Jehovah's Witnesses' practices are based on the biblical interpretations of Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916), founder (c. 1881) of the Bible Student movement, and of successive presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford and Nathan Homer Knorr.Since 1976 practices have also been based on decisions made at closed meetings of the group's Governing Body. Read why Charles Taze Russell was not the founder of a new religion. They believe God, who they call Jehovah, will end crime, violence, sickness and death by destroying all wickedness in the world. (James 2:​24, 26) However, salvation cannot be earned​—it comes through “the undeserved kindness of God.”​—Galatians 2:​16, 21. We recognize the Bible as God’s inspired message to humans. The movement has been accused of doctrinal inconsistency and reversals, failed predictions, mistranslation of the Bible, harsh treatment of former members and autocratic and coercive leadership. These began when one of God’s angels rebelled. Jehovah's Witnesses are a religious group with more than eight million members around the world. (Psalm 83:18; Revelation 4:​11) He is the God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.​—Exodus 3:6; 32:11; John 20:17. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we strive to adhere to the form of Christianity that Jesus taught and that his apostles practiced. The Jehovah's witnesses are a religious organization known for their medical interest. (Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:​5, 10) They do not suffer in a fiery hell of torment. We adhere to God’s original standard of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, with sexual immorality being the only valid basis for divorce. Engaging in 'competitive' sport is frowned upon, as is associating with worldly friends. Constructing and maintaining Kingdom Halls and other facilities used to further our worldwide Bible educational work.​—Psalm 127:1. How Do I Become One of Jehovah’s Witnesses? The Adventist movement emerged in the 1830s around the predictions of William Miller, who proclaimed that Jesus Christ would return in 1843 or 1844. Jehovah God, Jesus Christ, and the faithful angels reside in the spirit realm. Rutherford’s successor, Nathan Homer Knorr (1905–77), assumed the presidency in 1942 and continued and expanded Rutherford’s policies. Family. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Our conduct. The Scripture appellation of the supreme Being, usually interpreted as signifying self-derived and permanent existence. 1. Rutherford molded the Witnesses into a cadre of dedicated evangelists, even equipping members with portable phonographs to play his “sermonettes” on street corners and in the living rooms of prospective converts. However, the elders do not form a clergy class, and they are unsalaried. In the 1 November 1995 Watchtower magazine, the Jehovah's Witnesses made a major doctrinal change concerning the "Generation of 1914." What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe? Protestant - an adherent of Protestantism. The Jews scrupulously avoided every mention of this name of God, substituting in its stead one or other of the words with whose proper vowel-points it may happen to be written. Jesus commanded: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” He also said that Christians “are no part of the world.” (Matthew 22:39; John 17:16) So we try to “work what is good toward all,” yet we remain strictly neutral in political affairs and avoid affiliation with other religions. The Kingdom of God. Three points in particular make the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures worthy to include in your studies. ^ par. Sharing in disaster relief.​—Acts 11:27-​30. (John 8:​44) This angel, who after his rebellion was called “Satan” and “Devil,” persuaded the first human couple to join him, and the consequences have been disastrous for their descendants. Our relationships with others. (Acts 15:28, 29; Galatians 5:​19-​21) We are peaceful and do not participate in warfare. We do not venerate the cross or any other images. While we accept the entire Bible, we are not fundamentalists. According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings, in order to have a happy marriage, all that one needs to do is find a “ spiritual brother or sister ” to marry. Share Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians who believe that the Bible is God's word and that Jesus is their Savior. Our worship. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Meditating on what we learn from the Bible.​—Psalm 77:12. (1 Corinthians 1:​10) We also work hard to have no social, ethnic, racial, or class divisions. Above all, we want to honor Jehovah, the God of the Bible and the Creator of all things. (Acts 10:34, 35; James 2:4) Our unity allows for personal choice, though. He began ruling in 1914.​—Revelation 11:15. The group was originally called the Watch Tower Society because founder Charles Taze Russell published a magazine called Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. God created the earth to be mankind’s eternal home. 6 Wicked angels have been cast out of heaven, although they continue to exist in the spirit realm.​—Revelation 12:​7-9. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is God’s only direct creation, that everything else was created through Christ by means of God’s power, and that the initial unassisted act of creation uniquely identifies Jesus as God’s “only-begotten Son”. Death. (Genesis 3:​1-6; Romans 5:​12) In order to settle the moral issues raised by Satan, God has allowed evil and suffering, but He will not permit them to continue forever. Using a variety of Bible translations can enhance your study of the Bible. What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe? This Bible study course requires no commitment and is interactive, self-guided, and free of charge. This Christian denomination dates back to the late 19th century. Jehovah's Witnesses definition: a millenarian , actively proselytizing Christian sect founded by Charles T . Meeting together to pray, study the Bible, sing, express our faith, and encourage fellow Witnesses and others.​—Colossians 3:​16; Hebrews 10:23-​25. Under Knorr’s direction, a group of Witnesses produced a new translation of the Bible. The beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of Charles Taze Russell—founder of the Bible Student movement—and successive presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, and Nathan Homer Knorr. Critical analysis of the WatchTower Bible & Tract Society publications and the bible. In 1909 he transferred the headquarters of the movement to Brooklyn. That of Jehovah’s Witnesses is really “gospel,” or “good news,” as of God’s heavenly kingdom that was established by the enthronement of his Son Jesus Christ at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914.” 1 Notice that the date of 1914 is included in the “gospel” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Everything is Forbidden. (2 Corinthians 9:7) All our activities are supported by anonymous donations. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Their Own Bible? God will bring billions back from death by means of a resurrection. Our organization. Predictions (by date of publication) include: He rejected belief in hell as a place of eternal torment and adopted a non-Trinitarian theology that denied the divinity of Jesus. Copyright © 2021 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The subject of intense international criticism, lawsuits and … Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Children of Jehovah's Witnesses are raised to feel like the odd-ones-out at school, prevented from engaging in many normal childhood activities such as birthdays, Christmas, Easter and a range of public holidays. ^ par. Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious movement probably best known for their door-to-door evangelistic work. Jehovah's Witnesses originated as a branch of the Bible Student movement, which developed in the United States in the 1870s among followers of Christian Restorationist minister Charles Taze Russell.Bible Student missionaries were sent to England in 1881 and the first overseas branch was opened in London in 1900. Preaching the “good news of the Kingdom.”​—Matthew 24:14. (Daniel 2:​44; Matthew 6:​9, 10) It will take these actions soon, for Bible prophecy indicates that we are living in “the last days.”​—2 Timothy 3:​1-5; Matthew 24:​3-​14. The movement’s headquarters were transferred to Warwick, New York, in 2016. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. If you have further questions about the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you can read more about us on our website, contact one of our offices, attend a meeting at a Kingdom Hall near you, or speak to one of the Witnesses in your area. Members who engage in conduct that is considered inappropriate may be counseled privately by elders and congregational responsibilities may be withheld or restricted. We recognize that parts of the Bible are written in figurative or symbolic language and are not to be understood literally.​—Revelation 1:1. ... That the definition … divides punishment of wrongdoers into two categories, those deserving of marking(4) and those deserving of disfellowshipping (or \"disassociation\"(5)). Earth. This is a real government in heaven, not a condition in the hearts of Christians. (Matthew 10:8; 23:8) We do not practice tithing, and no collections are ever taken at our meetings. Jehovah's Witnesses - Protestant denomination founded in the United States by Charles Taze Russell in 1884. Russell was succeeded as president in 1917 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford (Judge Rutherford; 1869–1942), who changed the group’s name to Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931 to emphasize its members’ belief that Jehovah, or Yahweh, is the true God and that the Witnesses were his specially chosen followers. Author of. It will replace human governments and accomplish God’s purpose for the earth. Jehovah’s Witness, member of a millennialist denomination that developed within the larger 19th-century Adventist movement in the United States and has since spread worldwide. 1,442,987 posts in 67,256 topics Bible Research & Study Articles. Knowing its meaning and using it freely in our worship are powerful aids in drawing closer to our heavenly Father, Jehovah. Deliverance from sin and death is possible through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. 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