Jehovahs Witnesses

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Jehovah’s Witnesses (Свидетели Иеговы) are a worldwide brotherhood of Christians who worship Jehovah, the God of the Bible.

Contents

Etimologia

The name ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ is based on Isaiah 43:10-12. In this passage of scripture (Isaiah 40-46), Jehovah, the God of Israel, contrasts himself with the false idol gods of the nations, who are powerless to foretell or shape the future. He identifies the nation of Israel as his own witnesses, who can testify to his existence and godship before the nations. Jehovah’s Witnesses today see themselves in the same role and as the continuation of a long line of witnesses that started with faithful Abel and includes Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 11:1-12:1; Revelation 3:14). http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102012143#h=0:0-21:0

History

The modern-day history of Jehovah’s Witnesses began in the late 1800’s with a Bible study group initiated by Charles T. Russell. Their aim was to systematically study the scriptures in order to ascertain what the Bible actually says on any given subject, without reference to the teachings and traditions of the churches of Christendom. They viewed the Bible as a whole which explains itself, ‘scripture interpreting scripture’ [1].

As a result, they reached conclusions which went against commonly accepted religious views. For example, they concluded that humans do not have an immortal soul, that God does not punish people in eternal hellfire and that God is not a trinity. They also found no scriptural justification for a paid clergy class or clergy/laity division. Then, refinements in their teachings and organisation have continued as a result of further study and application of the Bible. [2].

Since 1922, the Witnesses became especially active in their endeavours to give ‘a witness to all the nations’, with particular emphasis on ‘the good news of God’s Kingdom,’ which they believe will imminently take control of earth’s affairs. (Matthew 24:14) Each Witness considers it a personal responsibility to spread the message and will do so despite opposition from family members, the community or the state or despite physical handicaps. (Link to some articles?) They now preach in 237 lands and produce Bible literature and online information in over 700 languages (source). Their official website supports over 300 languages and has downloadable literature in over 600 languages [3][4][5][6].

In the post–Soviet Russia, the Jehovah's Witnesses are suppressed by the police, that do not allow them to distribute the religious information. Vladislav Belotserkovsky (Белоцерковский Владислав Анатольевич), Edros and the top police officer of Karafuto (Sakhalin), had insisted, that the religious meetings require the spedial permission from the city administration [7].

Essence of the religion

Witnesses believe that a true Christian is politically neutral, being ‘no part of the world’ (John 17:14), should not take up arms (Matthew 26:52) and should not give the worship due to the Creator to any man-made state, though they believe in obedience to the laws of the land insofar as they do not violate Bible principles. (Romans 13:1; Acts 5:32) As a result of such factors, as well as of having incurred the opposition of the established churches by their exposure of unscriptural teaching and practices, they have been much-persecuted. Some examples are collected in Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Jehovah's_Witnesses.

Importance of the Jehovahs Witnesses for TORI

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that man’s first and highest responsibility is to worship and and obey Jehovah God.  As the Creator and giver of all good things, Jehovah deserves man’s wholehearted love undivided loyalty. (Matthew 22:36-40; Revelation 4:11)

Jehovahs Witnesses seem to be one of very few branches of christianity that efficiently resisted the fascism in the USSR and in the nazi Germany in century 20. [8].

That time, the more popular Russian orthodox church (in Russian, РПЦ) used to collaborate with both bolsheviks and nazi. Analysis of phenomenon of the Jehovahs Witnesses is important to elaborate the definition of christianity: should, for example, the Catholic church and the Russian Orthodox church (РПЦ) be qualified as branches of christianity or as a fascistic anti-christian organisation, who only pretend to be christians.

The draft of this article is copypasted (with minimal torification) from the original site https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Kze1VGefCDTfgY1lUO92en1TSejfo6VUfO_oXLY4BAc/edit

At the reuse, please, attribute the source and monifications (if any). This is not to protect the authorship, but to simpllify the tracing of errors, if any.

References:

  1. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2006603 “Let Us Compare Scripture With Scripture”. Watchtower (2006), w06 8/15 pp. 12-15
  2. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200277174 BELIEFS CLARIFIED. 1986-2013, dx86-13
  3. http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/ A Webcast Spanning the World. (2014)
  4. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102012164?q=700+languages&p=par Lesson 23. How Is Our Literature Written and Translated? In order to do our best to declare the “good news” to “every nation and tribe and tongue and people,” we produce literature in some 700 languages. ..
  5. http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/activities/publishing/watchtower-awake-magazine/ The Watchtower—No Other Magazine Comes Close. (2014)
  6. http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/activities/publishing/jw-org-over-300-languages/ jw.org Is Now Read in Over 300 Languages! (2014)
  7. http://sakhalin.er.ru/news/2014/2/3/vladislav-belocerkovskij-provel-priem-grazhdan/ Южносахалинцы получили разъяснения от главного полицейского Сахалинской области. 3 февраля 2014, 03:04. .. адепт «Свидетелей Иеговы», обратился с жалобой на то, что полиция препятствует его сторонникам по вере стоять на улице в общественных местах и распространять наглядную агитацию вышеназванной конфессии. В.Белоцерковский разъяснил положения закона, согласно которому, прежде чем выставлять подобные пикеты, необходимо обратиться в мэрию и получить там разрешение на эти действия. ..
  8. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/jehovah.html Elie Berman. Non-Jewish Victims of the Holocaust: Jehovah's Witnesses. (2014)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehowists

http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200271562?q=Russell+begins+careful+study+of+Scriptures&p=par Key dates in modern-day history of Jehovah’s Witnesses, starting with Russell’s initiatives. (2014)

http://sakhalin.er.ru/news/2014/2/3/vladislav-belocerkovskij-provel-priem-grazhdan/ Южносахалинцы получили разъяснения от главного полицейского Сахалинской области. 3 февраля 2014, 03:04. .. адепт «Свидетелей Иеговы», обратился с жалобой на то, что полиция препятствует его сторонникам по вере стоять на улице в общественных местах и распространять наглядную агитацию вышеназванной конфессии. В.Белоцерковский разъяснил положения закона, согласно которому, прежде чем выставлять подобные пикеты, необходимо обратиться в мэрию и получить там разрешение на эти действия. ..

Keywords

Bible, Religion, Christianity, Philosophy, History