Dialog with Jehovas Witness

So I’m going to have a Jehovas Witness come over in a week or two. He’s already been over once and we didn’t make much headway with anything. He called me the other day and said he would like to come over and discuss the church. He wants to figure out from the bible, and the bible only what the one and true church is. What bible passages do you all recommend? Obviously Peter and the Rock.

Link to useful Tract:




If we wish to locate the Church founded by Jesus, we need to locate the one that has the four chief marks or qualities of his Church. The Church we seek must be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13, CCC 813–822)

Jesus established only one Church, not a collection of differing churches (Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, and so on). The Bible says the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23–32). Jesus can have but one spouse, and his spouse is the Catholic Church.

His Church also teaches just one set of doctrines, which must be the same as those taught by the apostles (Jude 3). This is the unity of belief to which Scripture calls us (Phil. 1:27, 2:2).

Although some Catholics dissent from officially-taught doctrines, the Church’s official teachers—the pope and the bishops united with him—have never changed any doctrine. Over the centuries, as doctrines are examined more fully, the Church comes to understand them more deeply (John 16:12–13), but it never understands them to mean the opposite of what they once meant.

The Church Is Holy (Eph. 5:25–27, Rev. 19:7–8, CCC 823–829)

By his grace Jesus makes the Church holy, just as he is holy. This doesn’t mean that each member is always holy. Jesus said there would be both good and bad members in the Church (John 6:70), and not all the members would go to heaven (Matt. 7:21–23).

But the Church itself is holy because it is the source of holiness and is the guardian of the special means of grace Jesus established, the sacraments (cf. Eph. 5:26).

The Church Is Catholic (Matt. 28:19–20, Rev. 5:9–10, CCC 830–856)

Jesus’ Church is called catholic (“universal” in Greek) because it is his gift to all people. He told his apostles to go throughout the world and make disciples of “all nations” (Matt. 28:19–20).

For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has carried out this mission, preaching the good news that Christ died for all men and that he wants all of us to be members of his universal family (Gal. 3:28).

Nowadays the Catholic Church is found in every country of the world and is still sending out missionaries to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).

The Church Jesus established was known by its most common title, “the Catholic Church,” at least as early as the year 107, when Ignatius of Antioch used that title to describe the one Church Jesus founded. The title apparently was old in Ignatius’s time, which means it probably went all the way back to the time of the apostles.

The Church Is Apostolic (Eph. 2:19–20, CCC 857–865)

The Church Jesus founded is apostolic because he appointed the apostles to be the first leaders of the Church, and their successors were to be its future leaders. The apostles were the first bishops, and, since the first century, there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops faithfully handing on what the apostles taught the first Christians in Scripture and oral Tradition (2 Tim. 2:2).

These beliefs include the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the forgiveness of sins through a priest, baptismal regeneration, the existence of purgatory, Mary’s special role, and much more —even the doctrine of apostolic succession itself.

Early Christian writings prove the first Christians were thoroughly Catholic in belief and practice and looked to the successors of the apostles as their leaders. What these first Christians believed is still believed by the Catholic Church. No other Church can make that claim.

Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth

Man’s ingenuity cannot account for this. The Church has remained one, holy, catholic, and apostolic—not through man’s effort, but because God preserves the Church he established (Matt. 16:18, 28:20).

He guided the Israelites on their escape from Egypt by giving them a pillar of fire to light their way across the dark wilderness (Exod. 13:21). Today he guides us through his Catholic Church.

The Bible, sacred Tradition, and the writings of the earliest Christians testify that the Church teaches with Jesus’ authority. In this age of countless competing religions, each clamoring for attention, one voice rises above the din: the Catholic Church, which the Bible calls “the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

Jesus assured the apostles and their successors, the popes and the bishops, “He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). Jesus promised to guide his Church into all truth (John 16:12–13). We can have confidence that his Church teaches only the truth.


Another great source:


Table of Contents (actually, a portal–if you open the link, you can click on any of the topics, and it will take you to John Salza’s treatment of the topic):



Peter is the Rock on which the Church is Built
Peter has the Keys of Authority over the Earthly Kingdom, the Church
Peter’s Keys and Papal Succession
The Church is Infallible and Supernatural
The Church is Visible and One
The Church is Hierarchical
Controversies in the Church
Tradition / Church Fathers

Peter is the Rock on which the Church is Built
The Church is called “Catholic”
The Church is Indefectible
The Church’s Ecumenical Councils are Infallible
The Church is Hierarchical (Bishops, Priests and Deacons)
The Church is Visible and One*

You were given excellent sources for discussion, but please be aware that the person you are speaking to may block out everything you say and try to convince you of the erroneous way of the Jehovas Witnesses.
They may already have a pat answer for whatever you try to show them in Sacred Scripture.

Pray for the persons and for yourself if you want to engage them in dialogue. (they go door to door in twos) They are usually super polite and convinced of their error. Yes, the grace of the Lord can instruct them, if they are open to that grace.

Trying to have a “dialog” with a JW is like trying to have one with a sedevacantist or many Protestants. They aren’t interested in anything other than proving you wrong. When you have explained one of their many objections to them, they just go onto the next.

A priest told us in the nineties that talking to a JW is like trying to walk in quicksand.

Thanks for posing the question rpwolfgang, and thank you Goya, for posting the resource!

I sure hope my new JW acquaintance comes back after his first visit to my home yesterday… He’s a fallen away Catholic and didn’t offer a very spirited defense of witness beliefs. Praise God. I have hope that God can use me or someone else to help reveal Truth to this person in some way, if He so chooses. My new JW acquaintance promised to return when he had more time… 15 minutes of Catholic catechesis was enough for one day I guess :shrug:

Galatians 1:6-9

6 I am astonished that you are so promptly turning away from the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are going over to a different gospel-

7 not that it is another gospel; except that there are trouble-makers among you who are seeking to pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But even if we ourselves or an angel from heaven preaches to you a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let God’s curse be on him.

9 I repeat again what we declared before: anyone who preaches to you a gospel other than the one you were first given is to be under God’s curse.

Be aware that he won’t recognize your Catholic Bible as the true Bible. We are a church of Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium.

Don’t let him take control of the conversation.

You are starting off with, in my opinion, a huge topic. Why not start off with just one thing.
He will never agree with anything that makes you Catholic: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the Real Presence.

You are in for a frustrating conversation.

May the Holy Spirit guide your words.

God Bless

Unfortunately, he will not want to use the “bible alone”. They rely on the Watchtower and Awake as the ongoing voice of God in their religion. They “prooftext” the bible with their own doctrines. So although he says “bible alone”, in reality he is not omitting the use to their propaganda, he simply doesn’t want you to use any of the early Church fathers.

I quite like Jehovahs Witnesses - they seem to have changed their tack to much more obvious evangelism. They’ve done some nice issues of their publications as well, often informed (on the quiet) by Catholic apologisms :rolleyes:

Sometimes find some anti Catholic stuff in them though…

If he is setting the terms for the debate, you already lost your opportunity to discuss things with him in any type of manner that will be beneficial to either of you.
He does not use the word church when referring to his faith. He is basically asking you, the householder he visited to defend his beliefs.
Sorry, he is supposed to be witnessing to you what his beliefs are.
Sounds like all he wants to accomplish is to “inform” you of how your faith is wrong.
Why not change the terms? Ask him to show you what is right about what he believes and why.
I will keep an eye out on this thread if you do take that route. It’s your home he is visiting. You should set the rules of engagement.

Hey rpwolfgang thanks for inviting them into your house and to come back not many people will do that, God will bless your hospitable spirit. As a Jehovahs witness I can help you with your dialogue or give you an idea of how we go about doing things, with that being said I’d like to correct a few things…

Unfortunately, he will not want to use the “bible alone”. They rely on the Watchtower and Awake as the ongoing voice of God in their religion.

That’s not true, infact if you have read the awake before you would have noticed that it has nothing to do with religion or even beliefs. The Watchtower shows us the significance of world events in the light of Bible prophecies. It comforts people with the good news of God’s Kingdom and promotes faith in Jesus Christ. Awake shows us how to cope with today’s problems and builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world. These magazines are merely tools we use to help people to see that, it does not even discuss any of our beliefs.

be aware that he won’t recognize your Catholic Bible as the true Bible.

I do not understand this do Catholics have there own Bible different to other faiths?

He is basically asking you, the householder he visited to defend his beliefs.
Sorry, he is supposed to be witnessing to you what his beliefs are.
Sounds like all he wants to accomplish is to “inform” you of how your faith is wrong.
Why not change the terms? Ask him to show you what is right about what he believes and why.

normally we don’t preach about beliefs because that somehow causes or makes a barrier between us and people, Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs are based on the Bible and most people have there own perceptions or viewpoint on what we believe based on what they have read or heard from other people… Maybe that’s would be a good idea to ask him any question you want, ask him why does he believe in this or that an let him explain… Also bare in mind that we preach every single day of our lives so he have probably spoken to many Catholics before who maybe could not explain their beliefs from the bible an now his asking you hoping you will be able to explain an make him understand. So don’t think he wants to debate we not suppose to debate because no one benefits from debates, don’t think his attacking your beliefs either. But instead think of it as a way to show that your beliefs are also biblical that’s why he says he wants to see from the bible only… As Jehovah’s Witnesses we are followers of the Bible if something isn’t in the Bible we probably won’t believe it an if you do show him from another book your beliefs then it should still link up with scriptures in the Bible… So you can prepare yourself like that and you can ask the questions you can be in control of the discussion

Hi rpwolfgang, my recommendation is to not get into discussion about bible passages rather discuss the bible itself. Discussion of passages always end in different interpretations resulting in disagreement of interpretations which is where you began. I believe the only productive discussion with JWs, or anyone for that matter, is the discussion of the bible itself, the process of canonization, and the authority to discern which books belong and which do not belong in the bible. Otherwise, all you have is two people arguing over what the true meaning of certain scriptures mean to prove their belief system.


I dont think it matters which Bible you use… only reason we use the NWT is because it has Gods name in it, otherwise we could use any other Bible too doesnt really matter

Actually the Witnesses started out using the KJ but decided that the KJ didn’t jive with their beliefs so they made their own translation.

The Watchtower decided where to put God’s name in the NT. It is not in the historical manuscripts that translators use today. Watchtower reasoning is if an OT scripture which contains God’s name is being referenced in the NT that God’s name should be mentioned here as well. By this time in history the Jew’s thought it disrespectful to say God’s name so they translate the word as LORD.

This is my understanding on the subject.

Here’s a number of good sources from the AAA forum.

*]Where does Scripture state that Jesus is God?
*]Are They Awake on The Watchtower?
*] Distinctive Beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
*]Stumpers for the Jehovah’s Witnesses
*]More Stumpers for the Jehovah’s Witnesses
*] The God of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
*] History of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
*] Strategies of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Link to more articles on this cult.

*A useful resource:
Beginning Apologetics Volume 2.5: Yes! You Should Believe In The Trinity: How To Answer Jehovah’s Witnesses

[size=4]Also, from Radio Replies:[/size]

Nature of the Church

325. What is the Catholic idea of the Church?

The Church is that visible society of men upon earth which was founded by Jesus Christ, guaranteed by Him to exist all days until the end of the world, and sent by Him to teach all nations with His own authority. It is one definite society for man’s spiritual good, and its members are bound together by the profession of the same and complete Christian faith, by the same Sacraments and worship, and by submission to the same spiritual authority vested in the successors of St. Peter— the present successor being the Bishop of Rome.

326. The Church means an assembly of men united in prayer, not a building.

The word Church has a twofold sense. Its proper meaning is a union or assembly of men united not only in prayer, but also in a definite creed, worship, and obedience. In that sense I speak of the Catholic Church. Or again, it can refer to a building erected for purposes of worship by members of the Catholic Church, and in that sense I speak of a Catholic Church.

I also suggest… The true Church

Amen to this. If he is genuine in his desire to witness to you, he will not have a problem with this. If he takes issue with your term, he has betrayed an ulterior motive (in my experience).

Every single JW I have dialoged with has demanded the use of the NWT and refused to consider translations and editions with differing passages a God", etc.]. I don’t take particular issue with the demand if I am the one approaching because the inconsistencies in the NWT are easy enough to point out once they are known; but if a JW comes to me, they should be willing to consider other translations as valid unless they can provide substantial objective evidence showing why the NWT is a more correct translation.

:thumbsup: The Beginning Apologetics series has been ESPECIALLY helpful for me.

Hello ChosenOne,

I am familiar with the publications, as well as their place within the Jehovah’s Witness organization. While it is true that often times these publications are not offered to people at their doors, it does provide the foundation at the Jehovah Witness bible study sessions from which their door to door ministry is based. Whether a JW hands you a magazine or not, you are still being presented the material found therein.

I have always been willing to explore the bible with JW visitors. The difficulty that I have always experienced is that they simply don’t know the bible and are unwilling to consider me, or any non-JW, as having any intellectual credibility. A JW can typically point out a verse in the bible that they have been taught to use as a proof text, but that they know nothing about who said it, who it is said to, where it was said and what was going on in that locality, why it was an important sentiment? That would be ok, but they are unwilling to explore those questions.

The truth is, while JWs like to ask me questions, they are not interested in my answer as informative but only as a vehicle by which to gauge their own next course of commentary action. To that end, it is not a discussion, but merely a one-sided attempt to promote doctrinal ideals.

From their website under Frequently Asked Questions:

Have Jehovah’s Witnesses Changed their Bible to fit their beliefs?

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

There are multiple places where they have changed the Bible to fit their beliefs. For the Catholic the places most obvious are John 1:1 “the word was a god.” Also all of the accounts of the last supper have been changed from “this is my body/blood” to “this means my body/blood”. There are others as well, such as Colossians Chapter 1 where the word “Other” is added multiple times to imply that Jesus was created by the Father, and then all “other” things were created by Jesus. Just a few examples of changes to the bible to fit their beliefs.

I would ask if their beliefs are not in line with the bible and they can change them at a later time, than how can anyone be sure that what they believe now is the actual truth? Who among the JW’s has the authority to question and change their doctrines? Can they give an example of when this has been done? Or have they changed the bible to fit their beliefs instead? This all goes back to the authority of the Church.

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