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JW Insider

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  1. There is no doubt that In the last 106 years since 1914 the Christian congregation has had to deal with an entire world era of much more critical times than previous historical eras that have come upon the Christian congregation. Yet, when Paul said that in the last days the Christian congregation would see critical times hard to deal with, Paul was preparing Timothy for the fact that Timothy should expect to see these "critical times" in the 1st century congregations he was working with. Currently, the Watchtower ties 1914 to the beginning of an era, or generation, that has seen greater wars than were ever seen previously in the history of the world. It is also supposed to be the beginning of a generation that has seen greater pestilence, famine, and earthquakes than any other previous generation in the history of the world. Surely, there is nothing wrong with seeing this year as a time of great change in the world. If we ever needed proof that the world was lying in the power of the wicked one, then events that began in this particular year offered unassailable proof. Also, especially looking back, it seemed to be a sudden change to many people. European powers had exploited the wealth of many nations through violence to keep them as their own colonies. And the number of squabbles over who could exploit which nations had reached a boiling point. The Great European War starting in 1914 was supposed to be the final fight over how the exploitation of colonies around the world would be defined going forward. Lines would be drawn in the sand, and the "jungles". Who gets to exploit whom, would finally be defined and it would therefore be the war to end all wars. But instead it just thrust upon mankind even more wars for greed, power, ego, persecution, murder, and theft. As one person on this forum commented, maybe WWI never ended. So what could possibly be wrong with a doctrine that teaches that the final generation of mankind in this system of things should start in 1914? Does the Bible say this is impossible? Does it go against any Biblical principles. Doesn't it fulfill prophecy? What about Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Revelation 12? Doesn't common sense tell us that the end is getting closer all the time, and that a final generation must appear at some point? With all the global problems, terrors, and fears, isn't now the most likely time to see ourselves in that final generation?
  2. You'll notice that I spoke, not of his weakness, but of the strength of Satan to cause persecutions that resulted in millions of deaths through the centuries. Satan and the spirit of the world that he embodies, has been at the heart of centuries of wars and persecutions. You will never see me complaining of his weakness. I won't get into any of the nit-picky anachronisms here, but yes, there was the pressure for young men to join the war. There is the same pressure today in many lands, but pressure to join in doing something wrong is not normally considered persecution. Some might feel pressure to avoid a lot of things the world would want us to join. But this is not the kind of "persecution" I was speaking about. Rutherford himself gave into the "pressure" to speak of the League of Nations as if it were some kind of awesome political expression on earth of what God's kingdom offers from the heavens. Does this mean that Rutherford could claim he was persecuted to do this, and that's what pressured him to say pretty much the same thing that the World Council of Churches was saying? The point I was trying to make is that, from 1914 to 1917, we are still talking about Russell's version of what preaching meant, not Rutherford's later versions. Rutherford, even up until 1919, had added only a couple of new elements to the Bible Students by that point in time: a much (better) stronger view against participation in war, stronger involvement in wordly politics, and a book called the "Finished Mystery" which was literally full of ludicrous "apostate" explanations of prophecy and false predictions which we would be embarrassed to read today. Probably the best pages in the whole book were the pages that Rutherford offered to rip out of every copy in 1918 so that the book could still be sold. It was already minimal from 1914 to 1934, but even if we maximized it, it still pales in comparison to the Biblical imagery of Revelation 12. Give it a quick look again as a reminder: (Revelation 12:3-17) Another sign was seen in heaven. Look! A great fiery-colored dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems; and its tail drags a third of the stars of heaven, and it hurled them down to the earth. And the dragon kept standing before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth, it might devour her child. . . . And the woman fled into the wilderness, . . . And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. . . . the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! 11 And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. . . . Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.” Now when the dragon saw that it had been hurled down to the earth, it persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. . . . 15 And the serpent spewed out water like a river from its mouth after the woman, to cause her to be drowned by the river. 16 But the earth came to the woman’s help, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river that the dragon spewed out from its mouth. 17 So the dragon became enraged at the woman and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her offspring, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness concerning Jesus. Now, I'm sure that a lot of religious groups have seen this as being fulfilled upon themselves through the centuries. No harm done. That's just the way we egocentric humans have always been. And many of them had situations where they actually faced literal death. But in our case we say it was some legal maneuverings that resulted in the 9-month removal of 7 or 8 replaceable men of a specific organization that had already spent all its money on the Photo-Drama with the expectation that, after October 1914, no money would be needed for further preaching by any of them in 1915. The false expectations for 1914 had already resulted in the loss of many adherents. The autocratic nature of Rutherford, and the worldly, political infighting within the Society (over how it should be controlled in the wake of Russell's death) resulted in the loss of many more. The book, "Finished Mystery" caused a further controversy that resulted in the loss of even more Bible Students. The core adherents to the Watch Tower Society were fewer and fewer, even before the war had much impact. Rutherford began touting false expectations for 1918 and then 1925, and by the end of that decade, he had dropped pyramidology, the explanation for the End of the Gentile Times, and most of the the Russell/Barbour chronology. Rutherford's actions from 1914 to 1931 resulted in the loss of MOST of the Bible Students. (For mostly good reasons, however.) Satan's actions during the same period were nothing like what Revelation 12 would have led Bible Students to expect. And yet we know that Satan is not weak. Look at WWII, and the holocaust, for example. Where was this "war with the remaining ones of her offspring"? Where was this rage against the woman between 1914 and 1934? You have already guessed that maybe Satan diverted his attention to the overall long-term terrible effects of the war for a few years. That's possible. But reading Revelation 12 doesn't fit the idea of making excuses for Satan. Nothing to minimize about the war itself. It really was terrible and really was a change to an era. Of course, we already have minimized the "end of the gentile times." Rutherford completely changed its meaning by about 1931. It no longer meant the complete dissolving of all non-Jewish institutions over a course of a few months starting in October 1914, while natural, physical Jews in Jerusalem (Palestine) simultaneously proved themselves (starting in 1914) to be the only government that had Jehovah's backing and blessing. Again, we are forced to guess why he acted less like the Biblical Satan at the very time he was supposedly more angry, and had dragged a third of the stars of heaven down with him. Perhaps you are saying that Satan is less powerful after 1915 than he was in 1913? Or did this change in his power happen sometime closer to the time of Nero? (37 CE to 68 CE.) I would say that Jehovah's Witnesses are doing this. Sounds like you might agree. Just to be a little more careful here, when Jesus taught them to go 2 by 2, he clearly told them NOT to go "door after door." (Luke 10:1-7) . . .After these things the Lord designated 70 others and sent them out by twos ahead of him into every city and place where he himself was to go.. . . Do not keep transferring from house to house. The method was announcing themselves in public and then only going to persons' houses where they were invited. But our current method of going from house to house has worked well, too. I have nothing against it, and have used it to excellent advantage in starting studies and making disciples. Just one person's opinion here, but If we were to be given a hailstone message to warn others with before the actual end is upon as (as a surprise) then Jesus must have been lying when he said it would come upon ALL of us as a surprise. Jesus said the parousia would be like a flash of lightning that suddenly flashes from one end of the horizon over to the other end. Hardly even a split second should remain to start a hailstone message. Of course, there will always be people who think they know better than Jesus.
  3. Yes, true. I was referring to the fact that there was no wave of persecution, as one might expect if Satan had just been hurled down, having great anger, knowing he had a short period of time. In the days of the apostles and especially by the time of Nero, there were reports of literally thousands of Christians persecuted, even with torture and death. In the next two centuries there were reports of hundreds of thousands of Christians put to death. So I'm comparing what Satan was capable of doing when Christianity was just a "babe" compared to the relatively peaceful opposition to the Watchtower that was reported from 1914 to about 1934. It was as if Satan was not even angry during that time period, or that he did not know he had a short period of time. Recall that the Society still had only a few thousand members worldwide, and except for some colporteurs and speakers, most Bible Students were relatively inactive when it came to preaching. Most of the Bible Students who were regular readers of the Watchtower understood that Russell suggested never speaking out against the draft/conscription in any country, but that Bible Students could allow themselves to be drafted, and if they couldn't get non-combat alternatives, that they should just shoot over the heads of the enemy (per Watch Tower recommendations given by Russell himself). This is false. There were many more Catholics and Baptists arrested than the Bible Students. I know of at least one case of a Baptist preacher who was investigated and arrested for exact same stated reasons that the Bible Students were. The United States did not get into the war until April 1917. The Espionage (Sedition Act) was not passed until June 1917. It was used against HUNDREDS of persons in the United States, and many of those convicted remained in jail for up to 5 years. The dozen or so Bible Students (including the 7 directors) were a very small part of the total. Almost all of the HUNDREDS of OTHER activists, socialists, suspected immigrants, and religious publishers were released within 3 or 4 years on appeal, or on commuted sentences. When the war hysteria was over, almost everyone else got released with treatment very similar to the Watch Tower directors. Several brothers joined the war, but this did not result in any wave of persecution. There were a few imprisoned brothers in the US, Canada, the UK and a couple of other European countries at the time, but reports of beatings and violence were very relatively rare. Also a few reports of brothers who could not avoid conscription tried to get alternative work, such as hospital work, and were still told to choose either combat or the brig. So this resulted in a couple more short imprisonments at army camps, especially training camps. (For the United States, the war lasted only about 18 months, from April 1917 to November 1918.) The first rage of persecution against us started in the 1930's, in Germany. In the 1940's that war hysteria hit the United States. There were very close to ZERO reported deaths of Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, and hundreds in Germany, with thousands incarcerated in the 1940's, many in the worst possible situations, even in concentration camps. Since then, there have been several hot spots off and on where persecution of Witnesses has resulted in violence and death. (Overall, the numbers of deaths have been very small when compared with persecution of other religious groups in this century.) Interesting possibility. But you would think there would be much more evidence than just interesting possibilities for why Satan delayed turning to the leadership of the Watch Tower, if Revelation 12 really refers to the time immediately after 1914.
  4. No persecution broke out against anyone associated with the Watchtower in 1914, or 1915, or 1916. Does this mean that it took Jesus a very long time to battle with Satan before he could finally throw him out of heaven? I don't think that was the issue at all! Brother Russell died just two months shy of 1917, and so there was only a very short time before the next election. As the Watch Tower's and Brother Russell's attorney since 1907, Brother Rutherford had made himself the most prominent, and he was the most active in trying to make sure that the Watchtower didn't end up in the hands of the persons that Russell had picked. This was probably a good thing, because those persons whom Russell had picked were not immediately active in trying to pick up the reins of the Watchtower, because it made more sense that "the Lord" was about to act on their behalf, and that they should just go on doing things the way Russell had wanted by following his "last will and testament" and expecting things to just work out for the best. Especially because it appeared that the expected "END" was now more than 24 months overdue. They expected that Russell, whom they saw as a "SAINT" was still actively running the Society from heaven. But Rutherford was quite different, and he had just completed a work in 1915 that showed that, as Russell's attorney, he knew all the potential scandals that Russell had been associated with. He would not have had the attitude that things will just work out because "SAINT" Russell was still running things from the other side of the veil. He was many times more practical, and used the opportunity to gain control of the Watchtower. It looked like the Watchtower would have completely flailed into oblivion without Rutherford at the head. He brought things to a head by the middle of 1917 with the release of "The Finished Mystery" in July, at the same time that Russell dismissed a majority of the 7 directors. It was this point that brought some measure of persecution to the doors of the Watchtower. The majority of the directors felt that Rutherford was persecuting the Watch Tower Society, by becoming autocratic and not following Russell's "last will," and by going against the articles of incorporation of the Watch Tower Society. But again, this majority "turned the other cheek" instead of standing up for themselves, probably with the same idea that the Lord would provide, and that Russell, although he had died, had been immediately resurrected and would actively run things from the other side of the veil. Of course, Rutherford, and the two directors that stayed with him, felt that it was the four ousted directors who were persecuting them, and when Rutherford replaced those four with persons loyal to him, this became the only way to look at it. Their persecution failed to touch Rutherford though, and Rutherford had won. So except for some legal maneuvering, there was really no persecution on anyone even in 1916 and most of 1917. But the book that Fisher and Woodworth had written, the Finished Mystery, had gone much further than Russell ever did in speaking out against war and speaking out against the religions that supported war. This got them in trouble in Canada first where religious leaders felt especially "persecuted" by the book, so they got behind some legal maneuvering to get the book banned. With war hysteria high, it was the perfect time to get some action that might not have otherwise been taken against the Bible Students there. By 1918 the United States Justice Dept with it's Bureau of Investigation was already arresting people and preachers and activists who were speaking out against the draft, and therefore the people behind the Finished Mystery were already in the sights of the government. The book was banned and several brothers all around the United States were arrested and some served jail terms. When the Society itself was investigated, the Society was found to have also been peripherally involved in helping persons try to avoid the draft, but in a way that was careful enough to probably not have resulted in a win against the Society after appeal. But they were arrested for trial and lost the first trial which dealt mostly with the Finished Mystery, but they were not allowed bail during the appeal process so that the directors had to spend several months in Federal Prison while waiting for the appeal. This was pretty much the entire persecution! It was a very low level of persecution when we consider what kind of religious persecution had been going on in various countries between Catholics and Protestants, "Christians" and Jews, "Christians" and Native Americans, "Christians" and colonial non-Christians, a few other relgiously motivated persecutions around the world. It also seemed like an extremely low level of persecution when we consider what Satan has been able to accomplish since then among other peoples, where religious differences have provoked war and persecution that ended up killing literally millions. What it did do that seemed significant was nearly put the Bible Students and the Watchtower Society out of business. But the Watchtower continued to be published during this period. Also after the President of the WTS got out of prison in May 1919, the trial was discontinued because the US prosecution was pretty sure it could not win such a trial outside of wartime. Rutherford immediately started up the campaign for the predictions due in 1925. This campaign was called "Millions Now Living Will Never Die." That campaign kept the Watch Tower Society alive and motivated, although its failure, along with the removal of the unique doctrines of Russell resulted in the decimation of the numbers of Bible Students from 1926 through the end of that decade.
  5. A perfect topic for another day. This is a topic I might not be ready for. But I've seen enough to know you are making some good points and asking some good and thoughtful questions. I'm surprised that the topic gets completely ignored for the most part among Witnesses and every other religious group I've wondered about.
  6. It finally appears that we are winding down and I like that @b4ucuhear has already tried to reduce this conversation to only the most important points. However, there is still a chance that someone will read what @César Chávez said, and begin to believe that there are now some new scholars that agree with the Watchtower chronology, which Cesar claims 'has been correct all along.' Let's just make this simple in case others might look at what was written here and get confused. You are pretending that the Watchtower has been "correct all along" and your evidence is supposed to be found among these six "new" sources. From what I have found so far, the folowing is more accurate: "New Chronology" Scholar Agrees w/ WTS for Jerusalem destruction - Nebuchadnezzar's 18th/19th year as 607-606 Agrees with COJ, Wiseman, Grayson - Nebuchadnezzar's 18th/19th year as 587-586 Jonathan Stokl Disagrees with Watchtower dates Agrees with COJ, Wiseman, etc. Caroline Waerzeggers Disagrees with Watchtower dates Agrees with COJ, Wiseman, etc. Gary Knoppers Disagrees with Watchtower dates Agrees with COJ, Wiseman, etc. Peter Ackroyd Disagrees with Watchtower dates Agrees with COJ, Wiseman, etc. Lester Grabbe Disagrees with Watchtower dates Agrees with COJ, Wiseman, etc. Deirdre Fulton Disagrees with Watchtower dates Agrees with COJ, Wiseman, etc. Of course, now you are telling me that I am putting too much emphasis on the word destruction, as if the Watchtower doctrine doesn't emphasize the destruction of Jerusalem. But here are just a few of the Watchtower references, using only articles from the last 10 years, and some samples from just a few of the books. Who is it, you think, who is fixated on this word destruction? *** w18 February p. 3 par. 2 Imitate the Faith and Obedience of Noah, Daniel, and Job *** Apostate Jerusalem was nearing its foretold destruction, which occurred in 607 B.C.E. *** w16 June p. 16 Questions From Readers *** apostate Jerusalem prior to its destruction in 607 B.C.E. *** ws14 7/15 p. 18 par. 9 “You Are My Witnesses” *** After that, Jehovah continued warning his people until the year 607 before Christ, when Jerusalem was destroyed. *** w14 7/15 p. 25 par. 9 “You Are My Witnesses” *** That was 125 years before Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. *** w11 3/15 p. 31 par. 14 Keep Awake, as Jeremiah Did *** Some Jews as well as non-Israelites survived Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. *** w11 10/1 p. 26 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One *** the year of Jerusalem’s destruction. Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses say that it was 607 B.C.E.? *** w11 10/1 p. 29 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One *** But if the evidence from the inspired Scriptures clearly points to 607 B.C.E. for Jerusalem’s destruction, why do many authorities hold to the date 587 B.C.E.? *** w11 10/1 p. 31 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One *** Counting back from that year would place Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E *** w11 11/1 p. 25 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part Two *** then his 18th year would be 607 B.C.E.—the very year indicated by the Bible’s chronology for the destruction of Jerusalem! *** w11 11/1 p. 27 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part Two *** This, therefore, supports the date of 607 B.C.E. for Jerusalem’s destruction—just as the Bible indicates. *** w11 11/1 p. 27 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part Two *** Those statements strongly indicate that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E. As the above evidence shows, that conclusion has some secular support. *** w09 3/15 p. 14 par. 14 Keep Your Eyes on the Prize *** In time, the entire nation turned apostate, resulting in its destruction in 607 B.C.E. *** g 1/11 p. 11 A Book You Can Trust—Part 3 *** In 607 B.C.E., Babylonian armies destroyed Jerusalem and took the survivors off to Babylon, where they were treated cruelly. *** g 5/09 p. 11 A Receipt That Corroborates the Bible Record *** Nebo-sarsechim was one of King Nebuchadnezzar’s commanders at the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E., *** rr chap. 6 p. 67 par. 13 “The End Is Now Upon You” *** Thus, both time periods would end in 607 B.C.E., the exact year in which Jerusalem fell and was destroyed, just as Jehovah had foretold. *** rr chap. 7 p. 74 par. 8 The Nations “Will Have to Know That I Am Jehovah” *** from the time of the Exodus to the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. *** rr chap. 8 p. 89 par. 14 “I Will Raise Up One Shepherd” *** In 607 B.C.E., with the destruction of Jerusalem, the “high” kingdom of Judah centered in Jerusalem was brought low *** rr chap. 11 p. 126 par. 17 “I Have Appointed You as a Watchman” *** who spoke to God’s people in the period surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. *** rr chap. 16 p. 175 par. 9 “Put a Mark on the Foreheads” *** Ezekiel’s prophecy was fulfilled in 607 B.C.E. when the Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem and its temple. *** rr chap. 16 p. 178 par. 17 “Put a Mark on the Foreheads” *** As we saw earlier, those who survived Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. *** dp chap. 4 p. 50 par. 8 The Rise and Fall of an Immense Image *** These words applied to Nebuchadnezzar after Jehovah had used him to destroy Jerusalem, in 607 B.C.E. *** cl chap. 8 p. 78 par. 5 Restorative Power—Jehovah Is “Making All Things New” *** Just imagine how faithful Jews felt in 607 B.C.E. when Jerusalem was destroyed. *** dp chap. 6 p. 96 par. 27 Unraveling the Mystery of the Great Tree *** If we were to count 2,520 literal days from Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E., *** po chap. 2 p. 20 par. 27 The Immortal Possessor of the “Eternal Purpose” *** God’s protection through the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the armies of Babylon in the year 607 B.C.E. *** po chap. 14 p. 173 par. 11 Triumph for the “Eternal Purpose” *** Before the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. *** jr chap. 15 p. 188 par. 13 “I Cannot Keep Silent” *** True worshippers were affected by the appalling conditions that prevailed before Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E So you seem to be conflicted over this fixation the Watchtower has with the word "destruction." But you know you can't admit a conflict with the Watchtower itself, and therefore you "project" that conflictedness onto me. I'm willing to do what I can to help you work through this. I've seen it before with others on unrelated topics. What you might need to do as a start, is to spell out exactly what you think the right solution is. You might not be ready to be definitive, and that's OK, but you should start with what you think is probably correct, and how you think the Watchtower should change their wording so that they don't appear to be "fixated" on this word "destruction." How do you think they should have worded it instead? If you try to answer that question, I'll know you are serious about researching this issue. If you won't even try, then I'll have to consider the next most likely assumption about your motives.
  7. More "projection." I enjoy puns, but you are the one playing word games to dodge questions, repeat false claims, use innuendo, avoid explanations, etc. Actually I offered several items of evidence, which you have ignored and distracted from, so far. Calling that my bluster is "Projection 101." Evidence of what? You didn't say, except for that one diversion (out of the blue) about Nebuchadnezzar surviving some rough travel itineraries with the help of Nebo/Nabu. Are you going to point out where I have done this, or should I just expect more bluster? I had a feeling you might go with bluster! I see that defensive "echolalia" again, whenever I apparently touch a nerve. I said "sockpuppet" so you worked the word "puppet" into an attempted insult to some COJ-duped professionals. Sounds like you are all upset that actual professionals sided with COJ. Yet again, why are you so obsessed with him? COJ is completely unnecessary to this entire charade of yours. Feel free to point out anything you wish about COJ, I really don't care. He is (or was?) just one man out of thousands who have access to the same evidence that ends up embarrassing the Watchtower Society on this topic. No doubt, if history is prologue, you will now show me some "evidence" from a writer/scholar who will somehow show us that the Watchtower is incorrect about the dates the WT gives for the exiles and the destruction of Jerusalem in 607. You will no doubt try to imply that this evidence against the Watchtower is actually evidence that the Watchtower has been correct all along. (And "correct all along" is a very odd choice of words considering the number of times the Watchtower has changed the endpoints and milestones of the chronology.) Thanks for providing the reference. As usual, you found another reference that hurts the Watchtower's tradition about 607 and 1914. First of all, Eric Meyers, the author, of this chapter (10) is expressing appreciation for the findings and work of Peter Ackroyd who wrote "Exile and Restoration" and then later wrote a followup: "Israel under Babylon and Persia." I don't believe you read what he said, or else you must have completely misunderstood it, and only copied it here because he used the familiar range "607 to 537" for the 70 year period mentioned in Jeremiah/Daniel. Second, when Meyers says that Ackroyd was "prescient" for reflecting on the artificiality of the term exile and restoration, he is asking us to agree with them both in their view that the Bible is wrong. The Bible you might recall says that the land was totally desolate and uninhabited. Ackroyd claimed this was artificial language because "only a portion of the population was exiled." On page 167, the very paragraph following your quote says: ". . .his strong textual sensitivity allowed him to see . . . that perhaps the text in 2 Kings was in error." Third, the Watchtower says the exiles were primarily in the two groups taken in 617 and 607. Note that these are the only two Judean exile events mentioned in the Insight book under the article on "EXILE:" *** it-1 p. 775 Exile *** Judah. In 617 B.C.E., King Nebuchadnezzar took the royal court and the foremost men of Judah into exile at Babylon. (2Ki 24:11-16) About ten years later, in 607 B.C.E., at the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the chief of the Babylonian bodyguard, took most of the remaining ones and deserters of the Jews with him to Babylon, from which exile only a mere remnant returned 70 years later.—2Ki 25:11; Jer 39:9; Isa 10:21, 22; see CAPTIVITY. A third exile would have been put in 602/601 since Jeremiah indicates it was about 5 years later (23-18=5): (Jeremiah 52:28-30) . . .These are the people whom Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar took into exile: in the seventh year, 3,023 Jews. 29 In the 18th year of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, 832 people were taken from Jerusalem. 30 In the 23rd year of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, Neb·uʹzar·adʹan the chief of the guard took Jews into exile, 745 people. In all, 4,600 people were taken into exile. In all, 4,600 people were taken into exile. So if this source of yours thinks the Watchtower is right, they will include those two exiles in those years: 617 & 607. If this source thinks that COJ and all current Neo-Babylonian scholars are right, then we'd expect to see: 597 & 587. Your source, says that there was no simple exile and return, because the exile happened in several pieces (and using the numbers in the Bible, only amounted to a small number of exiles each time). But what are the dates of those various exiles? He (1970:1) also noted that hardly one date could be assigned to the beginning of the exile (597,587,581 BCE, etc.) let alone a time for the return, which only began in 538–537 BCE. So, you found a resource that agrees with COJ's dates for the destruction of Jerusalem, and the associated series of exiles. It disagrees with the Watchtower's dates for those events. As usual. In fact the primary difference between COJ and your source is that one of COJ's objectives was to show that the Bible is correct and your source preferred to see the Bible as incorrect in some of the claims about the totality of the exile. These authors are also telling us that there was no single year that we could point to as the "Return"/"Restoration." They will say it only just started in 538/537, but plenty of evidence shows that it was a trickling of Jews coming back home to Judea over many years, and of course, this also matches some Biblical evidence that shows that many didn't want to leave Babylon at all. We already knew from many Jewish writings that were written in Babylon that healthy Jewish communities lasted for several centuries thereafter. Your "proof" of the time period merely proves that the Watchtower's chronology is completely wrong. Since you have correctly admitted that 607 was in Nabopolassar's reign, it then follows that Nebuchadnezzar had not even begun his full first year until 604 BCE. So Nebuchadnezzar's 19th year could not be the same as Nabopolassars 18th year. How could he be in the 18th or 19th year of his kingship if he had NOT even started his first year of kingship? As for the fact that the chapter mentions the familiar range of 70 years, I thought you might go here, which is why I already had mentioned this before your post: As you probably remember, I have never had any problem with this same range for the 70 years of Jeremiah/Daniel. At most it's only a couple years off, and I've often said on this forum that it may even be correct. After all Jeremiah says that Babylon would be given 70 years of domination as a power over the surrounding nations, and this is a pretty good estimate of the timing of that power. Basically the idea is that the Babylonian world power could be identified as the 70 years between the Assyrian world power and the Medo-Persian world power. I can still admit that the 70 years can be identified with those same years. And if you are admitting the same, then you are also claiming that Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon about 587/586 BCE. As I've already said, I was pretty sure you actually agreed already with COJ and thousands of other scholars for the date of Jerusalem's destruction. I think you've now passed Projection 101, 201, 202, 203, and 301. We can now project that you will graduate with this as your major.
  8. The English version is still made in Korea, I see: “Shepherd the Flock of God”—1 Peter 5:2 October 2019 Printing English (sfl-E) ˘ 2019 WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF REPUBLIC OF KOREA, INCORPORATED ASSOCIATION
  9. Projection again. You were the one who wanted to claim the COJ book as my source. Since I know it is not, I would have never brought it up as if it was. I'm not too concerned because I'm pretty sure he already knew that they were NOT falsehoods. I mentioned it mostly to do you the favor of reminding you that it's a lot easier to identify a "sockpuppet" account than you evidently think it is. Also, it's a common habit seen on forums and other social media where people often know deep down that something is true, but they need to show their disapproval because they WISH it weren't true. Therefore they know that they don't really have a valid or relevant response. So what's left is to create chaos with meaningless repetitive but empty claims, create diversions, create confusion with irrelevant sources, trying to create work for the person they oppose, attack the messenger, etc. It's partly because they don't want others to see the strength of the evidence against the position they have represented. It's probably even more because they have invested themselves in representing the wrong position and their ego kicks in so that they need to "appear" right even when they know they are not. Most people won't do this if it's just a small item, but if they think it reflects on a larger ideology, then they can rationalize that they were wrong, but there is no need to admit it because they are still on the right side overall. (Examples may include women who have been caught defending Bill Clinton's promiscuity, but denouncing Trump's. They think it's OK even though deep down they know it's wrong, because they feel they are still on the right side of the larger ideology. They seem to rationalize that admitting they are wrong would reflect poorly on an otherwise correct "democratic" ideology.) This is actually one of the reasons I continue to bring up the 1914 problems. (The Biblical ones more often than the secular ones.) People evidently tend to think it's one of those issues about which it's OK to be deceptive, because otherwise it would reflect poorly, they think, on the entire Witness ideology. This is like one of the issues that drove coverups and deception in the world of CSA, and it ended up getting exposed at the ARC, for example. But the exposure drove the WTS to make more definitive CSA processing changes. What's more, it has now been made clear that a CSA predator does NOT bring reproach on the CCJW, WTS, or congregation (or even the victim) -- he brings reproach on himself. Using the same principle, it will be easier for the WTS to finally change the 1914 doctrine, and we can blame the doctrine, not the overall Witness ideology, the Bible, the congregation, or ourselves. It's not nearly the same thing, of course, but from the perspective of reasonableness and paying close attention to our teaching, the 1914 doctrine really does bring reproach, but not on all the other doctrines. And, yes, I'm saying that I believe you have already given a lot of evidence that you know the details of the Watchtower chronology for 1914 must be incorrect. You have many times offered evidence that 607 was not the date for the destruction of Jerusalem. You have implied that it might be some other "Nebuchadnezzar-related" event around 607 that might still salvage the overall doctrine. But this is still an admission that the Watchtower position is weak, if not altogether wrong. I never observed that there is no scholar to agree with 607. All scholars agree that things happened in 607, and all of them would agree that 607 is 70 years prior to 537, among other things. What I observed is that all these persons you have quoted from that you say are "established scholars and historians" would agree that 607 is a false date for the destruction of Jerusalem. But I definitely implied it, I admit, when I said that every single scholar of Neo-Babylonian chronology, with no exceptions, is a source of evidence that hurts the Watchtower's 1914 tradition. (Since that tradition includes the idea that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607.) And of course, I am referring to living scholars, not those who were forced to make guesses in the 1800's when a lot of this information was just then coming out for the first time, Akkadian was not well understood, and misinformation was still rampant. If you still think it's disingenuous, try to find one. And please don't try to pretend that Rolf Furuli was a Neo-Babylonian scholar. At least he admits that he is not one.
  10. You put too much focus on who upvotes a person's posts. It's probably what drives you to constantly create additional accounts so that you can upvote and downvote people. When "Little Joe" made himself available to downvote my sister's experience, along with a couple of posts from others, I was pretty sure that we would soon see @Little Joe come over to this thread and start downvoting several of my posts on chronology. Sure enough, that was just about all Little Joe was good for up to that point, but quite predictable, of course. And by the way, you probably didn't mean Arauna, because she would normally side with the Watchtower on this topic, unless she's been studying it more deeply as of late.
  11. Are you kidding? I've always discussed the possibility of a deportation in or around 605 or so. That's close enough, right? Most historians don't think this one specifically concerned Palestine or Judeans, but some believe the evidence for it is in Daniel, because it might have included Daniel. It's also possible that Daniel is using an alternate dating system to refer to the one in 597. Ezekiel uses a dating system where nearly everything is now based on 597 as a pivotal year. You are wrong. And you probably know that it's dishonest to claim that COJ is the source of the evidence that hurts the Watchtower's 1914 tradition. You would like to pretend that it's just one person's claims. Turns out it is every single scholar of Neo-Babylonian chronology. No exceptions! And it's clear that you don't want people to see that your OWN sources hurt the Watchtower's theories and traditions. All of these established scholars and historians of yours agree that 607 is a false date for the destruction of Jerusalem in Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year. All of them would put that year in either 587 or 586. There is no question about this any more because just as your own source "Exile and Return" says: "During the Neo-Babylon and Persian periods, the time of the Exile, Babylonia produced extraordinarily rich deposits of cuneiform texts, making it one of the very best documented epochs of ancient Mesopotamian history." This is what dozens of others say about the ease with which the entire Neo-Babylonian chronology is reconstructed, year by year, king by king: I never ever said or even implied that he did. So who is trying to muddy the waters, as usual? The "projection" is still strong with you.
  12. I hoped you meant that "Math is a subject as e to the pi (eπi)." Which, coincidentally, as a function of the number "e" produces a sine of the times. (especially π times i ) So we've now come full circle back to the topic, and back to square one at the same time. [Get it? "square one"? Because i is the square root of -1] But the best part of this is that you can resolve it all to eπi = -1 which proves, in effect, that two wrongs can make a right. (Similar to a thing that F.W. "Time Parallels" Franz started to prove in 1944, when he finally accepted the proof that "1 minus -1 = 1" where two eras made an error.) More specifically, it can prove, as Euler did, that two irrationals (e and π) can make a rational (-1). But the devil is in the derivatives, as you implied in an earlier post. And there has already been a post of unknown derivation that came close to this topic but never touched it. I know we're just plane around in this space, but diversions are beside the point and that's where I draw the line. 🙄
  13. This matches what the Babylonian Chronicles have said about Nebuchadnezzar tramping about in Hatti-land very early in his reign, and even near the end of his father Nabopolassar's reign. Some have wanted to say that Hatti-land included Palestine, but limiting it to Syria has always proved a better match. A parallel trip to Palestine/Judea at that same time is only a plausible assumption, and it is based partly on dates given in Daniel, which some have considered a reference to the first of FOUR Judean deportations. Historians only focus on the two deportations acknowledged by Babylonian sources. Anyway, from what I have read, the Neirab archive is related to a Syrian settlement in Babylon. This new settlement reflected the old Syrian settlement which had been a center to the worship of the moon, "the god of Neirab." I notice you avoided showing your source again. It was Exile and Return: The Babylonian Context edited by Jonathan Stökl, Caroline Waerzeggers. p.63. Here, again without referencing your sources, you jump in this very next sentence to a completely different book and context: [Teach Yourself] Complete Babylonian: A Comprehensive Guide to Reading and Understanding ... by Martin Worthington. Without saying why, you have highlighted the following by underlining it. I love this stuff. It's pretty interesting to be able to watch language change over time. You see it in Hebrew, with the development of certain exceptions to the usual suffixes for masculine (-im) and feminine (-ot) noun plurals. And it's so interesting that the same types of changes in a language (morphology) will have parallels in many languages. (e.g., majuscule vowels in both Korean and Hebrew texts.) Although mimation and nunation technically refer to M and N case suffixes being added in Akkadian, similar things happen in Hebrew and Arabic too. You can look at old texts in Hebrew like the Dead Sea Scrolls and see the same texts from just a few hundred years later with contractions and abbreviations that reflect how language was spoken, and influences from other languages that had influenced speech. (Old English, for example, once had different case and gender endings for nouns and the accompanying adjectives. But these have been completely dropped, too.) Wikipedia says: In the later stages of Akkadian the mimation (word-final -m) - along with nunation (dual final "-n") - that occurs at the end of most case endings has disappeared, except in the locative. Later, the nominative and accusative singular of masculine nouns collapse to -u and in Neo-Babylonian most word-final short vowels are dropped. As a result, case differentiation disappeared from all forms except masculine plural nouns. However many texts continued the practice of writing the case endings (although often sporadically and incorrectly). As the most important contact language throughout this period was Aramaic, which itself lacks case distinctions, it is possible that Akkadian's loss of cases was an areal as well as phonological phenomenon. The practice of Neo-Babylonians trying to use their own archaic language in a contemporary inscription to give it a more authoritative, religious or legalistic feel, sounds similar to the use of "King James" style language 400 years later. However, it's also possible that some of these might be explained by the fact that the difference in the interchange of use of the NI sign with the NIM sign, for example, could be based on various regional dialects which changed in both directions over time. It's also possible that Martin Worthington has made a mistake in picking this particular example, because masculine plurals kept their original case endings in both archaic Babylonian AND Neo-Babylonian. Of course, what you highlighted has nothing to do with the 1914 doctrine, nor does it answer the question raised about Wiseman and Grayson, which I didn't expect you to answer. It looks like you are diverting to a subject that Allen Smith argued with Ann Omaly several years ago. Something about how later historians spoke of a direct route over the desert ("a way of thirst"), and I I always wondered whether this would really have been any quicker than the long way around taking the "Crescent" route by the rivers. But I still haven't changed my mind on this. You don't know how long that one particular trip took, and neither do I. For me it makes no difference, because the only date that is used for the destruction of Jerusalem is called, in the Bible, Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year or his 19th year (no doubt based on the two different counting systems which we have often discussed.) A difference of a few weeks travel time way back near or before the official start of Nebuchadnezzar's reign is meaningless in the overall picture.
  14. No, not at all. The claims I made so far have been shown to be correct, not false. Most everything the Watchtower teaches agrees with the Bible, therefore there is no conflict. I agree with almost every explanation, except for some problems with secondary interpretations of prophecy. The original, primary interpretations (fulfillments) are nearly always correct, in my opinion, but the Watchtower has had the most problems with trying to push for a secondary interpretation (a "larger" fulfillment) that is usually applied to Bible Students or Witnesses in more modern times, and these are ones we've most often had to drop or modify. And of course, we rely too much on secular chronology for the major prophecy about 1914. And then the WT finds that it must cherry pick which parts of the secular chronology it needs, and which parts to reject. However, if the WT could show evidence that these explanations are correct and Biblical, I'd go back to those explanations immediately. The Watchtower does dismiss structured historical facts. And it's a shame because this is done for the purpose of creating a doctrine that appears to defy the counsel of Jesus and Paul about chronology. From what I can tell, if the Watchtower accepted structured historical facts about Neo-Babylonian archaeology, they could use these facts to help show how well it aligns with the Bible's record, the accuracy of Bible prophecy in Jeremiah, Daniel, and Zechariah, for example. And it would show that the Bible has more historical credibility than many unbelievers will give it credit for. But as persons who walk by faith, we personally shouldn't need to concern ourselves too much with either support or possible discrepancies with the secular record, because we shouldn't need to rely on the secular record to interpret prophecy. Yet the Watchtower relies on the secular record to come up with the 1914 date, doesn't it? Paul said that "regarding chronology, brothers, we need nothing to be written to us." (1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2) . . .Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, you need nothing to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Why is Carl Olof Jonsson so important to you? It doesn't matter in the least if this one person is right or wrong or intellectual or a scholar. The evidence against the Watchtower tradition on 1914 does not come from one man, it can come from any of the thousands of persons who have seen the overall picture from tens of thousands of Neo-Babylonian tablets. Every one of those dated tablets adds to our picture in support of the facts. Every one of them therefore detracts from the 1914 tradition. Carl Olof Jonsson is not my friend, and he never was. When I first knew about the "hot potato" manuscript at Bethel, I thought I might even be given an assignment to help counter it. I wasn't. But COJ himself was not my friend, except in the sense that he was, at the time, one of our Christian brothers. But I never spoke with him. Also, no one needs his research. You don't even need Wiseman and Grayson any more to decipher the chronicles. I think that there are now hundreds or even thousands of researchers and scholars who could do an adequate job. The fact that nearly all of them agree completely with COJ doesn't mean that COJ is important to this discussion. It just means that COJ discussed the same relevant evidence about the Neo-Babylonian chronology, just like all the others. And I'm sure you know that no one has found any evidence supporting the Watchtower's view of 607 yet. And every new piece of evidence continues to support the previous evidence and shows how foolish the Watchtower has been for trying to hang onto this 1914 tradition so long. And you can also see from various articles that the Watchtower has gone so far as to misrepresent the evidence instead of celebrating how this evidence supports the Bible. So far, EVERY piece of Babylonian archaeological evidence HURTS 1914. None of it helps 1914. And there are literally TENS of THOUSANDS of relevant tablets. And I'm sure you know that the Watchtower Society is well aware of this, too. In another post, I'll look into the references your are quoting from. For now I notice that you have not addressed my request about pointing out which corrections of Wiseman and Grayson you were referring to. And more importantly, whether those corrections have had any effect on the dating of Nebuchadnezzar's 18th or 19th year. Also, I'm not sure why you bring up Nebuchadnezzar's speed between Babylon and Hatti-land. I don't care how long it took him, and don't see why anyone should care. Whatever year the Babylonians thought best to call his regnal year and his first year or his 18th or 19th year is fine with me. Let's say he didn't get back in time for the new year after his father died, or some similar quirk of fate. If he had become so important that they shaved off a year from his father's reign to start counting his own, then what difference does this make in the long run. Even if such a situation could potentially shift a date by a year, we already know which year was his 19th or 37th, just as well as we know Cyrus' 1st or 8th. So why fret over a difference of a couple weeks based on the speed of his horses or his traveling entourage? Anyway, I said I'd wait and do this later, so I'll stop for now.
  15. I guess I should respond to this point too, since you added "Some scholars have updated their chronology . . . Why haven't you updated yours?" First of all I don't care about Wiseman and Grayson or your COJ references. I believe Jesus was right when he said chronology is in the jurisdiction of the Father, and that it does not belong to us to get to know the times and the seasons. Paul said that as for the times and seasons brothers you need nothing to be written to you. So while I don't have any personal interest in even trying to see how a secular chronology might match the Bible, I am only concerned that we aren't getting overly concerned about certain specious claims that turn out to be untrue, and have already resulted in expectation postponed that makes the heart sick. One of our responsibilities as Christians is to encourage one another and build one another up. If false stories and genealogies are likely to end up disturbing our brothers in the long run, our obligation is to make sure of all things so that we can hold fast to what is fine. To that end I've read some of Wiseman and Grayson and Delitzsch, etc. I've checked out several of the major books they've produced, especially to read parts on the Neo-Babylonian period. The NYPL allowed me to make hundreds of pages of photocopies of some of these books that are only allowed for reference. And, of course, these days it's easy just to take a smartphone snap every relevant page. But I don't know why you think these particular adjustments are important. You didn't even say for sure which adjustments you were referring to. May I assume you didn't give details because it has absolutely no effect on the date for the destruction of Jerusalem. Most of the adjustments I know of in Wiseman and Grayson are about the Assyrian period: Assurnasurpal, Shalmaneser, etc. There have also been typos in Babylonian tablets, even by trained scribes of the time. And sometimes the typos might have been in an original that was not corrected when copied. And sometimes the scribes made a note when they were making a correction of a previous typo when copying. None of this surprises me. But even a dozen corrections of the sort I've read about could never override the evidence of hundreds, even many thousands of tablets that give us the entire picture of the Neo-Babylonian period. Even if there were only 7 lines of independent evidence, you could prove that 3 of them were complete frauds, and it would still not overturn the remaining lines of independent evidence. For a long time, the Watchtower publications hinted that Ptolemy was wrong and therefore they can claim anything they want about how to cherry-pick dates for a chronology and reject others. This turned out to be a fantasy, because no one needs Ptolemy at all to understand the overwhelming evidence for the neo-Babylonian chronology. For evidence of what I am saying, I'll just ask you to share how these supposed adjustments in Grayson and Wiseman would have any effect on the date for Nebuchadnezzar II's 18th and 19th year. If you are are anything like the predecessor accounts you have emulated, I'm sure you won't oblige.
  16. Sorry. I was just pointing out the same thing that The Librarian pointed out. I just saw his post so I removed mine. Not that you could't fill one of those kegs with real beer, and not that Rutherford didn't have a reputation for drinking. (Homebrewers reuse these types of kegs all the time, but the root beer flavor is the hardest flavor to remove completely. You end up still tasting or smelling a bit of root beer with your beer, unless you go to a lot of trouble with all the little parts.) My table head at Bethel disliked him, and included alcohol, smelly cigars and philandering among the habits that he "semi-accused" him of. But his primary complaint was that he would send out Bethelites to places where he thought they had the best chance of getting beat up or landing in jail.
  17. I don't have any problem understanding it, or even seeing its "intellectual" appeal to those who still believe Jerusalem was destroyed around 607 BCE. It's not even difficult to explain, if you are willing to cut a few corners scripturally. The difficulty is not with the doctrine, which I believe is simply wrong, it's with resolving the contradictions between the 1914 tradition and the scriptures. Yes, that's why I have often referred to this teaching as a long-standing tradition, a lofty, strongly entrenched thing. (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5) . . .but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. 5 For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. . . 2520 was not an Adventist calculation. I never contended that it was "made" by Miller. Miller might have used terminology that made it appear that he came up with it himself, but I dealt with that kind of egotistical presentation earlier. Here's a site that contains a lot of quotes directly from Miller on the subject: https://the2520.com/william_miller.htm "I WILL NOW BRING FORWARD SOME PROPHECIES WHICH REMAIN TO BE FULFILLED, OR WHICH HAVE RECENTLY BEEN ACCOMPLISHED" The editor of the site above takes that as evidence that Miller got there first: William Miller was the first person in modern times to have discovered the 2520, below are some of his thoughts on the subject It's true that Miller was fairly early among those who discussed 2520 from some potential 7 times prophecies. Maybe as early as 1818, about 10 years before the 1828 work of Faber that was quoted in the 1830 periodical you already referenced about Faber. (Your other quote was from Chamberlain around 1860, about the time Barbour was readjusting some of Miller's starting points for the 1260, 1290, 1335, etc.) But if you read Barbour and Russell closely, you will notice that they make the same mistakes that Miller made, and they highlight the points with the same priorities as Miller and those who communicated with Miller. (For example, notice how closely the priorities of this work match Russell's by Miller's associate, Hiram Edson, as found in a series of articles from the Review and Herald, starting in January 3, 1856. The articles are called the Times of the Gentiles, and it matches several points that Russell uses in his 1876 article contributed to The Bible Examiner (published by George Storrs). The Times of the Gentiles by Hiram Edson Although it's not true of the more sophisticated (more scholarly) sources, Miller-related sources use Leviticus 26 as a more important source of the 7 times than Daniel 4, as did Miller and Edson. (And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.) This was also true of Barbour and Russell. Russell also admitted that the even better source for calculating 1914 would be "Israel's doubles" by which he meant the "parallel dispensations" that mapped the same number of years to fleshly Israel as to events for "spiritual" Israel. Hiram Edson used the same scriptures (like Isaiah 40:2) to "double" the 1260 to 2520. Also, it's not true of the more scholarly sources (like Faber) to make a mistake with the zero year inclusion. Adventist sources that had been based on Miller and Barbour had made this mistake. The sitehttps://the2520.com/william_miller.htm includes this admission: At the time William Miller wrote the above quotes, he did not understand the transition between B. C. and A. D. Therefore his dates are off by one year at the beginning or the end of the his understanding of the 2520. This was because of a simple mathematical error; in math, when we go from a negative number to a positive number zero will count as one position. In chronological year dating, to go from B.C. to A. D. you have to add one to your total because there is no year zero. Russell admitted in the Watch Tower that he pretty much just accepted Barbour's chronology lock, stock and barrel, or maybe I should say, "hook, line and sinker." Russell admits that he was influenced by Adventists, and the influence is obvious. That doesn't mean he was an Adventist. But if you look closely at his doctrines, even more than just Barbour's chronology, he shows much more Adventist's influence than he appears to admit.
  18. The Watchtower theory on the 2520 evidently conflicts with the Bible, reason and logic, and also conflicts with the same secular support the Society depends upon for 539 BCE. You didn't even try to show that any calculations were disingenuous. And I'm only showing evidence that the calculations the Watchtower used about the 2520 contained a couple of obvious mistakes. I'm not claiming that Watchtower writers were necessarily disingenuous, even where they sometimes appear to be. If the calculations I am showing are wrong, please show me where and I will correct them immediately. You seem confused. The Watchtower does not add 11 years to the 1260 days. The Watchtower adds 11 days, not years. It uses 1260 days+11 days=1271 days, to get from 12/28/1914 to 6/21/1918. The Watch Tower publications never turn them into years, as your own references have done. The Watchtower just keeps it in days, and never uses the supposed "day for a year" principle on the 1260 days. That sentence appears too convoluted. I'm guessing it's another attempt to insult something you can't defend, but you are not clear about what that is. You used one example that had nothing to do with the seven times of Daniel 4. Later in the post you used an example from Walter Chamberlain that does reference Daniel 4, and does associate the 2520 with the Gentile Times, similar to Faber but with adjustments. You might even go on to J.A.Brown and a few others who worked with a 2520 prophecy ending not far from 1914. (Although J. A. Brown held the Gentile Times to 1260 years, not 2520). But you might already know that Chamberlain, Campbell, Cuninghame, J.A.Brown, Elliott, Faber, Thomas, Miller, Barbour, and many others were never completely original. They all worked from, and added to, the ideas of persons who came before them. More recently, some scholars have tried to go back over the history of these "historicists" to understand their methods instead of just as defenders of their overall religious viewpoints. This has resulted in the uncovering of a common theme. Even B. W. Schulz noticed it in researching Watch Tower history. What they've noticed is that many of these persons wouldn't give credit to the person(s) from whom they were borrowing and plagiarizing. Persons like N.H.Barbour and E.G.White were even beginning to gain a status of "prophet," or dropping hints that they were the "faithful and wise servant," the channel through which persons needed to receive proper spiritual food. Miller himself has been noted for a similar method of passing himself off as mostly just a self-taught farmer, yet he borrowed from persons before him without crediting them. B.W.Schulz defends the practice as common in those days. But it was extremely common among would-be Bible prognosticators. There is a well-researched, well-footnoted, 238-page paper on Academia.edu that says the same thing about Miller, that has been said about Barbour, White, and Russell. (https://www.academia.edu/1035050/_A_Feast_of_Reason_The_Roots_of_William_Miller_s_Biblical_Interpretation_and_its_influence_on_the_Seventh-day_Adventist_Church😞 p.205 says: The view espoused by some Seventh-day Adventists that Miller’s Bible study was conducted in isolation and that his “Rules of Interpretation” were developed completely independently is unsustainable when the historical evidence is examined. Miller’s hermeneutics were in fact, not particularly original, innovative, or new—they bear, for example, a great similarity to the methods used by his contemporary Alexander Campbell. p. 188 says: Consequently, unlike Miller, White makes no systematic explanation of her principles of biblical interpretation. In fact, her most complete presentation on the topic is a simple reiteration of Miller’s views—some forty-four years after they were first p. 105 even implies that Faber, who you quoted earlier, has been indirectly handed down through Miller and White. White’s phrasing in these passages brings to mind Miller’s statement previously mentioned: . .In fact, in reference to Miller, White explicitly makes use of such phrasing:. . . While it is unlikely that White read George Stanley Faber’s The Sacred Calendar of Prophecy, her use of these phrases clearly echoed that of Faber and other early historicists, as well as Miller himself. You go on to quote "Isaiah's Call to England: being an exposition of Isaiah the eighteenth" by Walter CHAMBERLAIN. This work is a little more scholarly in that it mentions the position of Faber, Elliott, Thomas, etc, and you probably recognize more than a few similarities to J.A.Brown, and other earlier works. Chamberlain's argument is similar to yours. He says (p.348) that these persons before him were wrong in many of the details and exact dates they used, but the very fact that several of them discussed the possibility of using a period of "7 times" as 2520 years, shows that there must be something to it. Therefore he went on to predict his own false alarm for the restoration of Israel within that same range of dates limited to 1864 up to 1914, because "end of Gentile Times" referred to the restoration of the physical nation of Israel in Jerusalem. And these few examples only indicate that people had trouble making use the actual number that the Bible associated with the "Gentiles Times" and they were so anxious to prove themselves right that they ignored the counsel of Jesus. The evidence that these included examples of persons being blinded by their own egos is clear from some of the things that many of them said about themselves, and how so many didn't have the humility to credit their sources, but wanted credit for themselves. Edited to add: If anyone cares to read the work (Anatolia) by Thomas that Chamberlain referenced, it's here: https://books.google.com/books?id=rCBcAAAAQAAJ Chamberlain says " But I entertain no doubt that they can, and was agreeably surprised to find that this very thing has been done by an American author, named Thomas." I have seen phrases like this so often, that I have come to see them as code for: "This is one of the places I got the idea from, but even though he already wrote it first, I want people to think I found this on my own, and that this other person just happened to agree with me by coincidence. Even if it was many years before me."
  19. But you did NOT show any others concurring with the 2520 prophecy. "The 2520 prophecy" according to the Watchtower, is the tree dream of Daniel 4, where the non-Jewish, wicked king Nebuchadnezzar represents the Jewish Kingdom at Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar is toppled, but banded and protected to rise again, so that his return to power represents Jesus' rise to power in 1914 as King of Jewish kingdom. And it was not just the erred timing. What you quoted and spoke of as "overwhelming proof" was about a man in 1830 who didn't even see these seven times as related to anything in Daniel 4. It had nothing to do with the 7 time periods of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity. He never hinted that this insanity pictured the Messianic Kingdom.* But here's where you pulled another "Allen Smith." Allen Smith, you might remember, was well known on this forum for finding supposed evidence for something and not realizing that his evidence actually showed just the OPPOSITE of what he wanted to prove. Here's how you did that here. What you apparently hadn't realized is that the article you quoted from shows why Mr. Faber was WRONG. Not only wrong, but wrong to start with Nebuchadnezzar. The article shows why the more popular and preferable period of 2,520 years needs to start, NOT WITH NEBUCHADNEZZAR, but with the Assyrian assault on Israel in 728 BC, as already presented by Cuninghame who, by this logic, would have mapped two 1260 year periods as follows: I. B.C. 728. Commencement of the subjugation of Israel and Judah by the Assyrians snd Babylonians. II. A. D. 533. Decree of Justinian, establishing the Papal Supremacy, and the worship of the Virgin Mary. III. A.D. 1792. Commencement of the Judgments on the Papacy, in the French Revolution. Periods II to III above, were within 6 or 7 years of the same endpoints that Miller, Barbour and Russell accepted for the 1260-year period. Russell ran it from AD 539 to AD 1799. (sometimes AD 538 to 1798). So what you called indisputable was disputed by your own reference. As you might recall, this is why I suspected that Allen Smith would rarely tell where he got his references from, because it so often led to someone reading that reference and seeing how it often demolished his supposed "indisputable" and "overwhelming" evidence. And Allen's common "defense" was to claim that persons were only using "word play" to prove him wrong.
  20. That's true, if it can be proven. But the Watchtower says that these two instances of 1260 refer to the same events, both the 1260 in Daniel and the 1260 in Revelation. As I said they go from about December 28, 1914 to about June 21, 1918. So both of them equal about 1,271 days. Nothing about years. And they overlap perfectly, so they are not back to back like the evidence you gave from Faber's failed prediction. You accept the Watchtower's interpretation of 1914, right? So, why don't you accept the Watchtower's interpretation of the 1260 days? Is it because you believe that a different interpretation from the Watchtower has been proved overwhelmingly? I've explained that my reasons are Biblical. I'm not comfortable with traditions that conflict with scripture. But it appears you prefer overwhelming proof from someone who was clearly wrong, and had no scriptural foundation for his belief. I'll summarize your overwhelming proof that you quoted from 1830: The Bible indicates that the Gentile Times are 1,260 days in Revelation 11. But if we turn those days into years, we can't find anything important that started at some point in the past and ended 1,260 years later close to our own generation. But if we multiply that number by 2 we find we could get from an event in Nebuchadnezzar's lifetime to 1864. Now we can even make an assumption about something that might have happened at the midpoint of those two periods of 1260 years. Therefore, the Gentile Times will end in 1864. I think the only thing that your Faber evidence got right by 1830 was the fact that he understood the correct way to handle the 0 year problem. 100 years later the Watchtower still hadn't resolved that particular mistake, but they did finally get the zero year right in 1943/4.
  21. Not that the majority are always right anyway, but I think that hardly any Bible scholars understand the "2520 concept" to be scriptural. I just looked up 10 online commentaries on Daniel 4 and NONE of them considered the number 2520. The number 2520 is not found in the Bible. Extrapolating 2520 days from 7 times is already a stretch, and turning those days to solar years is another stretch. Even this word iddan (time) that Daniel uses, just means a time period, which CAN be a year, but not always specifically a year. In fact, how long is this period in Dan 7:12? (below) These verses represent the majority of the uses of iddan in Daniel outside Daniel 4, itself: (Daniel 2:8, 9) . . .The king replied: “I am well-aware that you are trying to gain time [the time, iddan], for you realize what my final word is. 9 If you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one penalty for all of you. But you have agreed to tell me something false and deceitful until the situation [the time, iddan] changes. So tell me the dream, and I will know that you can explain its interpretation.” (Daniel 2:20, 21) . . .“Let the name of God be praised for all eternity, For wisdom and mightiness are his alone. 21 He changes times [the times, iddan] and seasons, Removes kings and sets up kings,. . . (Daniel 3:15) Now when [at the time, iddan] you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, the zither, the triangular harp, the stringed instrument, the bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image that I have made, fine.. . . (Daniel 7:12) But as for the rest of the beasts, their rulerships were taken away, and their lives were prolonged for a time [time, iddan] and a season. At least I can inconsequentially agree with you there. Your quote from "The Christian Guardian" (February 1830) reports on Mr. Faber's interpretation of prophecy, and reminds me of what we spoke of earlier on these topics: that people will always look for a time period long enough to reach their own day. In the 1200's, people could easily reach their own day with a 1260 year period. In the 1400's one could always take a 1335 year period and tack it on to some event in Jesus' life. But when the 1800's rolled around, there were no 1800 year periods. They could start looking for events 2300 years earlier and even more, but that ended up nowhere. During these years Miller, among others, was forced to use a 2520 year period, never found in the Bible. So in the 1830's Miller had to use conjecture to attach a 2520 year period to attach to some event about Babylon from the book of Daniel. The full context of your quote is here. https://books.google.com/books?id=Rg8EAAAAQAAJ (p.41,42) As you partly indicate, the person behind your 1830 quote above did something quite similar, doubling the 1260 year periods, for no other reason other than he thought that 3.5 seemed like it needed to be doubled since it was half of 7. Then he attaches that 2520 to a Daniel reference, in this case Nebuchadnezzar, the head of gold -- and he used his birth year, assumed to be about 657 BC. This was a means of reaching his own modern times, and therefore was able to falsely predict 1864 as the end of the gentile times. But I don't know how impressed we should be that a person was able to make another false prediction for his own generation. Here's what the Watchtower said about such false alarms: *** w53 11/1 p. 647 Christ’s Second Presence No False Alarm *** Following Augustine’s time . . . all were misinterpreted as “signs” foretelling the imminent return of Christ. Joachin of Floris determined that the 1,260 days mentioned in Revelation 12:6 could turn out to be the year A.D. 1260 when Christ would return. Militz of Kromeriz, a forerunner of John Huss, looked for the coming of Christ between the years 1365 and 1367. Wycliffe pointed to the power of the papacy and emphasized that the time of the return was at hand. John Napier predicted the coming end of evil and the return of Christ between the years 1688 and 1700. William Whiston first selected 1715, then 1734, and later 1866 as the date for the inauguration of the millennium. In the early part of the nineteenth century Christoph Hoffman hurried from Germany to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple in preparation for Christ’s early return. William Miller predicted that Christ would make his appearance during the year 1843, but later postponed the day to October 22, 1844. When these speculations did not materialize, religious sects became a laughingstock, great divisions took place among them, the doctrine was scoffed at, the people who taught it were jeered, and as a whole the idea was pooh-poohed in religious and nonreligious circles alike. All, without exception, were false alarms. It looks like God didn't make it known, except to make it known that the attempt is a waste of time, false stories leading to nothing. These mistakes are just examples of humans "flailing" because men's egos make them forget what Jesus said about the times and seasons being only in the Father's jurisdiction. Not even angels could figure out the times and seasons, but this didn't stop men from treading there. If God had provided the evidence, surely these men including Russell and Barbour and Miller and Faber and Rutherford would have been able to predict something correct with that evidence. 100 percent of Russell's predictions for 1914 turned out to be false. The evidence you provided here was that the first period of 1260 years ended in AD 604., in the time of Pope Gregory the Great, and the spread of Buddhism, etc., in the medieval period. The second period of 1260 was also to have started around this time. The Watchtower Society rejects both of these 1260's, too. For the WTS the 1260 periods from Daniel and Revelation are not even years, they are literal days starting just about 3 days after Christmas in 1914 and reaching up to the Summer Solstice of 1918. Good! Something else I can agree with completely. Very false! Complete nonsense. It is very rare that anyone calculates the Gentile Times with a period of 2520. After all, Revelation indicates that it should be calculated with a period of 42 months, or 1260 days. And nowhere does it say that this period is about 1260 years. (Luke 21:24) . . .into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. (Revelation 11:2) . . .to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months. Nowhere do these two references to the Gentile Times refer to a second period of 1260 days, just one. Also, we can see from Jesus said in Luke 21, that these Gentile Times had NOT yet started, so it couldn't have reached back to Nebuchadnezzar anyway.
  22. Maybe. But like I said, I would not be comfortable in an association that got involved in divisive politics and war either, and I think we're right on the idea of a paradise earth. Find me another church with approximately the same teachings and practices JWs have on war, politics, trinity and hell, and a future paradise on earth, and I will visit it with an open mind. Shunning is a bit like what Jesus said regarding divorce. Even though it came from the perfect law of God, Jesus said it was just a concession that came from Moses out of regard for human hard-heartedness. We all have a lot to learn about love, but this doesn't mean we associate so freely with just anyone, either. I can find it at almost any meeting, especially visible at the very largest of our conventions, but I also can see it from afar when I happen to drive near a group of Witnesses working a local suburban territory. I can wave and see all smiles, no matter what kind of a day they are having. I have even run across Witnesses in Paris and other places and can get the same reaction. Yes, up to a point this is at least partly true of many clubs, associations, and even other religious groups. But I know what is driving that smile among Witnesses, and I like it. Not all congregations have the same level of joy, love, "spirit" etc. Revelation 2 & 3 lets us know that this shouldn't be surprising. Speaking of southern England, I was using a flight simulator just last night and took off out of London over satellite-imaged terrain to see if I could keep a purely visual course from Gatwick to Paris just by guessing when to adjust slightly over a SSE direction. I just watched the compass, and altitude, and crossed the Channel from Eastbourne to Dieppe to Paris. Did OK, but then I thought of "you" and turned around to see if I could find a house I thought you and your wife were working on, which I had found a year ago from satellite imagery and some Google help. Even at 400 mph it was going to take too long, and when I got closer I switched to a slow prop plane to get a better look at the ground. This time I couldn't find that house from memory, although I'd recognize the area from a few thousand feet. Now it turns out you are in "southern England" a whole new spot no doubt.from the place I thought you were at. 😉
  23. Obviously we must be witnesses for Jehovah and Jesus. We would do this out of appreciation for what Jehovah has done for us, especially his purpose and kingdom through Jesus. No matter who we associated with, we would have to watch out for ourselves, and pay attention to our teaching, too. There are many churches, and all of them have problems from traditions and human leadership. Problems of an obsolete chronology are more common in the history of churches than you might think, too. Perhaps, like TTH said, the "carrot and stick" of a chronology that gets us motivated at first is not a terrible thing, as long as we start serving for the right motivation. I will still go back to how, if we are honest hearted Christians, we will be attracted to association with groups of Christians or wannabe Christians who try very hard to maintain a brotherhood that is marked by love for one another, who attempt to overcome national, political and racial divides. There are many imperfections and exceptions, but I see this in the brotherhood of Witnesses, much more often than not. Then I would personally only be attracted to a Christian association that speaks out against wars and warmongering. Who will not go to battle against another nation, especially because we have Christian brothers in those other nations too. I happen to think that our teachings on Trinity, Hell, Paradise in a New Earth, etc., are far more important than a chronology tradition we have been stuck with. It's about the same to me as if we were told that all our Kingdom Halls should have 4 windows and a light blue carpet. Maybe we'd be stuck with such a dumb rule for 100 years, but I couldn't care less about it. It would not be important to me, no matter how authoritative the demand to follow that rule sounded. Perhaps someone might even find scriptures that made it seem important, too. I could safely ignore it without feeling conflicted, and I could safely go along with it in the congregation itself, so as not to cause trouble. But then again I might find an outlet where I could safely speak my mind if I thought it went beyond the things written.

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