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Thursday, March 10, 2016

VIDEO: Jehovah's Witnesses' MEMORIAL of Jesus' Death - 23rd March 2016

Jehovah's Witnesses' MEMORIAL of Jesus' Death - 23rd March 2016

Each year, Jehovah’s Witnesses remember the death of Jesus in the way that he asked. (Luke 22:19, 20) We warmly invite you to be present with us on this important occasion. You will learn how Jesus’ life and death can benefit you.

Find a location near you:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Russian Customs Officials Seize Shipments of Bibles and Bible Literature

Over the past year, Russian authorities have taken another step in restricting religious freedom by
refusing to allow Bibles published by Jehovah’s Witnesses to be imported. The Witnesses were astounded to learn that the Vyborg Customs Office claimed that the Bibles may contain signs of “extremism.” This has broad implications not only for the Witnesses but also for Russian citizens who consider the Bible to be a sacred text and integral to their faith.

Alarming Allegations Against the Bible

On July 13, 2015, Russian customs officials in the border city of Vyborg stopped a shipment of 2,013 Russian-language copies of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. The authorities confiscated three of the Bibles, sent them to an “expert” to determine whether they contained “extremist” language, and impounded the rest of the Bibles. Customs officials initiated an administrative case in August against the Finland branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses (as the carrier of the literature into Russia).

Earlier, on May 5, 2015, customs authorities seized a shipment of religious literature that contained Ossetian-language Bibles published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. This has had a profound impact on Ossetian-speaking Christians in Russia because the New World Translation is currently the only complete Bible translation in the Ossetian language.

Although Russian officials have misapplied Russia’s Federal Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity to publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses before, this marks the first time authorities have alleged that a translation of the Bible could be linked to extremism. * If the courts declare these Bibles to be extremist, they will be banned from distribution in Russia.

Unlawful Blocking of Other Publications

In addition to blocking the importation of Bibles, customs officials have unlawfully blocked shipments of the Witnesses’ religious literature since March 2015. * Officials have followed the same procedure each time they seize a shipment. They first perform an unlawful search to obtain sample publications for an “expert study,” * and then the prosecutor’s office initiates proceedings to declare the publications extremist. Complicated legal battles are inevitable, since nearly every shipment will require litigation in administrative and arbitration courts.

In an attempt to release one of the shipments, Jehovah’s Witnesses presented the customs authorities with positive court decisions, expert studies, and other documentation showing that the government has already declared these publications to be nonextremist. Yet, customs officials ignored the evidence and seized the shipment.

The blocking of the Witnesses’ print publications comes amid fresh restrictions on access to their electronic publications. On July 21, 2015, Russia became the only nation in the world to ban jw.org—the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Internet providers throughout Russia have blocked access to the site, and anyone in Russia who promotes the website faces administrative or criminal charges.

The ban severely impedes the Witnesses’ ability to obtain religious publications in electronic form, a loss particularly felt among Jehovah’s Witnesses who are deaf or blind. Since Bible education is fundamental to the Witnesses’ religious services, restricting access to their literature interferes with their worship.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask That Reason Prevail

Russian courts have dismissed or overturned previous attempts to ban other texts that are considered sacred. In 2011, a Russian court in Tomsk dismissed a claim to ban an edition of the Hindu Bhagavad Gita. In 2013, an appeal court overturned a decision that had declared a translation of the Koran to be extremist.

Jehovah’s Witnesses hope that Russian courts will reject the absurdity of the customs authorities’ claim that a translation of the Bible is extremist and order the release of the Bibles and other religious literature published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Read the Entire Article:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Experts Object to Russia’s Banning of JW.ORG

Experts Object to Russia’s Banning of JW.ORG

“I think the website is necessary because it contains objective information directly from Jehovah’s Witnesses.”—Yekaterina Elbakyan, Professor, Academy of Labor and Social Relations, Moscow

“Twenty-first century Russia has a constitution that guarantees freedom of religion and equality of religious associations before the law. However, as in the 19th century, Russia is again restricting the freedom of sharing one’s religious views by confiscating literature and banning websites. And this is all being done by judges and experts who apply unlawful regulations under the guise of counteracting extremism.”
—Legal expert at the Human Rights Institute in Moscow, Lev Levinson

Read the Entire Article:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Russia Bans Official Website of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Seven months after the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation declared www.jw.org to be extremist, Russian authorities banned the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The ban became effective on July 21, 2015, when the Russian Federation Ministry of Justice added jw.org to the Federal List of Extremist Materials. Internet providers throughout Russia have blocked access to the website, and it is now a criminal offense to promote it from within the country. Russia is the only country in the world to ban jw.org.

Events Leading to the Ban on JW.ORG
Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia were unaware that authorities in the city of Tver had begun clandestine legal proceedings in 2013 to target the website. The Tver City Prosecutor had filed a complaint with the Tsentralniy District Court demanding that jw.org be banned because it contained a few religious publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses that had been declared extremist by earlier Russian court decisions. * On August 7, 2013, the district court granted the prosecutor’s demand without notifying Jehovah’s Witnesses and declared jw.org to be extremist.

Once the Witnesses learned of the decision through the local media a month later, they appealed and voluntarily removed the publications in question for users in Russia. On January 22, 2014, the Tver Regional Court reversed the trial court’s decision, ruling that the court had no legal basis to ban jw.org and that it should have invited the website’s copyright holder to participate in the trial.

Not satisfied with the regional court ruling, S. G. Kekhlerov, the Deputy Prosecutor General, appealed to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. The Witnesses were not properly notified of the hearing. Yet, on December 2, 2014, the Supreme Court heard the prosecutor’s cassation appeal in the absence of the defense.

The Supreme Court confirmed that the Witnesses had removed the publications shortly after the August 2013 trial court decision but held, without justification, that those publications could potentially reappear on the site. Therefore, the Court ruled to reverse the regional court ruling and reinstate the trial court decision declaring jw.org to be extremist. * Jehovah’s Witnesses filed a supervisory appeal with the Supreme Court contesting the decision, but the Court rejected it. They also filed an appeal with the Chairman of the Supreme Court, who rejected their appeal on July 8, 2015.

JW.ORG Facts
Website translated in over 600 languages
Publications available in over 700 languages
Visits per day worldwide: 2.06 million
Average visits per day in Russia in 2014: 285,000
Average downloads per month in Russia in 2014: 2.6 million
Downloads in Russian Sign Language in 2014: Over 3.5 million
Decision Threatens Religious Freedom
Jehovah’s Witnesses contend that the Supreme Court’s decision is arbitrary and groundless because no religious publications declared to be extremist have been accessible on jw.org in Russia since the autumn of 2013. As a result of the decision, Russian authorities have directed Internet providers to block jw.org within Russia. This has denied readers access to the Bible in over 130 languages and Bible-based publications in over 700 languages, including Russian and Russian Sign Language. Anyone in Russia who promotes or encourages others to access the website is now subject to administrative or criminal prosecution for so-called extremist activity. With this ban, over 170,000 of Jehovah’s Witnesses have lost access to a resource that is vital for their spiritual edification and daily worship.

The decision of the Supreme Court provides another means for some Russian officials to repress the peaceful religious activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As long as some officials persist in misapplying Russia’s Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, religious freedom in Russia will be restricted and further threatened. Jehovah’s Witnesses sincerely hope that fair-minded officials will defend the basic human right to freedom of worship and fair trial, as guaranteed by Russia’s international agreements and its constitution.

В России запрещен официальный сайт Свидетелей Иеговы

27 ИЮЛЯ 2015 ГОДА

В России запрещен официальный сайт Свидетелей Иеговы

Через семь месяцев после того, как Верховный суд Российской Федерации объявил официальный сайт Свидетелей Иеговы, jw.org, экстремистским, российские власти его запретили. Запрет вступил в силу 21 июля 2015 года, когда Министерство юстиции Российской Федерации внесло сайт jw.org в Федеральный список экстремистских материалов. По всей стране интернет-провайдеры блокируют доступ к этому сайту, а поощрение использовать его на территории России считается уголовным преступлением. Россия — единственная страна в мире, где сайт jw.org запрещен.

Что привело к запрету сайта jw.org?
Свидетели Иеговы в России не знали, что в 2013 году власти города Твери, избравшие своей целью этот сайт, начали тайную процедуру судебного разбирательства. Прокурор города подал в Центральный районный суд иск с требованием запретить сайт jw.org на основании того, что на нем было размещено несколько публикаций Свидетелей Иеговы, ранее признанных российскими судами экстремистскими *. 7 августа 2013 года районный суд удовлетворил жалобу прокурора и, не уведомив об этом Свидетелей Иеговы, объявил сайт jw.org экстремистским.

Об этом решении Свидетели Иеговы узнали только месяц спустя из сообщений местных СМИ. Сразу после этого Свидетели обжаловали это решение и добровольно позаботились о том, чтобы в России посетителям сайта не были доступны публикации, явившиеся поводом для судебного разбирательства. 22 января 2014 года Тверской областной суд отменил решение суда первой инстанции, постановив, что нижестоящий суд не имел законного основания для запрета сайта jw.org и что суд должен был привлечь к участию в судебном разбирательстве владельца сайта.

Не удовлетворившись решением областного суда, заместитель Генерального прокурора С. Г. Кехлеров подал апелляционную жалобу в Верховный суд Российской Федерации. Свидетели не были должным образом извещены о предстоящем слушании. Поэтому 2 декабря 2014 года суд рассмотрел кассационную жалобу прокурора в отсутствие стороны защиты.

Верховный суд подтвердил, что после судебного решения, вынесенного в августе 2013 года, Свидетели Иеговы в короткий срок удалили с сайта публикации, признанные экстремистскими. В то же время Верховный суд, не имея никаких оснований, счел, что эти публикации могут вновь появиться на сайте. Таким образом, Суд отменил решение областного суда и вернул юридическую силу решению суда первой инстанции, признавшего сайт jw.org экстремистским *. Свидетели Иеговы подали в Верховный суд надзорную жалобу, оспорив это решение, но Суд ее отклонил. Также они подали апелляционную жалобу Председателю Верховного суда, который отклонил ее 8 июля 2015 года.

Сведения о сайте jw.org
Сайт доступен более чем на 600 языках
Публикации на сайте доступны более чем на 700 языках
Число посещений в день по всему миру: 2,06 миллиона
Среднее число посещений каждый день в России в 2014 году: 285 000
Среднее число скачиваний каждый месяц в России в 2014 году: 2,6 миллиона
Число скачиваний на русском жестовом языке в 2014 году: более 3,5 миллиона
Решение Суда угрожает свободе вероисповедания
По мнению Свидетелей Иеговы, решение Верховного суда не имеет под собой никаких оснований, поскольку в России с осени 2013 года на сайте jw.org нет доступа к публикациям, признанным экстремистскими. Вслед за этим решением российские власти дали указание интернет-провайдерам блокировать сайт jw.org на территории страны. Из-за этого люди потеряли возможность читать Библию более чем на 130 языках и основанные на ней публикации более чем на 700 языках, в том числе на русском и русском жестовом. Те, кто поощряет других использовать этот сайт, подлежат административному или уголовному наказанию за так называемую экстремистскую деятельность. Из-за этого запрета более 170 000 Свидетелей Иеговы лишились доступа к ресурсу, благодаря которому они могли ежедневно удовлетворять свои духовные потребности.

Решение Верховного суда стало для российских чиновников еще одним поводом к тому, чтобы препятствовать мирной религиозной деятельности Свидетелей Иеговы. До тех пор пока некоторые чиновники неправомерно применяют закон «О противодействии экстремистской деятельности», свобода вероисповедания в России будет находиться под угрозой. Свидетели Иеговы искренне надеются, что непредвзятые представители власти будут защищать основные права человека, гарантированные международными соглашениями и Конституцией России: право на свободу совести и вероисповедания, а также право на справедливое судебное разбирательство.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Bible's Viewpoint - What Happens After Death?

According to the Bible, there is no activity, feeling, emotion, or thought in death. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6,

The simple truth is that no person has had a prehuman existence to remember. Before you were conceived, you did not exist.

So it is logical to conclude that when we die, our consciousness returns to exactly the same state it was before we were alive.

That is why God told Adam after he disobeyed: “For dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)

However, due to Christ’s ransom sacrifice there is the hope of a resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:22) Consider the account at (John 11:11-14), when Lazarus died, Jesus said: “I am journeying there to awaken him from sleep.” Like Lazarus, the Bible talks about a promised hope in the future FOR US:

"The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out." (John 5:28, 29)

"There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous." - Acts 24:15

Recommended Related Articles:

What Will Happen When I Die?

Death—Is It Really the End?

What Hope Is There for the Dead?

Monday, January 26, 2015

NEW VIDEO AT JW.ORG: Building a New Bible

Building a New Bible 
Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the 2013 revision of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was constructed.

Cómo se hizo la nueva Biblia

A produção de uma nova Bíblia

La produzione della nuova Bibbia

Die neue Bibel — echte Wertarbeit

La conception d’une nouvelle Bible

Создание обновленной Библии

Виготовлення нової Біблії

Η Παραγωγή μιας Νέας Αγίας Γραφής

새로운 성경이 탄생하기까지

Hogyan készült az új Biblia?

Paggawa ng Bagong Bibliya

Which Worldwide Religion Bears God's Name 'Jehovah'?

Which Worldwide Religion Bears God's Name 'Jehovah'?

Ps. 83:18 identifies God's name:

"That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth." (KJV)

(Also notice Ps. 83:18 from the ASV, Darby, WBT, TMB and YLT Bibles at the following link.)

Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for educating others about God's personal name which occurs in the Bible nearly 7,000 times.

Concerning Jehovah's Witnesses, it is also interesting that there seems to be no other readily-identifiable, world-wide religious group that use the personal name of God to identify themselves today. (Acts 15:14, 15)

"Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen;" (Isaiah 43:10) ASV

What Does "Hallelujah" Mean?

The expression “Hallelujah,” which occurs 24 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, literally is a command
to a number of people to “praise Jah” - a poetic shortened form of 'Jehovah', the name of the Most High God. (Ex 15:1, 2)

"The word halal is the source of `Hallelujah,' a Hebrew expression of `praise' to God which has been taken over into virtually every language of mankind. The Hebrew `Hallelujah' is generally translated [falsely], `Praise the Lord!' The Hebrew is more technically [more honestly] translated `Let us praise Yah,' the term `Yah' being a shortened form of `Yahweh,' the unique Israelite name for God." - p. 301, - Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, Unger and White, Thomas Nelson Publ., 1980.

"Hallelujah - Praise ye Jehovah - frequently rendered [falsely] `Praise Ye the Lord" - p. 276. "Jah - a shortened form of `Jehovah,'" - p. 322, Today's Bible Dictionary, Bethany House Publishers, 1982.

"HALLELUJAH ... 'praise ye Jehovah'; allelouia .... In the NT ['Hallelujah'] is found as part of the song of the heavenly host (Rev. 19:1 ff)." - p. 1323, Vol. 2, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Eerdmans Publ., 1984 printing.

"hallelujah: (Heb., hillel, he praises; Jah, form of Yahweh-Jehovah....) Literally, Praise ye Yahweh." - p. 320, An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (editor), 1945 ed.

"HALLELUJAH - HALLELOUIA [in NT Greek] signifies `Praise ye Jah.' .... In the N.T. it is found in Rev. 19:1, 3, 4, 6, as the keynote in the song of the great multitude in Heaven. Alleluia, without the initial H, is a misspelling." - p. 520, W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, 1980.

"ALLELUIA, the Greek form (Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6) of the Hebrew Hallelujah = Praise ye Jehovah, which begins or ends several of the psalms (106, 111, 112, 113, etc.)." – Easton's Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publ., 1897.

The NT Greek text does have the initial `H' sound. The "misspelling" is in certain English translations (e.g., KJV) which drop the beginning `H' sound: "Alleluia"! However, most respected modern translations do have "Hallelujah" in Rev. 19 (e.g., NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ASV, REB, MLB, Mo, and Barclay).

"Hallelujah....is derived from halal, which means to praise, and Jah, which is the name of God .... here in this chapter [Rev. 19] the original Hebrew form transliterated into Greek, is retained." - p. 169, Vol. 2, William Barclay, The Revelation of John, Revised Edition, The Daily Study Bible Series, Westminster Press, 1976.

"Alleluia, so written in Rev. 19:6, foll., or more properly Hallelujah, Praise ye Jehovah ...." - p. 31. "Jah (Jehovah), the abbreviated form of Jehovah ... The identity of Jah and Jehovah is strongly marked in two passages of Isaiah - 12:2; 26:4." - p. 276, Smith's Bible Dictionary, William Smith, Hendrickson Publ.

"Trust ye in Jehovah for ever; for in Jehovah ['Heb. JAH' - ASV f. n.], even Jehovah [YHWH], is an everlasting rock." - Is. 26:4, ASV.

Yes, Jah is equivalent to Jehovah. Two different forms of the very same PERSONAL NAME of God. (This is likely equivalent to the way Greek manuscripts often abbreviated "God" [Qeos, 'theos'] as QS. If so, Jah would still be pronounced "Jehovah" or "Yahweh".)

Psalm 68:4, King James Version - "Sing unto God, sing praises to his name; extol him...by his name JAH ['Jehovah' - ASV; LB]..."

Of course, the Gentile manuscript copyists of later centuries probably did not know that "Abi-JAH" ("The Father is Jehovah"), "Eli-JAH," ("God is Jehovah"), etc. are transliterations that actually use the shortened form of God's personal name ("Jah") and certainly didn't know that "Hallelujah" (Rev. 19:1, 3, 4, 6) is really Hebrew for "Praise Jah" or they would have surely changed them all also. However, the inspired Jewish Christians who actually wrote the original NT manuscripts certainly knew that writing or proclaiming aloud "Hallelu JAH!" (whether in Hebrew characters or Greek characters) was writing (or proclaiming aloud) God's personal name. If the Jewish Christian and Apostle John had left God's name out of the NT originally, he surely would not have then used "Hallelu JAH!" in four places in Revelation 19, for he knew exactly what it truly said: "Praise ye Jehovah"! Only the Hebrew-ignorant Gentile "Christian" copyists would be fooled by "Hallelujah" exactly as they were when they removed and changed the Divine Name in the Septuagint about the same time).

Also see: Hallelujah / Jah - The Removal of God's Name and Why "Hallelujah" Remained

More Information Concerning This Can Be Found In the Following Articles:


HALLELUJAH (Watchtower Online Library INDEX)

HALLELUJAH (Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1)

What Does it Mean to "Fear" God?

What Does it Mean to "Fear" God?

The Bible shows that there is a proper fear and an improper fear. The proper fear of God is an awe and a reverence for Him and is a wholesome dread of displeasing Him.

This proper fear of God is “the beginning of wisdom” (Ps 111:10), “the start of wisdom.” (Pr 9:10) “The fear of God is pure.” (Ps 19:9)

This fear is defined at Proverbs 8:13: “The fear of God means the hating of bad” and “in the fear of God one turns away from bad.” (Pr 16:6)

Recommended Related Articles:

What is the fear of Jehovah that we should have?

Be Wise—Fear God!

Enjoy Life in the Fear of Jehovah

1 Cor. 11:3 - "The Head of Christ is God."

This Scripture (1 Cor. 11:3), as well as the Bible throughout, clearly shows that Jesus Christ is not God. People who believe that Jesus is God have absolutely no logical response to this.

The God-ordained principle of headship in the Christian congregation states as follows:

"But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn, the head of the Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3) NWT

This verse plainly states that in the same way that Jesus exercises headship over man and man exercises headship over the woman, God also exercises headship over Christ. God does not have a head or superior.

Not only is God indicated to be superior over Christ here, but God is phrased as a separate person from Christ. Additionally, this Scripture was written about Christ when he is in heaven - not on earth - so Trinitarians cannot use the common excuse for this Scripture that he was merely a man at the time.

1 Cor. 11:3 can also be used in conjunction with 1 Cor.15:28 which shows that Jesus subjects himself to God, and also phrases Jesus as a separate and distinct individual from God.

Recommended Related Articles:

“The head of every man is the Christ.”—1 COR. 11:3.

1 Cor. 11:3

Gen. 6:2 - Who were the "Sons of God" as Mentioned in This Scriptural Passage?

The most likely interpretation is that these "sons of God" were angels:

"'Son of God' in the OT can refer to a 'heavenly court' of supernatural beings [angels] (Gen. 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps. 29:1; 82:6; 89:6 ...)" - p. 571, Vol. 4, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988. [Bracketed information added.]

Further supporting this is how the Bible mentions that it was disobedient angels that left their place in heaven during the time of Noah, came down to the earth, and took on fleshly bodies:

"The angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place..." (Jude 6)

Their reason for doing this is explained in the following Scripture:

“The sons of the true God began to notice the daughters of men, that they were good-looking; and they went taking wives for themselves, namely, all whom they chose.” (Genesis 6:2)

Supporting the conclusion that these were ANGELIC "sons of God" is the apostle Peter’s references to “the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient when the patience of God was waiting in Noah’s days” (1 Pet. 3:19, 20), and to “the angels that sinned,” mentioned in connection with the “ancient world” of Noah’s time. (2 Pet. 2:4, 5)

For more, see these posts at my other blogs:

Were the "sons of God" mentioned in Genesis 6:2 angels, and if so, how could they produce offspring (Nephilim) in the time of Noah?

Identifying the Nephilim