Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Christian denomination? The Feb. Watchtower seems to say so

by slimboyfat 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • carla

    Odd how they have to keep defining themselves to members and the outside world. Usually if you say something often enough it seems to stick but the members and the public don't seem to be buying this load.

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro

    Public edition, right? There's your answer, marketing.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    I will third (or am I fourth?) the notion that this is PR for the public edition of the WT only. The rank and file don't consider themselves members of just a denomination of Christianity. They consider themselves the ONLY TRUE Christians and all others are "so-called Christians."

    They continually focus, not on individuals following Christ's model, but on organizations and organizational dogma.

  • sir82

    They are definitely much looser with their terminology in the "public" WT editions.

    I believe I've seen a few occasions where the word "Christian" was used to describe non-JWs without the requisite quote marks or modifiers (such as "professed" Christian or "nominal" Christian).

  • slimboyfat

    I need to get one of the WT libraries on CD again and check if they have used the word denomination to describe themselves before.

  • oldseeker


    I looked. They don't refer to themselves as a denomination, at least back to 1950 as far as the library goes. It's always the "Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses" which has become their official title outside of the publishing company title of WTB&TS.

    *** w081/15p.13par.3“RightlyDisposed”OnesAreResponding***

    3 In modern times too, the Christian congregation has been blessed with remarkable growth. Are you not encouraged when you read the annual report of Jehovah’s Witnesses and see the results that are being obtained worldwide? Does it not warm your heart to know that Kingdom proclaimers conducted more than six million Bible studies during the 2007 service year? Moreover, the attendance at the Memorial of Jesus Christ’s death last year indicates that some ten million people who are not Witnesses of Jehovah were sufficiently interested in the good news to attend this important commemoration. This indicates that there is still much work to do.

  • slimboyfat

    Thanks oldseeker.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    1 August 2009 WT, page 4

    You likely have available in your language
    a translation of the Bible that you can use as
    a spiritual road map. The publishers of this
    journal, Jehovah's Witnesses, produce a reliable
    Bible translation known as. the New
    World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.
    However, if you are not one of Jehovah's
    Witnesses, you may prefer to use other
    translations when considering the subject
    of identifying good and bad religion. Therefore,
    this series of articles quotes from a
    number of Bible translations that are widely
    respected by other religious denominations.

    Notice that they were careful not to describe 'Christendom's' religions as Christian denominations. They never do.

    The only other occurrences I have found of the JWs being described as a Christian denomination, or other religions described as being Christian denominations, is where the WT was quoting articles from outside sources.



  • agonus

    Well, just a few years ago they officially started referring to themselves as the "Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses". The letterhead is on (I believe) all their official "communiques". Check out your local KH bulletin board.

  • Earnest

    slim, in my opinion this started about twenty years ago (or maybe more) when the description 'Jehovah's witnesses' was changed to a title 'Jehovah's Witnesses'. As I remember it the 'All Scripture is Inspired' book taught that we are simply a continuation of a long line of Jehovah's witnesses starting with Abel. I distinctly remember seeing a film as a child in the sixties and the message was that it is not a religion, it is a way of life. Since the change to JW the WTS has applied to be recognised as a religion in numerous countries and this has extended to members of the HLC being recognised as clergymen to allow them the visitation benefits extended to the clergy.

    Of course Russell accepted that the Christian church was broad and included individuals throughout Christendom but the distinction between "us" and "them" was promoted by Rutherford and probably sealed with the persecution during the second world war. It might just be for public consumption but I suggest we will see much more of it still.

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