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Glossary

I will preface these definitions with this statement: This is my understanding of these words as was taught to me when I was a practicing Jehovah's Witness. I have not been practicing for more than seven years and it is possible that terminology has changed.

"Apostasy"  is the abandonment of the religion in the opinion of the elders.  It usually happens when someone questions or doubts the doctrines of the religion and will not agree with the doctrines in question.

"Bad Association" and "non-believers" refers to people who are sinners (aren't we all?) and not Jehovah's Witnesses.  At times growing up, I was told my classmates were bad association.

"Disfellowshipped" is the excommunication of a baptized member of the congregation and is used when someone had been found guilty of a grievous sin and is determined by elders of the congregation to not be repentant.

"Elders" are the appointed overseers of each individual Christian congregation.

"Faithful and discreet slave" are those on earth who are of the anointed (144,000) with a heavenly hope.  The term is found in the parable Jesus told in Matthew 24:45-47.

"False Religion" refers to all religions, except Jehovah's Witnesses.  According to what is taught there is one "true religion" and Jehovah's Witnesses are it.

"Governing Body" is like a board of directors at the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society who makes decisions on the doctrines, teachings, rules, etc.  They are anywhere from 10-15 members of the Faithful and Discreet Slave.  They claim to be God's sole channel divinely directed by God.

"Kingdom Hall" is the place of worship for Jehovah's Witnesses.  They are careful not to call it a church.

"Ministerial Servants" are under the Elders in the congregation.

"NWT" refers to the new World Translation of the Holy Scriptures ©1961, 1981, 1984 Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania and International Bible Students Association.

"Paradise" is an earthly paradise.  Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God will restore the earth to his original purpose like that of Adam and Eve living in the Garden of Eden.  Here, humans and animals will live in peace with one another under God's Kingdom.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say "Paradise Earth" or "Paradise on Earth", rather it refers to paradise as a heavenly place or the Garden of Eden.

"Pioneers" are what Jehovah's Witnesses consider to be full-time witnesses, being in the ministry at least 70 hours per month.  Auxiliary pioneers are required to do 50 hours of ministry work per month, with the primary method of ministry being door-to-door witnessing.

"Privately reproved" is the private reproof of a baptized member for a grievous sin they generally have confessed to and no one else had known about.  They are determined to be repentant and are willing to turn around.

"Publicly reproved" is the public announcement from the stage to the congregation that a specific baptized member is being publicly reproved for a grievous sin they have been found guilty of and others usually know about it, but the individual has been determined to be repentant for the sin and is willing to turn around.

"Publisher" is either baptized or not baptized. They have decided to make a commitment to regularly go door-to-door, participate in other ministry work and turn in field service time reports every month.

"The Society" is the shortened phrase for "The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society", which is "the organization" that governs the Jehovah's Witness religion.

"The Truth" refers to Jehovah's Witnesses' religious teachings.

"The World" refers to anyone not one of Jehovah's Witnesses

"Time of the End" or "Last Days" is what Jehovah's Witnesses refer to 1914 onward, when they believe the conditions on earth described in Matthew 24:3-14 began and Jesus returned invisibly.