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All scripture is inspired of God. A small prophecy ?

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JOHN BUTLER -
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"All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness,"

2 Timothy 3 v 16

Was this in it's way a small prophecy ?                 

The 2nd book of Timothy was written 65 C.E.  However 1,2,3, John and Revelation were written much later.

So we have two points, 1. The writings were not complete when Paul wrote that information. 2, The Bible had not been constructed so no idea would have been formed as to what the Bible would contain. 

Were there other writings ? Would they be considered as Scripture? 

It seems that Paul was inspired to write that "All scripture is inspired.... " 

 

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@JOHN BUTLER First/Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy also known as The First/Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy

Yes all text is inspired, but at the same time it is also best to know who wrote what and when.

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I stand corrected, thank you. But the rest of the comment still stands. When Paul wrote those words he didn't know about the other scriptures to follow. Nor did he know about a 'Bible' being formed. 

I have now corrected the first comment. I should think more deeply before i write :( 

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10 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

When Paul wrote those words he didn't know about the other scriptures to follow. Nor did he know about a 'Bible' being formed

Opinion surely? We can't really state what Paul knew or didn't know on these matters, surely? He must have had some idea that there was a difference between "inspired" and non-inspired religious writings from his experience with the Hebrew Scriptures.

Probably you have a point that isn't coming across clearly to me here.

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4 hours ago, Gone Away said:

Opinion surely? We can't really state what Paul knew or didn't know on these matters, surely? He must have had some idea that there was a difference between "inspired" and non-inspired religious writings from his experience with the Hebrew Scriptures.

Probably you have a point that isn't coming across clearly to me here.

Well when i first started studying with the JW Org this scripture was used quite regularly. But I just accepted it as saying that the complete Bible was inspired of God. It is of course, but it never occured to me at the time that 'all scripture' had not been written when Paul made that statement. In my opinion, when many people study God's word with the JW's it's a bit parrot fashion, stick to the book. People don't seem to ask questions. I became of this opinion from the Book Study we used to have on a Tuesday evening at people's home. After the study people would stay for tea and biscuits, and there would be conversation. Most of the conversation was spiritual and I would ask people questions of their understanding of certain scriptures. It became clear to me that most JW's never questioned anything. They just took it for granted that the GB and the Org new everything and got everything right. It was from that time that I started to look deeper into God's word. Unfortunately at 69 years old, much of what I had learnt has gone. My mind / memory has deteriorated.  But there are a few things which i still find interesting, and this is one of them. How many JW's ever think of the fact that Paul wrote that information before the other scriptures were written and long before a Bible was composed ? 

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18 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Was this in it's way a small prophecy ?

Paul knew that Timothy was already well acquainted with the inspired Scriptures. So the reference would have been to the Hebrew Scriptures only at this time. This does not mean that Paul didn't recognize the status of at least some of his own letters or some parts of his own letters as "inspired." But it isn't likely Paul was referring to his own letters at this time, just the "Old Testament." Another question is whether Paul would have been thinking of the same set of books that we think of today. Some Jews and therefore some Jewish Christians might not have agreed on which books could be considered inspired (or partially inspired). I say partially, because some books had portions that included stories that were not considered inspired even if the primary portion of the book was considered inspired. (Daniel, Bel and the Dragon, Susannah and the Elders, etc., just as the book of John had a story about the near stoning of a woman caught in adultery, or Mark with both a short and long conclusion.

18 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

However 1,2,3, John and Revelation were written much later.

It's merely a tradition that tells us that the writer of 1,2,3 John and Revelation were the same person. Based on the language and grammar, it seems unlikely to many scholars that it was the same John who wrote Revelation. (The gospel of John was  apparently written by the same person who wrote 1,2, &3 John.) Also, there is some good external and some internal evidence and tradition that Revelation was written close to 96-100 CE. But there have also been some excellent scholarly books pointing to the possibility that Revelation could have been written prior to 70 CE. (Prior to Jerusalem's destruction by the Romans.)

For that matter, there is considerable speculation among scholars that the letters to Titus and Timothy were developed, more likely between 100 CE and 150 CE. This does not mean that they were not "Pauline," but to some scholars they appear to be attempts to turn Paul's counsel into a set of semi-legalistic rules. They are more akin, stylewise, to the style and content one would find in the books of 1 Clement, Ignatius or Polycarp. (Some of the writings and letters by the latter could well have been written prior to 1 & 2 Timothy.) If they are Paul's own direct words, many scholars find some of them at odds with the "spirit" of Paul's words in Thessalonians, Philippians, Romans and Corinthians.

Books of Enoch, Jannes and Jambres, The Assumption of Moses, 12 Patriarchs, Epistle of Barnabas, etc., were clearly very popular in some Christian circles likely going all the way back to the first century CE. There were also several gospel accounts that the writer of Luke hoped to replace with the gospel of Luke. This could have been one of the reasons that 1 John 4:1 asks Christians to "test the inspired utterances."

Of course, Christians much closer to the time when these books were first known were in a better position to test which of them had real apostolic authority and which came from the actual time period of the apostles. Also, when scholars look at supposed contradictions and assume a late authorship they are often taking the easy way out. Some portions of the Bible were clearly intended so that we would look at things from two different perspectives. The variations in the gospel accounts do not cause any doctrinal problems but they show different perspectives. The difference in James' statement that 'a person is declared righteous by works and not by faith alone,' while Paul says that 'a person is declared righteous by faith and not by works' is clearly intentional. These perspectives actually help us to 'make sure of all things.'

 

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Another question is whether Paul would have been thinking of the same set of books that we think of today.

What part would the gift of "discerning the spirits" (as some translate 1Cor.12:10) have had in Paul's evaluating the spiritual credentials of religious writings available at the time? 

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@JW Insider So where is one supposed to start ? If you are saying that the Bible might not be the book it should be. 

You make the plot thicken very much. For simple men such as i who cannot comprehend so much information, is there no hope ? 

SM talks so much about Strongs. Should we need to dig so deeply to find the truth ?  Some of the disciples / apostles were fishermen, maybe not of the highest intelligence ? No insult intended but what I'm saying is they were inspired by God through Christ so they had divine guidance. What should i have ? I don't expect divine guidance, or should I ?  Jesus was talking to 'chosen ones' when he said 'ask and it will be given to you'. Hence i believe that only a true  anointed class can fully understand the truth of God's word.  

You seem to say that so many different scholars had so many different opinions. And then we have the GB that at times admit they 'get it wrong'.  So who really can we believe ? 

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      Allons, n'aie pas peur       C'est moi le Potier 
    • By Jack Ryan
      (I wonder if Keanu Reeves actually said this or if some meme maker just posted this over his photo?)
    • By Jesus.defender
      Did Jesus really say He was God?
      That’s exactly how Jesus’ original audience seemed to take it when He said, “I and the Father are one.” In fact, the Jews were ready to kill Him right there! Why? “Because you,” they said, “a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).
      On another occasion, He used the personal name of Israel’s God–the name revealed to Moses (Exodus 3:14)–to refer to Himself. And He even used the Torah for context, so no one would misunderstand Him: “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). This would be about wild as telling a Muslim, “I am your God, Allah.” Don’t try that in Saudi Arabia! It’s no wonder the Jews tried to stone Him to death. That was the exact penalty for blasphemy under the Jewish legal system. It was pretty clear to everyone there  that He was saying, “I am Israel’s God.”

      Why Jesus is God? The Apostle Thomas called Jesus God.John 20:27-29: 2. The Apostle Peter called Jesus God.2 Peter 1:1: 3.The Apostle John called Jesus God.John 1:1-3, 4.God the Father called Jesus God.Hebrews 1:8: 5. God the Father called Jesus God. 6.Isaiah the Prophet said the Messiah would be God.Isaiah 9:67. The Jews who crucified Jesus understood Him to be saying that He was equal with God.John 5:18: 8.Jesus called Himself "I AM", the Old Testament name for God (Exodus 3:14).John 8:58-59. 9.Jesus calls Himself "the Alpha and Omega," the title of Almighty God.Revelation 22:12-13. 10. Like God (Gen. 1:1) Jesus created.Colossians 1:16-1711. Like God, Jesus forgives sin.Mark 2:5-7, 10-11:12. Like God, Jesus gives eternal life.John 10:27-28: 13. Like God, Jesus received, receives and will receive worship.Matthew 14:32-33. 14. Jesus said that only God was good; and Jesus was good. John 10:11: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."John 10:11: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."Jesus was as good as they come. He was "sinless," "holy," "righteous," "innocent," "undefiled," and "separate from sinners." (Hebrews 7:26) That's pretty good! 15. Like God, Jesus can be present in more than one place at the same time.Matthew 18:20: 16. One of Jesus' titles is "God with us."Matthew 1:23. 17. Jesus' blood is called God's blood.Acts 20:28: 18. Jesus has the same nature as God.Hebrews 1:3a: 19. Jesus spoke as God.Jesus did not speak as one of God's prophets: "thus says the Lord," but as God: "I say to you."Matthew 5:27-29. 20. Like God (Psalm 136:3), Jesus is called the Lord of Lords and King of kings.Revelation 17:14. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. ( WHEN WAS GOD PIERCED? ). And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel (means God Among Us). 
      John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
      John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
      John 8:58 "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." Crossreference with Exodus 3:14 "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
      John 10:33 "The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."
      John 20:28 "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."
      Collossians 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
      Hebrews 1:8 "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: "
      Matthew 4:10 "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Crossreference with Matthew 2:2, Matthew 2:11, Matthew 28:9.
      Isaiah 44:6 "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." Crossreference with Revelation 1:17 "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he." and Revelation 1:8 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."
      2Peter. Jehovah The Father appears.
      John 1. Jehovah the son.
      John 8:58 Jesus identifies Himself as Jehovah "I Am"
      Acts 5. Jehovah the Holy Spirit identified.
    • By Bible Speaks
      “Send out your light and your truth. May these themselves lead me.” Psalm 43:3.  JEHOVAH is very considerate in the way he makes his purposes known to his servants. Instead of revealing the truth all at once in one blinding flash of light, he enlightens us progressively. Our trek along life’s pathway might be compared to a walk that a hiker takes down a long trail. He starts out early in the morning and sees little. As the sun begins to rise slowly over the horizon, the hiker is able to distinguish a few features of his surroundings. The rest he sees in hazy outline. But as the sun continues its ascent, he can see farther and farther into the distance. So it is with the spiritual light that God provides. He allows us to discern a few things at a time. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, provided spiritual enlightenment in a similar manner. Let us learn how Jehovah enlightened his people in ancient times and how he does so today.

    • By Srecko Sostar
      Confusing and controversial ideas and perceptions we can find about God, life and death, feelings, acts/deeds of human and gods.
       
      HOW GOD FEELS ABOUT LIFE
      3. What did Jehovah do when Cain killed Abel?
      3 The Bible teaches us that our life and the lives of other people are precious to Jehovah. For example, when Cain—Adam and Eve’s son—was very angry with his younger brother Abel, Jehovah warned Cain that he needed to control his anger. But Cain didn’t listen, and he became so angry that he “assaulted his brother Abel and killed him.” (Genesis 4:3-8) Jehovah punished Cain for murdering Abel. (Genesis 4:9-11) So anger and hatred are dangerous because they can make us become violent or cruel. A person who is like that cannot have everlasting life. (Read1 John 3:15.) To please Jehovah, we must learn to love all people.—1 John 3:11, 12. - https://www.jw.org/ase/publications/books/bible-study/respect-gods-gift-of-life-blood/
       
      On other side we can find this in Bible, directly as words inspired to be written by Almighty God.  
       
       
        7   Remember, O Jehovah,What the Eʹdom·ites said on the day Jerusalem fell:“Tear it down! Tear it down to its foundations!”+ 
      8  O daughter of Babylon, who is soon to be devastated,+Happy will be the one who rewards you With the treatment you inflicted on us.+
      9  Happy will be the one who seizes your children And dashes them against the rocks.+ -  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/psalms/137/
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      The JW Org / GB say that Armageddon is very close. They also say that Jehovah is speeding up the work in these 'last days'.
      Now, it seems I'm not one for knowing truth from lies, so people keep telling me, but this webpage/site seemed interesting to me.
       It seems to show more of a decrease in JW's, but more importantly it seems to show more of a lack of faith, or lack of action / 'works' of JW's. It also shows a large number of people leaving the JW Org. 
      If this video or page has been used before then I apologise for any repeat. But I thought it was of interest. 
      https://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/statistics.php
    • By admin
      He is according to Pope Francis...
      i know a lot of members on here are religious and I saw this in the bookstore today 


    • By JOHN BUTLER
      This topic is aimed toward asking ADMIN these questions. I do not know who Admin are. Some folks here seem to have made friends with Admin where as I just use the forum. 
      Why was Jehovah's Witnesses Private Club set up ?
      Should it be 999% about Jehovah's Witnesses and their Organisation, which would include the GB ?
      Am I therefore wrong when i only talk about Jehovah's Witnesses and have no interest in other religions ?
      There are those on here that regularly 'bite my ears off' because i only talk about the JW's, but I thought that was the intention of this forum.
      Admin please clarify these matters for me, please ...... 
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I have always wondered if the Bible is for 'all of us' to understand fully, or if it's only for a chosen few to fully understand.
      I don't mean is it just for one 'religion' to understand, I mean is it just for say 'an anointed group of people to understand'? 
      Jesus spoke in illustrations to the people, but the disciples asked Jesus what the illustrations meant. Then Jesus would explain the illustration to them fully. 
      Jesus told his disciples that 'to them the sacred secrets would be revealed' but that the crowd would not get the meaning of such things. 
      It was also that after Jesus was resurrected he opened the eyes of his disciples / apostles so that they began to fully understand all things.
      For my part I would never expect to fully understand God's word the Bible. A lot of it is straight forward of course, and easy to comprehend.
      But I think a lot of it is 'in deep code' so to speak, only fully understood by those that Jehovah chooses.. 
      It still seems strange to me, but it would be a separate topic, that God allows it to be so difficult for people to find any truth amongst the huge amount of lies in 'religion'. 
      However, in my opinion, there has to be a 'group of humans' 'anointed people' that do have some direct contact with God, through Jesus Christ. 
      We no longer have 'miracles' being done in Christ's name, so it is difficult to know exactly who the 'chosen ones' are. 
      If there was a 'body of people' that could prove that they had God's approval and God's holy spirit, that would make life much easier. 
      However when those that say they are chosen either make mistakes or tell lies about the meaning of scripture, and then their predictions fail, then they seem to prove themselves false or without God's guidance.
      So we go back to square one. Is there really a 'body of people' being truly guided and upbuilt by God's holy spirit at this time ? 
      Is the Bible and it's prophecies being fully opened up to such ones ?
       
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    • Nope we can’t blame their lack of inspiration by Holy Spirit on distance.  What they do blame it on, is Jesus.  Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food. w17 February p. 26 In light of this admittance, what is absolutely ironic is the emphasis on “pure language”. It is especially noteworthy that the language that God gives his servants is said to be pure. This is true, not because of grammatical construction, but because it gives evidence of moral and spiritual cleanness. There is no allowance in this language for lying, deceit, or a tricky tongue. Those who speak this language must always speak truth. w91 4/1 p. 24-25 The organization boasts that “pure language” is found in the organization, when at the same time its leaders fail in providing truth.  Jesus did promise to teach his faithful servants “all things”, which would be “perfect spiritual food”.  John 14:26; 1 John 2:27  Since the GB cannot receive it, neither do they receive the “pure language” from God...or anyone who learns from them.        
    • Anna: .... I tried to read all that stuff from the 1968 Watchtower you posted.  I REALLY did. But I concluded that the whole thing could probably be condensed to two short paragraphs, and to read it in it's entirety would probably be fatal to me, from the handful of caffeine tablets I would need to finish it. ...continuing with TTH's comments about John F. Kennedy being the impetus to get mankind to the Moon ..... the thought just occurred to me that with all his foibles, weaknesses, and missteps, ( Bay of Pigs .. what's THAT?), and setting the stage for the Vietnam War, etc., he was sorta like the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, with all their foibles and general cluelessness. What he did RIGHT ... makes up for everything else, with change left over. Same thing.
    • My opening scriptures were Rev 5:9,10.  If you will look again at the WT’s Greek Interlinear, it states that the kings/priests will reign ON the earth.  Do you want to change that truth, Arauna?  If you could only see that a “new creation” is both heavenly and human.  They will serve God in heaven and as the early priests were commissioned to do – teach and serve the people under the direction of their High Priest, Jesus Christ..  Mal 2:7; Rev 1:5,6; 7:15  Can God’s priesthood teach the people if they remain in a spiritual state that the rest of God’s children do not have access to?  Can they say these words and be heard if they are out of contact with God’s future children?... “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And the one who hears, let him say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty, let him come. The one who wants, let him take the water of life freely.”  Rev 22:17 Can “New Jerusalem” prepared as a bride, come down from heaven if it is to remain in heaven?  Rev 22:2 Remember, the “144,000” are the Temple, the Holy City.  They bring God’s Spirit/direction/guidance to His children.   And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with humanity, and he will take up residence with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them.  Rev 21:3 The dwelling of God is the Temple/House of God – 1 Cor 3:16,17; 1 Cor 6:19; Eph 2:20-22 So, his ability to come back to earth has now passed.  Is this what you are saying?  Where are the scriptures that support this?  I have provided scripture that show Jesus returning to the earth. And after he had said these things, while they were watching, he was taken up, and a cloud received him from their sight. 10 And as they were staring into the sky while he was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood by them 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand there lookin] into the sky? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven like this will come back in the same way you saw him departing into heaven!” Acts 1:9-11 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “And let all the angels of God worship him.”  Heb 1:6  I am pretty amazed that Gen 28:12-17 and John 1:51 do not help you see that Jesus will be on the earth in the Kingdom.  I hope you actually read them.  A symbolic stairway in Jacob's vision is set up between heaven and earth.  The descendants of Jacob in Genesis, are “Israel”.  His descendants, the “144,000” inherit the earth.  Jesus referred to the stairway again in John, with his “angel”/messengers “ascending and descending” upon the Son of Man.   An anointed, refined and found faithful can be sealed while on the earth.  Yet even so, their obedience only to Christ must continue until he returns.  1 Cor 1:21,22; Eph 1:13; 4:30 Can you see you are creating a doctrine with no sound basis?  How do you know this?  You speak of unity among all in the organization, yet they are all individuals, both men and women.  You have even in error, designated that the organization's members are the Body of Christ.  But, when it comes the the true anointed Body of Christ you now say there will be no men or women, but clones as your GB portray them, once God's Kingdom arrives.  You are applying two sets of standards, which is hypocrisy.    Yes they do. You can see the slaves however you like, but I detect you looking through the lens of the GB who are telling all JWs lies about the anointed ones.  I see what scripture points out clearly, that the elders have usurped the role of God’s priesthood. Matt 24:15,16; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 11:1-3; 13:6  Revelation’s “Jezebel” feeds God’s servants/slaves lies, and expects gratitude given to an organization, an idol.  Your very words speak their lies. The ancient Jezebel killed the prophets of God (1 Kings 18:13);  today’s “Jezebel” spiritually “kills” any anointed as well as their companions who see truth and reveal “her” lies.  Rev 13:11,14-17 But I have against you that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, the one who calls herself a prophetess,(Rev 13:11) and teaches and deceives my slaves to commit sexual immorality (spiritual harlotry) and to eat food sacrificed to idols.  Rev 2:20 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear, and will produce great signs and wonders in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect    
    • One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! Here authors said how some "fulfilled Bible prophecy" showed something. This would mean how WT Society knew at that time what was already fulfilled or it will be. Is this claim really correct? Because they made interpretations about human events and projected their expectations, explained them as Bible prophecies. This was common practice. Another thing, let me remind please what was explanation of "generation" in 1968?  But they knew "something" about 70., what was more important for them :)) .... and it seems how "instructions" (gave from Jesus, and not Jeruzalem GB)  showed themselves as reasonable even from human standpoint. :))
    • After today's WT study I was reminded of how much simpler and clearer we have become. There are still some speculative elements there, but overall its nothing compared to some past WT studies, and although this might be slightly off topic here (but still on topic with regard to "difficult doctrine") I would just like to post one example from 1968. (WT 68/8/15)  Either people were more patient and studious than they are now, or even back then, perhaps only a handful were able to wrap their heads around this study. I will be bold enough to say many may have just heard "end in 1975", and that's it. Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? 1, 2. (a) What has sparked special interest in the year 1975, and with what results? (b) But what questions are raised? WHAT about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion. 2 But wait! How do we know their calculations are correct? What basis is there for saying Adam was created nearly 5,993 years ago? Does the one Book that can be implicitly trusted for its truthful historical accuracy, namely, the Inspired Word of Jehovah, the Holy Bible, give support and credence to such a conclusion? 3. Is the date for Adam’s creation as found in many copies of the Bible part of the inspired Scriptures, and do all agree on the date? 3 In the marginal references of the Protestant Authorized or King James Version, and in the footnotes of certain editions of the Catholic Douay version, the date of man’s creation is said to be 4004 B.C.E. This marginal date, however, is no part of the inspired text of the Holy Scriptures, since it was first suggested more than fifteen centuries after the last Bible writer died, and was not added to any edition of the Bible until 1701 C.E. It is an insertion based upon the conclusions of an Irish prelate, the Anglican Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656). Ussher’s chronology was only one of the many sincere efforts made during the past centuries to determine the time of Adam’s creation. A hundred years ago when a count was taken, no less than 140 different timetables had been published by serious scholars. In such chronologies the calculations as to when Adam was created vary all the way from 3616 B.C.E. to 6174 B.C.E., with one wild guess set at 20,000 B.C.E. Such conflicting answers contained in the voluminous libraries around the world certainly tend to compound the confusion when seeking an answer to the above questions. 4. What have we learned in our previous study, and, hence, what are we now prepared to do? 4 In the previous article we learned from the Inspired Writings themselves, independent of the uninspired marginal notes of some Bibles, that the seventy years of desolation of the land of Judah began to count about October 1, 607 B.C.E. The beginning of this seventy-year period was obviously tied to its ending, that is, with the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C.E. So with 607 B.C.E. as dependably fixed on our Gregorian calendar as the absolute date of 539 B.C.E. we are prepared to move farther back in the count of time, to the dating of other important events in Bible history. For instance, the years when Saul, David and Solomon reigned successively over God’s chosen people can now be dated in terms of the present-day calendar. 5. What history-making events took place in 997 B.C.E.? 5 At the death of Solomon his kingdom was split into two parts. The southern two-tribe part, composed of Judah and Benjamin, continued to be ruled by Solomon’s descendants, and was known as the kingdom of Judah. The northern ten tribes made up the kingdom of Israel, sometimes called “Samaria” after the name of its later capital city, and were ruled over by Jeroboam and his successors. By our applying the prophetic time period of 390 years found in Ezekiel 4:1-9 with regard to Jerusalem’s destruction the death of Solomon is found to be in the year 997 B.C.E. This was 390 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. ISRAEL’S ERRORS CARRIED 390 YEARS 6, 7. What time periods are referred to in Ezekiel 4:1-9? 6 Notice what is said on this matter by the prophet Ezekiel: 7 “And you, O son of man, take for yourself a brick, and you must put it before you, and engrave upon it a city, even Jerusalem. And you must lay siege against it . . . It is a sign to the house of Israel. And as for you, lie upon your left side, and you must lay the error of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you will lie upon it you will carry their error. And I myself must give to you the years of their error to the number of three hundred and ninety days, and you must carry the error of the house of Israel. And you must complete them. And you must lie upon your right side in the second case, and you must carry the error of the house of Judah forty days. A day for a year, a day for a year, is what I have given you. . . . And as for you, take for yourself wheat and barley and broad beans and lentils and millet and spelt, and you must put them in one utensil and make them into bread for you, for the number of the days that you are lying upon your side; three hundred and ninety days you will eat it.”—Ezek. 4:1-9. 8. When did the carrying of the “error” of the southern kingdom end? 8 This chapter 4 of Ezekiel, was not recounting past historical events but was prophecy of future events. It was telling of the time in the future when the glorious city of Jerusalem would be besieged and its inhabitants taken captive, all of which occurred in 607 B.C.E. So the forty years spoken of in the case of Judah ended in that year. The “error” of the northern kingdom, said to be carried for 390 years, was nearly tenfold greater when compared with the error of Judah carried for 40 years. When, then, did these 390 years end? 9. What indicates the “error” of the northern kingdom also ended in 607 B.C.E.? 9 They were not terminated in 740 B.C.E., when Samaria was destroyed, for the simple fact that Ezekiel enacted this prophetic drama sometime after “the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin,” which would make the termination not earlier than 613 B.C.E., that is, 127 years after the destruction of Samaria by Assyria. (Ezek. 1:2) Since this whole prophetic drama plainly pointed forward to the destruction of Jerusalem, and since both the house of Israel and the house of Judah were in reality one inseparable covenant-bound people, the remnant of whom would not be a divided people upon their return from exile, there is only one reasonable conclusion, namely, the errors of both houses ran concurrently and terminated at the same time in 607 B.C.E. In this way the 70 years of desolation of the land of Judah ended 70 years after the termination of carrying the error of both houses, so that thus a remnant of both houses could return to the site of Jerusalem. 10. So when did the “error” of Israel begin? 10 If the “error of the house of Israel” ended in 607, its beginning, 390 years prior thereto, was in 997 B.C.E. It began the year that King Solomon died and Jeroboam committed error, yes, great error, in that Jeroboam, whose domain was ripped off from the house of David, “proceeded to part Israel from following Jehovah,” causing them “to sin with a great sin.”—2 Ki. 17:21. DATE OF EXODUS, 1513 B.C.E. 11, 12. What other event in man’s history are we now prepared to date, and with the aid of what key text? 11 Looking back into the distant past we see another milestone in man’s history, the never-to-be-forgotten exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, under the leadership of Moses. Were it not for Jehovah’s faithful Word the Bible, it would be impossible to locate this great event accurately on the calendar, for Egyptian hieroglyphics are conspicuously silent concerning the humiliating defeat handed that first world power by Jehovah. But with the Bible’s chronology, how relatively simple it is to date that memorable event! 12 At 1 Kings 6:1 we read: “And it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv, that is, the second month, after Solomon became king over Israel, that he proceeded to build the house to Jehovah.” 13, 14. (a) On the Gregorian calendar, in what year did Solomon begin to reign? (b) In what year did he begin the building of the temple? 13 With this information one has only to determine what calendar year Solomon began building the temple, and it is then an easy matter to figure when Pharaoh’s army was destroyed in the Red Sea. 14 “And the days that Solomon had reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel were forty years.” (1 Ki. 11:42) This means that his last full regnal year ended in the spring of 997 B.C.E.* Adding 40 to 997 gives 1037 B.C.E., the year that Solomon began his peaceful reign. He did not begin the temple building, as the account says, until the second month of the fourth year of his reign, which means he had ruled a full three years and one month. Thus subtracting 3 years from 1037 one gets 1034 B.C.E., the year that the building work began. The time of the year was the second month Ziv, that is, April-May. This, the Bible says, was “in the four hundred and eightieth year” after the Israelites left Egypt. 15. (a) Explain the difference between a cardinal and an ordinal number. (b) So when did the Israelites leave Egypt? 15 Anytime we put a “th” on the end of a number, for instance on the number 10, saying 10th, the number is changed from a cardinal to an ordinal number. When one speaks about playing baseball in the tenth inning of the game, it means that nine full innings have already been played, but only part of the tenth; ten innings are not yet completed. Likewise, when the Bible uses an ordinal number, saying that the building of the temple began in the 480th year after the Israelites left Egypt, and when that particular year on the calendar is known to be 1034 B.C.E., then we add 479 full years (not 480) to 1034 and arrive at the date 1513 B.C.E., the year of the Exodus. It too was springtime, Passover time, the 14th day of the month Nisan. HOW LONG SINCE THE FLOOD? 16. How far back in history have we now penetrated, and what are the prospects of probing even deeper? 16 Already with the help supplied by the Bible we have accurately measured back from the spring of this year 1968 C.E. to the spring of 1513 B.C.E., a total of 3,480 years. With the continued faithful memory and accurate historical record of Jehovah’s Holy Word we can penetrate even deeper into the past, back to the flood of Noah’s day. 17. In recounting Israel’s experiences, to what events and to what time period does Stephen refer? 17 Stephen, the first martyred footstep follower of Jesus Christ, referred to what Jehovah said would befall Abraham’s offspring. “Moreover, God spoke to this effect, that his seed would be alien residents in a foreign land and the people would enslave them and afflict them for four hundred years.” (Acts 7:6; Gen. 15:13) Stephen here mentions three of Israel’s past experiences: As alien residents in a foreign land, as people in slavery, and as people afflicted for four hundred years. 18. What argues against the conclusion that these events were separate experiences following one another in consecutive order? 18 It would be a mistake to assume that all three of these experiences were of equal duration, or that they were separate individual experiences that followed one another in consecutive order. It was long after their entrance into Egypt as aliens that they were enslaved, more than 70 years later, and sometime after the death of Joseph. Rather, Stephen was saying that within the same 400-year period in which they were afflicted, they were also enslaved and were also alien residents. 19. How do we know the Israelites were “aliens” before entering Egypt? 19 Please note that, when Stephen said they were “alien residents in a foreign land . . . for four hundred years,” he did not say and he did not mean to imply that they were not alien residents before entering Egypt. So it is a mistake to insist that this text proves the Israelites were in Egypt for four hundred years. It is true that, upon entering Egypt and being presented before Pharaoh for the first time, Joseph’s brothers said: “We have come to reside as aliens in the land.” But they did not say nor did they mean that up until then they had not been alien residents, for on the same occasion their father Jacob, when asked by Pharaoh how old he was, declared: “The days of the years of my alien residences are a hundred and thirty years.” And not only had Jacob spent his whole lifetime as an alien resident before coming to Egypt, but he told Pharaoh that his forefathers before him also had been alien residents.—Gen. 47:4-9. 20. When did these 400 years end, and when did they begin? 20 Since the affliction of Israel ended in 1513 B.C.E., it must have begun in 1913, 400 years earlier. That year would correspond to the time that Isaac was afflicted by Ishmael “poking fun” at him on the day that Isaac was weaned. At the time, Isaac was five years old, and this was long before the Israelites entered Egypt.—Gen. 21:8, 9. 21, 22. Were the Israelites 430 years in Egypt exclusively, and how do certain ancient manuscripts shed light on this point? 21 Well, then, how long were the Israelites down in Egypt as alien residents? Exodus 12:40, 41 says: “And the dwelling of the sons of Israel, who had dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came about at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it even came about on this very day that all the armies of Jehovah went out of the land of Egypt.” 22 Here Ex 12 verse 40 in the Septuagint reads: “But the dwelling of the sons of Israel which they [and their fathers, Alexandrine MS] dwelt in the land of Egypt AND IN THE LAND OF CANAAN [was] four hundred and thirty years long.” The Samaritan Pentateuch reads: “IN THE LAND OF CANAAN and in the land of Egypt.” Thus both of these versions, which are based on Hebrew texts older than the Masoretic, include the words “in the land of Canaan” together with the word “Egypt.” 23. (a) So how long were the Israelites actually in Egypt, and how does Paul confirm this? (b) Explain the difference between the 400 and the 430 years mentioned in the Scriptures. 23 From the time that Abraham entered Canaan until Isaac’s birth was 25 years;* from that time until Jacob’s birth, 60 more years; and after that it was another 130 years before Jacob entered Egypt. All together this makes a total of 215 years, exactly half of the 430 years, spent in Canaan before moving in to Egypt. (Gen. 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9) The apostle Paul, under inspiration, also confirms that from the making of the Abrahamic covenant at the time the patriarch moved into Canaan, it was 430 years down to the institution of the Law covenant.—Gal. 3:17. 24, 25. The Flood began in what calendar year, and how long was this before Abraham entered Canaan? 24 By adding this 430 years to the 1513 it puts us back to 1943 B.C.E., the time when Abraham first entered Canaan following the death of his father Terah in Haran, Mesopotamia. It is now only a matter of adding up the years of a few generations to date the Flood correctly. The figures are given in Genesis, chapters 11 and 12, and may be summarized as follows: From start of Flood To Arpachshad’s birth (Gen. 11:10) 2 years To birth of Shelah (11:12) 35 “ To birth of Eber (11:14) 30 “ To birth of Peleg (11:26) 34 “ To birth of Reu (11:18) 30 “ To birth of Serug (11:20) 32 “ To birth of Nahor (11:22) 30 “ To birth of Terah (11:24) 29 “ To death of Terah in Haran, and Abram’s departure to Canaan at age of 75 (11:32; 12:4) 205 “ Total 427 years 25 Adding these 427 years to the year 1943 B.C.E. dates the beginning of the Deluge at 2370 B.C.E., 4,337 years ago. 6,000 YEARS FROM ADAM’S CREATION 26, 27. (a) How long before the Flood was Adam created? In what year? (b) What indicates that Adam was created in the fall of the year? 26 In a similar manner it is only necessary to add up the following years involving ten pre-Flood generations to get the date of Adam’s creation, namely: From Adam’s creation To birth of Seth (Gen. 5:3) 130 years To birth of Enosh (5:6) 105 “ To birth of Kenan (5:9) 90 “ To birth of Mahalalel (5:12) 70 “ To birth of Jared (5:15) 65 “ To birth of Enoch (5:18) 162 “ To birth of Methuselah (5:21) 65 “ To birth of Lamech (5:25) 187 “ To birth of Noah (5:28, 29) 182 “ To beginning of Flood (7:6) 600 “ Total 1,656 years 27 Adding this figure 1,656 to 2,370 gives 4026 B.C.E., the Gregorian calendar year in which Adam was created. Since man naturally began to count time with his own beginning, and since man’s most ancient calendars started each year in the autumn, it is reasonable to assume that the first man Adam was created in the fall of the year. 28. How does this chronology differ from Ussher’s in regard to Adam’s creation? 28 Thus, through a careful independent study by dedicated Bible scholars who have pursued the subject for a number of years, and who have not blindly followed some traditional chronological calculations of Christendom, we have arrived at a date for Adam’s creation that is 22 years more distant in the past than Ussher’s figure. This means time is running out two decades sooner than traditional chronology anticipates. 29. Why be concerned with the date of Adam’s creation? 29 After much of the mathematics and genealogies, really, of what benefit is this information to us today? Is it not all dead history, as uninteresting and profitless as walking through a cemetery copying old dates off tombstones? After all, why should we be any more interested in the date of Adam’s creation than in the birth of King Tut? Well, for one thing, if 4,026 is added to 1,968 (allowing for the lack of a zero year between C.E. and B.C.E.) one gets a total of 5,993 years, come this autumn, since Adam’s creation. That means, in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now (and not in 1997 as would be the case if Ussher’s figures were correct), it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam, the father of all mankind! ADAM CREATED AT CLOSE OF “SIXTH DAY” 30. What may occur before 1975, but what attitude should we take? 30 Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovah’s loving and timely purposes. Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative “day.” Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the “sixth day,” which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or “day” ended, and how long Adam lived into the “seventh day.” And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years. 31. What do the first two chapters of Genesis disclose? 31 In regard to Adam’s creation it is good to read carefully what the Bible says. Moses in compiling the book of Genesis referred to written records or “histories” that predated the Flood. The first of these begins with Genesis 1:1 and ends at Genesis 2:4 with the words, “This is the history of the heavens and the earth . . . ” The second historical document begins with Genesis 2:5 and ends with Ge verse two of chapter five. Hence we have two separate accounts of creation from slightly different points of view. In the second of these accounts, in Genesis 2:19, the original Hebrew verb translated “was forming” is in the progressive imperfect form. This does not mean that the animals and birds were created after Adam was created. Genesis 1:20-28 shows it does not mean that. So, in order to avoid contradiction between Ge chapter one and chapter two, Genesis 2:19, 20 must be only a parenthetical remark thrown in to explain the need for creating a “helper” for man. So the progressive Hebrew verb form could also be rendered as “had been forming.”—See Rotherham’s translation (Ro), also Leeser’s (Le). 32. What indicates the sixth creative day did not end immediately with Adam’s creation? 32 These two creation accounts in the book of Genesis, though differing slightly in the treatment of the material, are in perfect agreement with each other on all points, including the fact that Eve was created after Adam. So not until after this event did the sixth creative day come to an end. Exactly how soon after Adam’s creation is not disclosed. “After that [Adam and Eve’s creation] God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day.” (Gen. 1:31) After the sixth creative day ends, the seventh one begins. 33. (a) How do we know the end of the sixth creative day came very soon after Adam’s creation? (b) How does Genesis 1:31 prove the sixth day ended before Adam and Eve sinned? 33 This time between Adam’s creation and the beginning of the seventh day, the day of rest, let it be noted, need not have been a long time. It could have been a rather short one. The naming of the animals by Adam, and his discovery that there was no complement for himself, required no great length of time. The animals were in subjection to Adam; they were peaceful; they came under God’s leading; they were not needing to be chased down and caught. It took Noah only seven days to get the same kinds of animals, male and female, into the Ark. (Gen. 7:1-4) Eve’s creation was quickly accomplished, ‘while Adam was sleeping.’ (Gen. 2:21) So the lapse of time between Adam’s creation and the end of the sixth creative day, though unknown, was a comparatively short period of time. The pronouncement at the end of the sixth day, “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good,” proves that the beginning of the great seventh day of the creative week did not wait until after Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. 1975! . . . AND FAR BEYOND! 34. What has brought about a better understanding of Bible chronology? 34 Bible chronology is an interesting study by which historic events are placed in their order of occurrence along the stream of time. The Watch Tower Society over the years has endeavored to keep its associates abreast with the latest scholarship that proves consistent with historic and prophetic events recorded in the Scriptures. Major problems in sacred chronology have been straightened out either due to fulfillment of Bible prophecies or by reason of archaeological discoveries or because better Bible translations convey more clearly the records of the original languages. However, several knotty problems of chronology of a minor nature are not yet resolved. For example, at the time of the exodus from Egypt when Jehovah changed the beginning of the year from autumn time on the secular calendar to spring time on the sacred calendar, was there, in the Jewish calendar, a loss or a gain of six months?—Ex. 12:1, 2. 35. Why is this no time for indifference and complacency? 35 One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! (Matt. 24:34) This is, therefore, no time to be indifferent and complacent. This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that “concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matt. 24:36) To the contrary, it is a time when one should be keenly aware that the end of this system of things is rapidly coming to its violent end. Make no mistake, it is sufficient that the Father himself knows both the “day and hour”! 36. What helpful example did the apostles leave us in this regard? 36 Even if one cannot see beyond 1975, is this any reason to be less active? The apostles could not see even this far; they knew nothing about 1975. All they could see was a short time ahead in which to finish the work assigned to them. (1 Pet. 4:7) Hence, there was a ring of alarm and a cry of urgency in all their writings. (Acts 20:20; 2 Tim. 4:2) And rightly so. If they had delayed or dillydallied and had been complacent with the idea the end was some thousands of years off they would never have finished running the race set before them. No, they ran hard and they ran fast, and they won! It was a life or death matter with them.—1 Cor. 9:24; 2 Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1. 37. So what will you be doing between now and 1975? And beyond that, what? 37 So too with Jehovah’s faithful witnesses in this latter half of the twentieth century. They have the true Christian point of view. Their strenuous evangelistic activity is not something peculiar to this present decade. They have not dedicated their lives to serve Jehovah only until 1975. Christians have been running this way ever since Christ Jesus blazed the trail and commanded his disciples, “Follow me!” So keep this same mental attitude in you that was in Christ Jesus. Let nothing slow you down or cause you to tire and give out. Those who will flee Babylon the Great and this Satanic system of things are now running for their lives, headed for God’s kingdom, and they will not stop at 1975. O no! They will keep on in this glorious way that leads to everlasting life, praising and serving Jehovah for ever and ever!     You are referring to Luke 10:17,18 "Then the 70 returned with joy, saying: “Lord, even the demons are made subject to us by the use of your name.” At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven".  But one of the cross references to Satan falling is Revelation 12:7-9   "And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8  but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9  So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him". I wonder why, since as you say we are to understand that it referred to the power Satan had over Jesus and his disciples. In a way no, but I think we are meant to see that the world in general was brought into more of a turmoil than it had been before, with the world warring on a worldwide scale, with lethal weapons capable of total world destruction I am thinking rather than using the word "defeat" (because Satan won't be defeated until after the 1000 years) the purpose of the battle in heaven in 1914 was to cleanse the heavens of his evil presence. Then during Armageddon it will be to bind him and put him in "jail" for a period of time. So no, I don't think there are several stages of defeat.   We are to believe that what changed after the battle in 1914 was the world in general.   Yes indeed. But how fatal would it really be if we ignored Jesus words about not knowing the day or hour?
    • The music video for Lionel Richie's "Hello" directed by Bob Giraldi, attracts attention as it tells the story of a music teacher (played by Lionel Richie) who falls in love with his blind student. "Hello is it me you're looking for?" is quite an insensitive pick up line to use on a blind woman.   Ah, the 80s, when people thought teachers stalking their disabled students was romantic...    
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