Jehovah’s Witnesses are keen to tell people that they believe and follow the Bible, but is this true?
Have the next JW that knocks on your door take the John 20 Challenge. Here is an outline of what you should say:
You: Can I ask do you believe and trust the Bible?
You: Do you really believe all that it says?
JW: Yes of course we do.
You: If (just if) you found that the Bible contradicts Watchtower teaching, which would you believe the Bible or The Watchtower? (Make them answer this question)
JW: I would definitely follow the Bible.
You: That is good. Can you turn in your Bible to John Chapter 20. (It is okay for them to use their NWT Bible).
JW: Yes, which verse?
You: Can you please read John 20:19-30. (Ask them to read it out loud – this stops them from thinking what they are going to say next!)
JW: John 20:19-30 NWT
19 When it was late that day, the first day of the week, and the doors were locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them: “May you have peace.” 20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced at seeing the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again: “May you have peace. Just as the Father has sent me, I also am sending you.” 22 After saying this he blew on them and said to them: “Receive holy spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you retain those of anyone, they are retained.” 24 But Thomas, one of the Twelve, who was called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were telling him: “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them: “Unless I see in his hands the print* of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will never believe it.” 26 Well, eight days later his disciples were again indoors, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst and said: “May you have peace.” 27 Next he said to Thomas: “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop doubting* but believe.” 28 In answer Thomas said to him: “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him: “Because you have seen me, have you believed? Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.” 30 To be sure, Jesus also performed many other signs before the disciples, which are not written down in this scroll. 31 But these have been written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and because of believing, you may have life by means of his name.
You: I would like to ask you 3 questions to see if you truly believe what the Bible says:
• The JW will no doubt try to distract you from this point forward and will want to take you elsewhere in the Bible or talk about something else. Make them listen and answer your questions.
You: Firstly, we see from these verses that Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus came, but eight days later Jesus appeared to Thomas. After meeting Jesus Thomas said to him: My Lord and My God. My question is this: To Thomas Jesus was both Lord and God so why do you not believe that Jesus is both Lord and God?
JW: Jesus is a god but he is not Almighty God
• Don’t let the JW take you off track. Ask them to answer the question. Point out that the NWT uses a capital G – which means ‘the GOD’. Thomas as a monotheistic Jew believed there is only ONE GOD (Isaiah 44:6 NWT: This is what Jehovah says, The King of Israel and his Repurchaser, Jehovah of armies:‘I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but me.) and so if he calls Jesus ‘God’ he means the only God.
You: The Bible says that Thomas believed that Jesus was God. Why do you not believe what the Bible says?
• You are trying to put the JW into a position where they are not disagreeing with you, they are disagreeing with the Bible.
JW: I do believe what the Bible says… etc.
You: Okay, let me ask you another question about these verses.
You: In Watchtower literature it always shows Jesus on a torture stake with his hands above his head and ONE NAIL through two wrists. You don’t believe that Jesus died on a cross do you?
JW: No, Jesus did not die on a cross. The cross is a pagan symbol.
You: Can you explain to me what Thomas meant when he said in verse 25: So the other disciples were telling him: “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them: “Unless I see in his hands the print of the NAILS and stick my finger into the print of the NAILS and stick my hand into his side, I will never believe it.” Why does Thomas say NAILS if there was only ONE NAIL through two wrists?
• The JW response to this varies but suggest to the JW that Thomas saying nails suggests outstretched arms (like Jesus died on a cross). Ask them if they agree? The evidence appears to supports that Jesus died on a cross!
• Again don’t let them take you off somewhere else, keep to the point and then move on.
You: Can I share a final point from these verses?
You: Verse 31 says: 31 But these have been written down so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and because of believing, you may have life by means of HIS NAME.
You: This verse says that we have life by means of HIS NAME. Which name?
You: So we have life by means of the NAME of Jesus not Jehovah.
• Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name (NIV)
• The NWT renders this verse: For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name. The NWT seeks to obscure what this verse is saying about Jesus; ‘superior position’ rather than ‘highest place’ and adding the word ‘other’ which is not in the Greek. (Get them to check their Greek Interlinear to prove this).
• Acts 1:8 (NWT) But you will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of ME in Jerusalem, in all Ju•de′a and Sa•mar′i•a, and to the most distant part of the earth.
• We are to be WITNESSES OF JESUS!!
• The JW again will try and talk to you about something else. Just go through the three points again.
You: We started this conversation by you claiming that you believe and trust the Bible, and these few verses from John 20 shows that you do not. These verses say that Jesus is God – but The Watchtower says he isn’t. These verses imply that Jesus died on a cross – but The Watchtower says that he didn’t. These verses say that life is found in the NAME of JESUS – but The Watchtower says that Jehovah is most the important name.
You: So do you believe the Bible or The Watchtower?
• This discussion is to try and get the JW to consider that the Biblical revelation is in conflict with Watchtower theology.
• This discussion will not convince the JW on the doorstep that they have been conned (though nothing is impossible for God) but the prayer and hope is that God will take what you share and plant a seed in the heart of the JW. Pray that the Holy Spirit will trouble the JW and that He would lead the JW out of the organisation.