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Srecko Sostar

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    Srecko Sostar reacted to 4Jah2me in Prophecy & Signs, Truth & Conspiracy, Covid-19, the UN, Disgusting Thing, Truth and Conspiracies   
    The GB obviously are. Defective 'priests' offering false sacrifice and getting their results from the Devil. Having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power. 
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    Srecko Sostar reacted to Witness in "PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO THANK JEHOVAH", FOR USDA FOOD BOXES   
    It looks like the organization is consorting with charlatans. 
    "charlatans" -  a person who pretends to have skills or knowledge that the person does not actually have.
    2 Tim 3:13 – “But evil people and *charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves.”
    *γόης góēs, go'-ace; from γοάω goáō (to wail); properly, a wizard (as muttering spells), i.e. (by implication) an imposter:—seducer.
    It is pure wizardry, for the organization to convince its members that "Jehovah" is the source of delivered food boxes.
    "Churches distributing USDA food boxes are blurring the boundaries between church and state."
    Religious groups distributing Covid hunger-relief boxes are praying with recipients, taping Bible verses onto flaps, and soliciting donations. Some of these practices may violate federal regulations.
    In mid-June, Heather* received a 20-pound box of produce from a local branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses on behalf of her grandmother, an active member of the church. It held potatoes, onions, apples, and a cauliflower—and came with an unexpected letter: “Dear Brothers and Sisters: We are certain that you agree that all praise and honor goes to our great God Jehovah for his abundant provisions to us!” it read. The letter went on to ask that recipients “keep this gift confidential,” and encouraged them to accept the boxes, even if they did not need the food.
    The box was one of 100 million distributed so far as part of the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box program, the Trump administration’s flagship Covid-19 hunger relief initiative intended to provide emergency food aid to families in need. 
    The letter’s declaration that the boxes came from Jehovah—instead of taxpayers—represents a significant departure from standard operating procedure for federal food aid. So does its plea for confidentiality, which raised a red flag for Heather, who suspected that Jehovah’s Witnesses were saving the boxes exclusively for its members. (*Heather is an inactive member of the group, and we’re withholding her last name at her request). Also odd: The suggestion that recipients accept the boxes regardless of need. According to USDA guidelines, distributors paid by the government to assemble the boxes were supposed to guarantee they would be given to “only needy people.” 
    The letter regarding federal food aid comes from The Jehovah’s Witnesses Disaster Relief Committee. Request to keep the food supplies confidential raised concern for “Heather.”
    Letter from source “Heather” / Graphic by Tricia Vuong
    According to its packaging, the box was distributed by Travel Well Holdings, an airport kiosk company based in Santa Rosa, California, which in May received a $12 million contract to assemble and distribute the boxes as part of the program. (In a phone interview, Travel Well Holdings CEO Desiree Rodriguez said that the company was not aware that some of its boxes were being distributed alongside letters from Jehovah’s Witnesses.)
    In a phone interview, Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, confirmed that a local branch had circulated the letter with some boxes during the program’s early weeks, but without authorization from higher-ups. “The wording here does not represent necessarily what we have directed to our disaster relief committees,” Hendriks said. When asked if the organization was distributing to Jehovah’s Witnesses only, Hendriks said that the organization also delivers food boxes to non-believers who attend bible study or services.
    This blurring of lines between church and state when distributing the Farmers to Families food boxes is not unique to the Witnesses: The Counter found multiple instances in which churches promoted their own messages while distributing taxpayer-funded boxes, in potential violation of USDA guidelines. The issues range from relatively minor—like slapping church logos on each box—to more significant: apparently “saving” people at distribution sites, telling recipients the boxes are from God, and asking volunteers to pray “in person” for every single box recipient.
    According to federal regulationns, churches and other faith-based organizations are prohibited from mixing explicitly religious activities with federally funded food aid, “including activities that involve overt religious content such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization.” As a USDA program, the Farmers to Families Food Boxes are subject to these rules.
    Agency guidance issued in late 2016 pertaining to a separate USDA hunger relief program emphasized that any overlap between religious services and aid distribution is unacceptable. For example, prayer services must be separate in time and place from federally funded aid distribution; and while churches can put flyers out for recipients to pick up, they can’t attach them directly to food boxes. The Counter found evidence of both such incidents. For example, in Warner Robins, Georgia, the Eighth Day Church appears to have attached flyers to food boxes that read, “God is thinking about you,” and feature a Bible verse, according to multiple posts on its Instagram page. (Ironically, the Trump administration did insert letters from the President into many of the boxes, prompting some non-profits to worry they were violating their commitments to avoid political participation.) 
    In response to a list of questions, USDA issued a statement reiterating that all food box distributors were required to adhere to the above federal guidelines. It also added that: “A non-profit faith-based organization participating in the Farmers to Families Food Box Program is permitted to express religious beliefs in the distribution of food boxes, as long as the activity does not disrupt the distribution of USDA benefits or make receipt of USDA benefits contingent on participation in religious activities or assent to religious beliefs.”
    Though the agency’s statement leaves room for interpretation, some legal experts thought some of these instances crossed legal boundaries. “They are instances where it appears that benefits are being conditioned on engaging in religious activity,” said David Barkey, national religious freedom counsel for the Anti-Defamation League, referring to incidents presented by The Counter. “That is unlawful….People shouldn’t have to choose between going hungry and engaging in religious activity they don’t want.”
    Other legal experts we spoke with hedged a bit, saying that USDA’s positioning appears to tacitly permit churches to toe the line in their distribution efforts. “We’re coming close to crossing the line if we haven’t crossed it already,” said Chad Flanders, a professor of religion and law at Saint Louis University.
    The food box initiative has played a central role in the Trump administration’s hunger relief efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. The premise is simple: Distributors purchase food from farmers, pack it into boxes, and deliver it to non-profits, including faith-based organizations, which pass it out. First launched in mid-May as a short-term fix to severely disrupted supply chains, the program has since gone through two rounds of distribution worth nearly $2.7 billion. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing: USDA has faced criticism for contracting with inexperienced and unlicensed companies, overpaying suppliers for mediocre food, and inequitably distributing boxes by region. Yet last month, President Trump approved another $1 billion in funding for a third round of boxes to be delivered from mid-September through October 31.
    In the first two rounds of distribution, USDA placed few restrictions on the non-profits receiving the boxes. Food bank operators told us much of the program operated on an honor system: Non-profits were expected to deliver the food to people who needed it, and the onus was on them to ensure they were doing so safely and fairly. (The agency has strengthened food safety and eligibility requirements for contractors and recipients in the program’s third round, which began in mid-September.)
    This isn’t how federal food aid is typically handed out. When San Antonio Food Bank CEO Eric Cooper partners with faith-based organizations to distribute food in Texas—a common occurrence, as he estimates churches and other religious organizations make up about 70 percent of the food bank’s distribution—they have to sign a contract promising that they’ll handle the food safely, that they won’t sell it, that they can demonstrate each person receiving food needs it, and that they’ll respect recipients’ civil rights by refraining from coupling food aid with any explicitly religious activities. If Cooper’s organization hears that a church is requiring recipients to attend a sermon or participate in a prayer, it sometimes conducts an audit to address the problem. 
    Many of those guardrails seem to have fallen by the wayside with the Farmers to Families food boxes. The Counter identified several churches which advertised, simply, “free food,” available to anyone who asked for it. Come get a box, “even if you don’t need food,” a volunteer in Arizona said in a promotional video on Facebook. A USDA spokesperson pointed to a portion of the food box contract solicitation that read, in apparent contradiction of this claim: “Offeror must self-certify that nonprofits have capability to ensure that only needy people, or the food insecure population, will receive the food boxes through this program.”
    “I cringed when I saw the ‘free food.’ That’s just not the message. So many people get hurt when that happens,” Cooper said. “What I believe is that this investment was to help those that were struggling. Help the farmers, help the industry partners, and help families in need. If the benefit went to someone else, then people were robbed of the nourishment.”
    In the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hendriks said the church’s suggestion that recipients accept a box regardless of need was meant to prevent members from downplaying any private struggles with food insecurity.
    “We didn’t want to give them the choice of rejecting it because many would have just said, ‘Somebody else needs it more’,” he said.
    Other churches inched even closer toward crossing the line between assisting the government in distributing food aid and using the events to promote their own views. Distributing boxes at Word of God Church in Oklahoma City, Brendon Laubhan said in an Instagram video that Revival America OKC volunteers were instructed to pray for every recipient, according to a video posted to Instagram. “We get free food from the government, and we’re giving it out, but the special thing is…we pray with every family that comes and gets food,” Laubhan said in an Instagram video. “We pray for them, we pray with them, we ask the Holy Spirit to come in their lives….We haven’t been turned down one time for prayer.” Laubhan did not respond to request for comment by press time.
    Barkey said that such a blurring of boundaries puts food insecure recipients in a difficult position, in which they may be willing to temporarily consent to faith-based practices that they don’t typically partake in, in order to secure basic needs.
    “If there’s religious activities occurring in the same parking lot, in the same time and space as the food distribution, I think that’s pretty coercive,” he said. “When somebody is saying, ‘What do you want me to pray for you?’…the bottom line is they shouldn’t be asking that question. They simply should be doing what other providers are doing, secular or religious, simply distributing the food.”
    In addition to prayer, some churches appear to be using their public-facing role distributing USDA food boxes to solicit donations. 
    “God has miraculously provided this food – FREE!” wrote Florida-based Church of Hope in an Instagram post announcing its plans to distribute 1,334 Farmers to Families boxes per week. Videos posted to the platform showed volunteers pressing stickers bearing the church logo onto boxes. “But it still costs us to rent the refrigerated trailer, to provide the diesel to keep the refrigeration going, and other items we need to make this all happen. We are asking for you to continue to go above and beyond by giving of your time, talent and treasure.”
    The plea underscores an ongoing criticism of the program: While USDA contracts are supposed to cover all food box distribution costs, many food banks and other nonprofits have complained that they’re incurring significant, unexpected expenses related to storage and last-mile delivery. A spokesperson for Church of Hope said that volunteers at the food box distribution “offered prayer if they wanted it.” 
    Elsewhere, at least one church appears to have celebrated “salvations” at distribution sites. “Today we just gave out 2,000 boxes of food….We had five salvations, over two hundred people prayed for….Did y’all have fun?” asked a representative of California’s Victorville First Assembly of God, in another Instagram video. The church didn’t respond to a request for comment.
     In Missouri, Christian non-profit Heavenly Hope included a postcard featuring Bible verses with each of the 17,000 food boxes that it has delivered so far, according to the organization’s president Beth Giesler. “Our whole thing is that it’s not about the boxes, it’s about spreading God’s love,” Giesler said in a phone interview. Facebook posts show the verses taped to food box flaps. When asked about whether the organization knew it was potentially violating federal guidelines, Giesler said: “If [recipients] chose to read [the postcard], they chose to read it. If they don’t, they don’t.”
    Taken on their own, some of these come just short of explicitly violating USDA’s guidelines—others may even cross the line. Taken together, however, they paint a picture of religious organizations across the country using taxpayer-funded hunger relief as an avenue to promote faith-based practices, particularly among families struggling with food insecurity. That is—if they’re reaching people based on need in the first place. Ultimately, it’s up to USDA to enforce its own rules and ensure that food boxes are being distributed equitably.
    “If the USDA [knows] about this, they should frankly say, ‘Hey, guys, stop it,’” Flanders said. “If they don’t—if they condone it—then we have the further Constitutional problem of favoring religion and allowing religion to use government funds to proselytize.”
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    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Prophecy & Signs, Truth & Conspiracy, Covid-19, the UN, Disgusting Thing, Truth and Conspiracies   
    I noticed that even with all that quoting from Agenda 2030, you found absolutely nothing that supported any of the conspiratorial fear-mongering that is so prevalent all over the Internet.
    I'm glad you finally looked it over, however. In the past you said: "Just read the documents." So I did. I've learned not to give so much credence to propaganda and conspiracy theories. It reveals that there has been, not just a lot of conjecture, but a lot of outright lying from those who tried to make us believe that those conspiracies are actually to be found somewhere in the UN documents.
    The UN's version of the 2030 agenda is here:
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and it is a plan, basically from 2015, for countries that sign on, to set a good example over the next 15 years (from 2015) by resolving to eliminate poverty, and address many other types of injustice, along with pollution, climate issues, education, human rights, etc. They think they can manage to do good in all these areas by partnering with supportive governments, and other NGOs, and various other organizations which have also expressed optimism. Of course, we know that in spite of all the good it wants to do, the UN has little to no power. The World Economic Forum site you mentioned points to sites that show some of the SDG's (sustainable development goals) are so far off track that they are not realistically expected before the 2070's.
    I notice that you still see some of the goals as "bad" and some of the methods for trying to achieve them as "bad." I expect this old system in this old world to screw up almost any good goals and turn good into bad. But that is not the fault of the goals themselves. Many countries will set laws that say, for example: no more pouring of untreated sewage into a certain lake or river, or no more paying women less than men for the same job, or no more than 1 steer or 10 sheep per hectare of grazing land. But even if these laws are wonderful for people and the environment, there will always be people lobbying for a way to delay laws or make exceptions, because rising profits will always be more important in the short run, than good goals in the long run. And there's also ways that governments just get it all wrong. Look at the 20th century dust bowl days in the United States, or going after the wrong pests in China, or spraying carcinogenic pesticides everywhere. It's the way of the world.
    I notice, of course, that although you could find nothing in the UN documents that was "bad" you added comments throughout to make certain things seem bad.
    I should hope that an organization with the stated goal of promoting peace and security would "sound like they want to bring and security." The likelihood of overall success is practically nil, of course, but you think it's some sort of evil thing that they should want it? Why do you think peace and security is such a bad goal? You are supposed to be praying for governments to find ways to obtain peace and security. 
    (1 Timothy 2:1, 2) . . .First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made concerning all sorts of men, 2 concerning kings and all those who are in high positions, so that we may go on leading a calm and quiet life. . .
    Do you pray that those in high positions work for peace and security, so that at the very least we can continue to preach more freely, or even so that we can lead a peaceful life in this world?
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    Srecko Sostar got a reaction from 4Jah2me in Watchtower, Records Management and "Superior Authorities" theories   
    This is amazing description. "The Truth", the WT's "truth" has stumbled.
    Can we expect...., can the truth be expected to stumble?
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. - Winston Churchill
    If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. - Mark Twain
    We are either in the process of resisting God's truth or in the process of being shaped and molded by his truth. - Charles Stanley
    Learn what is true in order to do what is right. - Thomas Huxley
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    Srecko Sostar reacted to Witness in Faith, Teachings, Doctrines and Intellectuality. Reason and Feelings. Duty, Honor and Decision   
    I like his “critical thinking” on “new light”…
    (As a JW)…“You use the concept called ‘new light’.  ‘New light from Jehovah’, that’s the way every witness is taught.  Well, you gotta stop and ask the question; now, what you were teaching yesterday, you told me that was ‘light from Jehovah’.  Now today, you’re saying that Jehovah gave you new light on top of the light he gave you yesterday, but it’s exactly the opposite.
    And so all of a sudden you begin to see there’s a problem here.  This is not new light.  You’re just trying to fix an error that you made.”
    There’s a problem… (as JWs) we’re already making the assumption that the change (of) what they are going to now start teaching, we make the assumption, that it’s right.  That don’t mean it’s right!  Just because you changed what you were teaching yesterday, (and then) you’re teaching something new today, does not mean that your new teaching is any more right than the one you were teaching yesterday.”
    The “new light” concept is a smooth way to cover over the darkness of continual falsehoods, and look how well that concept sells! “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light”! (2 Cor 11:14)
    “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.   Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”  John 3:19-21
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    Srecko Sostar reacted to Witness in Watchtower, Records Management and "Superior Authorities" theories   
    "No one calls for justice;
    no one pleads his case honestly.
    They rely on empty pleas; they tell lies;
    they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. They hatch the eggs of vipers
    and weave a spider’s web.
    Whoever eats their eggs will die;
    crack one open, and a viper is hatched.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Their cobwebs cannot be made into clothing,
    and they cannot cover themselves with their works.
    Their deeds are sinful deeds,
    and acts of violence are in their hands.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Their feet run to evil;
    they are swift to shed innocent blood.
    Their thoughts are sinful thoughts;
    ruin and destruction lie in their wake.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The way of peace they have not known,
    and there is no justice in their tracks.
    They have turned them into crooked paths;
    no one who treads on them will know peace.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Therefore justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
    We hope for light, but there is darkness;
    for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Like the blind, we feel our way along the wall,
    groping like those without eyes.
    We stumble at midday as in the twilight;
    among the vigorous we are like the dead.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. We all growl like bears
    and moan like doves.
    We hope for justice, but find none,
    for salvation, but it is far from us.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
    and our sins testify against us.
    Our transgressions are indeed with us,
    and we know our iniquities:
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. rebelling and denying the LORD,
    turning away from our God,
    speaking oppression and revolt,
    conceiving and uttering lies from the heart.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. So justice is turned away,
    and righteousness stands at a distance.
    For truth has stumbled in the public square,
    and honesty cannot enter.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Truth is missing,
    and whoever turns from evil becomes prey."  Isa 59:4-15
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    Srecko Sostar got a reaction from Witness in Faith, Teachings, Doctrines and Intellectuality. Reason and Feelings. Duty, Honor and Decision   
    Let me show you this video which I think has a few very important things for life, not only for JW members but also others who have dedicated their lives to some ideals and ideas.
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    Srecko Sostar got a reaction from Witness in Watchtower, Records Management and "Superior Authorities" theories   
    Many readers of the WT magazine are aware that the interpretation of Romans chapter 13 verse 1, (also with 2-4 context),  changed in JW theology.
    It was once thought that the "superior authorities" were: YHVH, Christ and earthly representatives in the form of elders, that is, governing body. These are called "theocratic superior authority".
    "The above quotations from Paul’s letter to the Romans could never have applied to the political powers of Caesar’s world as wrongly claimed by the clergy of Christendom. The Caesars of this world have never demonstrated by their deeds that they are ‘God’s ministers to you for good’. Rather, exactly to the contrary, the Caesars have done evil by persecuting God’s faithful servants." - Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    I found 3 changes about this doctrine.
    Under Russell and up to 1929 WT understand that this is about secular authority.  “Evil as these Gentile governments have been, they were permitted or “ordained of God” for a wise purpose. (Rom. 13:1)” Studies In the Scriptures Series I - The Divine Plan of the Ages p.250
    Under Rutherford explanation has changed. From 1929 to 1962 they believed this: “The instruction of the thirteenth chapter of Romans has long been misapplied. The improper application has really been the basis for the false doctrine of the “divine right of kings” or rulers to rule and oppress the people. The apostle is, in substance, telling the members of the church that they should always be obedient to God, and that the motive for such obedience must be love for God and a delight in doing’ his will.” Watchtower 1929 Jun 1 p.163.
    In 1962, under Knorr, the Society returned to the original position of Russell. A statement in Babylon the Great Has Fallen! God’s Kingdom Rules! page 548 indicated there was a change in understanding. And, “For some years, until 1962, Jehovah’s Witnesses held that the superior authorities were Jehovah God and Christ Jesus. However, in line with Proverbs 4:18, light increased, and this view was adjusted.” Watchtower 1990 Nov 1 p.11.  It seems how WT organization was left the spiritual “light” received through Russell and "sank" into doctrinal "darkness" for some 33 years. And than they didn't find "new light", but old Russell's doctrine which they reintroduced into the belief system as a “new light”.
    What this introduction have with Management Records Doctrine/Instruction for elders? Whatever the interpretation of these biblical passages from Romans chapter 13, the fact is one: GB and the elders are disobedient to the "superior authority." In fact, they create an internal administrative system to avoid responsibility for their decisions and for their actions. No matter what the topic is.
    In 1:57 of video JW elder Shawn Bartlett mentioned one "company" and circumstances about it in the past. This shows how WT is not honest Corporation. Please pay attention on this example and other reasons about "devil" and "legal matters" he made in video to show elders on this seminar why they need to destroy data.
    Shawn Bartlett, the records management overseer for the Jehovah's Witnesses, explains the organization's new record-keeping policies during a 2017 seminar..webp
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    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    Previously you had made this point even clearer when you said this under another topic. (I'll highlight the main point.)
    The best and most accurate book I have ever seen on this topic as it relates to the Watchtower's view is "Gentile Times Reconsidered" by Carl Olof Jonsson. I'm sure you know that he was a Witness, and he was disfellowshipped for sharing his research. However, I think it still stands as the best explanation of the issues, and the most accurate book related to the trouble the Watchtower Society has with the historical and archaeological side of these issues. 
    I mention it here, because he has given the most coherent answer to the question of using the Greek Olympiads, especially as it pertains to our use of it in the Watchtower. It's not that long, so here goes, without the lengthy footnotes:
    . . . the writer of the article [The Watchtower, May 15, 1971, p. 316 ]frankly states: “But does the Nabonidus Chronicle of itself provide the basis for establishing the year for this event? No.”12 Although the principal witness in support of the “absolute date for the Hebrew Scriptures” was thus retracted, . . . In the very same Watchtower article quoted above, a reference was made to two new sources which in the future would “sustain” the absolute date 539 B.C.E.:
    Also other sources, including Ptolemy’s Canon, point to the year 539 B.C.E. as the date for Babylon’s fall. For example, ancient historians such as Diodorus, Africanus and Eusebius show that Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia corresponded to Olympiad 55, year 1(560/59 B.C.E.), while Cyrus’ last year is placed at Olympiad 62, year 2 (531/30 B.C.E.). . . . Cuneiform tablets give Cyrus a rule of nine years over Babylon. This would harmonize with the accepted date for the start of his rule over Babylon in 539 B.C.E.13
    Thus the new validating sources consisted of (1) Ptolemy’s Canon, and (2) dates from the Greek Olympiad Era quoted by ancient historians. Can any of these sources establish 539 B.C.E. as an “absolute date” to which the Biblical chronology may be firmly fixed?
    Evidently realizing this, the Watch Tower Society in the very next year once again rejected Ptolemy’s Canon, declaring that “the very purpose of the Canon makes absolute dating by means of it impossible.”15 If this were true, the Society could not, of course, use the Canon in support of the 539 B.C.E. date.
    With Ptolemy’s Canon thus removed, the secular basis of the Society’s “Bible chronology” now wholly depended on the trust-worthiness of the second witness, the Greek Olympiad Reckoning. How about this era reckoning? In what way does it fix Babylon’s fall to 539 B.C.E., and to what an extent can Olympic dates quoted by ancient historians be relied upon?
    The Olympiad Era: The first year assigned to this era is 776 B.C.E. This year, therefore, is designated as “Ol. I,1,” that is, the first year of the first Olympiad. Now this does not mean that the first Olympic games took place in 776 B.C.E. Ancient sources indicate that these games began to be held much earlier. Nor does it mean that already back in 776 B.C.E. the Greeks had started an era founded upon the Olympic games. As a matter of fact no reference to the Olympiad era may be found in all ancient literature until the third century B.C.E.! As Professor Elias J. Bickerman points out,  “the numbering of Olympiads was introduced by Timaeus or by Eratosthenes.”16 And Dr. Alan E. Samuel specifies: “The Olympiad reckoning system, originated by Philistus, was subsequently used in an historical context by Timaeus, and from then on we find historical chronologies based on Olympiads.”17 Timaeus Sicilus wrote a history of Sicily, his native country, in 264 B.C.E., and Eratosthenes, a librarian at the famous library in Alexandria in Egypt, published his Chronographiae some decades later.
    The Olympiad reckoning, then, like the Christian era, was introduced more than 500 years after the year that was chosen as the starting-point for that era! How did the Greek historians manage to fix the date for the first Olympiad as well as other dates (for example, the first year of Cyrus) hundreds of years later? What kind of sources were at their disposal?
    They studied lists of victors in the quadrennial games kept at Olympia. But unfortunately such lists had not been kept continuously all the way from the beginning. As Dr. Samuel points out, the first list was “drawn up by Hippias at the end of the fifth century B.C.,” that is, around 400 B.C.E.18 “By Hellenistic times the list of victors was complete and reasonably consistent and the framework for chronology was established and accepted.”19 But was the list reliable? Samuel continues: “Whether all this was right, or whether events were as-signed to years correctly, is another matter.” Pointing out that “the shrewd Plutarch [c. 46—c. 120 C.E.] had his doubts,” he goes on to caution that “we too should be very dubious about chronographic evidence from Olympiads much before the middle or beginning of the fifth century [i.e., before 450 or 500 B.C.E.].”20
    The Watch Tower Society’s confidence in the Olympiad reckoning is even more illusory, however. This is because, while they accept the Olympiad dates given by ancient historians for the reign of Cyrus, they reject the Olympiad dates given by these historians for the reign of Artaxerxes I, despite the fact his reign fell much closer to our time. Thus, when Julius Africanus, in his Chronography (published c. 221/22 C.E.), dates the 20th year of Artaxerxes to the “4th year of the 83rd Olympiad,” corresponding to 445 B.C.E., this date is rejected by the Watch Tower Society in preference of 455 B.C.E., as was noted earlier (footnote 14).21 As in the case of Ptolemy’s Canon, then, the Society again uses a witness that at other times is completely rejected, and this for the sole reason that in those areas the evidence is unfavorable to its teachings.
    Aside from the Watch Tower Society’s inconsistency, the Olympiad datings preserved by Diodorus, Africanus and Eusebius indicating 539 B.C.E. to be the date for the fall of Babylon, cannot alone be used to establish that date as an absolute date on which the chronology of the Hebrew Scriptures can be based. This is due to the simple fact, already presented, that the Olympiad reckoning system was not actually instituted until the third century B.C.E.—or three centuries after the fall of Babylon.
  12. Haha
    Srecko Sostar reacted to Isabella in How Eve should have reacted 😄   
  13. Upvote
    Srecko Sostar got a reaction from 4Jah2me in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    Some reactions on this thoughts are these:
    What WTJWorg is/ was trying to do? To make "sense" of own interpretations on some/many Bible verses that are or are not "prophecy"? 
    Are we want to talk about "knowledge", human knowledge about this and that? And to be involved in this sort of process that can go in two directions: 1) development towards an improved or more advanced condition aka so called "progressive knowledge", and/or 2) deterioration aka the process of becoming progressively worse (flip-flop doctrines and "new" doctrines interpretations that they, GB, needed to create for reason to "stay on the surface" few years more?
    .... Or we want to "be in", "have" The Truth about this and that as something that is not changeable because we, they, people around us are in process of "rowing" (Gerrit Loesch)?
    "The Truth" itself is "progressively", "advanced" force for one important reason. Not because such "truth" changes itself  because of human progressive cognition , but opposite, because "Truth" changes us and our perspective and our "knowledge" about this and that. This is point where WT and JW members, generally, are at loss. It seems how they "waiting" for "new light" aka GB insight on doctrines to be able, as precondition, for "spiritual growth" and "insight, knowledge" that will help them to worship JHVH more properly and to help them to be JHVH "friends" and have His love, and love among them, etc. These are wrong expectations, i think.....   
  14. Like
    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    Maybe, but even if Christ was enthroned in 1914, what was the indication that their lease ran out then, and not 1,260 years earlier, or 100 years after? What indicated that their time was now being borrowed? How is that any different from the borrowed time they were on in 1910, or 2010? Wouldn't they have been on "borrowed time" from at least the time when Daniel 2 & 4 said that Jehovah was about to set up a government that would crush these kingdoms, and even the most powerful and haughty of rulers had to acknowledge that Jehovah is still in full control of whether they were given a "lease" to rule or not? Wasn't that the point of Nebuchadnezzar's dream? That Jehovah had given this pagan king a "lease" or allowance to rule. Or when Ezekiel said that "The NATIONS will know that you are Jehovah"? Or when Jeremiah spoke of Jehovah's manipulations of the course of many nations related to Israel/Judea/Babylon/Egypt/etc.? 
    Or, more importantly, what about from the time when Jesus was called "king of kings and lord of lords" back in the first century (Timothy, Revelation), or when the book Hebrews speaks of an enthronement that had already occurred at the right hand of the throne of Majesty, with a crown and a scepter:
    (Hebrews 1:3-2:9) . . .he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. . . . But about the Son, he says: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. . . . 13 But about which of the angels has he ever said: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet”? . . .5 For it is not to angels that he has subjected the inhabited earth to come, about which we are speaking. . . . By subjecting all things to him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him. 9 But we do see Jesus . . . now crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death. . .
    Isn't that expression . . ."Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him" an indication that those nations (which he will crush with an iron scepter) were already on "borrowed time"? His enemies were already identified as a "stool for his feet."
    In January 1916, When Russell himself changed the date of the Gentile Times from 1914 to 1915 (evidently so that it could now shift the Jewish fulfillment in Palestine into the twelve month Jewish year that started in October 1915), did this change anything about that "lease"? It didn't take them long to start using this term "lease" and to use the idea of being on borrowed time, but to me it shows the weakness of the expression. It just shows that they needed to grasp at straws to find a way of saving face. In 1874, it was the same for Barbour, when what they expected didn't happen so they had to say they were right after all but the fulfillment was invisible. In 1878, what they expected didn't come true, so they had to say it was invisible. In 1881, what they expected didn't come true, so they had to say it was invisible. In 1914, what they expected didn't come true, so they were ready to shift it by a year at first, but then when that also failed, they went back to say that it was 1914 all along, but that it was invisible.
  15. Like
    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    Although, naturally I am seeking the truth, and I can see no personal benefit from expressing my opinions about this, I do have to agree that it sows doubt. My grandmother used to tell me "if 1914 is wrong, then we're in the wrong religion."
    She was born in 1914, and I was born in 1957. Back in 1980, I told her that the brother I was doing research for at Bethel wanted the beginning of the generation changed from 1914 to 1957 (and already had some other members of the Governing Body agreeing with him). That's one of the times she repeated the above statement.
    I asked her, if they changed it to 1915, would we still be in the wrong religion? She said No. What about 1919? She said, No. What about 33 CE? They would never do that! But IF they DID? Well, if THEY changed it, then I guess, it would be OK. So, you can't really say, absolutely, that if 1914 is wrong, then we're in the wrong religion.
  16. Like
    Srecko Sostar reacted to Witness in THE MODERN-DAY ASSYRIANS, "KING OF THE NORTH"   
    “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 22,23
    “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, 34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors. 33,34
    When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 45 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
    “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.” 2 Chron 6:33,34,44,45,46-51
    These verses are taken from Solomon’s dedication prayer at the finish of the first temple, early in his reign as king over Israel.  They are inspired words, verified by the Spirit of God filling the temple Solomon had built, and fire from heaven consuming the burnt offerings.  (2 Chron 7:1-3)
    When I initially woke up to the sins and lies of the organization, I was learning that God’s heavenly House, His Temple today, is built on the Body of Christ; he, as the chief cornerstone with faithful anointed “living stones” of “Israel”, sealed into the Temple since the first century. (1 Pet 2:5,6,9; 1 Cor 3:16; 12:28; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:20-22; Rev 7:4)
    It is not built with earthly riches, and men appointed by men as its priesthood;  who began this endeavor a little over a hundred years ago. (Isa 2:22; James 3:15; Rom 1:25) It is a Temple and “holy city”, of truth. (John 4:23,24; 1 Tim 3:15; Rev 21:2,3)
    It slowly sunk in, that I had been an idolater…for years!  I had put full trust in an organization that operates like many other worldly organizations. I had been deceived into believing that this organization was the way of “truth”, instead of giving credit to Jesus Christ as “truth”, the Head of God’s anointed household of priests.  (John 14:6; Rev 21:10,12,14,27)  
    When reading Solomon’s beautiful words, I realized my need to repent, turning to the Father and Christ in prayer.  I had to submit to God’s refinement in the light of my disgraceful conduct. (Jer 46:48; Job 5:17; 1 Cor 6:11; Heb 10:22; 12:8-11)
    I also had become aware of the nation that was at war with God’s holy people, seducing them into believing a lie. (2 Pet 2:1,2; 2 Thess 2:9-12)
    There is an apparent foe that has come against the organization where most of God’s anointed priests presently dwell among millions of JWs.   It is said that this foe, and the persecution it administers to JWs, is a sign of the last days that Jesus said his true followers would experience. (Matt 24:3,6,7)   Although the organization has yet to announce that the “great tribulation” has arrived, its governing leaders explain that the “king of the north” during the time of the end, is this political foe that has imprisoned JWs for “extremism”. The consensus by JWs, is that they are not an “extreme” group; while the world sees families torn apart by the organization’s strict regulations on obedience to the governing leaders. (Isa 5:20-24)   The world is also now aware that its epidemic of pedophilia has been left unchecked for years.  For these things alone, God could remove His protection from His people.  (Isa 1:4,15,21,23; Isa 59:9; Micah 6:8; Matt 7:12) 
    He has allowed the organization to maneuver its way through suffering at the hands of the nations for years, by leaving it to fight its own battles.  It hypocritically plays on the empathy of others with worldly influence, rubbing shoulders with those in power, and very likely using a large amount of money at its disposal, as leverage to get its way.
    The organization also relates “modern-day Assyrians” to the “king of the north”, whose said intention is to eradicate JWs during Armageddon.  The identity of this “king” seems very flexible in the Wt. vocabulary.  It appears that whatever government is causing the most suffering to JWs at the time, can be labeled as the king of the north. 
    The truth is, what JWs call persecution to “Jehovah’s people” is none other than a demonic-sourced ruse, enacted both in reality, and in the spirit world. (Matt 24:4,10,11; 2 Pet 2:1-3;2 Cor 10:3-5; Eph 6:12; 1 Pet 5:8 ; Col 2:8; Rev 13:1,2,10,11,12)
    Effectively, it has misled God’s anointed ones of the true enemy that has come against His “saints”.  Extremism is absolutely enforced by unfaithful leaders of “Israel” who have left their covenant with Christ.  (Isa 28:15) Cunning and compelling tactics are used to subdue God’s priests, with the purpose of keeping them subservient to a wicked slave/false prophet, and its army of elders. (Matt 24:48,49; Rom 12:16; Phil 2:3; Col 2:20-22;1 John 4:1; Dan 11:21; Rev 13:5,6,11,12;16:13,14 )   
    For anyone to remain within the organization, they must adhere to the regulations of the established powers; both the governing leaders and their body of elders.  They must uphold their dedication oath to the organization and the power it wields. (Hos 9:10) For failing to do this, shunning can result.  For verbally exposing its lies and announcing one’s dedication is only to God and Christ, a disfellowshipping – “killing” – is the result.  (Isa 65:5; 66:5; Matt 5:11,12; Luke 21:12; John 16:2,3; Rev 13:15,16)    
    Although it remains undetected by most, there are two primary “nations” at war; “Jews” of spiritual “Israel”, and spiritual “Gentiles” who rule over them.  Harlots of “Israel” have sided with “Gentile”/elders, to dominate and conquer “her” fellow servants. (Matt 24:50,51; 1 John 3:12, 17:5) This is accomplished by deceit, lies, “empty philosophy”, or “empty seduction”, according to the Greek meaning in Col 2:8. 
    So, is it true that “modern day Assyrian army” is alive and active in the organization as I am suggesting?  There are certain parallel traits of this northern army that spiritually mirror the elder body today.  With eyes that see, its identity can be laid bare, while interpreting its purpose.  (Joel 2:2,3; Rev 9:3,4,7,10; 13:2,7; 20:7-9)
    After a vicious rampage on the country of Judah, the king of Assyria set his aim on Jerusalem. (2 Kings 18:13) In the well-known account of King Hezekiah confronting the Assyrians in their attack against Jerusalem, he worked to secure the city by reinforcing its walls. He built a remarkable tunnel that brought water into the city. (2 Chron 32:1-5,30,31; Isa 22:8-11)  He may have been forced by his own officials to approach Epypt for aid. Hezekiah desperately tried to buy out King Sennacherib with tribute payments, to the extent of removing gold from the temple doors, and apologizing for not keeping his tribute oath, in exchange for Judah’s protection. (2 Kings 18:14-16 ) 
     Yet, as Sennacherib wrote down on what is known as the “Taylor Cylinder”, he and all in Jerusalem, remained as caged birds. A portion translated reads,
    “ I reckoned (them) as spoil. Hezekiah himself like a caged bird within Jerusalem,
     his royal city I shut in ...”
    Hezekiah had a reputation as faithful to God and worked diligently to clear his empire of idolatry - the refuse left over from his predecessors. (2 Kings 18:4) It wasn’t until he had exhausted every avenue he could think of to thwart the threat of Assyria, did he then call on the prophet Isaiah for advice, saying, “This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them” (2 Kings 19:2-4) (Matt 24:4-8; 1 Thess 5:3; Rev 12:4 )
    Sennacherib’s officials had previously used “empty seduction” to coerce their listeners at the Jerusalem wall, with promises of peace and prosperity, if they submitted to Assyria.  
     “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, 32 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death!” (2 Kings 18:31-32)
    Once Hezekiah received the messages from both Isaiah and Sennacherib’s officials, he approached the temple of God and laid his burden fully before Him.
    “Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 17 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. 18 They (the lands of Judah) have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, please save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God—you alone.”  . 2 Kings 19:16-19 
    God’s message through Isaiah against Assyria and its King, is quite incredible to read.  (2 Kings 19:21-28)  And, it was in that very night when 185,000 of Sennacherib’s troops died at the hands of God’s angel. 
    In his pride, Sennacherib never mentioned this defeat, the man who called Ninevah, “the Palace without a Rival”.
    The authentic threat that God’s people today face, is the organization itself. It “makes war” against the saints through the use of deceit, conquering them with “empty philosophy…seduction”. (Rev 13:1,2,7,8,10) It has “surrounded the camp of the saints”, like caged birds. (Rev 20:7-9; 16:13-16)  
     Yet, JWs as a whole, believe they have rid themselves of idols, not realizing they are so steeped in the idolatry and false promises of the “Assyrian” way of life, that it will bring their downfall. (Rev 2:20; 13:11,14,16,17,8; 14:9,10)  They submit to its blasphemous rules and lies, including lies about themselves;  trusting that their dedication/oath to the organization will promise security now, in this life, and in the life to come.
    A “tribute” can be defined as, “a payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection.”  What kind of payment must the priesthood of God and all within, “pay” in exchange for spiritual “security”, a life they believe comes with future peace and prosperity?  (1 Thess 5:3)  It is paid for, with their loyalty, devotion, veneration, obedience, and material riches. (Rev 13:15,16) Their life as they know it, hinges on obedience to those who rule over them. (Luke 22:25-27; Mark 8:35)
    When everything let loose in Russia against the organization, one of the governing body members stated on a video, “We can say with confidence that all of these efforts that are being made to try to stop our worship of Jehovah, to wipe it out, are not going to have any success.”
    Three years later, we see more severe persecution happening in that country and in other countries as well.  This should prove to the organization that it is committing gross sins.  It should prove that the holy priesthood is failing in upholding their oath to God. (Jonah 2:9) They have forsaken their duties to defend the sanctuary/Temple from the enemy among them, and allowed lies to fester, causing fear within their hearts.  (Josh 7:12; Isa 51:23; Ezek 44:6-9; Matt 5:13; 1 Cor 3:16,17; 2 Cor 5:20; Heb 10:35-39; 1 Pet 3:14; Isa 10:24,25)
    The powerful “King of the north”/ elder body/”man of lawlessness”  has left not one “living stone” upon a stone, in the organization. (Dan 11:28,31,32; Matt 24:15; Mark 13:17; Luke 19:44; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 9:1-4;11:1,2; 13:7)
    The organization’s leaders have turned to every avenue possible, to defeat its physical enemy, but because it supports a “spirit-directed mountain-like” idol, with its own priesthood, and refuses to acknowledge and turn to God’s dwelling/Temple of Holy Spirit, its defeat will be far greater than what it now experiences.  Its finish will be through the Spirit of Truth in Christ.  (Mal 3:1; Matt 10:20,40; Heb 4:12; Rev 1:16; 2 Thess 2:8; Rev 11:3-5; 12: 9-11; Zech 4:7; Rev 8:8; 20:10; Jer 23:29) (Zeph 2:13-15)
    Through its arrogant pride, it holds confidence in the weakness of men, and not in the strength and power of God.  (Prov16:18; Ps 10:4; Isa 28:15; 30:12-15; 1 John 2:15) (Zech 4:10,7,8,6)
    1 Cor3:16,17 -  Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
    It was the Jewish leader themselves, who tore down their own house, by their rejection of the cornerstone, and New Jerusalem above... the mother of Wisdom.
    It was those leaders whom Jesus was addressing, at John 2:19..
    God would not have allowed the Temple of the faithful to be torn down by Gentiles (either then, or now), if they had sought out the true foundation, and had been loyal to it. God will have a Temple to praise Him, whether men choose to be faithful or not...
    "Tear down this Temple, and I will raise it up in three days." (John 2:19)
    We too have the choice before us, as do the leaders of the WT. Upon which foundation, do they choose to build their house?
    If it is not based upon the cornerstone, the 12 foundation stones, and all the living stones of God's priesthood of saints  (1 Pet 2:5,9)...
    then it will collapse and be torn down, by their own doing.
    Pearl Doxsey
    Keeping in mind that “Jacob” is “Israel”, the symbolism of the “seven shepherds and eight dukes” that come against “Assyria”, cannot be the “Gentile” elders, since these scriptures speak about the resurgence of “Jacob” – God’s anointed House of “Israel”.
    “Therefore Israel will be abandoned
     until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
    and the rest of his brothers return
        to join the Israelites.
    4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
        in the strength of the Lord,
        in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
    And they will live securely, for then his greatness
        will reach to the ends of the earth.
    5 And he will be our peace
        when the Assyrians invade our land
        and march through our fortresses.
    We will raise against them seven shepherds,
        even eight commanders,
    6 who willcrush the land of Assyria with the sword,
        the land of Nimrod (“Babylon”) with drawn sword.
    He will deliver us from the Assyrians
        when they invade our land
        and march across our borders.
    7 The remnant of Jacob will be
        in the midst of many peoples
    like dew from the Lord,
        like showers on the grass,
    which do not wait for anyone
        or depend on man.
    8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
        in the midst of many peoples,
    like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
        like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
    which mauls and mangles as it goes,
        and no one can rescue.
    9 Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
        and all your foes will be destroyed.”  Micah 5:3-9
    Pearl Doxsey – Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    Eye Salve – Humility, Repentance
    Who Are the Locusts? -
    Priestly Duties
    Gentile Times/Great Tribulation/Cleansed Priesthood
    Who Destroys God’s Temple?

  17. Like
    Srecko Sostar reacted to Anna in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    What reason would he have to sow doubt? What personal benefit would he derive from it? It is obvious that he is just trying to find the truth. I think it would be better to try to challenge his arguments rather than ascribe bad motives.
  18. Like
    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    Russell never acknowledged anything from John Aquila Brown, and initially (back in 1876 when contributing an article to George Storrs' magazine) he acknowledged no one else but the idea that it must now be God's proper time to reveal meat in due season through "his servants, the prophets." In fact, many Adventist-style religious commentators of the time acted like they personally were the source of information, while also dropping strong hints that they might personally be the "faithful and wise slave" through whom God was now working and giving food at the "proper time." Barbour gave hints of this while claiming to be the one who was making the "midnight cry" from the parable of the ten virgins.
    At the same time many Bible scholars and commentators were painstakingly careful to acknowledge their sources. You have to read very carefully to even see where Barbour acknowledges comprehensive well-cited sources like Eliott's 1844
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and chronologies related to studies like this. What I'm saying is that you probably wouldn't know even if Russell had. He even distanced himself from Adventist sources due to their bad reputation since 1844, and wanted to make sure that even if people knew he accepted the chronology from Second Adventists, that he was not an Adventist, and that he was more of a no-Hell, no-Trinity, Church-of-God, Age-to-Come believer on several other doctrinal issues. (Several Second Adventists groups overlapped on some of those additional teachings too, but that alone does not make Russell a type of Second Adventist.)
    Then they were running on "borrowed time" since Nimrod, or since Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Ottomans, Ming Dynasty, Five Iroquois Nations, etc.  Let's say I tell my small child that he has a definite 8 o'clock bedtime. 8 o'clock comes around and I say, well, I'm letting you stay up the whole night and continue doing anything and everything you were doing before 8 o'clock, but remember, I still gave you an 8 o'clock bedtime, so you are on "borrowed time."
    It makes a meaningless mockery of the whole idea of borrowed time. If anything the nations became much MORE powerful after their supposed "lease" ran out.
  19. Thanks
    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    There was a topic about the scriptural problems with 1914 which had deliberately avoided the physical, archaeological evidence for 587/586 as the year when Nebuchadnezzar's destroyed the temple in Jerusalem.
    So I have be moved those recent posts about this evidence to here, because that old topic is extremely long and had sat there since 2017 before these new posts were added in the last few days.
    I won't get to this immediately, but this will affect posts by @Arauna@César Chávezand possibly others. The topic will likely become a "Scriptural" topic too as the WT makes an issue of interpreting the "70 years" of Jeremiah and Daniel and Zechariah, etc., as running from 607 BCE to 537 BCE.
    Much of this topic will likely repeat things that have already been discussed in the links to the following topics:
    And even the topic some of these posts just came out of:
    And another old one:
  20. Like
    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    That is correct. There are several different independent lines of evidence that all point to same conclusion: that Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year would have been 587 BCE, not 607. All the evidences that point to the time period of Cyrus are part of the same evidence that shows Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year was 587/6. If you can show evidence for Cyrus ending the Neo-Babylonian dynasty in 539, then this is simply part of the same evidence that puts the destruction of Jerusalem in 587/6. I think that a lot of Witnesses don't realize that even the very idea that they can put a date on Cyrus (like 539) is the same thing as saying that you can put a date on Nebuchadnezzar's reign, which puts his 18th year in 587/6. If you claim 539 is correct, then you are giving evidence against "607."
    If you admit that the date of Cyrus reign is proven, then you are claiming that "607" is wrong by about 20 years. It's the same thing. But most Witnesses don't get this. Using an American scenario, it's almost the same as trying to prove that Eisenhower (IKE) left office in 1940 by saying that LBJ took over after JFK's death in November 1963, and then trying to claim that because we can prove that LBJ took over in 1963 that IKE must have left office in 1940 and JFK must have died in 1943. The fact that you can PROVE that LBJ took over in 1963 does NOT prove that IKE left office in 1940. If it's proof of anything it's that IKE must have left office around 1960.
    That was a quote from the Watchtower Society going back to the past. You can LOL, but the Watchtower does this a lot. Pretty much in every study book, and in a good portion of the Watchtower magazines that come out every year, too. Pretty much like you going back to the Greek Olympiads or the Akitu festival, as you often do.
    Although the festival of Akitu is a meaningless diversion here, the exact date of Cyrus' death, if proven, is just more evidence that our use in the WT of the "607" date is proven wrong. As I said above, it's a simple thing, but a lot of Witnesses won't see this. I think a lot more Witnesses have a sense of this now, which it is so rarely discussed in any depth, in spite of the supposed importance given to it. 
  21. Thanks
    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    To keep things straight, I used color highlighting to the deportations you have enumerated and to map these deportations to both the Scholar/Theologian dates and the Watchtower dates.
    DEPORTATION Scholar/Theologian Dates (ST) WT Dates (WT) COMMENTS FIRST 607/6 BC (ST) 627 BC (WT) (Nebuchadnezzar's earliest recorded years, in the "Babylonian Chronicles" even including time when still a warrior prince under his father's reign.) The one you mention as 605 for all practical purposes, will be the same as the one listed for 607/606. SECOND 598/7 BC (ST) 618 BC (WT) (Nebuchadnezzar's 7th/8th year) Jehoiachin and others captured and taken. THIRD 587/6 BC (ST) 607 BC (WT) (Nebuchadnezzar's 18th/19th year.) Zedekiah and others captured and taken. Jerusalem burned and destroyed. THIS IS THE MAJOR ONE FROM WHICH THE WT HAS BEGUN COUNTING THE 7 TIMES, equated with "GENTILE TIMES" (prior to 1943, this was called 606 BC in WT pubs.) FOURTH 582/1 BC (ST) 602 BC (WT) (Nebuchadnezzar's 23rd year) This one is rarely mentioned by the WT, because it interferes with the WT claim that all the land lay desolate for 70 full years beginning in 607, and here the Bible says that more people were taken FIVE years later.          
    You say it has "no bearing to the gentile times." As shown above it contradicts the WT claims about the Gentile Times, which is why you must claim it "has no bearing." (Nothing to see here! LOL!) The Watchtower claims complete desolation of the land for 70 years starting in 587/6 BC or 607 WT BC. Obviously, in real life there would be no need for another deportation 5 years later if the land were truly and completely desolate starting in 587/6 S.T. 607 W.T.
    For reference, a quick look at the general scholarly (theological?) view can be found here, where I have also color coded them as above for reference: 
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. According to the
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. (52:28-30), 3,023 Jews were deported in the first wave, 832 in the second, and 745 in the third, making 4,600 in all. However, it is likely that only the men were counted. Including women and children it is estimated that 14,000 to 18,000 people would be the full number. A larger estimate is given in 2 Kings 24:14-16, which refers only to the first deportation 597 B.C.E. Verse 14 gives the numbers as 10,000 men, while verse 16 puts the number at 8,000, an estimate roughly double that of Jeremiah's for all three deportations. Scholars tend to accept Jeremiah's figures as more accurate. In either case, since scholars estimate the total population of the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. during this time at between 120,000 and 150,000, less than one quarter of the population was actually taken into exile. However, since this included a high percentage of court officials, the priesthood, skilled craftsmen, and other wealthy citizens, the exiles constituted the majority of the cultural elite of nation. For another reference, we can look here, also color coded them as above for reference:
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. (c.)
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. sq., specifies three distinct carryings away, and assigns to each not only the number of those deported, but also a date namely, the first deportation in the 7th year (of Nebuchadnezzar, comp. verses 29, 30), which consisted of 3023 Jews; the second in the 18th of Nebuch., of 832 chiefs of Jerusalem; then third in the 23d of Neb., of 745 individuals. That was nearly 100 years earlier under Sennacherib the Assyrian, not a Babylonian deportation of Judea.
    You then go on to reference Wikipedia as follows:
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. You say that the two primary deportations are (1) when Jehoiachin was carried away with others, and (2) when Zedekiah was captured with others.
    Your quote however, does not come from Wikipedia, but is ultimately found in C.R.Barnes' Bible Dictionary from 1900 (also, People's Bible Encyclopedia), which also included the THREE major deportations of Judea to Babylon found in Jeremiah 52 (and which Barnes maps to 2 Kings 24) and the potential FOURTH deportion, a very early one, is mentioned here as about 607. Not the Watchtower's 607 of course; in Watchower-chronology, this date would be called about 627 BC in our WT publications. Again, this is more evidence that what you quoted from Zondervan was nothing new. Here's the whole quote:

    You added a very odd statement after this unattributed Bible Dictionary quote here:
    It was actually exactly the opposite, at least for the first year or so in discussions with Allen Smith. He argued vehemently against starting with Jehoiakim and refused to include him because it fit the Carl Olof Jonsson theory that Daniel was probably taken very early in the Babylonian 70-year hegemony from about 609 BC (ST) to about 539 BC (ST/WT). You can probably look up a lot of old discussions among Witnesses, including those with ex-Witnesses, and notice that it is usually the ex-Witnesses who make a big deal out of the inclusion of Jehoiakim. They WANT Jehoiakim in this mix because it seems to prove that the 70 years included "desolations" upon Jerusalem from very early in Nebuchadnezzar's reign, possibly, as you show above, even into a time just a couple years before Nebuchadnezzar was a king, still under his father's kingship back in 607 BCE (which the Watchtower calls 627) only about 5 years after the fall of Nineveh.
    *** w64 10/1 Pay Attention to Prophecy ***
    See pages 4, 5, 300 of Nebuchadnezzar, of 1931 edition, by G. R. Tabouis. However, Tabouis gives the date of Nineveh’s fall as 612 B.C.E., which is not in agreement with our date of 633 B.C.E
    As you know, you typically add about -20 years to the scholar/theologian date to get the Watchtower date for all dates prior to Cyrus the Persian.
    Allen Smith started inadvertently admitting this small part of Carl Jonsson's theory about the deportations/desolations was correct, although of course, Allen Smith would never admit that Carl Jonsson had been saying it before he did. But you can check COJ's book: "The Gentile Times Reconsidered" (any edition) and see that I'm right. What seemed to appeal to Allen Smith was that this was another way of getting 607 back into the mix as a correct date from which to start counting 2,520 years, and it matched the SECULAR admission that desolations on Judea by the Babylonians had started at this time. But Allen was very careful not to state this too explicitly, because some people noticed that he was contradicting the Watchtower. Even now, you are very careful to show how 607 is admitted as a starting date for deportations, but this 607 (ST) is prior to the FIRST year of Nebuchadnezzar, and you are also careful not to admit clearly that this date is 20 years different from the Watchtower's date, where 607 is about the EIGHTEENTH year of Nebuchadnezzar.
  22. Upvote
    Srecko Sostar reacted to JW Insider in Archaeological Evidence for 607 BCE   
    Bible readers have seen three Babylonian deportations for literally THOUSANDS of years now. Can you find even one theologian who says there were only one or two? Even those who think there might have been a fourth, identify the primary three in same way that others do. They are not beginning to see something new in their Bible studies. 
    Even the KJV, in 1611 had it right, in Jeremiah 52:28-30:
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and twenty: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two persons: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.
    Written around 1706, Matthew Henry's Commentary also explicitly mentions the three deportations:
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Josephus, btw, strongly implied that the third deportation, 5 years after the destruction of Jerusalem, (Jer 52:30) would have been of those Judeans who had tried to escape to Egypt, fulfilling Jeremiah 43:11.
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Josephus would have been reading a Hebrew manuscript of Jeremiah 52:30 in a Masoretic-type mss, since no LXX contains Jeremiah 52:28-30. So, "they've" always had the information about the three deportations, even THOUSANDS of years before the Watchtower agreed with this verse. So all they have to do now is change the date from 587/586 to 607/606.
    That's like claiming the US Civil War started in 1841, and saying that all historians have to do now to prove you right is to change their date of 1861 to 1841, and then you would be right.
    The real problem here is that even if the year 607 was absolutely correct, all aspects of the 1914 doctrine would still be incorrect from a Scriptural point of view. At best you would now be able to say that Jerusalem was destroyed 2,520 years before WWI broke out. But there's nothing about 2,520 years in the Bible. The Bible never mentions any period of 2,520 years, ever. Yes, it mentions that a pagan king Nebuchadnezzar would be punished for haughtiness, humiliated like an animal, and then returned to power after 7 times when he finally acknowledged Jehovah. But that surely doesn't mean that Jesus was part of a pagan kingdom, punished for haughtiness, humiliated like an animal, and then returned to power after 7 times when Jesus finally acknowledged Jehovah.
    That's like saying that the prideful, gentile leper Naaman represented Jesus or his Messianic Kingdom and had to bathe in the Jordan 7 times before becoming clean. 
    Or, perhaps even better, it's like saying that Jericho would fall after 7 times.  Like Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Jericho was pagan, and the city fell after 7 time periods of Joshua encircling it. And, much like pagan Nebuchadnezzar came back to power, the pagan city of Jericho did also come back for many years under another pagan king (Eglon the Moabite) And then there was even a prophetic curse fulfilled 500 years or so after Joshua made it. And then, under wicked King Ahab, this happened:
    *** it-2 p. 36 Jericho ***
    In the time of wicked Judean King Ahaz, Jehovah permitted the Israelite armies under King Pekah to inflict a humiliating defeat upon unfaithful Judah, killing 120,000 and taking 200,000 captives. But Jehovah’s prophet Oded met the returning victors and warned them not to enslave the captives. Accordingly, the captives, after being clothed and fed, were taken to Jericho and released.
    Just like the Judeans in 597 and 587 and that time period, gentiles killed thousands and thousands more were taken captive, and yet they were returned and released at Jericho, the same place associated with the seven times: the place Joshua destroyed after a period of 7 times. So this must be part of the prophecy of the Gentile Times, according to the kind of thinking that Barbour convinced Russell to believe.
    Obviously, these ideas about the seven times of Naaman and seven times of Jericho are not Biblical, and neither is the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar. It was part of a fantasy that J.A.Brown, N.H.Barbour, C.T.Russell and other shared because they expected Jews in Palestine to begin ruling from Jerusalem when the gentile nations were expected to finally lose all their power and crumble completely in the months surrounding the 1914 time period.  Therefore, the Gentile Times according the Watchtower's definition and expectation, never ended in 1914 anyway. There are still hundreds of Gentile nations wielding power, and the prediction was that there would be ZERO Gentile nations wielding power by 1914 or the end of 1915 at the very latest. It was a failed prophecy.
  23. Upvote
    Srecko Sostar got a reaction from Witness in David Splane's 2020 Convention Talk: ....''Jehovah has to come first''   
    This reminded me on tropical disaster in Philippine in 2014. i think. And JWorg video showed one JW family who, instead of food, were put WT publications in it.    
  24. Upvote
    Srecko Sostar got a reaction from JW Insider in Could the JW.org sell off all kingdom Halls and become a full time Zoom religion complete with back room counseling and Disflellowshipping?   
    When they have to hide in basements (because they expect a future attack by Gog from Magog) it (Zoom and similar digital connections) could be a communication link.
    For now (despite the Covid), people still want to see and socialize in physical form.
  25. Upvote
    Srecko Sostar got a reaction from 4Jah2me in David Splane's 2020 Convention Talk: ....''Jehovah has to come first''   
    This reminded me on tropical disaster in Philippine in 2014. i think. And JWorg video showed one JW family who, instead of food, were put WT publications in it.    
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