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HollyW

God's Kingdom Rules

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

No one can tell for sure why we emphasized October so much. It was the habit of several chronologists after William Miller and therefore followers of Barbour and Russell also emphasized October. It has nothing to do with when the Temple fell even though the book "What does the Bible Really Teach" mistakenly indicates that the temple fell in October. Other publications such as Insight and various Watchtower articles say that it was NOT October. (More importantly, the Bible says it was not in October.) I think the "Bible Teach" book changed it to October just to simplify the reasons for explaining October 1914. It was probably for similar reasons that the date for Russell's announcement has changed from October 1st to October 4th to October 2nd. Don't know if you are aware, but the Watchtower has also taught that the actual date for the end of the Gentiles Times was October 4th:

 

Thanks, again.  No, I wasn't aware of the October 4th date. ;)

Whether it was the 1st or the 2nd or the 4th that he made the announcement, Russell's announcement itself was obviously wrong ---- he gave the evidence that proves the Gentile times did not end in 1914, nor any year since then.  None of the events have happened that he said would happen if he were correct.

As I posted above, back in 1892 Russell presented "Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that date will see the disintegration of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove:"

It can't be ignored as being of no interest to current JWs since the governing body itself has asked them to picture themselves back in the dining room in October of 1914 when Russell made the declaration that the Gentile times had ended.

You've done quite a bit of research in the WTS history, so this must be something you've found on your own. 

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It was an interesting time. The white-robe bridge incident was curious. This was a reference to a previous time. Recall that Barbour thought it would be 1873 then 1874 and there were several places where many of his followers gathered for a final rapture. Russell joined the expectations in time for the 1878 expectation, and then Russell's readers (without Barbour) next expected it in 1881. Until 1914, there were no real "rapture" expectations for all Bible Students, although 1910 became popular for a while. 1914 was the biggest, but there were a lot of speeches that downplayed the expectation from November of 1913 on through about the middle of 1914 when Russell indicated for a while that he had lost faith in 1914 and even wondered what people might be saying 100 years in the future (2014) as he said that it no longer seemed likely to happen. But then the war started and he regained his faith in the chronology. Even then, however, Brother Wise and others continued to downplay the exact expectation for October. Brother MacMillan was sure of October, however. In 1915 he even gave a convention talk blaming the extension (then 8 or 9 months after October) on a lack of dedication by the great crowd (great company/great multitude).

 

Russell hadn't been saying war would start in 1914 though.  He was saying Armageddon would END in 1914.  So he still should have suspected the inaccuracy of his predictions.  

I hadn't heard that about Macmillan, however it's not been unusual for the average JWs to be blamed for the mistakes their leaders have made.  Kind of like 'you were foolish to believe us'. ;)

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2 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Really? *Runs off to look* Holy blunders! You're right! xD

I think so too. It was poorly worded. It would have been better phrased, "The 2,520 years began in October 607 B.C.E., when  after Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Davidic king was taken off his throne."

Or better yet, insert the real year (587 B.C.E.) ... and delete the '2,520 year' part. But that's another discussion. ;)

The October thing is to do with Gedaliah's assassination in the 7th month (September/October) and when the remaining Jews fled to Egypt. Russell and Barbour maintained right from the beginning that the '70 years' related to the period when the land was 'desolate, without an inhabitant' and that only happened, according to their interpretation, once the remnant Jews fled to Egypt.

Of course, as we know, Jeremiah's '70 years' related to the nations' servitude to Babylon which began long before Jerusalem's destruction. Not only that, but according to Ezekiel, there were still people living in Jerusalem's ruins in December:

Ezekiel 33:21 - At length in the 12th year, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month of our exile, a man who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said: “The city has been struck down!”

Ezekiel 33:23-29 - Then the word of Jehovah came to me, saying: 24 “Son of man, the inhabitants of these ruins are saying concerning the land of Israel, ‘Abraham was just one man, and yet he took possession of the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’

25 “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “You are eating food with the blood, and you lift up your eyes to your disgusting idols, and you keep shedding blood. So why should you possess the land? 26 You have relied on your sword, you engage in detestable practices, and each of you has defiled his neighbor’s wife. So why should you possess the land?”’

27 “This is what you should say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “As surely as I am alive, those living in the ruins will fall by the sword; those in the open field, I will give as food to the wild beasts; and those in the strongholds and the caves will die by disease. 28 I will make the land an utterly desolate wasteland, and its arrogant pride will be brought to an end, and the mountains of Israel will be desolated, with no one passing through. 29 And they will have to know that I am Jehovah when I make the land an utterly desolate wasteland because of all the detestable things that they have done.”’
 

Ann, you the man!  

When was 606 dropped in favor of 607?  

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14 hours ago, HollyW said:

When was 606 dropped in favor of 607?  

I'm sure Ann knows this, but I just saw the question. It was done in two parts: partly in 1943, and finished in 1944. The best research I've seen on this topic comes from a non-JW who opposes the JWs, but he was never baptized. (AlanF) So no one should technically call him an apo-state. At any rate his research is all true. I've looked up all his resources.

http://corior.blogspot.com/2006/02/evolution-of-606-to-607-bce-in.html

 

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1 hour ago, HollyW said:

It can't be ignored as being of no interest to current JWs since the governing body itself has asked them to picture themselves back in the dining room in October of 1914 when Russell made the declaration that the Gentile times had ended.

You've done quite a bit of research in the WTS history, so this must be something you've found on your own.

One of the first talks I was assigned to give while still a "ministerial servant" was the "Gentile Times" talk. The old outline was pretty much along the lines of the article that Russell had written for George Storrs' Bible Examiner back in October 1876. I prepared the talk in 1977 and had all kinds of questions. I never asked those questions specifically because I didn't think there was anyone I could ask. But I worked with the Art Dept at Bethel, and that turned into a series of research assignments even while I continued full-time work for 4 years in Art. Several of the research assignments required a full reading of the old Watch Tower books. The research also put me in touch with a lot of people who also had their own questions about the chronology. I even found out that several members of the Governing Body believed that many parts of the chronology had to be wrong. Turns out I got the questions answered without ever asking them. I only gave that "Gentile Times" talk once, and since 1977, I have been able to give dozens of different hour talks that don't have anything controversial in them (as far as I know). :/

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

And you might well be right, that this is why October has stuck with us. 

Absolutely.

ZWT 1892, Feb. 15, R1372:

The seventy years which followed the overthrow here depicted are frequently referred to as the seventy years captivity, but the Scriptures designate them the seventy years desolation of the land--a desolation which had been predicted by the prophet `Jeremiah (25:11`), saying, "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and this nation shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." The completeness of the desolation is shown in `verses 8 and 9` of this lesson and also in `2 Chron. 36:17-21`; and although the king of Babylon allowed certain of the poor of the land to remain, and gave them vineyards and fields, yet it was the Lord's purpose that the land of Israel should be desolate seventy years, and so it was. In the same year Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon had made governor and under whom many of the Jewish fugitives were disposed to return from neighboring countries, was assassinated, and the entire population speedily removed into Egypt for fear of the wrath of the king of Babylon.--`2 Kings 25:21-26`; `Jer. 41:1-3`; `43:5,6`.
 

ZWT 1896, May 15, R1980:

PERIOD OF THE "70 YEARS DESOLATION OF THE LAND."
This period began after Zedekiah's kingdom was overturned when the land was left desolate (`Jer. 40:6-13`; `40:10-18`; `43:5-7`)

Jer. 40 and 43 are about Gedaliah's assassination and the Jews' flight.

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

JWTheologian even brought up the reference to those scholars who make a case for saying that the land was never completely desolated, but who claim that there may have been political purposes for speaking of the land as "completely" desolate when it was really only in a "deslolated" condition. Some scholars claim that this would more easily resolve land ownership disputes among the elite when they came back and found squatters. I pointed out to him that this is an interesting point of view but is NOT a Biblical point of view.

There is such a thing as 'prophetic hyperbole.' E.g. 

Zephaniah 1:2, 3 - “I will completely sweep away everything from the surface of the ground,” declares Jehovah.  3 “I will sweep away man and beast. I will sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked ones; And I will remove mankind from the surface of the ground,” declares Jehovah.

This was just about punishing Judah.

There is some archaeological evidence that areas of Judah remained inhabited throughout the Babylonian hegemony. Desolation/devastation doesn't necessarily mean complete depopulation. E.g.

Nehemiah 2:3 - Then I said to the king: “Long live the king! Why should I not look gloomy when the city, the place where my forefathers are buried, lies in ruins, and its gates have been consumed by fire?” 

Nehemiah 2:17 - Finally I said to them: “You can see what a terrible situation we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, so that this disgrace will not continue.” 

The Jews had been repatriated decades before, yet Jerusalem was still considered to be a devastated, ruined place.
 

 


 

 

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1 hour ago, HollyW said:

When was 606 dropped in favor of 607?  

The shift really began in the 1943 book, The Truth Shall Make You Free. P. 239:

"In Nebuchadnezzar's time the year began counting from the fall of the year, or about October 1, our time. Since he destroyed Jerusalem in the summer of 606 B .C., that year had its beginning in the fall of 607 B .C. and its ending in the fall of 606 B .C."

O.o  o.O

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On 8/6/2016 at 7:45 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

In the same year Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon had made governor and under whom many of the Jewish fugitives were disposed to return from neighboring countries, was assassinated, and the entire population speedily removed into Egypt

Thanks for this quote, and others like it. You are right. It shows that they had already pinned a portion of the chronology on Gedaliah right from the start.

 

On 8/6/2016 at 7:45 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

There is such a thing as 'prophetic hyperbole.' E.g. 

That's true. Makes me wonder how we think we really know exactly at what point the "full desolation" started if it was a process that never came true literally, anyway.

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22 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

I'm afraid he was.

Whoops! :$

Maybe what I meant to remember was that he was never "disfellowshipped" which means that technically he is not "officially" an "apo-state." I see that his experience says nothing of being DF'd, but then again, I've seen people DF'd for less.

Everything he says about his discussions with Albert Schroeder and John Albu "rings true," perfectly. (John Albu was a brother in NYC, but not a Bethelite) I was put in contact with Albu for access to some of his books and his expertise for research projects.

Alan says:

Quote

Albu, it turns out, was the Society’s top scholar (and apparently their _only_ scholar, after the death of Fred Franz) on Bible chronology and was conversant with Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and several other ancient languages. He’s almost certainly the main contributor to the “Appendix to Chapter 14” in the 1981 book “Let Your Kingdom Come”.

I have believed the same thing, but never knew for sure. I think the general outline of that 1981 book was to be prepared from a couple of older Watchtowers with updates meant to specifically answer new questions raised about Ptolemy's canon and several other sources that Carl Olof Jonsson had written about. I remember that Bert Schroeder, Gene Smalley and others were angry about COJ's manuscript but wouldn't attempt to answer it. It got passed around like a hot potato around the Writing Department for years. Finally, Fred Rusk (the brother who gave my wedding talk) got it as an assignment to produce a Watchtower article in 1980. Rusk knew that the best researchers in-house at the time were Napolitano&Lengtat but he didn't like them because they had been friends with Ray Franz and had helped work on the Aid Book. He let it sit in his office for several months. I had a very strong feeling that it would end up being turned into an assignment for John Albu. John had been open-minded about discussing anything doctrinal, even things controversial up through 1981. But he seemed to close himself off completely in 1981 and for the rest of his life (until 2004), as far as I could tell.

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