Jehovah's Witnesses often work with Bible believing Protestant Christians and need to know what we believe. Just as I was not content to learn the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses from people who did not believe them, Witnesses need to see for themselves what we believe. Personally studying these beliefs has been encouraged in Watchtower publications:
"We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination."1
To help you understand what Bible believing Protestants teach, I have gathered together passages from all over the Bible that have determined our beliefs, particularly in the points where they differ with those of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Apply the Watchtower criterion just quoted and judge for yourself whether our position is "in full harmony with God's Word," or "based on the traditions of men," but, whatever conclusion you may come to, you will find studying our beliefs to be interesting and helpful Bible study.
Remember the Watchtower reassurance, "If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination."
One of my goals has been to organize the various subjects in this book in a way that will be handy for you to use. Each chapter is a different subject, so after you have read the book, it will be easy for you to find any topic you wish whenever you need it. I have tried to present each subject in a "friend helping a friend" kind of way.
In addition to being a direct help to Jehovah's Witnesses who often work with people of our beliefs and need to understand us, I also want to help others of my own persuasion to be better able to give a courteous friendly answer to the Jehovah's Witnesses they meet.
The Scripture passages quoted in this book are from the same Bible used by the Watchtower Society in its early days - The Authorized Verion (also known as the King James Version), a translation which is respected by all of us. If you prefer another version, by all mean, look the passages up there. I also refer on occasion to the Watch Tower's version, the New World Translation. If you know the original Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek, by all means read the passages there as I have done.
The apostle Paul held up the church in Berea as an example for us to follow because its people "searched the scriptures daily," to see if the things Paul himself had taught then were the truth (Acts 17:11). Check what I have written that way too. Let's not put any man's word above God's word. That would make a strong statement to Jehovah about what we think of Him!
I have often emphasized in bold the part of a passage most important to the subject being considered so you can see at a glance why I have used the verse. In addition, to keep the book a manageable size, I have only included the phrases from the Bible which are most pertinent to each subject, indicating with three dots (...) any places where phrases less specific to the theme under examination were left out. Don't take my word as to what the passages mean. Read the verses in your own Bible, along with those that come before and after those that I have cited to see that I am not taking things out of context or twisting the meaning.
Now let's examine God's answer to man's most important question.