A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii. Rutherford's reasoning was that these buildings would be used for "preaching the good news of the Kingdom". Jehovah's Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of Bible instruction. Witnesses prefer the term "Kingdom Hall" over "church", noting that the term translated "church" in the Bible refers to the congregation of people rather than a structure. Kingdom Halls are modest, functional structures with practicality in mind; as Witnesses do not use religious symbols, such are not displayed in Kingdom Halls. An annual yeartext, or "theme scripture", the same for all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, is prominently displayed in each Kingdom Hall; this text can be displayed in several languages if the Hall is used by foreign language congregations. A Kingdom Hall has a library, contribution boxes, a literature counter, where publications are displayed and dispensed.
Some Kingdom Halls have multiple auditoriums to allow more than one congregation to conduct meetings simultaneously. Where there is more than one auditorium, each auditorium or the entire structure may be referred to as "a Kingdom Hall". Larger Assembly Halls or Convention Centers of Jehovah's Witnesses, or any rented arena or stadium used for larger gatherings of Jehovah's Witnesses are regarded'as a large Kingdom Hall'. Congregations meet in their Kingdom Halls two days each week for worship. Meetings open and close with song and prayer. Meetings held in the Kingdom Hall include Bible readings and public talks on matters such as the Bible, family life, Christian qualities and prophecy. There are discussions of specially prepared study articles in The Watchtower magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses. Witnesses meet in Kingdom Halls for preparation and prayer before engaging in their door-to-door ministry. Kingdom Halls may be used to teach sign language or other foreign language classes.
Kingdom Halls are used for sessions developed for particular areas of service, such as the Pioneer Service School for full-time preachers, the Kingdom Ministry School for elders and ministerial servants. In areas where the literacy rate is low, congregations may arrange to use Kingdom Halls to conduct literacy classes, which non-Witnesses may attend. Kingdom Halls may be used for wedding ceremonies of Witness-baptized couples. A couple sends a request in writing to the congregation's "service committee", which assesses whether the couple is "in good standing, living in harmony with Bible principles and Jehovah’s righteous standards" and that they approve of the members of the couple's wedding party. Jehovah's Witnesses attach no special significance to a Kingdom Hall wedding over a secular service, Witness couples may choose to be married elsewhere for personal or practical reasons. Kingdom Halls are not used for other social events. Funeral services may be held in a Kingdom Hall if the body of elders considers that "the deceased had a clean reputation and was a member of the congregation or the minor child of a member".
The family of the deceased may ask any respected male member of the congregation to conduct the service, which involves a simple Bible-based discourse. Depending on family preference and local custom, a Kingdom Hall funeral may or may not have the casketed deceased present. Disaster relief efforts of Jehovah's Witnesses are channeled through permanent local Disaster Relief Committees under the various branch offices, are staged at Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls as close as practical to the disaster area; the construction crews of Kingdom Halls and larger Assembly Halls consist of volunteering Jehovah's Witnesses, sometimes from other countries, who have been pre-approved for work on construction sites. In many countries, a number of standard designs for construction are used that can be built in just a few days; the act of constructing a Kingdom Hall in this manner is called a quick-build, although the preparation work involving the structural foundation and surrounding surface may take several weeks prior to the scheduled build.
For various reasons, not all Kingdom Halls are constructed as quick-builds or using the standard designs. There is however, a noticeably dominant architectural style of the Kingdom Hall, used based on standardized design concepts and models, depending on needs. A Kingdom Hall or Assembly Hall may be created by renovating an existing structure, such as a theater or non-Witness house of worship. In areas of repeated or reputed vandalism in cities, some Kingdom Halls are built without windows to reduce the risk of property damage. In 2015, it was announced to elders in the United States that new Kingdom Halls worldwide would all be based on one of three similar design plans, depending on the required size. Jehovah's Witnesses' branch offices appoint local Regional Building Committees to oversee the construction and maintenance of their places of worship; the objective of such committees, which consist of five to seven persons with experience in the construction trades, is to coordinate the efforts of those involved so as to provide attractive and functional facilities that are financially viable.
RBCs cooperate with local congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses seeking to build or renovate a place of worship, under the direction of the local branch office. Committees help in assess
Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs
The beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of Charles Taze Russell—founder of the Bible Student movement—and successive presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, Nathan Homer Knorr. Since 1976 all doctrinal decisions have been made by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders at the denomination's headquarters; these teachings are disseminated through The Watchtower magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses, at conventions and congregation meetings. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the present world order, which they perceive as being under the control of Satan, will be ended by a direct intervention of Jehovah, who will use Jesus Christ to establish his heavenly government over earth, destroying existing human governments and non-Witnesses, creating a cleansed society of true worshippers who can live forever, they see their mission as evangelical, to warn as many people as possible in the remaining time before Armageddon.
All members of the denomination are expected to take an active part in preaching. Witnesses refer to all their beliefs collectively as "the Truth". Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses are established by their Governing Body, which Witnesses are taught Jesus uses as a channel for God's progressive revelations and to direct Christians on biblical matters; until late 2012, the Governing Body described itself as the representative and "spokesman" for God's "faithful and discreet slave class". The Governing Body seeks neither advice nor approval from any "anointed" Witnesses other than high-ranking members at the Brooklyn headquarters. At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Watch Tower Society, the "faithful and discreet slave" was defined as referring to the Governing Body only. Jehovah's Witnesses are directed to welcome doctrinal changes, regarding such "adjustments" as "new light" or "new understanding" from God; the view is based on their interpretation of Proverbs 4:18, which they believe refers to a continuous progressive advancement in doctrinal knowledge and scriptural understanding for "righteous ones", with the holy spirit helping "responsible representatives of'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not understood".
Watch Tower literature has suggested such enlightenment results from the application of reason and study, the guidance of holy spirit, direction from Jesus Christ and angels, the Governing Body disclaims infallibility and divine inspiration. Robert Crompton, author of a book on Watch Tower eschatology, has noted that it is difficult to trace the development of doctrines because explicit changes are not identified in Jehovah's Witness literature, leaving readers to assume which details have been superseded; the leadership makes no provision for members to criticize or contribute to official teachings and all Witnesses are expected to abide by the doctrines and organizational requirements as determined by the Governing Body. Watch Tower Society publications discourage Witnesses from formulating doctrines and "private ideas" reached through independent Bible research. Members who promote developed teachings contrary to those of the Governing Body may be expelled and shunned. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God uses an organization both in heaven and on earth, that Jehovah's Witnesses, under the direction of their Governing Body, are the only visible channel by which God communicates with humanity.
The organization is said to be theocratic, "ruled from the divine Top down, not from the rank and file up". Witnesses teach that people must choose between God’s organization and Satan’s. Watch Tower publications teach that the Bible is an "organizational book" that does not belong to individuals and that the Bible cannot be properly understood without guidance by "Jehovah's visible organization". Witnesses undergoing baptism are required to publicly confirm that they are associating themselves "with God's spirit-directed organization", thereby submitting themselves to its direction and judicial system. Watch Tower Society publications urge Witnesses to demonstrate loyalty to the organization without dissent at the cost of family ties. Loyalty to the organization is said to require full involvement in public preaching and regular meeting attendance. Disagreement with the Watch Tower Society's concept of God's organization figured prominently in events that led to a 1980 purge of high-level members at the group's Brooklyn headquarters.
A summary by a Governing Body committee of "wrong teachings" being promoted as "new understandings" included the suggestion that God did not have an organization on earth. Former Governing Body member Raymond Franz, expelled as part of the purge, subsequently criticized the Watch Tower concept of organization, claiming the concept—which posits that God does not deal with individuals apart from an organization—has no scriptural support and serves only to reinforce the group's authority structure, with its strong emphasis on human authority, he claimed that The Watchtower has blurred discussions of both Jesus Christ's loyalty to God and the apostles' loyalty to Christ to promote the view that Witnesses should be loyal to the Watch Tower Society. Sociologist Andrew Holden has observed that Witnesses see no distinction between loyalty to Jehovah and to the movement itself, other researchers have claimed that challenging the views of those higher up the hierarchical ladder is regarded as tantamount to challenging God himself.
Witnesses believe that after the death of the apostles, the Church embarked on a "Great Apostasy", diverging from the original teachings of Jesus on several major points. Influenced by Res
Jehovah's Witnesses publications
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society produces a significant amount of printed and electronic literature for use by Jehovah's Witnesses. Their best known publications are the magazines, The Watchtower and Awake! The Watchtower was first published by Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student movement, in 1879, followed by the inception of the Watch Tower Society in 1881. Supporters adopted the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931. Since 2001, when referring to other Watch Tower Society publications their literature has stated that it is "published by Jehovah's Witnesses", though the edition notice identifies the publisher as the Watch Tower Society. Along with books and brochures, other media are produced, including CDs, MP3s and DVDs, Internet downloads and video streaming. New publications are released at Jehovah's Witnesses' annual conventions. Most literature produced by Jehovah's Witnesses is intended for use in their evangelizing work. Publications for preaching are routinely studied by members, both and at their meetings for worship.
Their most distributed publications are: New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, a translation of the Bible published in whole or part in over 130 languages. This is the Bible translation used by Jehovah's Witnesses. Awake!, published in over 100 languages three times per year, a general-interest monthly magazine covering many topics from a religious perspective. The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, published in 240 languages monthly, focuses on doctrine; when interested individuals are encountered, Witnesses offer a home Bible study course, using a current publication, such as What Does the Bible Really Teach?, which outlines their primary beliefs and interpretations of the Bible. The Witness visits the student on a regular basis considering a chapter on each visit. Students are requested to examine the material prior to the arrival of the Bible study conductor, using the questions at the bottom of each page, to "help prepare the student for the Bible study". Jehovah's Witnesses customarily read each paragraph aloud together with the student, ask the question provided for that paragraph.
Students are encouraged to read the scriptures cited in the material. Bible students are expected to be making progress to become baptized as a Jehovah's Witness by the time the course is completed, may be asked to study a second publication, such as "Keep Yourselves in God's Love". Jehovah's Witnesses offered their literature for a price determined by the branch office in each country, to cover printing costs. Since 2000, Jehovah's Witnesses have offered their publications free of charge globally. Printing is funded by voluntary donations from members of the public. Jehovah's Witnesses accept donations if offered by householders, are instructed to invite donations in countries where soliciting funds is permitted; some publications, such as the hymnal Sing to Jehovah, The Watchtower Study Edition, the textbook Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education are for use by those who attend congregation meetings. Others, such as the organizational manual Organized to Do Jehovah's Will and Watchtower Library CD-ROM, are reserved for members.
Certain publications are limited to members in appointed positions, such as the manual for congregation elders, Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock. Some publications are distributed only to members, but may be supplied to other interested individuals on request or made available in public libraries; these include the biblical encyclopedia Insight on the Scriptures and Jehovah's Witnesses' official history book Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Many of these publications are available from their website in the Watchtower Online Library. In addition to Jehovah's Witnesses' distributed journals, various publications have received attention from the media and other commentators. Aid to Bible Understanding was the first doctrinal and biblical encyclopedia of Jehovah's Witnesses, published in full in 1971. Raymond Franz, a former member of the Governing Body who left the organization claimed to have been one of the researchers. Research for the book led to new interpretations of some concepts, providing a catalyst for changes in doctrine.
It was replaced in 1988 by Insight on the Scriptures, which contains much of the original content from Aid to Bible Understanding. Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?, first published in 1985, presents the Old Earth creationism of Jehovah's Witnesses, their criticism of evolution. Biologist Richard Dawkins criticized the book for presenting a choice between intelligent design and chance, rather than natural selection; the book was supplemented by the 1998 book, Is There a Creator Who Cares About You?, the 2010 brochures The Origin of Life—5 Questions Worth Asking and Was Life Created? The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life was a Bible study textbook published in 1968 and revised in 1981; the 1975 Guinness Book of Records included this book in its list of highest printings. According to the Watch Tower Society, by May 1987 publication had reached 106,486,735 copies in 116 languages. Jw.org - Download of publications of Jehovah's Witnesses and official website Watch Tower publications listed in Online library
Charles Taze Russell
Charles Taze Russell, or Pastor Russell, was an American Christian restorationist minister from Pittsburgh and founder of what is now known as the Bible Student movement. After his death, Jehovah's Witnesses and numerous independent Bible Student groups developed from this base. In July 1879, Russell began publishing a monthly religious journal, Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. In 1881 he co-founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society with William Henry Conley as president. Russell wrote many articles, tracts and sermons, totaling 50,000 printed pages. From 1886 to 1904, he published a six-volume Bible study series titled Millennial Dawn renamed Studies in the Scriptures, nearly 20 million copies of which were printed and distributed around the world in several languages during his lifetime; the Watch Tower Society ceased publication of Russell's writings in 1927, though his books are still published by several independent groups. After Russell's death, a crisis arose surrounding Rutherford's leadership of the society, culminating in a movement-wide schism.
As many as three-quarters of the 50,000 Bible Students, associating in 1917 had left by 1931. This shift resulted in the formation of several groups that retained variations on the name Bible Students; those who maintained fellowship with the Watch Tower Society adopted the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931, while those who severed ties with the Society formed their own groups including the Pastoral Bible Institute in 1918, the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement in 1919, the Dawn Bible Students Association in 1929. Charles Taze Russell was born to Scottish-Irish parents, immigrant Joseph Lytel Russell and Ann Eliza Birney, on February 16, 1852 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Russell was the second of five children, his mother died. The Russells lived for a time in Philadelphia before moving to Pittsburgh, where they became members of the Presbyterian Church; when Charles was in his early teens, his father made him partner of his Pittsburgh haberdashery store. By age twelve, Russell was writing business contracts for customers and given charge of some of his father's other clothing stores.
At age thirteen, Russell left the Presbyterian Church to join the Congregational Church. In his youth he was known to chalk Bible verses on fence boards and city sidewalks in an attempt to convert unbelievers. At age sixteen, a discussion with a childhood friend on faults perceived in Christianity led Russell to question his faith, he investigated various other religions, but concluded that they did not provide the answers he was seeking. In 1870, at age eighteen, he attended a presentation by Adventist minister Jonas Wendell. Russell said that, although he had not agreed with Wendell's arguments, the presentation had inspired him with a renewed zeal and belief that the Bible is the word of God. On March 13, 1879, Russell married Maria Frances Ackley after a few months' acquaintance; the couple separated in 1897. Russell blamed the marriage breakup on disagreements over Maria Russell's insistence on a greater editorial role in Zion's Watch Tower magazine. A court judgment noted that he had labelled the marriage "a mistake" three years before the dispute over her editorial ambitions had arisen.
Maria Russell filed a suit for legal separation in the Court of Common Pleas at Pittsburgh in June 1903 and three years filed for divorce under the claim of mental cruelty. She was granted a separation, with alimony, in 1908. Maria Russell died at the age of 88 in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 12, 1938 from complications related to Hodgkin's disease. Russell was a charismatic figure, but claimed no special revelation or vision for his teachings and no special authority on his own behalf, he stated that he did not seek to found a new denomination, but intended to gather together those who were seeking the truth of God's Word "during this harvest time". He wrote that the "clear unfolding of truth" within his teachings was due to "the simple fact that God's due time has come, he viewed himself—and all other Christians anointed with the Holy Spirit—as "God's mouthpiece" and an ambassador of Christ. In his career he accepted without protest that many Bible Students viewed him as the "faithful and wise servant" of Matthew 24:45.
After his death, the Watch Tower said that he had been made "ruler of all the Lord's goods". About 1870, Russell and his father established a group with a number of acquaintances to undertake an analytical study of the Bible and the origins of Christian doctrine and tradition; the group influenced by the writings of Millerite Adventist ministers George Storrs and George Stetson, who were frequent attendees, concluded that many of the primary doctrines of the established churches, including the Trinity and inherent immortality of the soul, were not substantiated by the scriptures. Around January 1876 Russell received a copy of Nelson Barbour's Herald of the Morning in the mail. Barbour was publisher. Russell telegraphed Barbour to set up a meeting. Barbour and John Henry Paton visited in Allegheny in March 1876 at Russell's expense so that he could hear their arguments, compare the co
Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses
The eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. They believe that Jesus Christ has been ruling in heaven as king since 1914, that after that time a period of cleansing occurred, resulting in God's selection of the Bible Students associated with Charles Taze Russell to be his people in 1919, they believe the destruction of those who reject their message and thus willfully refuse to obey God will shortly take place at Armageddon, ensuring that the beginning of the new earthly society will be composed of willing subjects of that kingdom. The group's doctrines surrounding 1914 are the legacy of a series of emphatic claims regarding the years 1799, 1874, 1878, 1914, 1918 and 1925 made in the Watch Tower Society's publications between 1879 and 1924. Claims about the significance of those years, including the presence of Jesus Christ, the beginning of the "last days", the destruction of worldly governments and the earthly resurrection of Jewish patriarchs, were successively abandoned.
In 1922 the society's principal journal, Watch Tower, described its chronology as "no stronger than its weakest link", but claimed the chronological relationships to be "of divine origin and divinely corroborated...in a class by itself and unqualifiedly correct" and "indisputable facts", while repudiation of Russell's teachings was described as "equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord". The Watch Tower Society has stated that its early leaders promoted "incomplete inaccurate concepts"; the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses says that, unlike Old Testament prophets, its interpretations of the Bible are not inspired or infallible. Witness publications say that Bible prophecies can be understood only after their fulfillment, citing examples of biblical figures who did not understand the meaning of prophecies they received. Watch Tower publications cite Proverbs 4:18, "The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light, getting lighter and lighter until the day is established" to support their view that there would be an increase in knowledge during "the time of the end", as mentioned in Daniel 12:4.
Jehovah's Witnesses state. Watch Tower publications say that unfulfilled expectations are due to eagerness for God's Kingdom and that they do not call their core beliefs into question. Jehovah's Witnesses teach the imminent end of the current world society, or "system of things" by God's judgment, leading to deliverance for the saved; this judgment will begin with false religion, which they identify as the "harlot", Babylon the Great, referred to in the Book of Revelation. They apply this designation to all other religions, they do not place their expectations on any specific date, but believe that various events will lead up to the end of this "system of things", culminating in Armageddon. Armageddon is understood to include the destruction of all earthly governments by God. After Armageddon, God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, they believe that after Armageddon, based on scriptures such as John 5:28, 29, the dead will be resurrected to a "day of judgment" lasting for a thousand years.
This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection, not on past deeds. At the end of the thousand years a final test will take place when Satan is brought back to mislead perfect mankind; the end result will be a tested, glorified human race. Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jesus Christ returned invisibly and began to rule in heaven as king in October 1914, they state that the beginning of Christ's heavenly rule would seem worse for mankind because it starts with the casting out of Satan from heaven to the earth, which according to Revelation 12, would bring a brief period of "woe" to mankind. This woe will be reversed when Christ comes to destroy Satan's earthly organization, throwing Satan into the abyss and extending God's kingdom rule over the earth, over which Jesus reigns as God's appointed king, they believe the Greek word parousia is more understood as an extended invisible "presence", perceived only by a series of "signs". Witnesses base their beliefs about the significance of 1914 on the Watch Tower Society's interpretation of biblical chronology, hinged on their assertion that the Babylonian captivity and destruction of Jerusalem occurred in 607 BC.
From this, they conclude that Daniel chapter 4 prophesied a period of 2,520 years, from 607 BC until 1914. They equate this period with the "Gentile Times" or "the appointed times of the nations," a phrase taken from Luke 21:24, they believe that when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the line of kings descended from David was interrupted, that God's throne was "trampled on" from until Jesus began ruling in October 1914. Secular historians date the event of Jerusalem's destruction to within a year of 587 BC; the Witnesses' alternative chronology produces a 20-year gap between the reigns of Neo-Babylonian Kings Amel-Marduk and Nabonidus in addition to the intervening reigns of Neriglissar and Labashi-Marduk, despite the availability of contiguous cuneiform records. They teach that after the war of Armageddon, Jesus will rule over earth as king for 1000 years after which he will hand all authority back to Jehovah. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that since October 1914, humanity has been living in a period of intense increased trouble known as "the last days", marked by war, famine, a progressive degeneration of morality.
They believe their preaching is part of the sign alluding to the text of Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all
Private schools known to many as independent schools, non-governmental funded, or non-state schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments. Children who attend private schools may be there because they are dissatisfied with public schools in their area, they may be selected for their academic prowess, or prowess in other fields, or sometimes their religious background. Private schools retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students for tuition, rather than relying on mandatory taxation through public funding; some private schools are associated with a particular religion, such as Judaism, Roman Catholicism, or Lutheranism. For the past century one in 10 U. S families has chosen to enroll their children in private school. In the United Kingdom and several other Commonwealth countries including Australia and Canada, the use of the term is restricted to primary and secondary educational levels. Private education in North America covers the whole gamut of educational activity, ranging from pre-school to tertiary level institutions.
Annual tuition fees at K-12 schools range from nothing at so called'tuition-free' schools to more than $45,000 at several New England preparatory schools. The secondary level includes schools offering years 7 through 12 and year 13; this category includes university-preparatory schools or "prep schools", boarding schools and day schools. Tuition at private secondary schools varies from school to school and depends on many factors, including the location of the school, the willingness of parents to pay, peer tuitions and the school's financial endowment. High tuition, schools claim, is used to pay higher salaries for the best teachers and used to provide enriched learning environments, including a low student-to-teacher ratio, small class sizes and services, such as libraries, science laboratories and computers; some private schools are boarding schools and many military academies are owned or operated as well. Religiously affiliated and denominational schools form a subcategory of private schools.
Some such schools teach religious education, together with the usual academic subjects to impress their particular faith's beliefs and traditions in the students who attend. Others use the denomination as more of a general label to describe on what the founders based their belief, while still maintaining a fine distinction between academics and religion, they include parochial schools, a term, used to denote Roman Catholic schools. Other religious groups represented in the K–12 private education sector include Protestants, Jews and the Orthodox Christians. Many educational alternatives, such as independent schools, are privately financed. Private schools avoid some state regulations, although in the name of educational quality, most comply with regulations relating to the educational content of classes. Religious private schools simply add religious instruction to the courses provided by local public schools. Special assistance schools aim to improve the lives of their students by providing services tailored to specific needs of individual students.
Such schools include tutoring schools to assist the learning of handicapped children. Private schools are one of three types of school in Australia, the other two being government schools and religious. Whilst private schools are sometimes considered "public" schools, the term "public school" is synonymous with a government school. Private schools in Australia may be favored for many reasons: prestige and the social status of the "old school tie"; some schools offer the removal of the purported distractions of co-education. Student uniforms for Australian private schools are stricter and more formal than in government schools – for example, a compulsory blazer. Private schools in Australia are always more expensive than their public counterpartsThere are two main categories of private schools in Australia: Catholic schools and Independent schools. Catholic schools form the second largest sector after government schools, with around 21% of secondary enrollments. Most Australian Catholic schools belong to a system, like government schools, are co-educational and attempt to provide Catholic education evenly across the states.
These schools are known as "systemic". Systemic Catholic schools are funded by state and federal government and have low fees. Catholic schools, both systemic and independent have a strong religious focus, most of their staff and students will be Catholic. Independent schools make up the last sector and are the most popular form of schooling for boarding students. Independent schools are non-government institutions that are not part of a system. Although most are non-aligned, some of the best known independent schools belong to the large, long-established religious foundations, such as the Anglican Church, Uniting Church and Pres
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is a translation of the Bible published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The New Testament portion was released in 1950, as The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, with the complete Bible released in 1961. Though it is not the first Bible to be published by the group, it is their first original translation of ancient Classical Hebrew, Koine Greek, Old Aramaic biblical texts; as of September 2018, the Watch Tower Society has published more than 220 million copies of the New World Translation in whole or in part in 179 languages. Until the release of the New World Translation, Jehovah's Witnesses in English-speaking countries used the King James Version. According to the publishers, one of the main reasons for producing a new translation was that most Bible versions in common use, including the Authorized Version, employed archaic language; the stated intention was to produce free of archaisms. Additionally, over the centuries since the King James Version was produced, more copies of earlier manuscripts of the original texts in the Hebrew and Greek languages have become available.
According to the publishers, better manuscript evidence had made it possible to determine with greater accuracy what the original writers intended in more obscure passages. They said linguists better understood certain aspects of the original Hebrew and Greek languages than previously. In October 1946, the president of the Watch Tower Society, Nathan H. Knorr, proposed a fresh translation of the New Testament, which Jehovah's Witnesses refer to as the Christian Greek Scriptures. Work began on December 2, 1947 when the "New World Bible Translation Committee" was formed, composed of Jehovah's Witnesses who professed to be anointed; the Watch Tower Society is said to have "become aware" of the committee's existence a year later. The committee agreed to turn over its translation to the Society for publication and on September 3, 1949, Knorr convened a joint meeting of the board of directors of both the Watch Tower Society's New York and Pennsylvania corporations where he again announced to the directors the existence of the committee and that it was now able to print its new modern English translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures.
Several chapters of the translation were read to the directors, who voted to accept it as a gift. The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was released at a convention of Jehovah's Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York, on August 2, 1950; the translation of the Old Testament, which Jehovah's Witnesses refer to as the Hebrew Scriptures, was released in five volumes in 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1960. The complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released as a single volume in 1961, has since undergone minor revisions. Cross references which had appeared in the six separate volumes were updated and included in the complete volume in the 1984 revision. In 1961 the Watch Tower Society began to translate the New World Translation into Dutch, German, Italian and Spanish. By 1989 the New World Translation was translated into eleven languages, with more than 56,000,000 copies printed; the New World Translation was produced by the New World Bible Translation Committee, formed in 1947.
This committee is said to have comprised unnamed members of multinational background. The committee requested that the Watch Tower Society not publish the names of its members, stating that they did not want to "advertise themselves but let all the glory go to the Author of the Scriptures, God," adding that the translation, "should direct the reader... to... Jehovah God"; the publishers believe that "the particulars of university or other educational training are not the important thing" and that "the translation testifies to their qualification". Former high-ranking Watch Tower staff have identified various members of the translation team. Former governing body member Raymond Franz listed Nathan H. Knorr, Fredrick W. Franz, Albert D. Schroeder, George D. Gangas, Milton G. Henschel as members of the translation team, adding that only Frederick Franz had sufficient knowledge in biblical languages. Referring to the identified members, evangelical minister Walter Ralston Martin said, "The New World Bible translation committee had no known translators with recognized degrees in Greek or Hebrew exegesis or translation...
None of these men had any university education except Franz, who left school after two years, never completing an undergraduate degree." Franz had stated that he was familiar with not only Hebrew, but with Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and French for the purpose of biblical translation. In 1989 a Translation Services Department was established at the world headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses, overseen by the Writing Committee of the Governing Body; the goal of the Translation Services Department was to accelerate Bible translation with the aid of computer technology. Some Bible translation projects lasted twenty years or more. Under the direction of the Translation Services Department, translation of the Old Testament in a particular language may be completed in as little as two years. During the period from 1963 to 1989, the New World Translation became available in ten additional languages. Since the formation of the Translation Services Department in 1989, there has been a significant increase in the number of languages in which the New World Translation has been made available.
At the Watch Tower Society's annual meeting on October 5, 2013, a sig