The Bibles of the Jehovah’s Witnesses also contain many unacceptable changes to Biblical doctrine. One stark example of this is their doctrine on hell. They don’t believe in hell the same way that the Bible teaches, so they have altered its meaning in their Bibles. The Greek word for hell in the KJV is translated into Hades, grave, hellfire, underworld, or Gehenna in their Bibles. That is a wide range of different places they speak of to avoid the doctrine of hell.
Let’s look at this in action.
Luke 16:23: “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?“
We see in this verse that the lost people are in the same location as the saved saints. Abraham’s bosom is not up in heaven, where it is separate from hell. Hell has different compartments. When they talk about Hades or Sheol for saved people who went down, they are talking about a compartment there for saved people. Jesus did burn in hell for 3 days! There is a place for torment and a place of comfort. This verse shows that distinction clearly.
This is the doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They don’t believe in fire. They want to call it Hades (grave) instead of hell. This is also the error found in the NKJV and ESV.
Gehenna is known to be a trash heap on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where trash was burned. So by changing the wording to Gehenna, they are eliminating the doctrine of hellfire that they so strongly don’t believe in.
Mark 9:43: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.”
Here they use Gehenna for hell. If this is some trash heap on the outskirts of Jerusalem, how does this verse make sense? This is not burning up some trash! This verse talks about hellfire and everlasting flame!
Let’s look at another passage that replaces “hell” with “Gehenna” in the Bibles of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Matthew 23:15: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
This is another verse where it makes absolutely no sense for Gehenna to be a trash heap outside of Jerusalem. They are just desperately attempting to eliminate the doctrine of hellfire that they unfaithfully don’t believe in.
This kind of mistake shows why you should never try to “update” the King James Bible no matter how good your intentions are. Doctrines like this that support heresies like the Jehovah’s Witnesses can sprout up as a result of it. Even with the best of intentions, errors arise and spawn entire heretical versions of the faith because of it. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and their twisted doctrine are proof of how this can happen so easily.