Jehovah’s Witnesses

A Survey of the Literature


  • George Chryssides York St John University



Christian sects, cults, ex-member testimony, Jehovah’s Witnesses, millenarianism, Watch Tower Society


Major publications on Jehovah’s Witnesses with scholarly or historical merit are reviewed here. Early writings, and literature relating to the two World Wars are discussed, followed by important “insider” accounts of the organization, notably A. H. Macmillan, Marley Cole, and Timothy White, and ex-member publications by M. James Penton, Raymond Franz, and Carl Jonsson. Particular attention is given to books appearing after 2014, notably Emily Baran, Zoe Knox, and the substantial three-volume anthology by Gerhard Besier and Katarzyna Stok?osa. The review does not cover novels, countercult critiques, or the author’s own publications.


Baran, Emily B. 2014. Dissent on the Margins: How Soviet Jehovah’s Witnesses Defied Communism and Lived to Preach About It. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Beckford, J. A. 1975. The Trumpet of Prophecy. Oxford: Blackwell.

Bergman, Jerry. 1999. Jehovah’s Witnesses: A Comprehensive and Selectively Annotated and Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Besier, Gerhard and Katarzyna Stok?osa, eds. 2016–2020. Jehovah’s Witnesses in Europe: Past and Present. 5 vols. Newcastle-uponTyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Byatt, Anthony and Hal Flemings, eds. 2004. “Your Word Is Truth”: Essays in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (1950, 1953). Malvern: Golden Age Books.

Chryssides, George D. 2016. Jehovah’s Witnesses: Continuity and Change. London: Routledge.

Historical Dictionary of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 2nd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Cole, Marley. 1955. Jehovah’s Witnesses: The Global Kingdom. New York: Vantage Press. Subsequently reissued as Jehovah’s Witnesses: The Global Kingdom. Aurora, MO: Stoops Publishing.

Triumphant Kingdom. New York: Criterion Books.

Curry, Melvin D. 1992. Jehovah’s Witnesses: The Millenarian World of the Watch Tower. New York: Garland.

Czatt, Milton Stacey. 1933. The International Bible Students: Jehovah’s Witnesses. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Press.

Franz, Raymond. 1999. In Search of Christian Freedom. Atlanta, GA: Commentary Press.

Crisis of Conscience: The Struggle between Loyalty to God and Loyalty to One’s Religion. 3rd ed. Atlanta, GA: Commentary Press.

Furuli, Rolf. 2018. Can We Trust the Bible? With Focus on the Creation Account, The Worldwide Flood, and the Prophecies. Larvik, Norway: Awatu Publishers.

The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation: With a Special Look at the New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Huntington Beach, CA: Elihu Books.

Garbe, Detlef. 2008. Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Third Reich. Transl. Dagmar G. Grimm. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Henderson, Jennifer J. 2010. Defending the Good News: The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Plan to Expand the First Amendment. Spokane, Washington: Marquette Books LLC.

Hesse, Hans, ed. 2001. Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah’s Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime 1933–1945. Bremen: Edition Temmen.

Holden, Andrew. 2002. Jehovah’s Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. London: Routledge.

Jonsson, Carl Olaf. 1998 (1983). The Gentile Times Reconsidered: Chronology and Christ’s Return. Atlanta, GA: Commentary Press.

Jonsson, Carl Olaf and Wolfgang Herbst. 1987. The Sign of the Last Days – When? Atlanta, GA: Commentary Press.

Kelly, William. 2018. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses False Prophets?: A Thorough Investigation with Rebuttal. CreateSpace Publishing.

Knox, Zoe. 2018. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Secular World. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Macmillan, A. H. 1957. Faith on the March. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

Penton, M. J. 1985. Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Third Reich: Sectarian Politics under Persecution. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Perkins, Gary. 2016. Bible Student Conscientious Objector in World War 1 – Britain. Borwick: Hupomone Press.

Peters, Shawn Francis. 2000. Judging Jehovah’s Witnesses: Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.

Pike, Royston. 1954. Jehovah’s Witnesses: Who They Are, What They Teach, What They Do. London: Watts.

Reynaud, Michel and Sylvie Graffard. 2001. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Nazis: Persecution, Deportation and Murder, 1933–1945 New York: Cooper Square Press.

Rogerson, Alan. 1969. Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah’s Witnesses. London: Constable.

Russell, C. T. 1886. The Divine Plan of the Ages. London:International Bible Students Association.

Stafford, Greg. 2000 (1998). Jehovah’s Witnesses Defended: An Answer to Scholars and Critics. Huntington Beach, CA: Elihu Books.

Stroup, H. H. 1945. The Jehovah’s Witnesses. New York: Columbia University Press.

Watch Tower. 2013 (1961, 1970, 1971, 1984). New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. Brooklyn, NY: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.

Wills, Tony. 2006. A People for His Name: A History of Jehovah’s Witnesses and an Evaluation. Morrisville, NC: Lulu Enterprises. (Originally published under the pseudonym Timothy White; New York: Vantage Press, 1967).



How to Cite

Chryssides, G. (2020). Jehovah’s Witnesses: A Survey of the Literature. International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 10(2), 185–201.



Review Essays