Jehovah's Witness False Teaching on Hell



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  • Jehovah's Witness False Teaching on Hell

    Jehovah's Witnesses and other so-called 'enlightened' schools of Biblical interpretation form a 'no hell' doctrine on the basis of one or two verses and their own refusal to conform their beliefs to the Bible's unembellished revelations, while they ignore the scores of verses referring to a place of final, eternal, conscious punishment of the unsaved.

    Have you considered that in the Old Testament, very little revelation had been given yet about the afterlife? Yes, ''Sheol'' is loosely translated ''the grave,' but what about all the other biblical words for this place known as Hell (Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna)? It's a great disservice to people to offer false security by obscuring an obvious and clear biblical teaching (albeit one that disturbs all of us---often to the point of considering repenting) and ignoring an imminent danger to multitudes on the thin and poorly conceived basis of revisionist, 'progressive' theology. I say this not to condescend to anyone but incredulous that any thinking person could suppress such a clear doctrine of the bible. It harkens to [2 Tim 4.] A humble disciple of Christ will conform to his Word and not stubbornly cling to what is comfortable.

    It's amazing that the Watchtower translators have consulted numerous manuscripts and scholar texts and still managed to twist it into their heretical teaching that revises so many major Christian doctrines (i.e., definition of Hell) for which all major Christian denominations of the last 2,000 years have largely had a consensus.

    The Jehovah's Witness New World Translation Greek master text was compile by the Cambridge University scholars B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort (1881) was used as the basis for translating the New Testament into English. The committee also referred to the Novum Testamentum Graece (18th edition, 1948) and to works by Catholic Jesuit scholars José M. Bover (1943) and Augustinus Merk (1948). The United Bible Societies' text (1975) and the Nestle-Aland text (1979) were used to update the footnotes in the 1984 version. Additional works consulted in preparing the New World Translation include the Armenian Version, Coptic Versions, the Latin Vulgate, Sixtine and Clementine Revised Latin Texts, Textus Receptus, the Johann Jakob Griesbach's Greek text, the Emphatic Diaglott, and various papyri. Other works consulted in preparing the translation include Aramaic Targums, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Samaritan Torah, the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, the Masoretic Text, the Cairo Codex, the Codex Petropolitanus[disambiguation needed], the Aleppo Codex, Christian David Ginsburg's Hebrew Text, and the Leningrad Codex.

    In essence, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society just continued and further revised the misguided interpretations of founder Charles Taze Russell. He had a lot of audacity to claim, as all false prophets do, that he had some enlightenment (as recently as the late 1800s) that completely ''corrects'' so many major Christian doctrines held by God's church of 20 centuries spread through multiple denominations, countries, civilizations. Such claims cast enormous doubt on the quality of their scholarship. I wonder what Joseph Smith of the Mormons would say about Jehovah's Witness theology? Jehovah's Witnesses not only throw out hell, but they make the God the Son into a created being (an archangel Michael) and create a works-based method of salvation in spite of St. Paul's exhaustive contention in Galatians and Romans that salvation is by grace (''karis'', a gift), not of works.

    They give lip service on Easter to Jesus' death on the cross while downplaying the significance of his Resurrection as the sole means (i.e., the cross, apart from other human effort) of conquering death and damnation. They create an elitist two-tiered hierarchy of fictitious 144,000 elect Jehovah's Witnesses instead of 12,000 members of each of the 12 tribes of Israel. While the leaders' and followers' diligence is admirable and an excellent example to the rest of us, I have no confidence in the scholarship of the Watchtower Society---because their agenda to preserve their bad doctrines at all costs is evident.

    And with regard to eternal, conscious suffering: whether I really believe a good God could create such judgment is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what God's Word reveals about the reality of hell in countless verses such as 1 Thes.1:9 (eternal indicates continual, everlasting, not finite annihilation or 'soul sleep'), Mark 9:42-48 (consider the 1st part how it's better to drown in the sea than cause a little one to stumble; if the punishment for the latter action weren't worse than mere physical death by drowning, then how could it be better to drown in the ocean?), *Also remember that Ecclesiastes is poetic literature---full of metaphors, general themes, and narrow emphases rather than word-for-word specific explanations of doctrines so emphatically revealed in other parts of Scripture. For ''know no more'' and ''memory of them is forgotten'' can't be intended as a full explanation of post-mortem condition because, if it were, then that would also mean not only the damned, but also the elect/saved would know nothing and be forgotten.

    I would urge any Jehovah's Witness to consider the WHOLE counsel of God's word and stop trusting in the tangled doctrines of the Watchtower Society. Also, Revelation 14:11 ''smoke of their torment rises up forever'' need not only apply to those who worship the beast when Rev 20:15 says ''If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.'' A person would have to do a lot of twisting and redefining and obscuring word meaning to repackage the Lake of Fire as unconscious annihilation or 'soul sleep'. To the same degree that God is agape love, so is He righteousness and holiness, which is where his righteous wrath derives from. James 2:10 says ''For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.'', and no matter how many doors a Jehovah's Witnesses knocks on, surely he/she will transgress part of the law and, hence, the whole law---which brings death, both physical and spiritual. So it's all-or-nothing: the cross or insufficient, soul-damning self-righteousness, eternal heaven or eternal hell (remember the Sheep & Goats passage are parallel ETERNAL conditions of the saved and unsaved; if one is temporary or finite, then the other must be also according to Jesus' linguistic construct there... also in Matt.25:31-46).

    The doctrine of hell is crucial-without it we can't understand our complete dependence on God, the character and danger of even the smallest sins, and the true scope of the costly love of Jesus. Nevertheless, it is possible to stress the doctrine of hell in unwise ways. Many, for fear of doctrinal compromise, want to put all the emphasis on God's active judgment, and none on the self-chosen character of hell. Ironically, as we have seen, this unbiblical imbalance often makes it less of a deterrent to non-believers rather than more of one. And some can preach hell in such a way that people reform their lives only out of a self-interested fear of avoiding consequences, not out of love and loyalty to the one who embraced and experienced hell in our place. The distinction between those two motives is all-important. The first creates a moralist, the second a born-again believer.

    We must come to grips with the fact that Jesus said more about hell than Daniel, Isaiah, Paul, John, Peter put together. Before we dismiss this, we have to realize we are saying to Jesus, the pre-eminent teacher of love and grace in history, "I am less barbaric than you, Jesus--I am more compassionate and wiser than you." Surely that should give us pause! Indeed, upon reflection, it is because of the doctrine of judgment and hell that Jesus' proclamations of grace and love are so astounding.

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