Authority in Jehova Witnesses

February 19, 2018

The Bible and the New World Translation

The Jehovah Witness’s (JW’s) believe that the Bible is divinely inspired and accurately transmits God’s thoughts and will to mankind.

There are many strand of evidence proving that the Bible really is God’s Word.  Each strand is strong, but when all are taken together, they are unbreakable.  (The Bible – God’s Word or Man’s, 1989, p.12)

Yes, the Bible is true, as so many, many examples prove.  The Bible does not contain only true history.  Everything it says is true.  Even when it touches on matters of science, it is marvelously accurate.  (emphasis original) (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 1982, p.55)

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is the best translation of the Bible because it was accurately translated by faithful men.

The endeavor of the New World Bible Translation Committee has been to avoid this snare of religious traditionalism.  (New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, 1950, p. 6)

Outstanding among Bibles is the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. … Accuracy, uniformity, clarity, and up-to-date language mark this excellent work.  Bible study aids without equal make this an indispensable help to sincere searching students of God’s Word.  (What Has Religion Done for Mankind, 1951, p. 351)

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

There is only one true religious organization (administrated by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society).  Believers must submit to this one true organization even if it contradicts their long-held view or appears to them to be unbiblical.

We acknowledge as the visible organization of Jehovah on earth the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and recognize the society as the channel or instrument through which Jehovah and Jesus Christ give instruction and meat in due season to the household of faith.  (Watchtower, April 15, 1939, p. 125)

JW’s believe that only the Watch Tower and Tract Society can correctly interpret the Bible because it is an organizational book that cannot be properly understood by individuals without the help of the organization through which God works (that is, the Watch Tower Society).

The Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible … the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.  (Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587)

God has not arranged for that Word to speak independently or to shine forth life-giving truths by itself. … It is through his organization God provides this light.  (Watchtower, May 1, 1957, p. 274)


“Such a claim, which substitutes the organization for the Bible, means that no Christians in any age had access to scriptural truth until the Watch Tower Society began its work.  Moreover, this claim relegates the direct help of the Holy Spirit in illuminating the text to either a minor or nonexistent role.  This directly contradicts John 16:13 and 1 John 2:27.  Moreover, Ephesians 1:17-18 states that the Spirit will provide wisdom and illumination to the revelation of God in the Bible.  First Corinthians 2:12 says, ’We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.’ 

“Paul indicates that one stands approved of God through diligent study of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15). If Paul the apostle needed to be judged by the Scriptures by the Bereans (Acts 17:11), surely the teaching of the WatchTower should be judged by the Word of God.”[i]

“Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ.  It is essential for life.  Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect.” (Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 591)

“To receive everlasting life in the earthly paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.“ (Watchtower, February 15, 1983, p. 12)

“If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our father but his organization as our ‘mother’.” (Watchtower, May 1957, p. 274)

“They [witnesses] must adhere absolutely to the decisions and scriptural understanding of the Society because God has given it this authority over his people.” (Watchtower, May 1, 1972, p. 272)

“Avoid independent thinking … questioning the counsel that is provided by God’s visible organization … .Fight against independent thinking.” (Watchtower, January 15, 1983, p. 22, 27)

“So Jehovah’s visible organization under Christ is a channel for bringing the diving interpretation of his word to his devoted people.”  (Watchtower, June 1, 1938, p. 169)

“Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.” (Watchtower, December 12, 1981, p. 27)

“Let us face the fact that no matter how much Bible reading we have done, we would never have learned the truth on our own.” (Watchtower, December 1, 1990, p.19)


The New World Translation of the Holy Scripture.

This is the bible published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for the JW’s.  It was first published between 1950-1960, it was revised in 1961, and again in 1970.  It was written to “restore” the name Jehovah in the Old Testament where the consonants “YHWH” appear.  They also inserted the name in the New Testament where the text refers to the Father.  The Watchtower society claims that it is the best translation available today.

The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures.

This was first published in 1969 and revised in 1985.  It presents a reliable text of the Greek New Testament (the Westcott and Hort Greek text) and the Watchtower’s word-for-word English renderings underneath on the left side of the page, with the NWT on the right.

Insight on the Scriptures.

This is the JW’s official Bible encyclopedia.  It contains two volumes published in 1988.

Reasoning From the Scriptures.

This is a topical handbook which answers the most commonly challenged Watchtower interpretations and teachings from the scriptures.  It was published in 1985, revised in 1989.  It is arranged alphabetically by topic.  This is one of the JW’s most important booklets.

Should You Believe in the Trinity?

This is a booklet that seeks to refute the doctrine of the Trinity.


This is a semi-monthly magazine that targets mostly “unbelievers” and focuses on non-biblical trends and topics in society.  There are nearly 13 million copies printed biweekly into 75 languages.  It is designed to inform witnesses about current issues and attract non-Witnesses to the religion.

The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.

This is a semi-monthly magazine and chief means of instructing JW’s in doctrine and practice.  There are over 16 million copies printed into 120 languages biweekly.

There are numerous other small books and pamphlets used to introduce the teachings of the Watchtower society to prospective members and for conducting “Bible” studies with interested parties and newly baptized members.

[i] House, H. Wayne, Charts of Cults, Sects & Religious Movements; Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI 2000; p. 151

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