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THEO 301 T06-07 - Jehovah's Witnesses

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by

Hartmut Scherer

on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of THEO 301 T06-07 - Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's
Witnesses

February 16, 1852
History of Jehovah's Witnesses
(1852-1916)
Founder:
Charles Taze Russell
Charles Taze Russell, born in Pittsburgh, PA
Russell begins an independent Bible study;
focus:
2nd coming
of Christ
1870s
1879
Begin of monthly publication of
Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence;
Zion's Watch Tower and Tract Society
was incorporated with Russell as president
1884
1890s
Writes a series of books called
Studies in the Scriptures;
they form the basis for Jehovah's Witnesses theology
Russell died
1916
Rutherford becomes the new president and continues Russell's authoritarian style
1917
Prophecied
that the old order of things would pass away and the OT patriarchs would be resurrected
1925
Followers of the Watchtower Society were now called
Jehovah's Witnesses
1831
Rutherford died
1942
Sources of Authority
(Partly adopted from "Jehovah's Witnesses" by Tal Davis at http://www.4truth.net/fourtruthpbnew.aspx?pageid=8589952841; retrieved Sept 16, 2012.
Jehovah's witnesses have
two sources of authority
1) The Bible
The Bible is considered the divinely inspired and infallible Word of God.
Biblical response:
2) The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
The WBTS's Governing Body is called "the faithful and discreet slave," . . . . It is therefore regarded as Jehovah God's only channel of accurate biblical interpretation in the world today. A requirement for salvation "is that we be associated with God's channel, his organization" [the WBTS]. Thus, there is no salvation apart from the WBTS.
1
1
Joseph Franklin Rutherford
(1869-1942)
Today
Today
1999
"Jehovah's witnesses devoted more than 1.1 billion man-hours distributing Watchtower literature . . ."
- conducted 8,490,746 Bible studies
Source: http://www.jw-archive.org/2011/12/2012-yearbook-of-jehovahs-witnesses-out.html; retrieved Sept 16, 2012.
January - December 2011
Rhodes, The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions, Kindle location 1227
1
1
From the 2012 Yearbook:
- contributed 1,707,094,710 hours to the
preaching of the good news
- baptized 263,131
2
2
The
New World Translation

(NWT)
is regarded as the best translation because "the translators held so closely to what is in the original Bible languages" (Reasoning, p. 279).
The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. The NWT
reflects WBTS
*
theology
, especially its bias
against the deity of Jesus

Christ
and the historic doctrine of the
Trinity
.
(*Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)
10. Pray and trust the Holy Spirit to lead you.
Biblical response:
All people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord are saved by grace through faith and are born again and are capable of understanding the Scriptures through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. No single person, church, or religious organization can claim exclusive possession of the source of salvation or authority to interpret the Bible.
Witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses

1. Have a clear understanding of your faith and the Bible.
2. Acquire a basic knowledge of Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs
and practices.
3. Make a definite plan for the witnessing encounter and take the initiative.
4. Initially, talk about personal concerns to establish a friendly, courteous, and sincere relationship
with the Jehovah's Witness. Gradually move on to a discussion of theological issues.
5. Be prepared to cite and explain specific biblical passages supporting Christian doctrines.
6. Define your terms clearly and ask the Jehovah's Witness to do so also.
7. Focus the discussion on the primary issue of the person and work of Christ. Stress the need for a
personal relationship with Him.
8. Share your personal testimony of God's grace and your faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
9. Present the basic plan of salvation and encourage the Jehovah's Witness to make a decision.
Adopted from "Jehovah's Witnesses" by Tal Davis at http://www.4truth.net/fourtruthpbnew.aspx?pageid=8589952841; retrieved Sept 16, 2012.
1
1
Factors that influenced the emergence of Jehovah's Witnesses
"Zeitgeist (the spirit of the times) has had a profound influence on the millenarian outlook at any given time." (Stanley N. Gundry)
Populism (protest movement) offered fertile soil for Jehovah's Witnesses
> 24 study groups
Marriage to Maria Francis Ackley
Russell requested a separation
1879
"evil servant" - Maria's new interpretation of Matt. 24:45-47
Maria filed for legal separation
“Miracle Wheat” scandal
Date-Setting Eschatology
1895
(he) "faithful and wise servant" (Matt. 24:45)
(she) secretary-treasurer
- publicly defending him
(he) incompatible
(she) wanted to publish her personal opinions
1896-1899
she published a tract (account of her relations with her husband)
1903
1913
claimed that the wheat would yield five times more than any other brand of wheat
the end of 6,000 years of human history (1874)
Christ's active rulership began (1914; keystone doctrine)
Full transcript