If the org. Is being advised by consultants, is a name change in the works?

by nowwhat? 54 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • nowwhat?

    Let's be honest, there's a stigma to the name Jehovah's witness. If they are going more mainstream. I imagine the first recommendation was a name change. With the Jesus series coming, that would be a perfect opportunity to rename to "Jesus Christian witnesses". Can still be called ",jw" for short and not have to change jw.org

  • DesirousOfChange


    I'm sure the WT Rulers don't believe that. Nor does the R&F JW.

    Not sure what you attribute to the stigma. CSA lawsuits &/or investigations? Allegation of being a Cult?

    The RCC hasn't proposed a name change and they've been through as much or more CSA problems.

    Just my 2¢.


  • Chevelle

    I dont think it's entirely out of the question. They did change their name once before (after the mass exodus following the 1914, 1915, 1918 and 1925 disappointments).

  • iloowy.goowy

    The name makes them special and clearly differentiates them from other Christian groups. There would need to be further reason to differentiate and a strong man heavy handed leader to make that change as Rutherford did to differentiate his organization from the other Bible Student groups. The current Governing Body doesn't have the cojones of Rutherford. And there aren't any strong off-shoot groups to the level of forcing their hand. The offshoot groups in Europe and Africa are small and don't pose much of a challenge.

    If these and future changes cause a big exodus, then there may be a name change, sort of like the CoG Armstrong becoming the Grace Communion International.

    But this doesn't seem likely to me just yet. I believe the situation would need to be worse before a name change would take place.

  • Vidiot

    According to this, it’s on the table.

  • Phizzy

    What would they change the name to ? As many of the thousands of denominations have "Christian" or "Christ" in their name, some have "Jesus."

    The LDS/Mormon Church has both already ! as do minor denominations.

    They have tried to distance themselves from the name "Jehovah" in the minds of the public, with the JW org Logo, but that didn't work.

    I think a re-branding including a change of name, could work for appealing more to the public, but it would be so blindingly obvious what had gone on to all existing J.W's I think they will hesitate to do it.

    Maybe I will be proved wrong, they may simply be waiting to see how these new things are taken up blindly by the JW Gullible Drones, and then doing more dramatic stuff.

    The G.B has such disdain for the ordinary J.W they may say to themselves, " We can now get away with anything".

  • TonusOH

    That would surprise me. I suppose anything is possible, but that sounds like a really bad idea.

    "Jehovah's Witnesses" is not just a name, it is effectively a brand. And it's a very well-known brand around the world. If they change it, people would append "formerly Jehovah's Witnesses" to every mention of the new name. So they would not get away from it, and it would add the additional stigma of people wondering why they changed it, which could lead to more interest in their issues with CSA and shunning, with their anti-gay stance, and with any other issues they prefer not to discuss publicly.

    Changing it could lead to some confusion and disillusion among the rank-and-file, especially if the new name focuses their loyalty on someone else. They have spent almost a hundred years distinguishing themselves by their specific devotion to Jehovah. Their only other option would be Jesus, which at least would make them more Christian than they are now. But that flies in the face of decades of putting Jesus in a distant second-place to Jehovah. It's not just a drastic change; in terms of their long-term relevance, it's potentially a dangerous one.

  • Vidiot

    At this point, they’re not trying to look more “appealing”…

    …they’re trying to look less toxic.

    And the “Jehovah’s Witness” and “Watchtower” labels are definitely more toxic than not, these days.

  • no-zombie

    It is a problem for the Governing Body, that's for sure. But I think that it would be saved for last, long after most of the current GB members are dead (or at least retired to the nursing home).

    It will a problem because most of the existing Brotherhood, by their very ultra-conservative nature, will have a hard time processing it, as they will finally understand what they have is something new. And just Rutherford lost about 1/4 of the IBSA's members, when he reformed the Church in his image, there is the strong possibility the same could happen again.

  • TonusOH

    Rutherford is a good reminder that you can screw things up pretty badly and still survive. They lost almost 3/4 of the membership thanks to his shenanigans from the late 10s to the mid 20s, but when he died twenty years later, there had been significant growth.

    Not that I'd advise anyone to behave like Rutherford.

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