what to 
worship with, and what to believe." Note also what is said by him on 
p. 107 about the indoctrination methods of the society whereby "their 
brain [that of the Jonadabs or 'other sheep'] became totally washed of 
any other ideas they might ever have loosely held about the Bible, 
themselves, or other people. Their own thoughts were thus replaced 
by a narrow sphere or circumscribed area of thought, or as the Watch 
Tower put it, a 'channel.' " 

38 Jehovah's Witnesses 

transfusions, justifying this prohibition by an appeal to Scripture 
passages which forbid the eating of blood. A sample of the 
type of passage involved is Leviticus 17:14, ". . . I said unto the 
children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of 
flesh. . . . 106 On the basis of Biblical passages of this sort they 
assert that blood transfusion is a "feeding upon blood," and is 
therefore "an unscriptural practice." 107 Certain that they have 
thus discerned Jehovah's will in this matter, Jehovah's Witnesses 
will deliberately let a loved one die rather than to permit a 
blood transfusion. 108 

Another example of absurd literalism is mentioned by Charles 
S. Braden: Jehovah's Witnesses forbid the use of Christmas trees 
on the basis of Jeremiah 10:3 and 4, ". . . The customs of the 
peoples are vanity; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the 
work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it 
with silver and with gold. . . ." This must be, so they say, a 
Biblical reference to the Christmas tree; since verse 2 of this 
chapter says, "Learn not the way of the nations," it is obvious 
that the Christmas tree stands condemned! 109 

106 Other Old Testament passages adduced by them in this connection 
include Gen. 9:3-5; Lev. 7:26, 27; Lev. 17:10-12; Deut. 12:16. It is 
added that the prohibition of blood was also enjoined upon Christians 
in New Testament times, according to Acts 15:28, 29 (Make Sure of 
All Things, rev. ed., 1957, p. 47). 

™7 ibid. 

108 It should be observed, however, that (l) the blood which was 
prohibited in the Levitical laws was not human blood but animal 
blood; (2) what was forbidden was the eating of this blood with the 
mouth — which is something quite different from receiving blood into 
one's veins as a medicinal measure; (3) the reason for this Old 
Testament prohibition is stated in Lev. 17:11, namely, that God had 
appointed the blood of animals as a means of making atonement, and 
that therefore such blood was not to be used as food (cf. C. F. Keil 
and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Pentateuch [Edinburgh: Clark, 
1891], II, 410); and (4) the reason why Gentile Christians were asked 
to abstain from blood, according to Acts 15:20 and 29, was that they 
might not give offense to Jewish Christians, who at this time still shrank 
with horror from the eating of blood (cf. F. F. Bruce, Commentary on 
Acts [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 19551, and Lenski, ad loc). It is quite 
clear, therefore, that neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament 
passages adduced by Jehovah's Witnesses on this matter have anything to 
do with the current medical practice of blood transfusion. (For fuller 
treatment of this question, see Martin and Klann, op. cit., pp. 115-26). 

toi) These Also Believe, p. 379 (unfortunately. Dr. Braden does not 
mention the source of his information). It will be quite clear to even 
a casual reader of Jeremiah 10, however, that what is forbidden and 
ridiculed in vv. 3-5 is the making of wooden idols. 

Source of Authority 39 

These are but two examples of Jehovah-Witness literalism; 
many more could be given. It must not be inferred, however, 
that Jehovah's Witnesses always interpret the Bible literally. On 
the contrary, they are quite ready to spiritualize Scripture passages 
when such spiritualization fits into their preconceived ideas. For 
example, they spiritualize the sword in Romans 13:4, 110 and the 
twelve tribes in Revelation 7:4-8. 111 They are opposed to the 
literal interpretation of Christ's physical resurrection, 11 - of proph- 
ecies concerning the return of the Jews to their land, u:t and 
of prophecies regarding Christ's physical and visible return to 
earth. 114 

At other times the interpretation of Scripture found in Jehovah- 
Witness publications is characterized by absurd typology. So, 
for example, it is said that Noah in the Old Testament typified 
Jesus Christ; that Noah's wife pictured the "bride of Christ," 
that is, the "Christian congregation of 144,000 anointed members"; 
that Noah's three sons and three daughters-in-law pictured the 
"great crowd" (namely, the "other sheep," or larger class of 
Jehovah- Witness adherents). The ark pictured the "new system 
of things according to the new covenant mediated by Jesus Christ." 
The flood symbolized the coming Battle of Armageddon. 115 

Another example of absurd typology is the Jehovah-Witness 
interpretation of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, 
found in Luke 16:19-31. This parable, we are told, tells us 
nothing about the state or condition of people after death, but 
simply pictures two classes existing on earth today: 

The rich man represents the ultraselfish class of the clergy of 
Christendom, who are now afar off from God and dead to his 
favor and service and tormented by the Kingdom truth pro- 
claimed. Lazarus depicts the faithful remnant of the "body 

110 See above, p. 36. 

1,1 Let God Be True, p. 130. Jehovah's Witnesses take literally the 
number 144,000 mentioned in these verses, but symbolically the distri- 
bution of these 144,000 into the twelve tribes of Israel. 

i" Ibid., p. 40. 

n* Ibid., p. 217. 

»• Ibid., pp. ]97fT. 

lis New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 310-11; cf. You May Survive 
Armageddon into God's New World, 1955, p. 292; and The Truth Shall 
Make You Free, 1943, pp. 323-27. To see Noah as a type of Christ, 
and Noah's family as a type of the church is, of course, quite in 
harmony with Biblical typology. But by what stretch of the imagination 
are we justified in separating Noah's wife from Noah's children, as 
standing for two different groups within the church? 

40 Jehovah's Witnesses 

of Christ." These, on being delivered from modern Babylon 
since 1919, receive God's favor, pictured by the "bosom posi- 
tion of Abraham," and are comforted through his Word. 110 

William G. Schnell gives a further example of this kind of 
typology. In 1931, he claims, the Watchtower Society inter- 
preted the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, found in 
Matthew 20:1-16, as follows: the twelve hours of the parable 
stood for the twelve years which had elapsed since 1919 (when 
the society had received a new lease on life after the discharge 
of its leaders from prison). The shilling which every laborer re- 
ceived, regardless of the length of time he had served, stood for 
the new name which each member of the organization received 
that year, whether he had been with the movement from the be- 
ginning or had just joined: the name Jehovah's Witness.'^ 11 

A third common characteristic of Jehovah-Witness Scripture 
study is what might be called "knight-jump exegesis." Kurt 
Hutten, who devotes several pages to an analysis of Watchtower 
exegetical methods, 118 has coined this expression to describe the 
way Witnesses jump from one part of the Bible to another, with 
utter disregard of context, to "prove" their points. 11 " He goes on 
to affirm that the Bible should be interpreted in an organic fashion, 
in a manner which does full justice to the differences between Old 
and New Testament, between poetic books and prophetic books, 
between histories and epistles, and which takes into account 
the fact that revelation is progressive — that it advances from 
lesser to greater clarity. Since Jehovah's Witnesses cannot draw 
their teachings from the Bible when so interpreted, however, they 
must, Hutten continues, resort to "knight-jump" methods to arrive 
at their conclusions. 1 '-' The Bible, for them, is like a flat surface 
in which every text has equal value. 

They [Jehovah's Witnesses] . . . can jump blithely from a 
passage in the Pentateuch to a passage in the prophets or in the 
book of Revelation. They can thus draw their lines in all di- 

116 Let God Be True, p. 98. The reader is also referred to What 
Has Religion Done for Mankind'}, 1951, pp. 246-56 and 302-12, for 
a fuller discussion of this parable. 

117 Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, p. 97. 
nH Seher, Gruehler, Enthusiasten, pp. 119-25. 

ni) "Der Roesselsprung," ibid., p. 120. A knight-jump in chess is a move 
of three squares over the chessboard so that the piece passes over any 
adjacent square whether occupied or not, and alights on a square of 
different color from that which it started. 

"o ibid., pp. 121-22. 

Source of Authority 41 

rections [kreuz unci quer\ through the Bible, gleefully combine 
them in zigzag fashion, and put them together again in the 
most fantastic way. 121 

Hutten also compares their method of using Scripture to that of 
children building various structures with building blocks, the 
Bible being, for the Witnesses, the box which contains the blocks. 
The only difference, so the author continues, is that, whereas 
children do this type of thing in a playful spirit, being perfectly 
ready to knock down their houses as soon as (or very soon after) 
they have built them, Jehovah's Witnesses use this method in dead 
earnest, believing that they are thus honoring the revelation of 
God! 122 

An outstanding example of this method of Bible interpretation 
is their manner of arriving at the date 1914 as the year when 
Christ's Kingdom was established, Jehovah's Witnesses claim 
that "Christ the Messiah did not set up God's kingdom at his 
first advent or at once after ascending to heaven." 12 "' How, then, 
can we determine the time when the kingdom was established? 
From Luke 21:24 it is learned that "Jerusalem will be trampled 
on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are 
fulfilled" (NWT). 124 The "appointed times of the nations," 
it is said, "indicated a period in which there would be no repre- 
sentative government of Jehovah on earth, such as the kingdom 
of Israel was; but the Gentile nations would dominate the earth. " , - r ' 
These times were running already in Jesus' day, since Jerusalem 
was then in bondage to Rome. When, then, had these "times of 
the nations" begun? In 607 B.C., when Israel, which was a 
theocracy, lost her sovereignty and was carried away to Babylon.'-" 

121 Ibid., p. 121 [translation mine]. 

i 22 Ibid., pp. 121-22. 

' 2 ^i The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 241. 

124 The abbreviation NWT will be used from now on for the 1961 
edition of the New World Translation. 

i 2f > Let God Be True, p. 250. 

]2 ° Ibid., pp. 250-51. In Paradise Lost (this abbreviation will be used 
from now on for From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained), 1958, p. 
172, it is specifically stated: "The king of Babylon took Zedekiah off 
'Jehovah's throne' in the year 607 b.c. and laid his city and territory 
desolate. So that year God's earthly kingdom ended. And that year, 
607 B.C., the 'appointed times of the nations' began." Unfortunately, 
however, the facts do not bear out this assertion, which is pivotal for 
Jehovah-Witness chronology. Old Testament scholars are virtually 
unanimous in dating the capture of Zedekiah and the fall of Jerusalem, 
not in 607 b.c, but in 587 or 586 B.C. (cf. J. D. Douglas, ed.. The 

42 Jehovah's Witnesses 

From Daniel 7:14, it is said, we learn that Christ was to 
receive a kingdom which will never be destroyed. It is then naively 
added, "When would Christ receive this never-to-be-destroyed 
kingdom? At the end of the 'appointed times of the nations.' " 12? 

When, then, will these "appointed times of the nations" end? 
For the answer we switch to Daniel 4, which contains the account 
of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the tree and his subsequent period 
of living like a beast of the field. This vision, we are told, was 
a "prophetic vision . . . concerning the times of the nations and 
the restoration of Jehovah's Theocracy." 128 Nebuchadnezzar is 
told that after he shall have been reduced to the status of a beast, 
"seven times" shall pass over him; following this his kingdom 
shall be restored to him (Dan. 4:25-26). These "seven times," 
it is said, depict symbolically the length of the "times of the 
nations." 120 

How, then, do we determine the length of these "seven times"? 
In the case of Nebuchadnezzar they meant seven literal years. 
Obviously this cannot be the prophetic meaning of the "seven 
times," for then Christ would have ascended his throne already 
in the Old Testament era. When we compare Revelation 12:6 
with Revelation 12:14, however, we learn that "a time, and 
times, and half a time" is equivalent to 1260 days. Obviously, 
a time, and times, and half a time" are three and a half times. 
But three and a half times constitute half of seven times; hence 
seven times must equal twice 1260 days, or 2,520 days. 130 

We are still not through with our calculation, however, since 
2,520 literal days would only bring us seven years beyond the 
beginning of the "appointed times of the nations." There must be 
some deeper meaning hidden in this figure of 2,520 days. We 
find this deeper meaning when we turn to Ezekiel 4:6. There 
we read, in the King James Version, "I have appointed thee 
every day for a year." 1 '" Thus we have our clue: 

New Bible Dictionary, p. 1357; The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, 
p. 108; The Westminster Historical Atlas to the Bible, p. 15; and Merrill 
F. Unger, Archaeology of the Old Testament, p. 284). 

127 Paradise Lost, p. 173. 

128 Let God Be True, p. 251. How the Watchtower editorial staff 
can be so sure that this vision, which was given to Nebuchadnezzar 
to reveal what God was about to do to him and to his kingdom, pertains 
to the "times of the nations," we are not told. 

J -'» Ibid., p. 251; cf. pp. 251-54. 

i«" Ibid., p. 252. 

331 Even the casual reader of this chapter will note that the expression 

Source of A uthority 43 

By applying this divine rule the 2,520 days means 2,520 
years. Therefore, since God's typical kingdom with its capital 
at Jerusalem ceased to exist in the autumn of 607 B.C., then, 
by counting the appointed times from that date, the 2,520 years 
extend to the autumn of a.d. 1914. u - 

Thus, by a calculation which involves a conglomeration of 
figures derived with great ingenuity from assorted passages taken 
from Luke, Daniel, Revelation, and Ezekiel, we have arrived at 
the year 1914. Here is "knight-jump exegesis" with a vengeance! 
Yet Jehovah's Witnesses assure us that by this type of procedure 
they are listening to the Word of God instead of to the traditions 
of men! 

A fourth characteristic of Jehovah-Witness exegesis is what we 
might call the "rear-view method" of interpreting prophecy. Hutten 
indicates that much of their prophetic interpretation rests upon 
a rather primitive kind of trick: they first pounce on certain 
happenings in the recent past, then find some Biblical texts which 
can somehow be made to fit these events, after which they trium- 
phantly point to the events in question as "fulfilled prophecies." 1 :i:l 

As an example of this technique, 1 suggest the Jehovah-Witness 
interpretation of Revelation 11:11-13. This passage describes 
the two witnesses who, after having been killed, were revived 
again. The Witnesses say this prophecy was fulfilled in 1919, 
when Judge Rutherford and other leaders of the movement were 
released from prison and thus enabled to resume their witnessing 
activities ! ,s4 

Another example of this type of "rear-view" exegesis is the 
Jehovah- Witness explanation of Revelation 17:3-6. This passage 
depicts a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored beast, on whose 
forehead has been written the name, "Babylon the Great, the 
mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth" 
(NWT). Jehovah's Witnesses interpret this woman as standing 
for "the visible organization of the religious heads of heathendom 

quoted above designates the meaning of the symbolic action the prophet 
is commanded to engage in: each day the prophet lies on his side stands 
for a year in the history of the house of Israel or the house of Judah. 
To draw from this passage a rule applicable to a figure derived from 
the book of Revelation is, to say the least, dubious exegesis! 

>«-' Lei God Be True, p. 252. 

1:i:! Seller, Grtiebler, Enthusiasten, p. 123. 

,:u You May Survive Armageddon [this abbreviation will be used from 
now on for You May Survive Armageddon into God's New World], 
pp. 116-120. See also New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 255-56. 

44 Jehovah's Witnesses 

and Christendom." 1 *"' The beast the woman rides, it is further 
said, is 

this peace beast, formerly known as the League of Nations but 
now since its reappearance in 1945 the United Nations. Its 
having sixty member nations in 1951 was well symbolized in 
the peace beast's having seven heads and ten horns. 186 

In Let God Be True we are given a further reason why this identi- 
fication of the beast with the present-day United Nations organi- 
zation must be true: "As for that many-membered beastly associa- 
tion of nations, the 'wild beast that you saw was, but is not [during 
World War II], and yet is destined to ascend out of the abyss 
[as the United Nations]'." 137 

Having briefly examined some typical methods of Scripture 
interpretation used by Jehovah's Witnesses, we conclude that they 
do not really subject themselves to the authority of the Bible 
alone, apart from human traditions, as they claim to do. Rather, 
as we now see more clearly, their very method of interpreting 
the Scriptures makes it impossible for them really to listen to 
God's Word. Given the methods described above, one can draw 
from the Bible virtually any doctrine his imagination can concoct. 
These doctrines may be interesting, novel, and appealing — but 
they suffer from one fatal defect: they do not rest upon the 
authority of God's Word, but upon the fabrications of man's 

T« r ' What Has Religion Done for Mankind?, 1951. p. 328. Note 
the utterly arbitrary way in which all heathen religions and all forms of 
Christianity are lumped together as constituting "the great whore" of 
Rev. 17. For Jehovah's Witnesses, therefore, there is no religiously 
significant difference between, say, a Nigerian animist and a devout 
Lutheran Christian. 

,:i8 Ibid., pp. 328-29. How 60 member nations are pictured by 7 
heads and 10 horns we are not told. 

187 P. 258. The words between single quotation marks have been quoted 
from Revelation 17:8 in the 1951 ed. of the NWT, comments between 
brackets having been inserted by the authors of Let God Be True. For 
Jehovah's Witnesses, therefore, the fact that the beast is described as one 
that "was, is not, and is destined to ascend out of the abyss" proves 
conclusively that this Scripture passage predicted the rise of the League 
of Nations, its disappearance, and the subsequent rise of the United 

III. Doctrines 

Doctrine of God 
the being of god 
The Trinity. As is well known, Jehovah's Witnesses reject the 
doctrine of the Trinity. They claim, in fact, that this doctrine 
originated with the ancient Babylonians at about 2200 b.c. 1ss 
It is said that the Babylonians had a kind of divine triad: Cush, 
the father; Semiramis, the mother (Cush's wife); and Nimrod, the 
first ruler of Babylon, who was the son of Semiramis but later 
became her husband. Since all three of these individuals were 
deified by the Babylonians, this is where the idea of the trinity 
originated.'^' Later the Hindus, it is claimed, borrowed this idea 
of a divine triad from the Babylonians. In the Hindu religion this 
trinity assumed the following form: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu 
the Preserver, and Siva the Destroyer. These three together com- 
posed the one god Brahm. 14 " There was even a kind of trinity in 
Egypt: the goddess Isis, her sister Nephthys, and Osiris, the son of 
Nephthys, who was adopted by Isis as her son, but who also be- 
came Isis's husband. 141 We conclude, it is said, that the doctrine 
of the trinity had its origin in the demon-religions of ancient Baby- 

is» Make Sure of AH Things, p. 386. 

vv -> Religion for Mankind [this abbreviation will be used from now 
on for What Has Religion Done for Mankind?], pp. 92-95. On p. 95 
it is added that, since Nimrod had married his mother, one could say 
that he was his own father and his own son. Thus, it is said, the way 
was prepared for the doctrine of the trinity. 

i-t" Ibid., p. 193. 

" 1 Ibid., p. 109. 


46 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Ion, India, and Egypt. "The obvious conclusion is, therefore, that 
Satan is the originator of the Trinity doctrine. " ,4 - 

According to Jehovah's Witnesses, the only true God, in one 
person, is Jehovah. Before He began to create, Jehovah was all 
alone in universal space. u:i It is recognized that the name Elohim 
is also applied to God in the Old Testament; it is, in fact, specif- 
ically affirmed that the plural form of Elohim does not denote 
the persons of the Trinity but is a plural of majesty, which describes 
a single person. 144 The Witnesses claim, however, that Jehovah, 
which they prefer to use, is God's true and exclusive name. While 
granting that perhaps this name should be pronounced Yahweh, 
they favor the form Jehovah because this is the most familiar and 
popular way of rendering the divine name. 145 

This divine name is therefore consistently rendered Jehovah in 
the Old Testament section of the New World Translation — a 
practice to which no exception can be taken, particularly since 
this was also done by the translators of the American Standard 
Version. Without any Scriptural warrant whatsoever, however, 
Jehovah's Witnesses have also introduced the name Jehovah 237 
times into the text of the New World Translation of the New 
Testament. 140 

"- Let God Be True, p. 101. 

]4:i Ibid., p. 25. 

144 New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 35-36. 

143 Let God Be True, p. 23; New World Translation of the Christian 
Greek Scriptures, 1951 ed., pp. 10, 25. 

146 New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, p. 24. 
On what basis do they justify this practice? Their argument runs as 
follows: A papyrus manuscript of the second half of Deuteronomy 
in the LXX translation has recently been found, which has been dated 
from the second or first century B.C. This manuscript, called Papyrus 
Fouad 266, consistently has the tetragrarnmaton (JHVH, the Hebrew 
form rendered Jehovah in the ASV) in Aramaic characters for the divine 
name instead of the common renderings of the name: Kurios (Lord) or 
Theos (God). From this fact it is concluded that the original manu- 
scripts of the LXX, which were written in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C., 
also must have had the divine name in its tetragrarnmaton form, instead 
of in the forms Kurios or Theos, and it is implied that later copyists 
of the LXX deliberately substituted Kurios or Theos for the tetragrarn- 
maton (pp. 11-12). This being so, Christ and his disciples must have 
had copies of the LXX which had the divine name in its tetragrarn- 
maton form (p. 12). The writers of the New Testament, therefore, 
must have used the tetragrarnmaton for the divine name in their 
Greek writings, which would include the books of the New Testament 
(p. 18). Hence it is obvious that the text of the New Testament has 
been tampered with and that copyists have eliminated the tetragramma- 

Doctrines Al 

Jehovah's Witnesses deny the full deity of Jesus Christ, and 
his complete equality with Jehovah. He may be called a god, 
but not Jehovah God; he is a mighty one but not almighty as 
Jehovah God is. 147 He was created by Jehovah as the first son 
brought forth by Him; "hence he is called 'the only begotten Son' 
of God, for God had no partner in bringing forth his first-begotten 
Son."' 48 Since Christ was the first creature of Jehovah, he had 
a beginning. 149 It is obvious therefore, that Christ is not the 
second person of the Trinity. 150 

As has already been stated, the Holy Spirit is, for Jehovah's 
Witnesses, "the invisible active force of Almighty God which moves 
his servants to do his will." 151 At another place it is added: "It 
[the Holy Spirit] is the impersonal, invisible active force that 
finds its source and reservoir in Jehovah God and that he uses to ac- 
complish his will even at great distances, over light years of 
space." 152 The Holy Spirit is therefore neither God nor a person; 

ton from these manuscripts, substituting for it either Kurios or Theos 
(p. 18). Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses say, we are justified in re- 
placing Kurios or Theos with the tetragrammaton (in the form Jehovah) 
in 237 instances (p. 19). 

In reply, the following may be said: (1) The fact that an early 
fragment of the LXX used the tetragrammaton exclusively does not 
prove that the entire LXX text originally followed this practice. This 
fragment may simply have represented one type of LXX text. If the 
tetragrammaton were used exclusively in the original manuscripts, how 
do we account for its complete disappearance from the 4th and 5th 
century uncials of the LXX? (2) Even if the LXX did originally use the 
tetragrammaton, this fact would give us no warrant for tampering with 
the text of the New Testament which has Kurios or Theos for God but 
never JHVH, not even where JHVH did occur in Old Testament passages 
quoted (see Moulton and Geden's Concordance to the Greek Testament 
under Kurios). To assume that the text of the New Testament has 
been corrupted in 237 places without one shred of textual evidence is 
to engage in a most dangerous kind of speculation! (3) The fact, alluded 
to by them, that some translations of the New Testament into Hebrew 
use the tetragrammaton to designate God proves precisely nothing! For 
how otherwise would Hebrew translators render a Greek word which 
was originally JHVH? 

n" Let God Be True, pp. 32. 33. 

»» Ibid., p. 32. 

i*» Ibid., p. 33. 

150 Further details about their view of Christ will be given under 
the Doctrine of Christ. 

151 Let God Be True, p. 108. 

■ 52 Let Your Name Be Sanctified, 1961, p. 269. Note the word reservoir, 
which suggests that the Holy Spirit is a kind of substance which is stored 
in God. 

48 Jehovah's Witnesses 

he is merely an impersonal force — we have previously noted 
how Jehovah's Witnesses have insinuated this conception of the 
Holy Spirit into their New World Translation.^™ 

Strictly speaking, therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses are Unitarians. 
For them, God exists only in one Person — the Person of Jehovah. 
Jesus Christ, though a person, is not a divine Person; the Holy 
Spirit is neither a person nor a divine Person. 

The Attributes of God. The Witnesses usually speak of four 
attributes of Jehovah: justice, power, love, and wisdom. No 
attempt is made by them to distinguish between incommunicable 
and communicable attributes, it being specifically said that the 
same four attributes or qualities which are found in God are also 
found in man. 15 * 

Are any of these attributes given prominence above others? 
It has frequently been said that Jehovah's Witnesses minimize 
the love of God, and tend to exalt the power of God as His 
outstanding attribute. Charles Braden, for example, makes this 
assertion 153 ; John H. Gerstner implies the same. 1 '"' Kurt Hutten 
is of the opinion that the vindication of Jehovah is, for Jehovah's 
Witnesses, the theme of world history — a vindication which will 
finally reveal itself in a spectacular kind of public triumph 
over Satan and his hosts. What the Witnesses fail to see, he 
continues, is that according to Scripture God glorifies Himself 
especially through His love, revealed in the sending of His Son 
into the world to seek and to save that which was lost. ir>7 

What shall we say about this? To be fair to the Witnesses at this 
point, we must grant that they do stress the importance of the 
love of God. They make love, as we have seen, one of the main 
attributes of God. Further, in the booklet entitled God's Way is 
Love, published in 1952, great emphasis is laid on this attribute 
of God. We are here told, for example, that God's love is opposed 
to both purgatorial torment after death and eternal torment in 
hell (p. 12), that God showed his love in creating the universe 
(pp. 14-17), and in putting man into an earthly paradise of 
pleasure (p. 18). After Adam and Eve had sinned, God showed 

153 see above, pp. 27-29. 

154 Your Will Be Done [this abbreviation will be used from now on 
for Your Will Be Done on Earth, 1958], p. 21. On p. 191 of Make 
Sure of All Things, however, the omnipresence of Jehovah is denied. 

liiii These Also Believe, p. 371. 

ir>« Theology of the Major Sects (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1960), p. 36. 

1ST Seher, Gruebler, Enthusiasten, pp. 129-30. 

Doctrines 49 

his love for mankind by giving man the promise of Genesis 
3:15 (p. 20). The Bible, we are told, is a gift of God's love 
(p. 22). The reign of Christ, which began in 1914, is an ex- 
pression of God's love for mankind (p. 27). Even the Battle of 
Armageddon is an expression of God's love for man since it will 
be a blessing for man to have the wicked destroyed (p. 28). 
God's provision of redemption for mankind is said to be a 
manifestation of his love (p. 31). In fact, "everything God has 
done and will do in the future is prompted by love" (p. 13). 
It is therefore not correct to say that Jehovah's Witnesses lay 
no stress on the love of God. It is true, however, that for them 
the vindication of Jehovah or of Jehovah's name is the primary 
purpose of world history: 

. . . Today the great issue before all heaven and earth is, Who 
is supreme? Who in fact and in right exercises the sovereignty 
over all the universe? Jehovah's primary purpose is to settle this 
issue. To do so means the vindication of his universal sover- 
eignty or domination. 158 

It is further said that the great means whereby Jehovah will vindi- 
cate Himself will be the war of Armageddon and that the vindi- 
cation of His reproached name is more important than the salvation 
of men. 159 

It should further be observed that the vindication of Jehovah 
is also the primary purpose for which Jesus came to earth: "After 
this announcement of the Kingdom Jesus went to John, showing 
the primary purpose for which he came to earth, namely, to bear 
witness to God's kingdom which will vindicate the sovereignty and 
holy name of Jehovah God."' 01 ' It is granted that Jesus also 
came to earth to redeem man, but this is said to have been a 
secondary purpose: 

Thus John showed the secondary purpose for which the Son 
of God came to earth, namely, to die as a holy sacrifice to 
Jehovah God in order to cancel the sins of believing men and to 
free them from death's condemnation, that they might gain 

is* Let God Be True, pp. 27-28. See also p. 163: ". . . Vindication of 
Jehovah's name and sovereignty is the foremost doctrine of the Bible. . . ." 

159 Ibid., p. 29. Note that, in the light of this statement, the primary 
purpose of Armageddon is not to reveal God's love to man but to 
vindicate Jehovah over against his enemies. Cf. on this point also You 
May Survive Armageddon, pp. 25-26, where it is specifically said that 
Armageddon will be a manifestation of God's justice rather than of His 

i«" Let God Be True, p. 37. 

50 Jehovah's Witnesses 

eternal life in the righteous new world which God has promised 
to create. ,B1 

I conclude, therefore, that, though Jehovah's Witnesses do 
stress the love of God in various ways, in the totality of their 
theology Jehovah's love is subordinated to His power and His 
justice. For this judgment I advance the following reasons: 
(1) It is clearly stated by them that the vindication of Jehovah 
is the primary purpose of world history and of the coming of 
Christ. This vindication of Jehovah means that He will prove 
Himself superior to His enemies, both in regard to the Tightness 
of His cause and the greatness of His power. This vindication 
will be dramatized especially by the great climax of world history, 
the Battle of Armageddon, at which He will overwhelmingly 
demolish His foes. (2) Even in God's plan of redemption, which 
is secondary to His main purpose, it is not so much the love of 
God for unworthy sinners which is magnified as His just recogni- 
tion of the worthiness of His true followers. As will become 
evident when we discuss Jehovah-Witness soteriology, Jehovah's 
true people, whether belonging to the anointed class or to the 
other sheep, are chosen by Him because of their worthiness in 
believing on Him and in dedicating their lives to Him. During 
the millennium the millions who will be raised from the dead 
will be given a new opportunity to show their faithfulness and 
obedience to Jehovah, on the basis of which their final destiny 
will be determined. Even the way of salvation, therefore, in 
Jehovah-Witness theology, serves primarily to vindicate Jehovah's 
justice rather than to reveal His love. 


Decrees. One of the first doctrines Russell doubted was pre- 
destination. It will be of interest, therefore, to see what present- 
day Witnesses teach about this doctrine. 

Only with respect to Jesus Christ do Jehovah's Witnesses teach 
the predestination of an individual: "Only in the case of the 
chief member of the new creation did God foreordain and fore- 
know the individual, his only-begotten Son." 162 Having used 
Christ in forming the heavens and the earth, Jehovah then used 

]fil Ibid., p. 38. In the light of these quotations it would seem that 
God's provision of redemption for mankind as a manifestation of his 
love is only a secondary purpose for Christ's coming to earth. 

302 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 159. 

Doctrines 5 1 

him also in forming His new creation: namely, the people that 
were to constitute His new nation. Of this people Jesus Christ 
was chosen to be the head. 163 

What about the members of this new nation? 

In the case of the others [those other than Christ] he [Jehovah] 
did not choose to predestinate the individuals, although he did 
foreordain the number of them and their nationality. But he 
left it open to those favored with the opportunity in his fore- 
ordained time to prove themselves worthy of being incorporated 
finally into the new creation. 164 

God foreordained the exact number of this new nation: 144,000. 
This number has been derived from Revelation 7:4-8, and 14:1 
and 3; Jehovah's Witnesses take this number literally, but they 
take the fact that these 144,000, according to Revelation 7:5-8, 
were selected out of the twelve tribes of Israel, figuratively! 165 
It was therefore foreordained by Jehovah that this group would 
be no larger than 144,000 and that its members would be 
drawn from various nations. 186 

It is clear that this is not predestination in the Reformed sense 
or even in the Arminian sense. God has simply determined the 
number of people that will belong to this class, but He has not 
chosen them as individuals. The following passage adds the 
thought that God has simply determined beforehand what should 
be the requirements for belonging to this class: 

God has foreknowledge of the elect [another name for the 
144,000]; not meaning that he chose to foreknow the individ- 
uals, but that he purposed or predestinated that there should 
be such an elect company. . . . He did not have to concern him- 
self with the individuals and their names and personal identi- 
ties. He simply determined beforehand or predestinated what 
should be the requirements for membership in this class and 
what standards they had to meet and what qualities they had to 
display. 167 

]83 Ibid., p. 160. The "new nation" means the anointed class or 
144,000. From time to time in this exposition, the distinction between 
"anointed class" and "other sheep" will be referred to, since one cannot 
understand any phase of Jehovah-Witness theology apart from this dis- 
tinction. A more complete description of these two groups will be 
given under the Doctrine of the Church. 

is* Ibid., p. 159. 

i«5 Let God Be True, p. 130. 

1«« New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 168-69. 

10 7 The Kingdom Is at Hand, 1944. pp. 291-92. 

52 Jehovah's Witnesses 

How about the "other sheep"? Has their number also been 
determined beforehand by God? No. Since Revelation 7:9 
and 10 tells us about a "great crowd which no man was able to 
number," distinct from the 144,000 mentioned in the earlier verses 
of the chapter, Jehovah's Witnesses conclude that the other 
sheep are not limited in number. "Anyone may become one of 
this great crowd of sheeplike people who will gain everlasting 
life on a paradise earth. " ,G8 How? By hearing the voice of the 
Right Shepherd and coming into the New World Society. iea 
This means, of course, subjecting themselves to the Society's 
requirements for other sheep. 

Jehovah's Witnesses thus deny that God has chosen from eternity 
those who are to be saved, whether they be members of the 
anointed class or of the other sheep. By thus rejecting divine pre- 
destination they impugn the sovereignty of God. At this point 
it would seem that the "vindication of Jehovah's sovereignty" 
is not coming off very well. 

Creation. Jehovah's Witnesses affirm that God created all 
that exists and therefore vigorously oppose all evolutionary 
theories. 170 God's various creations, however, took place at 
various points in time. 

The first creature Jehovah made was Jesus Christ. Previous 
to this time Jehovah had been sonless; now He for the first time 
became a father. Jehovah did not form Christ out of pre-existent 
matter or with the help of a "female principle"; He formed Christ 
out of nothing. Christ was therefore the only direct Son of 
God; hence he may be called the only-begotten Son. 171 

With the co-operation of this Son, Jehovah afterwards brought 
forth all His other sons. 172 In other words, Jehovah used His 
Son as a working partner or co-worker through whom all other 
things, including angels and men, were brought into existence. 17 ' 

Next God created a realm of spirits. "The creating of the 
spirit realm was long before the creating of the material universe 

188 Paradise Lost, p. 195. 

io» Ibid., p. 196. 

i™ Let God Be True, Chap. 7. 

171 New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 24-25. Note that the Witnesses 
do not recognize the kind of distinction suggested in the Nicene Creed: 
"begotten, not made"; for they maintain that Christ was both created by 
the Father and begotten by the Father. 

I" Jbid., p. 25. 

"3 ibid., pp. 62-63; Let God Be True, p. 33. Cf. The Truth Shall Make 
You Free, p. 48. 

Doctrines 53 

with its billions of independent galaxies like our own Milky 
Way." 174 This spirit realm consisted of myriads of angels, some- 
times called "sons of God" in the Bible. Thus, in a sense, the 
angels are brothers of Jesus Christ, the first-created Son (who in 
his pre-human state was the archangel Michael). 175 Since Satan 
was originally one of the spirit-sons of Jehovah, we may say that 
Satan, too, was originally a brother of Jesus Christ. 1 ™ The prophet 
Daniel was given a vision of hundreds of millions of angels before 
God's throne (Daniel 7:9, 10). All these angels are organized 
and placed in various positions of service. 177 

All together, they [the angels] form the invisible heavenly 
organization of Jehovah God, in complete subjection to him 
and lovingly obedient to him as their theocratic Head and Life- 
giver. From the time of Jehovah's prophetic utterance at Gen- 
esis 3:15 concerning the seed of the woman, this heavenly uni- 
versal organization has been compared to a faithful wife of a 
husband and has been spoken of as Jehovah's woman or wife. 
He, the Creator of this heavenly organization, is its husband, 
who fathers the seed or offspring it brings forth. 178 
At another place, after Genesis 3:15 has been quoted, it is said, 
By saying that the serpent would be bruised in the head God 
meant that Satan would be destroyed. And it would be done by 
the one whom God would choose. That one was the Seed of 
the woman. The woman was not disobedient Eve, but rather 
God's heavenly organization of faithful spirit creatures. 179 
The realm of angels, therefore, constitutes Jehovah's woman 
or the heavenly mother. The chief Son of this heavenly mother is 
Jesus Christ, who is the seed of the woman alluded to in Genesis 
3:15. 180 

174 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 20. 

17n Ibid., pp. 26-28. 

i™ Let God Be True, p. 57. 

177 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 32. 

"« Ibid. 

17i) Paradise Lost, p. 34. The Hebrew word used for woman in Gen. 3:15 
is 'ishshah. This word is used throughout the chapter to designate Eve. 
By what exegetical legerdemain do Jehovah's Witnesses arrive at the 
astounding conclusion that 'ishshah in the 15th verse means myriads 
of angels? 

]8 ° Ibid. It is not easy to determine when, according to the Witnesses, 
the heavenly woman brought forth Jesus. It is said at one place that 
God's woman was childless until a.d. 29, when Jesus was baptized and 
the Father said, "This is my Son, the beloved" (NWT). These words, 
it is stated, mean that the Father now begot Jesus as His spiritual son, 
and that the Father's woman, the heavenly organization [also called "the 
Jerusalem above"], had now brought forth the first of her seed (New 

54 Jehovah's Witnesses 

"Just ten days after Jesus' ascension to heaven, God used his 
heavenly Zion to bring forth other spiritual children." This hap- 
pened on the Day of Pentecost, when the holy spirit was poured 
out, and when many faithful Israelite followers were begotten as 
spiritual sons. 181 It is further said that the heavenly organization 
produces all the other members of the anointed class 18 '; thus this 
heavenly organization, and not the earthly church, is the 
mother of the 144,000. The earthly congregation of anointed 
ones is, in fact, the visible representation of God's woman on 
earth. 1 NS 

Next God called into being all the tremendous masses of matter 
that comprise the material universe; it is this divine act of creation 
which is referred to in Genesis 1:1. 184 On pages 34 and 35 of 
New Heavens and a New Earth (published in 1953) a guarded 
and qualified admission is made that the universe may be billions 
of years old; on page 43 of Your Will Be Done On Earth (pub- 
lished in 1958), however, it is stated without qualification that 
the inanimate material universe is billions of years old. A long 
period of time is therefore said to have elapsed between this 
original creation and the beginning of the actual week of creation. 185 

At length, however, the creative week began: 

The time had now come to start getting the earth ready for 
the animals and humans that would later live on it. So a period 
began that the Bible calls the "first day." This was not a day 
of twenty-four hours, but was instead 7,000 years long. 188 

Heavens and a New Earlli, p. 153). On p. 201 of this same volume, 
however, we are told that it was not until Christ's resurrection that the 
heavenly woman became mother to her first divine, immortal, royal 
Son. And on pp. 220-21 we are told that God did not open the 
womb of His woman for the birth of her royal First-born until 1914. 

i8i New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 203. 

182 Make Sure of All Things, p. 75. 

]«3 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 185. As we shall see when we dis- 
cuss the fall, some of these angels, under Satan's leadership, rebelled against 
God and thus became part of the devil's organization. 

i^ Ibid., p. 34. 

185 Paradise Lost, p. 10. In What Do the Scriptures Say About "Survival 
After Death"? (a booklet published in 1955), p. 58, it is specifically stated 
that the visible universe is 4K billion years old. Cf. You May Survive Arma- 
geddon (1955), p. 21. 

1S0 Ibid. How have the Witnesses arrived at this figure? Since the 7th 
day, on which God rested from His creative work, is said to be still in prog- 
ress, and since it is assumed that 6,000 years have elapsed from the time of 
man's creation to the present, with another 1,000 years to be added to this 
Sabbath during the coming millennium, it is inferred that the 7th day is 

Doctrines 55 

Man was created towards the end of the sixth day, after almost 
42,000 years of the creation week had gone by. ,HT The seventh 
day, on which God rests from creating, is also a 7,000-year day, 
and is now in progress. 

Providence. Since Jehovah is recognized as Creator and as 
sovereign, and since all of history is said to be firmly under His 
control, it may be safely assumed that Jehovah's Witnesses accept 
the doctrine of divine providence, though the term is not listed in 
their indexes. It is said in Let God Be True (p. 169) that God 
has ordained the Sabbath of creation as a means of vindicating 
Him "as the Creator of what is good and ... as the Maintainer 
and Preserver of such good." This statement implies that God 
does uphold and preserve His universe. 

Doctrine of Man 
the original state of man 

The Constitutional Nature of Man. According to Genesis 2:7 
man is a combination of two things: the "dust of the ground" 
and the "breath of life." "The combining of these two things (or 
factors) produced a living soul or creature called man." 1 ** A study 
of the way in which the Hebrew word nephesh and the Greek word 
psuchee (the Biblical words usually translated soul) are used in 
the Scriptures reveals that these terms are nowhere associated with 
such words as "immortal, everlasting, eternal, or deathless"; it is 
concluded, therefore, that the Bible nowhere teaches that the hu- 
man soul is immortal. 189 On the contrary, the Bible teaches that 
the human soul is mortal: witness such passages as Ezekiel 18:4, 
"the soul that sinneth, it shall die," and Isaiah 53: 12, where Christ, 
who is there predicted, is said to have "poured out his soul unto 
death." 190 

to be 7,000 years long. From this it is concluded that each of the creation 
days was of this length (Let God Be True, pp. 168, 178). 

IST Paradise Lost, p. 18. It is interesting to note that, though the Witness- 
es are willing to accept in one area the results of scientific discoveries which 
have led many in our day to conclude that the universe is very old, they 
refuse to accept such scientific evidence in another area: namely, as it con- 
cerns the age of man. 

3«s Let God Be True, p. 68. 

i«9 Ibid., p. 69. 

1"" Ibid., pp. 70-71. On Mt. 10:28, however, which reads: "Do not 
become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but 
rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna" 
(NWT), their comment is: "the word 'soul' is used [here] as meaning future 

56 Jehovah's Witnesses 

At another place soul is defined as follows: 

A soul, heavenly or earthly, is a living, sentient (or sense- 
possessing, conscious, intelligent) creature or person. A soul, 
heavenly or earthly, consists of a body together with the life 
principle or life force actuating it. m 

These statements declare that there can be no soul that exists apart 
from the body. A man, it is said, is a soul; he does not possess a 
soul. 192 Nothing in Scripture, we are told, indicates that Adam 
after his fall into sin would only appear to die, but that his soul 
would live on forever. 1 " 3 

Jehovah's Witnesses therefore oppose the view that man con- 
sists of body and soul; they teach that man is a soul which consists 
of a body together with a life principle which actuates it. They 
therefore vigorously repudiate the doctrine of the inherent im- 
mortality of human souls as the foundation of false religion. It 
was the devil, in fact, who originated this doctrine, when he said 
to the woman, "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4). 194 On the 
basis of Ecclesiastes 3:19 and 20 it is further affirmed that men 
and beasts die alike. 195 

The Image of God. Jehovah's Witnesses declare that man was 
created in the image of God. This means that man was endowed 
with God's attributes. 

To man as a creature with God's attributes was granted the 
privilege of holding dominion over the earth and its forms of 
life: the birds, fish and animals. Toward these he had the 
responsibility of exercising the same attributes as his Creator: 
wisdom in directing the affairs charged to him, justice in dealing 

life as a soul" (ibid., p. 71). This interpretation, however, is not at all 
consistent with the view advanced on earlier pages that the soul is mortal 
and may die. The fact is that in Mt. 10:28 we are plainly told that it is 
possible to kill the body (sooma) without killing the soul (psuchee); this 
passage therefore militates against the Jehovah-Witness contention that the 
soul in Scripture is always mortal. 
181 Make Sure of All Things, p. 349. 

102 Ibid. 

193 Let God Be True, p. 74. 

ifl< Ibid., pp. 74-75. 

1( "> Ibid., p. 75. Note that Jehovah-Witness teaching on the constitutional 
nature of man is virtually identical with that of Seventh-day Adventism (The 
Four Major Cults, pp. 110-11). It will be recalled that Russell was delivered 
from his early skepticism by the teachings of an Adventist minister; it would 
appear, therefore, that he borrowed his view of the soul, which was basically 
the same as that of present-day Witnesses, from the Adventists (see above, 
p. 10). 

Doctrines 57 

with other creatures of his God, love in unselfishly caring for 
the earth and its creatures, and power in properly discharging 
his authority to carry on the right worship of the Universal 
Sovereign in whose image he was created. — Genesis 1 : 26-28. Iac 

On the basis of Psalm 8:4-8 in the King James version it is im- 
plied that man was made a little lower than the angels. 197 Man is, 
however, superior to the animals, not because he has an immortal 
soul, but because (1) he is a higher form of creature, and (2) he 
was originally given dominion over the lower forms of animal 
life. 198 


The Fall of Man. God created Adam perfect. In support of 
this assertion Deuteronomy 32:4 is quoted: "his [God's] work is 
perfect." 1 '-* This perfect man did not have to die: 

God did not appoint the perfect man to die, but God opened 
to him the opportunity of everlasting life in human perfection in 
the Edenic paradise. Only if the perfect man disobeyed would 
God sentence him to death, and he would cease to exist as a 
soul. 200 

So then, if man had not sinned, he would not have died. "Had 
perfect Adam not sinned, it would have been possible for him, 
though mortal, to live on earth forever and to bequeath life to his 
children."- 01 The words, "though mortal," imply that Adam, even 
if he had remained sinless, would never have obtained immortality. 
Yet he would have continued to live on earth forever. How would 
this have been possible? We get the answer from Make Sure of 
All Things: 

Everlasting life: Life in a perfect organism, fleshly for humans 
who gain life on earth, spiritual for faithful angels who continue 

] 98 Let God Be True, p. 145. No attempt is here made to indicate any 
distinction between these attributes as they occur in God and in man. 

■1»7 Ibid., p. 67; cf. p. 41. 

i»s Ibid., p. 68. 

15,9 Ibid., p. 117. The application of this passage to the creation of man 
is, however, of doubtful warrant. A careful reading of the passage, which 
occurs in the Song of Moses, will reveal that the point of the Hebrew word 
tamim which is here used is that God is beyond reproach in His providential 
dealings with man. 

-'"• This Means Everlasting Life, p. 32. 

*»i Let God Be True, p. 74. 

58 Jehovah's Witnesses 

to live in heaven. . . . God through his organization protects 
the life of such individuals for all eternity. Such a person, by 
his very creation, is dependent upon food, subject to God's 
laws governing created things. 202 

Adam and Eve, however, did not remain obedient to God; they 
fell into sin. The Witnesses accept as literal history the story of 
the fall found in Genesis 3. One of God's good angels, who had 
been placed in Eden as the overseer of humankind, rebelled against 
God. 203 Filled with pride, he desired to be equal to God; hence he 
planned to cause disobedience among God's sons and thus to 
gather a group of persons who would serve him instead of God. 204 
He it was, therefore, who spoke to Eve through the serpent. Be- 
guiled by this rebellious spirit, called the Devil or Satan, Eve first 
and then Adam ate the fruit of the forbidden tree and thus dis- 
obeyed God. 20 " 

The penalty for this first sin was death — not eternal torment 
in hell but physical death. 2 " Such physical death meant annihila- 
tion for man: 20 " 

Death did not mean that a soul taken from heaven and en- 
cased in Adam's earthly body would escape and return to heaven 
and live there immortally. No! At death Adam would return 
to the dust. 208 

God did not, however, immediately execute this death penalty, 
since Satan had now raised an issue which affected the whole uni- 
verse, namely, that of the sovereignty of Jehovah. 20 " Because 
Jehovah's sovereignty had to be vindicated, Satan was not de- 
stroyed at once; he was given time to bring forth seed, against 
whom Jehovah would wage war. 210 Adam and Eve were also not 

-"-' P. 243. Thus Adam would have been sustained everlastingly by the 
food of his earthly paradise home, and his body would never have become 
old (Paradise Lost, p. 26). Incidentally, we note that the angels, too, would 
have to be sustained by food (!), since their immortality is denied (Make 
Sure of All Things, p. 247). 

2 <« Let God Be True, pp. 57-58. 

2 « Paradise Lost, p. 30. 

2 °5 Ibid., pp. 30-32. 

aim This Means Everlasting Life, p. 44. 

207 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 84; Paradise Lost, p. 28. 

208 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 88. 
- >01 > This Means Everlasting Life, p. 42. 

- 11 " Let God Be True, pp. 58-59. By the seed of Satan is meant people 
and spirits who are in league with him and form part of his organization. 
Cain was the first of Satan's seed (New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 91). 

Doctrines 59 

put to death at once since they had to be permitted to bring chil- 
dren into the world — so that men might learn about God and so 
that Jehovah might be vindicated.- 11 When Adam was 930 years 
old he died. He did not live out a full thousand-year period, but, 
since with God one day is as a thousand years, we may say that 
Adam did die in the same day that he ate of the forbidden fruit. 
Thus God's word was vindicated: "In the day that thou eatest 
thereof thou shalt surely die." 212 

There is not a scrap of evidence that Adam repented. He 
was a willful rebel and was beyond repentance, and his sentence 
is beyond recall. . . . Adam died and went nowhere but to 
the dust from which he had been taken. 213 

Original Sin. What were the results of Adam's sin for his de- 
scendants? Adam brought death not only on himself but on all 
the race descended from him. 214 Other results of Adam's fall in- 
cluded inborn sin, imperfection, and disease. 215 Though we do 
not have anywhere a clear exposition of what this inborn sin in- 
volves, Let God Be True speaks of both condemnation and dis- 
ability. On page 1 1 9 we read about the "inherited condemnation 
of Adam's descendants," and also of the "inherited disability under 
which all are born." On page 117 the results of Adam's sin are 
expressed as follows: "All his [Adam's] children, we and our an- 
cestors, were born following his sin." 

It should be added, however, that Jehovah's Witnesses do not 
at all have the same understanding of "inborn sin" that is found, 
say, in the Westminster Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, or 
the Augsburg Confession. According to Romans 8 : 7 no one who 
still has the "mind of the flesh" can be subject to the law of God, 
and according to I John 5 : 1 no one who is not born again or be- 
gotten of God can believe that Jesus is the Christ. The Witnesses, 

A large group of angels joined Satan in his rebellion and became demons. 
It is contended that the fall of the angels is depicted in Genesis 6:1-4, the 
"sons of God" in this passage being interpreted as angels who "materialized 
in flesh," and the "daughters of men" being understood to have been human 
women (ibid., pp. 91-94). 

211 This Means Everlasting Life, p. 42. 

-''-' The Truth Shall Make You Free, pp. 111-113. Though the days 
of creation are thus said to have been 7,000 years long, and though in 
prophetic sections of the Bible a day is said to equal a year, the day in 
which Adam lived is alleged to have been 1.000 years long! 

2 is Ibid., p. 113. 

i!i4 TVfif Heavens and a New Earth, p. 89. 

21 '< Religion for Mankind, p. 63. 

60 Jehovah's Witnesses 

however, do not agree with this clear teaching of Scripture. They 
declare that only the 144,000 have been and will be born again 
or begotten of God. Since this congregation of 144,000 began to 
be gathered after Pentecost,- 1 B no one could have been regenerated 
before Pentecost. Yet many served God faithfully in Old Testa- 
ment times, according to them, and will therefore be raised as 
other sheep during the millennium. Furthermore, since Pente- 
cost, and particularly since 1931 (they are rather vague on the 
period between Pentecost and 1931), the vast majority of Je- 
hovah's Witnesses have been, and are still, other sheep. These 
other sheep however, cannot be born again. Yet they are said 
to be able to exercise true faith,- 17 to be faithful to Jehovah, 218 to 
belong to "obedient mankind,"- 1 " and to dedicate themselves to do 
God's will.--" The Witnesses, therefore, teach that a person can 
believe and be faithful to Jehovah without having been born again! 
I conclude that, though Jehovah's Witnesses appear to teach an 
inherited disability on account of Adam's sin, their theology belies 
this assertion. For a "disability" which enables unregenerate man 
to have true faith, to dedicate his life to God, and to remain faith- 
ful to Jehovah is no disability at all! 

Doctrine of Christ 
the person of christ 

The Prehuman State. In order to understand Jehovah-Witness 
teaching on the person of Christ, we shall have to distinguish be- 
tween a prehuman, a human, and a posthuman state. To begin 
with the prehuman state, Christ, it is said, was the first creature 
of Jehovah. 2 - 1 During this prehuman state, which lasted from the 
time of the Son's creation to the time when he was born of Mary, 
Christ was the Logos or Word of the Father. This does not mean, 
however, that he was equal to the Father; the title Logos only 
implies that the Son was the spokesman for God the Father to 
other creatures that were called into being after him. 222 Thus the 

21 fi Neve Heavens and a New Earth, p. 203. 

- 17 This Means Everlasting Life, p. 295. 

^i* Let God Be True, p. 231. 

l>19 jVeiv Heavens and a New Earth, p. 336. 

--o Let God Be True, p. 298. 

221 See above, p. 47. 

--- Let God Be True, p. 33; The Truth Sliall Make You Free, p. 44. 

Doctrines 6 1 

Son was the Chief Executive Officer of Jehovah and, as such, su- 
perior to all other creatures. 223 

Jehovah's Witnesses insist, however, that neither in this state 
nor in any subsequent state is the Son equal to Jehovah. As a 
matter of fact, during his prehuman state the Son was really an 
angel. Previous to the Son's coming to earth as a man he was not 
known in heaven as Jesus Christ, but as Michael; when we read 
in Jude 9 about Michael the archangel, we are to understand this 
expression as a designation of Jesus Christ in his prehuman 
state.- 24 Between Christ in his prehuman state and the angels, 
therefore, there is a difference only of degree but not of kind; it 
will be recalled that, according to the Witnesses, the angels are 
higher than man, but only creatures. 

Yet, though the Son was only a creature during his pre-human 
state, Jehovah's Witnesses insist that he was at that time some 
kind of god. On the basis of their translation of John 1 : 1 ("In 
[the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and 
the Word was a god," NWT), they call the Word "a god," 225 or 
say that he had "a godly quality." 220 The Witnesses interpret the 
so-called kenosis passage of Philippians 2:5-8 as meaning that 
the Son "did not follow the course of the Devil and plot and scheme 
to make himself like or equal to the Most High God and to rob God 
or usurp God's place." 227 To support this interpretation they ap- 
peal to their own renderings of the passage in the New World 
Translation and in the Emphatic Diaglott , 228 

While he was in this prehuman state, the Son, in common with 
the other angels, did not possess immortality. Later, however, 
Jehovah "opened up to his Son the opportunity to gain immor- 
tality." 229 

The Human State. The following quotation from a recent book 
sets forth in some detail the Jehovah-Witness view of the concep- 

■m The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 44. 

-- 4 New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 28-30. These pages also contain 
the Scriptural evidence adduced to prove this point. 

-- >5 Let God Be True, p. 34. 

^« The Word — Who Is He? (booklet pub. in 1962), p. 56. 

22T Let God Be True, pp. 34-35. 

-- 8 Ibid., pp. 32, 35. These passages, and others adduced by Jehovah's 
Witnesses to substantiate their view of the person of Christ, will be dealt 
with more fully in the Appendix. 

--■' The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 44. Cf. above, n. 202, and see 
discussion of Christ's posthuman state. 

62 Jehovah's Witnesses 

tion, birth, and nature of Jesus Christ while he was on earth: 

To become born of Mary the heavenly Son had to lay aside 
all his heavenly glory and position. At God's due time for 
his only-begotten Son to become a man, Jehovah took the 
perfect life of his only-begotten Son and transferred it from 
heaven to the egg cell in the womb of the unmarried girl 
Mary. God, by his almighty power, was able to take the 
personality of his only-begotten Son, his life pattern, and put 
this personality within the powers of the tiny bundle of live 
energy that he placed into the womb of Mary. Thus God's Son 
was conceived or given a start as a human creature. It was 
a miracle. Under Jehovah's holy power the child Jesus, con- 
ceived in this way, grew in Mary's womb to the point of birth. 

Thus the child Jesus was born with all the marvelous qualities 
of righteousness in him just as a child inherits qualities from 
his father. Having a perfect Father as his life source, Jesus 
did not inherit imperfection from his imperfect mother Mary. 230 

From these paragraphs it is clear that the Witnesses do not 
deny the virgin birth of Christ, as has recently been alleged. 281 Note 
that what is said to have been transferred from heaven to Mary's 
womb was the "life," the "personality," or the "life pattern" of the 
Son of God, who, it will be recalled, was never equal to Jehovah 
but was only a created angel. What happened when Jesus was 
born, therefore, was not the incarnation of God. ". . . Jesus' birth 
on earth was not an incarnation. " a:!L> Christ was therefore not God 
in the flesh. 

But now the question arises: Is there real continuity between 
the Son of God in his prehuman and his human state? Was the 
child born of Mary really the same individual who existed previ- 
ously in heaven as the Archangel Michael? To this question it is 

- !t " Paradise Lost, p. 127. Cf. Let God Be True, p. 36; The Kingdom is at 
Hand, p. 49; New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 150, 153. On the last- 
named page the work of the spirit in overshadowing Mary is also mentioned. 

- :s ' John H. Gerstner, The Theology of the Major Sects, p. 36. 

- :1 - Religion for Mankind, p. 231. It is quite revealing to note what the 
Jehovah-Witness conception of incarnation is: "Moreover, if a mere in- 
carnation of the Son of God had been intended, then it would not have 
been necessary for him to have his life transferred to an embryo in the 
virgin's womb and to be developed there and finally born as a helpless infant. 
He could still have remained a spirit person and materialized a fully de- 
veloped fleshly body and clothed himself with it, just as . . . the ange! 
Gabriel did when appearing visibly to Mary" {The Truth Shall Make You 
Free, p. 245). Actually, however, what is here described is not an incarna- 
tion but a temporary assumption of a body for the purpose of bringing 
a message. 

Doctrines 63 

difficult to give an unambiguous answer. On the one hand, Je- 
hovah's Witnesses frequently speak of "Christ's prehuman exist- 
ence, "- : ™ say that the angel Michael was actually Jesus Christ in 
his prehuman spirit form, 234 and assert that it was God's only- 
begotten Son who became a man.- 3 -' Other passages from their 
writings, however, imply that there was no real continuity between 
Michael and the man Jesus Christ: 

That the Son of God born on earth was no mighty spirit per- 
son clothing himself with a baby's fleshly form and pretending 
to be absolutely ignorant like a newborn infant is proved by 
the scripture (Philippians 2:5-8), which shows he laid aside 
completely his spirit existence. . . .- : " ! 

By this miracle [the virgin birth) he was born a man (Philip- 
pians 2:7 . . .). He was not a spirit-human hybrid, a man 
and at the same time a spirit person. He was not clothed upon 
with flesh over an invisible spirit person, but he WAS flesh. 237 

If Christ, however, was not a spirit person during his human 
state, but only a man, was not his birth the birth of a new indi- 
vidual, rather than a transfer of a heavenly life to the womb of 
Mary? If Christ completely laid aside his previous spirit existence, 
how could he still be the individual who had lived in that spirit 
existence? The thrust of the above two quotations is clearly this: 
when Christ was born of Mary, he stopped being a spirit person 
and became a man — nothing more than a man. 

One point has become very clear: Jehovah's Witnesses do not 
believe that Christ had (or has) two natures. While on earth 
Christ had only one nature: the nature of a man. Since previous 
to his birth from Mary, the Son of God is said to have had a spirit 
nature, of which he divested himself at the time he came to earth, 
we must conclude, according to Watchtower teaching, that the 
Christ who was born in Bethlehem is not the same individual who 
existed previously as the Archangel Michael. 238 

~ ss Let God Be True, p. 34; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 28; The 
Word — Who Is He, p. 38. 

•s.u j^ew Heavens and a New Earth, p. 27; cf. p. 30. 

- S!i Paradise Lost, p. 127. 

^« The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 246. 

- [i ~ Religion for Mankind, jp. 231. 

- 38 Jt is thus evident that Jehovah's Witnesses reject Chalcedon as well as 
Nicaea. The Witnesses might counter the above argumentation by saying 
that since the life of the heavenly being was transferred to Mary's womb 
there is some continuity after all. In reply I would say: But the life which 
was transferred was not the life of a spirit person. Where, then, is the 

64 Jehovah's Witnesses 

It should further be added that Christ was born as "a perfect 
human creature."-™ The reason for this is that Christ had to be 
the absolute equivalent of the perfect man Adam in Eden. Since, 
according to Deuteronomy 19:21, God had said "Soul (nephesh) 
will be for soul, eye for eye, tooth for tooth . . ." (NWT), it is 
obvious that another perfect man must be sacrificed to undo the 
harm wrought by Adam's fall. 240 "Hence as the human life priv- 
ileges had been forfeited for the human race by its perfect father 
Adam, through sin, those life privileges had to be repurchased 
by the sacrifice of a perfect human life like Jesus'." 241 

Before we go on to consider Christ's posthuman state, some- 
thing should be said about the significance of Christ's baptism since 
this will shed light on the Witnesses' view of his person. When 
Jesus was baptized, there came a voice from heaven saying, "This 
is my son, the beloved, whom I have approved" (Mt. 3:17, 
NWT). This meant that "as God by his spirit overshadowing 
Mary transferred his Son's life from heaven to her womb, now God 
by that same spirit begot Jesus to become his spiritual son." 242 
The coming down of the spirit upon Christ in the form of a dove 
represented the fact that Christ was now anointed with God's 
spirit, thus becoming Jehovah's High Priest. 243 By this act Christ 
became " 'a new creation' with spirit life in the invisible heavens in 
view." 244 By this act Christ also became God's Anointed One or 
Christ — the Heir of the heavenly Kingdom. 24 "' 

According to the above statements Christ was not Jehovah's 
High Priest, nor the Messiah, nor the Heir of the heavenly King- 
dom until he had been baptized! More serious still, these state- 
continuity? Since Jehovah's Witnesses do not teach the pre-existence of 
man, we must conclude that the life of Jesus as a man began with his 
miraculous conception. But this was a human life, not an angelic life. 
239 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 151. 
- 40 Ibid., pp. 151-52. 
- 41 Ibid., p. 152. 

-*- Ibid., p. 153. At another place it is said that at this time God "begot 
Jesus to be his spiritual Son once more instead of a human Son" (Lei God 
Be True, p. 38). The words "once more" imply that the Son was a spir- 
itual Son during his prehuman state, but that he ceased being a spiritual 
Son when he was conceived and born of Mary. This statement thus under- 
scores the discontinuity that exists between the first and second states of 
Christ's existence. 
imm New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 153. 

2W Your Will Be Done, p. 138. It is implied that if Christ had not been 
thus spirit-begotten, he would not have been entitled to enjoy spirit life in 
heaven when his earthly life was over. 
2*5 Ibid. 

Doctrines 65 

merits clearly avow that Christ was not a spiritual or spirit-begotten 
Son of God until his baptism. Since the members of the anointed 
class must also become spiritual sons,- 16 and be begotten by God's 
spirit, 247 it is obvious that there is a very close analogy between 
Christ and the members of the anointed class. Since Christ while 
on earth was not God, and not a spirit person, but only a man 
(though a sinless man), we may say that the difference between 
Christ and the 144,000 is not one of kind but only one of degree. 

The Posthuman State. Jehovah God raised Christ from the 
dead, "not as a human Son, but as a mighty immortal spirit 
Son. . . ." 24R The physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is there- 
fore denied; Christ was raised not with the same body which he 
had before, but as a "spirit Son, no longer flesh. 249 The reasoning 
behind this teaching is as follows: In order to atone for the sin 
of Adam, Christ had to sacrifice his human body. This means 
that he had to renounce it permanently and could not get it 
back again. Therefore God raised him as a spirit Son. 2,r> " The 
Scripture passage usually cited to substantiate this view is I Peter 
3:18, "Being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the 
spirit" (NWT). 

What happened to the body of Christ? ". . . Jehovah God dis- 
posed of that body in his own way, just as he disposed of the body 
of Moses, who was a type of Christ Jesus; but no one knows 
how." 251 Rutherford had surmised that the Lord may have pre- 
served it somewhere to exhibit to the people in the millennial 
age. 252 

At another place it is stated that Christ was raised not with a 
body of flesh, but "in a spirit body." 2 " 3 This "spirit body," how- 
ever, which Christ had after his resurrection, was not a visible 
body. How, then, did Christ reveal himself to his disciples after 
his resurrection? "By materializing fleshly bodies on the occasions 

246 Let God Be True, p. 300. 

247 This Means Everlasting Life, p. 121. 
24H Let God Be True, p. 40. 

249 Religion for Mankind, p. 259; cf. Make Sure of All Things, p. 3 14. 

250 Religion for Mankind, p. 259. 

251 The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 264. 

2 " 2 The Harp of God, 1928, p. 173. If, however, it had to be demonstrat- 
ed that Christ had permanently renounced his body, why was his body not 
left in the tomb? 

263 The Truth Shall Make Yon Free, p. 264. Cf. Make Sure of All 
Things, p. 349, where we read that a heavenly soul, as well as an earthly 
soul, consists of "a body together with the life principle or life force actu- 
ating it." 

66 Jehovah's Witnesses 

of his appearances," each such body being different from the 
others. 2r>4 These were temporary materializations, comparable to 
those in which angels had occasionally appeared to men. 2nr> 

At the time of his resurrection Christ was given immortality as 
a reward for his faithful course on earth; he was, in fact, the first 
creature to receive this gift. 2 "' 6 God now exalted his Son to be 
higher than he was before he lived and died as a man, and made 
him to be Head under Jehovah of God's capital organization over 
the universe. 257 The Son now resumed the name Michael, "to 
tie him with his prehuman existence. " 2r,s 

Since, according to Watchtower teaching, there is no such 
thing as an immaterial soul which persists after death, and since 
Christ's material body was not raised, we are forced to conclude 
that Christ was actually annihilated when he died. While on earth 
Christ was only a man, with a nature which was only human; this 
human nature, however, was sacrificed on the cross 2 ™ so com- 
pletely that he could not get it back again. It will not do to say 
that Christ sacrificed only his human body and not his human 
soul, since the Witnesses recognize no human soul which survives 
the body. The life which Christ now enjoys is not human life, 
nor the life of a divine Person with a human nature, but angelic 
life — life as a spirit-creature called Michael. It is obvious, 
therefore, that Christ after his resurrection is for the Witnesses not 
in any sense human, or a being with a human nature. Thus 
there is no real continuity, either, between the second and the third 
state of Christ's existence. For this reason Jehovah's Witnesses 
cannot really speak of the exaltation of Christ, since the individual 
who is exalted is not the same being as the individual who was 

I conclude that what the three states of Christ's existence in 

234 The Truth Shall Make You Free, pp. 265-67. 

-'55 Let God Be True, p. 40. 

- H8 Ibid., p. 74. 

-'" Ibid., p. 40. 

-'*s Your Will Be Done, p. 316. 

- r,! » Jehovah's Witnesses prefer to speak of "torture stake" instead of 
"cross," since they believe that Jesus was put to death on a simple upright 
stake, without a crossbar; their NWT, therefore, also renders the Greek 
verb stuuro-oo (crucify) as "impale." H. J. Spier, in his De Jehovah's 
Getuigen en de Bijbel (Kampen: Kok, 1961), pp. 132-33, has shown the 
untenability of this interpretation. See also Alfred Edersheim, Life and 
Times of Jesus the Messiah (New York: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1901), 
11, 584-85; and J. D. Douglas, ed.. The New Bible Dictionary (Eerdmans, 
1962), p. 279. 

Doctrines 67 

Watchtower theology really amount to is this: angel — man — 
angel, with no real continuity between the three. A little reflection 
will reveal how devastating this view is of the Christology of the 
Scriptures. The individual who laid down his life at Calvary was 
not the individual who existed previously in heaven and was God's 
agent in creation; the individual who is now ruling over his 
heavenly Kingdom is not the individual who died on the cross for 
us. Really, Jehovah's Witnesses have three Christs, none of whom 
is equal to Jehovah and none of whom is the Christ of the Scrip- 


The Atonement. As we have seen, because of Adam's sin all 
men have inherited physical death and inborn sin. Jesus Christ, 
the Witnesses teach, made atonement for us and thus removed for 
believers the results of Adam's sin. The word atonement, it is 
said, is drawn from the expression at one, and means that what 
makes satisfaction for another thing which has been forfeited must 
be "at one" with that other thing, that is, must be exactly equivalent 
to it.-' 60 When applied to the work of Christ, atonement means 
that "the human life that Jesus Christ laid down in sacrifice must 
be exactly equal to that life which Adam forfeited for all his off- 
spring; it must be a perfect human life, no more, no less." 261 

This human life which Jesus sacrificed for his people is called a 
ransom. A ransom is defined as "that which buys back, loosens 
or releases . . . more especially, releasing from inherited sin and 
from prospects of eternal death as a result of sin." 262 God provid- 
ed through Christ a redemptive price whereby "those of men who 
have faith in God's provision may come into harmony with him 
and, serving him faithfully, they may receive the gift of life, being 
freed from inherited sin and from eternal death as a result of 
sin." 283 

Since what was lost in Adam was perfect human life with its 
rights and earthly prospects, what is redeemed or bought back is 

L'fio You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 38-39. Webster's New Collegiate 
Dictionary, 1956 ed., agrees that atone comes from at one, but defines at 
one in this sense as meaning "in concord or friendship" (p. 55). It would 
appear that the Jehovah-Witness derivation of this word is not accurate. 

- <n You May Survive Armageddon, p. 39. 

-'«: Make Sure of All Things, pp. 293-94. 

- 8:i Let God Be True, p. 113. By "eternal death" in this quotation is 
meant annihilation. 

68 Jehovah's Witnesses 

also perfect human life with its rights and earthly prospects. 264 
This is exactly what Jesus laid down in death: a perfect human 
life, with all its rights and earthly prospects. Since this human life 
was not given back to Jesus, this sacrificed human life remained 

a thing of value with purchasing power, hence with ransoming 
or redemptive power. The value of the perfect human life was 
now available for use on behalf of faithful men needing to be 
ransomed thereby. 285 

It is expressly denied that the atonement of Christ was a satis- 
faction of divine justice: 

Justice was satisfied in mankind's suffering death, the just 
penalty of sin. So the ransom is an expression of God's mercy, 
his undeserved kindness toward mankind. 20 " 

This statement must be understood against the background of Je- 
hovah-Witness teaching that the penalty for Adam's sin was not 
eternal torment in hell but physical death which was to be followed 
by annihilation. The purpose of Christ's death, then, was to 
rescue men from the annihilation in which they would otherwise 
have remained after death. The question, however, must now be 
raised : what happens to the justice of God when people are raised 
from the dead? Since God's justice required man's death and 
annihilation, how can it be said that the justice of God is satisfied 
by the death of people who are later raised again? If Christ did 
not in any sense satisfy God's justice by his atoning work, we shall 
have to conclude that, for Jehovah's Witnesses, the justice of God 
is so weak that He simply relaxes its demands in the case of those 
who come to believe in Christ. 

What is said about Christ's removal of the curse, however, is not 
consistent with the above. It is taught that Christ had to hang on 
the "stake" as an accursed one in order to deliver the Jews from 
the curse of the law which rested upon them for their transgres- 
sions, particularly for their rejection of God's Messiah. 2 "" At an- 
other place we are told that Christ died not just for the curse on 
the Jews, but for the "condemnation of sin on all mankind."-" 8 If 
this is so, there must be a sense in which Christ's death did satisfy 

^64 ibid., p. 114. 
w> Ibid., p. 116. 

- eo Ibid., p. 115. The implication is that the ransom was an expression 
of God's mercy but not in any sense an expression of God's justice. 
- c '~ This Means Everlasting Life, pp. 109-10; Paradise Lost, p. 144. 
- Iix Religion for Mankind, p. 148. 

Doctrines 69 

God's justice or appease God's wrath. For how otherwise could 
God remove the curse of the law or the condemnation of sin? 

The Extent of the Atonement. For whom did Christ make this 
atonement? Not for everyone. It is specifically stated that Adam 
is not included among those ransomed. 2(!!l Those who remain 
eternally dead and are thus permanently annihilated are also said 
not to have been ransomed. 2 ™ It is further stated that Christ laid 
down his life for the other sheep as well as for the bride class,'- 71 
for non-Jews as well as for Jews, 272 for all the "worthy ones of 
Adam's children, " 2 ™ and for all the believers of Adam's family. 274 
This ransom provides the basis for the "resurrection of the dead 
who are in God's memory and their eventual gaining of life." 275 
The ransom, in fact, extends its benefits even to those who "prac- 
ticed vile things" on earth, but who will be raised during the 
millennium and will then be given the opportunity of responding 
to the gospel. 276 

As we reflect upon this view of the atonement, we note how far 
it falls short of Biblical doctrine. First, the sacrifice brought 
by Christ, for the Witnesses, was not of infinite value since it was 
the sacrifice of a mere human life. There is no hint in their teach- 
ings of the thought expressed in Anselm's Cur Deus Homo that 
the "price paid to God for the sin of man [must] be something 
greater than all the universe besides God," 277 and that therefore the 
one who pays this price must in his own person be God. 

- lii) Let God Be True, p. 119. The reason here given is: '^Because he was 
a willful sinner, was justly sentenced to death, and died deservedly, and God 
would not reverse his just judgment and give Adam life." Apparently the 
Witnesses exclude the possibility that Adam may have repented of his sin, 
and may have exercised faith in the promise of salvation recorded in Gen. 
3:15 (see above, n. 213). 

-7° Make Sure of All Things, p. 296. 

- 71 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 230. 

-'?* Let God Be True, p. 1 19. 

- 73 Paradise Lost, p. 143. 

- >74 Lei God Be True, p. 119. 

-' 7 <"> Ibid., p. 120. 

278 Ibid., p. 280. As will be seen when we discuss the doctrine of salva- 
tion and the doctrine of the last things, however, what really determines 
the salvation of those to whom Christ's ransom is to be applied is not the 
merits of Christ but the works of men. Note, e.g., the following statement: 
". . . the course of an individual determines whether he will ultimately re- 
ceive benefit from the ransom sacrifice of Christ or not" (ibid., p. 120). 

-~~ Translated by Sidney Deane (La Salle: Open Court, 1959), p. 244 
(Book II, Chap. 6). Scripture proof for the full deity of the Saviour will 
be given in the Appendix. Suffice it here to say that Phil. 2:5-8, when prop- 
erly interpreted, teaches that the one who died on the cross was fully God. 

70 Jehovah's Witnesses 

It should further be pointed out that, though Jehovah's Witnesses 
repeatedly say that God sent His Son Christ Jesus to earth to pro- 
vide this ransom, 278 and that the one who did the ransoming work 
was therefore the same individual who was previously with God in 
heaven, 279 their teachings about the person of Christ do not war- 
rant this conclusion. For, as has been pointed out, there is no 
real continuity between Christ as he appeared in the flesh and the 
previously existing Archangel Michael. 280 For the Witnesses, 
therefore, God did not really send his only-begotten Son (even if 
one understands this term as designating the created Logos) into 
the world to ransom man from his sins. Rather, He caused a sin- 
less man to be miraculously conceived by Mary; this man was not 
even a "spirit-begotten son of God" at birth, but only a human son. 
He was different from other men only in two respects: ( 1 ) he had 
been born of a virgin, and (2) he lived a perfect life. But Je- 
hovah's Witnesses cannot consistently maintain that the individual 
whom they call Jesus Christ was the same individual who had 
existed previously with God as His only-begotten Son and who had 
been God's agent in creation. 

At this point the question cannot be suppressed: Why should 
the sacrificed life of Jesus Christ have so much value that it can 
serve to ransom millions of people from annihilation? It was a 
perfect human life which was sacrificed, to be sure; we must not 
minimize this point. But it was the perfect human life of someone 
who was only a man. Could the life of a mere man, offered in 
sacrifice, serve to purchase a multitude which no man can num- 
ber? 281 

Doctrine of Salvation 

Who will benefit from the ransom of Christ? At this point the 
anti-Reformation character of Watchtower teachings becomes very 
clear: "By willingly laying down his human life he [Christ] could 
use its right to buy back the worthy ones of Adam's children." 282 
It is, however, impossible to discuss Jehovah-Witness soteriology 
without distinguishing between the "anointed class" and the "other 
sheep," since the way of salvation is not the same for both: 

'■"» Let God Be True, p. 113. 

™ Ibid., p. 115. 

280 See above, pp. 62-63. 

2,si what the Witnesses teach about the work of Christ (that is, the spirit 
creature who "arose" from Jesus' grave) since his "resurrection" will be 
treated under the Doctrine of the Last Things. 

- H2 Paradise Lost, p. 143. Cf. n. 276 above. 

Doctrines 7 1 

All who by reason of faith in Jehovah God and in Christ 
Jesus dedicate themselves to do God's will and then faithfully 
carry out their dedication will be rewarded with everlasting 
life (Romans 6:23). However, that life will not be the same 
for all. The Bible plainly shows that some of these, that is, 
144,000, will share in heavenly glory with Christ Jesus, while 
the others will enjoy the blessings of life down here on earth 
(Revelation 14:1, 3; Micah 4:1-5). 2H:i 

The Anointed Class. Since the way of salvation is more elab- 
orate and complex for the anointed class than it is for the other 
sheep, we shall first look at the doctrine of salvation as it applies 
to the anointed class or 144,000. How do they obtain salvation? 

They must first believe and repent. Faith is defined as follows: 

Faith means that by reason of Bible knowledge one has a 
firm assurance that God exists and that he will reward those 
who earnestly seek him, and that the Bible is his truth and 
man's sure guide. It further means to accept Jesus not only as 
a Teacher and Example but also as one's Savior and Ransomer. 
Such faith causes one to be converted or turned, to change his 
course of action. 284 

This faith includes not only knowledge of the message of the Bible 
but also acceptance of Christ, followed by a change of life. 28n 

Repentance is also required. In Make Sure of All Things re- 
pentance is thus defined: "Recognition and admission of a wrong 
condition or course of action, and a sincere sorrow with determin- 
ation, motivated by a wholehearted desire to conform to right 
principles, to turn forever from such wrong course and take a 
course in harmony with God's will" (p. 307). In the light of what 
was said about faith, it is evident that repentance is a fruit of true 

True faith and true repentance thus require that one should 
"give up one's selfish course and dedicate oneself to do God's will, 
just as Jesus did." 2sa Dedication, which is required of all who 
want to serve God, is defined as follows: 

aw Let God Be True, p. 298. 

->« Ibid., pp. 295-96. 

" M It is said in Make Sure of All Things, p. 120, that faith is a gift from 
God. On the other hand, however, after the authors of Paradise Lost 
have described faith, repentance, and dedication, they go on to say, "This 
much the individual can do. The rest [meaning the other steps necessary 
for becoming a member of the anointed class, here called "the spiritual 
nation"] depends upon God" (p. 152). 

2«« Let God Be True, p. 296. 

72 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Christian dedication is the act of a person in setting himself 
apart by solemn agreement, unreservedly and unconditionally, 
to do the will of Jehovah God through Christ Jesus, as that will 
is set forth in the Bible, being made plain by God's holy spirit. 
It means one must live a holy life, separate from this world, 
and serve God henceforth to eternity. 1 '" 7 

Since Jesus publicly confessed his dedication to do his Father's 
will by being baptized, everyone who has similarly agreed to do 
God's will should be baptized, as a symbol of his dedication. This 
baptism, however, must be by immersion. - m 

In order to enter into the heavenly glory for which they are 
destined, the members of the anointed class "must undergo the 
sacrifice of all human life right and hopes, even as Jesus did." 289 
Since, however, these people are sinners, they do not have either 
the right to life or an acceptable body to offer as a sacrifice. Hence 
they must first be justified or declared righteous before they can 
undergo the sacrifice of human life-right and hopes.- 9 " 

When and how does this justification occur? It is not easy to 
answer the first of these two questions since it is said that God de- 
clares such a person righteous "because of his faith in Christ's 
blood." 291 Actually, these individuals already exercised faith in 
Christ's blood before their baptism since faith is a prerequisite for 
baptism. 29 - It appears, however, that this justification does not 
take place until after one has been baptized. 293 As far as the 
"how" of this justification is concerned, we read in Let God Be 

Christ Jesus then [after one has exercised faith and has dedi- 
cated himself to God] acts as an advocate, covering the sins of 
such a dedicated one by the merit of his sacrifice. The dedi- 
cated one is now in position to be justified or declared righteous 
by God, and thus he has access to God through Christ Jesus. 
He has an acceptable body and the right to perfect life on earth, 
and all this can be presented for sacrifice with Christ Jesus. 294 


Make Sure of All Things, p. 9 I . 
Lei God Be True, pp. 296-98. 

2™ Ibid., p. 299. 

2 «" Ibid. 

-91 Paradise Lost, p. 152. 

-'«-' Ibid. 

*»» Ibid. Cf. Let God Be True, p. 299. 

l»94 p 299. See also Paradise Lost, p, 152. What is puzzling, however, 
is that, though this justification is described in these two places as an act in 
which God declares these people righteous, in New Heavens and a New 
Earth, p. 167, we read, "For their [the members of the anointed class] prov- 

Doctrines 73 

It is to be noted that the justification of the 144,000 is solely for 
the purpose of enabling them to sacrifice their right to life on earth 
so that they can share the life of Christ in heaven. 293 

What is the next step? "God now choosing them [the 144,000], 
he accepts the High Priest's sacrifice of the dedicated ones and 
causes his active force or holy spirit to act upon them so as to 
bring them forth as spiritual sons with the hope of life in the 
heavens and he [God] acknowledges them as his sons." 2 " 6 So the 
members of the anointed class are now brought forth as spiritual 
sons of God. At this time God gives to such persons his holy 
spirit; 297 they now also have "prospects and hopes for spirit life 
by resurrection to heaven." 298 

These persons now become members of Christ's body, and thus 
receive of his anointing. 299 God now consecrates them or sets 
them apart for a holy work; 300 this anointing or consecration means 
that they are made kings and priests of God, in which double ca- 
pacity they will rule, together with Christ, over the rest of man- 
kind. :,ni The holy spirit is for the anointed ones a pledge guaran- 
teeing their heavenly inheritance/"' 2 

These anointed ones do not yet have immortality at this time, 
but have a hope of it set before them and therefore seek it as a 
prize. "To gain that incorruptible prize they must be loyal to 
God even at the cost of their human lives." 308 

Before such members of Christ's body can receive their heav- 
enly inheritance they must be set apart more and more from 
this world and to the holy service of Jehovah God, demonstrat- 
ing faithful imitators of his Son to the close of their earthly life, making 
their calling and their being chosen certain, Jehovah God will pronounce 
them righteous. . . ." Is there a difference between "declaring righteous" 
and "pronouncing righteous"? If so, the latter occurs at the close of the 
earthly life of the 144,000, and is based not on faith, but on works. If not, 
Jehovah's Witnesses are not consistent on this point. 

2»« Cf. This Means Everlasting Life, pp. 120-21. 

-»<s Let God Be True, pp. 299-300. It will be remembered that Christ 
was also begotten or brought forth as a spiritual son of God at the time 
of his baptism. 

•Ml Paradise Lost, p. 152. 

- HH Make Sure of All Things, p. 48. This is the reason, I presume, why 
the other sheep do not need to be born again — they have no prospects of 
spirit life in heaven. 

2»» Let God Be True, p. 300. 

""<> Paradise Lost, p. 152. 

am New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 307; Paradise Lost, p. 153. 

: «>- Let God Be True, p. 300. 

30:1 This Means Everlasting Life, p. 121. 

74 Jehovah's Witnesses 

ing their dependability by carrying out their dedication faithfully 
until death. This work of setting them apart the Scriptures speak 
of as "sanctification". . . , 304 

The anointed ones, therefore, are also sanctified; in this process 
both the Creator and the dedicated ones have a part. :1or ' 

The anointed ones must preach the good news of Christ's King- 
dom. If they maintain their integrity until death, they will receive 
immortality. God is now using these consecrated members of 
Christ's body to direct the work of proclaiming his Name and 
Kingdom. The earthly remnant of his body is known as the 
"faithful and discreet slave";™ 8 it is the task of this remnant to 
provide spiritual food for those who hunger and thirst after 
truth. 307 

As we reflect on the way of salvation for the 144,000, we re- 
member what was said in Paradise Lost, p. 152, about the earlier 
stages of this process: "This much the individual can do. The 
rest depends upon God." Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the 
selection of the 144,000 is a sovereign act on God's part. This 
selection, however, is made on the basis of their having met the 
requirements for membership in this class. ms One is chosen to 
belong to this group, therefore, on the basis of his worthiness. We 
must remember, too, that the first steps in the process which leads 
to salvation for this class are faith, repentance, and dedication to 
Christ — steps which these individuals themselves must take. It 
is only after they have taken these steps that God justifies, regen- 
erates, and sanctifies them. It should further be noted that much 
emphasis is laid on continued faithfulness to God. These people 
must "demonstrate their dependability by carrying out their dedi- 
cation faithfully until death."™ 9 If they turn back from this dedi- 
cation, such turning back "would mark them as agreement-break- 
ers, worthy of death, annihilation. "* w As a matter of fact, salva- 
tion for the Witnesses is not something which one receives when he 

sm Let God Be True, p. 30k 

805 Ibid. Strange to say, however, the passage quoted to support this 
point is Lev. 20:7, 8. But the anointed class (who are the only ones that 
will be sanctified in this sense) did not begin to be gathered until Pentecost! 
(see above, p. 54). 

:mw L e t G oc i g e True, pp. 302-303. By earthly remnant is meant the 
members of the anointed class who are still left on earth at any one time. 

a°7 Ibid., p. 132. 

308 See above, p. 51. 

*«» Let God Be true, p. 301. 

•'"<> Ibid., pp. 302-3. 

Doctrines 75 

becomes a Christian, but something which is not fully attained un- 
til one's earthly course is finished. 311 

Hence, though Jehovah's Witnesses claim that salvation is of 
grace, and that all credit for salvation belongs to Jehovah, ■ iv2 we 
conclude that in Watchtower theology it is not really God's sov- 
ereign grace that saves even the 144,000, but rather man who saves 
himself by grasping the ransom, by showing himself worthy of be- 
ing selected as a member of the anointed class, and by carrying 
out his dedication to Jehovah faithfully until death. Another 
point should here be noted. What Christ earned by his ranson, 
as we have seen, was a perfect human life with its rights and earthly 
prospects. When the anointed ones are justified, they receive 
this right to perfect life on earth. This right, however, they now 
proceed to sacrifice, as Jesus had done before them; by so doing 
they obtain the right to share heavenly life with Christ after 
death. 318 Thus they obtain the right to heavenly life, not through 
Christ's sacrifice (since he earned only the right to perfect life 
on earth), but through their own sacrifice of their earthly prospects 
in the Paradise of the New World. It is therefore literally true 
that these 144,000 earn their own way to heaven! 

The Other Sheep. How do the other sheep obtain salvation? 
They, too, need to have faith in Jehovah and in Jesus Christ; they, 
too, must dedicate themselves to do God's will and must faithfully 
carry out their dedication* 14 ; they, too, must be baptized by im- 
mersion as a symbol of their dedication. ' M " 

Note, however, the following differences between the way of 
salvation for the other sheep and for the anointed class: 

( 1 ) The other sheep do not need to sacrifice the prospect of 
perfect human life in the coming earthly Paradise. 316 

(2) Hence God does not need to justify them — at least not 
during their present existence. 317 

• - "i Make Sure of All Things, p. 332. 

»'-' Ibid., p. 336. 

■»« Let God Be True, pp. 299-300. Cf. This Means Everlasting Life, p. 
120; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 309. 

a ' 4 Let God Be True, p. 298. 

•"»■"■ Make Sure of All Things, p. 30. 

hi 6 l\l e w Heavens and a New Earth, p. 309. 

317 The reason for the qualification is this: the Witnesses teach that there 
will be a justification of the other sheep at the end of the millennium. 
After describing how the other sheep who have been given new bodies 
during the millennium resist Satan's final attempt to draw them away 
from God, the authors of You May Survive Armageddon say: "God will be 

76 Jehovah's Witnesses 

(3) God therefore does not need to regenerate the other sheep; 
in fact, they cannot be born again. 318 

(4) Neither does God need to consecrate or anoint them to be 
kings and priests. 31 " 

(5) Neither does God need to sanctify them. 320 

Since the vast majority of Jehovah's Witnesses today belong to 
the other sheep, and since the vast majority of those who will be 
resurrected and saved during the millennium will belong to the 
other sheep as well, I conclude that, according to Watchtower 
teaching, most of those who are to be saved will attain this salva- 
tion without being regenerated, justified (in the Christian sense), 
anointed to office, and sanctified (in the Christian sense). 
This means that, without having their sinful natures renewed, this 
"great crowd" will be able to have faith in Christ, to dedicate 
their lives wholly to him, and to remain faithful to the end! This 
means that the vast majority of believers are not priests or kings 
— Jehovah's Witnesses thus deny the universal priesthood of be- 
lievers, one of the basic truths of the Protestant Reformation. 
This means, too, that the vast majority of believers are not justi- 
fied by faith but must earn their justification by their "unbreak- 
able steadfastness" during the millennium — thus the Witnesses 
repudiate the so-called material principle of the Reformation: 
justification by faith. Looking at all this, one is forced to the con- 
clusion that, in this theological system, man is saved not primarily 

vindicated as true by their unbreakable steadfastness and he will judge them 
worthy of the right to everlasting life in the earthly paradise. He will 
accordingly justify them [the other sheep], and the names of these un- 
changeably righteous ones will be 'written in the book of life' " (p. 360; cf. 
New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 355-56; This Means Everlasting Life, 
p. 304). This type of "justification," however, is something quite different 
from that which the 144,000 are said to receive when they believe. For 
the justification of the 144,000 is said to be by faith, whereas that of the 
other sheep is a justification earned by their works. 

mx Make Sure of All Things, pp. 48-49. See, e.g., the discussion in 
This Means Everlasting Life, pp. 120-21, which makes it quite clear 
that only those destined for heavenly life will be begotten by God's 

:ii» Make Sure of All Things, p. 91: "Consecration .... applies only 
to Christ and the anointed, spirit-begotten members of his body." 

s -° You May Survive Armageddon, p. 252. Again we note the ten- 
dency to use theological terms in a variety of ways: "They [the other sheep] 
are not 'saints' or sanctified ones. . . . However, . . . they are sanctified 
for the warfare and must aid in keeping the camp of the theocratic 
warriors clean, unworldly, pleasing to God." It is clear, however, that 
this latter kind of sanctification is not the sanctification of which the Bible 

Doctrines 77 

by the grace of God shown to unworthy sinners, but rather by his 
own demonstration of his worthiness to be saved. 

William J. Schnell points out that during his years with the move- 
ment the other sheep were told that if they stayed close to the 
Watchtower organization, listened attentively to its indoctrination, 
went out regularly to distribute literature, and rigidly reported the 
time spent in doing so, they might be saved at Armageddon! All 
the emphasis, he insists, was on works, particularly on witnessing, 
as the way to arrive at a reasonable certainty of future salvation, 
rather than on faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour. 321 Kurt Hutten 
similarly suggests that the real core of the way of salvation for 
Jehovah's Witnesses is witnessing; the harder one works at his 
witnessing, the more prominent the role he will play in the earthly 
paradise to come! 322 

One more observation should be made. By their sharp division 
of believers into two classes, the Watchtower Society actually 
makes a large part of the Bible, particularly of the New Testa- 
ment, meaningless for the majority of its adherents. For all 
Scriptural passages dealing with regeneration, sanctification, anoint- 
ing, and consecration; all passages which speak of being sealed 
by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, or testified to by the Spirit; 
all passages which describe the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, 
the new creation, the holy nation, and the elect (the list is far from 
exhaustive) are intended, so the Witnesses say, only for the 
anointed class and mean nothing for the other sheep. Surely 
this is a kind of divisive criticism of the Bible that is just as 
damaging to its authority and comfort as are the irreverent scissors 
of the higher critic! 

Doctrine of the Church and Sacraments 
doctrine of the church 
The attitude of Jehovah's Witnesses toward the Christian 
church in general is so utterly bigoted as to be almost unbelievable. 
They — the Witnesses — alone are God's true people; all others 
are followers of the devil. The "great whore" of Revelation 17, 
as we saw, is organized religion, Christian as well as heathen. 323 
The devil's organization, constantly at war against Jehovah's theo- 

S2 ' Op. cit., p. 104. 

•"■- 2 Seller, Gruebler, Entluisiasten, p. 108. 

!, -' :t Religion for Mankind, p. 328. 

78 Jehovah's Witnesses 

cratic organization, has two parts: an invisible section, consisting 
of the demons, and a visible section. The latter section includes 
all the political organizations of this world and all its religious sys- 
tems, including apostate Christendom — that is, all of Christen- 
dom except for the Watchtower Society and its members. 3 - 4 
Though the Roman Catholic Church is singled out as the false 
church in its worst form, :i - r ' all denominations of Christendom 
are included in the devil's organization/ 1 -" Organized Chris- 
tianity, especially from the fourth century onward, was the begin- 
ning of the "man of lawlessness"; the various Protestant denomi- 
nations have now joined with the Roman Catholic Church in 
"making up that great combine, the organized clergy of Christen- 
dom, the 'man of lawlessness.' " 327 The religious clergy, in fact, 
are the direct visible link between mankind and the invisible 
demons l :vM 

True religion, according to Religion for Mankind, was estab- 
lished in the Garden of Eden before man fell (pp. 44-47); false 
religion, however, was introduced by Satan when he tempted Eve 
(pp. 49-53). In various ways false religion and apostasy revealed 
itself before the flood (pp. 58-74), after the flood (pp. 74-91), 
and during the later history of Israel (pp. 177-190). The Babylon 
from which the Jewish remnant was delivered in 537 B.C. fore- 
shadowed the deliverance of the present-day true church, that is, 
the Jehovah-Witness organization, from modern Babylon, that is, 
the false religions of the present world, including particularly or- 
ganized Christendom (p. 190; cf. p. 328). Jesus Christ again 
introduced true religion, but very soon apostasy began once 
more.*-" The Council of Nicaea in a.d. 325, which defined the 
doctrine of the Trinity, was a great victory for apostate Christian- 
ity.™" Virtually the entire history of the Christian church through 
the ancient and medieval periods was a history of apostasy. 331 
Though the Reformation brought some reforms, various gross er- 
rors, such as the Trinity, the immortality of the soul, and hell-fire, 

■•«* Ibid., p. 307. 
*-' n Ibid., pp. 272-77. 

:, -° Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, pp. 107-9. 
:w7 Qualified to be Ministers, pp. 288, 291. 
•'<- >K The Kingdom is at Hand, p. 186. 
: *2» Qualified to be Ministers, pp. 283-84. 

"■'«> The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 281; cf. Religion for Mankind, 
pp. 271-72. 
■'«» Qualified to be Ministers, pp. 283-291. 

Doctrines 79 

continued to be perpetuated. 832 The real restoration of the church 
to true religion did not take place until the 1870's when Russell 
began his Bible class; 333 the complete release of God's true people 
from "Babylonish captivity," however, did not occur until 1919. 334 

Basic to Jehovah-Witness ecclesiology is, once again, the distinc- 
tion between the anointed class and the other sheep. We shall 
therefore look at each of these classes in turn. 

The Anointed Class. This designates the "congregation of faith- 
ful Christians who [will] win the heavenly reward." 335 The num- 
ber of this group, when completed, will be 144, 000. 336 Since only 
the 144,000 properly belong to the church, or "congregation," as 
it is usually called, 337 it is clear that the true church of Jehovah 
will have only 144,000 members. Whenever the expression "con- 
gregation of God" occurs in Jehovah-Witness literature, therefore, 
it must be understood as referring only to the 144,000. 

A rather bewildering variety of names are, however, applied to 
this group. Among these are the following: Anointed, Body of 
Christ, Bride of Christ, Chosen Ones, Elect, Holy Nation, Israel 
of God, Kingdom Class, Little Flock, New Creation, New Nation, 
Royal House, Royal Priesthood, Sanctuary Class, Sons of Levi, 
Spirit-Begotten, Spiritual Israel, Spiritual Sons. 338 

The relationship of this group to the heavenly theocratic organi- 
zation has been previously described. 33M Because the heavenly 
theocratic organization is "God's woman" or "wife," and because 
the members of the anointed class are children of this woman, they 
can properly be said to be children of God. The anointed class 

•«2 Ibid., p. 292. 

333 ibid., p. 296. 

3^4 ibid., p. 297. See references to this date in various Watchtower 
publications. The implication of all this is obvious: anyone who does 
not join the Jehovah-Witness organization today but remains in a Christian 
church is a devotee of false religion. 

33."> Your Will Be Done, p. 15. 

336 See above, p. 51. 

?,3" "Scripturally 'church' means a congregation called out from the 
world for God's purpose; and so the New World Translation renders the 
Greek Word ekklesia by the English word 'congregation' " (Lei God Be 
True, p. 125). 

33H Watch Tower Publications Index of Subjects Discussed and Scrip- 
tures Explained, 1930-1960 (Pub. in 1961), p. 64. Note that the term 
"elect" is applied only to the 144,000. It will be remembered that the 
living members of this group existing on earth at any time are called the 

339 See above, p. 54. It will be remembered that the anointed class began 
to be gathered at Pentecost. 

80 Jehovah's Witnesses 

is the earthly counterpart of Jehovah's heavenly theocratic or- 
ganization, and hence plays a leading role in directing the activi- 
ties of the Watchtower Society. 

As will be described more fully under the Doctrine of the 
Last Things, the anointed class is destined to spend eternity in 
heaven with Christ; they will not live in the Paradise of the new 

The Other Sheep. Charles T. Russell had already distinguished 
between two classes of spirit-begotten people: A higher class, 
which he called class n, the members of which will be the Bride 
of Christ, the "little flock," and will sit with the Lord in his throne 
in glory; and a lower class, which he called class m, who shrink 
from the death of the human will and therefore will not sit with 
the Lord in his throne of glory, but will finally reach birth as spirit 
beings of an order lower than the divine nature. This latter group 
Russell called, in fact, the "Great Company," a name very similar 
to one of the names given the "other sheep" class today: "the 
great crowd."* 4 " There are important differences, however, be- 
tween these two classes as described by Russell and the two classes 
distinguished by Jehovah's Witnesses today. For Russell both of 
these classes were spirit-begotten; for Jehovah's Witnesses, how- 
ever, the other sheep, or lower class, cannot be spirit-begotten. 
Russell taught that the members of the m class would eventually 
become spirit beings, whereas the Witnesses say that the other 
sheep will never become spirit beings. If Russell was once con- 
sidered the mouthpiece of God, he is obviously no longer consid- 
ered such by present-day Jehovah's Witnesses. 341 

Russell had also taught that at the end of the "time of harvest" 
in 1918 the door to immortality would be closed since every place 
in the bride class would be taken. 842 Because large numbers came 
into the movement after that date, however, Jehovah's Witnesses 
began to gather in addition to the anointed class another group, 

; ^ 4n Studies in the Scripture, Series I, The Plan of the Ages (orig. 
pub. 1886; this ed. pub. in Allegheny, Pa., in 1907), pp. 235-36, 240. 

w At this point a significant question arises: If Russell's teachings on a 
matter like the above can be so changed, what right do Jehovah's Witnesses 
have to follow him as slavishly as they do on other points? (see Martin 
and Klann, op. cit., pp. 37-41). Suppose he were wrong on other matters 
as well! 

M' 2 Op cit., Series III, Thy Kingdom Come (orig. pub. 1891; this ed. 
pub. in Allegheny, Pa., in 1907), pp. 205-23; cf. Kurt. Hutten, Seher, 
Gruebler, Enthusiasten, p. 104. 

Doctrines 8 1 

called "other sheep," in 1931. :u:l In 1936, it is said, the Watch- 
tower Society received clear Scriptural evidence that this "other 
sheep" class was destined to live on earth after Armageddon. 344 

As was the case with the anointed class, various names have 
been given to this second class of believers. The name "great 
multitude" or "great crowd" is derived from Revelation 7:9, 
where, so it is alleged, this group is distinguished from the 144,000 
mentioned in the fourth verse of the chapter. 845 The name "other 
sheep" is derived from John 10:16, where Jesus is recorded as 
saying, "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold." 348 An- 
other common name for this group is "Jonadabs," a name derived 
from II Kings 10:15-28, and Jeremiah 35. Jonadab (or Jehona- 
dab), a son of Rechab, was the head of a Kenite tribe which 
dwelt among the Israelites. Jehu took Jonadab along with him 
and used his help in suppressing Baal worship in Samaria. Jona- 
dab was thus a person who was not an Israelite, but who assisted 
in the work of an Israelite king. 347 Comparably, Jonadabs today 
are not regarded as brethren in Christ, but nevertheless may be 
spared from the destruction of Armageddon if they work along 
with the anointed class. 

Jehovah's Witnesses display a fantastic kind of exegetical inge- 
nuity in finding Biblical symbols or types for the "other sheep" 
class. In You May Survive Armageddon, for example, the other 
sheep are said to be pictured by the famine-stricken Egyptians 
(pp. 328-29), the foreigners of David's army (pp. 251-52), the 
Gibeonites (pp. 241-44), Jephthah's daughter (pp. 323-25), 
Joseph's ten half-brothers (pp. 327-28), the mariners with Jonah 
(pp. 149-150), the mixed company that left Egypt (pp. 122-25), 
the Nethinim, non-Israelites who became temple slaves (pp. 142- 
48), Noah's sons and daughters-in-law (pp. 290-93), the prodi- 
gal son (p. 363), and Rebekah's nurse (pp. 224, 226, 229. Pp. 
367-68 of this volume, in fact, list 42 Biblical types of the other 
sheep! ) . 

The other sheep whom Christ is gathering now are, however, 
just the beginning of this group. The vast majority of these other 
sheep will be gathered during the millennium, when most of those 

:!4:! Jehovah's Witnesses- in the Divine Purpose, p. 139; New Heavens and 
a New Earth, p. 308; Paradise Lost, p. 195. 
»44 Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 140. 
S4B You May Survive Armageddon, p. 180. 
; »« Ibid., p. 68; Let God Be True, p. 231. 
:iA ~ You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 276-81; Let God Be True, p. 231. 

82 Jehovah's Witnesses 

in the grave will be raised. 348 During Christ's thousand-year reign 
the other sheep become "the earthly children of the Lifegiver 
Jesus Christ and hence are technically in the position of being 
'grandchildren' of God." a4H 

As will be set forth more fully under the Doctrine of the 
Last Things, the other sheep will not get to heaven after death, 
but will be raised with physical bodies and will, if they pass the 
necessary tests, spend eternity in the Paradise of the new earth. 

Reflecting upon Jehovah-Witness ecclesiology, we observe that, 
whereas the Scriptures say that there is one body and that we have 
been called to one hope of our calling (Ephesians 4:4), Jehovah's 
Witnesses have split the church 830 into two bodies, with two sep- 
arate and distinct hopes for the future. Whereas the Scriptures 
say, "You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in 
Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26, NWT), the Witnesses say, Among 
those who believe, some are sons of God, but others are grandsons 
of God. Whereas the Scriptures say, of those who are in Christ, 
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, 
there is neither male nor female; for you are all one [person] in 
union with Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28, NWT), the Watchtower 
says, There is, however, a most important distinction among the 
people of God which Paul here has forgotten to mention : that be- 
tween the anointed class and the other sheep. Whereas the Scrip- 
tures say, in Revelation 21:2, that the holy city comes down out 
of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband 
(implying that this bride will be on the new earth thereafter, so 
that heaven and earth now become one), Jehovah's Witnesses, in 
defiance of Scripture, wish to keep the bride of Christ in heaven 
throughout eternity, and to leave the lower class of adherents on 
earth. Whereas the Scriptures say that Jesus Christ gave himself 
for us that he might "cleanse for himself a people peculiarly his 
own, zealous for fine works" (Titus 2:14, NWT), Watchtower 
teachers say that Christ really came to cleanse for himself not one 
people, but two peoples, and that these two peoples shall remain 

' Mh You May Survive Armageddon, p. 168. 

S4S Let God Be True, p. 163. This would imply that the other sheep 
are not children of God, but only grandchildren. Inconsistently, however, 
Watchtower authors say elsewhere that the other sheep will remain 
forever on the new earth as "the justified human sons of Jehovah God" 
(New Heaven and a New Earth, p. 356). 

xr >" It is granted that, according to Watchtower teaching, on!y the 144,000 
constitute the church. But surely this kind of terminological jugglery does 
not justify their chopping the people of God into two severed fragments! 

Doctrines 8 3 

forever separate. I conclude that the ecclesiology of the Jehovah's 
Witnesses is a perversion of Scriptural teaching about the church. 


Baptism. Baptism by immersion is required of all converts. 8 "' 1 
Any male Jehovah's Witness may perform this rite. 352 Conven- 
tions and assemblies of the Witnesses are usually occasions for 
mass baptisms. Candidates must be baptized "in the name of the 
Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit." This means that 
the person to be baptized must recognize Jehovah as Supreme, 
must recognize the part the Son performs in Jehovah's purpose, 
and must recognize the holy spirit as God's active force which 
will help him carry out his dedication. S5S 

What is the significance of baptism? Baptism is defined in 
Make Sure of All Things as "an outward symbol, as a testimony 
before witnesses, of the baptized one's complete, unreserved and 
unconditional dedication and agreement to do the will of Jehovah 
God. . ." (p. 27). Immersion is essential to the symbolism: "The 
being dipped under water pictures the death of one's past course. 
The being lifted out of it pictures being raised and made alive 
to the doing of God's will." 354 Infant baptism is said to be un- 
scriptural since repentance and faith must precede baptism. 355 
Though the children of Jehovah's Witnesses are therefore not to 
be baptized in infancy, they must yet be treated by their parents 
as "something 'holy' to God." 358 

For all those who submit to this rite, baptism is a symbol of one's 
dedication to be God's minister. 357 This would therefore be true 
for both the anointed class and the other sheep. The other sheep, 
however, enjoy, in addition to their water baptism, a baptism into 
the Greater Noah. 358 This baptism means that they will be en- 

w Let God Be True, p. 297; cf. New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 301; 
Make Sure of All Things, p. 30. 

S5 - The Kingdom is At Hand, p. 296. 

■™ Let God Be True, pp. 297-98. 

35-* Ibid., p. 297. 

«n- r > Make Sure of All Things, pp. 32, 30. 

358 This Means Everlasting Life, p. 256. The Scripture reference given 
here is I Cor. 7: 14. 

357 Make Sure of All Things, p. 265. It will be remembered that every 
active Witness is called a minister, even though he does not devote full 
time to his witnessing. 

ass N ew Heavens and a New Earth, p. 309. Baptism into the Greater 
Noah is described on p. 293 of You May Survive Armageddon as baptism 
into Jesus Christ. 

84 Jehovah's Witnesses 

abled to survive Armageddon, provided they remain loyal to 
God. 359 

For the anointed class, moreover, there is also a baptism addi- 
tional to their water baptism. This is "another baptism which no 
human being on earth can administer. This is the baptism of the 
holy spirit, which Christ Jesus administers as Jehovah's Serv- 
ant." 380 This baptism of the holy spirit (sometimes called a 
baptism with the holy spirit) indicates that the person has been 
baptized into the body of Christ, and that he has been baptized 
into Christ's death. 361 This baptism into Christ's death means 
baptism into a kind of death that parts with all prospect of perfect 
human life in the new world. 382 

The other sheep, however, do not receive this baptism of or with 
the holy spirit, though "they do enjoy a measure of God's spirit." 383 
They are not members of Christ's body, and are not baptized into 
Christ's death. They do not inherit God's kingdom, 364 or become 
part of it, 385 and they can only be the subjects of the kingdom of 
God, 386 over whom Christ and the 144,000 will rule eternally. 

The Lord's Supper. Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate the Lord's 
Supper once a year, after sundown on the "exact day of the year 
that he [Christ] died, the true Passover date of the Jews. This 
would be Abib or Nisan 14." 367 This date usually occurs within 
what we call passion week; yet it may fall on any day of the 
week. 38 * 

Though at first the Bible Students called this meal the "Anni- 
versary Supper," today Witnesses call it the "Memorial." 380 At this 
Memorial unleavened bread and fermented wine are served. 37 " 
Jehovah's Witnesses reject transubstantiation (the view that the 
bread and wine change into the actual body and blood of Christ), 
maintaining that the loaf of bread merely symbolizes Jesus' fleshly 
body and that the cup of wine symbolizes Jesus' blood. 371 

35!) /v<?vf Heavens and a New Earth, p. 311. 

:wo j ne Kingdom is at Hand, p. 296. 

*''>' Ibid., pp. 296-98. 

36i> New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 309. 

303 \ bid _ 

so* Let God Be True, p. 138. 

385 Ibid., p. 136. 

•' te(i Ibid., pp. 138-39; This Means Everlasting Life, p. 275. 

:I8T Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 24. 

;i8 » Make Sure of AH Things, p. 169. 

:!«(> Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, p. 24. 

ST " Your Will Be Done, p. 155; Make Sure of All Tilings, p. 260. 

■"I Make Sure of All Things, p. 257. 

Doctrines 85 

When we look at the purpose of the Memorial, it becomes quite 
clear that it is intended for the 144,000 only. Its purpose, accord- 
ing to Make Sure of All Things, is to help the communicant re- 
member Jesus' sacrifice (p. 260), whereby the forgiveness of sins 
has been obtained (pp. 261-62), and whereby a way has been 
opened for him and for his fellow anointed ones to go to heaven 
(p. 261). The communicant remembers that Jesus' blood put 
into force a new covenant between Jehovah and the 144,000 
(p. 261), and thus exercises partnership with his fellow com- 
municants and with Jehovah and Christ Jesus (p. 262). 

It is specifically taught that Jesus "set up this evening meal 
with those who were to be taken into the covenant for the 
Kingdom." 372 A few lines farther along we read that the " 'other 
sheep' have personal Scriptural evidence that they are not in that 
Kingdom covenant." 373 In other words, the Memorial was in- 
tended by Christ to be celebrated by the 144,000 only! The only 
semblance of Scripture proof given for this limitation of the 
Memorial to the anointed class is the quotation of Luke 22:28-30 
in the New World Translation, according to which Jesus makes 
a covenant with his disciples for a Kingdom. In utterly arbitrary 
fashion, the authors proceed to assert dogmatically that the other 
sheep have no part in this "Kingdom covenant." Thus Jehovah's 
Witnesses prohibit the vast majority of their adherents from par- 
taking of a sacrament which Christ appointed for all His people. 

Though the other sheep may not partake of the elements, they 
are instructed to attend the Memorial annually and to observe its 
celebration. 374 Thus the number of partakers of the Memorial is 
always a very small portion of those who attend. In 1971, for 
example, though there was a world-wide Memorial attendance of 
3,453,542, only 10,384 partook of the meal. 375 

Doctrine of the Last Things 

individual eschatology 

The Slate of Man After Death. It has been shown above that 

Jehovah's Witnesses deny the immortality of the soul, define soul 

as a living person, and say that man does not possess a soul but 

■ 1? - Your Will Be Done, p. 156. 

37:1 Ibid. We are noi told what this "personal Scriptural evidence" 
874 Make Sure of All Things, p. 263. 
:i75 Watclitower, Jan. 1, 1972, p. 25. 

86 Jehovah's Witnesses 

is a soul. 376 It will be obvious, therefore, that they disavow any 
conscious existence of the soul after death. Let us look into this 
matter a bit more in detail; 

This disavowal is explicitly stated in a booklet published in 1955 
entitled What Do the Scriptures Say about "Survival After Death"? 
On page 26 of this booklet they affirm that the human soul cannot 
exist apart from the human body. The human soul, therefore, 
is not immortal but mortal; a number of Scripture passages are 
cited in proof of this point (pp. 35-43). It is further contended 
that, since there is no sense in which any aspect of man continues 
to exist consciously after death, "in this respect mankind, because 
of the condemnation to death that they inherited from Adam, 
are like the lower animals that die. . ." (p. 31). S7T 

The Meaning of Sheol and Hades. In this connection we should 
note what Jehovah's Witnesses teach about such Biblical words as 
Sheol and Hades. The Hebrew word Sheol, rendered hell, grave, 
or pit in the King James Version, means "mankind's common 
grave or the pit of burial"; it is emphatically denied that the word 
Sheol can ever mean "a fiery place of torture or a place of two 
compartments, one of bliss and one of fiery torment.""* A num- 
ber of Scripture passages are adduced to support this contention. 379 
It is further asserted that Hades, the Greek equivalent of Sheol, 
also means "mankind's common grave. " SK0 Since the Bible teaches 
that after death man goes to either Sheol or Hades, and since both 
of these words simply mean grave, the Scriptures, so it is claimed, 
do not teach that there is any immaterial aspect of man which sur- 
vives after death. When man dies, he totally ceases to exist. 

Conditional Immortality. It must not be inferred from the 

376 See above, pp. 55-57. 

:i77 The similarity between this view of the state after death and that 
of the Seventh-day Adventists is quite apparent. Note that, as in the case 
of Seventh-day Adventist teaching, the Jehovah-Witness position on the 
state after death cannot properly be described as soul-sleep, since, according 
to them, there is no soul that sleeps after death. The soul simply ceases 
to exist after death; hence their view, like that of the Adventists, can 
more accurately be described as soid-exlinction. 

•« 8 Let God Be True, pp. 89-90. 

■ i ~ i > Ibid., pp. 90-92. The Witnesses are not wholly consistent on this 
point, however. For on pp. 93-94 we are told that the hell pictured in 
Isa. 14:9, into which the king of Babylon — who stands for Satan — 
is said to descend, is the abyss into which Satan is cast at the beginning 
of the millennium (Rev. 20:1-3). The word here translated hell is, 
however, Sheol. In this instance Sheol obviously does not mean grave, 
since the devil has no body which can be cast into a grave. 

»»° Ibid., p. 93. 

Doctrines 87 

above description of the state of man after death, however, that, 
according to Watchtower teaching, death is the final end for every 
human being. The Witnesses do indeed maintain that this is so 
for certain men, as will be shown later. But they also affirm that 
for most members of the human race some type of existence after 
death is to be expected. This type of existence, however, is not a 
continued subsistence, either in conscious or unconscious fashion, 
of the soul, but will take the form of some kind of resurrection. 
This resurrection may occur in either a physical or a non-physical 
way. The members of the anointed class have been or will be 
"resurrected" as spirits with "bodies" that are spiritual but not 
in any sense physical. The members of the other sheep, however, 
as well as the vast majority of the rest of mankind, will be raised 
with physical bodies during the millennium. 381 

We thus observe that Jehovah's Witnesses, while denying the in- 
herent immortality of the human soul, do teach a kind of condi- 
tional immortality. Conditional immortality may be defined as 
the view that holds that, though man is inherently mortal, im- 
mortality is conferred on certain members of the human race as a 
divine gift. The Witnesses teach that immortality belongs primarily 
and originally to Jehovah. :w - Immortality in a secondary sense 
(not inherent but bestowed immortality), however, is given only 
to Christ and to the members of the anointed class: 

Christ Jesus was first to receive immortality as a reward for his 
faithful course on earth, and it [immortality] is now also given in 
reward to those who are of the true congregation or "body of 
Christ." Immortality is a reward for faithfulness. 383 

This does not mean, however, that all other human beings be- 
sides the anointed class will finally be annihilated. The other 
sheep and the majority of the rest of mankind will be raised with 
physical bodies; after they shall have passed the tests to which 
they must submit during the millennium, they will be granted ever- 
lasting life. But this everlasting life should be distinguished from 
immortality, which is bestowed only on the anointed class. 384 For 
Jehovah's Witnesses, to receive immortality, therefore, means to 

am These teachings will be examined in greater detail and carefully 
documented later in this chapter. 

kx- Make Sure of All Things, p. 349. 

»*» Lei God Be True, p. 74. Cf. Make Sure of All Things, pp. 136, 
350, 246, 247. 

■ Wi Make Sure of Alt Things, pp. 248, 243. Cf. Let God Be True, p. 75. 

88 Jehovah's Witnesses 

be "raised" without a physical body; everlasting life in a physical 
body is not considered equivalent to immortality. 385 

In summary, we may say that, according to Watchtower teach- 
ing, one of four possible destinies awaits a person when he dies: 
(1) he may remain in the condition of nonexistence into which 
death has plunged him: (2) he may be "raised" with a "spirit 
body," thus receiving immortality, after which he will go directly 
to heaven to reign there with Christ; (3) he may be raised with a 
physical body and then, after having passed the millennial tests, 
receive everlasting life on the renewed earth; or (4) he may, after 
having been raised with a physical body, still fail to pass the mil- 
lennial tests, and thus eventually be annihilated. 386 


The Kingdom of God. In order to understand Jehovah-Witness 
teaching about the so-called "second presence" of Christ, we must 
first examine their doctrine of the kingdom of God. Here, too, we 
shall find the Witnesses differing sharply from evangelical Chris- 
tians. Let us look first at a rather comprehensive definition of the 
kingdom of God: 

The Kingdom of God is a Sovereign-empowered theocratic 
government under an administration of divinely appointed Kings. 
Jehovah himself is the great Everlasting King. ... He has taken 
into association as co-regent his Son Christ Jesus. God has pur- 
posed the Kingdom as the capital or ruling part of his universal 
organization. It is comprised of the King Christ Jesus and 
144,000 associate kings taken from among men. It is entirely 
heavenly, having no earthly part. All becoming members must 
be resurrected and given spirit bodies. asT 

From this definition we learn that, though Jehovah is the King 
of this kingdom, Jesus Christ is His co-regent and that this king- 
dom is^the "ruling part" of Jehovah's organization. It is also quite 
clear from this statement that only the 144,000 belong to this 

385 Cf . what was said on p. 57 above about the everlasting life Adam would 
have attained if he had not sinned. Quite inconsistent with this position, how- 
ever, is the denial of the immortality of the angels, who, like the glorified 
members of the anointed class, do not have physical bodies (see above, 
pp. 57-58). 

3S 8 See Appendix E in The Four Major Cults for a critical evaluation of 
Jehovah- Witness teaching on soul-extinction, conditional immortality, and the 
annihilation of the wicked. 

3" Make Sure of All Things, p. 226. 

Doctrines 89 

kingdom. Even the 1 44,000, however, do not belong to the king- 
dom until after their "resurrection" with spirit bodies. The king- 
dom of God, therefore, is in no sense earthly; it is exclusively a 
heavenly kingdom. 388 

When we now ask Jehovah's Witnesses when this heavenly king- 
dom was established, we get the following kind of answer: God 
foretold the coming of this kingdom in Old Testament times, the 
first of these prophecies being Genesis 3:15 . 38ft During the history 
of Israel, God set up a theocracy, in which He Himself was the 
ruler of His people; this, however, was not the kingdom promised 
in Eden, but only a picture or type of the greater kingdom that 
was to come. 390 When Christ came he proclaimed that the king- 
dom of God had drawn near; this, however, did not mean that the 
kingdom had actually been established, but only that the anointed 
king was now personally in the midst of the people of Israel. 3B1 
Though the disciples also proclaimed the presence of the kingdom 
in this sense at the time when Christ was upon earth, "there is no 
record that they continued to do so after his [Jesus'] ascension 
on high," since "such an announcement would not be appropriate 
until his return and second presence. " SS2 Christ, therefore, did not 
establish the kingdom of God at the time of his first advent. 
Neither did he establish this kingdom at once after he had ascend- 

388 fhe kingdom of God, therefore, for the Witnesses, does not designate a 
group of people on earth — this despite the fact that they name their 
places of worship "Kingdom Halls." It is specifically stated that "all 
selected for the kingdom must die in order to enter it" (ibid., p. 235). 
Though the kingdom of God is a heavenly organization, this kingdom 
does have earthly subjects: the other sheep (Let God Be True, p. 139; 
This Means Everlasting Life, p. 275). Since only the 144,000 are mem- 
bers of the kingdom, the other sheep are subjects but not members. Even 
the angelic hosts who serve as faithful messengers of the king are not 
members of this kingdom but only subjects (Let God Be True, p. 138). 

as* Let God Be True, p. 134. 

»»o Ibid., p. 135. 

• sin Ibid., p. 140. In this connection Lk. 17:21 is quoted: "Look, the 
kingdom of God is in your midst" (NWT). The Witnesses evade the 
clear teaching of this passage — that the kingdom of God had then 
already been established — by contending that these words only mean 
that the King of the kingdom was then in the midst of the Pharisees (cf. 
also The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 299). 

3B2 Let God Be True, p. 140. But how would Jehovah's Witnesses 
interpret Acts 8:12, where Philip's preaching to the Samaritans is 
described as "preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of God"; 
or Acts 19:8, where Paul is said to have taught in the synagogue 
at Ephesus for three months, "reasoning and persuading as to the things 
concerning the kingdom of God"? 

90 Jehovah's Witnesses 

ed into heaven; his ascension was only the beginning of a long 
period of waiting for the establishment of the kingdom of God. 393 

When, then, was the kingdom of God actually established? 
In the year a.d. 1914. We have previously noted the fantastic 
calculations whereby the Witnesses have arrived at this date. 384 
On October 1 of the year 1914, it is contended, the "appointed 
times of the nations" ended, and God's heavenly kingdom, with 
Christ enthroned as king, began. 395 It can therefore now properly 
be said that the kingdom of God is here. 390 Since the kingdom of 
God is here, we are now living in the "time of the end" — a period 
which began in 1914 and will end when the devil's world is 
destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon. 397 

The "Return" of Jesus Christ. Since Jehovah's Witnesses identi- 
fy the establishment of the kingdom of God with the "return" of 
Jesus Christ, we next turn our attention to this "return." I have 
put quotation marks around the word return for two reasons: (1) 
This so-called "return" of Christ was neither a physical nor a 
visible one, since Christ after his resurrection has no physical 
body 39 *; and (2) this was not really a "return" at all, since Christ 
did not go back to earth but simply began to rule over his kingdom 
from heaven. 399 Thus there is actually no resemblance whatever 
between Jehovah-Witness teaching on the "return" of Christ and 
evangelical Protestant teaching about Christ's Second Coming. 4U " 

To understand better what the Witnesses mean by Christ's "re- 
turn," let us compare two statements from their writings. The 

393 The Truth Shall make you Free, p. 241; Let God Be True, p. 140; 
Make Sure of All Things, p. 234. See also New Heavens and a New 
Earth, pp. 315, 317; and This Means Everlasting Life, p. 220. 

394 See above, pp. 41-43. 

395 Paradise Lost, pp. 173-74. Cf. You May Survive Armageddon, p. 
100; Let God Be True, p. 141. 

398 Let God Be True, p. 141. 

397 Paradise Lost, pp. 178, 203. Further details about the nature and 
functioning of this kingdom will be given as we go along. 

398 Let God Be True, pp. 198-99; Make Sure of All Things, p. 321. 

3!)ii Paradise Lost, pp. 173-74; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 317. 

4»i) Watchtower publications usually prefer the designation "second pres- 
ence" (using the word presence as a translation of the Greek word 
parousia), but they occasionally speak of Christ's return (Let God Be True, 
p. 198; Make Sure of All Things, p. 319), If, however, Christ was 
already in heaven prior to 1914, and if in 1914 he simply assumed a 
throne in heaven, how can this action possibly be called a return'! The 
word return is used meaningfully when a return to earth is thought of, but 
it has no intelligible meaning when it is used to describe the Jehovah- 
Witness conception of the "second presence" of Christ. 

Doctrines 91 

first, from This Means Everlasting Life, p. 220, reads: "When he 
[Christ] ascended to heaven he sat down at God's right hand to 
wait for that time of entering into his authority and ruling like 
Melchizedek over his enemies as his footstool." The second is 
from You May Survive Armageddon, p. 100: ". . . Jehovah the 
heavenly Father brought forth his kingdom by bringing forth 
his anointed King-Priest Jesus Christ and elevating him to the 
active kingship in the throne at God's right hand." Putting 
these two statements together, we learn that from the time of his 
ascension to October 1, 1914 (when the kingdom was brought 
forth), Christ was sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and 
that on October 1, 1914, the Father placed the Son on the throne 
at His right hand. Thus the "return" or "second presence" of 
Christ simply means that Christ, who had been sitting at the 
Father's right hand in heaven since his ascension, now ascends 
the throne of his kingdom at the Father's right hand in heaven. 
The "return" of Christ is, for Jehovah's Witnesses, an exclusively 
heavenly transaction, consisting merely in Christ's exchanging an 
"ordinary" 401 seat at the Father's right hand for a throne. Watch- 
tower teachings on this point, therefore, not only deny Christ's 
physical and visible return to earth, but also imply that Christ did 
not exercise His kingly office prior to 1914. 

According to Jehovah-Witness teaching, therefore, we need no 
longer look for Christ's "return" or "second presence," because 
this "return" has already taken place. Christ "became King of 
the earth at the time of his second presence, a.d. 1914." 402 

This "second presence" of Christ, however, was also the oc- 
casion for an upheaval in the demonic world. Jehovah's Witnesses 
see in Revelation 12:1-9 a description of events which occurred at 
the time of this "second presence." The birth of the man-child 
depicted in verse 5 symbolically pictures the birth of the heavenly 
kingdom and the placing of Christ on the throne of this kingdom. 403 

401 By w hat stretch of the imagination, however, can Jehovah's Witnesses 
interpret the Biblical phrase "sitting at the right hand of God" as designating 
anything less than Christ's kingly reign from heaven? See I Pet. 3:22 
and Eph. 1:20-23. 

4»2 Make Sure of All Things, p. 234. It should be noted that on this 
point present-day Jehovah's Witnesses are not true to the teachings of 
Russell who, as we have seen, taught that Christ's second presence began 
in the fall of 1874 (see above, p. 11). If Russell could be wrong about this 
crucial matter, how can the Witnesses be so sure that their present leaders 
are right about the new date? 

411:1 New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 209-10. 

92 Jehovah's Witnesses 

The dragon's attempt to devour the man-child pictures the devil's 
unsuccessful endeavor to destroy the newborn government. 404 
Since, for the Witnesses, Michael is another name for Christ in 
his glorified state, the war which is next described, between Michael 
and his angels on the one hand and the dragon and his angels on 
the other, is simply a dramatic picture of a great battle between 
Christ and the devil. 405 As a result of this great battle, the devil 
was hurled out of heaven and was cast down to the earth (v. 

9) 406 

After Satan had been hurled out of heaven, however, he pro- 
ceeded to vent his rage upon the peoples of the earth. 

Furious at the successful birth of the theocratic government, 
Satan determined to destroy all people ere they learned of the 
newly established kingdom. This was why he plunged the na- 
tions into the war of 1914-1918. It was the first time in history 
that so great a conflict had taken place. 407 

Driving home their point, the authors of Let God Be True go on 
to say : "It [the beginning of World War I] is conclusive proof that 
the 'appointed times' have ended, Satan's rule is interfered with, 
and the enthronement of Christ Jesus has taken place." 408 

Christ's Coming to His Temple. Though at the time when 
Christ became king of the heavenly kingdom of God in 1914 he 
ruled alone, it was not his intention to continue ruling as a 
solitary monarch. "... Men and women from upon the earth 
have been raised out of death to heavenly life to rule with him." 409 
The number of the members of this group, we are further told, is 
to be 144,000; thus we know that those who either have or will 
have the privilege of ruling with Christ in this sense are the 
members of the anointed class. This group, however, did not 
begin to reign with Christ in heaven at the moment when the 
kingship was bestowed upon him, but a few years later. 410 

In explaining when the members of the anointed class did begin 

■"'■» Let God Be True, p. 202. 

40ri Paradise Lost, p. 176. 

4«e Ibid. 

4»t Let God Be True, p. 254. 

40 * Ibid. It takes a bit of imagination to understand how the beginning 
of the worst war in history, fought largely by non-Jews, can be construed 
as proof that the "appointed times of the nations" — times during which 
Gentile nations would dominate the earth (see above, p. 41) — have ended, 
that Satan's rule has been interfered with, and that Christ's enthronement 
has now taken place! 

4(,s > Paradise Lost, p. 213. 

4 "' Ibid. 

Doctrines 93 

to reign with Christ, the authors of Paradise Lost point to a 
parallel between Christ's first presence on earth and his "second 
presence." Christ was anointed with God's spirit — it is said — 
during his first presence in a.d. 29; three and a half years after 
this he cleansed the temple at Jerusalem; six days after this 
he arose from the dead. A similar time period, we are further 
told, is found during Jesus' "second presence." In the fall of 
1914 he was crowned as king; three and a half years after that 
he cleansed Jehovah's spiritual temple; a very short time after 
the temple's cleansing, still in the year 1918, the heavenly- 
resurrection of certain Christians occurred, and these then began 
to live and reign with Christ in heaven. 411 

Examining this matter in somewhat greater detail, we ask what 
Jehovah's Witnesses mean by the spiritual temple which Christ is 
supposed to have cleansed in 1918. This spiritual temple is 
understood to have been the Jehovah- Witness earthly organization, 
for we are told that during this year "Christians who had selfish 
hearts and wrong ideas toward his [Christ's] service dropped out 
of his organization." 41 - 

A short time after this cleansing of the spiritual temple, the 
members of the anointed class who had died by that time were 
"raised" with spiritual (that is, non-physical) bodies, and were 
placed on the throne with Jesus Christ. 4 ™ At another place it is 
said that these risen ones were now "put in their places in the 
heavenly temple" 414 ; from these words it appears that there is a 
temple in heaven corresponding to the earthly spiritual temple 
which Christ had just cleansed, and that the "raised" members of 
the anointed class are now in this heavenly temple — or, perhaps, 
constitute this temple. 4 ' B 

in Ibid. 

■*i 2 Ibid. See Qualified to be Ministers, pp. 313-14, where it is made 
clear that Jesus' coming to his temple for judgment in the spring of 
1918 resulted in the separation of the "faithful and discreet slave" class 
from the "evil slave" group. The latter group, it is added, then sub- 
divided and left the movement (see also Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine 
Purpose, pp. 70-73). The above, in other words, is the official Jehovah- 
Witness explanation for the formation of certain schismatic groups in the 
year 1918 (see above, p. 15). 

413 Parodist Lost, p. 213; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 319. 

414 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 117. 

4 i r » There is a great deal of ambiguity in Jehovah-Witness writing about 
this heavenly temple. Often one gets the impression that this heavenly 
temple is simply another name for the 144,000 after they have been 
translated to heaven, and that this temple will only be completed after 
the last of the 144,000 have been "raised" from the dead: "Jehovah's 

94 Jehovah's Witnesses 

The Witnesses thus try to show that prophecy was fulfilled in 
1918 as well as in 1914. Which prophecy? The prophecy of 
Malachi 3:1, "And suddenly there will come to his temple the 
[true] Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger 
of the covenant in whom you are delighting" (NWT) . There was, 
so they say, an "initial" or "miniature" fulfillment of this prophecy, 
and a final fulfillment. The initial fulfillment occurred when Christ 
cleansed the temple during his earthly ministry, and when certain 
subsequent events occurred. 418 The final fulfillment came in 193 8, 
when Christ again came to his temple. 417 

In trying to show how this final fulfillment occurred, however, 
the Watchtower authors become quite badly confused. According 
to Paradise Lost, Christ's coming to the temple in 1918 was his 
coming to the earthly Jehovah-Witness organization to cleanse it 
of rebellious members. 418 According to the authors of The Truth 
Shall Make You Free and You May Survive Armageddon, how- 
ever, the temple Christ came to in 1918 was not the earthly 
organization but the heavenly temple. 419 So there is ambiguity as to 
which temple he came to. Even if one understands Jehovah's 
Witnesses to mean by the temple to which Christ came in 1918 
the heavenly one rather than the earthly organization, one is still at 
a loss to know exactly what they are trying to say. For, ( 3 ) if the 
heavenly temple is just another name for the 144,000, it is not cor- 
rect to say that Christ came to them in 1918, for they were then 
"raised" to be with him in heaven; it would be more correct to say 

temple . . . consists of more than Jesus alone. It includes his congregation 
of 144,000 spiritual members, the spiritual body of which Jesus Christ 
is Head" ( You May Survive Armageddon, p. 81). Members of the 
anointed class are often described as "living stones" of that temple 
(ibid., pp. 96, 108; Let Your Name Be Sanctified, p. 274). At other 
times, however, one receives the impression that this heavenly temple 
is a place in heaven to which the members of the anointed class go after 
they die: "They [the deceased anointed ones] are now with him [Christ] 
at the temple, that is, in the condition of unity with him in the place 
invisible to human eyes, which place is symbolized by the 'air'" (The 
Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 304). 

410 You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 91-97. 

-* 1 ' Ibid., pp. 98ff.; The Truth Shall Make You Free, pp. 303, 324. 

" s Paradise Lost, p. 213. 

■»'!' The Truth Shall Make You Free, pp. 303-4; on p. 324. this 
coming to the heavenly temple is called Christ's epiphaneia or "appearing" in 
distinction from his parousia. which occurred in 1914. Cf. You May 
Survive Armageddon, pp. 103-4; on the latter page it is said that 
the resurrection of the sleeping temple stones took place shortly after 
the arrival of Adonai [the Lord] and His messenger at the spiritual 
temple on the heavenly Mount Zion. 

Doctrines 95 

that, in 1918, the temple came to Christ. If, however, (2) the hea- 
venly temple is the name of a certain place in heaven, we wonder 
where this place is. From New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 319, 
we learn that the 144,000 who are "raised" "are by such a spiritual, 
heavenly resurrection granted to sit with Jesus Christ in his 
throne, even as he conquered this old world and sat down with 
his Father in His throne." These words imply that the place to 
which the "raised" 144,000 go is the place where Christ is (for 
Christ has been seated on the throne since 1914). If this is 
so, how can Christ be said to "come to his temple" in 1918? How 
can one "come to" a place where he already is? 420 

The "first resurrection." We should now examine in greater 
detail what Jehovah's Witnesses mean by the "resurrection" of the 
deceased members of the anointed class which occurred in 1918. 
The Witnesses distinguish between a first or earlier resurrection 
and later resurrections. 421 These resurrections, however, are dis- 
tinguished not just in time but also in manner; the "first" or 
"earlier" resurrection is said to be a nonphysical one, whereas 
the later resurrections are said to be physical. 

What is the nature of this "first resurrection"? The following 
rather lengthy quotation describes both types of resurrection: 

Resurrection is a restoration to life of the nonexistent dead. 
... It is an act of God dependent entirely upon God's marvelous 
power through Christ and upon His memory of the dead. It is 
the reactivating of the life pattern of the creature, a transcrip- 
tion of which is on record with God, and is referred to as being 
in His memory. Resurrection does not involve the restoring of 
the original identical body of the creature. The life pattern is 
the personal life-long record of the creature built up by his 
thoughts and by the experiences in the life he has lived resulting 
from certain habits, leanings, mental abilities, memories and 

420 On p. 275 of This Means Everlasting Life it is unequivocally asserted 
that the throne from which Christ rules in heaven is at the same time the 
place where he ministers in the heavenly temple: "It is from heaven that 
Christ and his 144,000 associate kings rule, for Christ Jesus sits at God's 
right hand. . . . The throne, heaven, is the place for kings to rule from, and 
not the footstool, the earth. Moreover, it is the Most Holy of all, the heaven 
itself of God's presence, where the High Priest of God applies the merit of 
his sacrifice for the sake of humankind." 

4 - 1 They call the "resurrection" of the 144,000 the "first resurrection," 
basing this on Rev. 20:6 (Let God Be True, p. 277); at times, however, 
they also refer to this as the "earlier resurrection," basing this designation 
on the NWT of Phil. 3:11, where the Greek word exanastasis is rendered, 
wholly without lexical warrant, earlier resurrection (ibid., p. 282). 

96 Jehovah's Witnesses 

history. It is also a register of the individual's intellectual 
growth and his characteristics, all of which make up one's per- 
sonality. Hence, according to God's will for the creature, in a 
resurrection one is restored or re-created in either a human or a 
spirit body and yet retains his personal identity by the setting in 
motion again of the distinctive life pattern of that individual. 422 

Note that resurrection is here defined as a restoration to life of 
the nonexistent dead, that it is dependent upon God's memory of 
the dead, that it is a reactivation of the life pattern of the creature 
rather than a restoring of the creature's original body, and that 
it is by this reactivation of the life pattern that the personal 
identity of the individual is to be retained. Note, too, that one 
may be restored in "either a human or a spirit body." In the "first 
resurrection" individuals are restored in spirit bodies.™ 

This "first resurrection" follows the pattern of Christ's resurrec- 
tion. As he was "raised" without a physical body in order to 
partake of heavenly life, so also are the members of the anointed 
class. Only Christ and the 144,000, therefore, participate in 
this "first resurrection." When the Bible says that Christ is 
the "firstfruits of them which are asleep" (I Cor. 15:20), this 
does not mean that he was the firstfruits of all believers who have 
died, but only of the 144,000. 424 

This "first resurrection" was therefore not a bodily resurrection 
in the sense that these individuals were raised with physical bodies. 
It is called, as a matter of fact, a "spiritual, heavenly resurrec- 
tion." 425 The members of the anointed class "raised" in 1918 
are said to have been raised with "spirit bodies" to join Christ at 
the spiritual temple, 428 to have become "invisible spirit crea- 
tures," 427 and to have entered upon "spirit life in the heavens." 428 
We are, in fact, given the distinct impression that this "spirit 

422 Make Sure of All Things, p. 311. 

42 - H The expression "spirit body" will be puzzling to most readers. It 
will be recalled that, according to Watchtower teaching, a heavenly 
soul "consists of a body together with the life principle or life force 
actuating it" (above, p. 56). So there are "heavenly" bodies as well as earthly, 
physical bodies. The author was told by Mr. Ulysses Glass, a member of the 
Watchtower staff, that these "heavenly bodies" will be vastly superior to the 
bodies of those on earth (personal interview, June 6, 1962). 

424 Let God Be True, pp. 276-77. 

42. r > New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 319. 

42 8 Lei God Be True, p. 203. 

■»•■« Ibid., p. 138. 

42 « Paradise Lost, p. 231. 

Doctrines 97 

life" is a more perfect form of life than one which would in- 
volve a physical resurrection: "The 'resurrection of life' includes 
the 'first resurrection,' which is the resurrection to instantaneous 
perfection of life, spirit life, in which Jesus himself participated 
and in which only the 144,000 joint heirs participate with him." 4 - 

Since this was a "resurrection" to a heavenly, spirit existence, 
it was invisible to human eyes. 43 " In the case of those "raised" 
in 1918, this event was a transition from nonexistence to spirit- 
existence, possible only because God had on record a trans- 
scription of the life patterns of these individuals. 431 Actually, 
therefore, God re-created them on the basis of His memory of 
what they were like before they died. 

Jehovah's Witnesses do not teach, however, that in 1918 the 
total number of the anointed class was "raised" with a spiritual 
resurrection. A "remnant" of the 144,000 was still alive in 
1918; a "remnant" is still alive today; and there will be a "remnant" 
of this group left on earth during the coming millennium. 432 So 
the question arises: What happens to the members of this remnant 
when they die? The answer is: they undergo the "first resur- 
rection" at the moment of their death. Immediately at death 
they enter into an "eternal spirit existence," 483 are "resurrected 
in the spirit," 434 are "changed instantaneously to spirits immortal, 
incorruptible," 435 and "receive an immediate change to spirit 
life." 43 " They are changed from being human creatures to being 
spirit creatures in heaven with Christ. 437 At another place we 

■*'"■> You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 354-55. One is tempted to ask: 
if perfection of life is spirit life, how could Jesus have lived a perfect life 
on earth in a body? One senses at this point a kind of Gnostic devaluation 
of the body. 

4311 Let God Be True, p. 278; The Kingdom is at Hand, p. 304. 

+3i Make Sure of All Things, pp. 311, 313. 

4:i - Let God Be True, p. 278; Paradise Lost, p. 231; New Heavens and 
a New Earth, p. 321. In the last-named reference it is specifically stated 
that "the thousand-year reign does not have to wait until they [the last 
of the remnant] are glorified in the heavens. . . ." 

4:w Let God Be True, p. 129. In this connection the authors quote 1 
Cor. 15:51-52, "We all shall not sleep but we shall all be changed, in a 
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. . ." (cf. Paradise 
Lost, p. 232). Apparently the "last trump" is thought to sound every 
time a member of the remnant dies! 

434 Let God Be True, p. 279. 

435 This Means Everlasting Life, p. 235. 

«« Let God Be True, p. 203. Cf. This Means Everlasting Life, p. 231; 
Paradise Lost, p. 231. 
«7 Paradise Lost, p. 232. 

98 Jehovah's Witnesses 

are told: ". . . At death they are changed from human to divine, 
incorruptible, immortal, spiritual, in but a moment or twinkling 
of an eye. . . ." 438 

As this last quotation indicates ("changed from human to 
divine"), this "first resurrection" is a kind of deification of the 
members of the anointed class. This does not mean, of course, 
that the "little flock" now become equal to Jehovah God, but 
they do become virtually equal to Christ — who is also "divine," 
though not equal to Jehovah. Note the following parallels be- 
tween what happens to the members of the anointed class and 
what happened to Christ: (1) Like Christ, they are "raised" 
with spirit bodies for life in heaven; (2) like Christ, they have 
sacrificed their rights to life on earth in order to earn the right 
to life in heaven; 439 (3) like Christ, they attain immortality — 
an immortality which is shared by no other creatures, not even the 
angels; (4) like Christ, they have been begotten by God's spirit 
to become spiritual sons of God; (5) like Christ, they reign after 
death from a heavenly throne. Thus, as has been previously 
observed, 440 the difference between Christ and the 144,000, for 
the Witnesses, is not one of kind but only one of degree. And 
at this point we may well wonder whether one is justified in affirm- 
ing even a difference of degree! 441 

In referring to this "first resurrection" I have been putting 
the word resurrection between quotation marks since I do not 
believe that this can properly be called a resurrection. I make 
this judgment for two reasons: 

( 1 ) As was noted in the case of the Seventh-day Adventists, 442 
this is not really a resurrection because, at least in the case of those 
"raised" in 1918, these individuals had been completely annihilated 
when they died; hence it would be more accurate to call their "resto- 
ration" to life in 1 91 8 a new creation. 

(2) The word resurrection has always been understood by the 
Christian church to mean resurrection with a physical body. 

438 f^ew Heavens and a New Earth, p. 320. Cf. Make Sure of All 
Things, p. 247, where we are told that Christ and the 144.000 in heaven 
share a "divine nature." 

«9 See above, pp. 72, 75. 

440 See above, p. 65. 

4 -" On p. 275 of This Means Everlasting Life the astounding suggestion 
is made that the 144,000 must help to bring back the dead who are in 
the graves! 

44 - See The Four Major Cults, p. 140. 

Doctrines 99 

Giving to people who had previously been annihilated a new 
existence as "spirit creatures" (or transforming people instanta- 
neously from physical beings to "spirit creatures," in the case of 
those "raised" after 1918) is not a resurrection but rather a 
change into a different kind of existence. 

In the history of the Christian church, people who taught that 
the "resurrection" was a nonphysical one were branded as heretics. 
The early fathers vigorously defended the resurrection of the body 
(in a physical sense) as a distinctively Christian doctrine over 
against those who, under the influence of Greek philosophy or 
Gnostic speculation, denied this teaching. 44 "' Yet today Jehovah's 
Witnesses, claiming to be listening to Scripture alone, are again 
reviving this ancient heresy! 

It should now be added, by way of evaluation, that, as was ob- 
served in the case of the "resurrection" of Jesus Christ, 444 so 
here also there is no real continuity between the state of being in 
the flesh and the "resurrection" state. Christ by his "resur- 
rection" was changed from a human being to a spirit creature. So 
it is with the 144,000: by their "resurrection" they are changed 
from being human creatures to being spirit creatures. 445 From 
their own description of this change, therefore, we learn that, 
for the Witnesses, the 144,000 cease to be human beings after 
their "resurrection." They enter into an entirely different kind 
of existence: a spirit existence. It would not be inaccurate to say 
that the 144,000 are, at death, changed into angels (angels, that 
is, who are now immortal, in distinction from ordinary angels, 
who remain mortal). The "resurrection" of the 144,000 is, 
therefore, really the creation of a new type of being — not a 
resurrection of human beings. 

The Judgment of the Nations. Jehovah's Witnesses distinguish 
various judgment days. iW One of these days of judgment began 
when Christ came to the temple in 1918. 44T "In the spring of 

44S See, e.g., Polycarp, To The Philippians, 7; The Epistle of Barnabas, 
5 and 21; // Clement, 9; Justin Martyr, First Apology, 18-19; Tatian, To 
the Greeks, 6; Theophilus, To Autolycus, I, 7; Athenagoras, The 
Resurrection of the Dead, 18-25; Irenaeus, Against Heresies: II, 29, 2; IV, 
5, 2. 

■*** See above, p. 66. 

•14.-, p ar aJise Lost, p. 232. 

«« Make Sure of All Tilings, pp. 219-25. 

447 Let God Be True, p. 277. We note here some similarity to the "in- 
vestigative judgment" of the Seventh-day Adventists. It will be recalled 
that Russell had some early associations with the Adventists. As the 

100 Jehovah's Witnesses 

1918," it is said, "he [Christ] came as Jehovah's Messenger to 
the temple and began judgment first of the 'house of God' and 
then of the nations of this world." 448 

This judgment which began at the house of God is, however, 
variously interpreted. In one place we are told that this judg- 
ment was accomplished by the "resurrection" of the anointed class, 
by which a favorable judgment was rendered to the house of 
God. 449 At another place in the same book, however, we are 
informed that this judgment consisted in the following: The 
faithful ones who took up the witnessing work in 1918 and 
1919, and who began to serve spiritual food to the spiritually 
hungry at this time, were judged by Jehovah to be the "faithful 
and discreet slave class." Thus, it is alleged, Jehovah indicated 
who were His true people, distinguishing them from those who 
falsely claimed to be the "house of God," namely, the churches 
of Christendom. 450 One may apparently adopt either interpreta- 
tion, or both. 

In the spring of 1918 Christ also began his judgment of the 
nations. This teaching is derived from Matthew 25:31-46, the 
passage which speaks of the judgment of the sheep and the 
goats. 4 " 1 This judgment, it is said, takes place during the "time 
of the end," that is, from the spring of 1918 to the Battle of 
Armageddon. 4 '" 2 Christ, now seated on the throne of his glory, 
is busy separating the people of the nations into two classes, 
called sheep and goats. 4 -™ The basis for this judgment is the 
attitude people take toward the kingdom message and its bearers, 
the remnant. 454 The goats are those who have no appreciation 
for the kingdom message and who show no help or kindness to 
the bearers of this message; 4 -' 15 this group will include Christendom 
because it has had no charity for the remnant of Christ's broth- 

Watchtower understanding of this judgment at the temple is unfolded, 
however, it will become evident that the teaching of the Witnesses here 
is quite different from that of Seventh-day Adventism. 

44K Ibid., p. 287. In connection with the judgment which began at the 
"house of God," I Peter 4:17 is quoted. 

449 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 117. 

4S " Ibid., pp. 207-208. To understand what Jehovah's Witnesses mean 
by the "faithful and discreet slave class," see above, pp. 33-34. 

45 ' Let God Be True. p. 290. 

4r, ~ You May Survive Armageddon, p. 160. 

45:1 Let God Be True. p. 204. 

4 ' r ' 4 Ibid., d. 290; You May Survive Armageddon, p. 163. 

4 -">"> Let God Be True, p. 290. 

Doctrines 101 

ers. 4r '° The sheep, however, are those who rejoice at the coming 
of the kingdom and do good to the remnant who bear the mes- 
sage. 457 By the time of the Battle of Armageddon this judging 
of the nations will have been completed; the sheep will have been 
gathered at the king's right side, into company with the remnant, 
whereas the goats will have been gathered at his left side. 4 ™ At 
the Battle of Armageddon the judgment against the nations will be 
executed. 4r,!l Then the goats will be destroyed and annihilated, 
whereas the sheep will live through the battle and "enter upon 
the opportunities for everlasting life in the new world." 400 

The Battle oj Armageddon. Before the glorious new world 
can be ushered in, however, there will occur a battle more terrible 
than anything the world has ever seen. "Armageddon will be the 
worst thing ever to hit the earth within the history of man." 4 " 1 
What kind of battle will this be? 

We find a brief definition of it on page 24 of Make Sure of All 
Things : 

The battle of Jehovah God Almighty in which his executive 
officer Christ Jesus leads invisible forces of righteousness to de- 
stroy Satan and his demonic and human organization, eliminating 
wickedness from the universe and vindicating Jehovah's universal 

From this definition we learn that Armageddon will be Jehovah's 
decisive (though not final) battle against His enemies, both 
demonic and human; that Christ will be Jehovah's executive 
officer, leading invisible forces to victory; and that this battle 
will result in the elimination of wickedness and the vindication 
of Jehovah's sovereignty. 482 

The background for the Battle of Armageddon is the tribulation 
brought upon Satan's world by Christ, who has taken action to 

tsii You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 165-66. 

4r > 7 Lei God lie True, p. 290; You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 164-65. 

4r,s You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 164-68. 

*'">» Let God' Be True, p. 287. 

■»fic> You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 165-67. The moral is obvious: 
if you want to survive Armageddon and enter the paradise of the new 
world, you must leave Christendom and join the Jehovah-Witness move- 

4<il Statement made by Nathan Knorr at the 1953 Yankee-Stadium 
Assembly, quoted in You May Survive Armageddon, p. II. 

4n2 It will be recalled that the vindication of Jehovah's sovereignty is, 
for the Witnesses, the primary purpose of world history (see above, pp. 

1 02 Jehovah's Witnesses 

unseat Satan from his position as ruler of the earth. Actual combat 
against Satan and his demon horde began with Christ's enthrone- 
ment in a.d. 1914. This combat was cut short in a.d. 1918, 
to be resumed at Armageddon. 4<ia "In between, while this 
tribulation is cut short, there is a work of proclaiming the Kingdom 
and its day of vengeance, and of exposing Satan's filthy organiza- 
tion. . . ." 4li4 Because it is believed that only those who are 
members of the Watchtower organization, whether as anointed 
ones or other sheep, will survive Armageddon, 405 and because 
it is further believed that no one who dies at Armageddon will 
be raised from the dead during the millennium, 460 Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses preach with great urgency: Come into Jehovah's theocratic 
organization now, or be forever annihilated in the Battle of 
Armageddon! 4 " 7 

This great battle will not be a conflict between capitalism and 
communism, nor will it be a destruction of the nations through 
atomic energy, but it will be Jehovah's fight in which both the 
invisible and visible parts of Satan's world will be completely 
destroyed. 46K Armageddon, the "war of the great day of God 
the Almighty" (Rev. 16: 14), 46! > will be a war in which the nations 
of the world will fight against God's kingdom headed by His 
Anointed One, Jesus 470 ; it will be a battle between those who are 
for and those who are against Jehovah's universal sovereignty. 471 
Jehovah will actually welcome this fight, for it will give Him the 
opportunity of vindicating His universal sovereignty over the 
earth. 472 

4li3 Make Sure of All Things, p. 390. The astounding implication of 
these words is that Christ did not engage in actual combat with Satan 
previous to 1914, and that he does not do so between 1918 and Arma- 
geddon ! 

-»«-t Ibid. 

-itt'i Paradise Lost, p. 210; You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 217, 347. 

4<i« "The unrighteous 'goats' will be everlastingly cut off from all life 
in the battle of Armageddon with which this old world will end" {Paradise 
Lost, p. 202). 

4(i7 Let God Be True, pp. 260, 201. In the latter passage the role of 
Jehovah's Witnesses is compared to that of Noah before the flood. 

4B8 Ibid., p. 259. This statement must not be taken entirely at face 
value, however, since Satan is only "abyssed" at Armageddon, to be 
loosed again at !he end of the millennium. 

4 «» Paradise Lost, p. 203. 

470 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 333. 

■"i Ibid., p. 338. 

47 - Ibid., p. 334. Note the conception of the nature of Jehovah which 
underlies this statement! 

Doctrines 1 03 

Satan is now grouping his forces in preparation for the war of 
Armageddon. 4 ™ His demons are leading the nations to prepare 
to do battle against those who visibly represent the kingdom of 
God, the remnant and their companions in the New World 
Society. 474 

Where will this battle be fought? Though the word Armaged- 
don, or Har-Magedon, derived from Rev. 16:36, means "mountain 
of Megiddo," this battle will not be fought just at the field of 
Megiddo in Palestine since this battlefield would be too small 
to hold all the kings of the earth and their armies. 47 " The battle will 
be fought in all quarters of the globe. 470 The reason why this battle 
is called that of Armageddon is that the battles fought in ancient 
times at Megiddo in Palestine were decisive: the armies that won 
there won complete victories, whereas those that lost suffered total 
defeat. 477 

When will this battle be fought? At the close of the "time of 
the end," which will be very soon. 478 It was affirmed in 1952 
that this war would begin inside our generation. 479 In a volume 
published in 1958 we are told that many people alive since 1914 
will still be living when Armageddon begins. 480 

Just before Armageddon begins, the devil will attack the New 
World Society. 481 This attack will provoke Jehovah to anger; 
He will then unleash the Battle of Armageddon by giving Christ 
the command to destroy the devil's wicked world. 482 The invisible 
"appearance" of Christ at this time is called "the revelation of the 
Lord Jesus from heaven" depicted in II Thessalonians 1:7-10 483 ; 
this revelation (apokalupsis) is distinguished from the second 
presence of Christ (parousia) which occurred in 19 14. 484 This 

4 ™ Let God Be True, p. 259. 

474 You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 333-34. At this point Rev. 
12:17 is quoted, the same passage to which Seventh-day Adventists appeal 
to support their conception of the "remnant church." Cf. Paradise Lost, 
p. 203, where a similar statement is made, buttressed by a reference to 
Rev. 16:14, 16. 

475 Paradise Lost, pp. 203-4. 

*"•> You May Survive Armageddon, p. 337. 

477 Paradise Lost, p. 203. 

47 » Ibid., p. 205. 

47!) Let God Be True, p. 179. 

480 Paradise Lost, p. 205. 

4 «i Ibid., p. 206. 

«2 Ibid., p. 207. 

483 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 27. 

4N4 This Means Everlasting Life, p. 222. 

104 Jehovah's Witnesses 

"appearance" of Christ on earth is called "the final revelation of 
the King" 485 and is even referred to as his "return." 486 

Who will be drawn up in battle array at the War of Armaged- 
don? On the one side will be all the nations of the world, the 
members of the United Nations (the beast of Rev. 17), the 
religious heads of heathendom and Christendom (the woman who 
rides the beast), and all the goats that have been separated from 
the sheep by the judgment of the nations just concluded (this 
last group will include most of Christendom). 487 On the other 
side will be the remnant of spiritual Israel (that is, the members of 
the 144,000 left on earth at that time) and the "great crowd" of 
other sheep 488 — a crowd, however, which will look very small 
compared to the vast hordes which oppose them. In addition 
to these visible forces there will be invisible combatants as well. 
Fighting against God will be the devil and all the demons. 489 
Fighting on the side of the remnant and the other sheep, however, 
will be Jesus Christ and, following his leadership, the unseen hosts 
of heaven (that is, the angels) together with those of his anointed 
followers who have been "resurrected." 480 

The remnant and the other sheep do not need to fight at 
Armageddon; Christ and his heavenly armies will do all the fighting 
for them. 4 " 1 When we ask what weapons will be used by the 
rebellious nations, we get an ambiguous answer. On the one 
hand we are told that the nations will use their military, naval, and 
air equipment, 492 and that they will release atomic bombs, hydro- 
ps Let God Be True, p. 205. 

486 Ibid., p. 206. So there are two "returns" of Christ: the first one, 
which occurred in 1914, when he ascended the throne of his kingdom; 
and a second one, which will occur when he comes to earth to conduct 
the Battle of Armageddon! It is therefore not quite correct to say that 
Jehovah's Witnesses do not look for any future "return" of Christ. Even 
this future return, however, will be an invisible one (ibid., p. 205). 

487 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 338; see above, pp. 43-44. It is 
evident from this description why Jehovah's Witnesses attack not only all 
churches but also all political organizations and governments. All govern- 
ments and all churches are part of the devil's visible organization. The 
Witnesses therefore refuse to salute the flag of any nation since, so 
they say, such an act ascribes salvation to the nation for which the flag 
stands, and is an act of idolatry (Let God Be True, pp. 242-43). 

488 You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 338-39. 
4 «» Paradise Lost, p. 203. 

4il " You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 338-39. The revelation of 
Christ at Armageddon will, however, be an invisible one. Thus neither 
Christ nor his heavenly armies will be seen by men. 

41)1 Paradise Lost, p. 204. 

492 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 337. 

Doctrines 105 

gen bombs, disease-germ bombs, and chemical gas bombs. 41 " 
Yet on the other hand we are informed that the wood of the weap- 
ons of Gog's hordes (that is, those of the devil) will make so large 
a pile that it will take seven years to use it up as fuel. These 
weapons are then designated as follows: shields, bows and arrows, 
handstaves, and spears. 4 " 4 Jehovah, however, will completely 
exterminate His enemies by unleashing such terrors as cloudbursts, 
floods, earthquakes, hailstones, fires, and flesh-eating plagues. 495 
The fire of Armageddon will, in fact, be far more destructive than 
literal fire; it will completely envelop the devil's visible and in- 
visible organizations. 49 " 

The results of this terrible battle will be worse than those of any 
previous war in history. Over two billion people will die. 497 
All of Christendom will be wiped out, 4 " 8 and all the nations will be 
destroyed. 499 "Satan's entire world or system of things, its in- 
visible demonic heavens and its visible wicked human earth, will 
be destroyed. . . ." r,0 ° Dead bodies will be everywhere, from one 
end of the earth to the other; these shall neither be wept over nor 
buried." 01 Not a single human being who was against Jehovah's 
organization will survive. 502 

Only faithful Jehovah's Witnesses — members of the remnant or 
of the other sheep — will survive Armageddon; these "will stand 
and see the salvation of Jehovah for them." 50:1 Jehovah will not 
allow His executioners to touch them. 504 These Armageddon sur- 
vivors will be assigned the duty of gathering up the bones that 
are left of the slain, and of burying them (not the bodies; just the 

■»»3 Ibid., p. 340. 

*» 4 Ibid., p. 343. 

*'J5 Paradise Lost, pp. 207-208. 

4!)fi ]\j cw Heavens and u New Earth, p. 294. 

-li)7 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 341. 

«s Ibid., p. 217. 

•*»» Ibid., p. 57. 

5«« Ibid., p. 346. 

«" Paradise Lost, p. 210. 

• r '°- You May Survive Armageddon, p. 342. 

sioa ibid., p. 347. Note that what determines survival at Armageddon is 
not first of all faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour, but membership in the New 
World Society. Faith in the all-sufficient atonement of Christ will not save 
from total annihilation any member of "Christendom" unaffiliated with the 
Watchtower organization. 

r » 04 Ibid., p. 217. When we ask how anyone can be expected to live 
through this devastating holocaust, or how Jehovah's Witnesses will be 
kept safe from enemy bullets and bombs, we are told that "Jehovah will 
perform a stupendous miracle in preserving them [His people] through the 
terrifying destruction" {This Means Everlasting Life, p. 266). 

106 Jehovah's Witnesses 

bleached bones). 505 The survivors are also given the task of 
converting whatever instruments of combat are left on the earth 
into implements of peace. 506 

To complete the story of the Battle of Armageddon, it should 
be mentioned that, at the end of the battle, Satan and his demons 
are cast into the "abyss" by Christ, who is said to be the angel 
referred to in Revelation 20: l. 3 " 7 The abyss is not a symbol for 
the condition of nonexistence; it stands for a deathlike state of in- 
activity. 3C,K Thus, both the devil and his demons having been 
rendered inactive, the world is ready for the millennium which 
now begins. 

The Millennium. Jehovah's Witnesses understand the thousand 
years of Revelation 20 as pointing to a literal thousand-year 
period, beginning immediately after Armageddon, during which 
God's new world is to be established on earth. This period is 
referred to in their literature as that of Christ's millennial reign, 509 
or of his thousand-year reign. 510 God's new world is said to 
consist of "new heavens and a new earth." By the new heavens 
the Witnesses understand "the righteous new heavenly ruling 
powers, Christ Jesus with his 'bride' of 144,000 members." 511 
By the new earth they mean "not a new earthly globe, but the 
righteous earthly subjects of the King living under a new social 
arrangement. " 51 - 

This leads us to consider the role of the 144,000 during the 
millennium. They are, of course, not on earth but in heaven 
(except for those few still living on earth after Armageddon, 

n(,i "> Paradise Lost, p. 211. 

.-.ou The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 360. 

•"'"" Paradise Lost, p. 211. 

5(IS Ibid. 

5oh .Vevv Heavens and a New Earth, p. 321. 

ski Paradise Lost, p. 226. At this point a question arises: Since Christ 
began ruling from his heavenly throne in 1914, why is this period referred 
to as "the thousand years of Christ's reign" (Let God Be True, p. 270)? 
And how can the 144,000 be said to reign a thousand years with Christ 
during the millennium (ibid., p. 137). when they actually began to reign 
with him in 1918? 

•~' n Religion for Mankind, p. 377. Actually, the new heavens in this 
sense began to come into existence in 1918, when the first group of 
anointed ones began to be "raised"; these new heavens, further, are not 
complete until some time after the millennium has begun since there will 
still be members of the remnant living on earth after Armageddon. 

•">•- Ibid. It will be recalled that in the Battle of Armageddon Satan's 
demonic heavens and wicked human earth were destroyed (see above, p. 

Doctrines 107 

who will join the heavenly assembly as soon as they die). 513 The 
144,000 in heaven are, during the millennium, the invisible part 
of the new world, r ' 14 the ruling body of Jehovah's universal organi- 
zation. 515 In the capacity of priests and kings they reign with Christ 
during the millennium. 51 " They may therefore be called "associate 
kings" and "royal priests" 51 '; since the power of judging has also 
been bestowed upon them, 518 they may in addition be called 
"associate judges." 519 It may be gathered from the above that the 
144,000 will therefore help Christ in carrying out his kingly, 
priestly, and judicial activities. We are told, in fact, that they 
"join him [Christ] in dispensing the benefits of Christ's ransom 
sacrifice to the believers of mankind during the thousand years of 
the Kingdom rule." 520 We are further informed that they must 
officiate as priests "for the everlasting good of mankind, even 
to bringing back all the dead who are in the graves." 5 - 1 Christ, 
in fact, will not even be able to bring the inhabitants of God's new 
world to perfection without the help of his heavenly bride: 

The ministry of the heavenly High Priest together with the 
144,000 who will be his underpriests and "priests of God" will 
lift up the antitypical twelve tribes of Israel to human perfection 
by the end of the thousand years of Christ's reign. 52 -' 

What will the earth be like during the millennium? The earth, 
it is said, will be cleansed after Armageddon. 523 Soon after the 
devastation of Armageddon has been removed, the earth will be- 
come a new paradise, replacing the paradise lost at the dawn of 
history. 524 The whole earth will be made into a garden; under 

sis New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 321; You May Survive Arma- 
geddon, p. 352. 

•"'i 4 Lei God Be True, p. 138. 

" r > Ibid., d. 130. 

•■>"« Ibid., p. 137. 

517 This Means Everlasting Life, p. 275. 

~> lH You May Survive Armageddon, p. 276. 

• r >™ Make Sure of All Things, p. 221. 

r >- H This Means Everlasting Life, pp. 274-75. Christ therefore needs the 
services of the 144.000 in applying the fruits of his atonement to his 

r>2 ' Ibid., p. 275. Apparently Christ cannot raise the dead without the 
help of the 144,000. 

: '-- You May Survive Armageddon, p. 353. 

■ _> - :! Paradise Lost, p. 216. Yet this cleansing is not final. For, on p. 
239 of the same volume, we are toid that it is not until the execution of 
judgment over Satan and his followers al the end of the millennium that 
the perfect earth will be cleansed. 

r ' 24 " Ibid., pp. 220ff. 

108 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Jehovah's direction, aided by an ideal climate and the absence of 
destructive pests, the survivors of Armageddon will replant the 
earthly paradise."'- 5 Man will again subdue the earth and have 
dominion over the lower creation; all the beasts will now be at 
peace with each other and with man."'-' 1 On this new earth there 
will be neither thorns nor thistles. 5 - 7 There will be no more 
famine or drought; no diseases, aches, or pains; and no more old 
age, since perpetual youth will be the lot of all the faithful.'"'-'"* 
Death will also be largely eliminated-"'-" — the only ones who will 
die during the millennium will be those members of the remnant 
that survived Armageddon and those inhabitants of the new earth 
who refuse to obey Jehovah (these as we shall see, will be 
annihilated). All results of sin in human social life will also have 
been removed. There will be no more war, no crime, no law- 
lessness or vice — since all people who want to do bad things 
have been killed at Armageddon. r,;i " Hence there will be no need 
for armed troops or for police forces.™ 1 All will be at peace with 
each other since all will be united in the worship of the one true 

During the millennium the earth, which was denuded of all 
human inhabitants except Jehovah's Witnesses by the Battle of 
Armageddon, will be repopulated. How will this repopulation 
take place? First, by the birth of children to the Armageddon 
survivors, and, second, by a series of resurrections. Let us look 
at each of these methods in detail. 

Children Born During the Millennium. Children will be 
born to the survivors of Armageddon. 5 ' ; ' i These Armageddon sur- 
vivors may expect to receive a mandate from God through Christ 
enjoining them to reproduce their kind."' :u Since not all of these sur- 
vivors were married when Armageddon came, there will be mar- 
riages during the millennium.™ 5 Because children so born will not 
die — unless they prove rebellious — and because room must be 

*■■>* Ibid., d. 221. 

*-'" Let God Be True, p. 267. 

r, -~ Ne iv Heavens and a New Earth, p. 344. 

■">-* Lei God Be True, pp. 267-68. 

<™> Ibid., p. 268. 

-™ 1 ' Ibid., p. 267; Paradise Lost. pp. 221-22. 

'">»' Let God Be True, p. 267. 

w Ibid., p. 266. 

rv.v.i You May Survive Armageddon, p. 351. 

a-.u New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 331-32. 

»™ Let God Be True, p. 269. 

Doctrines 109 

left on the earth for those who will be raised from the dead, God 
will see to it that, at a certain point of time, childbearing will 
cease. 3:1 " 

A word should be said about the nature of these children. 
Infant death, needless to say, will no longer occur during the 
millennium; neither will any of these children be cripples. 337 Yet 
they will not be perfect; "being born of not yet perfect although 
righteous parents, 38 * these children will not be born any more 
perfect than their parents then." MI1 Though imperfect, the children 
born to Armageddon survivors will not grow older, however, nor 
weaker and impaired with age, but will grow "young, strong, and 
gradually freed from all blemishes and marks of imperfection." 34 " 
Their parents will teach them to do right, transmitting to them 
God's instructions. Though Godfearing parents before the 
millennium train their children in an imperfect way, during the 
millennium parents will be able to perform this task "in a 
perfect and complete way under God's direction." 34 ' 

Resurrections During the Millennium. Before discussing the 
various groups that will be raised during the millennium, we should 
examine the nature of these resurrections. According to Jehovah- 
Witness teaching, there is no soul which survives after death. When 
a man dies he totally ceases to exist. 34 - Yet the Witnesses do 
teach that people will be "raised" from the dead. We have already 
looked at their teaching on the so-called first or nonphysical 
"resurrection" which the members of the anointed class experience. 
There are others, however — their number will far exceed that 

• r i ;:i1 Paradise Lost, p. 225. There appears to be some ambiguity in 
Jehovah-Witness teaching on the question of whether only Armageddon 
survivors will be able to bring forth children during the millennium, 
or whether this privilege will be extended also to the other sheep raised 
from the dead after Armageddon. On pp. 362-64 of The Truth Shall 
Make You Free (published in 1943) we are told that the other sheep 
raised after Armageddon will have a part in fulfilling the divine mandate 
to bring forth children. In later publications, however, it is said that 
only Armageddon survivors will have this privilege (Let God Be True, 
pp. 268-69; Paradise Lost, pp. 224, 226). Perhaps there has been a shift 
in Watchtower thinking on this point. 

'"'•'" Paradise Lost, p. 225. 

ii.-tn a strange combination, to say the least! 

r>:!! » New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 346. 

Mo You May Survive Armageddon, p. 353. 

r>-u Paradise Lost, pp. 224-25. Another strange combination: parents 
who are still imperfect will be able, during the millennium, to do a perfect 
job of training their children! 

B * 2 See above, pp. 85-87. 

1 1 Jehovah's Witnesses 

of 144,000 — who will be raised with physical bodies. Yet 
even these resurrections with physical bodies are not, strictly 
speaking, resurrections. Since these individuals were totally an- 
nihilated when they died, it would be more accurate to call the 
"resurrections" which are now said to occur new creations™'* 
Interestingly enough, Watchtower authors even use the word create 
to describe this type of resurrection: "through Jesus Christ who 
died for them [people to be raised during the millennium], God 
will create new bodies for them." 54 ' 

This type of resurrection is described as a "reactivating of the 
life pattern of the creature.""' 4 "' This is possible only because 
the life pattern of every creature to be so raised is on record with 
God. God therefore re-creates these individuals on the basis of 
His memory of what they were like before they died/' 4 " "People 
who have been kept in God's memory will be brought back to 
life from their death state to enjoy the benefits of God's righteous 
new world. " r,4T A human being so raised will retain his personal 
identity "by the setting in motion again of the distinctive life 
pattern of that individual. " r,4K Such a person will have the same 
personality that he had when he died; he will therefore be recogniz- 
able by acquaintances. 549 

It should be noted that those who are physically raised during 
the millennium are not raised with perfect human bodies. Their 

54:1 See the comment made about the Seventh-day Adventist conception 
of the resurrection in The Four Major Cults, p. 140. 

•"'■" Paradise Los!, p. 234. 

545 Make Sure of All Things, p. 311 (see above, pp. 95-96, where this 
rather detailed description is quoted in full). 

• r > 4 « Ibid. 

547 Paradise Lost, p. 227. The implication is that some have not been 
kept in God's memory and will therefore not be brought back to life. 
This point is made explicit on p. 364 of The Truth Shall Make You Free. 
Here, speaking of people who are cast into Gehenna, the place of final 
destruction, the authors say, '". . . They are not spoken of as 'in the tombs' 
or 'in the graves,' which is to say, in the memory of God as having an 
opportunity for redemption by Christ's blood. . . . God will not remember 
them in the time of 'resurrection of the dead, both of the just and 
unjust.' " 

■ r >4N Make Sure of All Things, p. 311. 

r,4! * Survival After Death, p. 38. It is significant that, for the Witnesses, 
a resurrection with a physical body is of lower value than one with a 
nonphysical body, since the latter is experienced only by Christ and the 
144,000, whereas the former is experienced by the more numerous other 
sheep. Again we see in Watchtower teaching a kind of Gnostic disparage- 
ment of the physical body. 

Doctrines 111 

new bodies, it is said, will match the personalities of the individuals 
who are raised — personalities which were neither sinless nor per- 
fect at the moment of death."'"'" These individuals, therefore, are 
raised in a fallen condition; only by the end of the millennium will 
they have been lifted out of their fallen condition and brought to a 
condition of human perfection. 551 

A great number of people will be raised with physical bodies 
during the millennium. One statement, in fact, gives the impres- 
sion that most people who have ever lived will be so raised: "The 
greater mass of humankind will find life here on earth amid 
paradise conditions." 552 There will be some, however, who will 
not be brought back from death. Christ himself will judge who 
deserve to be raised or who could profit from being raised. SM 

Those Not Raised During the Millennium. Let us now note 
which individuals will not be raised from the dead. As we have 
previously observed, none of those killed at Armageddon will be 
raised. All those who knowingly and deliberately did wrong 
will not be raised. 554 Those who died wicked beyond reform or 
correction and beyond redemption by Christ's blood will not be 
raised. 555 This group includes all who have sinned against the 
holy spirit. 550 Among those included in the number of people 
who will not be raised are Adam and Eve 557 ; it is said that, since 

■"■■">" Paradise Lost, p. 234. 

""' Ibid., p. 238; Let God Be True, p. 293. At the beginning of the 
millennium, therefore, all three groups that make up the population of 
the new earth are still imperfect: the Armageddon survivors, the children 
born to them, and those raised from the dead. Gradually, however, as 
the millennium progresses, they advance toward perfection, through the 
ministry of the heavenly High Priest and the 144,000 (You May Survive 
Armageddon, p, 353). This perfecting does not take place without the 
obedient cooperation of millennial mankind with Christ during the thou- 
sand years (This Means Everlasting Life, p. 304). 

5r >- Lei God Be True, p. 279. Jehovah's Witnesses are not universalists, 
since they teach that some will be annihilated. Yet the above statement 
suggests that, in their judgment, the number of those annihilated will be 
small in comparison with the number of the saved. 

r.r>3 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 354. The statement "who could 
profit from being raised" is puzzling, in view of the fact that some who are 
raised during the millennium will disobey God and consequently be annihi- 
lated. Did these individuals really "profit" from their resurrection? Could 
not Christ have foreseen their disobedience and simply have left them 
in the condition of nonexistence in which they were before their resurrec- 

r,M Paradise Lost, p. 229. 

"•"•■"• Let God Be True, p. 289. 

r,r,,i Ibid. How can one, however, sin against an impersonal force? 

557 Paradise Lost, p. 236. 

112 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Adam had his final judgment in the garden of Eden, and was sen- 
tenced there, he will not be raised for any further judgment 
during the millennium.-™ Others who will not be raised include 
Cain, 55 " those who died in the flood, the people of Sodom/' 00 
Judas Iscariot, and the religious hypocrites of Jesus' day." 61 All 
these will simply be left in the nonexistence into which death 
has plunged them. 

The "Resurrection of Life." Jehovah's Witnesses distinguish 
between two kinds of resurrection during the millennium: a "resur- 
rection of life" and a "resurrection of judgment." They base 
this distinction on the words of Jesus recorded in John 5:28-29: 
". . . the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs 
will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a 
resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection 
of judgment" (NWT). The "resurrection of life" includes the 
resurrection of faithful men of God who lived before Pentecost, 
and of other sheep who died before Armageddon/' 6 - The "resur- 
rection of judgment" is that of the rest of mankind who have not 
been judged worthy of being destroyed. BBSi 

The "resurrection of life" includes, first, that of Old Testament 
people who were faithful to God and that of others who lived 
at the time of Christ but died before Pentecost. 564 "These men 
knew that their hope was in a resurrection to life right here on 
earth. And they really had strong faith in the fact that they would 
be resurrected." 30 "' When these ancient worthies are raised, they 
will become "other sheep" of the Right Shepherd. 586 

Many of these Old Testament saints will be made theocratic 

038 L e i God Be True, p. 289. It is striking to note the difference between 
the view of Adam held by Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. By the 
latter, he is not even considered worthy of being raised from the dead; 
by the former, however, he is hailed as one of the noblest characters 
that ever lived and is even looked upon as a god! (The Four Major Cults, 
PP. 41, 51). 

M9 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 354. 

'•<*> Paradise Lost, p. 236. 

r,,il You May Survive Armageddon, p. 354. 

rM - Paradise Lost, p. 228. On p. 231 it is said that the resurrection of 
the 144,000 was also part of the "resurrection of life." 

««» Ibid., p. 229. 

r>64 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 355. 

5BS Paradise Lost, p. 228. 

r>6« You May Survive Armageddon, p. 355. They cannot become mem- 
bers of the 144,000 because they died before Pentecost, when the anointed 
class began to be gathered. 

Doctrines 1 1 3 

princes — that is, will be given princely or leading positions in the 
new earth, as the visible representatives of Christ. 567 Among 
these will be Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, 568 
Moses, and Daniel.""" However, some of the other sheep who 
have survived Armageddon will also be made princes'" 70 ; since 
many of them occupy positions as theocratic princes in the New 
World Society today, before Armageddon, they will carry these 
princely responsibilities with them through Armageddon. 571 Thus 
the inhabitants of the new earth will be given good rulers, chosen 
for this purpose by Jesus Christ himself/' 72 

Since those who are to be made princes must serve as rulers 
of the new earth, they will be raised first. 573 The next group to 
be raised, also as part of the "resurrection of life," will be the 
other sheep who died before Armageddon. 574 These, though 
unable to share the heavenly blessedness of the 144,000, will be 
able to enjoy everlasting life on the paradise earth if they remain 
faithful to God. 575 Though Jesus expressly said that they would 
inherit the kingdom prepared for them (Mt. 25:34), we are given 
to understand that this is not the kingdom of heaven but the 
earthly realm of the kingdom of heaven. 576 

The "Resurrection of Judgment." After the princes and the 
other sheep have been raised, there follows the "resurrection of 
judgment." 577 This is the resurrection of people "whose hearts 
may have been wanting to do right, but who died without ever 
having had an opportunity to hear of God's purposes or to 
learn what He expects of men." 57s These individuals are further 
described as having been sincere in their belief, but having lacked 
an opportunity to learn of righteousness from God. This oppor- 
tunity they will now receive. 57 " This group will include the peni- 

• r >«7 Ibid., p. 355. 

s«h Ibid. 

569 Religion for Mankind, p. 339. 

"70 Let God Be True, pp. 139. 263. 

571 You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 355-56. 

572 Paradise Lost, p. 218. 
■ r >™ Ibid., p. 232. 

t"+ Ibid. 

™ Let God Be True, p. 282. 

57B Paradise Lost, p. 202. 

577 Ibid., p. 233. 

57t< Ibid., p. 229. 

57» Ibid. 

114 Jehovah's Witnesses 

tent thief. 580 Along with him, billions of others will be brought 
back for this "resurrection of judgment.""' 81 These resurrections 
will be spread out over a long period so that people who have been 
raised earlier can help to get things ready for those who are yet 
to return. 582 

After this "resurrection of judgment" has begun, an ambitious 
educational program will be inaugurated. Those now raised from 
the dead must be taught the truth and shown what is right. 583 An 
extensive educational work will therefore be necessary to give in- 
struction in God's law to these unrighteous dead as they arise from 
their tombs. 584 During the millennium they will be learning 
righteousness from the Judge and through his earthly princes. 585 

The Day of Judgment. Jehovah's Witnesses speak of a "Judg- 
ment Day" for mankind; this day, however, is not to be a twenty- 
four-hour day but is to extend through the first thousand years of 
the new world. 588 " The inhabited earth which, according to Paul's 
words in Acts 17:31, is to be judged by Christ is not the present 
world (which has been judged and condemned at Armageddon), 
but the world to come, that is, the inhabited earth as it exists 
during the millennium. 587 Anyone not inhabiting the earth in the 
new world will therefore not be involved in this judgment. 588 
All those who will be on earth during the millennium, however, 
will be involved in this judgment, 589 which is also called a thousand- 
year day of test. 590 

The basis for this judgment will not be the lives people have 
lived before they died, but the works they perform during the mil- 

r,NI1 Ibid. To justify their position, the authors punctuate Lk. 23:43 as 
follows: "Verily I say unto thee this day. With me shalt thou be in Para- 

•™' Ibid., p. 232. 

• r '^ Ibid. 

•™ Ibid., p. 229. 

584 Let God Be True, p. 270. 

~ lKr < Ibid., p. 293. Note that nothing is said in this connection about the 
atoning work of Jesus Christ. The emphasis is all on doing right and learn- 
ing God's laws! Christ's ransom has provided the basis for their resurrec- 
tion from the dead, but their acquisition of everlasting life is dependent 
solely on their obedience to God's laws. 

580 ibid., p. 286. For proof the authors quote II Peter 3:8, "one day is 
with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." 

5" Ibid., pp. 285-86. 

"'»» Ibid., p. 286. 

™>' Ibid., p. 288. 

•"!••>« Make Sure of A il Things, p. 224. 

Doctrines 1 1 5 

lennium. 591 Armageddon survivors will be judged according to 
their faithfulness to God and Christ throughout the thousand-year 
judgment day; if they are approved, they will receive the right to 
eternal life. r ' 9:J Children born of Armageddon survivors will have 
full opportunity for life through Christ the King; they will also be 
judged on the basis of their works — any of them not desiring 
to serve Jehovah will be executed. ri9:! All those raised from the 
dead during the millennium will likewise be judged. Those raised 
in the "resurrection of judgment" will be judged according to what 
they do with the training they now receive; if they obey God's 
commands, they will get everlasting life; but if they do not obey, 
they will go into everlasting death. 504 

Jesus Christ the Right Shepherd died for them [those raised 
in the "resurrection of judgment"] not to put them on judgment 
for their past vile lives, but to provide for them a period of 
judgment in the new world in hope of their reforming and prac- 
ticing good things and deserving to be lifted up to human per- 
fection, thus to be judged according to their future works under 
the Kingdom. They will have the opportunity to become "other 
sheep" by listening to the voice of the Shepherd King and 
obediently following him, that he may gather them into the "one 
flock." 505 

In the case of some this judgment will result in annihilation. 
Those who refuse to obey God's kingdom, after a long enough 
trial, will be sentenced to everlasting destruction [annihilation] be- 
fore the end of the millennium. 5 " Risen ones who prove unre- 
formable or turn rebellious will be executed. 59T The vast majority, 
however, will pass the judgment-test and receive everlasting life 
on the new earth. r,!)K 

We see therefore that, according to Jehovah-Witness teaching, 
most of the inhabitants of the earth will have a second opportunity 
to make life's most momentous decision after they have died. The 

■"'"i Ibid., p. 225; Let God Be True, p. 293. 

™i Let God Be True, p. 290. 

-s" Ibid., p. 269. 

™* Paradise Lost, p. 229. 

r,i,r ' You May Survive Armageddon, p. 356. Note once again that the 
ultimate basis for the salvation of these individuals is not the work of 
Christ for them but their "reforming and practicing good things." This is 
not salvation by grace but salvation by works! 

»»« Paradise Lost, p. 237. 

r>!>7 You May Survive Armageddon, pp. 356-57. 

»»" Let God Be True, p. 279. 

116 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Watchtower conception of the judgment day is radically different 
from that of historic Christianity since, as we have seen, the 
judgment is based, for them, not on deeds done in this life but 
on what is done during the millennium. s:m 

Satan's Final Battle. Though the "Day of Judgment" extends 
throughout the millennium, this is still not the last judgment; "the 
final judgment will not come until the end of Christ's thousand- 
year reign." 60 " At this point the King, Jesus Christ, steps aside 
to allow the Supreme Judge, Jehovah, to make the final test. 6 " 1 
This last test or judgment will occur by means of Satan's final 
battle. At the end of the millennium Satan and his demons will 
be loosed or released from the abyss in which they have been con- 
fined for a thousand years. 6 "- Satan, his mental attitude unchanged, 
will once again seek to usurp Jehovah's position of sovereignty over 
the universe, and will once again try to turn mankind against 
God. 003 He will use some sly appeal to selfishness, making people 
think they will be better off if they follow him. 604 This attempt of 
Satan will be a final test of obedience which everyone on earth 
will have to face — even the princes and the Armageddon sur- 
vivors. 805 The human race which thus faces its final trial is, it 
must be remembered, a perfected one. 808 

Sad to say, however, some of earth's perfected inhabitants will 
be led astray by Satan and will join him. 807 Satan, his demons, 
and his followers now assault the "camp of the holy ones," made up 

. r .9'j At this point we may well ask whether the Battle of Armageddon is 
really a revelation of God's justice, as the Witnesses claim. For is it not 
true that many of those killed in this battle have not had an opportunity 
to hear God's purposes or to learn what He expects of men? In the case 
of millions of these Armageddon victims, if they had happened to die one 
week — or, for that matter, one day — before Armageddon, they would 
have been among those raised in the "resurrection of judgment," and given 
a new opportunity to learn about God's kingdom. But, because they hap- 
pened to have the misfortune of living at the time of Armageddon, they 
were put to death without any hope of resurrection. Is this divine "justice"? 

«"<> Paradise Lost, pp. 237-38. 

001 N ew Heavens and a New Earth, p. 353. 

«'- Lei God Be True, pp. 270, 293. 

«>* Ibid., p. 270. 

«w Paradise Lost, p. 239. 

«»■"> Ibid., p. 238. 

fioe You May Survive Armageddon, p. 357. 

,i0T Let God Be True, p. 270; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 354, 
Another strange phenomenon! Earlier we saw that imperfect parents will 
be able, during the millennium to do a perfect job of training their children 
(above, p. 109). Now we observe that perfect people can still be led astray 
by Satan and can still rebel against God! 

Doctrines 117 

of perfect humanity, and the "beloved city," challenging Jehovah's 
sovereignty for the last time. 808 Fire comes down out of heaven, 
however, and devours all those who follow Satan. 809 All human 
rebels, all the demons, and Satan himself will now be cast into the 
lake of fire and sulphur, which stands for everlasting destruction. 610 
All these will be consigned to the "second death," which means 
annihilation. n " They will be as if they had never existed; "their 
cursed name will rot." 012 

Those who do not yield to Satan's temptation, however, and 
who thus pass this final test, will be declared righteous by Je- 
hovah, 61 ' 1 and will be given the right to perfect life on the para- 
dise earth forever." 14 Thus the inhabitants of the new world will 
receive what Adam lost long ago: everlasting life on a paradise 
earth." 1 r> The earth has now been finally cleansed, since everyone 
who would disobey Jehovah has been annihilated, and everyone 
who remains will have proved that he intends to obey God for- 
ever. 818 The great controversy that has raged throughout the uni- 
verse is now settled 817 ; Jehovah's sovereignty has now been ulti- 
mately vindicated! 

The Final State. As has already been implied, Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses repudiate the doctrine of eternal torment for the finally im- 
penitent, claiming that this doctrine is based on Satan's original 
lie in Eden. (l,M They advance four reasons why this doctrine is to 
be rejected: (1) it is wholly unscriptural; (2) it is unreasonable; 
(3) it is contrary to God's love; and (4) it is repugnant to 
justice. 01 " 

In this connection we should briefly examine Watchtower 
teachings about Gehenna, the New Testament word usually ren- 
dered hell in our English translations. In a note found on pages 
766-67 of their New World Translation of the Christian Greek 

008 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 354. 

«<>u Paradise Lost, p. 239. 

010 Let God Be True, p. 270. 

«" Ibid., p. 293. 

fil2 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 355. 

613 This is the final justification of the other sheep alluded to in n. 317, 
above. Remember that this is a justification based on works rather than 
on faith. 

014 Paradise Lost, p. 240; Let God Be True, pp. 280, 293. 

"in Paradise Lost, p. 234. 

«"> Ibid., p. 239. 

im New Heavens and a New Eartlt, p. 351. 

(il * Make Sure of All Things, p. 155. 

«'* Let God Be True, p. 99. 

118 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Scriptures, the authors explain that the word Gehenna is the Greek 
form of the Hebrew Gei-Hinnom, which means "valley of Hin- 
nom." This valley, which lay west and south of ancient Jerusalem, 
came to be the dumping place and incinerator for the filth of the 
city. Fires were kept burning there continually. The bodies of 
dead animals or of executed criminals were sometimes thrown into 
this valley; occasionally these bodies landed on a ledge, in which 
case they were devoured by worms which did not die until they 
had consumed the fleshy parts. No living animals were ever 
thrown into Gehenna. Hence, it is said, this place could never 
symbolize a region where human souls are "tormented in literal 
fire and attacked by undying immortal worms for ever and ever." 

Because the dead criminals cast here were denied a decent burial 
in a memorial tomb, which symbolizes the hope of a resurrec- 
tion, Gehenna was used by Jesus and his disciples to symbolize 
everlasting destruction, annihilation from God's universe, or 
"second death," an eternal punishment. 620 

The word Hades, as we have seen, 021 is interpreted to mean simply 
the grave. A further refinement is added to the definition of 
Hades, however, on page 155 of Make Sure of All Things: 

After Jesus introduced the truth about life and immortality, only 
the willfully wicked were spoken of as being in Gehenna, the 
expression Hades [translated "hell" in English] being applied to 
the dead in God's memory, those with opportunity or hope of a 

Gehenna, therefore, is for Jehovah's Witnesses a symbol of an- 
nihilation — an annihilation from which there is no awakening, 6a - 
and no resurrection."- 3 People who are cast into Gehenna do not 
remain in the memory of God.' 1 - 4 Gehenna, "the second death," 
and "the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone" all stand for 
the same thing: total annihilation. °- r ' Such total annihilation is 
therefore the doom of the "goats" at the Battle of Armageddon - 6 ; 
of all those who will not be raised during the millennium; of all 
those who, though living on the new earth during the millennium, 

S20 p. 767. Cf. Let God Be True, pp. 95-96; Make Sure of All Things, 
p. 155. 
82i Above, p. 86. 

°-^ Make Sure of All Things, p. 155. 
«->3 Let God Be True, p. 96. 
c-M The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 364. 
«m ibid. 
e '-M Let God Be True, p. 97. 

Doctrines 1 1 9 

refuse to obey God's kingdom 827 ; and of all who follow Satan in 
his final battle. 628 

Jehovah's Witnesses, however, do not claim to be denying the 
doctrine of eternal punishment; they insist that total annihilation 
is eternal punishment since it is total, final, and therefore eternal 
destruction. The authors of Let God Be True render the first 
part of Matthew 25:46 as follows: "These [the 'goats'] will depart 
into everlasting cutting-off [Greek, kolasis]. . . ," adding the com- 
ment, "So the everlasting punishment of the 'goats' is their ever- 
lastingly being cut off from all life." 82 " 

We see, therefore, that in the final state all who have rebelled 
against Jehovah and have refused to obey the laws of His kingdom 
will have been annihilated, and that only those members of the hu- 
man race and of the angelic hosts who have proved loyal to Je- 
hovah are still in existence. Let us now note what Jehovah's 
Witnesses teach about each of these remaining groups. 

The other sheep, including all who were raised during the mil- 
lennium and have passed the millennial tests, will remain forever 
on the renewed earth. 6H " These other sheep are not given im- 
mortality, but will continue to exist everlastingly, though still de- 
pendent on food. 831 No other creature in the universe can now 
cause their death. "It is in this sense that these loyal ones gain 
the endless world to come and can never die any more." 832 It 
must be remembered, however, that the "second death" is always 

°- 7 Paradise Lost, p. 237; You May Survive Armageddon, p. 356. 

*** Let God Be True, p. 270. 

e - 9 P. 97. This passage, as well as the entire question of the denial of 
eternal torment, is further discussed in Appendix E of The Four Major Cults. 
Note that, in this interpretation, no room is left for any gradation in the pun- 
ishment of the finally impenitent — a gradation which is clearly called for by 
Lk. 12:47-48. Cf. the position of the Seventh-day Adventists on this matter 
(The Four Major Cults, p. 142). 

630 This is taught despite the fact that in Rev. 7:9 the "great crowd" is 
pictured as standing "before the throne and before the Lamb," and that in 
verse 15 we are told that the members of the great crowd "are rendering 
him [God] sacred service day and night in his temple" (NWT). The 
Witnesses also teach, however, that the throne of God is in heaven rather 
than on earth (New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 16), and that the Lamb 
is now in heaven (above, pp. 90-91). They further teach that the temple 
at which the 144,000 have been united with Christ is in heaven (Let God 
Be True, p. 132). What Biblical basis, then, do Jehovah's Witnesses have 
for insisting that the "great crowd" of other sheep never gets to heaven 
but remains eternally upon the earth? 

« :)1 Make Sure of All Things, p. 243. 

m - This Means Everlasting Life, p. 305. 

120 Jehovah's Witnesses 

within God's power to administer to possible rebels. a33 God does 
not intend to transport these other sheep to different planets or to 
heaven; He will keep them on the earth as expert gardeners to 
maintain it as a glorious paradise. 634 This earth will never come 
to a flaming end, as some scientists predict, but will endure for- 
ever. 835 

From this new earth all illness, sorrow, tears, and religious con- 
fusion will have been abolished. 036 All men will obey God's com- 
mands. 637 The purpose of life on this new earth will be the wor- 
ship and praise of God and the unselfish service of man. 338 Love 
will therefore prevail: "love first to God with all one's heart, 
mind, soul, and strength, and love for one's perfect, godly neigh- 
bor as for oneself." 639 Everyone will be eternally happy in the 
paradise of the new earth. 640 

What about the 144,000? The "resurrection" of the last of the 
144,000, which has occurred during the millennium, will have 
completed the marriage of Christ, the Lamb of God, to his bride. 341 
It will be recalled that only the 144,000 and Christ are given im- 
mortality, which is defined as follows: "Deathlessness, that is, the 
life principle of the person possessing it cannot be taken away." 842 
The 144,000 remain in heaven throughout eternity; they never 
come down again to inhabit the earth. 843 They continue to reign 
with Christ as his joint-heirs and co-rulers in Jehovah's glorious 
theocracy. 644 The heavenly kingdom, consisting of Christ and the 
"resurrected" 144,000, remains forever as the invisible or heavenly 

033 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 356; cf. This Means Everlasting 
Life, p. 303. So there exists the possibility that even these finally perfected 
inhabitants of the earth may still rebel against God! The above statement, 
however, does not seem to agree with what we find on pp. 239-40 of 
Paradise Lost: ". . . We can be sure that, when he [Jehovah] says that 
everyone who is living on earth is worthy of life [after the final test], never 
again will there be even i single case of rebellion or disobedience against 
him anywhere on earth!" 

034 New Heavens and a New Earth, p, 360. 
°' M Ibid., pp. 356-67. 

« 3 « Let God Be True, p. 271. 

« : " Paradise Lost, p. 240. 

838 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 361. 

639 You May Survive Armageddon, p. 361. 

640 New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 360. 
64i Ibid., p. 322. 

6« Make Sure of All Things, p. 243. 

li4a Let God Be True, p. 132. On the legitimacy of the view that the 
anointed class remains eternally in heaven while the other sheep are on 
the earth, see above, pp. 82-83. 

844 i e t God Be True, p. 132. 

Doctrines 121 

part of the new world. 645 This kingdom will bring unheard-of in- 
crease of blessings throughout eternity. 646 

A word should be said about the continued existence of the 
angels. The sentence of death pronounced upon the devil in 
paradise proves that "holy angels, such as Satan had been up till 
his rebellion, are not immortal, indestructible, but their living for- 
ever is hinged upon their perfect obedience to God." 847 Theo- 
retically, therefore, the holy angels can still be annihilated by God, 
since it is possible that they may become disobedient. Since 
angels are not immortal, they must be sustained by food. 648 

We may summarize the Jehovah-Witness conception of the final 
state in their own words : 

Forever the new earth and the new heavens will remain in 
tune in the unifying worship of the only true God and in the 
unswerving love of righteousness. Perfect mankind's home and 
its radiant sun and silvery moon will endure as long as God's 
kingdom by Christ Jesus, the great Son and Seed of David, and 
that is forever. 849 

6*b ibid., p. 138. 

« 4 « Make Sure of All Things, p. 233. 
047 Survival After Death, p. 62. 

648 Make Sure of All Things, pp. 247 and 243. See above, pp. 57-58. We 
are not told what this food is. 
849 N e w Heavens and a New Earth, p. 356. 

IV. Appendix: Jehovah- Witness Teaching 
on the Person of Christ 

In the preceding chapter the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses 
about the person of Christ have been set forth. In this appendix 
these teachings will be critically evaluated. It is important that we 
do this, since the confession of the full deity of Jesus Christ and of 
His equality with God the Father has always been one of the 
distinguishing marks of Christianity. 

A Revival of Arianism 

A bit of historical orientation will first be in order. Essentially, 
the Jehovah-Witness view of the person of Christ is a revival of 
the Arian heresy of the fourth century a.d. Arius (who lived from 
approximately a.d. 280 to 336) and his followers (called Arians) 
taught that the Son, whom they also called the Logos or Word, 
had a beginning, that the term beget when applied to the genera- 
tion of the Son meant to make, and that therefore the Son was not 
of the same substance as the Father but was a creature who had 
been called into existence by the Father. 1 The Arians taught that 
there was a time when God was alone and was not yet a Father. 2 
Arius went on to ascribe to Christ only a subordinate, secondary, 
created divinity. 3 He asserted that such titles as God or Son of 

i J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (London: Adam & Chas. 
Black, 1958), pp. 227-28. 

- Reinhold Seeberg, Textbook of the History of Doctrines, trans. Chas. 
Hay (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1954), I, 203. 

s D. S. Schaff, "Arianism," in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of 
Religions Knowledge (Grand Rapids: Baker, reprinted 1960), I, 281. 


Appendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 123 

God when applied to Christ were mere courtesy titles: " 'Even if 
He is called God,' wrote Arius, 'He is not God truly, but by 
participation in grace. ... He too is called God in name only.' ' M 
Up to this point, there is virtual identity between the teachings of 
Arius and those of present-day Jehovah's Witnesses on the person 
of Christ. 

It should be borne in mind, however, that there are also differ- 
ences between Arian teachings and those of the Watchtower. 
Among these differences the following may be mentioned: Arius 
and the Arians taught that Christ, the created being through whom 
God made the world, did in the course of time assume a human 
body, though this was a human body without a rational soul. 5 
Thus Arius would not agree with Jehovah's Witnesses that Christ, 
who was a created angel, became a mere man and ceased to be an 
angel while he was on earth. Arius held that Christ continued to 
be the Logos during his stay on earth but assumed a human body 
and directed its activities; the Logos thus took the place of the 
human soul in the being which resulted from this union. Arius 
would therefore repudiate the discontinuity between Christ's pre- 
human and human stages which is implicit in Jehovah-Witness 
Christology. Further, Arius did not deny the personality of the 
Holy Spirit. He taught that the Holy Spirit was an "hypostasis" or 
person, but that his essence was utterly unlike that of the Son. 
The later Arians amplified this thought so as to teach that the 
Holy Spirit was the noblest of the creatures produced by the 
Son at the Father's bidding. 8 While denying the deity of the Holy 
Spirit, therefore, the Arians did not deny His personality, as 
Jehovah's Witnesses do. 7 

On the basic question, however, of the equality of the Son to 
the Father, the Witnesses take the Arian position: the Son is not 
equal to the Father but was created by the Father at a point in 
time. As is well known, the church rejected the Arian position 
at the Council of Nicaea in a.d. 325. The Nicene Creed, drafted by 
this council and accepted universally by Christians today, made 
the following affirmation about the deity of Christ: 

4 Kelly, op. cit., p. 229. The quotation is from Athanasius' Contra Ari- 
anos, I, 6. 

• r > Kelly, op. cit., pp. 281, 283. 

Ibid., pp. 255-56. 

7 It could therefore be observed that, though Jehovah's Witnesses are 
basically Arian in their view of Christ and the Trinity, they are actually 
more heretical than the Arians were. 

1 24 Jehovah's Witnesses 

We believe ... in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, be- 
gotten from the Father, only-begotten, that is, from the substance 
of the Father . . . begotten not made, of one substance with the 
Father. . . . 8 

Specifically directed against the Arians was the closing state- 

But as for those who say, There was when He was not, and, 
Before being born He was not, and that He came into existence 
out of nothing, or who assert that the Son of God is from a dif- 
ferent . . . substance, or is created, or is subject to alteration or 
change — these the Catholic [that is, universal] Church anathe- 
matizes. 6 

By assuming once again the Arian position on the person of 
Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses have separated themselves from his- 
toric Christianity. Since the Watchtower Christology is essential- 
ly Arian, it may be noted that one finds in the writings of Athana- 
sius (295-373 a.d.), the arch-enemy of Arianism, an effective 
refutation of the teachings of the Witnesses about the person 
of Christ. 10 Note, for example, the following statement: "Those 
who call these men [the Arians] Christians are in great and grievous 
error, as neither having studied Scripture, nor understanding 
Christianity at all, and the faith which it contains." 11 He adds 
that to call the Arians Christians is equivalent to calling Caiaphas a 
Christian and to reckon Judas as still among the apostles. 12 
Athanasius further comments that, though the Arians use Scrip- 
tural language, and frequently quote Scripture, their doctrine is 
thoroughly unscriptural u — a statement which could with equal 
propriety be made about Jehovah's Witnesses today. At another 
place he accuses the Arians of harboring the same error as that 

» Kelly, op. cit., p. 232. 
9 Ibid. 

10 A number of these works are to be found in Vol. IV of the Nicene and 
Posl-Nicene Fa/hers, Second Series. Among the more important of these 
are On the Incarnation of the Word, and the Four Discourses Against the 
Arians, both of which are contained in Vol. IV. As one reads the latter 
work, one is struck again and again by the similarities between Arianism 
and Watchtower teachings. 

11 Four Discourses Against the Arians (trans, by Cardinal Newman), 
Discourse I. Section 1, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: 
Eerdmans, 1953), Second Series, IV, 306. 

12 Ibid., I, 2 (i.e., Discourse I, Section 2). 
is Ibid., I, 8. 

Appendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 125 

of the Jews who crucified Jesus since the latter also refused to 
believe that Jesus was truly God, charging Him with blasphemy 
because He claimed to be equal with God. 14 Arians, Athanasius 
alleges, are cloaking Judaism with the name of Christianity. ]ii 

As can be expected, many of the Scripture passages to which 
the ancient Arians appealed are also adduced by Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses today: passages such as Proverbs 8:22, Colossians 1:15, 
John 14:28, Mark 13:32, and so on. A large part of Discourse 
I, all of II, and most of III are occupied with the task of refuting 
the Arian interpretation of these passages. Though present-day 
Biblical scholars would not agree with all of Athanasius's exegeses, 
much of what he says in these Discourses is still valuable for us as 
we encounter Watchtower misinterpretations of these and kindred 

Appealing to John 1:3, which tells us that without the Word 
nothing was made, Athanasius asks, How then did the Word 
Himself come into being, if He was one of the "things that were 
made"? If, on the contrary, all things were made through the 
Word, the Son Himself cannot have been made, cannot be a mere 
created work. 16 Athanasius reveals the soteriological motive for 
his opposition to Arius when he says, "For if, being a creature, 
He [Christ] had become man, man had remained just what he 
was, not joined to God; for how had a work been joined to the 
Creator by a work?" 17 To the same effect is the following: 

But this would not have come to pass [the blessings of our fu- 
ture life in glory], had the Word been a creature; for with a crea- 
ture the devil, himself a creature, would have ever continued the 
battle, and man, being between the two, had been ever in peril 
of death, having none in whom and through whom he might be 
joined to God and delivered from all fear. 18 

Athanasius's point here is well taken: If Christ was only a crea- 
ture, as the Arians asserted, what guarantee have we that He 
really conquered the devil, who is also a creature, and that He 
truly united us to God? How can a mere creature deliver us from 
the power of another creature? The same devastating criticism 
can be leveled against the Christology of the Watchtower. 

'•* Ibid., Ill, 27. 
« Ibid., Ill, 28. 
i« Ibid., II, 71. 
i-t Ibid., II, 67. 
i» Ibid., II, 70. 

126 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Critique of Watchtower Exegesis 

We proceed next to examine some of the more important Watch- 
tower interpretations of Scripture passages bearing on the person 
of Christ. It will be remembered that the Witnesses claim to be 
guided only by the Word of God and not at all by the opinions of 
men. Let us see whether their use of Scripture in connection 
with the alleged creatureliness of Christ supports their claim. 19 

Old Testament Passages. Beginning with Old Testament pas- 
sages, let us look first at a text to which Jehovah's Witnesses 
appeal as teaching that Christ was a created being, Proverbs 
8:22. In What Has Religion Done for Mankind? this passage is 
quoted in Moffatt's translation, "The Eternal formed me first of 
his creation, first of all his works in days of old"; previous to 
this quotation the comment is made: "In the proverbs of wisdom 
he [Jehovah's only-begotten son] speaks of himself as wisdom and 
calls attention to his being a creation of the eternal heavenly 

It is interesting to observe that the ancient Arians also used 
this passage to support their views of the person of Christ, 
utilizing the Septuagint translation of the verse, "The Lord created 
me (ektise) . . . ."- 1 So much did the Arians make of this 
text, in fact, that Athanasius felt it necessary to devote the major 
part of his second Discourse against the Arians to an exposition 
of this passage. -- 

Though Proverbs 8:22 figured largely in the Christological 
controversies of the early centuries, most modern interpreters 
agree that the purpose of the author of Proverbs here was 
not to give a dogmatic description of the "origin" of the Second 
Person of the Trinity, but rather to set forth the value of wisdom 
as a guide to be followed by believers. In pursuit of this pur- 
pose, the author presents a poetic personification of wisdom. By 
this personified wisdom the statement is made, "Jehovah possessed 
me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old." 2 * 

19 Needless to say, no attempt will here be made to give an exhaustive 
survey of the Biblical evidence for the deity of Christ. The material which 
follows is an endeavor to refute the type of Biblical interpretation the 
Witnesses adduce to support their view of Christ. 

20 P. 37. Cf. The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 43, where a similar 
use is made of the passage. 

-'i Kelly, op. cit., p. 230. 
-- Discourse II, Sections 18-82. 

- H ASV. A marginal note appended to the word possessed reads: "or 
formed." The Hebrew verb here used, qanah, may also be rendered begat 

Appendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 127 

The point of the passage is that wisdom is older than creation 
and therefore deserves to be followed by all. To use Proverbs 
8:22 as ground for a denial of the eternity of the Son — a 
doctrine clearly taught in the rest of Scripture — is to use the 
passage in an unwarranted manner. 24 

Isaiah 9:6 is commonly understood by Christians to be one of 
the clearest Old Testament attestations to the deity of Jesus Christ 
found anywhere. In the New World Translation it reads as 
follows: "For there has been a child born to us, there has been a 
son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his 
shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, 
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." It is acknowl- 
edged even by Jehovah's Witnesses that this passage predicts the 
coming Messiah. Yet the Witnesses evade the clear teaching of 
the passage when they say, "He [Jesus Christ] is a 'mighty God,' 
but not the Almighty God who is Jehovah (Isa. 9:6)."-" The 
fact of the matter is, however, that the Hebrew expression here 
translated Mighty God ('eel gibhoor) is also used in Isaiah 10:21, 
where the New World Translation has: "A mere remnant will 
return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God." It becomes 
clear from verse 20 of this chapter that the "Mighty God" 
to whom the remnant of Jacob is said to be about to return is 
none other than Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel. Yet precisely 
the same Hebrew expression, 'eel gibboor, is used in Isaiah 10:21 
and in Isaiah 9:6. If 'eel gibboor in 10:21 means Jehovah, by 
what stretch of the imagination may the same phrase in 9:6 
be interpreted to mean someone less than Jehovah? 

In this connection it ought also to be observed that the Hebrew 
word 'eel in [saiah usually denotes Jehovah, the only true God; 
when it does not do so (in 44:10, 15, 17; 45:20; 46:6), it is used 
to describe an idol made by men's hands. Surely Isaiah did not 
intend to say that the coming Messiah would be an idol god! 
It ought also to be noted that the expression 'eel gibboor is, in 
Old Testament literature, a traditional designation of Jehovah — 

(see C. F. Burney. "Christ as the ARCHEE of Creation," Journal of Theo- 
logical Studies, XXVII [1926|, 160-77). 

-' 4 Cf. Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on Proverbs, ail loc; W. H. Gispen, 
De Spreuken Van Salomo (Kampen: Kok, 1952), pp. 133-34; and Kenneth 
S. Kantzer. "Wisdom," in Baker's Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids: 
Baker, 1960), p. 554. 

•■*> The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 47. 

128 Jehovah's Witnesses 

see Deuteronomy 10:17, Jeremiah 32:18, and Nehemiah 9:32. 26 
We are forced to conclude that Jehovah's Witnesses have not lis- 
tened to Scripture here, but have simply imposed their precon- 
ceived view of Christ upon the Bible. 

New Testament Passages. Probably the best-known New Testa- 
ment passage to which the Witnesses appeal is John 1:1, which 
is translated in the 1961 edition of the New World Translation 
as follows: "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was 
with God, and the Word was a god." Note that the word God 
is capitalized the first time it occurs in the text but not the second 
time, and that in the second instance it is preceded by the indefinite 
article. The impression this translation intends to convey is that 
the Word (Jesus Christ) is not God but a god — not equal to 
Jehovah God but a subordinate deity. 

By way of refutation, it should be observed, first, that Jehovah's 
Witnesses thus take a polytheistic position, affirming that there 
exists, besides Jehovah God, someone who is a lesser god. This 
position is, however, in direct conflict with Scripture, which affirms 
in Deuteronomy 4:35, "You have been shown, so as to know that 
Jehovah is the [true] God; there is no other besides him" (NWT); 
and in I Corinthians 8:4, "We know that an idol is nothing in 
the world, and that there is no God but one" (NWT). How, 
then, can the Witnesses affirm that Jesus Christ is a god? To be 
sure, the New Testament does occasionally speak of gods other 
than Jehovah, but then only in the sense of false gods. So, for 
example, in Acts 28:6 the term a god (theon) describes what the 
superstitious inhabitants of Malta thought Paul was after they 
had observed that the viper did not harm him. 27 And in 
Galatians 4:8 Paul observes, "Nevertheless, when you did not know 
God, then it was that you slaved for those who by nature are not 
gods (theois)" (NWT). Do the Watchtower theologians intend 
to teach that Jesus Christ is a god in one of the two senses just 
described? Yet the only times the New Testament speaks of 
gods (theoi) other than Jehovah is when it is describing false gods 

-" The only difference between these expressions and the one in Isa. 9:6 
is the addition of the word gadool (meaning great), and of the definite arti- 
cle. In Isa. 10:21, however, the definite article is also missing; yet the 
reference is unmistakably to Jehovah. Cf. Delitzsch's Commentary on the 
Prophecies of Isaiah on Isa. 9:6. 

-" Cf. also Acts 14:11, where the multitude at Lystra is reported as say- 
ing about Paul and Barnabas, "The gods [hoi theoi] have . . . come down 
to us" (NWT). 

Appendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 1 29 

or idols. -* By calling Jesus Christ a god, therefore, Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses are actually making themselves guilty of idolatry and 

In an appendix found on pages 773-77 of their New World 
Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (published in 
1951), the Watchtower editors explain why they have rendered 
John 1 : 1 as they did. They make clear that when the word theos 
(the Greek word for God) first appears in this verse, it occurs 
with a definite article {pros ton theon), whereas when it appears 
the second time, it does not have the definite article (kai theos 
een ho logos). The editors go on to justify their translation, 
"and the Word was a god," by saying, 

Careful translators recognize that the articular construction of 
the noun [that is, the construction in which a noun appears with 
the definite article] points to an identity, a personality, whereas 
an anarthrous construction [a construction in which a noun ap- 
pears without a definite article] points to a quality about some- 
one (p. 774). 

In refutation, let it be emphatically stated that this observation 
is simply not true to fact. In the article on theos in the most 
recent Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, it is said that 
theos is used in the New Testament "quite predominantly of the 
true God, sometimes with, sometimes without the article." 29 As 
a matter of fact, Jehovah's Witnesses do not follow the above- 
mentioned rule themselves in their New World Translation. In 
the very chapter in which John 1:1 is found, for example, the 
word theos occurs at least four other times without the definite 
article, and yet in each instance it is rendered God, not a god. 
In John 1:6 we read, in the New World Translation, "There arose 
a man that was sent forth as a representative of God; his name 
was John." Since the Greek has para theou (no definite article), 
the Witnesses, to be consistent with their observation about the 
function of the definite article, ought to translate: "sent from a 
god." Yet here they render the anarthrous theos by God. In 
verse 12 the expression tekna theou (again the anarthrous theos) 

'-'* It might be objected that in Jn. 10:34 and 35 the term gods (theoi) 
is applied to Old Testament judges. Yet surely the Witnesses do not in- 
tend to say that Christ is a god only in the sense in which these judges 
could be called gods since they affirm that Christ is superior to all other 

- 9 Wm. F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, Greek-English Lexicon of the 
New Testament (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), p. 357. 

1 30 Jehovah's Witnesses 

is rendered "God's children," and in verse 13 the words ek 
theou egenneetheesan are translated "born . . . from God." Why 
not "children of a god," and "born from a god"? In the 18th 
verse we read: "No man has seen God at any time." But the 
Greek again has the anarthrous theos: Theon oudeis heooraken. 
Why do the Witnesses not translate, "No man hath seen a god 
at any time"? The above makes clear that Jehovah's Witnesses 
do not really believe their own statement about the articular and 
anarthrous construction of the noun since they do not follow this 
rule in their own translation. We are compelled to conclude that 
they translate John 1:1 as they do, not on the basis of careful 
grammatical study of the Bible, but on the basis of their own doc- 
trinal presuppositions. 

In the particular construction in which theos occurs in the last 
part of John 1:1, it functions as a predicate noun preceding the 
copulative verb een, meaning was. The authors of the appendix 
alluded to above contend that the absence of the article before 
the predicate noun in John 1:1 indicates that the predicate noun 
designates merely the class to which the subject is referred and 
excludes the idea that the Word is the same God as the God with 
whom he is said to be (pp. 774-75). 

In reply, however, it should be observed that, according to a 
recognized Greek scholar, 

A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows 
the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb. 
. . . The opening verse of John's Gospel contains one of the many 
passages where this rule suggests the translation of a predicate 
as a definite noun. . . . The absence of the article [before theos} 
does not make the predicate indefinite or qualitative when it pre- 
cedes the verb; it is indefinite in this position only when the con- 
text demands it. The context makes no such demand in the 
Gospel of John, for this statement cannot be regarded as strange 
in the prologue of the gospel which reaches its climax in the 
confession of Thomas [John 20:28, "My Lord and my God"J. :!0 

In the light of Colwell's rule, a definite article is not needed before 
the second theos in John 1 : 1 in order to make it definite. As a 
matter of fact, the Witnesses themselves testify to the validity of 
Colwell's rule in their translation of John 19:21, which in the 
New World Translation reads as follows: "However, the chief 

30 Ernest C. Colwell, "A Definite Rule for the Use of the Article in the 
Greek New Testament," Journal of Biblical Literature, LII (1933), 13, 21. 

Appendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 131 

priests of the Jews began to say to Pilate: 'Do not write, "The King 
of the Jews," but that he said, "I am King of the Jews" '." 
Though in the earlier part of the verse the word for king has the 
definite article {ho basileus), in the latter part the word occurs 
without the definite article (basileus eimi toon loudaioon) . The 
construction here is quite parallel to that in John 1:1, since 
basileus is a predicate noun, preceding the copulative verb eimi 
(I am). In accordance with previous policy, therefore, the Watch- 
tower translators should have rendered these words: "I am a 
king of the Jews." Quite inconsistently, however, they here con- 
sider the predicate noun definite, though it lacks the definite 
article: "I am King of the Jews." Why, then, did they not con- 
sider the predicate noun definite in John 1:1? 

The answer is not difficult to find. Jehovah's Witnesses them- 
selves tell us why they have adopted their rendering of John 1:1 
on page 774 of the afore-mentioned appendix: 

... It is presumptuous to say . . . that the sentence should there- 
fore be translated "and the Word was God." That would mean 
that the Word was the God with whom the Word was said to be. 
This is unreasonable; for how can the Word be with the God 
and at the same time be that same God? 31 

It has thus become clear that the ultimate ground for the Wit- 
nesses' translation of this important passage is not the authority 
of Scripture, but their own rationalistic, anti-Trinitarian theology. 
What they are saying, in effect, is this: we refuse to accept as 
Scriptural what our minds cannot grasp! 

At this time the reader's attention is called to what is perhaps 
the most scholarly refutation of Watchtower teachings on the 
person of Christ ever penned: The Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus 
Christ, by Bruce M. Metzger, Professor of New Testament Lan- 
guage and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary. 32 In 
this twenty-page article Professor Metzger adduces several Scrip- 
ture passages which prove the full deity of Jesus Christ and then 
proceeds to attack the Jehovah-Witness translations and exegeses 

31 Trinitarians would reply that, though the relationship between the 
Father and the Son is not rationally explicable, it is nevertheless not con- 
trary to reason. If the Triune God consists of three Persons in one Being, 
the Son can be both with God and God. 

:1 - Originally published in the April, 1953, issue of Theology Today, this 
article has been reprinted in pamphlet form and may be obtained from the 
Theological Book Agency, Princeton, N. J., at 15 cents per copy, or eight 
copies for one dollar. 

1 32 Jehovah's Witnesses 

of a number of New Testament passages dealing with the person 
of Christ. Anyone desiring a competent evaluation of Watch- 
tower exegetical methods should obtain a copy of Metzger's 

Professor Metzger shows, for example, on pages 76-77 of this 
article that the Witnesses have without any warrant whatever in- 
serted the word other four times into their translation of Colossians 
1:15-17. The latter part of the 16th verse, for example, which 
in the American Standard Version reads as follows, "all things 
have been created through him, and unto him," has been trans- 
lated by Jehovah's Witnesses as follows: "All other things have 
been created through him and for him." Since the word other 
is not found in the Greek text in any one of these places, Metzger 
concludes that the word has simply been inserted by the translators 
"in order to make the passage refer to Jesus as being on a par with 
other created things." We see again that the Witnesses have 
smuggled their own theology into their translations/ 18 

On page 78 one will find a discussion of the Watchtower trans- 
lation of Philippians 2:6, "Who [Christ], although he was existing 
in God's form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that 
he should be equal to God." The impression given by this trans- 
lation is that Christ was not equal to God and even scorned such 
an equality. Metzger proceeds to show that this translation rests 
upon a misunderstanding of the Greek. 

Next Dr. Metzger indicates that the New World Translation 
obscures the clear attestation of two New Testament passages to 
the deity of Christ: Titus 2: 13 and II Peter 1 : 1 (p. 79). He cites 
Granville Sharp's rule, that when a Greek kai (and) "connects 
two nouns of the same case, if the article precedes the first noun 
and is not repeated before the second noun, the latter always 
refers to the same person that is expressed or described by the 
first noun." On the basis of this principle of Greek grammar, 
Metzger contends that Titus 2:13 should be translated, "the 

w.', Whereas in the 1951 ed. of the New World Translation of the Christian 
Greek Scriptures the word other was simply inserted into the text without 
any punctuation marks, in the revised ed. of 1961 brackets have been placed 
around the word other in these four instances. On p. 6 of the latter ed. 
we read. "Brackets enclose words inserted to complete or clarify the sense 
in the English text." Though the addition of brackets makes it clear that 
the word other is not found in the original, the retention of the word in 
the revised edition indicates that the interpretation underlying this mis- 
translation has not been repudiated. 

A ppendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 133 

appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ"; 
and that II Peter 1 : 1 should be rendered, "the righteousness of 
our God and Saviour Jesus Christ."* 4 

On pages 79-80 Metzger criticizes the New World rendering of 
Revelation 3:14, which makes the exalted Christ refer to him- 
self as "the beginning of the creation by God." He points out 
that "by God" would have required the preposition hupo, whereas 
the Greek has the genitive case, iou Theou, which means of God 
and not by God. The passage, Metzger concludes, does not teach 
that Christ was created by God but rather that He is the origin 
or primary source of God's creation. 

On pages 81-82 Metzger takes up passages which seem to 
teach a subordination of the person of the Son to the Father. 
He makes clear, for example, that John 14:28, "My Father is 
greater than I," does not intend to picture a permanent subor- 
dination of the Son to the Father, but rather describes Christ's 
condition while in the state of humiliation in contrast to the 
celestial glory which He was about to receive. 

Christ as the Son of God. The most recent Jehovah-Witness 
publication in which their view of the person of Christ is set 
forth and defended is a 64-page booklet published in 1962, 
entitled "The Word" — Who Is He? According to John. Though 
much that is found in this booklet simply repeats what had been 
taught in earlier publications, one or two points made here will 
require some attention. The authors claim that the title Son 
of God, ascribed to Christ by John the Baptist, Nathanael, John 
the apostle, Martha, and the Jews, implied that Christ was not 
the Second Person of the Trinity but a person inferior to God the 
Father (pp. 19-20; 24ff.). In proof of this contention the 
authors adduce Christ's discussion with the Jews who had taken 
up stones to stone him, recorded in John 10. Though Jesus 
here said, "I and the Father are one," the authors contend, he 
did not claim to be equal to the Father, but rather claimed to be 
less than God (pp. 25-26). Though the Old Testament spoke of 
certain judges as "gods" (verse 35 of John 10, referring to Ps. 
82:6), Jesus, it is said, here only claimed to be the Son of God; 
hence the Jews were quite in error when they thought Christ was 
uttering blasphemy (pp. 27-28). 

:i4 It is significant to note that at both of these places the RSV, which 
some years ago was accused by certain conservative theologians of having 
liberal leanings, gives a clearer testimony to the deity of Christ than either 
the KJ or the ASV! 

134 Jehovah's Witnesses 

By way of refutation, it should first be pointed out that, ac- 
cording to John 5:18, the Jews sought to kill Jesus "because not 
only was he breaking the Sabbath but he was also calling God 
his own Father, making himself equal to God" (NWT). The 
Jews, therefore, did not understand the expression Son of God 
as Jehovah's Witnesses apparently do. For the latter, the term 
means someone inferior to the Father. By the Jews of Jesus 1 
day, however, the term was interpreted as meaning full equality 
with the Father, and it was on account of this claim that they 
sought to kill him. :tr ' 

This point becomes quite clear when we compare John 10:33 
with 10:36. The former verse reads, "We [the Jews] are stoning 
you [Jesus], not for a fine work, but for blasphemy, even because 
you, although being a man, make yourself a god" (NWT). 3 * The 
latter passage reads, "Do you say to me whom the Father sancti- 
fied and dispatched into the world, 'You blaspheme,' because 1 said, 
I am God's Son?" (NWT). Putting together these two verses 
(if we translate verse 33 as in the standard versions), we see that 
Christ's calling himself the Son of God was interpreted by the 
Jews as a claim to equality with the Father. 

When Jesus was tried by Caiaphas, furthermore, He was asked, 
"By the living God 1 put you under oath to tell us whether you 
are the Christ the Son of God!" (Mt. 26:63, NWT). After 
Jesus had answered this question in the affirmative, the high priest 
is reported to have said, "He has blasphemed! What further 
need do we have of witnesses?" (v. 65, NWT). Obviously, the 
high priest understood the expression Son of God as meaning 
full equality with the Father since he called Jesus' assumption of 
this title blasphemy. If Jesus meant by the term Son of God 
something less than equality with the Father, He would by His 
affirmative answer be guilty of uttering an untruth, since for the 

'■'■■> According to Lev. 24:16 one who blasphemed the name of Jehovah 
was to be put to death by stoning. Since, in the eyes of these Jews, Jesus 
was a mere man, his claim to equality with the Father was considered 
blasphemy by them — a sin worthy of the death penalty. 

mi Here the NWT is quite misleading. In the light of John 5:18, quoted 
above, what the Jews accused Jesus of was the claim of being equal to 
Jehovah God. Though the definite article is missing before theon in 10:33 
(it occurs only in p (iB , prima /nanus), it is found in 5:18. where the reason 
why the Jews sought to kill Jesus is also stated: he made himself equal to 
God (ion theoo) . 10:33 should therefore be rendered as in the KJ. ASV, 
and RSV: "make yourself God." 

A ppendix: Teaching on the Person of Ch Hst 135 

Sanhedrin this title meant such equality. Surely if Jesus did not 
intend His words to be understood as meaning what the high 
priest and the rest of the Sanhedrin thought they meant, He could 
have and should have corrected their understanding of these words. 

When, after the trial before Caiaphas, Jesus appeared before 
Pilate, the Jews said to the governor, "We have a law, and ac- 
cording to the law he [Jesus] ought to die, because he made himself 
God's son" (Jn. 19:7, NWT). :,? Again it is crystal-clear that 
the Jews understood the expression Son of God, which Jesus 
acknowledged as descriptive of himself, as meaning nothing less 
than full equality with the Father. Is it likely, now, that present- 
day Jehovah's Witnesses know better what Jesus claimed to be, 
when He called Himself the Son of God, than the Jews who were 
His contemporaries? 

Christ as the Proper Object of Worship. What do Jehovah's 
Witnesses do with what is perhaps the clearest direct affirmation 
of the deity of Christ in the New Testament, the words of Thomas 
to the risen Jesus, "My Lord and my God"? Four pages of 
"The Word" — Who is He? According to John are devoted to an 
exposition of this passage (pp. 48-51). Before evaluating the 
interpretation of this text found in this booklet, however, we must 
first observe what the rest of the New Testament teaches about 
Christ as a proper object of worship. 

The Greek word proskuneoo, usually translated worship, is 
used some sixty times in the New Testament. It may occasionally 
designate the deference given by one man to another who is his 
superior, as in Matthew 18:26, where the RSV translates "im- 
ploring him." The word is used in Revelation 3:9 to describe 
the honor which will be rendered to the church at Philadelphia 
by those who were of the synagogue of Satan. :,;< 

The word proskuneoo is, however, much more frequently used 
to describe the worship of God. It is so used in the following 
passages: Matthew 4:10, Luke 4:8, John 4:21-24, I Corinthians 
14:25, Revelation 4:10, 7:11, 14:7, 19:4, 10, 22:9. Christ 
Himself, in fact, affirms with unmistakable clarity that worship 
in the sense of religious veneration may be offered to God alone. 

37 Why in this instance the NWT does not capitalize the word son, where- 
as in Mt. 26.63, giving the high priest's question to Jesus, the word son 
is capitalized, we are not told. 

:!S Lenski, however, is of the opinion that proskuneoo here designates 
the worship of the exalted Christ in the presence of the Philadelphian church 
(The Interpretation of St. Jolm's Revelation, p. 143). 

136 Jehovah's Witnesses 

For when the devil asks Jesus to fall down and worship him 
(proskuneoo), Jesus replies, "It is Jehovah your God you must 
worship (proskuneoo), and it is to him alone you must render 
sacred service" (Mt. 4:10, NWT). :i " On the basis of these 
words of Jesus, therefore, it should be clear that, if Jesus Christ 
is not the same being as Jehovah, he may not be worshiped by 
men. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus Christ is not the same 
being as Jehovah. We should therefore expect to find the New 
Testament forbidding the worship of Christ. On the contrary, 
however, we find that in the New Testament the worship of 
Christ is not only permitted but praised. 

By way of negation, we should observe that the worship of 
certain individuals other than Jehovah or Christ is specifically 
forbidden. As we just saw, Jesus refused to worship the devil. 
In the book of Revelation the worship of the beast — an 
apocalyptic symbol of anti-Christian worldly power — is con- 
sidered the epitome of rebellion against God, punishable by ever- 
lasting torment (Rev. 14:9-11). In three specific instances in 
the New Testament, worship is offered to individuals only to be 
rejected by them. When Cornelius falls down to worship Peter, the 
latter declines to be so honored, saying, "I myself am also a man" 
(Acts 10:25-26, NWT). When John the Apostle falls down to 
worship the one who has been speaking to him, the latter says, "Be 
careful! Do not do that! All I am is a fellow slave of you and 
of your brothers who have the work of witnessing to Jesus. Wor- 
ship God" (Rev. 19:10, NWT). 40 And when John again 
falls down in worship, this time before the feet of the angel that 
had been showing him the things he had seen, the angel says, 
"Be careful! Do not do that! All I am is a fellow slave of you 
and of your brothers who are prophets and of those who are 
observing the words of this scroll. Worship God" (Rev. 22:9, 
NWT). Note that in the last two passages it is explicitly asserted 
that John may not worship creatures but may worship only God! 41 

:l!l Jesus is here quoting Dent. 6:13, where the Hebrew has Yahweh Eloo- 
heykha, Jehovah your God. In both the Matthew passage and the parallel 
passage in Luke (4:8). in fact, Christ is reported as having added a word 
which does not occur in the Hebrew: the word alone (NWT) or only 
(KJ, ASV, & RSV). Christ thus makes the command even more explicitly 
exclusive than it is in Deuteronomy 

40 Some commentators hold that the individual here spoken of is an angel, 
whereas others suggest that he was a fellow man. In either interpretation, 
he was only a creature; hence John was not permitted to worship him. 

41 In each passage alluded to in the above paragraph, the Greek word for 
worship is proskuneoo. 

Appendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 137 

What, now, about Jesus Christ? Is there any indication in the 
New Testament that Christ prohibited people from worshiping 
him, as Peter did and as the angel did? Did Christ ever say to 
anyone: "Do not worship me, for I am only a creature. Worship 
God but do not worship me"? There is no such indication. On 
the contrary, we find numerous instances where people do worship 
Christ; in some of these the worship is commended or recognized 
as evidence of true faith, and in none of these is this worship for- 

Let us look at some of these instances. The leper described in 
Matthew 8:2 worshiped Jesus (ASV). 4 - A ruler, identified by the 
other Synoptists as Jairus, is reported as worshiping Jesus (Matt. 
9:18, ASV). After Jesus had walked on the water and had 
quieted the wind, the disciples are said to have worshiped him, 
saying, "Of a truth thou art the Son of God" (Mt. 14:33, 
ASV). 4;i The Canaanitish woman worshiped Jesus, saying, "Lord, 
help me" (Mt. 15:25, ASV). The man born blind, having 
been informed by Jesus that He was the Son of man, said, "Lord, 
I believe. And he worshiped him" (Jn. 9:35, 38, ASV). 44 

4 - The NWT here renders the verb proskuneoo as doing obeisance, though 
in many of the passages previously discussed it rendered this verb with the 
word worship. On p. 9 of the 1951 ed. of the New World Translation of 
the Christian Greek Scriptures, it is said, "To each major word [of the New 
Testament] we have assigned one meaning and have held to that meaning 
as far as the context permitted." In the case of the word proskuneoo, 
however, the translators of the NWT have not assigned the same meaning 
throughout: sometimes they render this word worship, and sometimes do 
obeisance. It will be granted, of course, that there are instances in the 
New Testament where proskuneoo does not mean worship in the full 
sense of the word (e.g., in Mt. 18:26, in Mk. 15:19. and probably in 
Rev. 3:9). But the question is whether Jehovah's Witnesses are warranted 
in using the weaker expression, do obeisance, in every instance where pros- 
kuneoo is used in connection with Jesus (except in Heb. 1:6, where even 
the NWT has worship). One suspects that it is not grammatical but theo- 
logical considerations which have led them to translate the verb in this way. 

48 Though the NWT again has did obeisance rather than worship, it is 
quite clear that the honor shown to Christ by the disciples at this time was 
not mere deference to a superior creature, but the worship of one recognized 
as equal to God. Earlier Matthew had recorded the words of the Father 
at Jesus' baptism : "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" 
(3:17). In the light of these earlier words, in the light of Jewish monothe- 
ism, and in the light of what was said about the Jewish understanding of the 
expression Son of God, surely nothing less could have been meant here 
than the worship of Christ as one who was God! 

44 Though the ASV text here has Son of God, Son of man is found in 
the older mss., and is therefore the better reading. It is quite evident from 
the context, however, that what is denoted here by proskuneoo is not mere 
respect for a person in authority, but religious worship — worship which 
is, in fact, an act of faith. 

138 Jehovah's Witnesses 

After Jesus' resurrection, the women who ran from the empty tomb 
and the disciples on the mountain in Galilee are said to have 
worshiped Him (Mt. 28:9 and 17, ASV). In each of the above 
instances the same word is used which is used of the worship of 
God: proskuneoo. In each of the above instances Jesus willingly 
receives the worship rendered to Him, and in no case does He 
tell anyone not to worship Him. And yet this is the same Jesus 
who had said to Satan, "Thou shalt worship {proskuneoo) the 
Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Mt. 4:10, 
ASV). And the same New Testament which clearly forbids 
the worship of a creature — even of an angelic creature — both 
permits and approves the worship of Jesus Christ. Surely here 
is clear proof of Christ's deity! 

To all of this Jehovah's Witnesses might reply: the obeisance 
which was shown to Jesus by these various individuals was only 
a kind of respect shown to a superior creature, and does not imply 
that Jesus was God. How shall we answer this objection? 

It will be granted that the word proskuneoo when used by 
New Testament writers does not always designate the adoration 
of God. As we have seen, it may occasionally be used of an act 
of respect paid to a creature. But it is clear from Jesus' own 
words, as recorded in Matthew 4:10, that when proskuneoo 
designates an act of religious veneration, it means worship, and 
that such worship as is described by this word may be offered 
only to God. And it will also be clear to anyone who takes 
the trouble to study the instances just enumerated that the act 
described in these passages by proskuneoo was nothing less than 
religious veneration. 45 

It should further be noted that, according to Watchtower 
teaching, Jesus Christ while on earth was only a man, the exact 
equivalent of Adam before the fall. 4fl When Peter told Cornelius 
not to worship him (Acts 10:25-26), the former gave as his 
reason for refusing this worship: "I myself am also a man" 

4r > Though this is not specifically stated in the instances of the leper and 
of Jairus, it will be remembered that both of these men prostrated them- 
selves before Jesus because they believed that He could perform a miracle 
for them. Though this act may not yet have been an expression of true, 
saving faith at that moment, it was certainly an act of religious veneration 
in each case. One might counter by saying that the apostles, who were only 
human, also performed miracles. True, but people did not prostrate them- 
selves before the apostles in worship. When one person began to do so, he 
was rebuked (Acts 10:25-26). 

46 See above, pp. 63-64, 66. 

Appendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 139 

(NWT). Here the New World Translation renders proskuneoo 
with did obeisance. If, now, Peter had to tell someone not to do 
obeisance to him because he was only a man, by what right 
could Jesus Christ, who according to Watchtower teachings was 
only a man, receive obeisance from people without rebuking them? 

After Jesus' resurrection, so the Witnesses teach, he became a 
spirit-creature, higher in status than he had been when he lived 
on earth as a man, but still only a creature. The life he now 
enjoys is not the life of a divine Person with a human nature but 
the life of an exalted angel called Michael. 47 In Revelation 22:9, 
however, the angel who had been speaking to John told the latter 
not to fall down and worship him {proskuneoo), but to worship 
(proskuneoo) only God. If Christ after his resurrection was only 
an angel — higher, to be sure, than the other angels, but less 
than God — how could he accept the worship (proskuneoo) of the 
women and the disciples without rebuking them? 

All these instances in which Jesus was worshiped come to a 
climax in the adoration of Thomas recorded in John 20:28. When 
Thomas saw Jesus the week after he had expressed disbelief in 
Jesus' resurrection, he said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 
(NWT). If Jesus were not God, he should have rebuked Thomas 
at this point. Instead of rebuking him, however, Jesus praised 
Thomas, saying, "Because you have seen me have you believed? 
Happy are those who do not see and yet believe" (v. 29, NWT). 
Surely here is indisputable proof that Jesus recognized Himself 
to be God and not only permitted but encouraged believers to 
worship Him as such! 

What, now, do Jehovah's Witnesses do with this verse? On 
one occasion a Witness who came to the author's door affirmed 
that when Thomas said, "My Lord," he was looking at Jesus, 
but that when he said, "My God," he was looking up to heaven 
and addressing the Father. As Professor Metzger has pointed out, 
however, the introductory words make this interpretation impos- 
sible: "Thomas said to him [that is, to Jesus]: 'My Lord and my 
God!'" (NWT). 48 

In "The Word" — Who is He? According to John the Witnesses 
now grant that Thomas did say all of these words to Jesus. They 
go on to assert, however, that if Thomas had meant that Jesus was 
the only true God, Jesus would certainly have reproved him. Since 

* 7 See above, pp. 65-67. 
** Op. cit., p. 71, n. 13. 

140 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Jesus did not reprove him, so they argue, Thomas could not have 
meant this (p. 50). What, then, did Thomas mean when he 
said to Jesus, "My God"? He meant what the Apostle John 
meant: that Jesus was the Son of God (20:31). John did not 
say that Jesus was God the Son; he only said that Jesus was the 
Son of God. By Son of God John meant a being who was not 
the Second Person of the Trinity but a created being inferior to 
the Father (pp. 50-51 ). 4!l 

This interpretation, however, is a bold attempt to evade the 
clear teaching of the passage. In refutation of the Jehovah-Wit- 
ness exegesis of John 20:28, I offer the following considerations: 

( 1 ) What can the expression "my God" possibly mean other than 
"my true God"? As we saw above, the New Testament recognizes 
no true God beside Jehovah God; any god other than Jehovah is 
for New Testament writers a false god or an idol. Thomas, being 
a Jew, was a strict monotheist; for him there was no God beside 
Jehovah. When he said, "my God," he could have meant nothing 
other than "my one and only true God." 50 

(2) The argument the Witnesses use to bolster their inter- 
pretation boomerangs against them. Here was a monotheistic Jew 
saying to Jesus: "My God!" The fact that Jesus did not rebuke 
Thomas but commended him for his faith proves decisively that 
Jesus was equal to the Father, that He was Himself very God! 
When thus understood, Jesus' willingness to be called God by 
Thomas is quite in harmony with the testimony of the rest of 
the Bible about Him, and with His willingness to permit men to 
worship Him. 

(3) That the Jehovah- Witness understanding of the expression 
Son of God is erroneous, and that Son of God in John's Gospel 
can mean nothing less than full equality with the Father, has already 
been shown. There is therefore no contradiction whatever be- 

49 The same general interpretation of this passage, though in greatly 
condensed form, is found in The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 266. 

r, ° Though it is true that the definite article is found with theos in the 
Greek of this passage (ho theos mou, the god of me), we cannot attach 
decisive significance to its occurrence here, since the nominative used as a 
vocative very often takes the definite article as a Semitic idiom (C. F. D. 
Moule, An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek, pp. 116-117; cf. F. 
Blass and A. Debrunner, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament, trans. 
R. W. Funk, Sec. 147, (3)). A. T. Robertson (A Grammar of the Greek 
New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, p. 465) makes the same 
admission. Yet the latter also says, on p. 462, "When Thomas said, 'Ho 
kurios mou kai ho theos mou (Jn. 20:28), he gave Christ full acceptance 
of his deity and of the fact of his resurrection." 

Appendix: Teaching on the Person of Christ 141 

tween Thomas' ascription of full deity to Jesus and John's state- 
ment, "These [things] have been written down that you may 
believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God. . ." (20: 3 1 , NWT) . 
The Jehovah-Witness denial of the deity of Christ must there- 
fore be rejected by all true believers as a heresy which cuts the 
very heart out of the Bible. Athanasius put it well: "Jesus whom 
1 know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God!" 


Primary Sources: 

Russell, Charles T. Studies in the Scriptures. 1 Vols. Brooklyn: 
Watchtower Bible and Tract Soc, 1886-1917. 

Rutherford, Joseph F. The following are his major books: 
Children (1941). 
Creation (1927). 
Deliverance (1926). 
Enemies (1937) 
Government (1928) 

The Harp of God ( 1921 ) . A doctrinal summary. 
Jehovah (1934). 
Life (1929). 
Light (2 vols.; 1930). 
Preparation (1933). 
Preservation (1932). 
Prophecy (1929). 
Reconciliation (1928). 
Religion (1940). 
Riches (1936). 
Salvation (1939). 

Vindication (3 vols.; 1931 and 1932). 

Note: Though Russell's and Rutherford's publications are re- 
ferred to in Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, the authori- 
tative doctrinal guides for the movement today are the volumes 
which follow. These books, published by the Watchtower Bible 
and Tract Society since Rutherford's death, have no indication of 
authorship. They are listed in chronological order. 

The New World (1942). 

The Truth Shall Make You Free (1943). 

The Kingdom is at Hand (1944). 

Theocratic Aid to Kingdom Publishers (1945). 


Bibliography 143 

Let God Be True (1946; revised in 1952). A summary of the 

main doctrines taught by Jehovah's Witnesses. 
Equipped for Every Good Work (1946). A survey of the contents 

of the Bible books. 
This Means Everlasting Life (1950). 
What has Religion Done for Mankind? (1951). 
New Heavens and a New Earth (1953). 
Make Sure of All Things (1953; revised in 1957). A compilation 

of Scripture passages on 70 topics. 
Qualified to be Ministers (1955; revised and expanded in 1967). How 

to study the Bible, how to conduct meetings, and how to witness. 
You May Survive Armageddon into God's New World (1955). 
From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained (1958). 
Your Will be Done on Earth (1958). 
Let Your Name Be Sanctified (1961). 
All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial ( 1963). 
Babylon the Great Has Fallen! God's Kingdom Rules (1963). 
Make Sure of A 11 Things; Hold Fast to What is Fine (1965). 

A revised and expanded version of Make Sure of All Things. 
Things in Which it is Impossible for God to Lie (1965). 
Life Everlasting — in Freedom of the Sons of God (1966) . 
Did Man Get Here by Evolution or by Creation? ( 1967) . 
Your Word is a Lamp to my Feet (1967). 
The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life (1968). 
Then is Finished the Mystery of God (1969). 
Is the Bible Really the Word of God? (1969). 
The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah — How? ( 1971 ). 

The Watchtower Society has published a great number of booklets. 
Four of the more important titles are listed below: 

Defending and Legally Establishing the Good News (1950). This 
96-p. booklet, written by Hayden C. Covington, general counsel for 
Jehovah's Witnesses, gives advice to the Witnesses on legal pro- 
cedures and lists court decisions upholding their legal rights. 

What Do the Scriptures Say about "Survival After Death"? (1955). 
96 pp. Discusses the immortality of the soul, and related ques- 

Blood, Medicine, and the Law of God ( 1 961 ) . 64 pp. Deals with 
the question of blood transfusion. 

"The Word" — Who Is He? According to John (1962). 64 pp. John's 
teachings about the Logos. 

Official Greek Testament and Bible Translations: 

Wilson, Benjamin. The Emphatic Diaglott. Brooklyn: Watchtower 

144 Jehovah's Witnesses 

Society, 1942 (first pub. in 1864). An interlinear Greek Testa- 
ment, based on the recension of J. J. Griesbach (1806). 

The New World Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Pub. in 5 
vols.: Vol. I, Genesis through Ruth (1953); Vol. II, I Samuel 
through Esther (1955); Vol. Ill, Job through Song of Solomon 
(1957); Vol. IV, Isaiah through Lamentations (1958); Vol. V, 
Ezekiel through Malachi (1960). 

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. First 
pub. in 1950, rev. in 1951. 

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. A rev. ed. of 
the entire translation in one volume, without footnotes. Pub. in 
1961. The latest official edition of the New World Translation. 

Histories of Jehovah's Witnesses: 

Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Brooklyn: Watchtower 
Bible and Tract Society, 1959. This is the official history of the 

Qualified to Be Ministers (1955), pp. 297-360, contains a brief history. 

Macmillan, A. H. Faith on the March. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice- 
Hall, 1957. A history of the movement told in autobiographical 
fashion by one of its leaders. 

White, Timothy. A People for His Name. N. Y.: Vantage Press, 
1967. An attempt to write an objective history of the movement, by 
one who is sympathetic to the Witnesses, though not a Witness him- 
self. Includes the development of doctrine as an integral part of the 

Reference Works: 

Aid to Bible Understanding (197 4). 1700 pp. People, places, plants, 
and animals mentioned in the Bible. 

Watchtower Publications Index of Subjects Discussed and Scriptures 
Explained, 1930-1960. Brooklyn, 1961. Indexes subjects treated 
and Scripture passages commented on in all Watchtower publications 
for these years, including periodicals. 

Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Published annually. Contains sta- 
tistics and service reports for the preceding year. 

General Works: 


Axup, Edward J. The Jehovah's Witnesses Unmasked. New York: 

Greenwich, 1959. 
Cole, Marley. Jehovah's Witnesses: The New World Society. New 

Bibliography 145 

York: Vantage Press, 1955. A highly sympathetic treatment, ac- 
claimed by Jehovah's Witnesses, but criticized by Martin and Klann, 
in an appendix to Jehovah of the Watch Tower, as not true to fact. 
Triumphant Kingdom. New York: Criterion Books, 1957. 

Czatt, Milton. The International Bible Students: Jehovah's Witnesses. 
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1933. Essay based on a doc- 
toral dissertation. 

Dencher, Ted. The Watchtower Heresy Versus the Bible. Chicago: 
Moody Press, 1961. A defense of Christian doctrines against Je- 
hovah-Witness perversions, by a former Witness. Makes much use 
of Scripture. Includes chapter on methods of approach. 

. Why I Left Jehovah's Witnesses. Fort Washington, Pa. : 

Christian Literature Crusade, 1966. An account of the author's rea- 
sons for leaving the Witnesses, together with a refutation of some Je- 
hovah-Witness doctrines. 

Duncan, Homer. Heart to Heart Talks with Jehovah's Witnesses. 
2nd ed. Lubbock, Texas: Missionary Crusader, n.d. A discussion of a 
number of Jehovah-Witness doctrines, for the purpose of persuading 
Witnesses to break with the movement. 

Grigg, David H. Do Jehovah's Witnesses and the Bible Agree? N. Y. : 
Vantage Press, 1958. A Biblical refutation of Watchtower doctrines. 

Gruss, Edmond C. Apostles of Denial. Philadelphia: Presbyterian 
and Reformed, 1970. 324 pp. A thorough, well-documented examina- 
tion and expose of the history, doctrines, and claims of the movement, 
by a former Jehovah's Witness who is now a professor of history and 
apologetics. Includes a discussion of Watchtower methods, suggestions 
for dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses, descriptions of splinter groups, 
and a personal testimony. The best recent one-volume treatment of the 

Haldeman, I. M. Millennial Dawnism: The Blasphemous Religion 
which teaches the Annihilation of Jesus Christ. New York: Chas. 
Cook, n.d. (before 1914). A refutation of Millennial Dawnism — 
an early name for Russellism. 

Hebert, Gerard, S. J. Les Temoins de Jehovah. Montreal: Les Edi- 
tions Bell arm in, 1960. A critical study by a Jesuit father, treating 
history and doctrine. Lists every Watchtower publication from Rus- 
sell's time to the present. 

Martin, Walter R., and Klann, Norman H. Jehovah of the Watch 
Tower. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1959. History, 
methods, and teachings; refutation of major doctrines. One of the 
more important secondary sources. 

McKinney, George D., Jr. The Theology of the Jehovah's Witnesses. 
Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962. A systematic exposition of doc- 
trinal teachings. A competent work, though occasionally outdated 
quotations are used. 

Pike, Royston. Jehovah's Witnesses: Who They Are, What They 
Teach, What They Do. New York: Philosophical Library, 1954. 

146 Jehovah's Witnesses 

An objective treatment, more complete than most accounts on their 

Rogerson, Alan. Millions Now Living Will Never Die. London: Con- 
stable, 1969. An account of the history, beliefs, and organization of 
the Jehovah-Witness movement by a former Witness. An attempt 
to give an objective answer to the question, "Who are Jehovah's 

Schnell, Wm. J. Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave. Grand Rapids: 
Baker, 1956. A revealing account of the inner workings of the 
movement by one who was a Jehovah's Witness for thirty years. 
Makes a contribution no other book has made. 

. Into the Light of Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1959. 

Discusses and refutes the main doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses. 

. Christians: Awake! Grand Rapids: Baker, 1962. Deals 

chiefly with methods of witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses. 

Spier, H. J. De Jehovah's Getuigen en de Bijbel. 2nd enlarged ed. 
Kampen: Kok, 1971. Paperback, 191 pp. A competent analysis and 
refutation of the main doctrines. Includes a 19-p. glossary of Watch- 
tower terms. 

Stevenson, W. C. The Inside Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. N. Y. : 
Hart Publishing Co., 1968 (orig. pub. by Hutchinson of London 
[1967] under the title, Year of Doom, 1975). An evaluation of the 
movement from the inside, by one who was an active Witness for 14 
years. Includes such matters as the appeal of the movement, the inner 
working of the Watchtower Society, a critical discussion of Watch- 
tower teachings and practices, and suggestions on how to deal with 
Witnesses. More irenic than Schnell's Thirty Years a Watchtower 

Stroup, Herbert H. The Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: Columbia 
Univ. Press, 1945. An objective, scholarly study, based on a doc- 
toral dissertation. 

Thomas, F. W. Masters of Deception. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1972. 
A substantial Biblical refutation of the major Watchtower doctrines, 
by a layman active in evangelism. 

Whalen, Wm. J. Armageddon Around the Corner. New York: John 
Day Co., 1962. A Roman Catholic layman writes about the move- 
ment, touching on its history, theology, organization, court activi- 
ties, and schisms. 


(Note: These are inexpensive, and may be ordered in quantities 
for distribution.) 

Burrell, M. C. Jehovah's Witnesses. London: Church Book Room 

Press, I960. 20 pp. History, methods, and doctrines. 
Kneedler, Wm. Harding. Christian Answers to Jehovah's Witnesses. 

Bibliography 1 47 

Chicago: Moody Press, 1953. 64 pp. A brief exposition and refu- 
tation of the main doctrines. 

Martin, Walter R. Jehovah's Witnesses. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1957. 64 pp. History, doctrines, and practices. 

Mayer, F. E. Jehovah's Witnesses. St. Louis: Concordia, 1957. Rev. 
ed. (first pub. in 1942). 61 pp. Mayer was professor of systematic 
theology at Concordia Seminary. Leans chiefly on Rutherford; no 
reference to later publications. 

Metzger, Bruce M. The Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus Christ. A re- 
print from Theology Today, Vol. X, No. 1 (April, 1953), pp. 65- 
85; obtainable from the Theological Book Agency, Princeton, N. J. 
Metzger is professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary. A 
scholarly refutation of the Jehovah-Witness view of Jesus Christ. 

Strauss, Lehmann. An Examination of the Doctrine of Jehovah's 
Witnesses. New York: Loizeaux Bros., 1955 (first pub. 1942). 
47 pp. 

Talbot, Louis T. What's Wrong with Jehovah's Witnesses? Findlay, 
Ohio: Dunham Pub. Co. 50 pp. 

Tanis, Edward J. What the Sects Teach. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1958. 
89 pp. A brief critical treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses (and of 
Christian Science, Seventh-day Adventism, and Spiritism). 

Wassink, A. The Bible and Jehovah's Witnesses. Faith, Prayer, and 
Tract League; Grand Rapids, Mich. 49504. 18 pp. Outdated in some 
respects, but still useful. 

(Note: Some of the above pamphlets can be obtained from Religion 
Analysis Service, 2708 E. Lake St., Suite 231, Minneapolis, Minn. 55406) 


Schnell, Wm. J., ed. The Converted Jehovah's Witness Expositor. 
Published every 3 months at 794 Terrace Road, Dunedin, Florida 
33528. The only periodical devoted exclusively to the refutation of 
Jehovah- Witness errors. 

Anthony A. Hoekema 

Anthony Hoekema's The Four Major Cults has 
gained wide acceptance as a reliable and useful 
e book of information on the beliefs and 
ces of Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses, Mormons, and Seventh-Day Adventists. 
flying on primary sources for his infor- 
mation — and in many instances obtaining cur- 
rent data directly from headquarters for the 
group — Dr. Hoekema insured the accuracy of his 

These valuable studies are now avaiiafc 
individual paperbacks, updated by the author. 
Included in this volume is a brief history 
Jehovah's Witnesses, an expla their 

source of authority, and a systematic outline and 
presentation of their doctrines. Two - 
dealing with special point; 
complete bibliography of m& -sand 

pamphlets for ac - are aiso 


Ideal for classroc 
tion. these brief studies as well 

in discussion groups, and for individual 

Anthony A. Hoekema is Professor of System- 
atic Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, 
and is the author of several other books, includ- 
ing What About Tongue-Speaking? and Holy 
Spirit Baptism. 

ISBN O-8028-1469 


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