Answering a Jehovah's Witness

Using their Bible, the New World Translation

Recently, I received a letter from a Jehovah's Witness (JW) asking if I'd like to learn about "a person" who was promised to set up a better form of government, which was promised by our Creator. (Of course I had to write back.)

First, I need to tell you a back-story. When my children lived at home, I would drive them to the bus stop. Many mornings we would read Scripture while waiting for the bus. Oftentimes, there were neighborhood kids who'd I invite into our van to join us. On one particular day, one of the neighbor boys hopped in and was excited to report that he'd been given a Bible. It was a New World Translation (NWT) written for Jehovah's Witnesses. I asked him to trade it for a better Bible that he could read more easily, which he agreed to do. Since then, when I have opportunity, I use the NWT to witness to people entangled in this cult.

Maybe you think it's too strong to call JWs a cult. However, it's important to understand they do not believe in the same Jesus in which Christians believe. They think Jesus is Michael the archangel. The NWT strips away the deity of Jesus Christ. One well-known distortion in the NWT is found in John 1:1, which says, "In the beginning the Word* was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god ." On its face, this verse says there is more than one God, which is strange, since JWs teach there is only one God. However, they had to change it to fit their theology, so that Jesus, the Word made flesh, wouldn't be called God (see the verse comparison graphic, above). 

Yet, this is not the debate I pursue with JWs, because that requires explaining how the Greek language was translated incorrectly by JWs. There are many more obvious arguments to be made, and they are found in the cross-references of their Bible (at least the 1984 edition). Over and over again, their cross-references about Jehovah in the Old Testament refer to Jesus in the New Testament, and vice versa. It's mind-blowing that they were included by the translator(s); there are literally hundreds of them! (I wonder if the 1984 version is still in print?) 

In the letter I wrote in response, I quote several NWT passages and their linked cross-references. Some words and phrasing in the NWT are also different, such as "fine shepherd," instead of "good shepherd," or "John the Baptizer," instead of "John the Baptist."

I hope this helps you to witness to your JW friends or to the next JW that shows up at your door or sends you a letter! At the end of the letter I ask, "Who raised Jesus from the dead?" The answer is revealing! This single question, with the answer, is a great place to start when witnessing to a JW. I also suggest a few questions, which you can ask JWs. Those are marked with a green "Q". Also, don't miss the video link referenced below, "The Shocking Truth Behind Jehovah's Witnesses."

I'd love to receive your feedback. Please share this link with your friends and pastors. 

Now on to the letter:

Thank you so much for writing. I see that you have zeal for spiritual things. In response to your request, I have some Bible verses for you to consider. Please note, all quotes and cross-references are from the Jehovah's Witness Bible 1984 Revised New World Translation (NWT).  I encourage you to take time to read them and their cross-references.

In the Beginning: God / Jesus

Let’s start at the beginning. Your Bible says, “In the beginning God created . . . “ All of Genesis chapter one proceeds to tell us what He created: the light; the Heavens; waters; dry land (Earth, seas, grass, vegetation, seeds, fruit); luminaries (sun, moon, stars); swarms of living creatures (fish, birds, sea monsters; animals, wild beasts, every moving animal of the ground); and finally people (man and woman). 

Yet, in Colossians 1:15-16 the NWT says that He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God and by him all (other) things were created. 

Question: “What other things did Jesus create?” 

I encourage you to look in the NWT Greek/English translation, which is available at, and you will see that the word “other,” which has been inserted into Colossians 1:15-16, is not in the original Greek language on the JW website. 

God created all things, which means that Jesus created all things!

Here's another interesting passage regarding the Creator from the NWT; in John 1:3, it says, "All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence." Note, it does not say all "other" things. This verse refers to "a god" creating all things, see  graphic, above. 

In addition, Revelation 4:11 in the NWT says, "You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created." On the one hand JWs say God created all things (or all other things) though Jesus, but here they acknowledge that Jehovah created all things, which is correct! Jesus is Jehovah, God the Son, who was manifested in the flesh! (Interestingly, this passage is cross-referenced to Ephesians 3:9, which says, God created all things, (not through Jesus, or that Jesus created all other things. No, God created "all things" in this passage.)

Jehovah Shepherd

Please read Ezekiel 34:1-10. In this passage, Jehovah told the leadership of Israel that they had failed to care properly for his people—for his sheep. What did Jehovah then say to the crooked leadership? “For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: Here I am, I myself, and I will search for my sheep and care for them . . . I myself shall feed my sheep and I myself shall make them lie down. . . the lost one I will search for and the dispersed one I shall bring back . . . And as for you my sheep . . . I am judging between sheep and a sheep, between the rams and the he-goats” Ezekiel 34:11-17.

Now here’s an interesting thing, the NWT cross-references several scriptures, thereby linking them to this Ezekiel passage. Among them are Psalm 23:1 “Jehovah is my Shepherd . . .” and John 10:11, which quotes Jesus as saying, “I am the fine shepherd . . .” 

Who did Jehovah in the Ezekiel passage say would care for his sheep? “I myself.” 

What did Jesus say about himself? “I am the fine Shepherd,” he would care for his sheep, and surrender his soul for them. (See John 10, particularly verses 11-18.)

Who did Jehovah say would search for his sheep? “I will search for my sheep and care for them.” The NWT cross-references this, thereby linking it to Matthew 15:24, which quotes Jesus saying that he was sent for the lost sheep of Israel.

What does Ezekiel 34:17 say Jehovah would do with the sheep and goats? He would judge them! And now let’s look at Matthew 25:31-33. Who is it that separates the sheep and the goats? The Son of Man—Jesus! Amazingly, this Matthew verse is cross-referenced and linked back to Ezekiel 34:17 in the NWT!

Someone calling out in the wilderness . . . Clear up the way of Jehovah

Read Isaiah 40:1-3, then read Mark 1:3 and John 1:14-15. Mark 1:3 says that John the Baptizer called out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of Jehovah . . .” quoting Isaiah 40:3, which is cross-referenced to the Mark 1:3 passage, linking them together. Then in the gospel of John, we read to whom John the Baptizer referred, “the Word who was made flesh, John bore witness about him (about Jesus)” (see John 1:14-15, 23-33). John the Baptizer called out preparing the way of Jehovah/Jesus!

See also, Zechariah's declaration referring to his son, John the Baptizer, "But as for you, young child you will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go in advance before Jehovah to make his ways ready" (Luke 2:76.) The NWT acknowledges that John goes before Jehovah! However, these passages are about John preparing the way for Jesus! This is also cross-referenced in the NWT to Isaiah 40:3 and Mark 1.

There is only One Savior

Isaiah 43:11 says, “I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.” 

Luke 2:11 says, “Have no fear . . . because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,“ 

Hosea 13:4, "But I am Jehovah your God from the land of Egypt, and there was no God except me that you used to know; and there was no savior but I." (This verse is cross-referenced to Isaiah 43:11, which says, "I--I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior." This verse is cross-referenced to Jude 25, which says, "to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord . . ."

Titus 2:13, "while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of [the] Savior of us, Christ Jesus,"

Question: Who is the savior mentioned in the Titus 2:13? (It is Jesus. And what did Jehovah say about himself? Besides me there is no savior! Is 43:11) 

Jehovah’s Glory

Look at Isaiah 42:8, “I am Jehovah. That is my name*; and to no one else shall I give my own glory . . .” 

Now look at John 17:5. Jesus says, “So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.” 

Hebrews 1:1-3 says, "God, who long ago spoke on many occasions . . . has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a son . . . He is the reflection of [his] glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power." 

*The name, refers to Jesus in Philippians 2:9-10, "For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every (other) name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground," The NWT adds the word "other," to this verse, which is not in the Greek, and you can verify this on their website.

Jehovah: First and Last, Alpha and Omega

See Isaiah 44:6, “This is what Jehovah has said . . . , I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God.“ 

Now look at the NWT cross-reference linked to Revelation 22:12-20. What does Jesus say about himself? “Look! I am coming quickly . . . I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end . . . I Jesus sent my angel to bear witness . . . yes, I am coming quickly. Amen! Come Lord Jesus.” 

In these passages, who is called first and last, Alpha and Omega? (Jehovah/Jesus!)

Jehovah Became Dead and Living Forever

See also Revelation 1:8; 17-18, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says Jehovah God, the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty . . . I am the First and the Last, and the living one; and I became dead (vs 18), but, look! I am living forever and ever.” 

These verses in the NWT are cross-referenced and linked to Romans 5:6, Romans 6:9, and John 11:25, which says respectively, “For indeed, Christ, while we were yet weak, died for ungodly men at the appointed time.” “For we know that Christ, now that he has been raised up from the dead, dies no more; death is master over him no more.” “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’” 

Question: Who became dead and now lives? (Jehovah/Jesus!)

The Resurrection

JWs believe God raised Jesus up as a "spirit," rather than in a glorified body. However, if that were true, then Jesus purposely deceived his followers. Consider the following passages:

"While they were speaking of these things, he himself [Jesus] stood in their midst and said to them: 'May you have peace.' But because they were terrified and frightened, they imagined that they were seeing a spirit. He said to them: 'Why are you troubled, and why have doubts come up in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you see that I have.' And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. But while they were still not believing for sheer joy and amazement, he said to them: 'Do you have something there to eat?' So they handed him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it before their eyes" Luke 24:36-43 (NWT-online).

"But Thomas, one of the Twelve, who was called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were telling him: 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them: 'Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will never believe it.' Well, eight days later his disciples were again indoors, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst and said: 'May you have peace.' Next he said to Thomas: 'Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop doubting but believe.' In answer Thomas said to him: 'My Lord and my God!'" John 20:24-28

Question: Who raised Jesus from the dead? 

Answer: Jehovah: (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), he is one God, expressing himself through three distinct personalities.

"God resurrected this Jesus, and of this we are all witnesses" Acts 2:32.

"Therefore, in response the Jews said to him: 'What sign can you show us, since you are doing these things?'  Jesus replied to them: 'Tear down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews then said: 'This temple was built in 46 years, and will you raise it up in three days?' But he was talking about the temple of his body" John 2:18-21.

Holy Spirit
"the spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his spirit that resides in you" Romans 8:11.

*See note on the Holy Spirit, below.

How can all these things be? 

Jesus tells us how in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." This was a radical statement. The Jewish leadership wanted to stone Jesus for blasphemy because in this statement they understood his claim to be God (vs 33)!

I’m just scratching the surface with NWT cross-referenced verses that link Jehovah to Jesus. There are many, many more! I encourage you to read them in your own translation to discover this truth. 

May Jehovah give you understanding of the real Jesus,
Sarah Keith

*Interestingly, the NWT cross-references Revelation 19:13 to John 1:1, which speaks of the Word of God as the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, a title held only by Jehovah!

The HOLY SPIRIT is the third person of Jehovah. He is more than an "active force," as the NWT calls Him in Genesis 1:2. The Holy Spirit is personal; He defends us, teaches us, comforts us in our troubles, helps us in our weakness, intercedes for us in prayer, renews us, and feels grief over our sin. See John 14:26, Romans 8:26, Isaiah 63:10, Acts 7:10, Titus 3:5, and Ephesians 4:30. 

See also The Names of God 

(JWs are a works-centered religion. They need to know why people need a Savior, and who that Savior is. They need to know, "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, so that no one can boast" Ephesians 2:8-9. Or as the NWT states, "By this undeserved kindness, indeed, you have been saved through faith; and this not owing to you, it is God's gift. No, it is not owing to works, in order that no man should have ground for boasting.")


Check out The Shocking Truth Behind Jehovah's Witnesses.

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