I was wondering how to refute the teachings of the Jehovah Witnesses? I
have a sister who is very involved in this religion and I don’t know how
to reach her without her getting defensive. I want to be able to help her
be discerning when it comes to committing herself to something so life

You ask a very difficult question. It has been my experience that those
involved in the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a belief based on emotion rather
than intellect. For this reason, appeals to fact, logic and reason seem to
be ineffective, except in the case of a disaffected member who is already
seriously questioning their religion. My experience tells me that
“refuting the Jehovah’s Witnesses” may be a frustrating proposition. I
would suggest first that you spend a significant amount of time
familiarizing yourself with the basic doctrines of the Jehovah’s
Witnesses. One book you might try is “Prepared to Answer: Confronting
Religious Doctrines with Biblical Teaching” by Gordon Ferguson
(www.dpibooks.com). This book is geared toward your attitude in
confronting, not just on getting the goods on false doctrines. I would
suggest you go to a Christian bookstore and find a good book on the
Jehovah’s Witness organization as well.

Once you have informed yourself fairly thoroughly concerning JW’s you will
be in a position to understand where your sister is coming from, and to
anticipate the types of challenges she will bring up. If you understand
why she believes what she believes, you will be in a much better position
to really help her think through whether what she has been taught is truly
biblical. As is commanded in 1 Peter 3:16, you need to confront her false
beliefs with a spirit of gentleness and respect. This is really an
application of the Golden Rule. Your best weapons are prayer, a solid
knowledge of the Bible, and a group of true disciples of Jesus who
practice John 13:34,35 who you can use as a “disciple witness” for your

Having said all this, let me give you an extremely sketchy picture of some
of what the JW religion is all about. The JW’s were begun by a man named
Russel in the late 1800’s. They were originally an offshoot of the
Adventism movement (from which come such groups as the 7th day Adventist
denomination) These groups have a very strong emphasis on supposed
end-time prophecy. Russel and his successor “Judge” Rutherford built a
strong identity for the JW’s through an amazing publication empire and
through teaching is the strongest possible terms that their group are the
only saved people. Judge Rutherford was once quoted as saying that if the
average JW read the Bible only, and stopped reading the JW publications,
they would leave the movement withing six months. This is probably true.
JW’s believe that there was an absolutely complete falling away of the
church from the time soon after the apostles’ ministry until Russel came
along to reestablish true Christianity. JW’s are truly not Christian at
all because, unlike most denominations, they even deny the deity of Jesus
Christ. They teach that Jesus is some sort of super-angel–that he is
definitely not God. This is in part why they use their own unique
translation in which they change John 1:1 from “the Word was God” to “the
Word was a god” (with no justification, I might add). 1 John 2:21-23
clearly teaches that anyone who denys the true nature of Jesus Christ is
the Antichrist.

Much more could be said about this group, but I will leave you to do your
own research. God bless.

John Oakes, PhD

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