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Question

I am thinking of having a Bible study with the Jehovah's Witnesses. What are the main differences are between the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Christian faith?

Answer

Thank you so much for your spiritual enquiry regarding the Jehovah's Witness and the Christian Faith.

Regarding your consideration of having a Bible study with the Jehovah’s Witness (JW) organisation who have contacted you, I personally never have objection to sitting down with anyone over an open Bible. However that poses an issue with the JW’s as they have their own edited version of the Bible! It is not the one used by Christians and its wording has been interpreted and modified so as to justify the teachings of the JW's whose teachings are regarded by Orthodox Christianity as heretical.

The JW’s I have met have, on the whole, have been very nice and good people. Nevertheless, they are regarded by Orthodox Christianity as a cult.

All cults mix some truth with a lot of lies and before engaging with any of them, your heart and mind need to be Biblically strong.

It might be a good idea to meet with your church leader for advice and ask for any relevant help. They may be able to recommend a training course or books that can help you in your witness. Also make sure you attend a Bible study so that you are more aware of the Bible's teachings.

If you decide to do so, then here is a very brief twenty point summary of differences between Jehovah’s Witness (JW) and Orthodox Christianity (OC):

Doctrine Orthodox Christianity Jehovah's Witness
Religious Authority The Holy Bible The New World Translation
Bible Sections “Old Testament” and “New Testament”. “Hebrew Scriptures” and “Christian Greek Scriptures”
God The revealed Trinitarian God of the whole Bible. Jehovah
The Trinity Affirmed Rejected
The Identity of Jesus Christ Son of God, Word of God, God in the Flesh, the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Fully God and fully man. The Son of God, The Word of God, God's first creation, Archangel Michael.
Holy Spirit God, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity God's active (but impersonal) force
Results of the Fall of Man Sin, physical death and separation from God Physical and spiritual death entered the world
Free Will Free will to do good is catastrophically impaired Free to do good or evil
Purpose of Christ's Incarnation Teach about God, provide a model for right living, to die sacrificially for human sin, to reveal God the Father directly to humanity To teach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin
Method of Christ's Execution Crucifixion on a cross Crucifixion on an upright stake (no crossbar)
Was Christ resurrected? Yes Yes
Salvation By faith alone by the grace of God alone as revealed in the Scriptures alone Both faith and works; works are emphasised
Second Chance After Death? No Yes
Afterlife Souls of wicked sent to Hell, believers go to Heaven for eternity Souls of wicked are annihilated, but a select few Witnesses go to Heaven, and other Witnesses enjoy a paradise earth for eternity
Nature of Hell The place of eternal torment and distance from God Exists in the sense of a place of the dead (Jesus went there), but hellfire does not exist; idea was invented by Satan to turn people from Jehovah
Place of Worship Church Kingdom Hall
Meaning of Communion and Baptism Symbolic acts commanded by Christ and a means of succour, comfort and grace if received with faith Symbolic acts commanded by Christ
Involvement in Politics Varied (Christians are free to get involved if they want) Minimal
Blood Transfusions Accepted Rejected
Assurance of Heaven Christians have every certainty! Have no real hope of being in heaven

In summary, there are many differences between Orthodox Christianity and Jehovah's Witnesses. It is important that you read the Bible so that you are able to know the differences for yourself. Your church leader should be able to help you further and we recommend that you speak to them.

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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