|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS|
Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a religious movement who, although identifying themselves as Christian, are not generally considered as Christians by mainstream Christianity because they are non-trinitarian. They number around seven million. Their headquarters are in New York, USA. It is an international organization known for its extensive preaching and publishing activities. They are well known for their rejection of blood transfusions and their specific version of the Bible with a number of crucial differences from mainstream translations.
History of Jehovah's Witnesses
The Jehovah's Witnesses had their beginnings in the late 1870's when a small group under the leadership of Charles T. Russell began to question a number of accepted Christian doctrines including the Trinity and Hell.
The Jehovah's Witnesses teach the following as core doctrine, basing them on certain passages. Some of these interpretations, in particular, Jesus as a created being, are in direct conflict with orthodox Christianity.
- There is only one true God (Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:6; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6)
- God is named Jehovah (or Yahweh) (Exodus 3:15-16; Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18)
- Jesus is God's son (John 10:36; John 20:17)
- Jesus was created by God (Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14)
- Bible is God's Word and true (2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17)
- Christ lived a perfect life (1 Peter 2:22)
- Christ died for all mankind (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 Peter 2:24)
- Christ only had to die once for all mankind (Hebrews 9:25-28)
- Only 144,000 will make it to heaven. Revelation 7:4
- This is contradicted in Revelation 14
, as it says the 144,000 are celibate Jewish males.
According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus was created by God and came to earth and lived a sinless life that ultimately ended in his death. His death is seen as a sacrifice for all sinful humans.
View on Blood Transfusions
The Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their refusal to receive blood transfusions. This is based on their interpretation on a number of passages in the Bible. These include Genesis 9:3-4, where God commanded Noah and his family to not eat blood. This command is re-iterated in Leviticus 7:26, Deuteronomy 12:16 and again in the New Testament. In a list of things that Christians were forbidden to do, since there was confusion because the Law had been abolished, the disciples said that Christians were supposed to abstain from blood (Acts 15:28-29).
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that this declaration applies to all forms of taking blood into the body because the Scripture in Acts does not say that you cannot eat blood but that you must completely abstain from blood. They claim that taking a blood transfusion would not be abstaining from blood.
Jehovah's Witnesses Today
There are around 7,000,000 Jehovah's Witnesses today. They spend billions of hours preaching every year and hold millions of Bible studies in an effort to teach people what they believe the Bible really says. They have the most extensive publishing operations in an effort to print Bibles and Bible aids in every language to reach all people with the Gospel. Many find their international operations to be surprisingly impressive.
- Wikipedia - Jehovah's Witnesses
- Official website - www.watchtower.org
- Wikipedia - New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
- New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures at Watchtower.org