How To Study the Bible with a Jehovah's Witness
This article is written by Hans Neser and is used with his permission.

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Studying with a Jehovah's Witness should be no different that studying with any well informed believer of God that you think is living by an incorrect doctrine.....

Mutual respect is critical, your friend is going to feel the same way about you and what you believe. You cannot go into a study with the attitude - I am right and you are wrong - this kind of arrogance will quickly bring about frustration, anger and resentment.

Prayer and worship
Start out your studies by having both of you pray for openness, honesty and direction. You are both there to worship God first and "convert" each other second - by a demonstration of your belief in action over a long period of time you can have a great impact.

Intellectual Honesty
It is important to come to an agreement between the parties that intellectual honesty will rule at all time - that all materials are open to be scrutinised for the source of their information and the qualifications of those sources to be able to give that information. If the person you are studying with is not open to an intellectual challenge and fully believe that all Watchtower information is divinely inspired then there is probably not a lot of hope - anytime someone deflects evidence with blind faith is not being intellectually honest.

New World Translation
The key to the Jehovah's Witness doctrines come from its 1950's translation of the bible - In scholarly circles it is known as a corrupt sectarian paraphrase - which means they have deliberately perverted the meaning of a lot of passages in the bible to suite their doctrine. With the NWT they have a case for building up their fanciful doctrine - without it it collapses. As a rule the Jehovah's Witness will not use anything except the NWT; they may consent to study from other passages but will not believe it - it is important to tackle intellectual honesty from the very outset and be open and discuss differences at the smallest level.

The NWT translation committee is kept a secret whereas every other major translation's is open to be scrutinised. Know your different Bible translations and why they differ - i.e. the KJV differs in a number of places because it used inferior manuscripts - as new and more accurate ones were unearthed newer and more accurate translations became available. Do not be afraid to get into the Greek! The Bible translations like the NIV, RSV etc all have excellent scholars for the translations of Greek that are used - This is where intellectual honesty comes into play and you will need to challenge the person you are studying with.

Do not be afraid or overwhelmed by the depth of material that a Jehovah's Witness will refer to or bring to a study, make sure that you give them the time and opportunity to present their beliefs, just as you will expect them to give you the same courtesy. Break each argument or doctrine down to the verses that support it in the NWT - look at these verses and then cross reference them in other translations and look to see where the differences are - this is time consuming and much patience is required.

Committed to Them
Do not try and convert someone overnight - if they are knowledgeable of Jehovah's doctrine then it will take time to bring them over. They have obviously studied hard, believed what has been taught to them and they deserve respect for that devotion. Build a friendship up and study a little bit at a time in a friendly manner. Do not leave God out of the picture - pray together, play sports, eat out etc. Be willing to go to a few of their activities - again mutual respect.

It is vitally important that you know what they believe and where it is flawed. To this end I have put together a selection of articles that would be well worth reading before you study with a Jehovah's Witness:

If you are not getting anywhere you need to agree to disagree and go separate ways.