Profile: Jehovah's Witnesses (aka Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)

Founded:   Charles Taze Russell was elected as pastor of a group originally known as "Dawn Bible Students" in 1876 in Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania.  In 1879, he published "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence", which would eventually be named Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 

Current Organization:  The organization was renamed "Jehovah's Witnesses" in 1931 under the leadership of Joseph Rutherford.  The group is currently run by a Governing Body of thirteen elders, with Milton Henschel the senior of that board.  In 2000, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society became a separate corporate entity, in a move that many said was done to minimize liability. They are headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.  

Description:  Jehovah's Witnesses are a Bible-based (albeit their own translation), conservative organization.   Theologically, they differ from mainstream Christianity on issues such as Christology (they believe Jesus was subordinate to the Father, and not of the same substance or nature as God the Father), and eschatology (they believe that Christ returned  invisibly to his "temple" on the earth in the 1914, only 144,000 will actually dwell in heaven, the rest of the faithful will live eternally on earth) to name just a few differences.  Sociologically, they are considered controversial due to the extreme authoritarian structure of their organization.  Among their members, they prohibit the celebration of holidays, such as Christmas and birthdays, they prohibit blood transfusions, even if it is a matter of life or death, and they do not allow their members to read materials unsupportive of their organization.  Like many dispensationalist churches, they have made numerous false prophecies regarding the end of the age.  Their claim to be the only true representative of God's church on the earth is one they take with the utmost seriousness.  


Official Website: 

News Stories:       


(Dealing with their activities and practices)

(Dealing with specifics of their doctrine)




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