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607 B.C.E. - Is it Biblically Supported?

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44 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

Alan F

All that you are doing is trying to make your problem or that of current scholarship regarding the controversy about 586 or 587 BCE for the date for the Fall, my problem. It is no problem for me or for other WT scholars because we have carefully determined or fixed 607 BCE for the Fall of Jerusalem.

Rodger Young in his paper 'WHEN DID JERUSALEM FALL? in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2004, pp.21-38 used Decision Tables to resolve the scholarly dispute over 586 or 587 BCE? Using this Methodology, Young concluded incorrectly that 587 was the correct date. In the Introduction to his study on p. 21 he reminds the reader that "all dates for that event must be derived from the scriptural record" but then continues that such must be tied to the last events not of the Biblical record as such but rather to the prior events described in the Babylonian archives which are the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE? and the initial capture of Jerusalem under Jehoiachin in 597 BCE? Both dates for these events are also problematic. So already,Young begins his solution on a 'slippery slope' of at least two dates. Young should have adhered to that earlier rule "derived form the scriptural record" which is exactly what WT scholars have done and avoided his later nonsense.

In order to respond to your challenge, the focus of Young's argument or solution is described in the first paragraph on p.22 wherein he describes a 'methodology' based not on the data itself but on various presuppositions and interpretation of the data in association with principles of calendation described in the previous paragraph on p.21. Then he applies this methodology to Ezekiel 40:1which in a later paper, 2006 in the AUSS, vol.44, No.2, pp. 265-283 'EZEKIEL 40:1 AS A  CORRECTIVE FOR SEVEN WRONG IDEAS IN BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION' discusses this text in some depth. (Scholar suspects that Young is a SDA)

For Young, this one verse is highly significant in resolving a number of OT chronological issues but is he correct and is his Methodology correct? I would argue that the biblical 'seventy years' of Jeremiah is the true biblical corrective and not Ezek.40:1. He further argues in the use of Decision Analysis that all possible combinations or scenarios should be used and that argument can be well applied to the 607 BCE hypothesis and to others such as the 586 or 587 BCE hypothesis. Next, he describes the difference between a 'ladder' chart favoured by some chronologists and the 'horizontal' chart favoured by others introducing a new method of the use of 'simple formulas'. The crux of the his article is the date for the captivity of Jehoiakim which he gives the traditional date of 597 BCE which again is problematic because WT Chronology assigns the date 617 BCE and the date Nisan/Tishri 593 BCE. Further, in his pursuit of 587 BCE for the Fall much is made as to whether in Ezek. 40:1 the 'start or the beginning of the year' was counted from Nisan or Tishri but by means of his Table 1a, he decides on Tishri years. But this is ambiguous according to one scholar and that is why WT scholars have been neutral on this point for it is one of theology not of chronology.

I could write much more about this matter but Young's paper is informative and useful to those supporters of 607 BCE because it challenges our critics to reconsider their hypotheses and to reconsider other alternative viewpoints.

scholar JW emeritus

 

As I said, you're in no way up to my challenges.

AlanF

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Alan F

You  are all smoke and mirrors for you have not understood Young's articles by posing some nonsense challenge which proves your childish behaviour. When I try to respond you run away with your tail between your legs. Good riddance!!!

scholar JW emeritus

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2 hours ago, scholar JW said:

Alan F

You  are all smoke and mirrors for you have not understood Young's articles by posing some nonsense challenge which proves your childish behaviour. When I try to respond you run away with your tail between your legs. Good riddance!!!

scholar JW emeritus

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Your response is barely even Pidgin English. Pigeon English, maybe.

AlanF

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Alan F You would not know the difference between the two just as you don understand Lewontin's quotation used properly in the Creation book. Outsmarted once again!!!!! scholar JW emeritus

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38 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

Alan F You would not know the difference between the two just as you don understand Lewontin's quotation used properly in the Creation book. Outsmarted once again!!!!! scholar JW emeritus

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

More Pigeon English.

No, I "don unnastan nuttin!"

The fact that the Creation book misrepresented Lewontin is proved by the revised edition having to it, and by Lewontin himself complaining about the exact same misrepresentation by young-earth creationist Gary Parker.

Dispela nambawan pikinini setan na bagarap olgeta!

AlanF

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Alan F

Nutting of da sort. Lewontin made a simple admission and this was simply picked and quoted by the WT writer for the Creation book. Lewontin should not have made that statement if he did not wish that statement to be quoted. It is too late when the horse has bolted or was he caught with his pants down?

scholar JW emeritus

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29 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

Alan F

Nutting of da sort. Lewontin made a simple admission and this was simply picked and quoted by the WT writer for the Creation book. Lewontin should not have made that statement if he did not wish that statement to be quoted. It is too late when the horse has bolted or was he caught with his pants down?

scholar JW emeritus

Sorry, Einstein, but you can't salvage truth from a pack of lies. You continue to repeat the Watch Tower's lies. This is easy to demonstrate with a handful of questions -- which you have refused to answer:

First, what was Lewontin's "simple admission"?

You will not be able to truthfully and simply answer this.

AlanF

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Alan F

Lewontin simply stated that "Organisms...have morphologies, physiologies and behaviours that appear to have been carefully and artfully designed to enable each organism to appropriate the world around it for its own life. It was the marvellous fit of organisms to the environment, much more than the great diversity of forms, that was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer". Well stated and correctly used in the marvellous and very scientific 'Creation' book.

scholar JW emeritus

 

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Scholar JW pretendus wrote:

Quote

Lewontin simply stated that "Organisms...have morphologies, physiologies and behaviours that appear to have been carefully and artfully designed to enable each organism to appropriate the world around it for its own life. It was the marvellous fit of organisms to the environment, much more than the great diversity of forms, that was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer".

Astonishing! You actually managed to get to get this part right. Except that you missed the fact that Lewontin made the important point in his SA article that the appearance of design was just that -- a mere appearance, not reality. The entire thrust of his SA article was that organisms are NOT designed, but merely seem or appear to be. The very first sentence in the article was this:

<< The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution. >>

In other words, Lewontin said that evolution by natural selection produces an appearance of design, but that does not mean that any conscious design took place.

But that is NOT what the Creation book claimed that Lewontin said. Rather, it claimed this:

<< Zoologist Richard Lewontin said that organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed.” He views them as “the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer. >>

Did Lewontin ever say that HE views the seeming "artful design" of organisms as "the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer"?

If you say yes, then produce a quotation where he said that.

Quote

Well stated and correctly used in the marvellous and very scientific 'Creation' book.

Actually, quite the opposite.

AlanF

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Alan F

47 minutes ago, AlanF said:

stonishing! You actually managed to get to get this part right. Except that you missed the fact that Lewontin made the important point in his SA article that the appearance of design was just that -- a mere appearance, not reality. The entire thrust of his SA article was that organisms are NOT designed, but merely seem or appear to be. The very first sentence in the article was this:

<< The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution. >>

Yes, indeed the entire thrust of his article was not of Design or the appearance of Design but that organisms only exist because of continuity and quasi-independence as the most fundamental characteristics of the evolutionary process. However. he stated in his introductory paragraphs that organisms appear to have been designed and that their marvellous fit to their environment was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer. 

The expression 'appearance of design' can be another way of expressing the reality of Design for if something has an appearance then that can also be an expression of its reality, that 'conscious design took place'. The Creation correctly quoted Lewontin's passage and says that Lewontin views this as such: namely that organisms have the appearance of Design...being evidence of a Supreme Designer. The fact of the matter is that HE, Lewontin made a statement, a observation which does not accord with his personal beliefs as shown by the rest of the SA article.

The Creation book later amended this quotation by omitting 'He views them' to "that some scientists viewed them" but regardless of the change, the original quotation in the Creation book remains correct because that is what Lewontin stated.

scholar JW emeritus 

 

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scholar JW pretendus said:

Quote

 

:: Astonishing! You actually managed to get to get this part right. Except that you missed the fact that Lewontin made the important point in his SA article that the appearance of design was just that -- a mere appearance, not reality. The entire thrust of his SA article was that organisms are NOT designed, but merely seem or appear to be. The very first sentence in the article was this:

:: << The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution. >>  

Yes, indeed the entire thrust of his article was not of Design or the appearance of Design but that organisms only exist because of continuity and quasi-independence as the most fundamental characteristics of the evolutionary process.

 

A gobble-de-goop summary, so I won't comment further.

I'll just state for the record that Lewontin is CLEARLY an evolutionist and does not believe in a Supreme Creator. Any contrary claim is a lie.

Quote

However. he stated in his introductory paragraphs that organisms appear to have been designed

His whole thrust was that organisms merely SEEM to be designed but are not -- and seem to be only to those who are naive and know nothing of, or do not accept, evolution by natural selection -- those who do not understand that "the manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution."

He further described that this was a mistake made by many 19th century scientists, who viewed that fit as evidence of a Supreme Designer. One of the goals of his article was to correct that mistake.

Lewontin did not say anywhere that HE viewed that fit as evidence for a Supreme designer, and you have failed my challenge for you to provide one. As usual, you lie and dodge and weave, such as repeating the Watch Tower's lie about Lewontin's personal view:

Quote

and that their marvellous fit to their environment was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer.

Again, Lewontin clearly explained that THIS WAS THE GENERAL VIEW OF 19TH-CENTURY SCIENTISTS, NOT HIS OWN VIEW.

Quote

The expression 'appearance of design' can be another way of expressing the reality of Design for if something has an appearance then that can also be an expression of its reality, that 'conscious design took place'.

True, but irrelevant, because Lewontin's point was that that mere appearance was a false appearance.

Quote

The Creation correctly quoted Lewontin's passage and says that Lewontin views this as such: namely that organisms have the appearance of Design...being evidence of a Supreme Designer.

False. The book lyingly stated that it was Lewontin's view that such appearance of design was evidence of a Supreme Creator, whereas he clearly explained that this was NOT his view.

Quote

The fact of the matter is that HE, Lewontin made a statement, a observation which does not accord with his personal beliefs as shown by the rest of the SA article.

It's simply amazing how low one can go in trying to rationalize lies.

Quote

The Creation book later amended this quotation by omitting 'He views them' to "that some scientists viewed them"

Yes, which means that the later revision said exactly the opposite of the original book: "He views them" was changed to "some scientists viewed them".

Quote

but regardless of the change, the original quotation in the Creation book remains correct because that is what Lewontin stated.

False. Again, Lewontin never stated what the Creation book claimed, and you have not produced a quotation where he states what the book claimed, namely, that HE -- Richard Lewontin -- views the marvelous fit of animals to their environment as evidence of a Supreme Creator.

The mere fact of printing certain words from a quotation correctly does not mean the quotation is correct. Any misrepresentation of the author's intent is called quote-mining. And that is exactly what the Creation book did, and you are now trying to rationalize.

If I state that the Watch Tower Society has finally bowed to the scientific evidence and admits that evolution is true, I can 'prove' it by noting these frank admissions in Watch Tower publications:

"The Bible is a myth" and "evolution is true".

"Evolution is true".

"Evolution is true . . . evolution is true . . . evolution is true".

"Evolution is true" and "The Bible is myth".

"The theory of evolution is true".

You don't accept it? By your standard, the quotations are correct. You can easily prove this to yourself by searching in a WT CDROM.

As I previously pointed out, Lewontin himself complained about the selective quoting done by creationists of his SA article:

<< Sometimes creationists plunge more deeply into dishonesty by taking statements of evolutionists out of context to make them say the opposite of what was intended. For example, when, in an article on adaptation, I described the outmoded nineteenth-century belief that the perfection of creation was the best evidence of a creator, this description was taken into creationist literature as evidence for my own rejection of evolution. Such deliberate misuse of the literature of evolutionary biology . . . >>

Lewontin also complained about the practice of misquoting scientists, in the magazine Creation/Evolution, Fall 1981, on page 35:

<< Modern expressions of creationism and especially so-called "scientific" creationism are making extensive use of the tactic of selective quotation in order to make it appear that numerous biologists doubt the reality of evolution. The creationists take advantage of the fact that evolutionary biology is a living science containing disagreements about certain details of the evolutionary process by taking quotations about such details out of context in an attempt to support the creationists' antievolutionary stand. Sometimes they simply take biologists' descriptions of creationism and then ascribe these views to the biologists themselves! These patently dishonest practices of misquotation give us a right to question even the sincerity of creationists. >>

It is one thing to cite and describe opposing viewpoints. It is something else again to repeatedly attribute those opposing views to an author or to a publication that merely describes them, especially when it is evident that the description is for the purpose of dismissing it.

So, scholar JW pretendus, not only have you proved nearly incapable of understanding scientific and historical material, but even though your misunderstandings have been clearly pointed out to you, you merely double down on defending the Watch Tower's lies.

Thus, you have no business trying to argue anything about Neo-Babylonian chronology.

AlanF

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Alan F

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

'll just state for the record that Lewontin is CLEARLY an evolutionist and does not believe in a Supreme Creator. Any contrary claim is a lie.

He is clearly an evolutionist but he uses theistic language in his writings as does many other evolutionists such as Dawkins and Darwin.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

His whole thrust was that organisms merely SEEM to be designed but are not -- and seem to be only to those who are naive and know nothing of, or do not accept, evolution by natural selection -- those who do not understand that "the manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution."

He further described that this was a mistake made by many 19th century scientists, who viewed that fit as evidence of a Supreme Designer. One of the goals of his article was to correct that mistake.

True, he writes about the appearance of design in organisms and puts this also in the context of 19th century scientists in the introductory section. His goal was to provide a much more improved view of the adaptation of those organisms as opposed to the earlier view of natural selection.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

Lewontin did not say anywhere that HE viewed that fit as evidence for a Supreme designer, and you have failed my challenge for you to provide one. As usual, you lie and dodge and weave, such as repeating the Watch Tower's lie about Lewontin

Yes he did for one only has to read that quote and its context.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

Again, Lewontin clearly explained that THIS WAS THE GENERAL VIEW OF 19TH-CENTURY SCIENTISTS, NOT HIS OWN VIEW.

Contextually that is correct but the reader could also form the impression that this was his statement of matters but not necessarily his personal viewpoint.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

True, but irrelevant, because Lewontin's point was that that mere appearance was a false appearance.

Nowhere does he refer to a 'false appearance for in the last sentence in that section he refers to a 'divine artificer'.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

False. The book lyingly stated that it was Lewontin's view that such appearance of design was evidence of a Supreme Creator, whereas he clearly explained that this was NOT his view.

False, the book simply makes a direct quote which HE stated.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

t's simply amazing how low one can go in trying to rationalize lies.

You are the master of the 'rationale'.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

Yes, which means that the later revision said exactly the opposite of the original book: "He views them" was changed to "some scientists viewed them".

The later revision simply reversed any implication that this was Lewontin's personal view but it was his statement of fact shown by the retention of that source.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

False. Again, Lewontin never stated what the Creation book claimed, and you have not produced a quotation where he states what the book claimed, namely, that HE -- Richard Lewontin -- views the marvelous fit of animals to their environment as evidence of a Supreme Creator.

The mere fact of printing certain words from a quotation correctly does not mean the quotation is correct. Any misrepresentation of the author's intent is called quote-mining. And that is exactly what the Creation book did, and you are now trying to rationalize.

False. The Creation book reproduced Lewontin's comment or statement correctly that is that lewontin stated the fact of the matter. If the quotation correctly reproduces the words and references that quotation then a writer can use that quotation even in a different context. Lewontin made a comment and the Creation book simply used that comment. Quote mining by itself is not wrong as it is part of academic practice but it is usually the case that the reader is given or alerted to the ideological position of the source so for example it would be preferable to say that Lewontin was an evolutionist etc. The context of that paragraph in the Creation book begins with "Stephen Jay Gould reports that many contemporary evolutionists now say...Zoologist Richard lewontin" as an example.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

As I previously pointed out, Lewontin himself complained about the selective quoting done by creationists of his SA article:

<< Sometimes creationists plunge more deeply into dishonesty by taking statements of evolutionists out of context to make them say the opposite of what was intended. For example, when, in an article on adaptation, I described the outmoded nineteenth-century belief that the perfection of creation was the best evidence of a creator, this description was taken into creationist literature as evidence for my own rejection of evolution. Such deliberate misuse of the literature of evolutionary biology . . . >>

Lewontin then should not use theistic language so he cannot complain about so-called 'quote mining'. He should write more clearly and avoid terms that could be used in a different context. This is the major problem with modern day evolutionists for they cannot write on this subject without using theistic language or terminology for a good example of this is found in Richard Dawkins. The title 'Blind Watchmaker' is both theistic and ambiguous.

17 hours ago, AlanF said:

So, scholar JW pretendus, not only have you proved nearly incapable of understanding scientific and historical material, but even though your misunderstandings have been clearly pointed out to you, you merely double down on defending the Watch Tower's lies.

Thus, you have no business trying to argue anything about Neo-Babylonian chronology.

You have proved nothing and I will continue to torment you especially with regard to Neo-Babylonian Chronology.

scholar JW emeritus

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Nana Fofana

Despite Alan F's protestations to the contrary I agree with you that Lewontin, an evolutionary zoologist was correctly quoted in both the earlier and recent editions of the marvellous Creation book. He made a simple admission/statement that has come back to haunt him and then he protests about being misquoted. One thing I have found common in all atheistic/evolutionary writings that such cannot igore either theistic or metaphysical terms or language in trying to explain the subject matter.

scholar JW emeritus

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Thank you @admin!  I love the new Topic Summary section on the top of each post. Now one doesn't have to go to the topic listing page to see the number of views a certain topic has received. Bravo!! 😁

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1 hour ago, The Librarian said:

Thank you @admin!  I love the new Topic Summary section on the top of each post. Now one doesn't have to go to the topic listing page to see the number of views a certain topic has received. Bravo!! 😁

You are very welcome!

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      What can we say, however, of the strongest affirmation in reference to Babylon La Grande, that is, that "all nations have been misled by its spiritual practice"?
      This statement in particular has led many to think that it was a religious empire (for many sects of Christianity Babylon the Great is Catholicism and for some Catholics it is even the Second Vatican Council).
      First of all we must realize that all the empires of the past have resorted to spiritualistic practices and this is also true of modern so-called atheist empires.
      Pharaoh opposed his "magic practitioners" to Moses and Nebuchadnezzar was practically surrounded - Exodus 7:11 - Daniel 2: 2
      The same can be said of Assyria, Syria, Media Persia etc.
      So if the Bible, speaking of a literal nation, said that "uses magic" or "divination practice", it would not say anything exceptional.
      We also know from the study of the Scriptures that nations are governed by demons that mislead the entire inhabited earth and that during the wars not only human beings are involved - Daniel 10:13
      Can we hypothesize that the demons have given particular power to a nation and that this has, today, "the kingdom over the kings of the earth"? - Revelation 17:18 see also Luke 4: 5-7
      By comparing the Scriptures without preconceptions, it is not possible to exclude "Babylon the Great" among the nations.
      Question 2
      "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?"
      In Revelation 17: 1, 2 we read that Babylon the Great "sits on many waters".
      We know that the waters mean "peoples and crowds and nations and languages"
      Israel "sits on many waters" because it is surrounded by many peoples and nations that can not stand it ("to sit on" can also mean against the will of the neighboring peoples). In Isaiah 8: 5-8 one speaks of the powerful Assyrian army as "devastating waters"; therefore the "waters" are not always a symbol of protection - Isaiah 8: 5-8
      It was put there by the UN against the will of the many neighboring nations.
      It also sits "on many waters" because his position is due to the nations that make up the United Nations (Babylon the Great also sits on the wild beast of scarlet color) that, besides having settled it where it is still, protect it militarily.
      The armies of Assyria are compared to "devastating waters", so we can say that they also sit on many armies? - Revelation 17: 3, 16
      it is also noteworthy that the nation of Israel is right in the "crossroads" of three continents: Europe, Africa, Asia.
      If I wanted to find a literal nation located above "many waters" (ie peoples and nations and tribes and languages) both geographically and politically, no other nation would correspond better than the modern nation of Israel.
      The harlot rides a beast.
      In Revelation 17: 3 we read "And the angel brought me into the power of the spirit in a wilderness." And I saw a woman seated on a wild scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. "
      The nation of Israel is already in a desert today and rides on the wild beast of scarlet color which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations ascended from the abyss with the name U.N.
      Israel exists, thanks to the push of the Anglo-American empire, thanks and through the United Nations, since 1948.
      Historical events prior to and following the creation of the state of Israel confirm that the Jewish people have ridden the scarlet-colored wild beast even before returning to being a nation (I invite you to do a research on Balfour and all the historical background before 1948).
      Mother of all prostitutes.
      Revelation 17: 4-5: "And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and she was adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, and she had in her hand a golden cup full of disgusting things and the unclean things of her fornication. on his forehead was written a name, a mystery: 'Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth' ".
      If we accept the possibility that a nation is compared to a prostitute (just like Tire), then the nation of Israel is the "mother of all prostitutes" because it has committed greater fornication than any other nation in the world.
      How can we say it?
      If the prostitute rides the scarlet-colored wild beast, which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations, is supposed to have committed fornication with all the nations adhering to the United Nations.
      Indeed, its very existence as a nation is due to his political lovers so, to continue to exist, must commit prostitution in excess and continuously.
      No other nation can compare itself to her as acts of prostitution because no other nation has the urgent need to please the UN to continue to exist.
      it is also possible that in the Bible it is described as a prostitute because it is not a real "queen" but a forcing. It is an empire carved out of art for a prostitute.
      The woman is also "dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stone ..." so she is simply dressed like a queen but the purple and scarlet colors are still the colors of luxury and royal power and this would strengthen the idea that we are talking about a kingdom, a literal nation.
      In the same way the beast that the prostitute rides is scarlet in color and the beast, as we know, is the League or Society of Nations (all members of the United Nations represent literal nations). The scarlet color, color of both the wild beast and the harlot, is significant.
      Drunk with the blood of the saints.
      The writing continues saying "And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and of the witnesses of Jesus".
      Israel has an enormous blood fault and Jesus referred to this very nation when he said: “so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar” - Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:50, 51
      So Jesus himself identifies Israel, not another nation, as responsible for the payment of "all the right blood" (compare also the words of Stephen recorded in Acts 7: 51-53).
      The book "Insight", under the heading "Babylon the Great", correctly points out that not all Christians were persecuted by the Pharisees and the Jews themselves have suffered, in turn, a great persecution.
      However, even Abel was not killed by a Pharisee or even by any religious minister.
      Moreover, the millions of deaths caused by the communist, atheist empire, could hardly be pointed to false religion.
      Can we hypothesize that Jehovah and Jesus hold particularly responsible those who have "known God" and, despite this, commit unspeakable crimes?
      The nation of Israel fits perfectly in this context. - Hosea 8: 2 - Amos 3: 2
      It should also be said that the blood of "all those slaughtered on earth" is referring to the last war (which is yet to come) and therefore is saying that Israel will be the real behind-the-scenes cause of this war.
      However, this last parat needs other explanations for which, for the moment, omit it.
      Condolence for the end of Babylon.
      Revelation 18: 9-14 says: “And the kings of the earth who committed sexual immorality* with her and lived with her in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her when they see the smoke from her burning. 10  They will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and say: ‘Too bad, too bad, you great city,+ Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!’ 11  “Also, the merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full cargo anymore, 12  a full cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; and everything made from scented wood; and every sort of object made from ivory, and from precious wood, copper, iron, and marble; 13  also cinnamon, Indian spice, incense, perfumed oil, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives.* 14  Yes, the fine fruit that you* desired has left you, and all the delicacies and the splendid things have vanished from you, never to be found again”.
      As we saw at the beginning, both the kings of the earth and the travelers traders suffer for the demise of their lover.
      Unlike any other nation, the destruction of Israel would bring desperation and "misfortune" between rulers and traders all over the world.
      Why?
      Because the Jewish people are owners of the world's largest banks, almost all of the gold, oil, the largest multinationals and everything that can be imagined.
      The largest world powers (including the US, USSR and China) have benefited from copious loans to wage war on other nations and to build massive and colossal structures (such as the Suez Canal).
      Just do some research to find out how and how many owners of the world's largest banks have been involved in almost every wars of the last two centuries and probably far back in time.
      The words of Revelation 18: 11-14 that speak of 'full of gold and silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and each smelling wood and all sorts of ivory objects and all sorts of precious wood and copper and iron and marble, and cinnamon and Indian spice and incense and fragrant oil and olibanum and wine and olive oil and flour and wheat flour and cattle and sheep and horses and carriages and slaves and human souls' are significant.
      Imagining the global economic consequences for the collapse of 80% of all the existing banks and therefore the immediate and simultaneous failure of thousands of companies spread all over the world ... one could conclude that a crisis of this size would not be reflected in all the history of man - Matthew 24:21
      Really the kings of the earth and travelers traders around the world would be right to beat their chests, to mourn and cry, "Woe!"
      "Get out of her, my people".
      Revelation 18: 4 says:And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people,+ if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues”.
      If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel then it is easy to understand to whom this urgent appeal is addressed: to our dear brothers present in the nation of Israel who are also "a remnant to be saved".
      If they stayed there, they would receive part of his wounds as a result of the United Nations' furious attack.
      This possibility is to be evaluated very seriously.
      This would also mean that the destruction of Jerusalem, occurred in 537 a.E.V. and then in 70 E.V. would have a further and definitive fulfillment. The third (Revelation 4: 8; 8:13; 16:13, 19 - Ezekiel 21:14).
      Question two asked: "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?
      Whether we like it or not, and as much as it can constitute a "domino effect" on other interpretations, this is in harmony both with the secular history and with the Scriptures.
      So the answer is yes.
      Question 3
      Which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of desires or personal ideas, is more likely to be?
      Honestly, the whole description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great corresponds very well to false religion and so it is very difficult to understand if the Bible wants to point us to a literal nation or the false religion as a whole.
      The shameless immorality, extreme violence, the desire for domination, spiritual prostitution, arrogance and presumption ... are all characteristics of the worldwide empire of false religion as well as of present-day Israel.
      The clues, however, should be more than enough, if seen without preconceptions, to understand the subject.
      Reflections
      As written at the beginning of this treatise, hundreds of parallels are found in the Bible between Babylon and unfaithful Israel.
      Even the cup "full of disgusting things" from which the harlot gets inebriated recalls the utensils of Jehovah's temple.
      The problem is to understand what we must understand when we read these parallels.
      All of Jehovah's judgments, reported in the Scriptures, have fallen upon peoples and literal nations and even the wounds sent to the land of Egypt, which served to destroy / humiliate their false gods, however, had to fall upon a specific nation.
      In the book "The prophecies of Isaiah" volume 1, page 202 paragraph 28 (Italian edition) reports Isaiah 19: 3 and we read ...
      "Likewise, on the day of judgment, the false religion will be unable to save this corrupt system of things".
      But if Egypt represents the world as a whole, we are already at Armageddon (in Isaiah 19: 2 Jehovah puts "Egyptian against Egyptian") and the world empire of false religion (if it is Babylon the Great) has already been destroyed .
      Now, if the world empire of false religion has already been previously destroyed, in what sense will "people resort to worthless gods, to spellcasters and spirit mediums"?
      Only a world still imbued with religion, after the destruction of Babylon the Great, could "resort to worthless gods".
      The above could be in harmony with the writing of Zechariah 13: 4-6, which speaks of the "prophet" who will deny ever having been?
      The Watchtower of 15 July 2015, under the heading "The beginning of the great tribulation", says ... "It seems therefore that even some members of the clergy will abandon their religious career and deny ever having been part of the false religion".
      Yet if for the adherents of Babylon the Great enough to "change coat" to save their lives (which would make the majority of them, not having a true faith), one would not say that it was "torn and completely burned with fire". It is also difficult to imagine this "great mourning" since the majority of the clergy, especially that of Christianity, would still be alive after the destruction of Babylon the Great.
      The book "Revelation", in chapter 19 paragraph 29 says ... "Neither the caverns of the literal mountains nor the political-commercial organizations comparable to the mountains will offer economic security or help of another kind".
      However, even false worship in the Bible is related to "high places" for example in Ezekiel 6: 1-5 (high places that did not protect unfaithful Israelites from Jehovah's wrath).
      Is it possible to hypothesize that on the day of Jehovah's wrath (hence after the Great Tribulation) human beings will seek protection in political, commercial and religious institutions?
      If we accept the possibility that Babylon the Great is a literal place (and be modern Israel) we must consider that even the mountains, above which the woman sits, are literal mountains.
      There is always talk of the seven world powers of biblical history but we never talk about the seven mountains.
      We never talk about the seven mountains because the political powers, they say, are the seven mountains.
      Yet the writing of Revelation 17 explains that there are seven kings ... and (joining, in my language, that is "and there are also") seven mountains and this conjunction could suggest that even though the mountains depict powers as we know , there are actually seven mountains as objects of similitude with the number of kings.
      It would seem a literal clue useful for identifying Babylon the Great.
      Now the question is ... Which and how many mountains are indicated in the Scriptures that were part of the Promised Land?
      1) Mount Moria 2) Mount Zion 3) Mount of Olives 4) Gilboa 5) Gerizim 6) Ebal 7) Mount Tabor.
      N.B. Mount Nebo and the others, also mentioned in the Scriptures, were part of the territory of Moab and Edom and are therefore excluded.
      This parallel is simply impossible to do with the world empire of false religion.
      Revelation 3:12 and other scriptures that are fulfilled after the Lord's day, which mention the New Jerusalem, seem to emphasize a distinction with Old Jerusalem.
      In chap. 18 of Revelation, Babylon the Great is destroyed.
      In chap 19: 7, 8 the marriage of the lamb is prepared, so ...
      The prostitute dies as a bride and the marriage can finally begin.
      Marriage takes place with the "New Jerusalem"; was the prostitute is maybe the "Old Jerusalem" that is the carnal, impure, disobedient, idolatrous? - I Corinthians 9: 6-8; 10:18 - Galatians 4: 26-29
      I would like to point out to you that the book Revelation, besides having the symbols, also has contrasts.
      For example you can see that the beast with two horns of lamb is set against the real Lamb.
      The mark of the wild beast is set in contrast with the name engraved on the forehead that the 144,000 have - see Revelation 13:11, 16; 14: 1
      Now in Revelation you will see that there is a pure woman who is the legitimate bride and then there is a woman who, on the contrary, is a prostitute.
      So the question we should ask ourselves is: if Babylon the Great is a nation, which is the only nation in the whole world, that would have the qualifications to pass itself off as "legitimate bride" when, in reality, she prostitutes herself with other nations ? -
      Babylon is also called "the great city" and the only biblical reference is Nineveh, the "city of bloodshed".
      This seems to be in harmony with the fact that Babylon is drunk with the blood of saints, prophets and everyone.
      However, in Jeremiah chap. 22 Jehovah condemns Judah, which is the city of Sallum and Ioiachim, and people call this city "the great city".
      Thus, even the city that once belonged to Jehovah is called the "great city".
      Of the two clothed witnesses described in chapter 11 of Revelation it is said that, once killed, "their corpses will be on the wide street of the great city which in spiritual sense is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was put to the stake "- Revelation 11: 8
      In which "great city" did the Lord Jesus have been killed?
      Finally we could ask ourselves why, the writer of Revelation, after having seen frightful wild beasts, incredible celestial visions both beautiful and terrifying, thundering declarations and many other things, only at the sight of the woman he is "marvels of great wonder" - Revelation 17: 6 , 7
      Could it have "marveled of great wonder" for having seen its own people and its own nation (which at the time of the writing of Revelation no longer existed)?
      When in 70 E.V. the first Christians received the command to "flee to the mountains" in view of the destruction that would have occurred through the "disgusting thing" (represented at the time by the Roman Empire) they understood it as "separating from Judaism" or this was a consequence natural of the Teacher's teachings? Did not they understand it as literally to get out of the city?
      Jeremiah 25:10, 11 and Revelation 18:22, 23 are very similar to each other, yet Jeremiah speaks of Israel while Revelation speaks of Babylon the Great.
      In Revelation 18: 5-8 it is said that "God has remembered his acts of injustice".
      Why did God "remember"?
      False religion has not always done evil, in 6,000 history, without stopping a moment since the days of Nimrod?
      Or, if Babylon were "the world", did God forget the actions of the world?
      Could it not be because "Babylon" has not existed for many years, as a nation, but appears again after the "Lord's Day" by another name?
      In Revelation 16: 16-21 we are now in Armageddon, the great city is divided into three parts, the nations fall and Babylon "was remembered".
      So Babylon is related to the fall of other nations as if it were a "special" nation, something to remember, but still a nation.
      Which, among all the nations of the earth, could it be considered "special" by Jehovah God?
      Could the golden cup full of "disgusting things" held in the hands of the great harlot remember the utensils of the temple of God? - Compare Daniel 5: 1-4
      Question one.
      According to the explanation of the book "Revelation: its climax" it is appropriate that the great harlot sit on the wild beast of scarlet color because, the false religion, has always had power over the kings of the earth even coming to name and oust them.
      We know that the League or League of Nations also has representatives as "old nations" mentioned in the bible as Rome, Media-Persia and others but it would not have been more logical to see the "great whore" ride the first wild beast and that which ascends from the sea, since the false religion exists since the days of Nimrod?
      Instead the great harlot sits on that beast that "was, but is not, and is about to ascend from the abyss, and will go into destruction" - Revelation 17: 8a
      What rode the world empire of false religion (or Rome, or the world) when the beast was not?
      Question two.
      As has been pointed out, in the Bible Israel is compared to a wife and Jehovah to the marital owner.
      When it showed itself unfaithful, allying itself with other nations and mixing with the false adoration, Israel became "infidel" and even "prostitute".
      Christianity claims to serve God but, in reality, prostitutes itself with the nations and with every false doctrine of pagan origin.
      However, if Babylon the Great is the world empire of false religion (and therefore also includes religions such as Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, tribal religions, etc.), why is it considered, as a whole, a prostitute?
      Jehovah has never identified himself as the "marital owner" of nations like Ammon, Moab, Egypt, or others (not even in Rome or the world).
      So if we applied the concept of prostitution exclusively in the spiritual-religious (or politic) sense, it would seem that this infamous prostitute is exclusively Christianity.
      Throughout the entire Bible, what is the only nation that Jehovah considers responsible for his prostitution? - Amos 3: 1, 2

    • By JW Insider
      A recent topic about whether the Watchtower view of 607 BCE is SCRIPTURALLY supported is linked below. This new topic should provide a better place to discuss the SECULAR evidence. I also think it would be useful to discuss the methodology that the Watch Tower Society has historically used to treat this evidence.
      I would hope that we can do this without so much side discussions of unrelated topics. To avoid another topic that goes on for 30+ pages where only half of them were on-topic, I would suggest that if we get enough off-topic posts, we merely move them to another more appropriate topic.
      The link to the most recent topic on a similar subject is here:


       
    • By Raquel Segovia
      De un régimen especial administrado por la ONU a la partición en oeste y este y luego a la unificación tras la guerra de 1967, la ciudad sagrada ha tenido una larga y compleja historia reciente. Hoy es reclamada como capital tanto por Israel como por la Autoridad Nacional Palestina

      Jerusalén, la ciudad sagrada del judaísmo, el cristianismo y el islam, ha estado bajo control de Israel desde 1967, pero la comunidad internacional nunca reconoció este statu quo ni aceptó que el país la considerara su capital.
      La situación dio un giro este miércoles, cuando el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos anunció que va a trasladar su embajada desde Tel Aviv hasta Jerusalén, reconociéndola en su totalidad como capital de Israel, a pesar de que los palestinos también reclaman el este como la capital de su futuro Estado.
      La historia de Jerusalén es larga y compleja, y el reclamo israelí ahonda en lo más profundo hasta llegar a la Judá de la antigüedad, que la consideraba su capital. Los palestinos, por su parte, se sostienen en siglos de cohabitar la región junto a judíos y cristianos.
        Mapa de Jerusalén, entre 1947 y la guerra de 1948 (haga click en el mapa para más información)
      Lo cierto es que la ciudad pasó por el control de muchos imperios: el Alejandrino, el Romano, el Persa, el Omeya, el Ayubí, el Otomano y el Británico, por citar solo algunos.
      En 1947, la resolución 181 de la naciente Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) estableció la partición del Mandato de Palestina, controlado por Gran Bretaña, en los territorios de los nuevos Estados de Israel y Palestina.
      Mapa de Jerusalén, entre 1948 y la guerra de 1967 (haga click en el mapa para más información)
      En el caso de Jerusalén se designó un Régimen Internacional Especial, por medio del cual la ciudad sería administrada por la ONU. Pero la guerra árabe-israelí de 1948 impidió su implementación, y tras el cese al fuego Israel, controlaba el oeste de la ciudad y Jordania, el este.
      En ese momento, Israel la declaró su capital, aunque la comunidad internacional rechazó este anuncio, invocando la resolución 181.
      Mapa de Jerusalén, entre 1967 y la actualidad (haga click en el mapa para más información)
      En 1967, Israel realizó un ataque preventivo sobre Egipto, de quien temía una invasión inminente. A los combates enmarcados en la Guerra de los Seis Días se sumaron Siria y Jordania del lado egipcio y, tras una espectacular victoria, toda Jerusalén pasó a estar bajo control israelí.
      Desde entonces Israel siempre sostuvo que la ciudad era su capital y avanzó en la construcción de asentamientos en el este, pero ningún país lo había aceptado hasta ahora. Por otro lado, la Organización para la Liberación de Palestina y luego la Autoridad Nacional Palestina designaron al este de Jerusalén como su propia capital, lo que tampoco fue aceptado.
    • By The Librarian
      Donald Trump has announced that the time has come for the U.S. to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. There has already been a wave of criticism to the proposal across the Muslim and Arab world.
    • By JW Insider
      Even before C.T.Russell was born, commentaries on Bible prophecy included  dozens of potential dates. Nearly 200 years ago, a couple of them even included 1914 as potentially significant time period. The "1914 presence" doctrine, however, is only about 75 years old.
      All the ideas behind the Watch Tower's version of the 1914 doctrine have already been discussed for decades now, and all of them, so far, have been shown to be problematic from a Scriptural point of view. Since the time that the doctrine generally took its current shape in 1943, the meanings and applications of various portions of Matthew 24 and 25 have already been changed, and the timing of various prophesied events and illustrations have changed. Most recently, the meaning and identification of the "faithful and discreet slave" has changed. And the definition of "generation" has changed about half-a-dozen times. This doesn't mean that the current understandings are impossible, of course, only that it has become less likely from the point of view of reason and reasonableness.
      Besides, for most of the years of teaching this doctrine, we have had the flexibility of extending the "1914 generation" from a possible 40 years, up to 70, then 75, then 80 years. And this has been applied to teenagers who saw 1914, 10-year-olds who saw 1914, then even newborns who saw 1914. With every one of these options already tried and stretched to their limits, we finally were forced to convert the meaning of generation from its most common meanings and give it a new "strained" meaning that has no other Biblical parallel. (See Exodus 1:6; Matthew 1:17; 16:4; 23:36; Luke 11:50)
      But that flexibility is still seen as the last reason for hope that the Watch Tower Society might have still been correct in hanging on to 1914. Since the Bible says that a lifespan is 70 or 80 years and 1914 + 80 = 1994, the "generation" doctrine in its original form (1943) could remain stable until about 1994. Of course, a lifespan could technically reach to 120 years or more, and Gen 6:3 even gives vague support to the idea that the "1914 generation" could last 120 years, until 2034.
      The current alternative solution is to make the generation out of the length of two lifespans, which technically could be double 120 years, or nearly 240 years from 1914. That would have had the potential to reach to the year 2154 (1914+240) except for the caveat that it can, by its new definition, only refer to anointed persons who discerned the sign in 1914 and whose lives overlapped (technically, by as little as one second) with the lifespan of another anointed person representing the second group. If persons from each group don't really discern their own "anointing" until age 20, for example, this would effectively remove 40 years from the overall maximum. 1914+120-20+120-20 = 2114. We could also assume a possible lifespan of more than 120 years, but otherwise, the new two-lifespan generation could potentially make the generation last 200 years. This "technical maximum" is not promoted currently, because for now we look at examples like Fred Franz who was part of that original generation already anointed and who saw the sign, and the typical example of an anointed brother who was apparently "anointed" prior to Franz' death in 1992 would be someone like Governing Body member, Brother Sanderson, who was born in 1965, baptized in 1975, and was already a "special pioneer" in 1991. His is currently 52.
      However, the generation problem is just one more problem now which we can add onto the list of all the other points that make up the 1914 doctrine. Here are several points related to 1914 that appear problematic from a Scriptural point of view:
      All evidence shows the 1914 date is wrong when trying to base it on the destruction of Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1; 2 Chron 36:1-22; Jer 25:8-12; Zech 1:12, 7:4; Ezra 3:10-13) Paul said that Jesus sat at God's right hand in the first century and that he already began ruling as king at that time. (1 Cor 15:25) Jesus said not to be fooled by the idea that wars and rumors of wars would be the start of a "sign" (Matt 24:4,5) Jesus said that the "parousia" would be as visible as lightning (Matt 24:27). He spoke against people who might say he had returned but was currently not visible. (Matt 24:23-26) Jesus said that his "parousia" would come as a surprise to the faithful, not that they would discern the time of the parousia decades in advance. (Matt 24:36-42) Jesus said that the kingdom would not be indicated by "signs" (Luke 17:20, almost any translation except NWT in this case) The "synteleia" (end of all things together) refers to a concluding event, not an extended period of time (Matt 28:20) Jesus was already called ruler, King and even "King of Kings" in the first century. (1 Tim 6:15, Heb 7:2,17; Rev 1:5; 17:14) Wicked, beastly King Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and humiliation does not represent Jesus as the "lowliest one of mankind." (Heb 1:5,6; 2:10,11; Daniel 4:23-25; cf. Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 3:17,18) The demise of a Gentile kingdom cannot rightly represent the time of the rise of the Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 4:26,27) The Gentile kings did not meet their demise in 1914. (Rev 2:25,26) The time assigned to the Gentile Times that Jesus spoke about in Luke 21:24 is already given as 3.5 times, not 7 times (Revelation 11:2,3) The Devil was already brought down from "heaven" in the first century. (1 John 2:14,15; 1 Pet 5:8; Luke 10:18; Heb 2:14) The Bible says that the "last days" began in the first century. (Acts 2:14-20; 2 Tim 3:1-17; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Heb 1:2, almost any translation except NWT in this case.)
    • By Jack Ryan
      This is a nice article about archaeological finds, what caught my attention is the use of 586 BCE as the date for the destruction of Jerusalem.
      According to biblical descriptions, in 586 BCE, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar vanquished the Judaean king Zedekiah and razed his capital city, Jerusalem. The Babylonian captain of the guard Nebuzaradan was dispatched into the city, where, as told in the Book of Jeremiah, he “burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great man’s house, burned he with fire.”
      Source
    • By The Librarian
      The Destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem II
      POUSSIN, Nicolas
      1637
      Oil on canvas, 147 x 198 cm
      Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna 

      Via
    • By The Librarian
      There was no Islam back in Jesus Christ's time period. This is what is looked like...

      from the Watchtower April 15, 2013 via jw.org
       
    • By TrueTomHarley
      I never could get my head around our previous take on the Babylonian exile. Or care. I mean, a one-year period representing such an event?
      But the new package revealed Sunday makes so much more sense.
      'That new point the Governing Body wrote about?' said Mike Tussen's years ago. 'You may have already noticed that point in your studying. And if this were Christendom, you'd run out and start your own religion over it.'
      The uppity people take no interest in that new religion of Jesus because it is carpenters, fishermen and shoemakers. But then they figure out how to monetize it. All the highbrow people jump in, bringing all the highbrow ideas they love so, ideas from Aristotle and Plato.
      photo: Carla216
      Tom Irregardless and Me    30% free preview. After that, we'll talk, your people and mine.

    • By ARchiv@L
      QUESTIONS FROM READERS
      When were God’s people held captive by Babylon the Great?
      That spiritual captivity lasted from the second century C.E. to 1919. Why is this adjusted view warranted?
      All the evidence indicates that this captivity ended in 1919 when anointed Christians were gathered into the restored congregation. Consider: God’s people were tested and refined during the years following the establishment of God’s Kingdom in the heavens in 1914.*(Mal. 3:1-4) Then, in 1919, Jesus appointed “the faithful and discreet slave” over God’s cleansed people to give them spiritual “food at the proper time.” (Matt. 24:45-47) This was the year that God’s people started to return to their God-given spiritual estate. It was also the time when they were released from symbolic captivity to Babylon the Great. (Rev. 18:4) But when did that captivity actually begin?
      For a number of years, we explained that this captivity began in 1918 and involved a brief period of time when God’s people came under the control of Babylon the Great. For example, The Watchtower of March 15, 1992, stated: “Yet, as God’s ancient people were taken into Babylonian captivity for a time, in 1918 Jehovah’s servants came into a measure of bondage to Babylon the Great.” However, further research has shown that this captivity began much earlier than 1918.
      For example, let us consider one of the prophecies that foretold this captivity and release of God’s people. It is recorded at Ezekiel 37:1-14. In a vision, Ezekiel sees a valley filled with bones. Jehovah explains to Ezekiel that these bones represent “the whole house of Israel.” In its larger fulfillment, this restoration prophecy applies to “the Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:16; Acts 3:21) Next, Ezekiel sees the bones come to life and become a large army. What a fitting way to describe the spiritual resurrection of God’s people that culminated in the events of 1919! But what does this vision reveal to us concerning the length of time involved?
      First, we note that the bones are described as either “dry” or “very dry.” (Ezek. 37:2, 11) This indicates that those to whom the bones belonged had been dead for a very long time. Second, the restoration is described as a gradual process, not something that happens suddenly. Initially, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and “the bones began to come together, bone to bone.” Then, “sinews and flesh” were added. Next, the bones, sinews, and flesh were covered with skin. Eventually, “breath came into them, and they began to live.” Finally, Jehovah settled the revived people on their land. All of this would take time.—Ezek. 37:7-10, 14.
      The captivity of the ancient nation of Israel lasted a long time. It began in 740 B.C.E. with the fall and exile of many from the ten-tribe northern kingdom. Then, in 607 B.C.E., Jerusalem was destroyed and people of the southern kingdom of Judah were also taken into exile. This period of captivity ended in 537 B.C.E. when a remnant of the Jews returned to rebuild the temple and reestablished pure worship in Jerusalem.
      With these Scriptural details in mind, it becomes clear that the captivity of God’s people to Babylon the Great must have been much longer than the events of 1918-1919. The captivity parallels the time when the symbolic weeds would grow together with the wheatlike “sons of the Kingdom.” (Matt. 13:36-43) That growing season refers to the period during which genuine Christians were greatly outnumbered by apostates. The Christian congregation, in effect, was held captive by Babylon the Great. That captivity began sometime in the second century C.E. and continued until the cleansing of the spiritual temple in the time of the end.—Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thess. 2:3, 6; 1 John 2:18, 19.
      During that extended period of spiritual captivity, the clergy and their political associates, who were desirous of maintaining their power, kept the Word of God from the people under their control. At times, it was a crime to read the Bible in a common language. Some people who did so were even burned at the stake. Any who expressed an opinion contrary to what the clergy taught were dealt with harshly, thus stifling any attempts to spread the light of the truth.
      What about the second development, the restoration? When and how did that occur? This spiritual restoration work was a gradual process. It was accompanied by “a rattling sound” during the centuries leading up to the time of the end. Although false religious teachings held sway for the most part, some faithful individuals stood up in behalf of true worship to the extent that they were able to do so. Some of them endeavored to produce Bibles in the languages of the common people. Others declared the truths that they had discovered in the pages of God’s Word.
      Then, in the late 1800’s, Charles Taze Russell and his associates worked zealously to restore Bible truths. It was as if symbolic flesh and skin were starting to be put on spiritual skeletons. Zion’s Watch Tower and other publications helped honesthearted ones to discover spiritual truths. Later, such tools as the “Photo-Drama of Creation” in 1914 and the book The Finished Mystery in 1917 also strengthened God’s people. Finally, in 1919, God’s people were given life, spiritually speaking, and were settled in their new spiritual land. As time has progressed, this remnant of anointed ones has been joined by those with an earthly hope, and together they have become “an extremely large army.”—Ezek. 37:10; Zech. 8:20-23.*
      Given these facts, it becomes clear that God’s people went into captivity to Babylon the Great with the growth of the apostasy in the second century C.E. This was a dark period of time, similar to what the ancient Israelites experienced while in exile. How happy we can be, though, that after God’s people experienced centuries of spiritual oppression, we are living in the time when “those having insight will shine . . . brightly” and “many will cleanse themselves” and they “will be refined”!—Dan. 12:3, 10.

       
       
      pdf 
      Questions From Readers - babylon.pdf
      When were God’s people held captive by Babylon the Great?
      http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2016203
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Add 2 years: Evil-Merodach "After reigning but two years King Evil-Merodach was murdered" Babylon the Great Has Fallen - God's Kingdom Rules p.184
      Add 2 or 12 or 18 years -  wp_E_20111001

    • By Bible Speaks
      Model of Jerusalem at Rome Bethel. Photo shared by @_mimi_dreamy Jerusalem model Branch Office Italy
    • By The Librarian
      Jerusalem, a Middle Eastern city west of the Dead Sea, has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims since the biblical era. Its Old City retains significant religious sites concentrated around the Temple Mount compound, including the Western Wall, sacred to Judaism, and the Dome of the Rock, a 7th-century Islamic shrine with a gold dome.
       
       
      Jerusalem (/dʒəˈruːsələm/; Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Yerushaláyim pronounced [jeruʃaˈlajim]; Arabic: القُدس‎‎ al-Quds pronounced [ˈaːɫ ˈquːdsˤ] ( listen), Bait-ul-Muqaddas[3] (بيت المقدس), meaning "The Holy [City/Home]"), located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. In the ancient cuneiform, Jerusalem was called "Urusalima", meaning "City of Peace", during the early Canaanite period (approximately 2400 BC). It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.
      During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries.
      According to the Biblical tradition, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel, and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people.[9] The sobriquet of holy city (עיר הקודש, transliterated ‘ir haqodesh) was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. In Islamic tradition in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat), and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran. As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres (0.35 sq mi), the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount and its Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, the Garden Tomband al-Aqsa Mosque.
      Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory.[viii] One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Supreme Court. Whilst the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies. Jerusalem is also home to some non-governmental Israeli institutions of national importance, such as the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book.
      In 2011, Jerusalem had a population of 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000 (62%), Muslims 281,000 (35%), Christians 14,000 (around 2%) and 9,000 (1%) were not classified by religion.
      See also:
      New Jerusalem
      Heavenly Jerusalem
      Jerusalem Above
      Biblical Archaeology section (regarding Jerusalem
    • By Kurt
      Archaeologists have probed down to the bedrock foundations of the “wailing wall” in old Jerusalem.  They have confirmed that the large stones of the wall are not part of any temple that was standing there before Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 C.E.
      Some people have had the impression that the remnants of the wall are from Solomon’s temple, or from Herod’s temple.  But as an Israeli archaeologist stated recently:  “The wall you see is not the wall of Solomon’s Temple, . . . Nor is it even the wall of the temple built by Herod the Great,” which was the temple destroyed in 70 C.E.
      What was this wall that is now called the “wailing wall”? The archaeologist stated:  “When Herod decided to build the temple, he leveled off a site twice as large as the Acropolis—500 by 260 yards (457 by 237 meters)—bolstered by huge retaining walls.  The Western “wailing” Wall is that retaining wall.”
      In his prophecy about Herod’s temple, Jesus said to his followers:  “Truly I say to you, By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down.”  (Matt. 24:2)
      Archaeology confirms the truth of these prophetic words.
       
    • By admin
      A bus has exploded in Jerusalem, leaving around 16 injured, Israeli media report, citing emergency medical services
    • By Jack Ryan
      This date is important for our calculations of the Messianic Kingdom.
       
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