Yesterday, we began looking at the heretical claims of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. let’s look at more of their claims which clearly defy the plain teaching of the Bible, to the detriment of genuine faith and freedom that can be found in the God that inspired it.
Whereas John 1:1 clearly shows Jesus to be God, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation states that Jesus was ‘a’ god, defending its theology with an unjustifiable, misleading and erroneous addition.
Even using their own Bible, however, Jesus can be equated with God the Father using the following verse comparisons: both are ‘alpha and omega’ (Rev. 1:8 & 22:13); both are Lord of lords (Deut. 10:17 & Rev. 17:14); both are king (Isa. 43:15 & Rev. 17:14); both are saviour (Isa. 43:11 & Luke 2:11); and both are judge (Gen. 18:25 & 2 Tim. 4:8). Jehovah’s Witnesses claim without evidence that Jesus pre-existed as Michael the Archangel (using Jude 9, despite Michael calling on the Lord and there being no direct mention of Jesus, anyway). They also then view Lucifer as Jesus’ rebellious brother. To use John 14:28 where Jesus claims His Father to be greater than Himself is an unreasonable defence of their heretical Christology, since Jesus had willingly emptied Himself of the independent exercise of His divine attributes whilst on Earth (see Philippians 2:6-11). Revelation 3:14 refers to Jesus as the beginning of God’s creation, not as the original creation but as the originator (see John 1:3). Similarly, reference in Colossians 1:15 to Jesus as the firstborn over all creation refers not to Him being the firstborn creation but having the inheritance rights of the firstborn, especially given that verse 16 clearly shows Him to have been the source of creation, anyway!
The denial of the divinity of Jesus by Jehovah’s Witnesses ironically draws some parallels with fourth century Arianism. Arius, bishop of Alexandria, was condemned as a heretic in 381 A.D. for rejecting the divinity of Christ, wrongly claiming Jesus to have been created, being similar to (but not the same as) the Father (arguing over a difference in a single letter between two Greek words in dispute).
For Jehovah’s Witnesses, salvation is believed to be available only to those who have faith in Jehovah and who then dedicate themselves to doing His will. This includes visiting homes with tracts to earn credit for heaven despite the Bible saying that good works only ever demonstrate, not earn, salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10, James 2:14-26). For the majority of these (who are therefore not annihilated) they allegedly receive paradise on earth, since only 144,000 are thought to inherit a heavenly reward, due to a misreading of Revelation 14:1. The reality of everlasting punishment in Hell is also rejected (despite ‘eternal’ referring to both Heaven and Hell as seen, for example, in Matthew 25:46).