A Brief Study of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society:
Jehovah's Witnesses

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Introduction:

The following study is an examination of the history, organization, beliefs and practices of the religious sect known generally as Jehovahís Witnesses. At the conclusion of this critical evaluation we will also consider the best ways and approaches to share the true gospel of Christ with members of this cult.

The first question that might be raised relates to the reasons for targeting this group for such a study or, in other words, "Why pick on them?" Here are a few reasons that come readily to mind:

  1. Their aggressive proselytizing in which they focus on trying to persuade spiritually immature Christians to join their group (cf. excerpt from W.J. Schnellís Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave quoted by Walter Martin in Kingdom of the Cults, p. 125). It is quite likely that most of us will come into contact with one or more JWís doing this work and we should be prepared.
  2. Their claim of accurately presenting the truth of the Bible and to being Christian in their doctrine needs to be examined and evaluated especially in light of ...
  3. Their astounding claim to be alone in purveying Godís truth so that only they can reveal the true message of God from the Bible.
Although various Christian denominations and groups disagree on points of theology, rarely, if ever, do they claim to be the exclusive possessors of Godís truth. As Jehovahís Witnesses do claim this (cf. excerpt from the Sept. 15, 1910 edition of The Watchtower quoted in Kingdom of the Cults, p. 46) and at the same time claim to be Christian, we need to determine the validity of their claims.

My sources for the following critique are chiefly:

  • The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin;
  • Cult Watch by John Ankerberg and John Weldon;
  • Handbook of Todayís Religions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart;
  • The Ten Most Important Things You Can Say to a Jehovahís Witness by Ron Rhodes;
  • How To Respond to Jehovahís Witnesses by Herbert Kern;
  • Jehovahís Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse by David Reed (an ex-JW himself);
  • Pastor Charles Taze Russell by David Horowitz,
  • along with several other booklets, articles, pamphlets and a few Watchtower Society publications which will be referred to as needed.
I would encourage the interested reader to acquire one or more of these references for further study (Martinís book is especially good for a scholarly doctrinal treatment while likewise Rhodes and Reed are helpful with regard to interaction with JWís).

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