951753

This Site Is No Longer Active

Check out RESTITUTIO.org for new blog entries and podcasts. Feel free to browse through our content here, but we are no longer adding new posts.


  

by Patrick Navas

6 Scripturally-Based Reasons Why Christians Should Not Adopt the Label “Jehovah’s Witnesses” As Their Official Group-Name

  1. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was not the name that the early Christian community in apostolic times was known by.
  2. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was chosen by a man named Judge Rutheford (the second president of the Watchtower Society) in the twentieth century (1931), not by God or Scripture in the first.
  3. The adoption of the name “Jehovah’ Witnesses” is not commanded or encouraged in Scripture. Isaiah 43:10 does not command the adoption of the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” as the name that Christians should adopt and be known by to the world. It simply describes the function of the Nation of Israel in the prophet Isaiah’s day. Christians bear witnesses to God and his purposes in a distinctive way by preaching His Son Jesus as the “one Lord” and “Messiah” whom Jehovah has “raised from the dead” and exalted “at his right hand as Leader and Savior” (Acts 2:36; 3:15; 5:31; 1 Cor. 8:6).
  4. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” does not bear witness or call attention to the “Christ” or “Messiah” (Jesus), the one God’s people must bear witness to according to Acts 1:8. This is not to say that Christians bear “witness” to Jesus and not Jehovah God. Rather, by bearing witnesses to Jesus, Christians glorify Jehovah God and carry out his will because they are bearing witness to Jehovah’s Messiah, the one through whom Jehovah fulfills his purpose.
  5. According to the NWT and others (Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, 1898; McCord’s New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel; The Simple English Bible New Testament), the name “Christian” was adopted by the disciples based on “divine providence.” Therefore, the name “Christian” should be the official name by which God’s people are known to the world, according to the Scriptures and the apostolic example and testimony (1 Peter 4:14-16).
  6. Taking on a supplemental religious label like “Jehovah’s Witnesses” simply conforms to the pattern of every other denomination and sect of “Christendom” that has done the same, and only adds to the confusion and multitude of divisions that have existed for centuries among professed Christians.

by Patrick Navas

17 Responses to “Why Jehovah’s Witnesses Shouldn’t Call Themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses”

  1. on 19 Aug 2009 at 10:25 amJoshua

    Great information!

    I look forward to more of Patrick’s work…

  2. on 19 Aug 2009 at 10:57 amWolfgang

    On what ground do those sources listed under #5 above state that the “Christian” was adopted by the disciples based on “divine providence” ???

    It almost seems from the record in Acts that “Christian” was a label initially used by non-Christians for those whom they perceived as following “Christ”

    Nowadays there is quite a movement in Christian circles to use Yahwe, Yahweh, YHWH, and various ways of spelling “Messiah” from a supposedly “Hebrew” or “Aramaic” language point, etc …. rather than those translated or transcribed terms which were in common use in English, German, French or other modern day languages (“God” is out – “Elohim” is in; “Jesus” is out – Yeshuah, Jeshuah, Jehoschuah is in, “Christ” is out – Meschiach, Meschiah, and maybe “Messiah” is in; etc etc etc)

    So what are we to make of all those things, folks? Join the confusion? perhaps stay with the commonly known English terms in English speaking environment?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  3. on 20 Aug 2009 at 5:42 amJaco

    Personally, when referring to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I prefer using the term Watchtower. The fundamentalists I call Watchtowerites. There are many of them, and, sad to say, those ones are recultured, and mentally and intellectually reinvented to such an extent that, had it not been for the presence of the Bible, they would have been no different than other renowned religious cults.

    My unease with calling them by their self-nominated identity, is the presence of a version of the Divine Name. Much like discussing the blasphemous manner in which some Televangelists use and abuse reference to their “holy spirit.”

    It is interesting to see how the Watchtower has evolved throughout the decades. C.T Russell desired to be called by no other name but “Christian.” Those who took the lead in religious gatherings were elected by fellow worshippers, since Russell denounced, as he called it, sectarian ordination. Even for some time during Rutherford’s presidency was fellowship not membership-based, but free and voluntary. Neither of the two desired the group they presided over be classified an organisation, let alone a religion, since that is “a racket and a snare.”

    The more I think about it, the more I realise what a serious (even potentially fatal) matter it is to bear the name of Jehovah. This realization most profoundly comes from OT references to a person’s acting in the capacity of prophet, or prophet-class (whichever you choose). A prophecy can only be true when what was prophesied turns out to be fulfilled exactly as foretold. In Biblical times, when a prophecy was fulfilled, faithful ones could look back and see how Scripture predicted what would happen without having to adjust what Scripture said. Not so with the Watchtower. 1914 was fortold, yea, but until 1925 it was believed to be the date of Armageddon. Only later was it reinterpreted as the invisible return of Christ (whatever that’s supposed to mean), not to mention the chronological flaws that date is based on. Then came 1925, 1975, 1994 (by implication), and all met with disappointment. Whoever was behind these predictions could not have been the Biblical Jehovah whom they claim to be witnesses of. The Biblical Jehovah said: “When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.” – Deut. 18:22.

    By being faithful to God’s own standards, no word of this prophet class needs ever be feared or believed. All the things this “slave class” could be called, “faithful and descreet” is the least of them. “Presumpteous” – indeed!

  4. on 22 Aug 2009 at 1:58 amRay

    I find it interesting when I consider that in John Bunyan’s book
    The Pilgrim’s Progress, the Pilgrim who was going to Celestial City
    was called Christian.

    When the name first appeared near the beginning of the book
    the reason John Bunyan gave for calling him that was because it was his name.

    Notice how in reaching someone like JW’s that we begin using their terms? It’s always like that when we reach out to people. I remember responding to people of another denomination with
    “Happy Sabbath”, even though it was Saturday to me. I can do that
    for awhile, but I don’t want to stay around too long. If we stay around people and eat with them we partake of their sins.

  5. on 23 Aug 2009 at 6:32 amJaco

    Ray

    I think the advantage of having been a member of the WT organization is the knowledge of their worldview. One also knows what words or terms they have a mental block for. Much like speaking to Orthodox Jews and in the beginning avoiding the matter of Jesus’ Messiahship altogether, until a better footing has been established with the person.

    Likewise, certain terms should best be avoided when speaking to members of the Watchtower so as not to scare them off initially. Words like church, cult, cross, the title Lord is very seldom used by them, as well as communion.

    When speaking to Muslims, for instance, I show the necessary respect to prophets they also have reverence for. When referring to Musa (Moses), for instance, I have no qualms saying the phrase sallalahu alaihu wassalaam (peace be upon him). BUT, I never say it when mentioning their prophet, Mohammed, or any of their imaginary prophets, such as Hud. Likewise, I have a problem with calling the Watchtower “Jehovah’s Organization,” to use any terms that show that I accept their two-class system, or to refer to their Governing Body as “the faithful slave”. Other than that, as long as I don’t compromise my knowledge of truth, I have no problem using WT terms. They generally feel more at ease hearing those instead.

    Regards,
    Jacob

  6. on 23 Aug 2009 at 10:15 amRay

    Jaco,
    By the things you tell me I begin to realize they’re in a whole different world because of all these things. I didn’t know about all
    this. I really don’t know much about them.

    I was wondering what to do, or what can be done about the doctrine that Jesus is Michael which I have read about in a book
    by one of that discipline.

    I now realize more than before how the Bible is full of allegory.
    The prophets used allegory a lot, setting forth one thing to communicate another.

    I now wonder if it was Michael the angel that appeared to Daniel
    (Daniel 10) and referred to the Messiah as “Michael your prince.”

    The angel the Lord used to communicate his revelation to the Church (John’s Revelation) looked much like the angel that appeared to Daniel, it seems to me, the appearance of which suggested to me the
    Son of God, one Jesus by name.

  7. on 25 Aug 2009 at 8:28 amJaco

    Ray,

    Looking at Hebrews 1:5, it is clear (considering the line of reasoning) that no angel has ever been called Son of God, as Jesus has. The website http://www.biblicaltruthseekers.co.uk has some very good articles, one also discussing the identity of Michael. I highly recommend you go through this article and share your thoughts.

    It struck me now, that, had Jesus been an angel/archangel in heaven, he would have been like the Nephilim in Genesis 6.

    This morning I read in Matthew 18:23-35 about the compassionate king and the unforgiving debtor. This moral and theological lesson in forgiveness can be applied to all kinds of situations involving receiving a favor and returning the favor (even to others). It saddened me to think how many court cases on freedom of expression have been fought and won by the Watchtower in several countries. Government systems, politicians, “opposers” and “apostates” were denounced in tracts and magazines for not remaining true to their standard of “Freedom of Expression.” This was a standard the Watchtower appealed to heavily…but, sad to say, the very standard they’re known for to compromise. Thousands have been treated with utmost contempt for daring to voice their unease with certain fundamental Watchtower teachings. While the Watchtower demanded and was granted the right to freely express their disapproval of other religions without sanction, they were relentlessly merciless in their treatment of dissenters from among their own ranks.

    Since the king of the above parable represents Yahweh our father, it is clear that the Watchtower, who has made itself comparable to the unforgiving debtor, is in a serious predicament before our Creator. For, by our Creator’s standards, will they be judged by the measure they judged others, and merciful was not it.

    Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    Jcb

  8. on 23 Sep 2009 at 3:05 amJaco

    This morning I remember a case I read about which took place in 1954 in Scotland. This came to be called the Welsh case. Raymond Franz include court transcripts of this case in his book, In Search of Christian Freedom. The contents of those transcripts are nothing less than shocking. In those transcripts we find the testimonies of the President of the Watchtower Society, Fred Franz, the Society’s Legal Counsel, Hayden Covington, and its Secretary-Treasurer, Grant Suiter.

    Of major concern to the court was not only the false dates the Watchtower attached to Jesus’ return, but that the individual Witnesses were “obligated” to accept these dates. In no uncertain terms did that case show, that, in case a Witness saw error in a false date before the Society corrected it and conscientiously would not accept that date, that that Witness would be disfellowshipped. One of the three admitted that a disfellowshipped person does not stand a chance to survive Armageddon. So, the individual Witness would have to choose between what is clear Biblical truth and what is Watchtower speculation. While the First Century apostles obeyed God as ruler, rather than men, the Watchtower exacts violation of Biblical truth in favor of Watchtower speculation.

    So serious is dissent to these speculations that a person could forfeit his salvation, according to the Watchtower. But this coin also has another side. When the Secretary-Treasurer was interrogated regarding the embarrassing record of the Watchtower’s date-setting and the harm it did, he said that the overall good the Watchtower does makes those errors look insignificant. Raymond Franz got the point when he said: “While asking for tolerance for itself, it does not grant it to any member who objects to, and who cannot accept erroneous teaching.” This is simply the sad and appalling truth. The Watchtower insist that others ignore their disappointing date-setting, while it sadistically disfellowshipped those who turned out to be right with regard to the Watchtower’s error.

    Realisations like these bring a sigh of relief to many who were or almost were captives of the Watchtower. To those lucky ones obeying God as ruler is the key to salvation rather than obedience to man.

    Jaco

  9. on 17 Nov 2009 at 2:22 pmElias

    The problem with these 6 arguments is that they don’t take into consideration that we live in a time where EVERYONE who claims to follow Christ calls themselves “Christian”. So, the name “Christian” for everyone, only supports the idea of unrecognizable true Christianity, which is not Biblical. The Scriptures clearly teach that true Christians would be visibly separated from the weeds during the harvest (Matthew 13).

    Finally, the statement:


    4.The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” does not bear witness or call attention to the “Christ” or “Messiah” (Jesus)…

    is quite ridiculous, since the name “Christian” does not bear witness or call attention to “Jehovah/YHWH” or “God”.

  10. on 10 Aug 2010 at 2:56 pmdave

    Dear sir (s) I guess your not aware of Jesus Rev 3:14 being the “faithful and true witness”. Of whom, is Jesus the faithful witness of?

    Acts 15:14 “God for the 1st time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name”. When? And to who?

    Many scholars find Yahweh more favorable, however, other scholars say Jehovah is more correct! Which name is readily recognized? Jehovah has been used in english for centuries and preserves equally with other forms, the four constants of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton.

    Jehovah is the God of everything and everybody yes, footstep followers of Christ rightly so are called Christian. The first time called that is Acts 11:26. But let’s be honest look around and really examine who are footstep followers of Christ not in word but in actions? By the way, Deut 10:17 & Acts 10:34 & 35 talks about Jehovah being impartial. So, we can see the world of all mixed religions must become Christian, however, Jehovah loves all people John 3:16, and is giving everyone a chance to come and know him but how is that to be done?

    Jeremiah 10:10

  11. on 13 Dec 2010 at 2:49 amMelvin

    1. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was not the name that the early Christian community in apostolic times was known by.

    True. But the apostles applied the prophecy in the 9th chapter of Amos to Christians. That is where it says that Jehovah was going to take a people out of the nations, a people who would be called by my name.

    2. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was chosen by a man named Judge Rutheford (the second president of the Watchtower Society) in the twentieth century (1931), not by God or Scripture in the first.

    Of course the name was chosen by Rutherford. That does not mean that Jehovah did not make it happen though. In the first century believers were called Christians by divine providence. We are not told how God brought it about, only that he did.

    3. The adoption of the name “Jehovah’ Witnesses” is not commanded or encouraged in Scripture. Isaiah 43:10 does not command the adoption of the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” as the name that Christians should adopt and be known by to the world. It simply describes the function of the Nation of Israel in the prophet Isaiah’s day. Christians bear witnesses to God and his purposes in a distinctive way by preaching His Son Jesus as the “one Lord” and “Messiah” whom Jehovah has “raised from the dead” and exalted “at his right hand as Leader and Savior” (Acts 2:36; 3:15; 5:31; 1 Cor. 8:6).

    That portion of Isaiah is really directed to Christ’s followers during the bleak period immediately preceding Armageddon. Jehovah is prophetically calling his sons into action to serve as his witnesses then. Being witnesses for Jehovah is in keeping with the pattern Christ established as the faithful witness. But it should be noted that being a witness for Jehovah does not prevent JW’s from also preaching Christ.

    4. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” does not bear witness or call attention to the “Christ” or “Messiah” (Jesus), the one God’s people must bear witness to according to Acts 1:8. This is not to say that Christians bear “witness” to Jesus and not Jehovah God. Rather, by bearing witnesses to Jesus, Christians glorify Jehovah God and carry out his will because they are bearing witness to Jehovah’s Messiah, the one through whom Jehovah fulfills his purpose.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses alternatively call themselves Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses

    5. According to the NWT and others (Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, 1898; McCord’s New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel; The Simple English Bible New Testament), the name “Christian” was adopted by the disciples based on “divine providence.” Therefore, the name “Christian” should be the official name by which God’s people are known to the world, according to the Scriptures and the apostolic example and testimony (1 Peter 4:14-16).

    The name Christian has been used by so many non-Christian groups that it has become meaningless.

    6. Taking on a supplemental religious label like “Jehovah’s Witnesses” simply conforms to the pattern of every other denomination and sect of “Christendom” that has done the same, and only adds to the confusion and multitude of divisions that have existed for centuries among professed Christians.

    It is a scripturally supported designation.

    M.

  12. on 13 Dec 2010 at 7:41 amXavier

    I thought it was because they were Oneness. 😛

  13. on 28 Nov 2011 at 2:36 pmAhava

    @ Jaco (Jacob)

    YOU SAID: Looking at Hebrews 1:5, it is clear (considering the line of reasoning) that no angel has ever been called Son of God, as Jesus has.

    There are two things that you need to realize, Jacob —

    1. Jesus Christ is/was no mere angel; he is/was the ARCHANGEL Michael, which means “chief” angel. Jesus Christ/ Michael is the leader of angels/ armies of heaven.

    2. Your comment above is false. Angels ARE called sons of God in the following scriptures:

    Genesis 6:2 — “then the sons of the [true] God began to notice the daughters of men, that they were good-looking;”

    Job 1:6 — “Now it came to be the day when the sons of the [true] God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and even Satan proceeded to enter right among them.”

    Job 2:1 — “Afterward it came to be the day when the sons of the [true] God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and Satan also proceeded to enter right among them to take his station before Jehovah.”

    It is notable, too, that even the man Adam is called “son of God.” (Luke 3:38)

    So, please stop spreading your lies. The rest of your ideas are just as stupid and false as this statement you made above. What is your aim? Are you trying to gain a “following” for yourself? If so, please consider this scripture —

    Titus 3:10 — “As for a man that promotes a sect, reject him after a first and a second admonition;”

    What you are doing here is sowing disrespect for Christ’s leadership and the channel he is using today, his governing body. It is not the GB that you are hurting, but Jehovah himself, who has chosen these ones. This is Jehovah’s command (not the GB’s) at Hebrews 13:17 —

    “Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among YOU and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over YOUR souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to YOU.”

    Repent, Jacob, and turn around, while there is still time. Maybe Jehovah will forgive if you show true remorse and seek to do HIS will.

  14. on 03 Jan 2012 at 7:39 pmJacobPressures

    These are some of the weakest arguments I’ve ever seen. Some of the reasons for rejecting the name are simply non-Biblical! This reminds me of post by ApologeticsPress that states that the true Church will be called “Church of God” or “Church of Christ.” While these are nice simple names. There are numerous groups using that name or a form of it. How exact does the name have to be for it to be acceptable?

    Here are some examples:
    – Churches of Christ
    – Church of God
    – Church of God in Christ
    – Church of God (Abrahamic Faith)
    – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    – Christian Congregation
    – Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    – Assemblies of God

    Ok here is an additional problem: How do you translate these into other languages????? How do you differentiate them in other languages especially since Church and Congregation are basically the same word in English but this does not occur in all languages. One obviously has a religious connotation. How is Assembly or Congress different from a Congregation???? Are synonyms invalid? If so based on what standard?

  15. on 03 Jan 2012 at 7:42 pmJacobPressures

    Oh you also have

    – United Church of Christ

    and numerous others I’ve not thought of.

    My point is when you translate these to other languges how does one know which is which??? How does this help in identifying the TRUE CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION???

    Indeed this is a bunch of petty foolishness!

  16. on 17 Sep 2013 at 12:38 amGeorge A, Wheelan

    To my understanding while searching the scriptures two men I now came to the conclusion that Jehovah was a made up word.When translating the scriptures into greek in Alexandria,Egypt those involed(it was a lengthy process and many higher ups in THE CHURCH were involved they came across the word LORD and from what I have been told they did not want to take the LORD (LORDS)name in vain(YHWH) so the devil figure the best thing to do is get rid of YHWH totally….His name and replace it in both the Old and New testaments with a new word Jehovah. From what I can tell is you should never go back to Egypt.
    Love gw

  17. on 06 May 2020 at 7:15 amRachel

    Jehovah’s Witnesses forget these verses. The prophecy in Isaiah would seem to be talking about Jehovah to them, when in fact it is fulfilled in Romans by Jesus. In addition God (Jehovah Himself) in Philippians says Jesus’ name is above EVERY other name in heaven. That would include Jehovah’s name. It’s Jesus’ name Christians bow to. Not Jehovah’s. That makes sense that Paul would write this in Philippians because he would vividly remember his conversion when Jesus tells him to preach his name, not Jehovah’s name in Acts. Jesus tells Paul to preach the same name the Christians he persecuted preached. History tells us they preached Jesus’ name, not Jehovah’s. Therefore Jehovah’s Witnesses have renounced the very name Christ told Christians to preach and the very name Jehovah has exalted above himself.

    Isaiah 45:23 New International Version (NIV)
    23 By myself I have sworn,
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity
    a word that will not be revoked:
    Before me every knee will bow;
    by me every tongue will swear.

    Romans 14:11 New International Version (NIV)
    11 It is written:
    “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
    ‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[a]

    Philippians 2:9-11
    9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

    Acts 9:13-15
    13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

    15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

    So Acts 9:14 makes is clear what name the Christians called on in the 1st congregations. It was Jesus’. Jehovah’s Witnesses call on Jehovah. They don’t realize that since his resurrection, Jesus’ name has been exalted above EVERY other name. Jehovah himself has ordered this and exalted Jesus’ name as the highest name in heaven and on earth.

  

Leave a Reply