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What the are differences and similarities between Jehovah's Witnesses and Catholics?

To what extent is the official bible accepted by the Catholic church different from the official JW translation?

Are there any differences in the most important dogmata?

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You're asking too many different things, and this is a too broad of a topic to begin with. I recommend reading the Wikipedia pages on the Jehovah's Witnesses and Trinitarian Christianity and then asking more specific questions. – curiousdannii Jul 21 '14 at 9:47
@curiousdannii I don't agree. Overview questions have been allowed in the past. In fact, a very similar question came through without any guff and I think my answer to it shows that a complete and academic answer is possible. – fredsbend Jul 21 '14 at 19:30
@fredsbend now that it's scoped to Catholicism rather than all of Christianity it's probably okay. – curiousdannii Jul 21 '14 at 21:22
@curiousdannii Yes, I see now that the original did need some work. – fredsbend Jul 21 '14 at 21:25

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

At the most fundamental level, Roman Catholics subscribe to the Nicene Creed, Jehovah's Witnesses do not. (JWs would call the Creed itself heresy, so this is not a slam.) This means that unlike 98% of the world's Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses deny such things as:

  • The Trinity
  • The Divinity of Jesus
  • The Nature of Salvation
  • The Communion of Saints / The Role of the Church

and many, many more things.

Additionally, the Jehovah's Witness subscribe only to the New World Translation of the 66 books Protestants put in the canon. This translation is considered faulty by most Nicene Christians for translations such as:

  • John 1:1,

    In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god

This implies that God is one god amongst several to Nicene Christians - something that Nicene Christians would reject.

  • John 10

    I and the Father are One in Unity

This addition is an attempt to reject one of the most obvious prooftexts of the Trinity. As Nicea is explicitly Trinitarian and this is not, it likewise excludes JWs from that category.

When most people think of "Christianity" they are thinking of Nicene Christianity. It is entirely fair to say then that Roman Catholics are what most people consider "Christian" and Jehovah's Witness are not.

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What are differences and similarities between Jehovah's Witnesses and Catholics?

The beliefs are very similar, e.g. Jesus atoned for the sins of the world. Jehovah's Witnesses believe:

  • The Trinity described in the Nicean creed is incorrect. The Father and the Son are two separate persons. The Spirit of God is not a person but is God's power and influence.
  • Jehovah is the name of God, and he should be called by that name.

  • They should preach (witness) their faith door-to-door.

  • Most righteous people will live in paradise on Earth. 144,000 will go to heaven to rule with Jesus. The wicked will be completely destroyed.

  • People do not have spirits that exist independently of their bodies. When someone dies, they cease to exist until the resurrection.

  • No violence, voting, patriotic saluting, or blood transfusions.

The first point is probably one of the more fundamental differences.

How much the official bible accepted by the Catholic Church is different from the official JW translation?

Jehovah's Witnesses use the New World Translation of the Bible. It has the same books as other Protestant versions. Thus, it does not have the Deuterocanoncial books.

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I would suggest explicitly stating which group holds the beliefs stated in the differences area (Jehovah's Witnesses) otherwise the answer might be confusing. – Belinda Jul 21 '14 at 14:45
@Belinda, thanks. – Paul Draper Jul 21 '14 at 15:52

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