The tetragrammaton, יהוה in Hebrew and YHWH in Latin script, is the four-letter biblical name of the God of Israel. The books of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible contain this Hebrew name. Religiously observant Jews and those who follow Talmudic Jewish traditions do not pronounce יהוה, nor do they read aloud transliterated forms such as Yahweh. Common substitutions for Hebrew forms are hakadosh baruch hu, HaShem; the letters, properly read from right to left, are: The letters. In unpointed Biblical Hebrew, most vowels are not written and the rest are written only ambiguously, as certain consonants can double as vowel markers; these are referred to as matres lectionis. Therefore, in general, it is difficult to deduce how a word is pronounced only from its spelling, the tetragrammaton is a particular example: two of its letters can serve as vowels, two are vocalic place-holders, which are not pronounced; the original consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible was, several centuries provided with vowel marks by the Masoretes to assist reading.
In places that the consonants of the text to be read differed from the consonants of the written text, they wrote the qere in the margin as a note showing what was to be read. In such a case the vowels of the qere were written on the ketiv. For a few frequent words, the marginal note was omitted: these are called qere perpetuum. One of the frequent cases was the tetragrammaton, which according to Jewish practices should not be pronounced but read as "Adonai", or, if the previous or next word was Adonai, as "Elohim"; the combination produces יְהֹוָה and יֱהֹוה non-words that would spell "Yehovah" and "Yehovih" respectively. The oldest complete or nearly complete manuscripts of the Masoretic Text with Tiberian vocalisation, such as the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex, both of the 10th or 11th century write יְהוָה, with no pointing on the first h, it could be because the o diacritic point plays no useful role in distinguishing between Adonai and Elohim and so is redundant, or it could point to the qere being Shema, Aramaic for "the Name".
The Hebrew scholar Wilhelm Gesenius suggested that the Hebrew punctuation יַהְוֶה, transliterated into English as Yahweh, might more represent the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton than the Masoretic punctuation "יְהֹוָה", from which the English name Jehovah has been derived. His proposal to read YHWH as "יַהְוֶה" was based in large part on various Greek transcriptions, such as ιαβε, dating from the first centuries CE but on the forms of theophoric names. In his Hebrew Dictionary, Gesenius supports Yahweh because of the Samaritan pronunciation Ιαβε reported by Theodoret, because the theophoric name prefixes YHW and YW, the theophoric name suffixes YHW and YH, the abbreviated form YH can be derived from the form Yahweh. Gesenius's proposal to read YHWH as יַהְוֶה is accepted as the best scholarly reconstructed vocalised Hebrew spelling of the tetragrammaton. An image on the piece of pottery found at Kuntillet Ajrud is adjacent to a Hebrew inscription "Berakhti etkhem l’YHVH Shomron ul’Asherato" dated around 800 BCE, on the walls of the second tomb on the southern slope of the Khirbet el-Qom hill, on the seal from the collections of the Harvard Semitic Museum, on ostracons from the collections of Shlomo Moussaieff, on silver rolls from Ketef Hinnom, on inscriptions in the tombs of Khirbet Beit Lei, on ostracons from Tel Arad, on the Lachish letters and on a stone from Mount Gerizim.
The Elephantine papyri, on which the jhw form appears, with the form of jhh are found on Elephantine. One time jh appears, but it was a form of jhw in which the final letter in disappeared. In eight cases, the tetragram occurs in the formula of the oath: "God's jhh". God's name appears in the Greek magical texts, the formation of, established between the second century BCE to CE, it takes the following forms: Ieoa, Iaoai, Ioa, Iaeo, Ieou, Iabas, Iabe, Iaon. God's name in the form of Ἰαῶ appears in: Diodorus Siculus, Marcus Terentius Varro according to the message of John the Lydian, Pedanius Dioscorides, Aelius Herodian, Hesychius of Alexandria. A form of the name appears on the following Egyptian inscriptions: on the list of Amenhotep III discovered in the Temple of Amon in Soleb and in its copy from the time of Ramesses II in West Amara, on the list of places in the temple of Ramesses III in Medinet Habu. Mesha Stele The oldest known inscription of the tetragrammaton dates to 840 BCE, on the Mesha Stele.
It bears the earliest certain extra-biblical reference to the Israelite God Yahweh. The most recent discovery of a tetragrammaton inscription, dating to the 6th century BCE, was found written in Hebrew on two silver scrolls recovered from Jerusalem. Magical papyri The spellings of the te
World English Bible
The World English Bible is a free updated revision of the American Standard Version. It is one of the few public domain, present-day English translations of the entire Bible, it is distributed to the public using electronic formats; the Bible was created by volunteers using the ASV as the base text as part of the ebible.org project through Rainbow Missions, Inc. a Colorado nonprofit corporation. The World English Bible claims to be one of the few English-language Bibles custom translated to be understood by most English-speakers worldwide, eliminating the need for data-processing based or computer operating system-specific internationalizations. Work on the World English Bible began in 1997 and it was first known as the American Standard Version 1997; the World English Bible project was started in order to produce a modern English Bible version, not copyrighted, does not use archaic English, is not translated into Basic English. The World English Bible follows the American Standard Version's decision to transliterate the Tetragrammaton, but uses "Yahweh" instead of "Jehovah" throughout the Old Testament.
The British and Messianic editions as well as the Apocryphal books and New Testament use the traditional forms. The translation includes the following Apocryphal books: Tobit Judith Additions to Esther Wisdom Ecclesiasticus Baruch Epistle of Jeremy Prayer of Azarias Susanna Bel and the Dragon I Maccabees II Maccabees 1 Esdras Prayer of Manasses Psalm 151 III Maccabees IV Maccabees 2 Esdras The work is based on the 1901 American Standard Version English translation, the Greek Majority Text, the Hebrew Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia with some minor adjustments made because of alternate readings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint; these alternate readings are ignored or restricted to the footnotes. The translation process included seven passes of proofreading for each book. An initial automated pass updated 1,000 archaic words and grammatical constructs; the first manual pass added quotation marks and other punctuation and compared the translation to the Greek and Hebrew texts in areas where significant textual variants or meanings were unclear.
Evangelical site GotQuestions.org praised the WEB for being "a modern and public domain English translation of the Bible" while criticising the translation's sentence structure as "not always in the most natural-sounding and free-flowing English". The site suggests the lack of physical print copies has made the translation difficult for widespread adoption by Christian communities; the Provident Planning web site uses the World English Bible because it is free of copyright restrictions and because the author considers it to be a good translation. The Bible Megasite review of the World English Bible says it is a good revision of the American Standard Version of 1901 into modern English, which corrects some textual issues with the ASV; the World English Bible is published in digital formats by a variety of publishers. American Standard Version New American Standard Bible Open English Bible Shem Qadosh Version World English Bible website World English Bible at Project Gutenberg Works by or about World English Bible at Internet Archive Works by World English Bible at LibriVox World Messianic Bible Also known as The Hebrew Names Version and World English Bible Messianic Edition At Grace-Centered Magazine: Searchable World English Bible Bibles on Myanmar Bible.com – In addition to the 17 translations for the languages of Myanmar, this site hosts the WEB, used for the online parallel translation pages.
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The New Testament in the Original Greek is a Greek-language version of the New Testament published in 1881. It is known as the Westcott and Hort text, after its editors Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort, it is a critical text, compiled from some of the oldest New Testament fragments and texts, discovered at the time. The two editors worked together for 28 years. Westcott and Hort state: " our belief that among the numerous unquestionably spurious readings of the New Testament there are no signs of deliberate falsification of the text for dogmatic purposes." They find that without orthographic differences, doubtful textual variants exist only in one sixtieth of the whole New Testament, with the substantial variations forming hardly more than one thousandth of the entire text. According to Hort, "Knowledge of Documents should precede Final Judgments upon Readings"; the two editors favoured two manuscripts: Sinaiticus. They believed that the combination of Codex Bezae with the Old Latin and the Old Syriac represents the original form of the New Testament text when it is shorter than other forms of the text, such as the majority of the Byzantine text-type.
In this they followed one of the primary principles of their fledgling textual criticism, lectio brevior, sometimes taken to an extreme, as in the theory of Western non-interpolations, which has since been rejected. Westcott and Hort distinguished four text types in their studies; the most recent is the Syrian, or Byzantine text-type, of which the newest example is the Textus Receptus and thus from the critical text view is less reliable. The Western text-type is much older, but tends to paraphrase, so according to the critical text view lacks dependability; the Alexandrian text-type, exemplified in the Codex Ephraemi, exhibits a polished Greek style. The two scholars identified their favorite text type as "Neutral text", exemplified by two 4th-century manuscripts, the Codex Vaticanus, the Codex Sinaiticus, both of which they relied on for this edition; this text has only a few changes of the original. This edition is based on the critical works of Tischendorf and Tregelles; the minuscules play a minimal role in this edition.
Westcott and Hort worked on their Testament from 1853 until its completion in 1881. It was followed by an Introduction and Appendix by Hort appearing in a second volume in 1882. In 1892, a revised edition was released by F. C. Burkitt; the edition of Westcott and Hort began a new epoch in the history of textual criticism. Most critical editions published after Westcott and Hort share their preference of the Alexandrian text-type and therefore are similar to The New Testament in the Original Greek. An exception is the text edited by Hermann von Soden. Soden's edition stands much closer to the text of Tischendorf than to the text of Hort. All editions of Nestle-Aland remain close in textual character to the text WH. Aland reports that, while NA25 text shows, for example, 2,047 differences from von Soden, 1,996 from Vogels, 1,268 from Tischendorf, 1,161 from Bover, 770 from Merk, it contains only 558 differences from WH text. According to Bruce M. Metzger, "the general validity of their critical principles and procedures is acknowledged by scholars today."
In 1981 Metzger said: “The international committee that produced the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, not only adopted the Westcott and Hort edition as its basic text, but followed their methodology in giving attention to both external and internal consideration”. Philip Comfort gave this opinion: The text produced by Westcott and Hort is still to this day with so many more manuscript discoveries, a close reproduction of the primitive text of the New Testament. Of course, I think they gave too much weight to Codex Vaticanus alone, this needs to be tempered; this criticism aside, the Westcott and Hort text is reliable. In many instances where I would disagree with the wording in the Nestle / UBS text in favor of a particular variant reading, I would check with the Westcott and Hort text and realize that they had come to the same decision. Of course, the manuscript discoveries of the past one hundred years have changed things, but it is remarkable how they have affirmed the decisions of Westcott and Hort.
The texts of Nestle-Aland, of Bover and Merk, differ little from the text of the Westcott-Hort. Editio Regia Novum Instrumentum omne Editio Octava Critica Maior Novum Testamentum Graece Bruce M. Metzger; the Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission and Restoration. Oxford University Press. Pp. 129–136. ISBN 0-19-507297-9. Palmer, Edwin Palmer, ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ; the Greek Testament with the Readings Adopted by the Revisers of the Authorised Version. London: Simon Wallenberg Press, 2007. ISBN 1-84356-023-2 EditionsThe New Testament In The Original Greek The New Testament in the original Greek: the text revised by Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort, Published by Macmillan, 1907; the New Testament In The Original Greek Sortable articlesBible Version Verse Comparison Charts Comparison of the Wescott/Hort text with other manuscript editions on the Manuscript Comparator
Jehovah is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible and one of the seven names of God in Judaism. The consensus among scholars is that the historical vocalization of the Tetragrammaton at the time of the redaction of the Torah is most Yahweh; the historical vocalization was lost because in Second Temple Judaism, during the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton came to be avoided, being substituted with Adonai. The Hebrew vowel points of Adonai were added to the Tetragrammaton by the Masoretes, the resulting form was transliterated around the 12th century as Yehowah; the derived forms Jehovah first appeared in the 16th century. "Jehovah" was popularized in the English-speaking world by William Tyndale and other pioneer English Protestant translations such as the Geneva Bible and the King James Version. It remains in use by the Watchtower Society translators of the New World Translation, appears in the still-popular translations of the American Standard Version and the Young's Literal Translation, but it does not appear in current mainstream English translations, some of which use Yahweh but most continue to use "Lord" or "LORD" to represent same.
Most scholars believe "Jehovah" to be a hybrid form derived by combining the Latin letters JHVH with the vowels of Adonai. Some hold that there is evidence that a form of the Tetragrammaton similar to Jehovah may have been in use in Semitic and Greek phonetic texts and artifacts from Late Antiquity. Others say that it is the pronunciation Yahweh, testified in both Christian and pagan texts of the early Christian era; some Karaite Jews, as proponents of the rendering Jehovah, state that although the original pronunciation of יהוה has been obscured by disuse of the spoken name according to oral Rabbinic law, well-established English transliterations of other Hebrew personal names are accepted in normal usage, such as Joshua, Isaiah or Jesus, for which the original pronunciations may be unknown. They point out that "the English form Jehovah is quite an Anglicized form of Yehovah," and preserves the four Hebrew consonants "YHVH"; some argue that Jehovah is preferable to Yahweh, based on their conclusion that the Tetragrammaton was tri-syllabic and that modern forms should therefore have three syllables.
Biblical scholar Francis B. Dennio, in an article he wrote, in the Journal of Biblical Literature, said: "Jehovah misrepresents Yahweh no more than Jeremiah misrepresents Yirmeyahu; the settled connotations of Isaiah and Jeremiah forbid questioning their right." Dennio argued that the form "Jehovah" is not a barbarism, but is the best English form available, being that it has for centuries gathered the necessary connotations and associations for valid use in English. According to a Jewish tradition developed during the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, the Tetragrammaton is written but not pronounced; when read, substitute terms replace the divine name. It is assumed, as proposed by the 19th-century Hebrew scholar Gesenius, that the vowels of the substitutes of the name—Adonai and Elohim —were inserted by the Masoretes to indicate that these substitutes were to be used; when יהוה precedes or follows Adonai, the Masoretes placed the vowel points of Elohim into the Tetragrammaton, producing a different vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יֱהֹוִה, read as Elohim.
Based on this reasoning, the form יְהֹוָה has been characterized by some as a "hybrid form", "a philological impossibility". Early modern translators disregarded the practice of reading Adonai in place of the Tetragrammaton and instead combined the four Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton with the vowel points that, except in synagogue scrolls, accompanied them, resulting in the form Jehovah; this form, which first took effect in works dated 1278 and 1303, was adopted in Tyndale's and some other Protestant translations of the Bible. In the 1560 Geneva Bible, the Tetragrammaton is translated as Jehovah six times, four as the proper name, two as place-names. In the 1611 King James Version, Jehovah occurred seven times. In the 1885 English Revised Version, the form Jehovah occurs twelve times. In the 1901 American Standard Version the form "Je-ho’vah" became the regular English rendering of the Hebrew יהוה, all throughout, in preference to the dominant "the LORD", used in the King James Version.
It is used in Christian hymns such as the 1771 hymn, "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". The most widespread theory is that the Hebrew term יְהֹוָה has the vowel points of אֲדֹנָי. Using the vowels of adonai, the composite hataf patah ֲ under the guttural alef א becomes a sheva ְ under the yod י, the holam ֹ is placed over the first he ה, the qamats ָ is placed under the vav ו, giving יְהֹוָה; when the two names, יהוה and אדני, occur together, the former is pointed with a hataf segol ֱ under the yod י and a hiriq ִ under the second he ה, giving יֱהֹוִה, to indicate that it is to be read as in order to avoid adonai being repeated. Taking the spellings at face value may have been as a result of not knowing about the Q're perpetuum, resulting in the transliteration Yehowah and derived variants. Emil G. Hirsch was among the modern scholars that recognized "Jehovah" to be "grammatically impossible". יְהֹוָה appears 6,518 times in the traditional Masoretic Text, in addition to 305 instances of יֱהֹוִה.
The pronunciation Jehovah is believed to have arisen throu
New American Standard Bible
The New American Standard Bible is an English translation of the Bible by the Lockman Foundation. The New Testament was first published in 1963, the complete Bible in 1971; the most recent edition of the NASB text was published in 1995. The NASB was published in the following stages: Gospel of John The Gospels New Testament Psalms Complete Bible and New Testaments Modified Editions Updated Edition In parallel with the Bible itself, the NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible was published in August 1997. For convenience, this Concordance uses the same word numbering system as Strong's Concordance; the New American Standard Bible is considered by some sources as the most translated of major 20th-century English Bible translations According to the NASB's preface, the translators had a "Fourfold Aim" in this work: These publications shall be true to the original Hebrew and Greek. They shall be grammatically correct, they shall be understandable. They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ the place which the Word gives Him.
The NASB is an original translation from the Hebrew and Greek texts, based on the same principles of translation, wording, as the American Standard Version of 1901. It offers an alternative to the Revised Standard Version, considered by some to be theologically liberal, to the 1929 revision of the ASV; the Hebrew text used for this translation was the third edition of Rudolf Kittel's Biblia Hebraica as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia was consulted for the 1995 revision. For Greek, Eberhard Nestle's Novum Testamentum Graece was used. Seeing the need for a literal, modern translation of the English Bible, the translators sought to produce a contemporary English Bible while maintaining a word-for-word translation style. In cases where word-for-word literalness was determined to be unacceptable for modern readers, changes were made in the direction of more current idioms. In some such instances, the more literal renderings were indicated in footnotes; the greatest strength of the NASB is its fidelity to the original languages.
Additionally, the NASB includes printing of verses as individual units In 1992, the Lockman Foundation commissioned a limited revision of the NASB. In 1995, the Lockman Foundation reissued the NASB text as the NASB Updated Edition. Since it has become known as the "NASB", supplanting the 1977 text in current printings, save for a few. In the updated NASB, consideration was given to the latest available manuscripts with an emphasis on determining the best Greek text; the 26th edition of Nestle-Aland's Novum Testamentum Graece is followed. The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia is employed together with the most recent light from lexicography, cognate languages, the Dead Sea Scrolls; the updated NASB represents recommended revisions and refinements, incorporates thorough research based on current English usage. Vocabulary and sentence structure were meticulously revised for greater understanding and smoother reading, hence increasing clarity and readability. Terms found in Elizabethan English such as "thy" and "thou" have been modernized, while verses with difficult word ordering are restructured.
Punctuation and paragraphing have been formatted for modernization, verbs with multiple meanings have been updated to better account for their contextual usage. YHWH is rendered LORD or GOD in capital letters in the NASB; the committee stated the reason as: "This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. Therefore it has been translated LORD; the only exception is. In that case it is translated GOD in order to avoid confusion, it is known that for many years YHWH has been transliterated as Yahweh, however no complete certainty attaches to this pronunciation." This is in direct contrast to the preface of ASV of 70 years earlier, where the committee explained that "the American Revisers...were brought to the unanimous conviction that a Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament." The translation work was done by a group of anonymous scholars sponsored by the Lockman Foundation.
According to the Lockman Foundation, the committee consisted of people from Christian institutions of higher learning and from evangelical Protestant, predominantly conservative, denominations. The foundation's Web site indicates that among the translators and consultants who contributed are Bible scholars with doctorates in biblical languages, theology, "or other advanced degrees", come from a variety of denominational backgrounds. More than 20 individuals worked on modernizing the NASB in accord with the most recent research. Marlowe, Michael D.. "New American Standard Bible". Retrieved March 19, 2005; the Lockman Foundation. "Preface to the New American Stan
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism. It is not the original text of the Hebrew Bible: Urtext has never been found, it was copied and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the 7th and 10th centuries of the Common Era. The oldest extant manuscripts date from around the 9th century; the Aleppo Codex dates from the 10th century. The Masoretic Text defines the Jewish canon and its precise letter-text, with its vocalization and accentuation known as the Masorah; the ancient Hebrew word mesorah broadly refers to the whole chain of Jewish tradition, claimed to be unchanged and infallible. Referring to the Masoretic Text, mesorah means the diacritic markings of the text of the Hebrew Scriptures and the concise marginal notes in manuscripts of the Tanakh which note textual details about the precise spelling of words. Modern scholars seeking to understand the history of the Tanakh’s text use a range of sources other than the Masoretic Text.
These include early Greek and Syriac translations, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Dead Sea Scrolls and quotations from rabbinic manuscripts. Most of these are older than the oldest surviving Masoretic text and contradict it. Which of the three known versions is closest to the original text is not determined.) The Dead Sea Scrolls have shown the Masoretic Text to be nearly identical in consonant text to some texts of the Tanakh dating from 200 but different from others. Although the consonants of the Masoretic Text differ little from the text accepted in the early 2nd century, it has many differences of both greater and lesser significance when compared to the manuscripts of the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, in popular use by Jews in Egypt and the Holy Land. A recent finding of a short Leviticus fragment, recovered from the ancient En-Gedi Scroll, carbon-dated to the 3rd or 4th century AD, is identical with the Masoretic Text; the Masoretic Text was used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles such as the King James Version and American Standard Version and for some versions of Catholic Bibles, replacing the Vulgate translation, although the Vulgate had itself been revised in light of the Masoretic text in the 1500s.
The Talmud and Karaite manuscripts state that a standard copy of the Hebrew Bible was kept in the court of the Temple in Jerusalem for the benefit of copyists. This copy is mentioned in the Letter of Aristeas, in the statements of Philo, in Josephus. A Talmudic story referring to an earlier time, relates that three Torah scrolls were found in the Temple court but were at variance with each other; the differences were resolved by majority decision among the three. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, dating from c. 150 BCE-75 CE, shows that in this period there was not the scrupulous uniformity of text, so stressed in centuries. According to Menachem Cohen, the Dead Sea scrolls decided these issues'by showing that there was indeed a Hebrew text-type on which the Septuagint-translation was based and which differed from the received MT'; the scrolls show numerous small variations in orthography, both as against the Masoretic text, between each other. It is evident from the notings of corrections and of variant alternatives that scribes felt free to choose according to their personal taste and discretion between different readings.
However, despite these variations, most of the Qumran fragments can be classified as being closer to the Masoretic text than to any other text group that has survived. According to Lawrence Schiffman, 60% can be classed as being of proto-Masoretic type, a further 20% Qumran style with bases in proto-Masoretic texts, compared to 5% proto-Samaritan type, 5% Septuagintal type, 10% non-aligned. Joseph Fitzmyer noted the following regarding the findings at Qumran Cave 4 in particular: "Such ancient recensional forms of Old Testament books bear witness to an unsuspected textual diversity that once existed. Thus, the differences in the Septuagint are no longer considered the result of a poor or tendentious attempt to translate the Hebrew into the Greek. On the other hand, some of the fragments conforming most to the Masoretic text were found in Cave 4. An emphasis on minute details of words and spellings used among the Pharisees as bases for argumentation, reached its height with the example of Rabbi Akiva.
The idea of a perfect text sanctified in its consonantal base spread throughout the Jewish communities via supportive statements in Halakha and Jewish thought. Few manuscripts are said to have survived
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The group reports a worldwide membership of 8.58 million adherents involved in evangelism and an annual Memorial attendance of over 20 million. Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Warwick, New York, which establishes all doctrines based on its interpretations of the Bible, they believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, that the establishment of God's kingdom over the earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity. The group emerged from the Bible Student movement founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell, who co-founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society in 1881 to organize and print the movement's publications. A leadership dispute after Russell's death resulted in several groups breaking away, with Joseph Franklin Rutherford retaining control of the Watch Tower Society and its properties.
Rutherford made significant organizational and doctrinal changes, including adoption of the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931 to distinguish them from other Bible Student groups and symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions. Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distributing literature such as The Watchtower and Awake!, refusing military service and blood transfusions. They consider the use of God's name vital for proper worship, they reject Trinitarianism, inherent immortality of the soul, hellfire, which they consider to be unscriptural doctrines. They do not observe Christmas, birthdays or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity, they prefer to use their own Bible translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, although their literature quotes and cites other Bible translations. Adherents refer to their body of beliefs as "The Truth" and consider themselves to be "in the Truth".
They consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan, most limit their social interaction with non-Witnesses. Congregational disciplinary actions include disfellowshipping, their term for formal expulsion and shunning. Baptized individuals who formally leave are considered disassociated and are shunned. Disfellowshipped and disassociated individuals may be reinstated if deemed repentant; the group's position regarding conscientious objection to military service and refusal to salute national flags has brought it into conflict with some governments. Some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted and their activities are banned or restricted in some countries. Persistent legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses have influenced legislation related to civil rights in several countries; the organization has received criticism regarding biblical translation and alleged coercion of its members. The Watch Tower Society has made various unfulfilled predictions about major biblical events such as Christ's Second Coming, the advent of God's Kingdom, Armageddon.
Their policies for handling cases of child sexual abuse have been the subject of various formal inquiries. In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed a group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to study the Bible. During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, the burning up of the world. In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; the book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874 inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that 1914 would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times," at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth. Beginning in 1878 Russell and Barbour jointly edited Herald of the Morning. In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, in July, Russell began publishing the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, stating that its purpose was to demonstrate that the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.
From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically. Thirty congregations were founded, during 1879 and 1880, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings. In 1881, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was presided over by William Henry Conley, in 1884, Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles. By about 1900, Russell had organized thousands of part- and full-time colporteurs, was appointing foreign missionaries and establishing branch offices. By the 1910s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred traveling preachers. Russell engaged in significant global publishing efforts during his ministry, by 1912, he was the most distributed Christian author in the United States. Russell moved the Watch Tower Society's headquarters to Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, combining printing and corporate offices with a house of worship, he identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the International Bible Students Association.
By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement and congregations r