What are the biggest differences between Christianity and the Jehovah Witnesses?
What are the biggest differences between Christians and Jehovah Witnesses? I know JWs don’t believe in a hell when in fact Jesus talks more about hell then he does Heaven so why don ’t they believe in a Hell?
There are a rather large number of absolutely fundamental differences between what the Bible teaches and what is taught by the Jehovah Witness group.
First and foremost, the Jehovah Witness group teaches that Jesus is not God. They teach that he is a created being—a sort of highest angel, but not deity. This is a heretical teaching, so far from the biblical teaching on Jesus that I consider Jehovah Witnesses to not even be Christian—even in the broadest sense of the word Christian.
Second, the Jehovah Witness group do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. Despite that the words “He” and “Him” and “Counselor” are used of the Holy Spirit dozens of times in the Bible, they teach that the Holy Spirit is simply a force, and not a person.
Next, the Jehovah Witness group denies the existence of Hell. They teach that there is a smaller group—144,000—who will be in heaven with God, a larger group who will be raised to live on the earth in a lesser Kingdom of God, and a third group who will simply cease to exist. There is no punishment other than ceasing to exist for those who do not follow the Jehovah Witness teaching.
There are many other differences between biblical Christianity and the JW group which are important, but perhaps not absolutely essential to salvation. They teach that the only proper name for God is Jehovah, despite the fact that the word Jehovah does not even appear in the Old or the New Testament. YHWH, sometimes written out as Yahweh does, of course, but it is one of many names used for God, and there is no evidence that Jesus characteristically used even this name for God. JWs teach that the Wonderful Counselor of John 14:16 is the Watchtower Society! Clearly, Christians do not agree with this. JWs also import some of the Laws of Moses into their teaching, as well has having a few odd additional teachings unique to the group. They outlaw the use of blood transfusions, celebration of birthdays and a number of other practices unique to the group. They also have an end-time focus, including the false prediction of the return of Jesus on several occasions, but these false teachings are not the essential difference between the JWs and biblical Christians.
Why do they not believe in Hell? For that matter, why do they hold to all the other false teachings? The answer is that they believe these things because of the influence of their founder Charles Taze Russel and his successor “Judge” Rutherford, as well as the influence of the Watchtower Society which Rutherford left behind. Russel had many bizarre teachings about the Second Coming of Jesus and he rejected the deity of Christ. JWs inherit their false theology and teaching from their founders. Why Russel rejected the biblical teaching on Hell is something you would have to ask him, except that he died almost exactly 100 years ago. This is where the denial of Hell and other false teachings come from. They do not come from the Bible, despite JWs willingness to engage in debates to the contrary. They love debating, but I suggest we not engage in their intellectual debates, but rather point them to Jesus.
I am attaching additional notes on the Jehovah Witness group, including scriptural responses to their teaching to this e-mail.