In talking with the Jehovah’s Witnesses over a period of time, I have collected a series of scripture references which seem to be most uncomfortable for the Witnesses to handle. In this paper, I will list these references recorded in a small notebook, which I keep for the purpose of discussion points of doctrine with the Witnesses. An attempt is made to explain the doctrine of the Witnesses or the use of these scriptures. The avid basher will see their usefulness. For a detailed description on the Witness dogma, I would recommend the book, “You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth” published and distributed by the Witnesses. In effect, it is the same as the book “Gospel Principles” except that the latter is true. Anyone serious in bashing with the Witnesses should read the book. This costs fewer than 70 cents.
JEHOVAH of the Old Testament is JESUS CHRIST of the New Testament:
• First, establish that JEHOVAH is the ONLY SAVIOR with:
Isa. 43:3, 11; Isa. 45:21; Isa. 49:26; Hosea 13:4 and Isa. 60:16.
Then, establish that CHRIST is the ONLY SAVIOR with:
Acts 4:10-12; Matt. 1:21; 2 Tim. 1:10; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:14-15; Acts 13:23;
Acts 5:31-32; Luke 2:11; Philem. 3:20; Titus 1:4; Titus 2:13 and Titus 3:6.
Then draw the only logical conclusion!
• Then, establish that JEHOVAH is the ONLY REDEEMER with:
Isa. 41:13-14; Isa. 59:20; Isa. 43:14-15; Ps. 19:14; and Isa. 54:5.
Then, establish that CHRIST is the ONLY REDEEMER with:
Gal. 4:4-5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:5-7 and Titus 2:13-14.
Then draw again the only logical conclusion!
• Then, establish that JEHOVAH is the CREATOR by using:
Isa. 42:5; Gen. 1:1, 26-27; Gen. 2:4 and 2 Kgs. 19:15.
Then, establish that CHRIST is the CREATOR with:
John 1:1-3, 14; Eph. 3:9; and Heb. 1:1-2.
• Then, establish that JEHOVAH will be the JUDGE of the Earth with:
Isa. 33:22; Ps. 96:13; Ps. 50:6 and Ps. 7:8.
Then, with John 5:22; Acts 10:40-42; 2 Cor. 5:10 and 2 Tim. 4:1,
show that the JUDGE is indeed JEHOVAH who is also known as JESUS CHRIST!
A very powerful argument goes as follows: First, establish that John the Baptist was the forerunner for JEHOVAH by using Mark 1:3 and Luke 1:76 along with John 1:23,26,29 where John identifies JESUS as being the one for whom he was a forerunner for. Also use Luke 3:15-16 to drive the point home. This can be the most powerful example if used properly, but one must set it up right.
On the divinity of JESUS CHRIST, to show that He is a God in the same sense as God the Father, one can use John 3:35; John 16:15; John 17:10; Matt. 11:27; John 1:10; John 5:18 and Heb. 1:1-3.
Some common Bible errors are:
-The vision of Paul. –Compare Acts 9:7 with Acts 22:9 (Luke wrote both).
-Judas’ dead. –Compare Matt. 27:5 with Acts 1:18.
-Can man see God? –Compare Ex. 33:11 with John 1:18.
-Did Jesus baptize? –Compare John 3:22 with John 4:2.
To the question of revelation today, one can construct a solid argument. Use 1 Cor. 12:20-21,27-30 to establish the fact that offices of the Church are needed; then, use Heb. 13:8 and show that CHRIST is the same as He was in times past and the true Church will have the same organization as in the times past. Then, bring out the heavy scriptures with Eph. 4:11-14 and go very slow – the Witnesses are known for their lacking ability to see the incredibly obvious. Show the different offices pointed out in verse 11. Then show why they are needed by reading verse 12. Now the dagger; why are we to have these offices of “Prophet” and “Apostle”…? Verse 13 says, “Till we all come in the unity of faith.” Your talking with them is proof enough that we are not yet in a “unity of faith,” and therefore, according to the Bible, we still need Prophets, Apostles, and the other offices to keep the Church of JESUS CHRIST clean from false doctrine. Verse 14 explains that the true church of CHRIST is no tossed around with every wind of doctrine as the Witnesses.
At this point in your discussion, the Witnesses will make a few light attempts to prove that revelation has ceased. All you need to do is feed their arguments back to them as follows:
The unschooled Witnesses will use Rev. 22:18-19 as an argument that one may not have revelation today. Simply show that meant the Book of Revelation only by using Rev. 1:3 and Rev. 22:19. One then needs only point out that Moses gave similar warnings in Duet. 4:2 and Deut 12:32. If the Witnesses were to put the same emphasis on Moses as they do John, the Bible would consist of five short books. Now that your Witnesses are quite humble, put him away by turning to the back of his J.W. Bible where it shows when the different books were written. Find the five books written by John and point out that Revelation was written first! And hence according to them, John did not even heed his own warning. Then, to nail the casket shut, turn to what John really did write last, that being St. John 21:25; he leaves the book open for future revelation on the life of the Savior. In fact, if all were written, the world could not contain it.
If there is any light in the poor Witnesses, they will try to use 1 Cor. 13:8 to show that prophecies have ceased. As usual, they are using the scripture out of context. One needs only to read verses 1-3 to see that Paul is comparing the partiality of spiritual gifts to that of charity. And although verse 8 claims there will be a day when prophecies will cease, your friends can in no way prove that it is in reference to our time.
After a good discussion on revelation in the present time, your Witnesses are prepared to discuss the organization of the true Church of Jesus Christ. One may want to point out the following offices were in the original Church by using the following scriptures:
APOSTLES: -Luke 6:12-16; Mark 3:14-15
PROPHETS: -Acts 13:1; Eph. 4:11
SEVENTIES: -Luke 10:1-2
ELDERS: -Acts 14:23; Titus 1:4-5; 1 Pet. 5:1
TEACHERS: -1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11; Acts 13:1
PRIESTS: -Heb. 10:11
It would then be a good time to review Eph. 4:11-14 along with 1 Cor. 12:20-21, 27-30 and that their lacking the other offices is proof enough of their falseness.
Now that we have covered the area of organization, we could enlighten our friends into the concept of authority. We could start our discussion with Matt. 7:21-23 where Christ explains that not everyone is recognized by God, EVEN IF THEY DO IT IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. Doing it in the name of Jesus Christ does not imply that they have the authority to do so! One needs then to read Heb. 5:4, which explains that one must be called of God as was Aaron. So let us review how Aaron was called by reading Ex. 28:1-3. Did you catch how Aaron was called? He was called by a prophet of God, which brings us to another very big reason why the true Church needs prophets. To put the screws in tighter, one needs to review John 15:16-19 where Christ again explains that He is the one doing the calling and not the individual. Now we need to understand how Christ called individuals to offices in His church after His death. The Bible gives us this insight in Acts 1:23 and Acts 13:1-3. The important point here is that the remaining Apostles fasted and prayed and through the Holy Ghost, they received inspiration or revelation as to whom they should “separate for the work.” Again two classic examples of the true Church, using revelation. Now, review that authority is not a small thing, which theoretical theologians argue about, but that it is essential to the true Church. Do this by reviewing Acts 19:13-19 where even though the individual did the acts in the name of Christ, the devils didn’t recognize the authority as opposed to the authority given to the Seventies in Luke 10:17-20. One then could explain that money cannot lay this authority as explained in Acts 8:9-21. Acts 19:1-6 is also a good example of the need for authority. If you really want to jab a sore wound now, ask where the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell, even claims to have received his authority.
An extremely important point of doctrine, which is clear and obvious to the seeker of truth, is t hat of the resurrection. Again, on this simple point the Witnesses have been tossed by another wind of doctrine. One needs to point out to the Witnesses that the resurrection is universal in nature (since death is universal). The Witnesses do not believe in universal resurrection which is effortlessly attacked with the following scriptures: John 5:25-29; 1 Cor. 15:21-23 (point out the word “all” used in both “all die” and “all be make alive”) and Acts 24:14-15. Further scriptures about the resurrection are Rom. 5:18; 1 Tim. 2:5-6 and 1 John 2:2. Before we leave the topic of resurrection, we could use a story, actually a vision from the Old Testament, that being Ezek. 37:1-14. Point out two important things: One, that the resurrection is a physical resurrection and two, that in verse 11, the Lord explains that this will happen to the whole house of Israel, not only a part of it.
Now, about this time, most Witnesses will try to use what they feel is their Ace in the hole and bring up the topic of war. They will use the argument that “how can one go to war and kill, when the Lord said, ‘Thou shalt not kill’?” Tough question, but there is a good argument. One must make it clear that we are not pro-war. The first scripture they will throw out will be 2 Cor. 10:3, and as usual, it is out of context. Have them read verses 1-5. Paul is not condemning war, he simply said that the war he is fighting is a spiritual war and not a physical war. The next scripture to stay by will be Acts 5:29 with the argument that if we go to war, we are obeying the government and that we should obey God instead. When read in context, however, this does not prohibit war. As a final defense of our position before we take the offense, one should read what the stance of war is of the Church of Jesus Christ, found in Mosiah 29:31 and D&C 98:33-39. We also have a Prophet of God who tells us if we should go to war or not.
Now, to take the offensive. Show that that the Bible does not prohibit war, as the Witnesses fanatically claim. One should point out the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” should be rendered, “Thou shalt not murder.” Then, point out the following scriptures: Ex. 15:3; Ps. 22:35; Ps. 18:34; Ps. 144:1 and Eccl. 3:8. Then, ask the Witnesses if they have ever heard of the Book of Joshua. If so, ask them if they have ever read this piece of Holy Writ. If so, he will know that the complete book deals with the clearing out of the Promised Land by the people to whom the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” was given to. Refresh their simple minds with Josh. 6:1-21. Now to close the theme right, one needs to look up what Christ said about love in John 15:13. During the Second World War, the world saw Hitler perform terrible things to the Jewish people, the house of Israel. During this time, thousands of American soldiers lost their lives, or gave their lives for the Jewish people and the rest of the world. In light of John 15:13, they showed true love, according to the Savior. Yet what did the Jehovah’s Witnesses do? Not one thing. They did nothing to stop the horror. Don’t get tender hearted with the Witnesses. Place this point deep into their crushed heart. If they want to live with such simplistic doctrines, they need to see the results.
This whole argument has to do with Governments. The Witnesses claim that all Governments are in opposition to God. One may want to use Matt. 22:15; Rom. 19:7; Heb. 13:17 and 1 Pet. 2:13-17 to support the truth that Governments are not in opposition to God. Take careful note in the words “rend therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s.” As long as people must live on this planet together, we will need to form Governments to hold us together. These Governments could be, but are not necessarily against God.
Now there are a bunch of odds and ends to clean up here. Some are defensive and others are offensive points of doctrine. The 144,000 will always come up. The trick here is to read Rev. 7:3-4, 9, 14-15. Notice that in verse 9, countless numbers will be saved and in verse 15, they must be Priests. Then point out to the Witnesses that only men may hold the Priesthood, which just ruled out the possibilities of any women being “saved”, yet many have professed to be one of the 144,000.
The Witnesses concept of the Second Coming of Christ is very unscriptural. Originally, their doctrine was that Christ would come in 1914, and when this did not occur, many of the Witnesses committed suicide. Later, they claimed that Christ did come in 1914, and this is shown in that the First World War started. It is all very strange and still gives me a headache thinking about it. So for the details, I refer you to the mentioned book, “You Can Live in Paradise Forever on Earth.” The scriptures can more speak for themselves. The Second Coming will be a visible thing as shown in Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:27; Acts 1:11 and 1 Thes. 4:16-17. One then may want to read Matt. 24:29-36 and ask when before 1914 was the sun dark? When did the stars fall? Where were the angels? In Matt. 25:31-34, when were the good and bad divided? Moreover, from Luke 21:25-27, when were the seas in turmoil and the heavens divided?
On the subject of the pre-existence of man, the following scriptures are very good: Jer. 1:4-5 (their answer is always that God knew Jeremiah’s characteristics before He made him, since God knows everything. But really pin them down and don’t let them see any air). Then, use John 9:1-3 and point out that it was clear to the Apostles that the man could sin and that he lived before, even if the direct question isn’t about the pre-existence (this will be hard to show since the Witnesses are by and large very uncreative thinkers). Other good scriptures, which pertain to the existence of a spiritual body, are: 1 Cor 15:44; Rom. 8:16 and Heb. 12:9. Don’t use 1 Pet. 4:6 or 1 Pet. 3:19-20 on this point. If you want to know why not, either read the “Paradise” book or try it in a bash sometime – it gets really wild. 1 Cor. 15; 50 will come up since we believe or rather know that we will have physical bodies in heaven. The “flesh and blood” here refers to the natural man, who cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. This is clear, since in the next sentence, it is compared to corruption.
A small point just to keep the party going is the question: Does one need to take a test or wait for a certain time before he is baptized? The Witnesses have a test that they give (although they probably won’t admit to it). It’s found in the book, “Your Word is a Lamp to My Footstool,” which is an executive type manual in the Witnesses church. They usually have the candidates for baptism wait until an annual baptism. It is then interesting to read the conversion story in Acts 8:26-40 and see how quickly the baptism was performed.
Another idolic piece of doctrine that the Witnesses have is that the Ten Commandments are not applicable to today and that we, for example, need no Sabbath. One only needs to use Rom. 13:7-9 and Matt. 5:17-40 with a bit of common sense.
One of the deep points of the Witnesses is that no one before Christ can be saved in the highest kingdom, and that small children cannot be saved in the Kingdom, either. Enoch lived before Christ. Then, read Heb. 11:5 and Gen. 5:24 explain that with his translation, he went to God. Moreover, in 2 Kgs. 2:11, Elijah was also translated and was taken up to God. Matt. 8:11 expressly states that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be in heaven, yet they all lived before Christ. The point of little children is easily won with Matt. 18:1-6, 14; Matt. 19:13-15 and Mark 10:13-16.
As you can see and already know, the Witnesses are far from the truth. If I could give a few tips on bashing, it would be: Use the Witnesses version of the Bible. Most of the references given here are the same and it will avoid a lot of argument over time points if you’re both using the same Bible. Second, use all the references that you can, even if it is extremely boring – the more you show, the deeper the point will be driven. Three, if you decide to get into a good bash, don’t do it halfway. Go for blood. If you only go halfway, you’ll come out of the match beaten. Four, be offensive. Defending a position is much harder than taking the offense. When you get into the bash, make sure you start the questioning. If needed, do the J.W. Shuffle… that is, go through 10 themes in 2 minutes without letting the Witnesses come up for air. Lastly, only bear testimony when really moved upon. Usually you are only casting pearls before swine. Although usually if you have given the Witnesses most of the material on paper, they will be humble enough that a testimony would be appropriate at the end of the discussion.
I personally refuse to bash anymore. I find it to be very unproductive. I would rather spend my time reading Jesus the Christ or any other true book. I must admit though, that I did learn a lot about my religion while studying the Witnesses. And my testimony was mentally and from a logical point strengthened. As far as a rule for bashing, I think Bruce R. McConkie said it the best:
“If a situation arises in which the Elders cannot in honor refuse a challenge to debate an issue, as when by withdrawing from the discussion they would lose their investigators, then it may be proper to go ahead and engage in the debate or discussion. In such instances, if the Elders are as informed as they should be, they always come off victorious. The truth is with the saints and the truth will stand of its own self.”
It was with this intent – to inform the Elders – that this paper was written.
Edited by Elder Hunsaker
Colorado Denver North Mission
Jehovah’s Witness Shuffle (PDF)