The name changes again

by Jringe01 13 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cabasilas

    My recollection for the demise of the name "Jehovah's Christian Witnesses" in JW literature is tied to when dozens of recorded message telephone lines by anti-JW groups started up in the mid-70s.

    The first one, I believe, was in Phoenix, Arizona about 1975. They held up large signs outside a JW assembly advertising the phone number with the recorded message and got hundreds of phone calls. The next year the number got published in the phone book under "Jehovah's Witnesses" resulting in a large number of phone calls. However, the local JW authorities were not amused. They complained to the phone company and they were going to refuse to allow the number to be published in subsequent phone books. There was a lot of wrangling over this between the phone company and the Phoenician JWs and this anti-JW ministry. (The anti-JW ministry claimed they were Jehovah's Witnesses but not affiliated with the Watchtower Society.) The final resolution was to list the anti-JW phone line under a new heading: Jehovah's Christian Witnesses. The advantage of this was that alphabetically this meant that it appeared in the phone book before "Jehovah's Witnesses."

    In those pre-internet days dozens of other recorded message lines were set up across the US and most also copied this nomenclature. So, the name "Jehovah's Christian Witnesses" came to be associated with these anti-JW groups and I think that's the main reason the WT Society decided to stop using it so that it wouldn't end up advertising these groups.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    The name Jehovah's Witnesses was adopted in 1931.

    The Watchtower publications CDROM for 2003 offers a total of 814 hits on the phrase "jehovah's Christian Witnesses". The earliest listings are:

    The WATCHTOWER February 15, 1951, page 111;

    AWAKE! August 22, 1970, page 8;

    Kingdom Ministry July 1970, page 2;

    '"The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah"—How?' (book, 1971) 32 hits;

    1970 Yearbook, 10 hits;

    "Divine Rulership—The Only Hope of All Mankind" (booklet, 1972) 10 hits.

  • blondie

    More info on this subject:

    One response from Dogpatch

    Duane Magnani of Witness, Inc. (born-again Christians) used this name to register a whole slew of telephone recorded message ministries years ago. I used to have a message that was registered with the phone company as "Jehovah's Christian Witnesses" because it came up first alphabetically in the phone book, causing Witnesses to think it might be actual active Jdubs. I did it too, and for over 10 years it was in the phone book that way! I got tired of Witnesses calling and asking directions to the Kingdom Hall, plus recorded messages have largely been superceded by the internet, so I closed the phone line down. As a business line it was expensive anyway, and yielded not good results. It WAS very helpful back in 1982 or 1983 when I had a plane fly over Dodger Stadium (this was 2 years after I left Bethel, and had already distributed 10,000 free copies of my tract, "What Happened at the World Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Spring of 1980" all over the world. That's how my ministry got started.


  • mustang
    It was divided into three section "The Christian Congregation of Jehovahs WItness" dealing with rank and file, congregations.
    "The Religious Order of Jehovahs WItnessess" dealing with full time minister, pioneers, CO, DO's etc
    There is a third can't remember its name that deal with "services" like printing, administration etc.

    Here is something that everyone overlooks:

    How do you handle the tax situation of the 1000's of Bethelites, CO's DO's & etc. that "volunteer" their services? WTS could just say it's the individuals problem(s), but that didn't seem to satisfy the TAXMAN.

    So somebody must have tumbled onto the fact that the Catholic Church has dealt with this for centuries by having their volunteers execute a VOW OF POVERTY. That's how they account for all of their volunteer labor in monasteries around the globe, including the USA.

    Suddenly this came into being because it answered a lot of questions. Everyone in the "Religious Order" group has to do that. That lets the accountants of WTS do just about what they have always been doing and satisfy questions from the TAXMAN.

    That also makes the "Religious Order" group a bit different from the others: the 'rank & file'. It almost makes a "Clergy-Laity Distinction" doesn't it? And this is one of the 'left-field doctrines' that WTS has: there is no "Clergy-Laity Distinction".

    The further irony is that WTS has to copy the 'old harlot' to get itself out of a financial pickle. That must have rankled them.

    OK, this is a dream? Well, just look through the Federal Codes (CFR's & US Codes) and you will find Vow of Poverty as a legal entity with Code #'s that you can cite or quote.

    Not only that, the Fed attached a $-amount to this. That is 1200$/year as I recollect. That is real dollars, not just room & board or other 'valuable considerations'. That is a pittance, but more than the pittance that the Bethelite was currently receiving.

    So picture a Bethelite: his 'overseer' comes up to him, pushes a paper into his hand (reading Vow of Poverty) and says 'sign here, don't ask questions, and BTW you're getting a raise'.

    I discussed this with an ex-Bethelite who went through this. I rattled off my proposed scenario and the accounting/tax reasoning behind it. His reply was that that 'was about what happened'.


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