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Jehovah's Witness Literature

The Jehovah's Witnesses use a translation of the Bible known as "The New World Translation" (NWT). It was created in the 1950s by a group of Witnesses whose names were not released. When some former Witnesses disclosed the names of the translators, it was discovered that none of them were qualified to translate Scripture. Rather, it appears as though the "translators" took an existing English translation, reworded it, and altered it so that it would support JW beliefs. Words are added, deleted, and changed. Although this is true of many translations, it is often done deliberately in the NWT to alter the meaning of passages.

In Colossians 1:16-20, we see the addition of the word "other" four times, including verse 16: "In him all [other] things in heaven and on earth were created", to make it sound as though Jesus was also created rather than being eternally-begotten (This is also done in Acts 10:36, Romans 8:32, and Philippians 2:9). Romans 8:28 reads: "We know that God makes all things work [NWT–"all his works"] together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his decree", to support their belief that God does not control all things. They added words to Philippians 1:23 to support their belief that the soul is annihilated at death, and to this end also added the words "gift of the" before "spirit" in 1 Corinthians 14:13-16, to support their belief that the spirit is not a separate entity apart from the body. In John 1:1, among other places, the passage that says "the Word was God", is changed to "the Word was a god", because of their rejection of the Trinity.

What is even worse is the paraphrasing and mistranslating found in the NWT. The first epistle of John reads: "And we are in union with the true one, by means of his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 5:20), the phrase "by means of" replacing "for we are in union with", which would have supported the truth of the Trinity. Matthew 5:19 should read: "Whoever breaks the least significant of these commands . . . shall be called least in the kingdom of God", whereas the NWT reads: "shall be called least in relation to the kingdom". This is done because of the belief that only 144,000 get into heaven, and the idea that those who break the commands would get into heaven would put the number over 144,000. To show that the spirit and the body are one, rather than separate entities, Hebrews 12:9 is changed from "the Father of spirits" to "the Father of our spiritual life", and Galatians 6:18 is changed from "your spirit" to "the spirit you show". Jude 19 mentions those "not having the Spirit", which is altered in the NWT to read "not having spirituality", because of their belief that the Holy Spirit is not a person but a force. This was also done in 1 Timothy 4:1, which replaces "spirit" in the phrase "the spirit says", with "inspired utterance", to read, "the inspired utterance says". It is ridiculous to think that the numerous translations, which all disagree with the NWT on these passages, are wrong, while the NWT is correct. It is more reasonable to assume that the NWT was altered, and therefore, JW doctrines are truly not supported by the Scriptures.

According to Witnesses, "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant scriptural counsel to his people" (WT, 5-1-1964, 277) the mouthpiece of God (WT, 4-1-1972, 197). However, teachings have changed time and time again, from one edition of The Watchtower to the next. A sample of doctrinal reversals will illustrate this: Organ transplants are a form of cannibalism and are wrong (WT, 11-15-1967, 70); Having an organ transplant is a matter of conscience and is up to the individual (WT, 3-15-1980, 31; The men of Sodom will rise (WT, 7-1879, 7-8; 8-1-1965, 479); The men of Sodom will not rise (WT, 6-1-1952, 338; WT, 6-1-1988, 31); It is not wrong to worship Christ in any form (WT, 3-1880, 83); It is wrong to worship Christ (WT, 11-1-1964, 671); Joining the army is fine (WT, 4-15-1903, 120); Joining the army is wrong (WT, 2-1-1951, 73); People should display the flag (WT Reprints, 5-15-1917, 6068); The flag is evil (Awake!, 9-8-1971, 14). Such discrepancies are not indicative of a prophetic voice.

More proof in the lack of credibility of Witness literature is the long list of failed prophecies. The following quotes illustrate this: 1891–"With the end of AD 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy" (Studies, Vol. 3, 153); 1889: "In the coming 26 years, all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved" (C.T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 98-99, 1889); 1894–"The end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Watchtower July 15, 1894, p 266; p 1677 reprints); 1902–""The final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914." (The Time Is At Hand, 1902 edition, p. 99); 1918––"Therefore, we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the faithful prophets of old" (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 89); 1920–"we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected" (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 88); 1922––"The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the scriptures than 1914" (WT, 9-1-1922, 262); 1926–"Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything." (Watchtower 1926 p. 232.); 1930 Judge Joseph Frederick Rutherford . . . deeded No 4440 Braeburn Road, and adjacent two car garage and a pair of automobiles to King David, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, Samuel and sundry other mighties of ancient Palestine. Positive is he that they are shortly to reappear on earth, Said he: 'I have purposely landscaped the place with palm and olive trees so that these princes of the universe will feel at home.. (Time Magazine, March 31, 1930); 1946––"Armageddon . . . should come sometime before 1972" (They Have Found a Faith, 44); 1968––"The end of the six thousand years of man's history in the fall of 1975 is not tentative, but is accepted as a certain date" (WT, 1-1-1968, 271). As Deuteronomy says: "If you say to yourselves, ‘How can we recognize an oracle which the Lord has spoken?', know that, even though a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if his oracle is not fulfilled or verified, it is an oracle which the Lord did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously" (Deut. 18:21-22).

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