I was visited by Jehovah's Witnesses

A few days ago, while working outside in a gentle rain, I noticed a car driving up and down the street. A few moments later two ladies walked up to me. I aksed them if they were JW, and they nodded yes. I invited them into my open garage to get out of the rain, and we chatted. Problem from my point of view is that neither of these ladies spoke very much English. One of them said she is from Poland, the other from Cuba. The Polish lady did most of the talking, but it was very difficult to get a decent line of reasoning going because of her language barrier.

She wanted only to talk about God’s name. I told her I think that God has many names, and I’m OK with all of them.

Since I know a small thing or two about the JW religion I asked her if she knows how her relgion came about. She said it was founded by Jesus. I told her no, it started in the late 19th century in America, by a man named C.T. Russell. My thrust aimed at the fact that both of these ladies started out Catholic in countries other than America. However, neither of them claimed to know anything about Russell, and insisted that Jesus founded the JW religion.

Our conversation ended when the man driving their car, who by that time had pulled to the curb across the street, beeped his horn as a signal for them to break it off. The older Polish lady went immediately to the car but the Cuban lady stayed behind and spoke as well as she could of her childhood in Cuba. She said she would like to come back, and I said of course, please do anytime, but I would be very surprised if they do come back.

You will find that there are not a lot of refferrence to Russell or is he talked about much. As all of his perdictions fell shall we say short. Unlike with the Mormons and J Smith He is not held in the samll light.

She may be back but it will be on here own without any other JW’s knowing.

It’s good to start with the question of Origin and ultimately authority.

I would bring up Matthew 16:16-18 and say that I trust Jesus’ word and promise that his Church would not fall to the gates of Hell. They will usually respond with the parable of the weeds and the wheat and make it look like there was a great apostasy predicted by Jesus. In fact this scripture (and any other) does not speak of an early total apostacy at all, but just tells us that there are always unbelievers around us that God has patience for and will give every opportunity to turn to Him and His Catholic Church.

I would also go to Acts 5:35-39 and point to the principle proposed by the great Rabbi Gamaliel and propose to follow his reasoning and ask which Church has survived and taught the same doctrines as Jesus and the apostles 2000 years ago. If they dispute that Paul or the other apostles are not Catholic, I would point out that they teach distinctively Catholic doctrines such as Purgatory & the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist (1 Cor 3:15 & John 6 & 1 Cor 11 respectively).

If they try to make your defense of the Catholic Church likened to the one of the Jews and their Temple, re-inforce the point by pointing to the fact that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. And any slander against the Church is slander against our beloved Jesus and requires an answer to be given with Love and Charity.

God Bless you and your evangelization efforts.

The last time the JWs came to my house, my dog (bless his little cocker spaniel heart) peed on the leg of one of them. :blush: (I SWEAR I had nothing to do with it, I even warned them not to pet him).

I should note that they have never come back to my house either…:shrug:

C.T Russel was a man, and a small part of the modern day christian congregation, the reason JW’S do not speak of him alot is that this man is not our focal point. The kingdom of Jehovah and his son is.

I’ve had luck bringing up with them how their traditions have changed so much over the years. For example, they used to celebrate Christmas, but now shun it due to its “pagan” roots. They condemn Catholics for this, and yet, you can find pictures of old JW Christmas cards online, and even photos of JW Christmas dinners at their headquarters in Brooklyn. I’d also ask about the many failed prophecies, and bring up the especially problematic incident of the purchase of the “Beth Sarim” mansion in California. It’s hard to trust an organization who’s beliefs are constantly in flux.

That said, most of the JW’s I know are good people that have simply been sadly misled.

Funny, because you miss the whole point that he is a false prophet, and Jesus warned against false prophets. But you Jehovah Witnesses are brainwashed, so I don’t expect you to take my words as the truth.

You may remember that I’m a professional historian…

Here’s a history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses that I wrote as a post about a year ago on another board. It contains my own analysis, but the information comes from various sources.

Ok, part one of the case will involve looking at the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I will be getting to the whole problem of the New World Translation in a few posts. What I’m trying to do is first establish the fact that there are fundamental problems with the original organization. If that’s true, it makes it more believable that the NWT may be faulty. I’ll be taking this information and the quotes from the Catholic Answers (CA) articles on this site and Wikipedia’s (W) listing.

Also before we begin, a definition:

Eschatology: a part of theology and philosophy concerned with the final events in the history of the world or the ultimate destiny of human kind, commonly phrased as the end of the world.

Here is what the two articles state, in summary, with my own commentary added in bold:

  1. Charles Taze Russell has a crisis of faith as a Congregationalist at age 17, and becomes an agnostic. (He doesn’t believe in God, but doesn’t deny the possibility of God.) This is a young man who is having a crisis of faith, and struggling to find out what he believes.

  2. After a few years, he goes to an Adventist meeting. This group, led by William Miller, believed that the world would end in 1843, but it doesn’t So, they mysteriously “find” an error in their calculations and repredict the end of the world in 1844. Again, it doesn’t happen (obviously). Most people leave this movement, believing it to be a fraud, although a few, led by Ellen G. White, go on to found the Seventh-Day Adventists.** In other words, the Adventists have TWICE incorrectly predicted the end of the world, causing most (but not all) followers to abandon their ideas.**

  3. Jonas Wendell gets Russell interested in Bible prophecy again. In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour and subsequently adopted Barbour’s eschatology. Barbour had predicted a visible return of Christ for 1873, and when that failed to occur, he revised the prediction to 1874. In other words, Russell hooks up with Nelson Barbour, who also incorrectly predicts a visible return for Christ (the end of the world)… twice!

  4. Soon after the second disappointment, Barbour’s group decided Christ had returned to the earth in 1874, but invisibly. They differed from most Second Adventists by teaching that all of humankind descended from Adam would be given a chance to live in a paradise Earth. The year 1914 was seen as the final end, marking a forty-year period from 1874. So, his predictions did not come true, and changes his story to claim that Jesus came to Earth “invisibly” in 1874. After forty years on Earth, the world would then finally end in 1914. This is a skeptical claim from someone who had so clearly failed to predict the future. (I’d also like to point out at this point that are several apparations and miracles that Catholics believe, such as Fatima, that did correctly predict the future.)

  5. It was this diminished Adventism which influenced Russell. In July 1879, Russell broke with Barbour over the concept of substitutionary atonement and he soon began publishing his own magazine, Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (now known as The Watchtower). After the break, Russell retained the bulk of Barbour’s eschatological views. He was known as “Pastor Russell” (who took the title “Pastor” even though he never got through high school), and in 1881 formed the legal entity which developed into the non-profit organization: The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (currently headquartered in New York City). In 1884, it was incorporated with Russell as president. He authored the six-volume series, Studies in the Scriptures.** Now, we have Russell breaking with Barbour, but keeping his views about the end of the world (the one thing that he’s clearly been wrong about in the past!). It’s also important to note that Russell doesn’t even have a high school education. Now, this isn’t necessarily bad or uncommon for that day and age, but the less educated are far more susceptible to having people who know more then them talk them into an idea that may be incorrect. They won’t have the knowledge to refute it.**

  6. Before he got his religious career well underway, Russell promoted what he called “miracle wheat,” which he sold at sixty dollars per bushel. He claimed it would grow five times as well as regular wheat. In fact, it grew slightly less well than regular wheat, as was established in court when Russell was sued. Later he marketed a fake cancer cure and what he termed a “millennial bean”. At first, it might seem like this doesn’t have anything directly to do with his faith, but it demonstrates a pattern. Whether he was actively conning people, or whether he was just gullible (possibly due to his lack of education), he was involved in at least three other false, and possibly corrupt, schemes in his early life.

  7. Russell taught his followers the non-existence of hell and the annihilation of unsaved people (a doctrine he picked up from the Adventists), the non-existence of the Trinity (he said only the Father, Jehovah, is God), the identification of Jesus with Michael the Archangel, the reduction of the Holy Spirit from a person to a force, the mortality (not immortality) of the soul, and the return of Jesus in 1914.** Important here is the idea that Russell is picking up some of his doctrine (including the imminent end of the world) from the Adventists, which were wrong time and time again. If their denomination is wrong, why did Russell adopt ideas from it? If they are right, why isn’t everyone Adventist today?**

Part 2 to follow…

Here is part 2, still discussing the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Another comment before we get started.** Isn’t it interesting how so far, the major ideas of the Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to have nothing to do with the Bible, but the personal opinions of two individuals who clearly have major theological problems of their own?**

  1. When 1914 had come and gone, with no Jesus in sight, Russell modified his teachings and claimed Jesus had, in fact, returned to Earth, but that his return was invisible. His visible return would come later, but still very soon. It would result in the final conflict between God and the Devil—the forces of good and the forces of evil—in which God would be victorious. This conflict is known to Witnesses as the battle of Armageddon, and just about everything the Witnesses teach centers around this doctrine. Here we have a FIFTH incorrect prediction in the life of Russell. He didn’t make the first four, but he believed in them. Now he becomes more vague, saying that Jesus is still here invisibly, and that the visible return would be “soon”. For someone who is supposedly guided by Jehovah in things like scriptural interpretation, he is making (and following people that are making) a tremendous amount of errors.

  2. Russell died on October 31, 1916, and following his death, an editorial committee of five was set up to supervise the writing of the Watch Tower magazine, as set forth in Russell’s Last Will and Testament. On January 6, 1917, Joseph Franklin Rutherford (also known as “Judge Rutherford”) was elected second President of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. New by-laws were passed at the same business meeting that strengthened the President’s authority. Initially, the board of directors for the Watch Tower Society accepted this change, but four of the board members withdrew their support. The June 20, 1917 meeting of the full board of directors tabled, for one month, a proposal to return control of the Society to the board, but Rutherford prevented their attempt. Matters came to a head on July 17, 1917 when the book The Finished Mystery was published. Rutherford announced that he was dismissing the four directors and replacing them with new members. Dissension and schisms ensued in congregations worldwide as a result of these events, and of the consequences of new predictions made for the years 1918, 1920 and 1925. At one time Rutherford claimed Russell was next to Paul as an expounder of the gospel, but later, in an effort to have his writings supplant Russell’s, he let Russell’s books go out of print. It was Rutherford who coined the slogan, “Millions now living will never die.” By it he meant that some people alive in 1914 would still be alive when Armageddon came and the world was restored to a paradise state.** The death of Russell causes dissent and schism. The organization itself can’t even keep control of its beliefs. THREE more failed predictions occur, bringing the total to eight (if you include the Adventist predictions). Rutherford tries to seize control and impose his own beliefs on the group. He even has his own books replace those of Russell! All of this causes many people to become disillusioned and leave.**

  3. In the 1925 prophecy, Rutherford stated that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets would return to Earth, and so he prepared for them a mansion named Beth Sarim in San Diego, California. He moved into this mansion (where he died in 1942) and bought an automobile with which to drive the resurrected patriarchs around. The Watch Tower Society quietly sold Beth Sarim years later to cover up an embarrassing moment in their history, namely another failed prophecy. This paragraph pretty much speaks for itself. Try searching for Beth Sarim on the internet and see what you find. I can provide you with links, articles, and pictures if necessary. Also note that Watchtower Publications have continuously changed their story regarding Beth Sarim over the years (to cover up their mistaken prophecy), and this can be historically documented.

  4. An emphasis on preaching house-to-house began in 1922. By 1928, attendance at their yearly Memorial dropped nearly 75% from 1922, due to the previous power struggle, the failed predictions for the year 1925, and the evolving doctrinal changes which alienated those who sided with Russell’s views.

From 1925 to 1933, their eschatological beliefs underwent radical changes. In 1931, the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was adopted. By 1933, 1914 was seen as the beginning of Christ’s presence, his enthronement as king, and the start of the last days instead of being considered the terminal date in their chronology.

Under Rutherford, membership grew from about 44,000 in 1928 to about 115,000 at the time of his death in 1942.

So, the doctrine changed SO MUCH by 1928, that over 75% of the organization simply quit. They officially adopt the name "Jehovah’s Witnesses, and, as seen in point #9, adopt the idea that some of the people alive in 1914 WILL be alive at the time of the Second Coming. They also begin house-to-house preaching. They really almost had to, since their numbers were declining so severely.

part 3 to follow…

Here is part 3…

  1. Nathan Homer Knorr succeeded Rutherford as president of the Watch Tower Society. Known as an efficient administrator, Knorr founded the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead to train missionaries, as well as the Theocratic Ministry School to train preaching and teaching at the congregational level. (It is under Knorr that the Jehovah’s Witnesses earn their reputation as skillful deliverers of “personal testimonies.”)

Knorr’s vice-president Frederick William Franz became the leading theologian, and is believed to have been the principal translator of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. Also produced were a Greek-English New Testament interlinear (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures) and a Bible dictionary (Aid to Bible Understanding). Since the Bible, as preserved through the centuries, did not support the peculiar doctrines of the Witnesses, Knorr chose an anonymous committee to produce the New World Translation, which is used by no sect other than the Witnesses. By means of former Witnesses, the names of the five members of the translation committee eventually came to light. Four of the five members completely lack credentials to qualify them as Bible translators, and the fifth member studied non-biblical Greek for only about two years.

The offices of elder and ministerial servant (deacon) were restored to Witness congregations in 1972, with appointments being made from headquarters. Membership rose from 115,000 to over 2 million under Knorr’s leadership.

**What seems to be the conclusion, based on what we’ve learned so far? The Jehovah’s Witnesses, having changed doctrine so many times and with so many failed predictions, were forced to alter the Bible to support their beliefs. Four of the five translators couldn’t even translate Greek! Now, this next quote came from the Catholic Answers article, but it indicates the types of things other religions accuse the New World Translation of changing:

“The New World Translation was produced because it buttresses Witnesses’ beliefs through obscure or inaccurate renderings. For example, to prove that Jesus was only a creature, not God, the New World Translation’s rendering of John 1:1 concludes this way: “and the Word was a god” [italics added]. Every other translation, Catholic and Protestant—not to mention the Greek original—has “and the Word was God.””

IF this is true, you can see that such a rendering would eliminate the references to the divinity of Jesus and his equality with God. Such a change would undermine Trinitarian religions. Mind you, I’m NOT telling you to automatically accept that is what happened. You can decide for yourself. But, you can at least acknowledge that if such a change DID occur, it would change the entire interpretation of the Bible. Catholics and Protestants argue that similar subtle changes were made throughout the Bible.
Part 4 to follow…

Here is part 4, still discussing the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  1. Knorr was succeeded as head of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, by Frederick Franz. He had been the Witnesses’ leading theologian, and his services were often called upon. During the 1960s and early 1970s, various references appeared in Witnesses’ literature and assemblies, implying that Christ’s thousand-year millennial reign might begin by 1975. The chronology pointing to 1975 was noted in the secular media at the time. When it didn’t, Franz had to find an explanation.

Witnesses believe that Adam was created in 4026 B.C. and that human beings have been allotted 6000 years of existence until Armageddon and the beginning of the millennium. This figure is based on a “creative week” in which each of six days is equal to 1,000 years, with the Sabbath or seventh day being the beginning of the millennium. Simple arithmetic gives 1975 as the year Armageddon would arrive. Franz explained that Armageddon would actually come 6000 years after Eve’s creation. But when 1975 came and went, the Witnesses had to “adjust” their chronology to cover up a failed prediction. They accomplished this by maintaining that no one knew exactly how long after Adam’s creation Eve came on the scene. Franz said that it was months—even years. Hence he was able to “stretch” the 1975 date to some indeterminate time in the future. In any case, Franz said that Witnesses would just have to wait, knowing the end is right around the corner.

From 1975 to 1980, there was a drop in membership following the failure of this prediction to materialize. In 1980, the Watchtower Society admitted its responsibility in building up hope regarding the year 1975.

HOW many times is this now that the organization failed to predict the Second Coming? This time, even the secular media picked up the story. In this case, the Watchtower Society even admitted some responsibility that it was at fault, and that their overenthusiasm over certain writings about 1975 were misleading. Again, membership drops. Note that Franz is resorting to having to “recalculate” the date yet again, just as was done in 1874 and 1914.

  1. The leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses was reorganized in 1976 and the power of the presidency passed on to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Subsequent presidents of the Watch Tower Society after Knorr’s death in 1977 have been Frederick William Franz, Milton George Henschel (1993) and Don A. Adams. However, since 1976, doctrinal and organizational decisions have been made by the Governing Body. In 1995 the Watchtower quietly changed one of its major prophetic doctrines. Until this point, they had maintained that the generation alive in 1914 would not pass from the scene until Armageddon occurred. Now that this generation has almost entirely died out—and Armageddon has not occurred and does not seem like it will happen immediately—they had to change their doctrine. Now, the Watchtower says that Armageddon will simply occur “soon,” and it is no longer tied to a particular, literal generation of people.

And so as recently as 14 years ago… yet another change in doctrine! It seems very suspicious that one of the core doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses has been rewritten again, again, and again. Certainly, this is not the only argument against the organization, but it’s the 800 pound elephant in the room. (In other words, it’s such a glaring error, it can’t be ignored.)

  1. As of August 2005, Jehovah’s Witnesses have a membership of more than 6.6 million actively involved in preaching. Jehovah’s Witnesses have an active presence in most countries. In no country are they a large part of the population, however. Brazil and Mexico are the only countries other than the U.S. where the number of active Witness publishers exceeds half a million.

If the Jehovah’s Witnesses are indeed the correct faith, why are so few people across the world in the organization? How are so many fundamental errors explained? Why is it primarily an American phenomenon? Why have SO many people left the group at SO many points during the past?

This concludes the historical outline of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Part 5 will be a brief analysis.

Part 5 - Analysis

Ok, what you’ve just read above is a very long combination of the Catholic Answers article and the Wikipedia article. I encourage you to read it over very closely. Think about the various points. Do you own research. Look up Beth Sarim. Also, when the Watchtower reprints its newsletters and publications, it has been known to go back and change what was said to cover up its poor history of prophecy. This is documented extensively and I can find you the references if you like. In light of all of this evidence, is it at least possible that the Watchtower could have altered the New World Translation to suit it’s needs?

There is a lot of information above, so let me summarize what conclusions I believe it leads to. Let me make it clear that this is no one’s opinion but my own.

**Charles Taze Russell is a good, but uneducated young man. At 17, he has a crisis of faith after getting in over his head in an argument with an athiest. He falls prey (or actively engages in) a variety of dubious schemes, and finally is drawn toward Adventism. He becomes unhappy. He wants to be a good person in a world that isn’t very good, so he’s drawn toward an organization that believes that this world will pass in the very near future. It would end all of his current problems on Earth and allow him eternal happiness. It fails to occur, but he continues to believe that this world will be over soon. This, above all, influences his beliefs. It’s a psychological and spiritual need, rather than any complex Biblical view.

Russell finds his calling in religion and begins to write. He borrows many ideas from the Adventists, rather than creating them himself. He breaks with Barbour, and makes his own predictions, which fail to materialize. Russell dies having created a belief system that helps to sooth his own troubled spirituality.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford seizes control of the organization in what amounts to a hostile takeover. He throws out many of Russell’s beliefs, and makes three more incorrect prophecies, including the one involving Beth Sarim. Three-fourths of the organization simply leaves the group. To stop these huge losses, new president Nathan Homer Korr institutes door-to-door evangilization.

The doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is now so far from what the Bible says, that Korr authorizes the New World Translation to force the book to support their views. (Please note that when the NWT came out, almost every single review was highly critical of the translation, pointing out that it was, at best, a transliteration, not a translation. This is where you create a very inaccurate translation that gives the rough idea of what the original says. It often has the effect of making it easier to read, too. That, of course, would be very helpful for someone not very experienced in reading the Bible.) Only one person could even translate Greek, and even he had insufficient background to have the necessary skills for the job.

By 1975, you have yet another failed prophecy that results in more people leading the organization. Even as late as last year, there are only 6.6 million followers of the group. Despite ALL their evangelization, they are rarely successful outside of the United States. Their biggest target group is former Catholics, since most Catholics grow up learning from the Catechism rather than from the Bible. They are not nearly as familiar with Bible study, and so don’t have the necessary skills to point out the many flaws in the doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Part 6 will deal with possible inaccuracies in the New World Translation of the Bible.

Part 6 - The Problems of the New World Translation of the Bible
(I wrote this article addressed to a specific JW who had questions for me.)

First, this is going to be a very difficult thread. You have to have quite a bit of knowledge of Greek in order to follow the arguments here. Because of that, when I post various items, I don’t want you to look at how Catholics interpret a passage compared to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This isn’t the time to debate doctrine. What I do want you to look at is how the doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses would be affected IF the particular passage was wrong, and what the majority of scholars have to say about how each should be translated.

Shall we start literally “in the beginning”?

John 1:1

I want you to look at each of these articles, and take some time with it. They go into the question in far more depth than I can. I usually try to convince people with my own words, but here, the words of experts speak more strongly.

The Apologists: Bible Commentary - John 1:1
(Be sure to scroll down to the bottom and also read under “Other Views Considered” the three objections that the Jehovah’s Witnesses give to this interpretation, and how they are proved wrong.)

Jesus as “a God” alongside God: Jehovah’s Witnesses and John 1:1

Note the symmatry between John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1. It’s a similar passage, but where “God” appears in Genesis 1:1, “was the Word” appears in John. This is intentionally done to reinforce that God and Jesus (the Word) are the same.

I could go into a lot more, but I’m simply trying to demonstrate a pattern that the New World Translation is misleading.

I’m trying to present my argument like this:

  1. Look at problems in the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Already done)
  2. Look at problems in the New World Translation of the Bible
    If the organization is undermined, and the New World Translation is undermined, then what about the Catholic Church?
  3. Look at the Early Church Fathers to show how Catholic Traditions go all the way back to the time of Christ and the Apostles
  4. Look at church history to see how there are many misconceptions about the Catholic Church

This is as much of the original post as I can still find, but it should give you a lot of ammunition for your arguments.

You’re a better person that I am! When I see J-dubs I run, close the door or pretend I had a weed-wacker accident, whatever it takes! LOL…I’ll argue with 'em and win but it’s just so annoying to go through the process! LOL:mad::eek:

I always talk to the JWs when they come to my door. Unfortunately, I am very sad after they leave. It hurts me to see people throwing their lives away on a teaching that is a mile wide, an inch thick, and totally false. They are victims.

Whatever way we choose to handle it, we should pray for them. Those of us who have read quite a bit on their organization should engage them in very charitable conversation to plant seeds that could lead to conversion. In no way should we ever appear angry or hostile. These are children of God who have been sold a bill of goods.

Thanks to all for the advice. It will help the next time I encounter a pair of Witnesses at my door. I see them in the neighborhood every few weeks or so, but they rarely ever actually come to my door. The mormans, too. I have seen pairs of missionaries just up the block, but they don’t ever make it to my door. One thing I don’t want to do is just tell them to go away, and slam the door. I realize they thrive on this sort of rejection. I would rather engage in civil conversation. Small hopes of a conversion, but small seeds sometimes become trees!

If you have the opportunity, I would also recommend Beginning Apologetics 2: Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. It’s pretty cheap and is packed with a lot of good stuff.


God Bless,

**If the Jehovah’s Witnesses are indeed the correct faith, why are so few people across the world in the organization? **
Matt. 7:13,14 shows this would be the case. Don’t expect the true religion to be the one most people go to. Jesus said the true path would have relatively few people on it.

How are so many fundamental errors explained?
Human error? Over zealous? Running ahead of God’s timetable?
The same question could be asked of the Catholic church. Remember, the Catholic church once taught the earth was the centre of the universe based on Aristotle rather than the Bible. (Galileo had to recant for fear of his life) Now the Church acknowledges they were wrong.
I hear they have now accepted evolution as a fact and apologised to Darwin. Does that mean the Church now denies what Genesis 1:27 says?
Yes, the JW’s have had numerous false alarms and adjustments in their beliefs over the years. Though fundemental beliefs remain. (ie. No Trinity, hellfire or human immortal soul. The end of this system is imminent and God’s Kingdom will soon solve everything) All backed up by the Bible.

**Why is it primarily an American phenomenon? **
It is not. You said yourself “Jehovah’s Witnesses have an active presence in most countries.” “6.6 million in 2005” (Over 7 million active in 2008) There are over 1 million in the USA. 15%?
Hardly “primarily an American Phenomenon.” Christianity started in Israel. Would you call it “primarily an Israeli phenomenon?”
At Matt 24:14 Jesus said the good news of God’s Kingdom would be preached to all the nations. Or as you might say: “have an active presence in most countries”
Notice that J.C (who started this post) immediately assumed his visitors were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why didn’t he ask if they were Catholics coming to preach the Gospel? (since Jesus showed the true religion would be doing this)
In fact, do any other Religions go out preaching about the Kingdom? Why is Jesus letting a false religion fulfil this prophecy?

Why have SO many people left the group at SO many points during the past?
Jesus said in Luke 13:24.that many would try to get in, but not be able.
Also Matt 13:20 , 21. (The fine seed sown on rocky soil)
Don’t be surprised when some accept the truth with joy, but when things get rough they disappear.
Yet note the overall trend continues to be steady growth, for over 100 years. This is despite fierce attempts by apposers (including your own Church hierarchy) to stamp them out and derail their work.

**If the Jehovah’s Witnesses are indeed the correct faith, why are so few people across the world in the organization? **
Matt. 7:13,14 shows this would be the case. Don’t expect the true religion to be the one most people go to. Jesus said the true path would have relatively few people on it.

Which by no means suggests that the Catholic Church is not the Church that Christ founded for the salvation of all men. A little further along in the same chapter (Mt. 7.21ff) Our Lord reminds us that " … Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." Logically, this suggests that there may be a great many baptized who do not do the will of the Father, though they profess to be Catholic. Even so, the Catholic Church is still the Church that Christ founded.

Remember, the Catholic church once taught the earth was the centre of the universe based on Aristotle rather than the Bible. (Galileo had to recant for fear of his life) Now the Church acknowledges they were wrong. I hear they have now accepted evolution as a fact and apologised to Darwin. Does that mean the Church now denies what Genesis 1:27 says?

It really isn’t worth going into this if people are going to be so intellectually lazy as to accept without question this limping old canard, but here goes (once more): The Church **never **taught that the sun was the center of the universe. It never ruled on the question one way or another. The Ptolemaic astronomical theory, which held that the earth was the center of the universe and not the sun, was the commonly-accepted view of the vast majority of medieval scholars, clerics and princes, but it was not a religious doctrine. Other opinions existed and, as the technical means to demonstrate these hypotheses developed, the Church patiently examined the evidence. What Galileo (and Copernicus, a priest and astronomer, before him) were required to do in every case was to demonstrate the truth of their theories before asserting them publicly. Remember, a theory can be true and at the same time impossible to demonstrate scientifically.

Galileo was required to recant, not his *conviction *that the sun was the center of the universe, but his insistence that it was true before it could be properly demonstrated, as well as his other, more imprudent public assertions that suggested Sacred Scripture was in error.

Here is a link to an encyclopedia entry about the event.

I hear they have now accepted evolution as a fact and apologised to Darwin. Does that mean the Church now denies what Genesis 1:27 says?

You hear? Well, you heard wrong. Catholics have always been free to believe (or not) in the evolution of the human body; what we are not free to believe is that the human soul evolved. Pope Pius XII wrote in 1950:

  1. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God … Some however rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from preexisting and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question. [

You can read the rest of the ecyclical here.](“http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12HUMAN.HTM”)

Also: would you mind providing some kind of substantiation for your claim that the Church’s magisterium has apologized to Darwin? A quick Google search turns up numerous articles about the Anglican Church apologizing to Darwin, but when I typed in “Catholic Church apologizes to Darwin”, I got this result, and this one, and this one, among others.

… fundemental beliefs remain. (ie. No Trinity, hellfire or human immortal soul. The end of this system is imminent and God’s Kingdom will soon solve everything) All backed up by the Bible.

This ought to read: “all backed up by novel interpretations of Sacred Scripture, based on a corrupted translation and entirely at odds with 2,000 years of scriptural exegesis.”

In fact, do any other Religions go out preaching about the Kingdom? Why is Jesus letting a false religion fulfil this prophecy?

This is silly. The Catholic Church has been engaged in missionary activity since the time of the Apostles in every country in the world, and the greatest missionaries have been sent by her to preach the Gospel to all nations. The web site that you are hanging around and posting on is another example. Protestant churches are engaged in missionary activity too. So are the Mormons. And Muslims. And cults and sects of every variety.

Aggressive missionary activity is no guarantee of truth or of the validity of the claims of a sect such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses to be “true Christianity”. It’s like saying “the fact that I’m interested in arguing my case with you proves I’m right.”

I do apologise. I find you are right. The Anglican church is the one that has abandoned the Bible’s account and gone with Evolution. (Don’t get me on to the Anglicans and their retreats from Scripture! Ha ha.)
I take my “off the top of my head” comment back, the Catholic Church hasn’t accepted evolution at all. :o
I will have to use another example of changes:
“Anyone translating the Bible into a language ordinary people can read are heretics! It must stay in Latin.” What have you got for me on that one? :smiley:
I guess you can’t have peasants reading Eccl 9:5,10 (The dead are unconscious and don’t know anything) Or Romans 6:7,23 (Wages of sin are death and dead are freed of their sin) They won’t be in fear of hell and then where will we be! :stuck_out_tongue:

But you have got mixed up in your angry statement:

You refer of course to the New World Translation of the Bible. (Which the JW’s print and prefer if it’s available in their language) That didn’t show up until the 1960’s, and then only in English. (I think the Russian addition only came out a few years back.) The teachings I referred to were identified as not biblical decades before the NWT existed.
And you probably know the Witnesses will use whatever translation you prefer in their Bible education work. (I preferred the ‘Good news Bible’ until I realised it had left bits out.)

But on the NWT; I was suspicious of the whole “Translate your own Bible” thing. :eek:
So I started studying it, and discovered it is a very accurate translation! In contrast many other translations are quite bias with their translation! I.e. Translating Sheol differently (Hell or grave) depending on the context! (“We can’t have good people going to hell, we’d better put grave this time”):smiley:
And John 1:1 clinched it. Why is the NWT the only one that acknowledges a different phrase was used in Greek? All other in English read as if the same word was applied to Jesus and Jehovah. Fascinating stuff when you get into it.

Anyway, I just wanted to answer the questions our good mate the proffesional historian raised. It sounded like he was assuming there were no answers to them. Have a good one :thumbsup:

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