No, we haven’t. On the contrary, when we have discovered that our beliefs were not completely in line with the Bible, we have changed our beliefs.
Long before we started producing the New World Translationof the Holy Scriptures in 1950, we examined the Bible. We used whatever translation was available and formed our beliefs accordingly. Consider a few examples of long-standing beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and decide for yourself whether they match what the Bible really teaches.
What we believe: God is not a Trinity. The July 1882 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower said: “Our readers are aware that while we believe in Jehovah and Jesus, and the holy Spirit, we reject as totally unscriptural, the teaching that these are three Gods in one person or, as some put it, one God in three persons.”
What the Bible says: “Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.” (Deuteronomy 6:4, The Holy Bible, by Robert Young) “There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:6, American Bible Union Version) Jesus himself stated: “The Father is greater than I.”—John 14:28, Douay-Rheims Version.
What we believe: There is no eternal torment in a fiery hell. Quoting from Romans 6:23 in the King James Version, Zion’s Watch Tower entitled its issue of June 1882 “The Wages of Sin Is Death,” stating: “How clear and simple is this statement. How strange it is that so many who profess to receive the Bible as the Word of God persist in contradicting this positive statement, and affirm that they believe, and that the Bible teaches, that the wages of sin is everlasting life in torment.”
What the Bible says: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4, 20, King James Version) The final punishment for those who oppose God is, not eternal torment, but “everlasting destruction.”—2 Thessalonians 1:9, King James Version.
What we believe: God’s Kingdom is a real government, not just a condition of the heart. Regarding God’s Kingdom, the December 1881 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower said: “The setting up of this kingdom will, of course, involve the overthrow of all the kingdoms of earth.”
What the Bible says: “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”—Daniel 2:44, King James Version.
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses depend on the New World Translation to support their beliefs?
No, for we continue to use many translations of the Bible in our witnessing work. In fact, while we provide a copy of the New World Translation at no charge as part of our free Bible study program, we are also happy to study with those who prefer to use other translations.