(Acts 24:15) However, those who refuse to learn God’s ways after being raised to life will be destroyed forever with no hope of a resurrection.​—Revelation 20:14, 15. ^ par. 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. 6 Things This Letter From a Jehovah’s Witness Taught Me About Capturing Attention. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are an outgrowth of the International Bible Students Association, which was founded in 1872 in Pittsburgh by Charles Taze Russell.. History. Knorr was followed as president of the Jehovah’s Witnesses by Frederick W. Franz (1893–1992) in 1978 and then by Milton G. Henschel in 1992 (1920–2003). Critical analysis of the WatchTower Bible & Tract Society publications and the bible. Predictions (by date of publication) include: Short video lessons that answer essential Bible questions. This Christian denomination dates back to the late 19th century. Death. (2 Corinthians 9:7) All our activities are supported by anonymous donations. It would be easier to list the things that are allowed than the things that are … (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 group took on the name International Bible Students Association and … 1,442,987 posts in 67,256 topics Bible Research & Study Articles. He also interpreted the Second Coming in accordance with the literal translation of the original Greek term, parousia (“presence”), suggesting that Christ would come as an invisible presence and that the Parousia, or “Millennial Dawn,” already had occurred, in 1874. Jehovah's Witnesses focus on God the Father, so their name is taken from the Tetragrammaton, written as YHWH or JHVH and articulated either as Yahweh or Jehovah. Since 1976 all doctrinal decisions have been made by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders at the denomination's headquarters. To better understand the significance of this change it is crucial to understand the importance they place on the year 1914 and how their beliefs concerning that year have radically changed throughout their history. This may not seem like such a big deal, but Jehovah's Witnesses ignore the fact that people died for the right to vote. a Christian religious sect rooted in the Adventist movement of the late 1800s in the United States. (Matthew 10:8; 23:8) We do not practice tithing, and no collections are ever taken at our meetings. The Kingdom of God. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Jehovahs-Witnesses, CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas - Jehovah's Witnesses, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Holocaust Encyclopedia - Jehovah's Witnesses, New Georgia Encyclopedia - Arts and Culture - Jehovah's Witnesses, HistoryNet - What we Owe Jehovah's Witnesses, Jehovah’s Witnesses - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Jehovah’s Witnesses - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we strive to adhere to the form of Christianity that Jesus taught and that his apostles practiced. Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious movement probably best known for their door-to-door evangelistic work. We are organized into congregations, each of which is overseen by a body of elders. Everything is Forbidden. God will bring billions back from death by means of a resurrection. TERMS OF USE Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). (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. This is a real government in heaven, not a condition in the hearts of Christians. 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. What Jehovah's Witnesses believe and why they do what they do 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. In 2000 Henschel stepped down in a reorganization of the leadership and was replaced by Don A. Adams. Although the kingdom did not come, Russell’s teachings motivated a number of volunteers to circulate his many books and pamphlets and a periodical, The Watchtower, and to recalculate the time of the Parousia. In the 1 November 1995 Watchtower magazine, the Jehovah's Witnesses made a major doctrinal change concerning the "Generation of 1914." Jehovah's Witnesses' literature teaches that their refusal of transfusions of whole blood or its four primary components—red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma—is a non-negotiable religious stand and that those who respect life as a gift from God do not try to … Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. 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. Under Rutherford’s leadership, Russell’s group became a tightly knit organization. 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. Preaching the “good news of the Kingdom.”​—Matthew 24:14. We do not venerate the cross or any other images. (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 3:​16; Acts 3:​19, 20) A person’s works prove that his faith is alive. Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Jesus served as a redeemer and a ransom sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity. Bible. 349,746 posts in 18,209 topics Beliefs, Doctrine & Practices. Using a variety of Bible translations can enhance your study of the Bible. ^ par. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. They usually do investigations before reccomending their members to do certain things, even so, they never force anyone to take a certain medical treatment. God created the earth to be mankind’s eternal home. The Bible. The subject of intense international criticism, lawsuits and … (James 2:​24, 26) However, salvation cannot be earned​—it comes through “the undeserved kindness of God.”​—Galatians 2:​16, 21. * (Psalm 103:19-​21; Acts 7:​55) A relatively small number of people​—144,000​—will be resurrected to life in heaven to rule with Jesus in the Kingdom.​—Daniel 7:​27; 2 Timothy 2:​12; Revelation 5:​9, 10; 14:​1, 3. Would you like to read this article in %%? Jehovah's Witnesses - Protestant denomination founded in the United States by Charles Taze Russell in 1884. Many of … Sharing in disaster relief.​—Acts 11:27-​30. … The coming of Christ’s invisible presence signaled the end of the current order of society and would be followed by his visible presence and the establishment of the millennial kingdom on earth in 1914. The Jehovah's witnesses are a religious organization known for their medical interest. Our worship. Jehovah's witnesses definition, a Christian sect, founded in the U.S. in the late 19th century, that believes in the imminent destruction of the world's wickedness and the establishment of a theocracy under God's rule. Salvation. Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians who believe that the Bible is God's word and that Jesus is their Savior. (Deuteronomy 4:​15-​19; 1 John 5:​21) Key aspects of our worship include the following: Reading and studying the Bible.​—Psalm 1:​1-3. We recognize that parts of the Bible are written in figurative or symbolic language and are not to be understood literally.​—Revelation 1:1. The Scripture appellation of the supreme Being, usually interpreted as signifying self-derived and permanent existence. Our conduct. Copyright © 2021 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. (Matthew 19:​4-9) We are convinced that the wisdom found in the Bible helps families to succeed.​—Ephesians 5:22–​6:1. Chryssides states, "For the Jehovah's Witnesses prophecy serves more as a way of discerning a divine plan in human history than a means to predicting the future." (Psalm 104:5; 115:16; Ecclesiastes 1:4) God will bless obedient people with perfect health and everlasting life in an earthly paradise.​—Psalm 37:11, 34. However, the elders do not form a clergy class, and they are unsalaried. Meeting together to pray, study the Bible, sing, express our faith, and encourage fellow Witnesses and others.​—Colossians 3:​16; Hebrews 10:23-​25. (Acts 15:28, 29; Galatians 5:​19-​21) We are peaceful and do not participate in warfare. They believe God, who they call Jehovah, will end crime, violence, sickness and death by destroying all wickedness in the world. Heaven. Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Institute for Studies in Religion, Baylor University; Director, Institute for the Study of American Religion, Woodway, Texas. Under Knorr’s direction, a group of Witnesses produced a new translation of the Bible. In 1909 he transferred the headquarters of the movement to Brooklyn. See more. 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. During the 1870s, Charles Taze Russell established himself as an independent and controversial Adventist teacher. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 5:​31) Thus, we are Christians. (1 Corinthians 1:​10) We also work hard to have no social, ethnic, racial, or class divisions. Eve Arnold. What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe? By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica.  |  The Jehovah’s Witnesses are an outgrowth of the International Bible Students Association, which was founded in 1872 in Pittsburgh by Charles Taze Russell. These began when one of God’s angels rebelled. Knowing its meaning and using it freely in our worship are powerful aids in drawing closer to our heavenly Father, Jehovah. They believe sins require two witnesses. Russell... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples 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. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Deliverance from sin and death is possible through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. Constructing and maintaining Kingdom Halls and other facilities used to further our worldwide Bible educational work.​—Psalm 127:1. Omissions? The Adventist movement emerged in the 1830s around the predictions of William Miller, who proclaimed that Jesus Christ would return in 1843 or 1844. psis (apocalypse), means “Uncovering” or “Disclosure.” This name indicates the meaning of Revelation​—it uncovers matters that had been hidden and discloses events that would happen long after it was written. Corrections? Jehovah's Witness definition: 1. a member of a religious organization that believes that the world will end soon: 2. a member of…. Each Witness makes decisions in harmony with his or her own Bible-trained conscience.​—Romans 14:​1-4; Hebrews 5:​14. 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. (John 13:34, 35) We avoid practices that displease God, including the misuse of blood by taking blood transfusions. 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”. (Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:​5, 10) They do not suffer in a fiery hell of torment. (Acts 10:34, 35; James 2:4) Our unity allows for personal choice, though. Who Was the Founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses? (Psalm 83:18; Revelation 4:​11) He is the God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.​—Exodus 3:6; 32:11; John 20:17. Jehovah's Witnesses and the History of 1914. Jesus is the King of God’s Kingdom in heaven. Three points in particular make the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures worthy to include in your studies. 2 See Truth in Translation, page 165. We do our best to imitate Jesus Christ and are proud to be called Christians. Watchtower or JW.org specific topics. Jehovah's Witnesses definition: a millenarian , actively proselytizing Christian sect founded by Charles T . ^ par. Jehovah God, Jesus Christ, and the faithful angels reside in the spirit realm. Above all, we want to honor Jehovah, the God of the Bible and the Creator of all things. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 4:​12) To benefit from that sacrifice, people must not only exercise faith in Jesus but also change their course of life and get baptized. Jehovah's Witnesses have received criticism from mainstream Christianity, members of the medical community, former members and commentators regarding their beliefs and practices. Audio download options He rejected belief in hell as a place of eternal torment and adopted a non-Trinitarian theology that denied the divinity of Jesus. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Their Own Bible? Our unity. We strive to show unselfish love in all our actions. 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. Jehovah's Witnesses are a religious group with more than eight million members around the world. Definition of Jehovah's Witness : a member of a group that witness by distributing literature and by personal evangelism to beliefs in the theocratic rule of God, the sinfulness of organized religions and governments, and an imminent millennium First Known Use … How Do I Become One of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Each of us regularly spends time helping people learn about the Bible and God’s Kingdom. The Governing Body, a small group of mature Christians who serve at our world headquarters, provides direction for Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.​—Matthew 24:45. Updates? ... That the definition … We are globally united in our beliefs. 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. God. Author of. 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. Share Learn more. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. While we accept the entire Bible, we are not fundamentalists. This Christian denomination dates back to the late 19th century. Evil and suffering. divides punishment of wrongdoers into two categories, those deserving of marking(4) and those deserving of disfellowshipping (or \"disassociation\"(5)). Members who engage in conduct that is considered inappropriate may be counseled privately by elders and congregational responsibilities may be withheld or restricted. Criticism has also focused on their rejection of blood transfusions, particularly in life-threatening medical situations, and failing to r… We follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and honor him as our Savior and as the Son of God. (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:​16) We base our beliefs on all 66 of its books, which include both the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament.” Professor Jason D. BeDuhn aptly described it when he wrote that Jehovah’s Witnesses built “their system of belief and practice from the raw material of the Bible without predetermining what was to be found there.” *. (Acts 11:26) However, we have learned from the Bible that Jesus is not Almighty God and that there is no Scriptural basis for the Trinity doctrine.​—John 14:28. Because we witness, or talk, about Jehovah God and his Kingdom, we are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. PRIVACY POLICY, https://assetsnffrgf-a.akamaihd.net/assets/m/502015242/univ/art/502015242_univ_sqr_xl.jpg. 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. Consider four aspects of birthday celebrations that show why God is not pleased with them. Protestant - an adherent of Protestantism. Meditating on what we learn from the Bible.​—Psalm 77:12. 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. Our organization. 1. He began ruling in 1914.​—Revelation 11:15. (Matthew 5:9; Isaiah 2:4) We respect the government where we live and obey its laws as long as these do not call on us to disobey God’s laws.​—Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:​29. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays. Family. 6 Wicked angels have been cast out of heaven, although they continue to exist in the spirit realm.​—Revelation 12:​7-9. Noun. How to capture attention the right way. Jehovah's Witnesses employ various levels of congregational discipline as formal controls administered by congregation elders. 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. We recognize the Bible as God’s inspired message to humans. He established the Watch Tower Bible School of Gilead (South Lansing, New York) to train missionaries and leaders, decreed that all the society’s books and articles were to be published anonymously, and set up adult lay-education programs to train Witnesses to teach prospective converts. Matthew 28:19, 20 identifies three steps. 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. no social, ethnic, racial, or class divisions, speak to one of the Witnesses in your area. Jehovah's Witness - believer in imminent approach of the millennium; practitioner of active evangelism. Engaging in 'competitive' sport is frowned upon, as is associating with worldly friends. Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible was inspired by God and is historically accurate. (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. (Galatians 6:​10; 2 Corinthians 6:​14) However, we respect the choices that others make in such matters.​—Romans 14:12. We worship the one true and Almighty God, the Creator, whose name is Jehovah. First off 2 of the most common symbols of the Jehovah's Witness religion is the watchtower and the un common church building structure and configuration. Rutherford’s successor, Nathan Homer Knorr (1905–77), assumed the presidency in 1942 and continued and expanded Rutherford’s policies. Jesus. When Christ did not return as Miller prophecied, Adventists divided into a number of factions. Our relationships with others. This article summarizes our basic beliefs. Earth. First, the watchtower has never been given an official meaning it has simply been associated with Jehovah's witnesses since Charles Taze Russell used the symbol when the first variation of the religion was created. Read why Charles Taze Russell was not the founder of a new religion. People who die pass out of existence. 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. In addition to the International Bible Students Association, Russell formed the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (1884), with himself as president. The movement’s headquarters were transferred to Warwick, New York, in 2016. 3 For more information on God’s name, its meaning, and reasons to use it in worship, see the brochure The Divine Name That Will Endure Forever, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. It will replace human governments and accomplish God’s purpose for the earth. What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe? This Bible study course requires no commitment and is interactive, self-guided, and free of charge. Warwick, new York, in 2016 to show unselfish love in All our actions hearts Christians! And death is possible through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, Adventists into. Analysis of the millennium ; practitioner of active evangelism study of the Watchtower &! Allows for personal choice, though the Adventist movement of the Kingdom. ” ​—Matthew 24:14 Galatians 5: )! 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