Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Really Disagree with the Bible?
If you have ever tried to have a Biblical discussion with a Jehovah’s Witness then I am sure you are aware of the often-endless go-rounds that can occur, otherwise known as the game of Bible ping-pong. One way I have found to avert this is by presenting a Bible verse and asking them how they understand it. I’ve found this method to be one of the simplest ways of engaging with them and have found they are far less likely to become combative. I ask a question, present a scripture, and then end with a follow-up question. This is the first of a series of articles entitled “Scriptures Jehovah’s Witnesses Disagree With”. I must stress the importance of having the Watchtower’s teaching on this handy, as Jehovah’s Witnesses are famous for using “theocratic warfare”, what we Christian’s call lying, in order to avoid answering difficult questions. The Watchtower article on the subject of worshipping Jesus can be found here. From what I have seen, they seem to be embarrassed or at least ashamed to admit they do not worship Jesus. After seeing the verse, they are often left speechless, at which point they may opt to use their popular “We’re not here to argue” excuse. That’s why I always recommend “setting up the question” first. My personal favorite is “What would you do, if you discovered, the Watchtower disagrees with the Bible?” If you’d like a softer approach “How do you interpret this Bible verse?” might be something you’re more comfortable with. For those of you who would like an easy way to ask a question, and not come across as attacking, I have found this approach works best.
At the Literature Cart
I’ve used this on Jehovah’s Witnesses at their literature carts (before the Covid pandemic) on several occasions. To avoid being asked if I am a former Jehovah’s Witness, I play innocent and ask them what they are selling. This icebreaker seems to work well. This along with wearing my ever-present and rather large cross around my neck seems to give them the impression I have always been a Christian. Once they tell me who they are and what they are doing, I let them know Jehovah’s Witnesses used to call on me many years ago (this is true) and I have a Bible question. They have always been eager to answer a simple little Bible question when they see someone they hope to convert.
“I was wondering how Jehovah’s Witnesses obey Philippians 2:10?”
‘that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
The responses I’ve had from Jehovah’s Witnesses have varied a little. On one occasion, at the local community college campus, I came across a husband-and-wife team manning their literature cart. I had spoken to them before, so they knew me. On this occasion the husband expressed his appreciation for my efforts at previously showing them the Watchtower’s teaching on Jesus being the mediator only for the 144,000, and he told me they were in the process of researching this subject. The information on the mediator issue can be found here.
This time I approached the wife. When I began by trying to confirm the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not worship Jesus, she actually lied to be about what Jehovah’s Witness believed and said they do worship Jesus! I was surprised but quickly offered to pull up what they believe from their website. She explained she was trying to find common ground. But when I asked her, “By lying to me?” she seemed embarrassed and hung her head, and her husband quickly came over showing interest. When I showed him the scripture his response was “Wow! That sounds like a command!” I continued by telling him, “It is indeed a command and this worship of Jesus can be found in your very own Bible at Revelation 5:13,14 where they fall down and worship the One seated on the throne and the Lamb!”
I never saw them again, and they are often on my mind and heart. I hope they have come to know and accept the Lord Jesus and are no longer Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I was visiting a Christian friend out in California and he wanted to go visit the Jehovah’s Witnesses at a literature cart. I couldn’t promise to remain calm. It was my first time talking to them since I had been wrongfully disfellowshipped in 1990 and the wounds were still there. I was afraid they would ask me if I was formerly a Jehovah’s Witness, so I feigned ignorance of who they were and what they were doing.
Me: “What are you selling?” I asked with a big innocent smile.
JW: Oh, we’re not selling anything we are giving away free Bible literature. (They stressed the word free, as though everyone else sold Biblical literature)
Me: “What religion are you?”
JW: Oh, we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses. Are you familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Me: “Oh yeah, I used to have them call on me back in the 1970’s. I see you have lots of literature, but I don’t see any Bible’s. Don’t you have any Bible’s?
JW: One of the two ladies reaches around the back of the cart and hands me a New World Translation.
Me: “I just have a little question. How do you guys obey Philippians 2:10?”
Jw: The two JW ladies looked at each other quizzically and started speaking quickly in Spanish, clearly confused. They got out their Bible’s and looked up the verse.
JW: “Yes, we believe this verse.”
Me: “No, I didn’t ask you if you believed it, I asked you how do you obey it?”
JW: “What do you mean by that?”
Me: “It’s clear English, do you bow the knee to Jesus?”
JW: “Do you mean worship?”
Me: “It says bow the knee, that’s what I mean. Do you bow the knee to Jesus?”
She looked like she wanted to strangle me. If looks could kill I would have died right there on the sidewalk. She kept feigning ignorance of what bowing the knee meant, so my Christian friend rose quickly to the challenge.
“I’ll show you what I mean by bowing the knee to Jesus,” he said. He dropped to his knees right there on the sidewalk, placing his forehead on the ground as well, and covering the back of his neck with his clasped hands. He quickly got up.