Jehovah's Witnesses glossary

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360 years[edit]

See 1914.


See 1914.


See the main article on this topic: 666

666 is the symbol of Satan's visible organisation, which Jehovah's Witnesses believe to be all human governments.[1]


Because of an alleged prophecy in Daniel 4, the original JW believed that Jesus began to rule in 607 BCE, that there will be Seven Times after 607 BCE until a certain generation is born, that Armageddon will begin before that generation passes away, that these Seven Times are Symbolic Times and actually mean 360 years each (for a total of 2520 years), and that therefore the generation which observed the "events of 1914" (the start of WW1) will also see the Armageddon. Given that this is no longer possible,[2] JW teachings have shifted to the overlapping generation idea.[3]

This is literally the foundation of all of JW belief[4]

Other JW predictions of the end of the world were for 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941 1975, 1994, 1997 (list of predictions of the end of the world).


See Anointed Class.

Don Adams[edit]

Don Adams was elected sixth WBTS president in 2000.


See the main article on this topic: Alcohol

Witnesses regard alcohol as a gift from Jehovah that must be used in moderation.


See the main article on this topic: Armageddon

The Armageddon is a world-encompassing battle that will occur in the near future. During Armageddon, all people and all institutions not affiliated with the JW will be destroyed. King Jesus and His heavenly host will battle with Satan and his armies. Satan will be defeated. Afterwards, the Anointed Class will live with King Jesus in a spiritual heaven.

Anointed Class[edit]

After Armageddon, the 144,000 people in the Anointed Class will live in a spiritual heaven with King Jesus. All other faithful JW (the Great Crowd or Other Sheep) and a selected group of resurrected people will live on a paradise-like Earth for one millennium (1,000 years). The number 144,000 appears in three places in the Book of Revelation: Revelation 7:3-8 (as the sum of 12 tribes of Israel of 12,000 each), Revelation 14:1 and Revelation 14:3-5.


Awake! is a semimonthly magazine published by WBTS focused on family and religion.


See the main article on this topic: Baptism

A candidate approved by the WBTS is baptized (immersed in water) during a public meeting. Mass baptisms of new recruits often occur at a circuit assembly.


Bethel is the official headquarters of the WBTS located at 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY.

Bible Study[edit]

Bible Study is an intermediate step in becoming a JW. Faithful JW stress a literal belief in the Bible and try to engage interested people in home Bible studies. After progressing from return calls and Good Will Personhood, Bible study encourage people to people gain personal and religious connections with local JW members.


See the main article on this topic: Blood Transfusions: How Safe

JW teachings hold that the soul is in the blood, citing Leviticus 17:11 and Leviticus 17:14. As a result, JW believe that blood transfusions are comparable to cannibalism and refuse to have them. This results in several hundred deaths per year.


Bloodguilt occurs when somebody [1] causes bloodshed (ie, contributes to someone's death), which includes supporting a blood-guilty organization or [2] fails to preach the good news or [3] eats, drinks, or receives blood in any way.

Branch Committee[edit]

A Branch Committee is appointed by the WBTS to have oversight of JW congregations for an entire country or group of countries.


Christendom is a derogatory term for Protestant and Catholic groups, which JW teachings claim to have been established around 300-399 CE by the unbaptized Roman emperor Constantine the Great.Wikipedia


A circuit is a group of about 20 JW congregations.

Circuit overseer[edit]

A circuit overseer is the supervisor of the circuit and visits each congregation two or three times a year.

Circuit assembly[edit]

A circuit assembly occurs when member congregations of a circuit gather at specified times, often to hold mass baptisms of new converts.


See Impalement.


Disfellowship, also referred to as expulsion or excommunication, occurs when the WBTS judges a JW member as unfaithful. Common crimes include adultery, homosexuality, dishonesty, "idolatry", "apostasy", or "divisiveness". For lesser crimes, a JW member is usually suspended for one year and then given an opportunity for reinstatement. For greater crimes, the offending member may only be accepted back if he or she displays sincere repentance. The official JW position is that disfellowshipping is a "loving provision", but those who are disfellowshipped are shunned by other JW members, including family and friends,[5] which is often a substantial hardship for the person who is disfellowshipped.[6]

District overseer[edit]

A district overseer supervises several circuits and is responsible for conducting circuit assemblies. The overseer spends one week in the circuit for each assembly.


See disfellowship.

Frederick Franz[edit]

Frederick Franz was elected fourth WBTS president in 1977.

Gentile times[edit]

The Gentile times when Jews were in disfavor with Jehovah were between 607 BCE to 1914.


See the main article on this topic: Goat

A goat is a sane person who is not interested in a JW evangelist's return calls or Bible study.

Good Will Person[edit]

A Good Will Person is a person who is interested in Bible study and who is a prospective member of Jehovah's Witnesses. Those who are not interested are called a goat.

Governing Body[edit]

The governing body is a select committee of about 15 WBTS leaders that determines and establishes all doctrines and practices of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Great Crowd[edit]

See Anointed Class.


A headship refers either to [1] the family leadership role of the husband (who is the "wife-head") or [2] the leadership roles of people within the WTBS.


See the main article on this topic: Hell

The WBTS does not believe it is a place of torment or fire. They reject the doctrine of eternal punishment, saying all non-Jehovah's Witnesses will be annihilated at the final judgment.


The International Bible Students Association (IBSA) group supervises JW ministries in Canada and England. The IBSA arises out of the Bible Student movementWikipedia.

The one and only true religion


See the main article on this topic: Crucifixion

JW's believe that the crucifix (two-piece cross) is a phallic symbol adopted from pagans in the third century CE. instead, Jesus Christ was impaled and died upon an upright stake. WBTS translates the Greek "stauros" as "upright stake".

Kingdom Hall[edit]

A Kingdom Hall is a JW place of worship comparable to a church; the term was created by Joseph Franklin Rutherford.


See Annointed Class.

Milton Henschel[edit]

Milton Henschel was elected fifth WBTS president in 1992.

Nathan Knorr[edit]

Nathan Knorr was elected third WBTS president in 1942.


The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is the official translation of the Bible by the WBTS.

Other Sheep[edit]

See Anointed Class.

Overlapping generation[edit]

Matthew 24:34 states:

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things [that will lead up to the great tribulation before the Armageddon] be fulfilled.

JW originally believed that the generation that witnessed the events of 1914 would live to see the great tribulation. However, because this can no longer occur,[2] the WBTS now argues that Jesus' use of the word "generation" really meant two groups: first, the generation that witnessed 1914; and second, those who were born before the last individuals in the first group died (basically, anybody born after about 2000 or so).[3] This is entirely exegetical and (given that JW believe in a literal Bible) hardly a straightforward reading of the Bible. But hey -- if your particular prediction of the end of the world doesn't work, why not just use another?

People's Pulpit Association[edit]



A publisher is a faithful JW who sells WBTS literature door-to-door. Publishers are expected to pay for these materials via """voluntary""" donations. A good publisher engages in field ministry and produces return calls and Good Will Persons.

Return Calls[edit]

A JW evangelist will make return calls if a person shows even a little interest or requests more information on the first visit. The WBTS encourages persistent visitation. Successful return calls may turn somebody into a Good Will Person.

Charles Taze Russell[edit]


Joseph Franklin Rutherford[edit]

Joseph Franklin Rutherford became the second president of the PPP (later the WBTS) in 1917. He is ultimately responsible for the current organization of the WBTS.


See the main article on this topic: Salvation

JW believe Salvation is not obtained through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior ("faith alone") but instead via dedication of one's life to Jehovah and living the lifestyle prescribed by the WBTS ("works alone").

Seven Times[edit]

See 1914.

The Society[edit]


Students Association Kingdom Hall[edit]

A Students Association Kingdom Hall is usually relatively small and limited to a seating capacity of 200. Meetings are presided over by an overseer and his five assistants.

Symbolic Times[edit]

See 1914.


See the main article on this topic: Trinity

JW reject the Trinity. JW believe that Jehovah alone is God, that the Holy Spirit is just the 'force of God', and that Jesus was a being created by Jehovah.


Watchtower is the official theological publication of the WBTS, first published in 1879 and now released semimonthly. Unsigned articles in Watchtower present WBTS positions on biblical doctrines.


Charles Taze Russell organized the People's Pulpit Association (PPA) in 1909, of which he was the first president. The PPA was renamed to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) in 1939. The WBTS is the main coordinating organization behind JW. The WBTS is rigidly controlled from the center (rather than democratically); JW believe that the WBTS is under the direct rule of Jehovah. The term "The Society" can be used to describe those WBTS leaders who are directly controlled by God.

Wife's head[edit]

See Headship.

When Someone You Love Dies[edit]

When Someone You Love Dies is a pamphlet used by JW evangelists to encourage Return Calls.

Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses[edit]

The Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses is published each year and reports the worldwide statistics of JW and service of faithful members.

External links[edit]