Denomination Differences

Jehovah's Witness vs. Eastern Orthodox Beliefs

Jehovah's WitnessEastern Orthodox
Number of Members8,687,000[1]210,000,000[2]
How does one get saved?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.Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, and be baptized.[3]
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?Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.[4]The unsaved, typically as infants, get baptized as the first sacrament of Christian initiation, cleansing them of all sins.
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by immersion.[4]Baptism should be by triple immersion.
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?God's holy spirit is received after one prays for it, learns God's Word, and lives in line with it.[5][6]The Holy Spirit is received at chrismation, generally immediately after baptism.
What is the trinity?There is no Trinity. Jesus is God's first creation, and the Holy Spirit is not a person.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.
What is the human nature?Human nature is corrupt and naturally inclined to evil.Human nature is intrinsically good but is wounded and incapable of choosing God in our fallen environment.[7][8]
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?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.No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, nor did we inherit a sinful nature from him, but we did inherit the consequences.[9]
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.Yes, Christian perfection is possible.
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.[10]Metousiosis: Yes, the bread and the wine change in essence into the body and blood of Christ.
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?Death itself is the full and complete punishment for sin.[11]There is no purgatory, but Christians will continue in theosis after death.[12]
Did Mary ever sin?Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.Mary was prone to sin like anyone else, but no, through her own free will she still never did.
What spiritual gifts are available today?Continuationism: All spiritual gifts are still available to believers.
What is the gift of tongues?Speaking in tongues is sometimes unintelligible and sometimes foreign human languages.[13][14]
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.Priests must be men over 30 ordained by bishops.
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has two ordinances: Baptism and Holy Communion.[10][15]The church has seven sacraments: Baptism, Chrism, Holy Eucharist, Confession, Ordination, Marriage, and Holy Unction.[16]
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.[17]Confession should be made to God before a priest.[18]
How should a church be structured?Episcopal: Churches should be governed by the bishop in that episcopacy, who in turn is governed by a patriarch of an autocephalous church. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is first among equals.
What day of the week should Christians worship?Jehovah's Witnesses meet on any two days of the week.Christians worship on Sunday.
How does God's revelation come to us today?The Bible, as interpreted by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, is the only infallible source of God's revelation.Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition have equal authority and comprise one finished deposit of faith.
How many books are in the Bible?There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.[19]There are 76 canonical books of the Bible: 39 protocanonical books, 10 deuterocanonical books, and 27 New Testament books.
Who can speak with God's authority today?The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is God's "faithful and discreet slave" and "spokesman", although it does so imperfectly.The church as a whole speaks with God's authority at ecumenical councils.
How was the earth created?The earth was formed by gravity pulling dust together, which ultimately came from the Big Bang.[20]
What is marriage?Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.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.[21]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.
When is divorce permissible?Divorce is only permissible for adultery.[22]Divorce is permissible for adultery, abuse, or abandonment.[23][24]
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.[25]Yes, a Christian may remarry a second or third time for human weakness.[24]
When does a fetus become human?Humanity begins at conception.[26]Humanity begins at conception.[27]
Is contraception permissible?Yes, contraceptives are permissible.[28]Most believe that yes, contraceptives are permissible.[29][30]
Are blood transfusions permissible?No, blood transfusions are not permissible.[31]Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.
Should women cover their heads?Women should cover their heads when praying or teaching when a man normally would.[32][33]Varies widely
Should Christians drink alcohol?Yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.[34]Yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.
Should Christians fight in wars?No, Christians should never fight.[35]Yes, Christians can fight in just wars.[36][37][38]
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?God's holy spirit comes from God alone.The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone.
Do icons glorify God?Yes, icons are holy and should be venerated.[39]
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?After death, one's existence ceases until and unless God resurrects him.[40]After death, souls sit conscious in an Intermediate State, with a foretaste of heaven for Christians.[41]