Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jehovah's Witnesses and the God Family?

(Update September 29, 2014. The link has been updated.)

Herbert W. Armstrong taught that God is a family of divine beings presently composed of the Father and the Son and human beings can be born into this family and become fully God as God is God, though of a lower authority.

It is generally accepted that HWA plagiarized this doctrine from Mormonism which also teaches this pluralistic view of God and also believe that human beings can become God beings. I see no reason to believe otherwise.

But I am not sure what to make of this.

I was reading this page which contained this intriguing quote. The article is discussing some of the various doctrines taught by Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Watchtower Society, which are now no longer believed by the followers of the Watchtower Society. Among these now rejected teachings cited was this:
[C. T. Russell taught] that Christians “are divine beings -- hence all such are Gods, thus we have a family of the resurrection we will rise in our true character as Gods.”... Zion’s Watch Tower, December 1881, pp. 2-3 (Reprints p. 301) [Emphasis in webpage.]
So it would seem that Mormons were not the only other ones to believe in a God Family.

Again I wish to emphasize that the Watchtower Society does not teach this doctrine today. They say only God the Father is God and they do not believe anyone else, not even Jesus, can ever be actual deity worthy of being considered God.

Now personally I am somewhat skeptical that HWA got this idea from Watchtower, but that is just my opinion.

Is there a connection? Did HWA stole the idea from Watchtower and not Mormonism? What do any of you think of this? I find this fact quite fascinating and intriguing. I do not know what to make of it.


  1. Wish I could be of some help here, RF. I haven't found anything that leads me to where/when/who HWA plagiarized this doctrine.

    I'll keep looking. If you do eventually find anything, please do share with us!

  2. I would say it's more than likely Armstrong lifted this from someone in his CoG7 group who may have been speculating along the same lines; the CoG7 did NOT have close ties with Mormonism.

    Armstrong could realistically have expanded upon his own doctrine, utilizing Joseph Smith's, after he split off completely from the original Church of God.

    My thoughts, for whatever they're worth, now that I've figured out how to work around the new comments system.