Actually, and in context, and in looking over what I said, I said both. I was also a bit vague several times. Sorry for not being precise.
You've already read the quotes from WTS literature that mentioned "our twentieth century", "the turn of the century", and "the end of the century". Those obviously mean "in or by the year 2000". Another WTS piece said "for the year 2000", which can mean in or by. In various comments I shortened all of these claims to "in 2000" for brevity.
Here again is what I have posted:
<< Shortly, within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom. >> -- "The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah"-How? - 1971
<< And if the wicked system of this world survived until the turn of the century, which is highly improbable in view of world trends and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, there would still be survivors of the World War I generation. However, the fact that their number is dwindling is one more indication that “the conclusion of the system of things” is moving fast toward its end. >> -- October 15, 1980 Watchtower, p. 31
<< It has been thrilling to see the fulfillment of Jesus’ sign showing that the Kingdom was established in the heavens in that momentous year 1914. And Jesus has told us to rejoice at seeing the dark storm clouds of Armageddon gathering since that time. He has told us that the “generation” of 1914—the year that the sign began to be fulfilled—”will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matthew 24:34) Some of that “generation” could survive until the end of the century. But there are many indications that “the end” is much closer than that! >> -- March 1, 1984 Watchtower, pp. 18-19
<< The Time for a Change Is Near!
Carole, from France, has a “marvelous hope” and foresees, for the near future, “something marvelous—not at all like the world we live in.” Samuel, a 15-year-old youth from the same country, also believes in a complete change: “For the year 2000, I visualize a world transformed into a beautiful paradise! But I don’t think that either the present world or its rulers will live to see that day. . . We are living in the last days of the system of things.” Ruth, a German girl of 16, also expresses her confidence in these changes: “I know I’m not smart enough to change the world and make things run right. Only Jehovah, our Creator, can and will do that soon.” >> November 8, 1986 Awake!, pp. 7-8
The Watchtower Society has been making claims like that since its beginning. Not one claim has come true. It taught that 1914 would bring "the end". It taught that 1918, 1920 and 1925 would bring Armageddon. It taught that Armageddon would come shortly after 1942. Then 1975 was really going to be "IT". Then 2000. After that, virtually every year after 2000.
But you're deliberately missing my point: A long history of failed predictions of specific dates for "the end" (1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, 2000) plus a history of generally false predictions prove that JW leaders have no actual understanding of whatever the Bible really says or of world events. By the same token, neither do you.
Let's see: we have 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 2000, and Real Soon Now.
Um, I was alive for 1975, 2000 and Real Soon Now. My mother was alive for them and 1941. Old Freddie Franz was alive for all of those false predictions.
The prediction for 2000 was made at various times from the 1970s through 2000 itself. Real Soon Now started about 1914 and continues.
I heard several JWs in the 1980s talking about 2000. In online forums in the late 1990s, many JW apologists threatened: "You'll get yours when 2000 rolls around!"
The point, Einstein, is that these JWs did not make this nonsense up for themselves, but read the predictions for 2000 in Watchtower publications. Do a little looking on the jwfacts website and you'll find some quotes. Or read some in my response to Anna above.
Are you really this stupid? 1941, 1975, 2000 and Real Soon Now are certainly within peoples' lifetimes. 1975 is NOT arguable, as the links I posted prove.
Unfortunately, JW leaders' counsel on that has often been accompanied by predictions of specific years to watch out for: 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 2000.
I don't believe I said in 2000, but by 2000. If not, that's what I should have said, because that's what the first two references explicitly say: "a work that would be completed in our century" and "within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin". Can't get any clearer than that.
Nope. I already posted two links proving my claim:
Didn't you read them? Probably not, so I present here some information drawn from them.
The quotes below prove that the Society dogmatically taught that Adam and Eve were created at the end of the 6th creative day in 4026 BCE, that the 7th creative day began then, that 6,000 years of human history would end in 1975, and that the Millennial rule of Christ would be the last 1,000 years of the 7th day. These dogmatic statements lead only to the conclusion that the Battle of Armageddon would have to be over by late 1975.
More graphically, after the 6th creative day ends with Adam and Eve's creation in 4026 BCE, the Society's timeline is:
|4026 BCE + 6000 -> 1975 CE + 1000 = 7000 years|
6th day-->||<----------------- 7th day ---------------->||<--Millennium-->
What the Watchtower Society said:
The October 8, 1966 issue of Awake! contained the article "How Much Longer Will It Be?" In answer to the question "when will God bring an end to wickedness?", under the subheading "6,000 Years Completed in 1975", it reasoned that the millennium would be the last 1,000 years of a 7,000-year rest day of God. On pages 19-20 it said:
<< The Bible shows that when God began to shape the earth for human habitation, he worked for six "days," or time periods. From the indications in God's Word, each was apparently 7,000 years in length. Then Genesis 2:22 states, Jehovah "proceeded to rest on the seventh day from all his work that he had made." This seventh day, God's rest day, has progressed nearly 6,000 years, and there is still the 1,000-year reign of Christ to go before its end. (Rev. 20:3, 7) This seventh 1,000-year period of human existence could well be likened to a great sabbath day, pictured by the sabbath day God commanded ancient Israel to keep after working for six days. (Ex. 20:8-10; 2 Pet. 3:8) After six thousand years of toil and bondage to sin, sickness, death and Satan, mankind is due to enjoy a rest and is in dire need of a rest. (Heb. 4:1-11) Hence, the fact that we are nearing the end of the first 6,000 years of man's existence is of great significance.
Does God's rest day parallel the time man has been on earth since his creation? Apparently so. From the most reliable investigations of Bible chronology, harmonizing with many accepted dates of secular history, we find that Adam was created in the autumn of the year 4026 B.C.E. Sometime in that year Eve could well have been created, directly after which God's rest day commenced. In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man's existence and also the first 6,000 years of God's rest day come to an end? The year 1975. This is worthy of notice, particularly in view of the fact that the "last days" began in 1914, and that the physical facts of our day in fulfillment of prophecy mark this as the last generation of this wicked world. So we can expect the immediate future to be filled with thrilling events for those who rest their faith in God and his promises. It means that within relatively few years we will witness the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies that have to do with the "time of the end." >>
The above material was not dogmatically certain about 1975 being the date for Armageddon, but it was nearly so. Later material became more dogmatic.
The Watchtower, May 1, 1968, said on page 271, paragraph 4:
<< Thus, Adam's naming of the animals and his realizing that he needed a counterpart would have occupied only a brief time after his creation. Since it was also Jehovah's purpose for man to multiply and fill the earth, it is logical that he would create Eve soon after Adam, perhaps just a few weeks or months later in the same year, 4026 B.C.E. After her creation, God's rest day, the seventh period, immediately followed. >>
The study question for this paragraph then asked, "When were Adam and Eve created?", not "When were Adam and Eve possibly created?"
Paragraphs 5 and 6 then said:
<< After [Eve's] creation, God's rest day, the seventh period, immediately followed. Therefore, God's seventh day and the time man has been on earth apparently run parallel. >>
Apparently run parallel? Based on what? That's a fully dogmatic claim. Continuing:
<< To calculate where man is in the stream of time relative to God's seventh day of 7,000 years, we need to determine how long a time has elapsed from the year of Adam and Eve's creation in 4026 B.C.E...
The seventh day of the Jewish week, the sabbath, would well picture the final 1,000-year reign of God's kingdom under Christ when mankind would be uplifted from 6,000 years of sin and death. (Rev. 20:6) Hence, when Christians note from God's timetable the approaching end of 6,000 years of human history, it fills them with anticipation. Particularly is this true because the great sign of the "last days" has been in the course of fulfillment since the beginning of the "time of the end" in 1914. >>
The October 8, 1968 Awake! dogmatically stated on page 14:
<< According to reliable Bible chronology Adam and Eve were created in 4026 B.C.E. >>
The 1969 book Aid to Bible Understanding dogmatically indicated that Adam and Eve were created in the same year. On page 333, under the subject "Chronology," it said that the time from Adam's creation to the birth of Seth was 130 years, and on page 538, under the subject "Eve," it said that at the age of 130 Eve gave birth to Seth. Since this book was published as an authoritative, encyclopedia-like reference (Insight on the Scriptures is mostly identical), these comments again assured the reader that the Society was certain that Adam and Eve were created in the same year, and implied that it was certain that "everything would be over" by 1975.
The 1969 booklet The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years was also definite about 1975. On pages 25-26 it dogmatically said:
<< More recently earnest researchers of the Holy Bible have made a recheck of its chronology. According to their calculations the six millenniums of mankind's life on earth would end in the mid-seventies. Thus the seventh millennium from man's creation by Jehovah God would begin within less than ten years...
In order for the Lord Jesus Christ to be "Lord even of the sabbath day," his thousand-year reign would have to be the seventh in a series of thousand-year periods or millenniums. >>
The 1974 book God's "Eternal Purpose" Now Triumphing for Man's Good shows that the idea that the 7th "creative day" began in 4026 BCE was by this time a well-established doctrine. Without reticence, page 51 displays the subtitle "'Evening' of Seventh Creative 'Day' Begins, 4026 B.C.E."
The December 15, 1974 Watchtower (pp. 764-766) dogmatically states, not that 1975 may be a critical year, but that it is a critical year:
<< Now, as the critical year of 1975 enters, it may well be asked: Has the Most High God of prophecy made a name for himself? The answer is self-evident, Yes! By whom? Not by Christendom or by Jewry, but by Jehovah's Christian witnesses!' >>
The Watchtower, August 15, 1968, spoke at length about the significance of 1975 on pages 488-501. The article "The Book of Truthful Historical Dates" discussed details again, on page 488:
<< Do we know that the seventh year from now will conclude the 6,000th year since Adam was created? And if we live to that year 1975, what should we expect to happen? >>
In this Watchtower, the article "Why Are You Looking Forward To 1975?" raised a good deal of anticipation when it said on page 494:
<< 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. [which students, and who started the fire?] 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.
... of what benefit is this information to us today?... why should we be any more interested in the date of Adam's creation than in the birth of King Tut?... in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now... it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam. >>
Since the Society had already dogmatically stated that Adam and Eve were both created in 4026 BCE -- the end of the 6th creative day and beginning of the 7th -- the 6,000 years since then have all been during the 7th creative day, and per the above quotes, the Millennial Reign of Christ must begin in 1975.
In the following, note the sense of urgency, and the implication that 6,000 years is a figure of special significance. Continuing on page 499:
<< 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. [What can we say of this from the perspective of 2019?] 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. >>
While this quote contains some cautionary language, the last sentence harks back to the Society's dogmatic statements that Adam and Eve were both created in 4026 BCE. Naturally, the attentive JW would interpret "may involve" as "will involve".
But one thing is clear: such a combination of dogmatic and cautionary statements is sure to produce confusion in the minds of listeners, and in the JW mind, such confusion is resolved in favor of the dogmatic statements.
By 1967 expectations about 1975 were high. The following is taken from a talk entitled "Serving with Everlasting Life In View," given at a circuit assembly in the spring of 1967 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin by an official of the Society, a District Servant named Charles Sinutko (see
for audio). The speaker emphasized the nearness of Armageddon and specifically said that it would come before 1975. Speaking of the world to come after Armageddon, he said:
<< Well, now, who will be there, of us here tonight? For the Society has made application of this scripture, in pointing out that those of us among Jehovah's Witnesses that are not regularly associating with his people, without good cause, such as being flat on our back, will not be in the new order. And we're the ones that are going to come around when the doors close, and say 'I want in now. Sir, open to us!' And Jesus will have to say, 'I'm sorry, I don't even recognize you.' Now wouldn't that be an awful thing. Do you see now why the Society implores us, year in and year out, the same old thing, 'Brothers, get in the flock. Don't let any excuses get in our way. Nothing of any nature. There's only one thing that's going to count when that time comes, and that's that we are inside.' And we hope that all of us here tonight are going to listen to the Society's imploring. We're going to listen to the agonizing entreaty, 'Brothers get in!', because they know what's coming. And it's coming fast -- and don't wait till '75. The door is going to be shut before then. >>
The May 1, 1968 Watchtower continued this stimulation of anticipation. Using much the same arguments as above, it dogmatically said on page 272:
<< The immediate future is certain to be filled with climactic events, for this old system is nearing its complete end. Within a few years at most the final parts of Bible prophecy relative to these "last days" will undergo fulfillment, resulting in the liberation of surviving mankind into Christ's glorious 1,000-year reign. What difficult days, but, at the same time, what grand days are just ahead! >>
Similarly, the October 8, 1968 Awake!, on page 13, dogmatically emphasized the shortness of the time:
<< The fact that fifty-four years of the period called the "last days" have already gone by is highly significant. It means that only a few years, at most, remain before the corrupt system of things dominating the earth is destroyed by God. >>
How many years are "a few"? When this was said, it was seven. Today, in 2019, we're already 51 years 'few'.
Nope. I'm interpreting what they said as they meant it to be interpreted.
Why do you think the Society quoted rank and file JWs about the year 2000 as it did? Just for the hell of it?
So far so good. But being alert is quite different from making specifc predictions, as if you know for certain some date or short time period. And you've ignored Jesus' warning against trying to figure out when the end was to come or was about to come.
Matthew 24 is explicit that those who claim to know when “the time of the end” has arrived or will arrive, in advance of the appearance of “the sign of the Son of Man in heaven”, are false teachers:
<< 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming ... 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. >>
Obviously, anyone who claims he knows, when Jesus specifically stated that his disciples could not know, cannot honestly claim to be one of Jesus’ disciples. Luke 21:8 confirms this with the admonition, “do not follow him”.
You and the Society disagree with the Bible on this. Why?
You're neglecting what "sign" means in the Gospel accounts. It does not mean what Watchtower tradition claims. Read Matthew 24 and see if you can find where Jesus' answer to his disciples says anything about a sign. It's not until verse 30 that he mentions a sign:
<< 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity. >>
So Jesus said that the sign the disciples asked about was "the sign of the Son of man" that appears "in heaven". It will not be invisible, but will be so spectacular that "all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Therefore no one would need preachers to tell them that this sign was about to appear -- its appearance would be plainly evident.
This sign was not the appearance of war, earthquakes, famine and pestilence mentioned in verses 6-7, and in the parallel accounts in Mark and Luke. Rather, those things were what Jesus warned not to interpret as signs that "the end" was about to happen.
Following 24:31 we read this:
<< 32 “Now learn this illustration from the fig tree: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. >>
What are "all these things"? Obviously, the "sign of the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" -- not the earthquakes, etc., that Jesus warned against interpreting as signs. Obviously, then, when this heavenly sign appears, Jesus' followers would clearly know that "he is near at the doors", whatever that means.
Next, emphasizing that it was impossible for anyone to know in advance, by calculation or by signs, when "the sign of the Son of man" was to appear "in the heavens", Jesus said (English Standard Version😞
<< 36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. >>
I don't see how all that could be any clearer: don't try to predict when the end will come, because you cannot know it.
The Society claims that its prophetic speculations have been proved true by various events after 1914, such as a supposed 20x increase in earthquakes, and unprecedented increases in war, famine and pestilence. All of those claims have been individually disproved.
And as I have repeatedly pointed out, and you and all the other JW defenders on this board have ignored, we have today an unprecedented population explosion. Had the supposed huge increases in worldwide killers taken place, we would have had a population implosion after 1914. Yet we see an increase from about 2 billion to 8 billion. How do you explain that?
You'll have to argue with Jesus about this. I did not write the words of warning above.
No matter what you believe, Jesus' words warning against trying to predict "the end" still apply.
Nope. You didn't hear the fear and upset in his voice. He was trying to excuse the JW organization for its long history of false prophecy in predicting "the end".