Jehovah’s Witnesses accept the entire Bible as the inspired Word of Jehovah. They see it as an historical record, a blueprint for living, reliable prophecy and containing many scientific facts. However, they do not take a literalist interpretation, recognising that some parts of it were written figuratively. They have a particular interest in Biblical prophecy and its fulfilment, which has included an interest in symbolic meanings of numbers in the Bible.Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own translation of the Bible called the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures or NWT. The first edition of the translation was completed in 1961, whilst Nathan Homer Knorr (1905-1977) was the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ third president. It is an original translation of ancient Hebrew and Greek texts. It is distributed worldwide in more than 150 languages without charge and is also available online. Jehovah’s Witnesses also publish online Bible study guides and offer free Bible study classes as a primary means of evangelization.
In addition, Jehovah’s Witnesses publish a number of magazines through their own publishing company and printing presses located in a number of countries. The UK printing press is located at the group’s UK headquarters in North London (although there are plans to relocate it to Germany). From here, more than 200 million magazines (11–12% of the Jehovah’s Witnesses magazines) are printed and distributed each year. The best known of these are The Watchtower and Awake!, which are, in early 2018, quarterly publications for public distribution, with a ‘study edition’ of The Watchtower produced monthly for meeting attenders.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses place importance on people being able to read Scripture in their native language and they have a huge translation programme. They also try to ensure that people have access to meetings in their own language as well as offering services and apps in sign language.