A Beginner’s Guide to Witnessing to the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Article ID: DJ501 | By: Marian Bodine

Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door with one main objective: to place literature from the Watchtower Society in your hands so they can come back and discuss it with you. Are you ready?

After giving a prepared introduction (usually about the sorry and frightening state of the world) your JW visitors will try to determine your religious background so they can decide which Watchtower publications to give you. Although they’d rather you make a donation to cover the cost of the material, they will give it to you if you’ll accept it and agree to read it.

Once you have their literature, the JWs’ next job is to follow up with another meeting to discuss it with you in what they call a “Bible study.” But beware — unless you’re a mature Christian who’s well-grounded in the Bible and experienced in witnessing to cultists, you should politely refuse any Watchtower literature because:

  1. The JWs will not accept any Christian literature from you, since they’re taught that Christian literature is “apostate” and therefore evil and dangerous to Jehovah’s followers.
  2. The JWs themselves agree that if we believe Watchtower literature is “apostate,” we should reject it. By accepting their literature you indicate that you do not consider their teaching apostate.
  3. Watchtower literature is deliberately deceptive and scholastically dishonest. It’s full of Scripture references that are either misquoted or taken out of context. Since their articles often use quotes from obscure foreign books and Bible translations to defend their beliefs, it’s almost always very difficult to verify their sources. And when Watchtower publications quote recognized Christian biblical scholars, they often use only partial sentences and paragraphs to make the reader believe that the scholar supports their heretical teachings.
  4. If you accept their literature the JWs won’t have to think. Instead, the JWs will use their magazines and books to answer your questions or attack your faith.
  5. The average Christian who accepts Watchtower literature may spend much precious time dealing with their lies and deception, only to experience confusion, doubt, and frustration.

If you do accept their literature, one good strategy is to look it over, then hand it back on their next visit and say, “I don’t agree with this article. I’d really like to discuss it further with you if you’ll bring photocopies from the original sources for the quotations it uses.”

If the JW agrees, congratulations! You’ve just gotten him to do his homework. Assure the JW that the Watchtower should be happy to supply him with documentation for its statements (even though chances are slim that they will). Then, once the JW finds the Watchtower uncooperative, he may feel obligated to get you the answers on his own in order to save face. If he does, he’ll be taking the first step toward breaking through his own mind-control barrier and recognizing the Watchtower Society’s dishonesty for himself.

JWs, the Bible, and Authority.

JWs are trained to use the Bible to twist you into a spiritual pretzel (in most cases, their New World Translation). That’s why most former JWs urge Christians to avoid discussing Scripture in depth until the JW is willing to deal with the Watchtower’s false prophecies and changing doctrines. JWs usually can’t accept what the Bible really says until they begin doubting the authority and veracity of the Watchtower. Remember that JWs are carefully conditioned to believe that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is God’s sole channel of truth and that it alone can correctly interpret Scripture. The JW believes that you have no right to disagree with the Society, which is Jehovah God’s organization and visible representative on earth. All churches, denominations, and creeds — whether liberal, conservative, Catholic, Protestant, or even Mormon — are lumped together under

the term “apostate Christendom.” If the JW knows you’re a Christian, he considers you part of Christendom — the “Great Whore of Babylon” in the Book of Revelation.

When witnessing, never forget that you are the child of God; you must maintain authority in the situation and not allow the JW to take control and teach you (2 John 9–11).

How to Use False Prophecies.

One of the most effective ways to demonstrate the Watchtower Society’s false prophecies is to present unsettling photocopies from its own publications. Seeing this evidence, the seasoned JW will reply with programmed excuses like…

JW: Well, we’ve never claimed to be prophets.

Christian: May I show you something? Here are photocopies from Watchtower sources where the Society claims to be a “composite prophet.” What’s that?

JW: It’s important to understand that we are not inspired prophets.

Christian: The Watchtower Society has claimed to be a prophet comparing itself to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, etc. Were those Old Testament prophets inspired? Besides, an uninspired prophet is a false Whore of Babylon” in the Book of Revelation.

JW: Really, we’re only prophets in a sense.

Christian: I would agree — a prophet in a false sense!

JW: No — you see, we’re only humans, and humans make mistakes.

Christian: Deuteronomy 18:20–22 says clearly that a mistaken prophet is a false prophet.

JW: But we admitted our mistakes, so we’re not false prophets.

Christian: Wait a minute! Think about it: Where does the Bible teach that after a prophecy fails, if the prophet admits he made a mistake he is no longer a false prophet?

JW: But what about Jonah and his prophecy?

Christian: God told Jonah to preach to Nineveh so that the Ninevites, being convicted of their sinful condition, would repent. They did repent, and God spared them at that time (Jonah 3).

JW: Well, in any case, the light is getting brighter.

Christian: You mean Proverbs 4:18?

[JW nods] Would you please turn in your Bible to that verse and read it to me? [Wait for the JW to read it aloud, then ask:] When a false prophecy or a mistake is made in the name of Jehovah, is the light on or off?

JW: I guess the light is off at the time a mistake is made. After all, we are imperfect humans!

Christian: I agree with you; imperfect humans do make mistakes in the name of Jehovah. Please read verse 19: “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.” This verse applies to those whose light is out.

JW: If this isn’t the truth [referring to the Watchtower magazine], then where is it?

Christian: I’m glad you asked! Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Be Prepared.

If you’re not adequately equipped to evangelize JWs, you need to study! CRI’s free Resource List offers a varied assortment of the best books, tapes, and tracts to help you refute the Watchtower’s Scripture-twisting and help JWs find Jesus. You should also take one or more classes to help you defend what you believe from the Bible.

Remember: a successful witnessing situation is one in which the JW is made to think. Let the Holy Spirit continue to guide you, and be ready and able to lead your Witness friend through God’s Word to Jesus, who is “THE TRUTH.” — Marian Bodine

For further study, CRI offers these resources:

Witnessing to the Witnesses by Jerry and Marian Bodine (NB114)

The Watchtower Files by Duane Magnani and Arthur Barrett (NB080)

Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love by Wilbur Lingle (NB343)

How to Rescue Your Loved One from the Watchtower by David Reed (NB107)

Jehovah’s Witnesses on Trial by Robert U. Finnerty (NB352)

For price information and shipping and handling charges, please refer to CRI’s Resource Listing, or to place a credit card order, please call CRI toll-free at (888) 7000-CRI. For a free copy of our Resource Listing, please write, call, or fax us.