Comparison Charts

Compare Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestant Christianity

The following chart provides a quick-reference guide to the major similarities and differences between the beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses and mainstream Protestant Christianity. As is always the case with charts and summaries, the information is simplified for brevity and should be used alongside more complete explanations. The beliefs listed for both Witnesses and Protestant Christians represent those of most, but not all, churches or individuals within that tradition.

 Jehovah's WitnessesMainstream Christianity
religious authorityNew World Translation of the Scriptures; eldersBible (all), ecumenical councils and creeds (Catholic and Orthodox), papal decrees and canon law (Catholic), continuing revelations (Pentecostal)
textsNew World Translation of the ScripturesBible (Hebrew Bible + New Testament)
Godone God: JehovahOne God, who is a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; angels; demons; saints
Trinityrejected (only Jehovah is God; Son is God's first creation; Holy Spirit is God's active force)affirmed by most denominations
JesusSon of God, Word of God, God's first creation, Archangel MichaelSon of God, God incarnate, Word of God, Messiah, savior of the world
Holy SpiritGod's active force (impersonal)God; Third Person of the Trinity
results of the FallPhysical and spiritual death entered the worldphysical death, tendency to sin
free willfree to do good or evilfree will to do good is seriously impaired or non-existent (without grace)
purpose of Jesus' lifeteach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sinteach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin, reveal God directly to humanity
death of Jesuscrucifixion on an upright stake (no crossbar)normal death plus spiritual suffering
 Jehovah's WitnessesMainstream Christianity
resurrection of Jesusaffirmedaffirmed
salvationaccurate faith and good works ("learning about Jehovah and obeying his requirements")correct belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (Protestants emphasize faith alone)
second chance after deathyesno
afterlifeHeaven for 144,000 chosen Witnesses, eternity on new earth for other Witnesses. All others annihilated. No hell.Resurrection of body and soul; eternal heaven or hell (most denominations); temporary purgatory (Catholicism)
hellExists as a place of the dead (Jesus went there), but hellfire does not exist; idea was invented by Satan to turn people from Jehovah; unsaved souls are annihilatedaffirmed by most denominations as a place (or state of being) of eternal torment and distance from God
house of worshipKingdom Hallchurch, chapel, cathedral, basilica, meeting hall
doctrine of sacramentssymbolic acts commanded by Christsymbolic acts commanded by Christ (some Protestants); means of grace if received with faith (Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestants)
symbolswatchtower (cross rejected as a pagan symbol)Cross, dove, anchor, fish, alpha/omega, chi rho
holidaysMemorial of Christ's death, celebrated annually. All Christian or other religious-based holidays are rejected as unbiblical and pagan.Easter, Christmas, saints' days (some denominations)
politicsminimal involvementvaries by denomination; most encourage full involvement
 Jehovah's WitnessesMainstream Christianity
blood transfusionsrejectedaccepted

Article Info

Title Compare Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestant Christianity
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
MLA Citation “Compare Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestant Christianity.” 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 3 Dec. 2021. <>