Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs | What are the core beliefs?

Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs

What are the core Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs?

First of all, to understand Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs, we must have a basic knowledge of the Bible. Because their beliefs, the way they’re organized and their hopes are based on what the Bible says.

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christians? Some say no because of their refusal of the trinity’s teaching but Christian means to be Christ’s follower that means accepting Christ as a leader and following His teachings and both of the things are done by Jehovah’s Witnesses so they can be indeed considered Christians

Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs:

Like many reforming churches, the Witnesses base their lives and beliefs on the example of the early Christian  Church and the words of the Bible.

The Bible:

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Bible was inspired by God and is historically accurate.

They see the Bible as the main way in which God communicates his will to human beings, and they interpret it literally (except for passages that are obviously meant to be symbolic or poetic).

Witnesses test any religious idea or teaching against the Bible – if an idea or teaching doesn’t agree with the Bible then they regard it as wrong.

The Witnesses have their own translation of the Bible – the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. They refer to the ‘New Testament’ as the Christian Greek Scriptures, and they call the ‘Old Testament’ the Hebrew Scriptures.

While they don’t regard them as scripture, Witnesses greatly respect the various doctrinal articles published in The Watchtower. Charles Taze Russell’s books Studies in Scriptures are respected but are no longer circulated or relied upon.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs


Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  • God the Father (whose name is Jehovah) is “the only true God”.
  • Jesus Christ is his firstborn son, is inferior to God, and was created by God.
  • The Holy Spirit is not a person; it is God’s active force.

The Jehovah’s Witness beliefs about God are outlined in detail below.

God (the Father):

  • God is a single being whose personal name is Jehovah
    • they also accept the name Yahweh and other transliterations
  • Jehovah is alone, and above all other beings
  • Jehovah created everything that exists
  • Jehovah has a son called Jesus Christ
    • Jesus is not God
    • Jesus is not equal to God
    • Jesus was God’s first creation
    • Jehovah then created everything else through Jesus Christ
  • Jehovah’s outstanding qualities are love, justice, wisdom, and power.

Jesus Christ:

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  • Jesus Christ is a mighty being, but he is not God
    • Jesus Christ is a lesser and separate spirit being
    • Jesus Christ is not equal to God in power or eternity (i.e. age)
    • Jesus Christ never thought of himself as God or equal to God
  • Jesus Christ is the son of God
  • Jesus Christ was created by Jehovah as his first creation
    • So Jesus had a beginning and thus can not be eternal
  • Jesus Christ is inferior to Jehovah but superior to the angels
  • Jesus Christ rules as part of God’s heavenly kingdom
  • Jesus Christ is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament
  • Jesus Christ came to earth from heaven
    • When Jesus was on earth he was a perfect human being, but he was not divine in any way
  • Jesus Christ gave his human life as a sacrifice to make human salvation possible
  • Witnesses believe that Jesus did not die on a cross but on a single pole or stake
  • Witnesses believe that Jesus had a spiritual resurrection, not a bodily one
  • Jesus Christ has been appointed by God to judge each human being and decide on their fate
  • Jesus Christ will be used by God to resurrect the dead

The Holy Spirit:

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  • The holy spirit is Jehovah’s active force that he uses to accomplish His will
  • The holy spirit is not a person
  • The holy spirit is not part of a Trinity

The Trinity:

  • The traditional Christian idea that God is a ‘Trinity’ of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is false and based on pagan ideas
  • The doctrine of the Trinity is inconsistent with the Bible
  • The doctrine of the Trinity contradicts what the prophets, Jesus, the apostles, and the early Christians believed and taught

The cross

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus did not die on a cross but on a single stake.

This belief is based on the Greek words used in the Bible for the cross, which literally translate as ‘stake’ and ‘tree’.

Modern Witnesses regard the Cross as a pagan symbol and do not use it, although it was accepted by the movement until 1931.

Death, Heaven, and Hell

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that when a person dies, their existence completely stops.

This is because the Bible makes it clear that human beings do not have an immortal soul that survives when the body dies.

Witnesses believe that Hell (as traditionally portrayed) does not exist. There is no place where sinners are tormented after death – since their existence is over, nothing can be done to them or for them. Witnesses also argue that it would be completely against God’s nature to torture humans for eternity.

However, death is not the end of everything: each person can be remembered by God and eventually be resurrected.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Children By John W. Scott:

Jehovah’s Witnesses care about children. They work very hard to produce literature in their magazines and books to help parents to raise and protect their children effectively and successfully. From 1974 until today, the Watchtower magazine alone has over 10,000 references to children. The modern-day publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses have a combined 41, 662 references to children. Books such as My Book of Bible Stories, have helped millions of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses, to gain a foundation in a love for God, in addition to millions of children who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. The publication, The Greatest Teacher, published in 2003, teaches children valuable lessons of honesty, love of neighbor, love of God, kindness, avoiding prejudice, and not developing feelings of self-importance, as well as giving children hope for the future.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs also produce books for Youth, such as Questions Young People Ask, Answers That Work, now available in two volumes. This book helps teens to gain practical guidance in vital areas of life, including relationships, romance, and sex, drugs, and alcohol, handling finances, how to get along with and get to know one’s parents, and how to deal with the media, and how to develop a relationship with God.

Additionally, the Watchtower and Awake magazines, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses have had scores of articles throughout the year that deal with the subject of child abuse. Since 1970 there are close to a thousand references to that sensitive subject in Witness publications, and the public statement of Jehovah’s Witnesses on child abuse is a matter of record. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses are teachers in public and private schools, as is the writer of this article, and are very concerned with the safety of children and their welfare. Jehovah’s Witnesses appreciate and support the work of educators and organizations who are concerned with children and child abuse, and frequently quote from authorities on this and similar subjects in their literature.

The October 2007 Awake magazine stated, “The primary responsibility for protecting children against abuse belongs to parents, not to children. So educating parents comes before educating children.” Both children, and especially parents, need to be educated about child abuse. The book The Greatest Teacher helps children themselves to have an understanding of this subject, to be able to counter any potential abuse from predators or others.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses media site states on child-rearing, “Within the family, parents hold primary responsibility for providing needed love and training to their children. (Titus 2:4; Ephesians 6:4) They should teach their children Scriptural values and provide loving discipline. The Bible does not condone harsh physical punishment. (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Ephesians 6:4; Titus 2:4) Parents also provide for their physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care. Children learn from the Bible that they must obey and honor their parents, regardless of the parent’s religious beliefs. Children are also encouraged to show respect to their grandparents and to other older people in the family as well as in the community.-Leviticus 19:32.

Parents should teach their children Scriptural values and provide loving discipline. The Bible does not condone harsh physical punishment.”

So this article encourages the reader to be educated on the subject of children and their special needs in this difficult time period in mankind’s history. As Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to suchlike ones.” Matthew 19:14.

The Watchtower – Be a Jehovah’s Witness or Be Destroyed By Darrin Hart:

The common Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs is motivated by a substantial amount of fear.

Each Witness is taught early on that there are only two organizations in the universe: Jehovah God’s and Satan the Devil’s. To even contemplate a life outside the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society means you are turning your back on Jehovah God and giving tacit support to the evilest, wicked creature in all of the time… the Devil.

“If we stop actively supporting Jehovah’s work, then we start following Satan. There is no middle ground.” Watchtower 2011 Jul 15 p.18

The congregation elders are directed by the Watchtower Society to continually highlight this fact. “You’re either with us or you’re against us.” However, the fear doesn’t come from leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses behind, it primarily comes from two sources:

1. You will immediately be shunned by family, friends, etc.
2. You’ve been fed a steady diet of how much God hates you and you can no longer have a relationship with Him at any level.

All of this is tied directly to your unyielding loyalty to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, whose leaders, the Governing Body, require absolute devotion and obedience. The majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses would argue that they are God’s appointed representatives on the earth, all the while ignoring the warning to “never put your trust in the son’s of earthling men, to whom no salvation belongs.” (Psalms 146:3)

As stated above, each Witness is required to believe any and all things that come from the Watchtower Society and the Governing Body. This may seem simple enough to many spiritual people, to essentially ‘obey your elders/leaders’, however, the very idea that you must be loyal to a publishing company and everything it teaches, flies in the face of the very idea that the Bible, as well as Jesus Christ’s living example, are all a Christian needs to be successful.

At no point during Christ’s ministry was the peddling books, publications, magazines, etc. nor endorsing a select organization. And he most certainly was not sharing information that was incorrect!

Despite the Watchtower Society’s well-documented mistakes in prophecy, particularly surrounding 1914, the “last days,” and their teaching on ‘generations’, all those in their ranks are required to be ever loyal to the ‘organization’… or… be destroyed.

Occasionally, you will meet a Jehovah’s Witness that says that isn’t true, that they are not saying all non-Jehovah’s Witnesses are doomed to destruction. However, their publications tell a much different story. Consider some examples:

“But if we were to draw away from Jehovah’s organization, there would be no place else to go for salvation and true joy.” Watchtower September 15, 1993 p.22

“But Jehovah’s servants already belong to the only organization that will survive the end of this wicked system of things.” Watchtower December 15, 2007 p.14

Reputation Of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs are known throughout the world for their zealous door-to-door preaching work. They are both loved and despised by many. Partly because of their zeal in preaching, and coming unannounced to doors, they have drawn the ire of both religious leaders, who might have an underlying fear of losing their flock from the zealous evangelizing efforts of the Witnesses, or from other opposers, some of whom may have apostatized from the religion for one reason or another. As a result, a plethora of anti-Witness propaganda, and websites have spawned up, much of it presenting undocumented or unfactual information designed to discredit Jehovah’s Witnesses at all costs (the end justifies the means).

At the same time, the Jehovah’s Witness religion or organization has not been without its faults, and sorting out the truth from the fiction can be difficult for the average reader or casual researcher. The Knocking PBS documentary does an excellent job of present a multi-faceted and human view of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s a website that helps one to sort the wheat from the weeds, in terms of beliefs and controversies. It includes footage on medicine and the Witnesses, showing a liver transplant in live coverage, with a father donating to his son, who happens also to be an avid hard rock guitar player.


World Religions

Sources: 1, 2, 34

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Mercy Cuthbert
Mom, Wife, Author, Bachelor of Arts Comparative Religion.

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