Annihilation or Hell?
Hello, everyone I hope you enjoyed the poem that I had posted about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now its time to continue the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and compare it to the Holy Bible. This time it is about whether or not there is a literal place called hell or is it just a symbol just as the JW’s claim. This will be separated in two or three posts for the sake of not having one long post and your eyes getting tired. Let us begin.
If you have a copy of the New World Translation you will find towards the back of the book on page 1643 a short article about whether or not there is a place called hell with many Scripture references. Also in the back of there, translation there is what is called “Bible Topics for Discussion” (p.1648). In the “Bible Topics for Discussion” # 16, which briefly mentions hell says this “(hell) not a literal place of fiery torment” and also “fire is a symbol of annihilation” and “the rich man and Lazarus account no proof of eternal torment”. The Jehovah’s Witnesses will argue that there is no place called hell and one thing they like to do like many cults is 1.) Move from verse to verse, 2.) They never read in context, but take scripture out of context, and 3.) twist and retranslate verses to suit there doctrines. In Charles T. Russell’s Studies in the Scriptures, volume 1 page 127 he says this:
“Many have imbibed the erroneous idea that God placed our race on trial for life with the alternative of eternal torture, whereas nothing of the kind is even hinted at in the penalty.”
In addition, on page 128 of the same volume we find these words:
“Eternal torture is nowhere suggested in the Old Testament Scriptures, and only a few statements in the New Testament can be so misconstrued as to appear to teach it.”
In the Jehovah’s Witnesses volume, Let God be True, on page 79 they call the doctrine of eternal punishment a “God- dishonoring doctrine.” And to mention one more on page 80 of the same volume, they say:
“The doctrine of a burning hell where the wicked are tortured eternally after death cannot be true.”
Are these claims true? Is Mr. Russell and his follower’s right? A few months ago, some Jehovah’s Witnesses had stopped by my house, I told them that I would love to talk to them, and they agreed to come back. When they did, I met with a woman and older man, one of the things we talked about was the doctrine of hell. They were saying that they do not think they should have to spend eternity for a lifetime of doing bad things. In other words, they were making their sins to be less than what they were, sin is against almighty God and for it we should be put in prison (hell). The Holy Bible makes very clear that sin deserves eternal punishment. I had asked them about the Gospel of Matthew 25:46 “these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” In their translation, it says “and these will depart into everlasting cutting-off…” I had told them that the Greek word for punishment was Kolasin and means punishment, they did not say anything about it. They just handed me a watchtower magazine about hell. In that, Watchtower Magazine page 7 says this
“Although most translations use the word punishment at Matthew 25:46, the basic meaning of the Greek word Kolasin is “checking the growth of trees,” or “pruning, cutting off needless branches. So while the sheeplike ones receive everlasting life, the unrepentant goatlike ones suffer “eternal punishment,” being forever cut off from life.
They are saying it is symbolic, however, that which is symbolic is symbolic of literal things, like the sheep and goats in the Matthew 25 passage are symbolic of two kinds of people. Now here is the thing, the JW’s say that their translation is correct because it is not done with a bias view of there doctrines and they say every other translation is bias towards the translators doctrinal views. This is not true, the New World Translation IS BIAS towards their doctrinal views; in fact, they twist Scripture in order to make the doctrines fit. Back to the Greek, the Greek word kolasin comes from the root word kolazo which carries three meanings with it 1.) To prune 2.) Check or restrain 3.) To correct, punishment. 2 Peter 2:9; Acts 4:21; 1 John 4:18; 2 Maccabees 4:38; 3 Maccabees 7:3; and 4 Maccabees 8:8 all use the word punishment. The same Greek word is used in all six of these verses, meaning punishment, and punished. The New World Translation translates 2 peter 2:9 as cut off and Acts 4:21 as punishment. However, according to the Greek- English Lexicon of the New Testament says this on page 353 “Kolasin brings with it or has connected with it the thought of punishment.” The JW’s have here in Matt. 25:46 translated the word Kolasin incorrectly, considering that, Kolazo bears the meaning of pruning, and Kolasin though it comes from Kolazo carries the meaning “to punish”. Another thing is that God is the Judge; He is righteous and Holy and must punish sin to the fullest according to the Law. When someone is in a courtroom the idea of cutting- off or pruning does not come to mind, that would be more in the setting of a gardener or vinedresser. In a courtroom the thought of punishment comes to mind since the offender offended the Law, that one who offended would be on trial and would have to be punished in order to satisfy justice and righteousness. However, in this mortal world we have limits because we as finite beings are limited by nature. When someone deserves a penalty for life we send him or her to prison for life, but he or she will die. When it comes to the infinite God, his prison lasts forever since by His nature He is eternal so is His justice and condemnations. Many people say how can a loving and forgiving God create a place called hell. Though God is loving and forgiving He is also Just, Holy, and righteous. He is loving, that is true, He is forgiving, but only on His terms not ours and that is through Jesus Christ whom He sent to be crucified and was resurrected back to life, God wants us to put our trust in Jesus alone for salvation from sin, death, and eternal punishment. Now there is much to say but I will pause here and continue later. I hope you enjoy my post and learn a lot from it, I am doing “my homework” in order to bring the truth out about the Jehovah’s witnesses and the truth of Almighty God. Hope you come to visit again. 🙂
 When it comes to studying the Holy Bible, we need to be careful not to use verses out of context. This means we need to keep in mind the context of a chapter, the context of the book you are reading in (i.e. Isaiah, Matthew) and the context of the entire Holy Bible. Using verses out of context is SIN towards God, because it is twisting His words around.
 Translated, Revised, and Enlarged by Joseph Henry Thayer, D. D. professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation in the Divinity School of Harvard University.