Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christianity

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christianity

Dr. Jim Denison

“A cult…is a group of people polarized around someone’s interpretation of the Bible and is characterized by major deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the fact that God became man in Christ Jesus” (Walter Martin, The Rise of the Cults).

Basic traits:

Authority figure

Extrabiblical text

Unorthodox theology, somewhat related to Christianity

General characteristics:

Presents a Jesus different from that of orthodox faith

Claims new truth

Offers new, non-orthodox interpretations of Scripture

Cites non-biblical authority source(s)

Rejects major tenets of orthodox Christianity

Generally develops a changing, often contradictory theology

Strong leadership, usually centered in a single person or group of persons

Almost always offers a salvation by works

Generally makes unsubstantiated prophetic claims

Introduction to Jehovah’s Witnesses

Charles Taze Russell is founder of the movement. He was born February 16, 1852 near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1870, while a teenager and without formal theological training, Russell organized a Bible class; its members eventually made him their “pastor”