The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is an organization directed by the  leaders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The  Watchtower Society was founded in 1886 and is currently located in Brooklyn, New  York. The Watchtower possesses tremendous control over its members and has gone  so far as to produce its own translation of the Bible called the New  World Translation The Society has gone through several presidents since  its founding and has positioned itself as a major competitor to evangelical  Christianity. While claiming to be the only legitimate followers of Jehovah God,  the Watchtower denies and even opposes several of the fundamental doctrines of  the historic Christian faith.

To begin with, the Watchtower gets wrong  one of the most important of all religious questions: Who  is Jesus Christ? The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus Christ is  actually the first creation of Jehovah God, not God incarnate as the Bible  clearly teaches (Titus 2:13Colossians  2:9). In doing so, they have placed Christ in the category of creature  rather than acknowledging His rightful place of Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16-17John 1:1-3). They have  repeated the deadly error of Arianism, which was condemned as heresy by the  Christian Church at the Council of Nicea and is easily refuted by a fair reading  of Scripture.

Since its inception, the Watchtower has denied the  biblical teaching of the triune God (one Being who exists as three co-equal,  co-eternal Persons) and gone so far as to say that the God of Christianity is a  satanic counterfeit. Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Jehovah’s  Witnesses and a former President of the Society, even referred to the Christian  concept of God as, “the devil himself.” The God of the Watchtower is not the  biblical God and is therefore not capable of saving people from their sins.

In an attempt to justify their doctrines through biblical exegesis, the  Society produced their own translation of the Scriptures in 1961. This  translation, known as the New World Translation, is regarded by the  Jehovah’s Witnesses as the only faithful rendering of the biblical text. The NWT  is unique in that it is the first intentional systematic effort at producing a  complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific  purpose of agreeing with a group’s doctrine. Greek scholars from across the  theological spectrum have repeatedly criticized the NWT as an inaccurate  rendering of key biblical passages.

The late Dr. Bruce Metzger,  formerly Professor of New Testament Language at Princeton Theological Seminary  and author of several highly acclaimed books on textual criticism stated, “The  Jehovah’s Witnesses have incorporated in their translations of the New Testament  several quite erroneous renderings of the Greek.” Dr. Robert Countess, who  completed his PhD dissertation in Greek on the New World Translation, is  on record as saying that the Watchtower’s translation “has been sharply  unsuccessful in keeping doctrinal considerations from influencing the actual  translation. It must be viewed as a radically biased piece of work. At some  points it is actually dishonest.”

A further reason to reject the claims  of the Watchtower is their long history of engaging in false prophecy. The  Watchtower Society has on numerous occasions predicted in print the end of the  world, the most recent dates being in 1946, 1950, and 1975. What makes their  false prophecy all the more damning is when their false predictions are seen in  the light of their claim to be “the true prophetic mouthpiece for God on earth  at this time.” The Society’s history of false prophecy stands in stark contrast  to the standard for a true prophet laid out in Scripture: “If what a prophet  proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a  message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not  be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:22).

Moreover, the Watchtower  continues to engage in cultic manipulation of its people through the prohibition  of military service, the celebration of holidays, and the saluting of the  nation’s flag. The impetus for these restrictions is rooted in their false claim  to be the exclusive organized collection of Jehovah’s people. The Watchtower  views these practices as devices of Satan to lead people away from Jehovah. The  Watchtower sees the entire “world system” (any activity not connected with the  Watchtower) as connected to Satan and is thus prohibited. This would include the  practice of blood transfusions, which the  Watchtower wrongly believes to be prohibited by Scripture. The Watchtower has  stated that a blood transfusion “may result in the immediate and very temporary  prolongation of life, but at the cost of eternal life for a dedicated  Christian.” The Society wrongly assumes that the biblical prohibition of  eating blood (Genesis 9:4Acts  15:28-29) extends all the way to the modern practice of blood transfusions,  a restriction that, in practice, has cost the very lives of many Jehovah’s  Witnesses and even their children.

Despite a track record of repeated  false prophecies, a cultic isolation of their own people, and a flagrant  mistranslation of the Bible to justify their own theology, the Watchtower Bible  and Tract Society continues to gain unsuspecting converts every year. It is the  job of biblically faithful Christians to be prepared to refute these errors with  sound doctrine (Titus 1:9). As  Jude tells us, we must “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all  handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).

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