Are We Living in “the Last Days”?

from jw.org

What JW.ORG Says

“Yes. World conditions as well as Bible chronology indicate that the last days began in 1914. At that time, God’s Kingdom began ruling in heaven, and one of its first actions was to expel Satan the Devil and the demons from heaven and restrict their activity to the earth. (Revelation 12:​7-​12) Satan’s influence on mankind can be seen in many of the bad attitudes and actions that make the last days “critical times hard to deal with.”​—2 Timothy 3:1.”

The Truth

Watchtower claims that “Bible chronology indicate[s] that the last days began in 1914.” How did they reach this remarkable conclusion?

The organization’s focus on 1914 is a vestige of Second Adventist Nelson Barbour, who first proposed that year as a marked date in Bible prophecy in the June, 1875 issue of his magazine Herald of the Morning. Charles Taze Russel, who would go on to found the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, was quite taken by this idea, and would go on to collaborate with Barbour and borrow a number of his teachings. The supposed importance of 1914 is based around a unique interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the book of Daniel, which Watchtower still holds today:

Critically, the entire notion of a “larger fulfillment” is centered around 607 B.C.E., which Watchtower asserts is the date of Jerusalem’s destruction.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only organization who believe Jerusalem was destroyed in this year.

Historians and bible scholars are in complete agreement that Jerusalem was in fact destroyed in 587 B.C. Watchtower published a two-part article in 2011 attempting to defend this date, citing a number of historians and bible scholars, but the article includes an incredible footnote: “Note: None of the secular experts quoted in this article hold that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E.”

Watchtower also states that “At that time [1914], God’s Kingdom began ruling in heaven,” which would imply that between Jesus’ death and resurrection around AD 35 and AD 1914 Christ spent nearly a thousand years doing absolutely nothing.

Suffice it to say, there is no valid evidence to suggest the last days began in 1914.* However, one might still wonder if we are living in “the Last Days” spoken about by Jesus.

What JW.ORG Says

“The Bible describes events and conditions that would mark “the conclusion of the [current] system of things,” or “the end of the world.” (Matthew 24:3King James Version) The Bible calls this time period “the last days” and the “time of the end,” or “end times.” (2 Timothy 3:1; Daniel 8:​19Easy-to-Read Version) The following are some outstanding features of last-days, or end-times, prophecies:

The Truth

You may have noticed that right off the bat Watchtower uses curious language in citing Matthew 24:3.

  • “The Bible describes events and conditions that would mark ‘the conclusion of the [current] system of things,'”

Why the inclusion of the word “current” in brackets when it does not appear in the verse itself? This was slid in because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that humans today are living in Satan’s “old system,” but Jehovah is making way for a new system; these have become common aphorisms among Witnesses. These phrases are not found in the Bible, and in fact most translations do not contain the phrase “conclusion of a system of things” at all, but rather “end of the world,” “end of time,” or “end of the age.”

Watchtower conspicuously does not cite the very next verse of Matthew 24. It reads:

  • “Look out that nobody misleads you, for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for these things must take place, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24: 4 NWT

Jesus repeatedly warned his followers about listening to men who would proclaim that the end is near on the basis of his name:

  • “Look out that you are not misled, for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The due time is near.’ Do not go after them. Furthermore, when you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified.” Luke 21: 8, 9 NWT
  • “Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” Matthew 24: 26 NWT

Rather than being a decades-long period of time as Watchtower asserts, Jesus described it as being as quick as lightning.

Contrary to Jesus’ warnings, Watchtower persistently claims that “the due time is near.”

Their leaders also equate following them with following Christ:

“The Governing Body continues “following the Lamb,” Jesus, “no matter where he goes.” (Revelation 14:4) So when we follow the direction of the Governing Body, we follow our Leader, Jesus.” ws17 February pp. 20-26

Here are men who preach that the “due time is near” on the basis of Jesus’ name, exactly the sort of men Jesus said to avoid.

In fact, Jesus said emphatically that “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mt 24:36)

It is true that Jesus listed “signs” of the last days, but these were general things that can (and have) been applied to any time in human history. Jesus did not want his followers to concern themselves with the “day and hour.” Instead, his commandment was the following:

  • “This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you” John 15: 12 NWT

*For an in-depth review of Watchtower’s stance on 607 B.C.E., head over to jwfacts.com

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Tolerant of Other Religions?

What JW.ORG Says

“We follow the Bible’s advice to “respect everyone”—regardless of their religious beliefs. (1 Peter 2:17Today’s English Version) For example, in some countries there are hundreds of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Even so, we don’t try to pressure politicians or lawmakers into restricting or banning the work of other religious groups. Nor do we campaign to have laws passed that would impose our moral and religious convictions on the general community. Instead, we extend to others the same tolerance that we appreciate receiving from them.—Matthew 7:12.”

The Truth

It is certainly true that Jehovah’s Witnesses are generally respectful to people of other religions, and that they do not seek to influence political policy. However, what is not stated is how Watchtower teaches its members to feel about other religions:

  • Satan and his demons…want to turn everyone away from God if they can. How do they try to do this? One way is through false religion. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) A religion is false if it does not teach the truth from the Bible. False religion is like false money​—it may look like the real thing, but it is worthless. It can cause you much trouble. You Can Be God’s Friend, Chapter 11

Since Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only they teach truth from the Bible, Watchtower teaches that every other religion is relegated to the realm of “false religion,” whose members are actively being misled by Satan.

Watchtower goes as far as saying that as a collective, all other religions compromise “the great harlot” spoken of in the book of Revelation:

And one of the seven angels that had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying: ‘Come, I will show you the judgment upon the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, whereas those who inhabit the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’”​—Revelation 17:1, 2.

  • “…the great harlot must be a worldwide religious entity. Which religious entity? Is she the Roman Catholic Church, as some have maintained? Or is she all of Christendom? No, she must be even larger than these if she is to mislead all the nations. She is, in fact, the entire world empire of false religion. Her origin in the mysteries of Babylon is shown in that many Babylonish doctrines and practices are common to religions around the earth. For example, belief in the inherent immortality of the human soul, in a hell of torment, and in a trinity of gods is to be found in most Oriental religions as well as in the sects of Christendom. False religion, spawned more than 4,000 years ago in the ancient city of Babylon, has developed into the modern monstrosity that is called, appropriately, Babylon the Great.* Why, though, is she described by the repugnant term “the great harlot”? re chap. 33 pp. 235-245

Part of the “good news” that Jehovah’s Witnesses preach is the impending destruction of every religion other than their own. (See: Good News From God, Lesson 13)

  •  “Babylon the Great” will be destroyed! As mentioned earlier, the nations will have no control over what happens at this point. Why not? Because “God [will] put it into their hearts to carry out his thought.” What is that thought? To destroy the world empire of false religion, including Christendom.* God will put his thought into the hearts of “the ten horns” of the “scarlet-colored wild beast.” The ten horns represent all the political powers that support “the wild beast”​—the United Nations. (Rev. 17:3, 11-13; 18:8) When those political powers turn on false religion, that will mark the beginning of the great tribulation. It will be a truly catastrophic world event.
  • Babylon the Great has brought much reproach on God’s name. She has taught lies about God. She has prostituted herself spiritually by forming alliances with earth’s rulers. She has used her power and influence to exploit her flocks. And she has spilled much blood, including the blood of God’s servants.  w19 September pp. 8-13
  • It is no exaggeration to say that all religion today is under reproach, the true religion and the false. The false religion is suffering reproach because of its hypocrisy, because of its ignorance and confusion, because of the depravity and illiteracy in which it has left the people, because of the failure of its aims and policies and because it has no certain message of light to show the people the way to a clean, prosperous, happy, peaceful and secure world. False religion is an ally and an inseparable part of this sordid world and fights with it against the only living and true God. Even Christendom does so. w51 11/1 pp. 656-664
  • How happy mankind can be that Jehovah’s judgment upon the great harlot is at hand. May it soon be executed! re chap. 33 pp. 235-245

“May it soon be executed!” This is the attitude Watchtower expects its members to have of any religion that is not their own. This is not to say that Witnesses are taught to be hateful toward religious individuals, but can it reasonably be said that the above quotes point toward an attitude of tolerance toward other religions?

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses a Cult? (Part 2)

Part One examined Jehovah’s Witnesses under the lens of the BITE model, the framework experts use to determine whether a given group is a cult. Part Two will examine the deceptive nature of the Frequently Asked Questions article on JW.ORG

What JW.ORG Says

“The term “cult” means different things to different people. However, consider two common perceptions regarding cults and why those perceptions don’t apply to us.

  • Some think of a cult as being a new or unorthodox religion. Jehovah’s Witnesses have not invented a new religion. On the contrary, we pattern our worship after that of the first-century Christians, whose example and teachings were recorded in the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:​16, 17) We believe that the Holy Scriptures should be the authority on what is orthodox in matters of worship.
  • Some think of a cult as being a dangerous religious sect with a human leader. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not look to any human as their leader. Rather, we adhere to the standard that Jesus set for his followers when he stated: “Your Leader is one, the Christ.”​—Matthew 23:10.”

The Truth

Note that Watchtower does not address how experts define cults, nor the behaviors that define cults. Instead they dismiss the word as something that “means different things to different people,” as if it is an entirely subjective term. Rather than giving a definition, Watchtower presents two “perceptions” regarding cults and why those perceptions supposedly do not apply to them.

The logic here is troubling. Imagine if you asked your friend if he was a criminal, and he responded by saying, “Well, the term ‘criminal’ means different things to different people. However, consider two common perceptions regarding criminals and why those perceptions don’t apply to me.” Would that fill you with a great deal of confidence, or would it seem evasive?

Truthfully, even the two “common perceptions” that Watchtower presents do apply to them.

Perception One: “A New or Unorthodox Religion”

  • “Jehovah’s Witnesses have not invented a new religion. On the contrary, we pattern our worship after that of the first-century Christians, whose example and teachings were recorded in the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:​16, 17) We believe that the Holy Scriptures should be the authority on what is orthodox in matters of worship.” –JW.ORG

Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught by their leaders that their religion is the natural, prophetic extension of first century Christianity. This is reinforced by the artwork in Watchtower’s publications, which often display side-by-side comparisons between the First Century Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The brochure “Good News From God” shows Israelites, First Century Christians, Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses as a prophetic chain of “true worship”

According to their brochure Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today? Jehovah’s Witnesses “rediscovered “true worship, but did not enact a new religion. However, there are important and distinctive differences between the First Century Christianity and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • First Century Christians were not all expected to preach, as Paul stated that not every Christian would evangelize
    • Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers, with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ…”
  • To be considered an “active” Jehovah’s Witness a member must turn in a field service report every month. If one does not report any time for six months, he is not considered an active Witness. This was not practiced by early Christians and has no scriptural basis whatsoever.
  • First Century Christian congregations were autonomous, and did not serve under a Governing Body
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that one must be a Jehovah’s Witness to receive salvation
    • “Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.” Watchtower 1983 Feb 15 p.12
  • However, First Century Christians believed that faith in Christ was the only means of salvation, and organizational “laws” had no bearing on the matter:
    • Galations 2:16  “…a man is declared righteous, not by works of law, but only through faith in Jesus Christ. So we have put our faith in Christ Jesus, so that we may be declared righteous by faith in Christ and not by works of law, for no one will be declared righteous by works of law.
  • First Century Christian “congregations” were not held in large places of worship, but were rather small gatherings held in individuals’ homes:
    • Romans 16: 5 Also greet the congregation that is in their house. Greet my beloved E·paeʹne·tus, who is a firstfruits of Asia for Christ.”
    • Philemon 2: “and to Apʹphi·a our sister, and to Ar·chipʹpus our fellow soldier, and to the congregation that is in your house.”
  • First Century Christians were not a monolith. There were fundamental disagreements among Christian congregations as to who Jesus was, the nature of his divinity, and the meaning of his message. This can be seen in the scriptures themselves, as Paul’s letters often address arguments and disagreements that had arisen in the congregations he had established.  
    • “Until the middle of the 2nd century, such terms [as Son of Man, Son of God, Messiah and Kyrios] emphasized two themes: that of Jesus as a preexistent figure who becomes human and then returns to God and that of Jesus as a creature elected and “adopted” by God. The first theme makes use of concepts drawn from Classical antiquity, whereas the second relies on concepts characteristic of ancient Jewish thought. The second theme subsequently became the basis of “adoptionist Christology” (see adoptionism), which viewed Jesus’ baptism as a crucial event in his adoption by God” Matt Stefon, Hans J. Hillerbrand, Christology, Encyclopedia Britannica

With all this in mind, it is clear that Jehovah’s Witness’ worship differs from first century Christianity in theology and in practice.  

The FAQ article states “We believe that the Holy Scriptures should be the authority on what is orthodox in matters of worship” which borders on being nonsensical. In fairness, in its original incarnation the word ‘Orthodox’ takes its meaning from the Greek words orthos (‘right’) and doxa (‘belief’). However, in a modern religious sense orthodox does not refer to something that is literally true, but something that is generally accepted to be true. The definition of Christian Orthodoxy is “conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church.” Because Jehovah’s Witnesses differ on key aspects of what is generally accepted to be true among Christians (the trinity, Jesus dying on a cross, a heavenly reward for Christians instead of an earthly paradise, etc) they are “unorthodox” in the literal sense of the word. This does not mean that Witnesses are incorrect, but they are by definition “unorthodox.”

Perception Two: “A Dangerous Religious Sect with a Human Leader”

JW.ORG outlines the second common perception of what constitutes a cult in the following way:

  • “Some think of a cult as being a dangerous religious sect with a human leader. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not look to any human as their leader. Rather, we adhere to the standard that Jesus set for his followers when he stated: “Your Leader is one, the Christ.”​—Matthew 23:10.”

Is it true that “Jehovah’s Witnesses do not look to any human as their leader?” The Governing Body, or “the faithful and discreet slave,” are human leaders, and Witnesses are told that obeying them is the only way to understand the Bible and receive salvation.

  • “All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the ‘greatly diversified wisdom of God’ can become known only through Jehovah’s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.—John 6:68.” – w94 10/1 p.8

Witnesses are taught to believe that to disobey the Governing Body is the same as disobeying Jesus, and vice versa:

  • The Governing Body continues “following the Lamb,” Jesus, “no matter where he goes.” (Revelation 14:4) So when we follow the direction of the Governing Body, we follow our Leader, Jesus. ws17 February pp. 20-26
  • “We can also remember the Governing Body by following its instructions and direction. The Governing Body gives us direction through our publications, meetings, assemblies, and conventions…And all of us show respect for our Leader, Jesus, by obeying the men he is using today.” ws17 February pp. 20-26

Watchtower has made obeying Jehovah and obeying their man-made organization’s rules indistinguishable:

  • “To be fully pleasing to our God, however, we must be obedient in all facets of our life. We must never deceive ourselves into thinking that we can take certain liberties with God’s requirements as long as we are rendering worship to him in other aspects of life. For example, a person might deceive himself into thinking that if he goes through some of the motions of formal worship, he can get away with committing immorality or engaging in other serious wrongdoing. What a mistake that would be!​

    “…We can imitate Jesus in giving priority to obedience to God’s will. (1 Peter 2:21) We can personally find satisfaction when our love for God motivates us to do what Jehovah commands, even at times when we are pressured or tempted to do otherwise. (Romans 7:18-20) This includes our being willing to obey directions from those who are taking the lead in true worship, though they are imperfect. (Hebrews 13:17) Our obedience to divine commandments in our private life is precious in Jehovah’s eyes.” w07 6/15 pp. 26-30

The Governing Body go so far as to call themselves the “the visible part of God’s organization.” (ws13 4/15 pp. 15-20). What should happen if a Christian questioned the authority, not of Jesus Christ or Jehovah God, but the imperfect men who lead an imperfect organization? They would be labeled an apostate.

  • “[An apostate] thinks he knows better than his fellow Christians, better also than the “faithful and discreet slave,” through whom he has learned the best part, if not all that he knows about Jehovah God and his purposes. He develops a spirit of independence, and becomes “proud in heart . . . something detestable to Jehovah.” (Prov. 16:5)  w80 8/1 pp. 17-22

Yes, as much as Watchtower says that Christ is their only leader, one can be expelled from their organization by questioning the men who run it.

Conclusion

It is telling that Watchtower includes the qualifier “dangerous” twice in the article.

  • Some think of a cult as being a dangerous religious sect with a human leader.”
  • “Far from being a dangerous cult…”

That is because as we have seen, by all definitions of the word—including their own parameters—Jehovah’s Witnesses do qualify as a cult. The inclusion of the word “dangerous” seems to be a concession by Watchtower, as if to say that even if they are a cult, they are not a dangerous one. By and large Jehovah’s Witnesses are certainly not dangerous people, but the policies of their leaders are dangerous.

Have Jehovah’s Witnesses Changed the Bible to Fit Their Beliefs?

What JW.ORG Says

“No, we haven’t. On the contrary, when we have discovered that our beliefs were not completely in line with the Bible, we have changed our beliefs.

Long before we started producing the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in 1950, we examined the Bible. We used whatever translation was available and formed our beliefs accordingly.”

The Truth

It’s certainly true that Jehovah’s Witnesses have not always used the New World Translation, and their JW Library app has several translations available for download to compare and contrast scriptures. However, to say that nothing in the New World Translation has been changed to fit Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs is untrue.   

The Governing Body

“Governing Body” is a legalistic English term that originates in modern western culture. However, the 2013 revision/Study Edition of the New World Translation casually inserts the phrase throughout its chapter introductions and study notes:

  • Acts 15: Letter from the governing body (22-29) –Chapter Summary
  •  “So just as some elders served in fleshly Israel on a national level, these elders together with the apostles formed a governing body for all the Christian congregations in the first century C.E. This indicates that the original group serving as a governing body, the 12 apostles, had now been enlarged. –NWT Study Edition; Study Note, Acts 6:5
  • “As shown in the study note on Acts 15:2, some elders in the nation of Israel served in positions of responsibility on a national level. Likewise, these elders in Jerusalem together with the apostles formed a governing body for all the Christian congregations in the first century. C.E. After handling the issue of circumcision, these apostles and elders made their decision known to the congregations, and it was accepted as authoritative.” –NWT Study Edition; Study Note, Acts 16:4
  • “…However, just seven years before Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, the governing body in Jerusalem concluded that non-Jews who accepted the good news did not need to get circumcised and submit to the regulations of the Jewish law.” –NWT Study Edition; Study Note, Romans 2:25
  • “…That would be in direct violation of the governing body’s decree found at Ac 15:29” –NWT Study Edition; Study Note, 1 Corinthians 8:1

Because these notes are located in the Bible itself, and the study notes are often referred to as containing the “correct” answers during Witnesses’ “Christian Life and Ministry Meeting,” this subconsciously makes it seem as if the existence of a first-century governing body is an established fact. In reality, Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only organization that believe this, and the New World Translation is the only Bible that contains such language. 

Trinity

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the trinity; this is not unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses as a religion, as not all Christian denominations are Trinitarian. They are unique in specifically choosing wording that refutes the Trinity in their Bible translation.

For example, every other respected translation of the Bible renders 1 Colossians 1:16, which is referring to Jesus, this way:

  • for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him.

The 2013 Revision of the New World Translation renders the text this way:

  • “…because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible,whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through himand for him.
    • Italics added for emphasis

The word “other” does not appear in the original Greek, which one can confirm by using a concordance (or the Kingdom Interlinear on JW LIBRARY).

The signify this, previous versions of the New World Translation added brackets around the word “other”:

  • because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him.”

However, as can be seen above, the 2013 Revision removes the brackets completely, giving the reader the impression that this was the intention of the original writers. Why add the word “other”? Because Witnesses do not believe that “all things were created by means of” Jesus. They believe that Jesus was created as God’s firstborn son. Since this verse would contradict with their doctrine, they have simply changed the verse.

The main way Witnesses refute the possibility of the Trinity, however, is by adding “the Divine Name” into the New Testament.

“Jehovah” in the New Testament

In the JW.ORG FAQ article, Is the New World Translation Accurate? the following is stated:

  • “Many translations of the Bible sacrifice faithfulness to God’s message in favor of following human traditions, for instance by replacing God’s personal name, Jehovah, with titles such as Lord or God.”

However, the translators of the New World Translation have sacrificed faithfulness to the Bible by adding the name “Jehovah” to the New Testament 237 times.

One only has to compare New Testament verses containing the divine name in the New World Translation to the original Greek in the Kingdom Interlinear to see that these 237 additions are unfounded. No existing manuscripts of the New Testament contain the divine name, a fact which Watchtower acknowledges in the Appendix to the 2013 Revision:

  • The Greek manuscripts we possess today are not the originals. Of the thousands of copies in existence today, most were made at least two centuries after the originals were composed. (2) By that time, those copying the manuscripts either replaced the Tetragrammaton with Kyʹri·os, the Greek word for “Lord,” or they copied from manuscripts where this had already been done.

    The New World Bible Translation Committee determined that there is compelling evidence that the Tetragrammaton did appear in the original Greek manuscripts

Deceptively, Watchtower states that “those copying the manuscripts replaced the Tetragrammaton with Ky’rios,” even as they acknowledge that there are no existing manuscripts that support this assertion.

As Watchtower itself outlines, we do not have the original Greek manuscripts. This means that when they say “there is compelling evidence that the Tetragrammaton did appear in the original Greek manuscripts,” they are basing their entire translation around assumptions about non-existent manuscripts.

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Women Preachers?

What JW.ORG Says

“Women who are Jehovah’s Witnesses follow the example set by women in the Bible. (Proverbs 31:10-​31) Although they don’t assume a leadership role within the congregation, they have a full share in the public ministry. They also teach Bible principles to their children. (Proverbs 1:8) By their words and actions, Witness women work hard to be an influence for good.​—Titus 2:​3-5.”

The Truth

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ definitions of “preacher” and “minister” are very different from those of most religions, which makes this article rather misleading. The primary definition of preacher given in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a person who delivers a sermon publically,” and a minister is defined as “one officiating or assisting the officiant in church worship.”

from jw.org

This is not how preachers/ministers function for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

When Watchtower says that women within its organization are able to be preachers/ministers, they mean that they are able to go out in the door-to-door ministry. But this is one of the only things that women are allowed to do within the religion.

Women within the Jehovah’s Witness religion:

  • Cannot become members of the Governing Body
  • Cannot become Circuit Overseers
  • Cannot become Elders
  • Cannot become Ministerial Servants
  • Cannot conduct a Bible Study if there is a baptized male present without wearing a head covering.
  • Cannot be an attendant at the weekly meetings (i.e. holding the door open, monitoring the parking lot, taking the count of how many are in attendance, etc.)
  • Cannot carry microphones to those giving comments at the meetings
  • Cannot adjust the podium microphone or anything else on the stage during the meetings
  • Cannot operate any of the audio/visual equipment during the meetings
  • Cannot say a public prayer at any meeting (field service, midweek meeting, weekend meeting, etc)
  • Cannot pray out loud for her husband or male child at home if he is a baptized Witness
  • Cannot “scripturally” divorce their husband for any reason other than adultery, even if they are being physically, mentally, sexually or emotionally abused. (See: How Do Witnesses View Divorce?)

In “extreme” cases where no baptized men are available, women may be able to carry out meeting assignments such as handling microphones, publically reading the Watchtower or operating sound equipment, but they must do so wearing a head covering to demonstrate their submissiveness.

Watchtower has a long history of misogynistic remarks in its publications:

  • “Equality in every sense would do away with sound laws that govern the type of work women can be asked to do. If you are a woman, would you really want equality with men in digging coal out of a mine thousands of feet underground if men did their share of the housework? Would you really want to spend equal time plowing fields and shoveling manure with your farmer husband if he agreed to help you cook and clean at home? Is that what you prefer? g72 5/22 pp. 5-9
  • “…motion pictures, magazines and advertisements are filled with females in sexually suggestive situations or poses. Who is to blame? In most cases it is the men who control the production of these things.
    Yet, who forces the women to perform or pose? You will find that nearly all the women do it of their own free will…Thus, women do allow themselves to be used in ‘sexist’ ways. They do become prostitutes of their own free will. They do willingly pose for immoral purposes. And many women do wear sexually suggestive clothing, including very short dresses. So a large part of womankind must share the blame for encouraging males to be ‘sexist.’ g72 5/22 pp. 5-9
  • What makes a woman truly praiseworthy? “Charm may be false, and prettiness may be vain,” states Proverbs 31:30, “but the woman that fears Jehovah is the one that procures praise for herself.” Included in the fear of Jehovah is the need to submit willingly to the divine arrangement of headship. “The head of a woman is the man,” just as “the head of every man is the Christ,” and “the head of the Christ is God.”​—1 Cor. 11:3.” w10 5/15 pp. 12-17
  • “…the title “Long-Suffering” has been changed to “Exercise Patience,” and the lyrics have been adjusted accordingly. The change of the title “Guard Your Heart” to “We Guard Our Hearts” was most considerate. Why? In the audience at our meetings, assemblies, and conventions are many new ones, interested ones, young ones, and sisters who by singing the words would be put in the awkward position of telling others what to do. So the title and the lyrics were modified.” w17 November pp. 3-7

For an in-depth guide to Women’s Place in Jehovah’s Witnesses, head over to the wonderful website JW.SUPPORT

What is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

What JW.ORG Says

“The Governing Body is a small group of mature Christians who provide direction for Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. Their work is twofold:

The Governing Body follows the pattern set by “the apostles and elders in Jerusalem” in the first century, who made important decisions on behalf of the entire Christian congregation. (Acts 15:2) Like those faithful men, the members of the Governing Body are not the leaders of our organization. They look to the Bible for guidance, acknowledging that Jehovah God has appointed Jesus Christ as the Head of the congregation.​—1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:​23.”

The Truth

The JW.ORG article states that “the members of the Governing Body are not the leaders of our organization,” while also stating that the Governing Body “oversees,” “supervises,” and “makes important decisions on behalf of the entire Christian congregation.” These terms are more or less synonymous with “leading” and in fact Watchtower publications consistently say that the Governing Body “take the lead.” (w89 9/15 pp. 20-25) They do not clarify how the Governing Body can be “taking the lead” while somehow not also being “leaders.”

Although the Governing Body states that Christ is “the head of the congregation” as he rules invisibly in heaven, they routinely refer to themselves as “the visible part of God’s organization.” (ws13 4/15 pp. 15-20) They also claim to be the “faithful and discreet slave” spoken about by Jesus.

The Governing Body reasons that by being loyal to them their members are being loyal to Christ, as he supposedly has appointed to them to their relative positions:

  • “We can also remember the Governing Body by following its instructions and direction. The Governing Body gives us direction through our publications, meetings, assemblies, and conventions…And all of us show respect for our Leader, Jesus, by obeying the men he is using today.” ws17 February pp. 20-26
  • The Governing Body continues “following the Lamb,” Jesus, “no matter where he goes.” (Revelation 14:4) So when we follow the direction of the Governing Body, we follow our Leader, Jesus. ws17 February pp. 20-26
  •  Jesus Christ, who has committed all his earthly Kingdom interests, or belongings, to his faithful slave class and its Governing Body. w90 3/15 pp. 15-20

The Governing Body states in Watchtower publications that they are not elected to their positions, but chosen by holy spirit:

  • “…the Governing Body is not a legal instrument. Its members are not elected. They are appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.w90 3/15 pp. 15-20

However, when under oath during the 2015 Australian Royal Commission, Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson confirmed that the Governing Body itself does, in fact, elect future members:

  • Angus Stewart: “And is it the case that the Governing Body then appoints new members of the Governing Body?”

    Geoffrey Jackson: “That is correct.”

In Watchtower publications Witnesses are told that the Governing Body are the only channel God is using on earth today:

  • “All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the ‘greatly diversified wisdom of God’ can become known only through Jehovah’s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.—John 6:68.” – w94 10/1 p.8

However, during the aforementioned Royal Commission, Geoffrey Jackson stated the exact opposite:

  • Angus Stewart: “Do you see yourselves as Jehovah God’s spokespeople on earth?”

    Geoffrey Jackson: “That, I think, would seem to be quite presumptuous to say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using.”

If a Jehovah’s Witness believes something that is contrary to what the Governing Body teaches and does not keep this silent, he is labeled as an apostate:

  • “[An apostate] thinks he knows better than his fellow Christians, better also than the “faithful and discreet slave,” through whom he has learned the best part, if not all that he knows about Jehovah God and his purposes. He develops a spirit of independence, and becomes “proud in heart . . . something detestable to Jehovah.” (Prov. 16:5)  w80 8/1 pp. 17-22

Trusting in and being thankful to the Governing Body is presented as essential for maintaining one’s faith in God:

  • “To avoid falling away from the faith, we also need to guard against ingratitude. We should be thankful for the abundant spiritual food we are receiving through the “faithful and discreet slave.”” w80 8/1 pp. 17-22

Suffice it to say, contrary to what is stated on their official website, the Governing Body are indeed the leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and those beneath them are beholden to their interpretation of scripture under penalty of shunning.

A transcript of Geoffrey Jackson’s testimony is available on the Royal Commission’s official website

Unedited video of Jackson’s testimony can be seen on Youtube.

Part One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erWV8YnTFto

Part Two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBE_oof1RzE

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Force Their Children to Adopt Their Faith?

What JW.ORG Says:

“No, because worshipping God is a personal decision. (Romans 14:12) Jehovah’s Witnesses teach their children Bible principles, but when the children grow older, each one must decide for himself whether he will become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.—Romans 12:2; Galatians 6:5.

from jw.org

“Like most parents, Jehovah’s Witnesses want the best for their children. They teach their children what they think will benefit them: practical skills, as well as moral principles and religious beliefs. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible promotes the best way of life, so they try to instill its values in their children by studying the Bible with them and attending Christian meetings together. (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7) Each child, when he grows older, can then make an informed decision about whether to adopt his parents’ faith.”

The Truth

Consider a few passages from the March 2018 Watchtower study article entitled Baptism—A Requirement for Christians and ask yourself whether children of Jehovah’s Witnesses are to view adopting their parents’ faith as optional:

  • “Clearly, it is very important to dedicate our life to Jehovah and get baptized. In fact, if someone delays getting baptized, he could lose the opportunity to live forever.”
  • “Do not delay in getting baptized.”
  • “When we help our children and other Bible students to do these necessary things, we must remember that those who want to be true followers of Jesus have to get baptized. Then we will not be afraid to tell them at appropriate times how important dedication and baptism are. We want our children and other Bible students to keep making progress and get baptized!”
  •  “Of course, parents do not want their child to get baptized before he is ready to dedicate his life to Jehovah. But it would be a mistake to think that a child is not accountable to Jehovah until he is baptized. A child becomes accountable to God when he knows what Jehovah says is right and wrong. (Read James 4:17.)Wise parents do not discourage their child from getting baptized. Even when the child is young, they teach him to love what Jehovah says is right and hate what He says is wrong, just as they do.”

When a child is told by his parents that getting baptized is “the only way to survive Jehovah’s day,” that he will “lose [his]opportunity for everlasting life” if he does not get baptized, that if he wants to be a true follower of Jesus “[he] must get baptized,” is that really a choice? Would a child view it as a choice?  

Governing Body member Anthony Morris III even encouraged parents to withhold a driver’s learning permit from their child until they agree to get baptized:


How Do Jehovah’s Witnesses View Divorce?

What JW.ORG Says

“We adhere to the Bible’s view of marriage and divorce. God created marriage to be a permanent union between a man and a woman. The only Scriptural grounds for divorce is sexual immorality.​—Matthew 19:​5, 6, 9

The Truth

Jehovah’s Witnesses apply Matthew 19:9 literally, which states: “I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on the grounds of sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery.” In practice, this means that a Jehovah’s Witness who divorces her spouse for any reason other than infidelity will be disfellowshipped—or shunned—from the congregation.

from jw.org

Even in cases where one marriage mate is unfaithful, Watchtower has very specific, legalistic guidelines for elders on how to “handle” the matter:

  • Scriptural freedom to remarry requires three conditions: (1) sexual immorality (por·nei_a); (2) a rejection (refusal to reconcile) by the innocent mate; and (3) a legal, final divorce. (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:9; Heb. 13:4) For example, if an individual contemplating remarriage confesses that he has been guilty of sexual immorality after his former mate legally divorced him or if his former mate has admitted to committing sexual immorality since the legal divorce, both are Scripturally free to remarry.” –Shepherd the Flock of God (Elder’s Manual) pg. 105

This means that even if one marriage mate was being physically, sexually or emotionally abused it would not be grounds for “scriptural” divorce. What does this mean for the abuse victim? It means that if they do get divorced and begin a relationship with another person, they will be disfellowshipped.

  • Continuing to date or to pursue a romantic relationship with a person though one or both are not legally or Scripturally free to remarry, doing so despite repeated counsel and generally after a warning talk to the congregation, would warrant judicial action” –Shepherd the Flock of God pg. 89

Do Congregation Elders Have to Approve the Divorce of a Witness?

What JW.ORG Says

“No. Even when elders are asked to help a couple deal with marital difficulties, they are not authorized to tell the couple what to do. (Galatians 6:5) However, someone who chooses to divorce without Scriptural grounds is not Scripturally free to remarry.​—1 Timothy 3:​1, 5, 12.”

The Truth

The congregation elders’ handbook makes it clear that elders do have to approve the divorce of a Witness:

  • “The publisher should be advised that he is not to view himself as Scripturally free to date or remarry until the elders have investigated the matter and guilt of por·nei_a is established.” –Chapter 12, pg. 102
  • “It is the responsibility of the individual desiring to remarry to produce convincing evidence [to the elders] to establish Scriptural freedom to remarry” –Chapter 12, pg. 101

Clearly, then, a person may be able to obtain a legal divorce from their spouse without consulting the elders, but she will not be allowed to date or remarry without the elders’ approval. As stated above, the punishment for a lack of the elders’ approval in this matter means excommunication.

How Do Witnesses View Separation?

What JW.ORG Says

“The Bible encourages marriage mates to stay together even under less than ideal circumstances. (1 Corinthians 7:​10-​16) Many problems can be resolved by praying earnestly, applying Bible principles, and showing love.​—1 Corinthians 13:​4-8; Galatians 5:​22.

“Nevertheless, in extreme situations such as the following, some Christians have decided to separate from a marriage mate:

  • Willful nonsupport.​—1 Timothy 5:8.
  • Extreme physical abuse.​—Psalm 11:5.
  • Absolute endangerment of spiritual life. For example, a spouse might try to force a Witness to break God’s commands in some way, and the threatened mate might decide that a separation is the only way to ‘obey God as ruler rather than men.’​—Acts 5:​29.”

The Truth

The attitudes presented above are incredibly dangerous. Married Witnesses are discouraged from separation even in cases of physical, sexual or emotional abuse—in fact, the latter two forms of abuse are not even mentioned. Only in “extreme” cases have “some Christians” decided to separate. Divorce is not even an option. And should a spouse decide to separate from her mate because of abuse, she would be expected to remain unmarried forever:

  • “Should the battered wife leave her husband? The Bible does not treat marital separation lightly. At the same time, it does not oblige a battered wife to stay with a man who jeopardizes her health and perhaps her very life. The Christian apostle Paul wrote: “If she should actually depart, let her remain unmarried or else make up again with her husband.”” Awake, Nov 1 2001 pg. 3-12

“Extreme” abuse is a relative term, as is “absolute” endangerment of spiritual life. Because of this, there is plenty of wiggle room for Witnesses to be forced to remain in dangerous, abusive marriages. In fact, Watchtower publications have historically placed subtle blame on the victims, even encouraging abused spouses to stay in their harmful marriage and “wait on Jehovah” to handle things.

  • “Contributing to home violence is the tendency to focus on our own feelings. (Phil. 2:4) A wife expects her husband to notice and to comment on her new hairdo without her mentioning it. But when he comes home it is almost as if he thinks she miraculously should know about the traffic jam. Those could be the ingredients for a family fight leading to violence.g79 5/8 pp. 13-19
  • “…if husband and wife develop a pattern of communication about their activities and feelings, it is unlikely that frustrations common to imperfect life in this system will build to the point of a violent explosion.” g79 5/8 pp. 13-19
  • When Yelena began to study the Bible, she was silently suffering harsh treatment from her husband. He had been brought up in a violent environment, where the kidnapping of brides and physical abuse were common practices. “What I learned from the Bible gave me strength,” says Yelena. “I understood that there was someone who loved me very much and valued and cared about me. I also understood that if my husband studied the Bible, it could change his attitude toward me.” Her dream came true when her husband eventually agreed to study the Bible and then got baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “He became an example of self-control and restraint,” Yelena says.” w12 9/1 pp. 8-11
  • “The marriage of one couple was headed for disaster. The husband was violent and had many bad habits. Life seemed impossible for his wife. She attempted suicide. Then the husband began to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. What he learned helped him conquer his bad habits and violent temper. His wife was amazed at the “impossible” changes.” w12 6/1 pp. 27-29
  • “[Abigail’s] account is a fitting reminder that no case of domestic tyranny or abuse escapes his notice. In his own time, he will always bring about justice.​—Read Luke 8:17.” ia chap. 9 pp. 76-83

Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Accept Blood Transfusions?

What JW.ORG Says

What JW.ORG says:

from jw.org
  • Myth: Many Witnesses, including children, die each year as a result of refusing blood transfusions.
  • Fact: This statement is totally unfounded. Surgeons regularly perform such complex procedures as heart operations, orthopedic surgery, and organ transplants without the use of blood transfusions. * Patients, including children, who do not receive transfusions usually fare as well as or better than those who do accept transfusions. * In any case, no one can say for certain that a patient will die because of refusing blood or will live because of accepting it.

The Truth

Is it true that “no one can say for certain that a patient will die because of refusing blood or will live because of accepting it”? What about physicians and other medical professionals?

  • NPR: “Over his parents’ objections, 14-year-old Dennis Lindberg refused vital blood transfusions that could have saved him because it was against his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.” … “So we’ve got a 14-year-old boy who died this week of something that was medically pretty treatable and had a pretty good survivability rate.”
  • CBC: A Quebec coroner has found that the refusal of blood transfusions played a key role in the deaths of two Jehovah’s Witnesses who died of childbirth complications last year.

    Dr. Luc Malouin looked into the deaths of Mirlande Cadet, 46, and Éloïse Dupuis, 26, after they died in separate incidents at hospitals in Montreal and Quebec City… In his report about Dupuis’s case, Malouin pointed out that sometimes, doctors and medical staff find themselves in “untenable” situations. ‘On the one hand, they have taken the oath to protect and save human life and, on the other hand, they have an obligation to respect their patient’s freedom of choice, even if they know that ultimately that choice will kill them when a simple medical treatment could prevent that death.’ 
  • Vice: “ Jay Requarth is a retired cardiothoracic surgeon who worked on a trauma case with a 15-year-old Jehovah’s Witness during his residency. The teen required a lifesaving blood transfusion, which the ER team implemented.

    “When the family arrived,” Requarth says. “They rushed into the trauma bay and ripped down the blood. Obviously, this is a huge issue for the family and the caregivers, but the courts side with the physicians in these cases. In my case, we contacted the hospital’s lawyer who instructed us to proceed. The police were called to remove the family.
  • Washington Post:
    Why doctors let a Jehovah’s Witness and her unborn child dieThe pregnant woman suffered from acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a treatable condition: The American Cancer Society says that “more than 90% of patients with APL go into remission with standard induction treatment.” The authors of the letter also note that pregnant women with the cancer have reported an 83 percent remission rate, with a good outlook for their babies when the women are diagnosed in their second or third trimesters.

    In this case, the patient repeatedly declined blood products — including red cell, white cell, platelets or plasma transfusions — while knowing that such a decision could have drastic consequences, including death, the letter says. 

These are just a few stories that happened to have made national headlines. Despite Watchtower’s unfounded proclamation that “nobody” can say for sure, physicians, coroners and other medical professionals can and have determined that unnecessary deaths do occur because of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ stance on blood transfusions, including children.

Watchtower also encourages its members to be willing to die rather than accept a blood transfusion:

  • But suppose one’s wife or child were near death. Giving blood, no matter who the loved one might be, would still constitute a violation of God’s law. Just because one is near death, this does not give one liberty to break God’s commands. When one is near death is no time to tamper with or violate the law of God, but a time to draw as near as possible to God by remaining faithful. Everlasting life is the reward for faithfulness. How foolish it would be to gamble away the prospect of life eternal for the very uncertain promise of a cure by blood transfusion!​—Rev. 2:10. w70 4/15 pp. 245-252

What JW.ORG Says

“This is a religious issue rather than a medical one. Both the Old and New Testaments clearly command us to abstain from blood. (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:10; Deuteronomy 12:23; Acts 15:28, 29) Also, God views blood as representing life. (Leviticus 17:14) So we avoid taking blood not only in obedience to God but also out of respect for him as the Giver of life.”

The Truth

Even if it’s true that “God views blood as representing life,” why would the representation of life be more important to Jehovah than life itself? Would that not be be like a husband who viewed his wedding ring as more important than his marriage?

In the companion article, “What does the Bible say about blood transfusions?  the following is stated:

  • “History shows that early Christians refused to consume whole blood or even to use it for medical reasons.”

However, Watchtower does not cite any historical evidence to support the incredible claim that “history shows” early  Christians  refused blood for medical reasons. Bible writers would have had no concept of blood transfusions, which would not be invented for centuries.

When speaking of the Bible’s mandate to “abstain from blood,” typically Watchtower gives the following defense:

  • “Examine the scriptures carefully and notice that they tell us to ‘keep free from blood’ and to ‘abstain from blood.’ (Acts 15:20, 29) What does this mean? If a doctor were to tell you to abstain from alcohol, would that mean simply that you should not take it through your mouth but that you could transfuse it directly into your veins? Of course not! So, too, ‘abstaining from blood’ means not taking it into our bodies at all.” tr chap. 19 pp. 163-169

This is a flimsy illustration, seeing as many over-the-counter medications contain alcohol and would not be prohibited for alcoholics, such as anti-diarrheal medicine, laxatives, iron products and anti-emetics.

The Bible forbids eating blood, which would have been a safeguard for followers of the Mosaic Law as well as early Christians, given that eating blood is incredibly dangerous:

  • “any animal that consumes blood regularly runs a risk of iron overdose…haemochromatosis can cause a wide variety of diseases and problems, including liver damage, buildup of fluid in the lungs, dehydration, low blood pressure, and nervous disorders.” LiveScience.com

Yes, eating and digesting blood does not cause the blood to enter the bloodstream and can cause significant health problems. This is not the same as a medical professional carefully injecting clean, filtered blood into one’s veins:

  • “Your blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body. Blood transfusions replace blood that is lost through surgery or injury or provide it if your body is not making blood properly.” National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute

Suffice it to say, injecting alcohol into one’s veins or eating blood would only be a detriment to a patient’s health, while blood transfusions are always used to prolong life, even if there are risks involved.

Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to have an intense respect for human life:

  • Respect for life is a sacred obligation to the Giver of life, Jehovah God. Of him the psalmist said: “With you is the source of life.” (Psalm 36:9) We owe our lives to God, not only because he created man but also because he has allowed mankind to continue until now and has provided the means for sustaining life. (Acts 14:16, 17

Is sacrificing the life of one’s own child because of imperfect men’s interpretation of scripture showing respect for life?

For a more in-depth discussion of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ stance on blood transfusions, head over to jwfacts.com

Why Have Jehovah’s Witnesses Changed Some of Their Beliefs?

What JW.ORG says:

“We have always used the Bible as the sole authority for our beliefs, so we have adjusted our beliefs as our understanding of the Scriptures has been clarified. 

“Such changes are in harmony with the Bible principle stated at Proverbs 4:​18: “The path of the righteous is like the bright morning light that grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.” Just as the rising sun reveals details of a landscape gradually, God grants an understanding of divine truth progressively, in his due time. (1 Peter 1:​10-​12) As the Bible foretold, he has accelerated this process during “the time of the end.”​—Daniel 12:4.

These adjustments in our understanding should neither surprise nor disturb us. Ancient worshippers of God also had mistaken ideas and expectations and needed to adjust their viewpoint.

God later corrected their misunderstandings, and we pray that he will continue doing the same for us.​—James 1:5.”

The Truth

Watchtower begins by misapplying Proverbs 4:18, which they present as a prophecy about changes in Bible understanding. Examining the context shows that Proverbs 4 is not a prophecy, but a series of pieces of practical wisdom being passed on from a father to his sons:

  • Listen, my sons, to the discipline of a father;Pay attention in order to gain understanding,  For I will give you good instruction; Do not forsake my teaching.” Proverbs 4:1,2

Leading up to verse 18, the “father” begins to contrast the path of a wicked man with the path of a righteous man:

  • 13  Hold on to discipline; do not let it go.Safeguard it, for it means your life.14  Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil men.15  Shun it, do not take it;Turn away from it, and pass it by.16  For they cannot sleep unless they do what is bad. They are robbed of sleep unless they cause someone’s downfall.17  They feed themselves with the bread of wickedness, And they drink the wine of violence.18  But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light That grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.

Nowhere in these verses is the slightest hint as to the understanding of bible prophecies growing “brighter.

Really, Watchtower has changed many of their beliefs not because of God “correcting their understandings,” but because they have made predictions that the passing of time has proven false.

As just one example, let’s look at Watchtower’s former belief that Armageddon would come in 1925. In 1918, Watchtower proclaimed the following:

  • “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection,” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89).

In 1922 they doubled down on this:

1923:

  •  “Our thought is that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge,” (Watchtower, Apr. 1, 1923, p. 106).

1925 came and went. None of these things came to pass, despite Watchtower being “confident,” despite the prediction supposedly being “distinctly indicated” and “definitely settled by the scriptures.” Was there an apology? An admission of error? A display of humility?

Here’s what was said in 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).

The date having come and gone, Watchtower now said some anticipated that the end would come in 1925. The obvious truth is that all Jehovah’s Witnesses anticipated the end would come in 1925, because that was the official Watchtower teaching. But all the blame was placed on faithful members of the congregation for “inflating their imaginations beyond reason,” when all they really did was believe the publications they were told they must trust in order to gain salvation.

Why did Watchtower change their beliefs? Was it “light getting brighter”? Was it direction from God? Or was it because Watchtower asserted that something would definitely happen, and then it definitely didn’t happen?

For a deeper dive into changed Watchtower beliefs, check out the wonderful resources at jwfacts.com

For a detailed timeline of failed endtime predictions, head over to readjw.info