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How Jehovah's Witnesses

Twist the Scriptures

The following article is from

"Coping With The Cults" by Lorri MacGregor


Of all the cult groups, Jehovah's Witnesses are the ones that are the most deceitful and clever when it comes to the twisting and distorting of the Bible. The ones at your door are not responsible, but are deceived by those at headquarters. I was formerly a Jehovah's Witness for fifteen years, and understand that organization from the inside out. Those in control are so clever in their distortions that members are convinced that they are continually receiving "truth". They even inquire, "How long have you been in the truth?" (meaning the J.W. Organization).

At my very first encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses, they put the twist on John 14:28, where Jesus said, "...the Father is greater than I", and told me the Trinity was a doctrine of Satan, Jesus was inferior to his Father, and an archangel named Michael to boot. How proficient they seemed flipping all over the Bible from one (unrelated) scripture to another! I was impressed.

As our "bible studies" progressed, I was warned, "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling", quoting only a portion of the thought in Philippians 2:12". I was told this consisted of "publishing the good news of God's kingdom" by selling their publications door-to-door, attending five meetings a week, and making numerous other quotas. Of course, I was never directed to the following verse, which continued the same sentence, "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure". (Philippians 2:13).

The J.W.'s at headquarters want to make sure their members know nothing of the indwelling Christ ("for it is God who is at work IN YOU..."), and they have removed this truth from numerous scriptures in their "bible". Everywhere it says "Christ IN YOU", they have altered the text to read, "IN UNION WITH YOU". However, worse distortions are yet to be discussed.




Many scholars will not even apply the term "translation" to this "bible". The Watchtower Society needed a bible to conform to their strange doctrines, and so they created one. The "translation" was done by a five-member committee in Brooklyn, New York. Four of these men had a highschool education only, with no Hebrew or Greek knowledge at all. The fifth man, Fred. W. Franz, although claiming to know Hebrew and Greek (without credentials), while under oath in a Scottish Court of Law, failed a simple Hebrew test. He was a college sophomore dropout, and lied about being offered a Rhodes Scholarship. No wonder the Society refuses to name their translators, and prefers to be anonymous and "humble"! No reputable scholar will endorse this "translation", and no one suffers more in this distortion than the Lord Jesus Christ.



"In (the) beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." (New World Translation).

Since the Jehovah's Witnesses portray Jesus as a lesser god, the archangel Michael, and merely a man on earth, they needed a Bible to suit their misrepresentations. They had to forego legitimate scholarship and translations and finally came up with three sources to agree with them. Let's examine those sources.



The Watchtower Society quoted Johannes Greber extensively in their publications. ("The Word, Who is He? page 5; "Make Sure of all Things" (1965), page 489; "Aid to Bible Understanding", pages 1134, 1669, etc.)

Upon examining this "New Testament" we find that Johannes Greber was a spirit-medium, and also authored a book called "Communication with the Spirit World of God". He reported seeing the translation come in "large illuminated letters and words passing before his eyes". Other times he reports that his wife, "a medium of God's spirit world" conveyed the correct answers from "God's messengers to Pastor Greber".

As we examine this New Testament further we find constant references to God's holy spirits (plural), and it becomes more and more obvious that we are dealing with a man deep into spiritism. This, of course is forbidden by God's word. Leviticus 19:31 says,

"Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them."

Did the Watchtower Society seek out this spirit medium? Yes, for the Johannes Greber Memorial Foundation provided us with a photo-copy of a letter from the Watchtower Society acknowledging receipt of not only several of his New Testaments, but also Greber's book, "Communication with the Spirit World of God". Why has the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses willingly and knowingly been in communication with a spiritistic society?

It's true that in the April 1st, l983, "Watchtower" magazine, page 31, under "Questions From Readers", the Society claimed that they found out from the 1980 Edition of the New Testament by Johannes Greber, that he was involved in spiritism, and therefore they would not quote his bible in future.

However, the facts are that the Watchtower Society knew, at least from 1956, that Johannes Greber was involved with demon spirits! They published an article to that effect in the "Watchtower" of February 15th, 1956. With this knowledge, they deliberately used Greber's "translation" of the bible as a basis for their "New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures", which was first released in its entirety in 1961. These dates do not lie.

Why would the Watchtower Society knowingly embrace a translation of John 1:1, given by demon spirits? Every Jehovah's Witness needs to check this out. Also, why is the Society still teaching Greber's views on the resurrection received from the same source.



Continuing on with the precedents for translating John 1:1, "...and the Word was a god", we also find the Watchtower Society quoting on page 5 of, "The Word, Who is He? According to John",

"This reading is found in "The New Testament in An Improved Version", published in London England in 1808".

We are directed to a footnote which reads, "The title page reads: "The New Testament in An Improved Version, upon the basis of Archbishop Newcome's New Translation: with a corrected Text, and Notes Critical and Explanatory. Published by a Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and the Practice of Virtue, by the Distribution of Books--Unitarian".

Yes, the key word above is "UNITARIAN". This is a cult group teaching that Jesus was an extraordinarily good man only, nothing more. A Mr. Thos. Belsham, after Archbishop Newcome's death, altered his text. (See page 394, "Manual of Bible Bibliography"). This altered text dishonoring Archbishop Newcome's careful scholarship also provides a basis for the New World Translation's "...and the Word was a god". (See also the Kingdom Interlinear Translation (l969), page 1160).

Archbishop Newcome certainly never said the Word was "a god". Why would the Watchtower Society use as their guide a cult denying the Biblical Christ, and guilty of altering a reputable biblical text? Every Jehovah's Witness needs to check this out.



A third precedent for translating John 1:1, "...and the Word was a god", comes from the Emphatic Diaglott by Benjamin Wilson. His translation actually reads, "...the LOGOS was God", but he placed the words "a god" under "theos" in the Greek and English portion.Mr. Wilson never studied biblical Greek in a college. He was a follower of John Thomas, a proven false prophet by biblical definition, and the founder of the Christadelphians, a Christ- dishonoring cult.



All Watchtower sources for translating John 1:1 as "...and the Word was a god" crumble away under close and honest examination.

Why would the Watchtower Society CHOOSE sources that are false and even demonic? Why do they further CHOOSE to ignore Greek Scholars who are reputable? Every Jehovah's Witness needs to get satisfactory answers to these important questions.

We further suggest a careful reading of Chapter nine on the Deity of Jesus Christ so John 1:1 may be understood in its correct context,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."




A most revealing publication of the Watchtower Society is a purple interlinear translation called "The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures", published in 1969. In this book their scripture distortions can be clearly seen, especially the altering of the text in places where Jesus is called "God". So successful has this publication been in setting Jehovah's Witnesses free from the Watchtower Society that they have taken it out of print and substituted one in which the distortions are masked much more successfully. We recommend the original.



"because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily." (New World Translation).

Notice the words, "divine quality". They are found nowhere in the Greek text. Why then are they inserted in the New World Translation? Obviously because the Jehovah's Witness leaders could not have their membership know that "all the fullness of Deity" is dwelling in Christ bodily! Notice the Greek/English side of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation,

"because in him is dwelling down all the fullness of the godship bodily".

Looking up the word "godship" in any reputable Bible Dictionary, we find it also reads, "Godhead" or "Deity". It can never be honestly translated "divine quality". Why would the Watchtower Translators be so dishonest to insert extra words in the text, and at the same time ignore the truth about Jesus? The correct reading of Colossians 2:9 would be,

"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (NAS).

Yes, all is all, and full is full, and Jesus is Deity (God), even in the flesh! No wonder the verse just previous is a warning to watch out for those who would misrepresent Christ!




Much of J.W. doctrine is built by using the Bible like a dictionary. You choose your doctrine, and then you hunt through the pages of the Bible for a phrase here and a phrase there that will seem to support what you said. Used (or abused) this way, you can make the Bible say just about anything you want it to! An example of misrepresentation of Christ by ignoring the context is a favorite method of J.W.'s., and we give an example here.




Since Jesus is eternal, and the Bible teaches this fact, first of all these scriptures are not used ever. The next step is to choose other scriptures that on the surface seem to teach Jesus is created. J.W.'s choose Proverbs 8:22 and 30, after telling the "Bible Study" that Jesus is created. The prospect reads:

"Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago." "then I came to be beside him as a master worker, and I came to be the one he was specially fond of day by day, I being glad before him all the time," (New World Translation).

Being "primed" in this manner, the prospect assumes that Jesus Christ is the subject of Proverbs, chapter eight. However, a study IN CONTEXT reveals that the true subject of Proverbs, chapter eight is "Wisdom" personified, and not Jesus Christ at all! Always check the context of the isolated verses misused by Jehovah's Witnesses.

Why not ask the Jehovah's Witness, if Jehovah created Jesus first, and then Jesus was beside Him as a "master workman" for the rest of creation as you teach, please explain Isaiah 44:24 to me:

"Thus says the LORD (YHWH), your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, "I the LORD (YHWH), am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens BY MYSELF, and spreading out the earth ALL ALONE." (NAS).




As with all cult groups, Jehovah's Witnesses lead the way in giving their own meanings to Bible terms. Rather than accepting true definitions which would disprove their doctrines, they invent new meanings. An example is the term "first-born" as applied to Jesus Christ. The J.W.'s attempt to use this redefined term to prove that Jesus was created first, and so is only a creature. Colossians 1:15 reads in their bible,

"He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation". (New World Translation).

Here, the scripture is correct, but J.W.'s read and teach it with a faulty definition. They equate "first-born" with "first-created", as programmed by the Society.

Notice first of all that this scripture teaches that Jesus is "the image of the invisible God", not the "creation" of the invisible God. When we look in a mirror, what do we see? An image of ourselves. It it us? Of course! So Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. Matthew 1:23 calls Him "...God with us." Is He then God? Of course!

In this scripture in Colossians 1:15, Jesus is also called "the first-born of all creation". What does this mean? First off, it does NOT mean, "FIRST-CREATED" as the J.W.'s teach. The word in Greek for "first-created" is "protoktistos". This term is NEVER used in connection with Jesus Christ.

The term "FIRST-BORN" means in Greek, "Preeminence in rank". If we just continue reading in Colossians, chapter one, the meaning becomes clear. Verse 16 says,

"For by Him (Christ) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created by Him and for Him". (NAS).

Verse 17 continues,

"And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together".(NAS).

We rest our case. Jesus Christ is "before all things". That means before the heavens and earth, before angels, before the creation of man. He is the creator, the one preeminent in rank, the first-born of all creation.




It was necessary for the "translators" of the New World Translation to further alter Colossians, chapter one, to hide the fact that Jesus is the Creator. They dishonestly inserted the word "other" four times in verses 16 and 17 (i.e. "Also, he is before all (other) things..." etc.), to prop up their false doctrine that Jesus is a creature.

Micah 5:2, says of Christ,

"...His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity."

The Hebrew word here for "eternity" is "olam". No creature is ever described with this word, only God. It is used of YHWH (Jehovah) in Psalms 90:2. God is eternal.



Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus was "only-begotten" when Jehovah supposedly created Him in the beginning. Once again, this term has no reference to any so-called creation, and Acts 13:33 even applies this term to the time of Christ's resurrection,

"that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He RAISED UP JESUS, as it is also written in the second Psalm, "THOU ART MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN THEE".




Jehovah's Witnesses quote one phrase of Revelation 3:14.

"...the beginning of the creation of God." (NWT).

This one phrase now becomes a "proof-text" that Jesus was created. However a perusal of several reputable Greek dictionaries produced these definitions for "Beginning": "Supervisor", "Designer", "Cause", "Origin", and "Source". Obviously, in context, Jesus is the Creator.




Why would Jehovah's Witness leaders translate the same Greek word for "worship" as "worship" when it applied to the Father, and then change it to "obeisance" when it applied to the Son? Namely because they do not want their followers to worship Jesus, for worship belongs to God alone. Followers are then further misled by being told "obeisance" is not really worship.

Reputable Bibles read in Matthew 28:9,

"And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him." (NAS).

If the disciples, who were Jews, and believed in worshiping God alone, worshiped Jesus, then we should follow their example, recognizing Him as God, and worshiping Him also.



When Christ failed to show up in person in first of all 1874, then 1914, the date set by the Jehovah's Witnesses for His visible second coming, and the termination of the world, rather than admit their error and repent, a new doctrine was invented. Scriptures dealing with the visible second coming of Christ were "figuratized" or "spiritualized". That way, they could claim that Christ did "come" in 1914, but conveniently INVISIBLE!

Matthew 24:3 was altered to read,

"...what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?" (New World Translation).

Altering "coming" to "presence" solved one problem in this false prophecy, but what were they to do with Revelation 1:7,

"Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him. Yes, Amen." (New World Translation).

Why would this scripture bother saying "Look!" if we couldn't see Him? The embarrassing phrase "every eye will see him" had to be figuartized to mean "eyes of understanding" acquired upon believing the Watchtower publications. Why then is the Greek word for "eyes" the same as for the "eyes" that Jesus gave sight to, when healing a blind person? (Matthew 20:34). Jesus healed literal eyes.

We might add to our list of questions for Jehovah's Witnesses, how exactly will "those who pierced him" see Him, when they teach a soul- sleep/annihilation for the dead, instead of the Bible teaching of a conscious existence after death?

Truly, the altering of Bible texts to try and harmonize them with one's false doctrines presents a never-ending web of deceit. Why not believe the Bible as it is written?



In the New World Translation, the Jehovah's Witnesses have "translated" Zechariah 12:10 this way;

"...and they will certainly look to the One whom they pierced through..." (New World Translation)

In this scripture, Jehovah (YHWH) Himself is speaking, and reliable translations read correctly:

"...and they will look on ME whom they have pierced..." (NAS).

Yes, Jehovah God Himself says He was pierced through for our transgressions. The Watchtower Society cannot have their followers knowing that Jesus is Jehovah, and so they altered this text. However they overlooked altering the scripture that has Jehovah telling us He was sold for thirty pieces of silver, so here it is. It begins with Zechariah speaking:

"Then I said to them: "If it is good in YOUR eyes, give (me) my wages; but if not, refrain." And they proceeded to pay my wages, thirty pieces of silver. At that Jehovah said to me: "Throw it to the treasury--that majestic value with which I have been valued from their standpoint. Accordingly I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw it into the treasury at the house of Jehovah." (Zechariah 11:12,13. New World Translation).

Yes, it was Jehovah God Himself who was valued and sold for thirty pieces of silver, and pierced through for our transgressions, according to His own words. John 19:37 directly applies the Zechariah prophecy to Jesus Christ. The Watchtower Society also had to alter Acts 20:28 to read,

"...shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own (Son)." (New World Translation).

Notice the inserted word (Son) which is not found in any Greek text. It is an addition to suit Watchtower doctrine. The scripture in a reliable Bible reads:

"...shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood."(NAS).

This instruction to the elders is plain enough. It was God's own blood which purchased the church, and any so-called "shepherds" not teaching this truth are simply not true shepherds.




Jehovah's Witness leaders needed a scripture to promote their "bible studies", which are really studies of their own literature, so they altered John 17:3 to provide one.

"This means everlasting life, their TAKING IN KNOWLEDGE of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ." (New World Translation).

The friendly Witness at your door will then explain that you must "take in knowledge" from their organization to have salvation through the dreadful "battle of Armageddon" coming soon. This scripture really reads:

"And this is eternal life, that they may KNOW THEE, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." (NAS).

Yes, eternal life comes from KNOWING God personally, in the person of Jesus Christ. A constant studying of scripture is a good thing, but "taking in knowledge" of itself will not give us eternal life. Jesus Himself stressed this in John 5:39,40:

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life". (NAS).

No organization can give salvation. A recent Watch- tower headlined, "Come to Jehovah's Organization for Salvation", but salvation is only in Jesus Christ, not in any organization.



The entire world reeled in shock when Jim Jones led over 900 people to their deaths in the jungle. I cannot help but wonder how many Jehovah's Witnesses have died without fanfare, one by one, refusing blood transfusions. I was very nearly a statistic also while a Jehovah's Witness. Let's consider this dangerous doctrine.

A key scripture used by the J.W. leaders is Genesis 9:4, which they teach is binding on all inhabitants of the earth,

"Only flesh with its soul--its blood--you must not eat." (NWT)

This scripture is telling the flood survivors not to eat unbled meat. Nothing more is implied, except by the J.W.'s, who say "eating" means "transfusing". The Old Law Covenant given to the nation of Israel did contain dietary laws on blood, but they were not binding on Gentiles (see Deuteronomy 14:21). Also, Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that they will lose their eternal life if they take a blood transfusion. This excessive penalty for "eating blood" does not even agree with the Old Law! Here is the Old Law penalty contained in Leviticus 17:14,15:

"For the soul of every sort of flesh is its blood by the soul in it. Consequently I said to the sons of Israel: "You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh, because the soul of every sort of flesh is its blood. Anyone eating it will be cut off." As for any soul that eats a body (already) dead or something torn by a wild beast, whether a native or an alien resident, he must in that case wash his garments and bathe in water and be unclean until the evening; and he must be clean." (New World Translation).

Yes, the penalty for eating (or in J.W. reasoning, taking a blood transfusion) was being "cut off", until you had washed your clothes and taken a bath, and then you could return! Why then believe an organization that would take your eternal life as a penalty for a blood transfusion? God never would.

Likewise, the New Testament scriptures in Acts, chapter 15, verses 20 and 29, saying among other things to "abstain from blood", are not by any stretch of interpretation referring to blood transfusions.

It is interesting that at one point in the history of the Watchtower Society all the scriptures they now use to refuse blood transfusions were used to refuse vaccinations! Remember, that in the past the Society rejected the theory that diseases were caused by germs and ridiculed Pasteur for this scientific truth. The founder of the Society, Charles T. Russell, also taught that appendicitis and typhoid fever were really caused by biting worms in the colon. With their history of advice on medical issues, one would do well to ignore their "truths" on blood transfusions as well.



In J.W. theology, only 144,000 get to go to heaven, and have Christ as their mediator. Only a "remnant" of these supposedly remain, about 9,000, and only these can take communion. They are the elite class. The rest of Jehovah's Witnesses must look to this group to be their "mediator" between them and God, and are only allowed to be "other sheep", and live on the earth.

As you can well imagine, it took quite a lot of scriptural manipulation to come up with this doctrine. Revelation, chapter seven, which is a heavenly scene from beginning to end when read in context, had to be divided into heavenly and earthly. For a full discussion of this, please see our booklet "Answers for the Cults".

The valid Bible term "little flock" used in Luke 12:32 was redefined to mean the remnant of the heavenly class when read: "Have no fear, little flock, because YOUR Father has approved of giving YOU the Kingdom". (New World Translation)

The correct context is that when Jesus spoke these words, he was speaking to the small gathering of converted, Jewish, believers. Jesus also said in John 10:16,

"And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd." (NWT).

Was Jesus here speaking of a secondary, earthly class, who would join with the "little flock" and look to them for salvation, as the J.W.'s teach? No, for Jesus was speaking of the time when the door to the Kingdom would be opened to the Gentiles also. His words were fulfilled during the account in Acts 11:1-18. Paul wrote also of the fulfillment of Jesus' words in Galatians 3:28,29:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." (NAS).

Yes, when read in context, the scriptures do not support the J.W. doctrine of heavenly/earthly hopes. There will be a "new heavens and a new earth" arrangement as promised in the Bible, but it bears no resemblance to the Watchtower one. For a further discussion of this topic, please refer to our booklet, "Answers for the Cults" and our teaching tape on "New Heavens and a New Earth". Christians, you need to understand how Jehovah's Witnesses think, before you can gently correct them from the Bible.



Do not attempt to pray with the J.W.'s (this offends them), but do pray before they come, or before you speak with them. In Jesus' name, bind the spirit of Watchtower deception operating in their lives, and "loose" them to hear the gospel of Christ. (Matthew 18:18-20).

Listen politely to their presentation of three or four scriptures, and do not enter into an argument or discussion. Let them make their point, even if it is incorrect, and when they look to you for a response, just smile and say "please go on". This will ensure that they will quickly finish and offer you the literature.

When offered the literature, say something like, "You people have come to my home because you really believe you are in the true faith. I also believe I am in the true faith, and yet we believe differently. I think we should take a moment to take the Bible test as to whether we are in the true faith or not". Have a Bible handy and marked at 2 Corinthians 13:5, which reads,

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU--unless indeed you fail the test". (NAS).

Explain to them that you know you are in the true faith, because you have Jesus Christ within you, and then share your testimony with them. If they interrupt, remind them that you listened politely to them while they shared, so they should quietly listen to you.

They may object that their New World Translation says in this scripture that Jesus Christ is "IN UNION WITH" you, not "IN YOU". This is a perfect time to direct them to their purple "Kingdom Interlinear Translation" so they can check out the English words under the Greek and learn about the indwelling Christ first hand.

Attempt to exchange literature. Some will do this, some won't. If they refuse to take Christian literature written especially for them, invite them to return and answer your questions. Then take the tract you planned to give them, and write out some of the points in your own handwriting. This takes a little of your time, but souls are precious. We have available to you many of the resources you need to witness effectively to these folks.

Remember always, that the Jehovah's Witnesses at your door went into that organization because they were honestly seeking for God in their hearts. They were given instead a counterfeit Christ and a counterfeit gospel. They are busy and programmed, but they are still hungry in the deepest part of their hearts, and with the help of the Holy Spirit you can reach them for Christ. Pray for them.


This article is Chapter Two from: Coping With The Cults

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