Denomination Differences

Church of Christ vs. Jehovah's Witness Beliefs

Church of ChristJehovah's Witness
Number of Members2,000,0008,687,000[1]
How does one get saved?Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, and be baptized.Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection to save you, be baptized, and do good works for the rest of your life. The 144,000 most faithful Christians will go to heaven; the rest will live on earth.
Who gets saved?Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.
Can one lose his salvation?Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.
Who gets baptized and why?The believing but unsaved get baptized as part of their salvation.Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.[2]
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by immersion.Baptism should be by immersion.[2]
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?The Holy Spirit is received at baptism.God's holy spirit is received after one prays for it, learns God's Word, and lives in line with it.[3][4]
What is the trinity?The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.There is no Trinity. Jesus is God's first creation, and the Holy Spirit is not a person.
What is the human nature?Most believe human nature tends to sin, but it's not depraved.Human nature is corrupt and naturally inclined to evil.
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, nor did we inherit a sinful nature from him, but we did inherit the consequences.[5][6][7][8]No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.
Are Christians required to keep the Old Testament ceremonial laws?No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.
Can Christians become sinless in this earthly life?No, although Christians can and should sin less, they can never become sinless in this life.
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.[9]
Can one be baptized of behalf of someone who has died?No, the dead cannot be baptized.No, the dead cannot be baptized.
What happens if a saved person dies without being perfect?Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.Death itself is the full and complete punishment for sin.[10]
Did Mary ever sin?Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.
What spiritual gifts are available today?Cessationism: Spiritual gifts used for serving are available today, while gifts used as signs have ceased.[11]
What are the requirements for clergy?No clergy is employed. All members are ministers, but only men who have been ministerial servants may be elders.
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has two ordinances: Baptism and Holy Communion.[12]The church has two ordinances: Baptism and Holy Communion.[9][13]
To whom do Christians need to confess their sins?Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.[14]Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.[15]
How should a church be structured?Congregationalist: Every church congregation should be independent and governed by its members.
What day of the week should Christians worship?Christians worship on Sunday.Jehovah's Witnesses meet on any two days of the week.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Sola scriptura: The Bible is the only infallible source of God's revelation, sufficient for all faith and practice.The Bible, as interpreted by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, is the only infallible source of God's revelation.
How was the Bible written?Verbal plenary inspiration: The Bible was written by men who had every word supernaturaly inspired by God.
How many books are in the Bible?There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.[16]
Is the Bible inerrant?Yes, the Bible was written without any error.
Who can speak with God's authority today?Nobody today can speak for God.The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is God's "faithful and discreet slave" and "spokesman", although it does so imperfectly.
How was the earth created?The earth was formed by gravity pulling dust together, which ultimately came from the Big Bang.[17]
What is marriage?Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[18][19]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.
Is sex permissible outside marriage?No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[20][21]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[22]
When is divorce permissible?Most believe divorce is only permissible for adultery.[23][24]Divorce is only permissible for adultery.[25]
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?Yes, a Christian may remarry after divorce if the divorce was for a valid reason.[26]
When does a fetus become human?Humanity begins at conception.Humanity begins at conception.[27]
Is contraception permissible?Yes, contraceptives are permissible.Yes, contraceptives are permissible.[28]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.No, blood transfusions are not permissible.[29]
Should women cover their heads?Most believe no, women's long hair is enough of a covering.Women should cover their heads when praying or teaching when a man normally would.[30][31]
Should Christians drink alcohol?Most believe no, alcohol should be totally avoided.Yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.[32]
Should Christians fight in wars?No, Christians should never fight.[33]
How should Christians musically worship God?Worship should be a cappella.
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?God's holy spirit comes from God alone.
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?Christians immediately go to heaven when they die.After death, one's existence ceases until and unless God resurrects him.[34]