I think so, although I have NOT done so myself. See:
In theory, according to Apple, you can use either language as the interface to Apple Events.
So they should be equivalent.
In practice, there have been a few things that AppleScript could do, that JXA could not do.
For more info, see:
JXA OS X 10.10 Release Notes
Open Scripting Architecture (OSA) Component
You may also find this video helpful:
2014 WWDC session video on JXA
I think that makes good sense. If you don't already know AppleScript, then I don't see the need to learn it for the very few times it might be required. When/IF those times happen, you will probably be able to get someone to help you translate the part of JXA to AppleScript.
Keep in mind that JXA can use AppleScript Script Libraries, but NOT the other way around.
I don't have much experience here, but you should be able to run JXA from shell scripts just like you do AppleScript. Here's a simple example:
For more info, do an Internet search on "jxa osascript"