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Jehovah’s Witnesses’ terminology often sounds familiar, but….

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Jehovah’s Witnesses may use the same words as evangelical Christians when discussing the Bible, but many of their definitions could not be further apart.

Among the words used in the cult’s theology:

Back calls. The Jehovah’s Witness visitor will make return calls if a person shows even a little interest or requests more information on the initial visit. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society encourages persistent visitation.

Baptism. A candidate approved by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is totally immersed in water during a public meeting, usually a circuit assembly. Mass baptisms also are conducted and candidates may number in the hundreds at one service.

Blood. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the soul is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11, 14 is cited), thus they strongly reject blood transfusions under any condition. Blood is sacred because life is sacred, they believe, and the only proper use of blood is sacrifice (Leviticus 11).

Christendom. Jehovah’s Witnesses use this as a derogatory term to refer to Protestant and Catholic groups, which are thought to have been established in the fourth century by the Roman emperor, Constantine the Great.

Gentile times. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this is the period (from 607 B.C. to 1914 A.D.) when Jews were in disfavor with Jehovah.

Good will person. This is a person who is interested in Bible study and is a prospective Jehovah’s Witness. Those who are not interested are called goats.

Hades. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society says this refers to “the common grave of all mankind, where the dead and buried ones are unseen.” It corresponds to Sheol.

Hell. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society does not believe it is a place of torment or fire. They reject the doctrine of eternal punishment, saying all non-Jehovah’s Witnesses will be annihilated at the final judgment.

New World Translation. This is the official translation of the Old and New Testaments by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’s Translation Committee. One unique and disturbing feature is that, in some cases, various passages are changed to fit Jehovah’s Witness theology.

Publisher. This is the name given to faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses who sell Watchtower Bible and Tract Society literature door-to-door and serve the society as directed.

Salvation. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not preach that one must personally accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They dedicate their lives to Jehovah and live the lifestyle prescribed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. They espouse a works type of salvation.

Trinity. Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the Trinity, believing that Jehovah God is alone in authority and has no equal. They also believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person but an active force of God and that Jesus is a being created by Jehovah.
Adapted from “In the Name of Jehovah,” a new resource from the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board, available from NAMB’s customer service center at 1-866-407-NAMB (6262).

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