What Do You Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses?

What Do You Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Have you ever, at one time or another, been confronted at your front door by representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Unless you live on island or way out in the woods you most probably have been! But what do you really know about them? You likely know that they are not traditional Christians and have some unusual beliefs. Take the following quiz to test your knowledge of the Jehovah’s Witnesses history and beliefs. The correct answers with explanations and Biblical responses are after the quiz.

1. The official name of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization is:
a. The International Mission Board (IMB)
b. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS)
c. The International Bible Society (IBS)
d. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

2. The Founder of the Watchtower Society was:
a. Joseph Smith, Jr.
b. Charles Taze Russell
c. Joseph Franklin Rutherford
d. Jimi Hendrix

3.The second President of the WBTS who coined the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was:
a. Joseph Franklin Rutherford
b. Brigham Young
c. Nathan Knorr
d. Rutherford B. Hayes

4. The current President of the WBTS is:
a. Fredrick W. Franz
b. Thomas S. Monson
c. Don Adams
d. Maxwell Smart

5. Jehovah’s Witnesses regard their Governing Body as:
a. God’s “Theocratic Organization”
b. The High Magisterium
c. The Central Committee
d. The Justice League

6. The official Bible translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is:
a. The New International Version (NIV)
b. The New King James Version (NKJV)
c. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT)
d. The New LeBron James Version (NLJV)

7. The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation intentionally mistranslates the Greek word Kyrios (Lord) 237 times (in general reference to God) as:
a. Joshua
b. Jehovah
c. Jesus
d. Kahuna

8. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah God is:
a. A Unitary Being
b. A Holy Trinity
c. One of many gods
d. Morgan Freeman

9. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the preexistent Jesus (the Word):
a. Was the eternal second Person of the Trinity
b. Was with God and was God
c. Was Michael the Archangel
d. Was Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

10. Jehovah’s Witnesses say the purpose of Jesus’ death was:
a. As a “ransom sacrifice” to Jehovah
b. As a good example to people today
c. As a sacrificial atonement for all people’s sins
d. So the “Force” will be with us

11. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Holy Spirit is:
a. A personal being
b. The third person of the Holy Trinity
c. “God’s Active Force” in the world
d. Obi-Wan Kenobi

12. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that in order to inherit eternal life one must:
a. Believe Jesus is God
b. Be an active member of a Kingdom Hall
c. Take communion every week
d. Sign a National Letter of Intent

13. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that at death:
a. They go immediately to heaven to be with Jesus
b. The soul ceases to exist with no conscious existence
c. Good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell
d. People talk to psychics on TV

14. Jehovah’s Witness believe the 144,000 who will go to Heaven with Jesus are only the:
a. “Anointed Class”
b. “Spiritual Elite”
c. “Other Sheep”
d. People who support TV preachers

15. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that this present world system will end at:
a. Armageddon
b. The Rapture
c. The Second Coming
d. AT&T Stadium in Arlington TX on Jan. 12, 2015

Jehovah’s Witnesses Publications (all published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society):
Reasoning from the Scriptures (Reasoning) – 1985
Insight on the Scriptures-2 Volumes (Insight) – 1988
Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life (Knowledge) – 1995
The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures – 1964
The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) – 1984

1. Correct answer is b. The official name of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS). It has two branches: The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., and The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The corporation also includes a branch called the International Bible Students Association (not to be confused with the International Bible Society, publishers of the New International Version of the Bible).

The International Mission Board is the foreign mission agency of the Southern Baptist Convention. And we all certainly remember the Internal Revenue Service on April 15th of each year.

2. The correct answer is b. In 1870, Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) began an independent Bible study focusing on the second coming of Christ and biblical chronology. He published his views in several books and began lecturing in 1878. In 1879, Russell founded the monthly publication Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence which were used by study groups he established. Zion’s Watch Tower and Tract Society was incorporated in 1884 with Russell as president.

Joseph Smith. Jr. was founder and first president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormons). Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) recorded a song called All Along the Watchtower (written by Bob Dylan and based on Isaiah 21: 5-9) but it, and he, had nothing to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

3. The correct answer is a. Charles Taze Russell was succeeded as president of the WBTS in 1917 by his legal assistant, Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942). Rutherford continued Russell’s authoritarian leadership style. He was imprisoned briefly in 1918 for preaching against military service. He was a charismatic speaker who often railed against Christian churches and biblical scholars. In 1931 he coined the phrase Jehovah’s Witnesses. He died in 1942.
Brigham Young was second present of the LDS. Nathan Knorr was third president to the WBTS who served from 1942-1977. Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th President of the United States.

4. The correct answer is c. The sixth and current WBTS president is Don Adams (b. 1925). He was selected as corporate president in 2000 when the fifth president, Milton Henschel (served 1992-2000), resigned in a major restructuring of the organization.

Fredrick Franz was the fourth president of the WBTS and primary translator of the New World Translation of the Bible (see question 6). Thomas S. Monson is the current president of the LDS church. Maxwell Smart was a character on the classic 1960s comedy TV show Get Smart which starred Don Adams (no, a different guy).

5. The correct answer is a. The WBTS’s Governing Body is called God’s Theocratic (“God Ruled”) Organization. It is the “the faithful and discreet slave,” a term derived from the NWT rendering of Matthew 24:45 (The Watchtower, Feb. 1, 1993, p. 16). 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] (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1993, p. 12). Thus, there is no salvation apart from the WBTS.

Biblical Response: All people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord are saved by grace through faith and are born again (see John 3:3-16; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9). No single person, church, or religious organization can claim exclusive possession of the source of salvation or authority to interpret the Bible. All born-again Christians are capable of understanding and interpreting the Scriptures through the illumination of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Tim. 3:16; John 14:26; 15:26; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).

The High Magisterium refers to the top leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. The Central Committee is a term used for the Communist Party’s top leadership council. The Justice League is a coalition of DC Comic’s superheroes including Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, etc.

6. The correct answer is c. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is the English Bible Version published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS). Jehovah’s Witnesses consider the Bible divinely inspired and the infallible Word of God. It “contains 66 books in two sections, often called the Old Testament and the New Testament. Thirty-nine Bible books were written mainly in Hebrew and 27 in Greek. . . . A proper study of the Scriptures must include the entire Bible” (Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, p. 13). “Though the Bible is not a science textbook, it is scientifically accurate. . . . The Bible contains many prophecies that have been fulfilled in detail” (Knowledge, p. 17). The New World Bible Translation Committee members remain anonymous. It is regarded as the best translation because “the translators held so closely to what is in the original Bible languages” (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 279).

Biblical Response: The Bible is indeed composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. It is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). The NWT reflects WBTS theology, especially its bias against the deity of Jesus Christ and the historic doctrine of the Trinity. For example, John 1:1 reads “and the Word was a god” in the NWT. Nearly all other standard English Bible translations say… “and the Word was God.” See also: The Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible: Is It Reliable?

The NIV and NKJV are popular modern evangelical Bible translations. The NLJV is… well, if you don’t know, you need to watch ESPN more often.

7. The correct answer is b. The NWT inexplicably translates the common Greek words for Lord (kurios) and God (Theos) as “Jehovah” 237 times in the New Testament. This unwarranted substitutionary use of the Old Testament name of God is made, however, only when kurios is used in the context of a clear reference to God in a generic sense, or when used in a passage that is a quote from the Old Testament. However, not once do they translate kurios as “Jehovah” in the nearly 400 times in the New Testament when it is applied as a title to Jesus Christ. There is simply no legitimate textual or linguistic basis for making that distinction. The word kurios should always be accurately translated, according to context, as “Lord” or “Master,” and the word Theos as God. Neither word can ever be translated as “Jehovah”.

The reason for the NWT committee’s placement of this name of God in the New Testament is obvious to anyone who understands Jehovah’s Witnesses theology. The WBTS, since its inception over a century ago, has totally rejected the key doctrines of the Holy Trinity and the full deity of Jesus Christ. As a result, in its literature, and especially in its translation of the Bible, the WBTS has sought to obscure the clear New Testament teachings of those truths. This deliberate concealment is obvious when one makes a simple comparison of the NWT to the word-for-word translation of the Westcott and Hort Greek Text in the WBTS’ own book The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures.

Biblical Response: The use of Jehovah to translate kurios (Lord) or Theos (God) 237 times in generic reference to God, but never as a title of Jesus, is clearly done to reinforce the distinction between God and Jesus in the minds of uninformed Jehovah’s Witnesses. The truth is that the New Testament writers, following Jewish tradition in the Greek Septuagint’s translation of the Old Testament, understood the term kurios (Lord), in most cases, to be a reference to deity in the fullest sense. Thus, when New Testament writers call Jesus “Lord,” they are identifying Him with the God of the Old Testament (Yahweh or Jehovah).

Kahuna is Hawaiian for a priest, sorcerer, magician, wizard, minister, or expert in any profession.

8. The correct answer is a . Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah God is a unitary being.
The WBTS states that God’s true name is Jehovah (Deut. 6:4; Ps. 83:18). His principal attributes are love, wisdom, justice, and power. God is a “spirit being,” invisible and eternal, but has a spiritual body and is not omnipresent (Insight on the Scriptures, vol. 1, p. 969-970). The historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity is denied. “The dogma of the Trinity is not found in the Bible, nor is it in harmony with what the Bible teaches. It grossly misrepresents the true God.” (Reasoning, p. 424).

Biblical Response: The Bible teaches there is only one God. He was called by several names in the Scripture. Christians acknowledge that the term “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. Nonetheless, the doctrine is clearly taught in Scripture. The Bible teaches that the One God exists in the three persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (see Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 8:6; 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 1:21- 22; 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2).

Morgan Freeman is an actor who played God in the movie Bruce Almighty.

9. The correct answer is c. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the preexistent Jesus (the Word) was Michael the Archangel. They say Jesus had three periods of existence. In his pre-human existence he was called “God’s only-begotten Son” because Jehovah created him directly. “As the ‘first-born of all creation,’ Jesus was used by God to create all other things (Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14) . . . After Jehovah brought him into existence, the Word [Jesus] spent ages with God in heaven before becoming a man on earth” (Knowledge, p. 39). “John 1:1 says that ‘the Word’ (Jesus in his pre-human existence) was with God ‘in the beginning.’ So the word was with Jehovah when ‘the heavens and earth’ were created” (Knowledge, p. 39). He also had the personal name Michael (the archangel) (Insight, vol. 2, p. 394).

“The Second Stage of Jesus’ life course was here on earth. He willingly submitted as God transferred his life from heaven to the womb of a faithful Jewish virgin named Mary” (Knowledge, p. 40). He became the Messiah at his baptism, was executed on a “torture stake,” and rose again spiritually. “Though the Bible reports on Jesus’ death, he is now alive! He is a mighty reigning King! And very soon now, he will manifest his rulership over our troubled earth” (Knowledge, p. 41).

Biblical Response: The Bible teaches that Jesus was not created but was deity from all eternity and coequal with the Father. He came to earth in bodily form to reveal God’s nature and character to mankind. He now reigns with the Father in heaven and will return some day to close the age and judge all people. The Jehovah’s Witnesses NWT renderings of John 1:1, John 8:58 and Revelation 3:14 are biased against Jesus’ deity. There is no biblical basis for identifying Jesus with Michael the archangel (see John 1:1-14; 5:17-18; 8:56-59; 10:30-33; Col. 1:15-20; 2:9).
See also: The Angel – Man: Jehovah’s Witnesses View of Christ – Part 1 and The Angel – Man: Jehovah’s Witnesses View of Christ – Part 2

Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was the full name of the great artist Michelangelo (not the archangel).

10. The correct answer is a. Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain that the purpose of Jesus’ death was as a “ransom sacrifice” to Jehovah. Due to Adam’s sin, it was necessary that atonement be made to restore what he had lost. “Only a man with perfect human life could offer up the equivalent of what Adam lost. After Adam, the only perfect man born on earth was Jesus Christ” (Knowledge, p. 65). “The Roman governor Pontius Pilate sentenced him to death on a torture stake. He was nailed to a wooden pole and hung there upright . . . Thus, it was on Nisan 14, 33 C.E. [A.D.], that Jesus gave his life as a ‘ransom in exchange for many’” (Knowledge, p. 66). “He slept in death for parts of three days, and then Jehovah God resurrected him to life as a mighty spirit being” (Knowledge, p. 68). “Therefore, let us show our gratitude for the love displayed by God and Christ by exercising faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice” (Knowledge, p. 69).

Biblical Response: Jesus was not just a perfect man, but also God incarnate (see Col. 2:9). Thus, His death on a Roman cross was the self-sacrificial atonement of God Himself for mankind’s sin (see 1 Cor. 1:17-24; 2:2; 15:3- 4). He rose again from the dead physically, not just spiritually (see Luke 24:14-39; John 2:19-21; 20:26-29; 1 Cor. 15:1-8).

The “Force” of course was what powered the Jedi Knights of Star wars fame. In a sense the Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe in the “force.” See next answer.

11. The correct answer is c. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Holy Spirit is “God’s Active Force” in the world. The personality and deity of the Holy Spirit is denied. Holy Spirit is not capitalized in the NWT. “With this viewpoint, it is logical to conclude that the holy spirit is the active force of God. It is not a person but is a powerful force that God causes to emanate from himself to accomplish his holy will” (Reasoning, p. 381).

Biblical Response: The personality of the Holy Spirit is evidenced in numerous New Testament Scriptures (see Luke 12:12; John 15:26; Acts 5:3-10; 13:2-4; 1 Cor. 12:11; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 3:7). His deity is demonstrated by His divine attributes as revealed in Scripture. The Holy Spirit convicts the lost of sin, indwells believers at conversion, and empowers them to live the Christian life. (See Matt. 12:31-32; 28:19; Mark 3:29; John 14-16; Rom. 8:4,26-27; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 2:18-19; 5:14-33.)

Obi-Wan Kenobi would be proud of them.

12. The correct answer is b. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that in order to inherit eternal life one must be an active member of a Kingdom Hall. Other requirements for salvation include faith, baptism by immersion, active association with the WBTS, righteous conduct, and absolute loyalty to Jehovah. There is no assurance of salvation, only hope for a resurrection. Those who fail to live up to the above requirements or who are dis-fellowshipped (excommunicated) by the WBTS have no hope of salvation.

Biblical Response: Salvation is “by grace through faith” in Jesus Christ alone. No amount of works or membership in any organization guarantees salvation. It is totally through faith in Christ (see Rom. 4:4-5; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Good works are the natural response to salvation already received, not its cause (see Eph. 2:10). Salvation is eternally assured for those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior (see John 1:12; 5:24; 1 John 5:13).

The Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have a college that has a football team (unlike the Mormons). So you can’t sign a national letter of intent or get a scholarship.

13. The correct answer is b. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that at death the soul ceases to exist with no conscious existence. This view of life after death is called conditional immortality. This view maintains that humans are not naturally immortal and don’t even have immortal souls. So, they say, when people die they wait for a future physical resurrection after Armageddon. Jehovah’s Witnesses quote certain passages out of context that they argue teach this concept.

One of their favorite verses is Ecclesiastes 9:5. The NWT translates that passage thus: “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses use of that passage as a proof-text for conditional immortality is untenable. The book of Ecclesiastes was written to portray the meaninglessness and cynicism of life without God. At that point in biblical history, the full doctrinal scope of life after death had not been revealed. Therefore, an obscure passage like that above should never be taken as a basis for a theological position on an issue as crucial as death. We must always interpret such passages in light of clearer biblical statements, especially in the New Testament.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe only a few of them will ever go to heaven (see next answer) and don’t believe in hell at all. The lost will ultimately be annihilated. Thus, for them, psychics on TV have no one to talk to.

14. The correct answer is a. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe only 144,000 faithful elect Jehovah’s Witnesses, known as the “Anointed Class” will go to heaven at death to rule with Jesus. Only those born since 33 C.E. (A.D.) can be part of that number (based on Rev. 14:1-3). Most Jehovah’s Witnesses hope to be among the “other sheep” or “great crowd” who will not go to heaven, but, after Armageddon and the millennium, will live forever in Paradise on Earth (based on John 10:16; Rev. 7:9).

Biblical Response: The WBTS’ doctrine of a duality of saved people is not supported by a careful study of the Scriptures. The Bible makes no distinction of two classes of saved people (see Matt. 5:12; Phil. 3:20). In Revelation 7 and 14, both the 144,000 and the “great crowd” or “multitude” are “before the throne” in heaven. All born-again Christians will live forever in heaven (see John 3:16; 14:3).

15. The correct answer is a. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that this present world system will end at Armageddon. “This name [Armageddon or Har-Magedon] is directly associated with ‘the war of the great day of God the Almighty.’ The term applies specifically to the condition, or situation, to which ‘the kings of the entire inhabited earth’ are gathered in opposition to Jehovah and his Kingdom by Jesus Christ” (Insight, vol. 1, p. 1037.)

According to the WBTS, Armageddon will mark the destruction by God of this present evil system, including apostate “Christendom,” and the binding of Satan. Afterward, Jehovah’s surviving people will rebuild the world in a perfect environment under his rule for 1,000 years in the millennium. After the millennium, Satan will be released for a short time to test those resurrected, or born during the millennium (See Knowledge, pp. 182-190.).

Biblical Response: The Bible teaches that Jesus will return physically to judge mankind and usher in the kingdom of God. Christians may respectfully disagree over the details of biblical interpretation about the events of the last days and the millennium. Setting dates, however, is strictly forbidden and Jesus warned of false signs of His return. Nonetheless, believers are to be ready at any time for His coming (see Matt. 16:24-27; 24:14-51; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-16; John 5:28-29; 14:2-3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 5:1- 11).

So how did you do? In any case, I hope this quiz and the answers provided will help you to be better equipped to respond to Jehovah’s Witnesses when they come to your door.

© 2014 Tal Davis