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Who Really is the Faithful and Discreet Slave? And why did Jesus mention "everyone" in the parable?


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19 hours ago, Anna said:

And there will be another discussion about the "Slave" in the Feb 2017 study edition of the WT, which I'm sure you've already read. So with regard to that, and going back on topic, what is your understanding of the "Slave" as per the parable? (In one or two sentences :D)

No I can't say it in one or two sentences. It's a handicap I just have to live with, even if it makes others suffer.  :D

I think an even better discussion about the slave comes up in the March 2017 study edition of the WT, which I'm sure you already read, too.

Remember that the two most important features of this slave are "faith" and "discretion" (or "faith" and "wisdom", KJV, AS). Appropriately, the title of the article is "Exercise Faith—Decide Wisely!"

And when we study it, we'll sing Song 35 that opens with the words: "How great our need today for discernment . . . " which is, of course, wisdom and discretion.

Obviously, we use the terms "service," "servants," and "slaves" fairly often with reference to all true Christians. In congregational prayer, any of us can refer to Jehovah or even Jesus himself as our Lord, Owner, or Master and no one bats an eyelash (especially if their eyes are already closed).

So while the February article makes several statements that are quite difficult to back up with scripture, the March article makes some very appropriate statements applying to us all, and they fit the entire context of Jesus' parable. If you don't have the issue in hand, you can find the article here: https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-study-march-2017/exercise-faith-decide-wisely/

I'll quote a few portions:

Hence, the ability to make good decisions can help us to live a relatively smooth, peaceful life rather than one that is full of chaos, controversy, and disappointment.Prov. 14:8. [which says: "By wisdom the shrewd man understands the way he is going, But the stupid are deceived by their foolishness."]

. . . Accordingly, we develop the habit of consulting God’s Word before making decisions. . . .

The above-mentioned examples convey to us a clear lesson. It is up to each of us to make decisions, and the wise, right choices are based on sound Scriptural knowledge. Galatians 6:5 reminds us: “Each one will carry his own load of responsibility.” (Ftn.) We should not give someone else the responsibility to make decisions for us. Rather, we should personally learn what is right in God’s eyes and choose to do it.

. . . Still, no matter how others try to pressure us, it is our responsibility to follow our Bible-trained conscience. In many respects, if we let others make our decisions, we are essentially deciding to “follow them.” It is still a choice, but a potentially disastrous one.

The apostle Paul clearly alerted the Galatians to the danger of letting others make personal decisions for them. (Read Galatians 4:17.) Some in the congregation wanted to make personal choices for others . . . Those selfish ones were seeking prominence. They overstepped proper bounds and did not respect their fellow Christians’ responsibility to make their own decisions.

Paul set a fine example of respecting his brothers’ right of free will to make decisions. (Read 2 Corinthians 1:24.) [which says: "Not that we are the masters over your faith, but we are fellow workers for your joy, for it is by your faith that you are standing. "] Today, when giving counsel on matters involving personal choice, the elders should follow that pattern. They are happy to share Bible-based information with others in the flock. Still, the elders are careful to allow individual brothers and sisters to make their own decisions. That is logical because those individuals will bear the responsibility for the results. Here is an important lesson: We can show helpful interest in others and call attention to Scriptural principles or counsel. Still, others have a right and responsibility to make their own decisions. When they do this wisely, they benefit. Clearly, we should avoid any tendency to think that we are authorized to make decisions for other brothers and sisters.

... When we take the time to weigh carefully all the aspects or facts related to a decision, we will likely be more successful. (1 Thess. 5:21) [which says: "Make sure of all things. . . ."] Before determining a course of action, a family head ought to take the time to research the Scriptures and Christian publications, as well as to consider the opinions or views of others in his family. Recall that God urged Abraham to listen to what his wife had to say. (Gen. 21:9-12) Elders too should take time to do research. And if they are reasonable, modest men, they will not fear losing respect if new, relevant information comes to their attention that indicates a need to reconsider what they had already decided. They should be ready to adjust their thinking and decisions when appropriate, and all of us do well to follow that example. This can promote peace and order in the congregation.—Acts 6:1-4.

. . . Thus, it is vital to draw on the Bible as the best source of advice and to seek Jehovah’s guidance in prayer. And bear in mind that Jehovah can give us the qualities we need to make decisions that are in harmony with his will. When facing important decisions, make it a practice to ask: ‘Will this decision give evidence of my love for Jehovah? Will it bring joy and peace to my family? And will it show that I am patient and kind?’

. . . Jehovah does not coerce us into loving him and serving him. That is our choice. In line with the free will that he grants us, he respects our responsibility and right to ‘choose for ourselves’ whether we will serve him. (Josh. 24:15; Eccl. 5:4) . . . With faith in Jehovah’s way of doing things and the principles that he has kindly provided, we can make wise decisions and prove ourselves steady in all our ways.

---------- end of quotes -------------------

So, I'm sorry if that was long. I'm not saying that the words of Matthew 24:45 and Luke 12:42 should not also apply to the Governing Body, or even all who profess to be of the anointed, but there is no Biblical reason to limit it. In a practical way, all of us are expected to understand that we are obedient in our service to the Master, and all of us are expected to show patience and to carry out our responsibilities of service in a serious and orderly manner. "What is looked for in a steward is to be found faithful," to paraphrase the apostle Paul.

But Jesus wasn't necessarily referring to a specific type of Christian arrangement or organization here. He wasn't necessarily speaking of specific areas of responsibility that referred only to some Christians and not to other Christians. And even if he did, there is nothing in the illustration that says it should apply only to "anointed" Christians. Or that the food spoken of here is supposed to refer to "spiritual" food. In our own view of matters, the Watchtower's view, we hardly expect that there would even be 1 out of 1,000 Christians who would claim to be "anointed" when the Master returns. And if it referred only to a very limited Governing Body who had been associated as officers of a legal corporation for about 50 years (per the February article) and who then later understood that they were actually a different kind of Governing Body for the last 50 years (rounded), then the entire parable refers to only about 30 people in total. Do we really believe that Jesus was talking about giving a level of authority to only 30 people since 1919? And does it make sense then that Jesus says he is going to appoint "him" these 30 people, over all his belongings? How many of these 30 "anointed" members of the Governing Body do we expect to be here when Jesus returns? 7, 4, 2, maybe even just 1 (or less)?

In previous parables, Jesus referred to a household that was going to be broken into by a thief. Does that mean Jesus is a thief? Obviously not! It's a parable that lets us think about how someone would have to be awake all night to avoid being surprised by a thief. The idea was that Christians could then think about what it might mean to be prepared at all times because they would never know the day or the hour of Jesus' return.

Similarly, Jesus gives an illustration here that might not have anything to do with specific functions that any of us might perform, but it's still one that makes us think about how certain circumstances would require patient, orderly and obedient servitude, and the kinds of trouble they would be in, after a surprise, thief-like return of their master.

I say this because all Jesus asked us to do was imagine a situation where a rich and harsh* master counts on some of his servants to be obedient to keep things going smoothly when he is gone. Jesus doesn't say that he is the rich and harsh master in the illustration, any more than he says that he is a thief in the previous illustration. Jesus wants us to imagine what would happen if those persons who were left in charge of the food supply of that household began taking advantage and started over-eating, and getting drunk, and ordering other servants around to do their own bidding instead of the instructions of their master. When the master returns he is going to be mad enough to chop some of them in half, literally. But if servants remain faithful in these circumstances, the master will be pleased enough to reward them.

*I mentioned that the master is "harsh" because he actually is spoken of as chopping the body of the wicked servant in half. Some translators prefer not to translate it this way, because we have a built in prejudice that the master here refers specifically to Jesus, and it makes him sound cruel. The NWT says:

(Matthew 24:51) . . .and he will punish him with the greatest severity. . .

This is a play on words, since he will be severed in two. As the KJV says: " And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. . . "

 

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The small problem with this statement is easy to detect, and I'm sure you saw it, too. It appears to claim that if "some" direction was given that was not in harmony with God's word, then "all of

Usually when we refer to the "faithful and discreet slave" parable, we are really referring to the parable of 'the faithful and the unfaithful slave' found in Matthew 24:45-51. In fact, the parable of

Something very interesting about the parable is the reference to the term "everyone," here. It's obvious that Jesus often used illustrations (parables, allegories, and analogies) in which a single per

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Well.......thank you for making me suffer! xD Just kidding

 

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

I'm not saying that the words of Matthew 24:45 and Luke 12:42 should not also apply to the Governing Body, or even all who profess to be of the anointed, but there is no Biblical reason to limit it. In a practical way, all of us are expected to understand that we are obedient in our service to the Master, and all of us are expected to show patience and to carry out our responsibilities of service in a serious and orderly manner

You are right, there does not seem a Biblical reason to limit it, more of a logical and practical reason as in "feeding many through the hands of a few"  https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w20130715/jesus-feeds-many/    But I do understand how it pertains to all of us in the sense that it is the responsibility of all (as per the March WT you referenced).

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

How many of these 30 "anointed" members of the Governing Body do we expect to be here when Jesus returns? 7, 4, 2, maybe even just 1 (or less)?

I was always under the impression that they would be put in charge of all the master's belongings when they were all in heaven anyway.....?

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

I say this because all Jesus asked us to do was imagine a situation where a rich and harsh* master counts on some of his servants to be obedient to keep things going smoothly when he is gone. Jesus doesn't say that he is the rich and harsh master in the illustration, any more than he says that he is a thief in the previous illustration. Jesus wants us to imagine what would happen if those persons who were left in charge of the food supply of that household began taking advantage and over-eating, and getting drunk, and ordering other servants around to do their own bidding instead of the instructions of their master. When the master returns he is going to be mad enough to chop some of them in half, literally. But if servants remain faithful in these circumstances, the master will be pleased enough to reward them.

You raise some valid points.

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20 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Wrong again, The WTS is consistent when reminding active witnesses NOT to be speculating, about setting dates. That list is made for that reason. The WTS uses Subject/Object Pronouns as “US” or “WE” not to seem arrogant or conceited. How would people feel if the WTS simply stated, “stop thinking stupidly”. It wouldn’t sit too well. But in essence, that’s the bottom line. 

Now you are speculating on what the WT meant! I agree, the WT is consistent in reminding Witnesses not to be speculating about setting dates. But I ask myself, why then did the WT even mention 1975? Wasn't that a date? Why was it discussed in the first place? Why even go into the calculations of 6000 years and God's rest etc.?  Was it not to highlight where we may be in the stream of time? And wasn't that speculation itself? Why even mention all of it? What significance does the date 1975 have now? (except for discussions such as this) None at all! So you can see how unnecessary it was to mention that date in the first place!

You are deceiving yourself Allen if you think that those who came up with that idea in the first place didn't have in mind that Armageddon may come in 1975. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Anna said:

I agree, the WT is consistent in reminding Witnesses not to be speculating about setting dates. But I ask myself, why then did the WT even mention 1975? Wasn't that a date? Why was it discussed in the first place? Why even go into the calculations of 6000 years and God's rest etc.?  Was it not to highlight where we may be in the stream of time? And wasn't that speculation itself? Why even mention all of it? What significance does the date 1975 have now? (except for discussions such as this) None at all! So you can see how unnecessary it was to mention that date in the first place!

You are deceiving yourself Allen if you think that those who came up with that idea in the first place didn't have in mind that Armageddon may come in 1975. 

A couple things here. One is that Allen has made some good points in all of his posts up until these ones about 1975. But even here, he is right that no one said anything about Armageddon coming in 1975. Ex-JWs and opposers often say something like this, but the speculation was not about 1975, per se, but about the time period surrounding (and including) 1975.

Remember that the cover of the magazines not only said: "Why are you looking forward to 1975?" but "What Will the 1970's Bring?"

1975 was the end of 6,000 years of man's existence. Franz had wavered from 1976 to 1974 on this, but after 1976 was dropped and, obviously if even 1974 was a possibility, then the 6,000 years were definitely up by 1975. But Franz never lost site of the difference in time between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve. This problem had been brought up already by Brother Russell himself.

But you will see 1976 come up as the new, end of 6,000 years of man's existence even in Watchtowers from the 1940's. It was brought up again in the 1955 Watchower, along with talk of Eve and how long it takes to name the animals:

*** w55 2/1 p. 95 Questions From Readers ***
According to Genesis 1:24-31 Adam was created during the last part of the sixth creative-day period of 7,000 years. Almost all independent chronologists assume incorrectly that, as soon as Adam was created, then began Jehovah’s seventh seven-thousand-year period of the creative week. Such then figure that from Adam’s creation, now thought to be the fall of 4025 B.C., why, six thousand years of God’s rest day would be ending in the fall of 1976. However, from our present chronology (which is admitted imperfect) at best the fall of the year 1976 would be the end of 6,000 years of human history for mankind, 6,000 years of man’s existence on the earth, not 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh seven-thousand-year period. Why not? Because Adam lived some time after his creation in the latter part of Jehovah’s sixth creative period, before the seventh period, Jehovah’s sabbath, began.
Why, it must have taken Adam quite some time to name all the animals, as he was commissioned to do. Further, it appears from the New World Bible Translation that, even while Adam was naming the animals, other family kinds of living creatures were being created for Adam to designate by name. (Gen. 2:19 footnote d, NW) It was not until after Adam completed this assignment of work that his helpmate Eve was created. Since God created nothing new whatever on the seventh day, Eve must have been created on the sixth day; and this the divine record confirms in its account of the sixth day: “God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.”—Gen. 1:27, NW.
The very fact that, as part of Jehovah’s secret, no one today is able to find out how much time Adam and later Eve lived during the closing days of the sixth creative period, so no one can now determine when six thousand years of Jehovah’s present rest day come to an end. Obviously, whatever amount of Adam’s 930 years was lived before the beginning of that seventh-day rest of Jehovah, that unknown amount would have to be added to the 1976 date.

 

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9 hours ago, Anna said:

I agree, the WT is consistent in reminding Witnesses not to be speculating about setting dates.

This is actually another point to reconsider. Looking back, the Watchtower might appear to be consistent because we can find several of these reminders in the WT going back to Bible Student days. But there is actually a fairly consistent pattern that highlights how inconsistent these reminders have been. The pattern goes like this:

  • STEP 1: Early on, when the chronology doctrine is first presented, it's rather tentative, and might have some reminders about not speculating and the need for caution.
  • STEP 2: Then as the doctrine has been out there a few years and gets brought up a few more times, it tends to become more sure, and almost gets set in stone.
  • STEP 3: As the time period approaches more closely and it seems unlikely that all the expectations surrounding the time period could really come true in time, then we see cautious statements again, and either just before or just after the failure has past, we sometimes get outright denials that any of the things said in STEP 2, were actually said. 

When we are defending our past chronology doctrines, and non-prophet status, we will point to the statements from STEP 1 and STEP 3.

Ex-JWs and "opposers" are more likely to only quote from STEP 2. This is the time period when the dates start becoming, as Russell said, "God's dates, not ours." And we see statements about how nothing can be moved by even one year without throwing off the entire plan. Or we see claims that some of these "pyramid inches" have been measured to within a fraction of an inch. Or that 1925 is even more well established than 1914. And this is of course when the period surrounding 1975 becomes more of a probability than a possibility. 1975 becomes, in effect, an "appropriate time for God to act." If we bring up the fact that Jesus said no one knows the day or the hour, we might get a snarky response that "now is not the time to be toying with Jesus' words." Etc., etc., etc.

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19 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

But even here, he is right that no one said anything about Armageddon coming in 1975.

No, but wasnt that the logical conclusion? Because isn't Armageddon the end to oppression by Satan followed by the beginning of the 1000 years of Christ's rule? Wasn't 1975 (or that period) believed to be the end of the 6,000 years and the beginning of the Jubilee?

“Life Everlasting – In Freedom of the sons of men” 1966

P. 28  under the heading “Six Thousand Years of Human Existence Now Closing” – “The time is fast drawing near for the reality that was foreshadowed by the Jubilee of liberty to be proclaimed throughout the earth to all mankind now oppressed by many enslaved things”……

P. 29 “ According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man’s creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years in human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E…… “So in not many years within our own generation we are reaching what Jehovah God could view as the seventh day of man’s existence.”

P. 30 “How appropriate it would be for Jehovah God to make this coming seventh period of a thousand years a Sabbath period of rest and release, a great Jubilee Sabbath for the proclaiming of liberty throughout the earth to all its inhabitants!…… “It would not be by mere chance or accident but would be according to the loving purpose of Jehovah God for the reign of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath” to run parallel with the seventh millennium of man’s existence…… “Consequently there is now every reason why the human creation will be set free, not by men, but by Almighty God. The long awaited time for this is at hand!

 

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

But even here, he is right that no one said anything about Armageddon coming in 1975.

Addition to my comment above:

WT 66 10/15 p. 628

"To give aid today in this critical time to prospective sons of God,” announced President Knorr, “a new book in English, entitled ‘Life Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God,’ has been published.” At all assembly points where it was released, the book was received enthusiastically. Crowds gathered around stands and soon supplies of the book were depleted. Immediately its contents were examined. It did not take the brothers very long to find the chart beginning on page 31, showing that 6,000 years of man’s existence end in 1975. Discussion of 1975 overshadowed about everything else. “The new book compels us to realize that Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed,” said a conventioner."

I realize that this is not saying 1975 will be the start of Armageddon, but it is insinuation enough (sanctioned by the WT) to make some believe that it is indeed what is meant. Or could be meant :). The is the trouble with the way the WT's are sometimes written, is that they leave so much room for speculation and personal interpretation. There is so much ambiguity, as seen by our recent discussion regarding the March 2017 study....

 

 

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

This is actually another point to reconsider. Looking back, the Watchtower might appear to be consistent because we can find several of these reminders in the WT going back to Bible Student days. But there is actually a fairly consistent pattern that highlights how inconsistent these reminders have been. The pattern goes like this:

  • STEP 1: Early on, when the chronology doctrine is first presented, it's rather tentative, and might have some reminders about not speculating and the need for caution.
  • STEP 2: Then as the doctrine has been out there a few years and gets brought up a few more times, it tends to become more sure, and almost gets set in stone.
  • STEP 3: As the time period approaches more closely and it seems unlikely that all the expectations surrounding the time period could really come true in time, then we see cautious statements again, and either just before or just after the failure has past, we sometimes get outright denials that any of the things said in STEP 2, were actually said. 

When we are defending our past chronology doctrines, and non-prophet status, will point to the statements from STEP 1 and STEP 3.

Ex-JWs and "opposers" are more likely to only quote from STEP 2. This is the time period when the dates start becoming, as Russell said, "God's dates, not ours." And we see statements about how nothing can be moved by even one year without throwing off the entire plan. Or we see claims that some of these "pyramid inches" have been measured to within a fraction of an inch. Or that 1925 is even more well established than 1914. And this is of course when the period surrounding 1975 becomes more of a probability than a possibility. 1975 becomes, in effect, an "appropriate time for God to act." If we bring up the fact that Jesus said no one knows the day or the hour, we might get a snarky response that "now is not the time to be toying with Jesus' words." Etc., etc., etc.

Yes. Good observation :D

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3 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Armageddon has been proclaimed since 33 CE, and even closer since 1914. Where are you people learning to overshadow scripture!

You can accept your own interpretation while seeing for yourselves your erred understanding even if it's placed on print, for you. Cynicism got to love it.

If you people haven’t figured it out, it implied the START of Tribulation ^_^

 

 

I don't think anybody is arguing about the proclamation of Armageddon. It's just the dates. Numbers. I remember a couple of years ago at our convention, one of the GB in his talk said: "We promise you, NO more dates!" And so far, as far as I know, they have kept their promise :)

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Allen,

Between this forum and jw-archive, this is easily the 100th time have quoted long passages without crediting your source. Sometimes you change a few words in the passages, and sometimes you even switch the word order around a bit. But it's always best practice to give credit where credit is due. The following came up at the top of my Google search when I typed in "plagiarism."

What is Plagiarism? — Plagiarism.org - Best Practices for Ensuring ...

www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism/

The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. ... copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit. ... changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving ...

I don't think anyone minds that you find and re-quote from commentaries, and other reference sources. Sometimes the information is very interesting and appropriate to the discussion. But I also know that more than one person has asked you if you could start crediting your sources, and I noticed you started including source references in two or three posts for about a week or so. But then you went right back to this old habit.

In the post you just made, it clearly includes a full quotation, and except for introducing some font and formatting issues, you made no significant changes other than the problem of juxtaposing it with statements by you, or quotes from Marilyn Monroe. So you make it difficult, sometimes, to know which quotes come from where, or where your ideas end and the ideas of someone else begin. Sometimes these quotes will even contain information that you don't even agree with, or information that gives evidence against the very point you make in your own statements which creates another difficulty. 

At any rate, I'd like to see you quote your sources, and others have said the same thing. We are all going to make mistakes on here and I, for one, always appreciate it if someone points them out.

4 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Structurally, James states that the purpose of trials is to produce mature Christian character (1:2-4), but, knowing that discerning the purpose of trials is no easy matter even for the spiritually mature, James then exhorts the
messianic Jewish community to ask God for
wisdom when they encounter trials (1:3-8). Revealing just what he has in mind, James now turns to the specific form of trial the messianic Jewish community is encountering: it is facing poverty in the context of others having wealth (1:9-11). And James clearly sides with the poor who can learn to glory in their (paradoxical) exaltation. In his "plausibility structure,"2 to be poor means to be on the right side
of God's work.3 Finally, because James knows that his community will ask the penetrating question and that some are already questioning the goodness of God, he turns to how God relates to trials (1:12-18). God is good, James
teaches, and trials are an opportunity for the community to be tested. Sin emerges from the human condition and can be overcome by the "new birth" (1:18) as it creates a new community as a foretaste of what is to come.


2.1. T H E P U R P O S E O F T E S T I N G (1:2-4) JAMES

2 My brothers and sisters*, whenever you face trials of any kind0, consider* it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing5 of your faith6 produces endurance*; 4 and let endurance have its full effect1, so that you may be mature and complete,1 lacking in nothing.

I found the source for all of that here in Scot McKnight's book, "The Letter of James":

 

 

james1.png

james2.png

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23 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Another thing to look at with the Watchtower suspending it's public endorsement of time prophecy was the little-known confusion started by a small church in New York about Procter and Gamble in the 80’s.

This could be off topic here, but I've heard about this, and have no idea where it came from. Can you be a little more specific? I only remember in the late 80's some Witnesses not wanting to buy products made by Procter and Gamble, and when you did yourself, they would say you shouldn't because something about the company being Devil worshipers or something like that. I never paid much attention to it as I never heard anything official about this. Where did the others get the idea from?

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18 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Oh! OK.

Thanks.

18 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

and you point to the same author with perhaps revised books, then you’re a bigger fool than I thought.

That might well be true. I am a fool, and have never claimed to be otherwise. On the question of whether I quoted from the same author with perhaps revised books, it seems I quoted from Scot McKnight's book, The Letter of James, published February 2011. This book of his was made an official part of the "New International Commentary on the New Testament." Apparently, then, this matches the source you quoted:

18 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Scott_McKnight_The_Letter_of_James_New_International_Commentary_on_the_New_Testament 2011

 

18 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

. . . I forget to sometimes to include the source . . .

No problem.

Thanks, again.

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    • Try not to manipulate my words with your usual tactics. I said: "I’m sure you know by now that there is absolutely nothing in the diary indicating the year 588." I said this in direct response to your claim that the events on the tablet indicated 588. You said that the events on the tablet indicated 588. You said: "You can reference VAT 4956." . . .  "Why is this so significant? Pay extremely close attention to the language inscribed on this tablet" . . . "Year 37 of Nebukadnezzar, King of Babylon. Month I," . .  "Additional reports in this Diary include . . . Borsippa, . . . .This indicates that the conflict in that region in 588 . . . " No, you didn't actually say that. Besides I have no argument about 587. I only point out that ALL the astronomical evidence from the entire period shows that this was Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year. You have never made an argument (either valid or invalid) that "my argument about 587 can also be interpreted as 588."  Not that it matters in the least, but Borsippa is NOT way further in distance from Jerusalem. It's about 10 miles CLOSER "as the crow flies" and nearly the same distance using the usual travel routes of the time. Perhaps that's why no one mentioned it before. However, even here, I have already posted the entire contents of the tablet, including the reference to Borsippa. Not that it matters.  I certainly hope so!
    • That's completely false. You invariably attempt to weasel your way out of your false statements by claiming that someone has distorted your words. You make false claims about them and claim that they are the ones in the wrong. Then you bluster with some barely-related material hoping it impresses someone (or yourself) into thinking you are some kind of expert or authority. That barely-related material you make use of invariably says nearly the opposite of what you had claimed, which you should have known had you just read the context, or understood what you were reading.  I'll get to the specifics at a later time on this particular point, but it is nearly the same as with almost all these matters. I have learned to expect you to NEVER admit an error, no matter how much evidence is shown. I don't expect you to admit your error on these recent points, but your "style" provides a revealing display of the lengths people will go to, in order to support a pseudo-chronology.   
    • In response to your email, it is important to note that the Watchtower chronology begins at 4026, adhering closely to the numerical indications in scripture. The significant distinction lies in the fact that not everyone begins at 4026; some might commence their chronology at 4004, for instance. Consequently, this creates a noticeable gap between those who employ different starting points for their chronologies. Consider that the new Bible Students have rejected Russell's starting point and instead adjusted it to align with Modern Israel. They have suggested a year around 3954, or something like that, I can't remember, but it seems unfounded. Some of their sects started Criticizing Russell about this matter, and it appears unjustified, as their own knowledge may be limited. Following the Watchtower's guidance is straightforward: align events with their corresponding numerical values. It is important to remember that the Watchtower does not view its chronology as an absolute, unlike secular chronology which seeks to impose its perspective. According to the Watchtower, the pivotal date for the divided kingdom is 997. Look it up in our archives and publications.  The Watchtower's chronology will always diverge from conventional chronology due to its distinctive starting point. The organization holds steadfast to the numbers in the Bible, guided by faith in scripture rather than human interpretations. Despite persistent challenges, the unwavering stance of the Watchtower remains unchanged, as it is grounded in divine guidance, not the opinions of anonymous and faithless individuals.
    • Consider this: if we assume that the tablet dated back to 568 refers to Nebuchadnezzar, and that the king issued an order for Borsippa, a city 12-15 miles from Babylon, then it suggests that King Nebuchadnezzar might have been in his palace giving that order, since logically it would have taken weeks or a month or so for a runner to dispatch such an order from Judah that was for Borsippa in 588/587, as historically suggested, since we can use the same date 588/587 for that event.
    • It appears that he is struggling to accept the reality that Borsippa is approximately 15 miles away from Babylon, and depending on who you ask for directions, it is about 617 miles from Jerusalem. Therefore, if VAT 4956 mentions the death of an individual by the order of a king, in Borsippa and disease then we can reasonably assume it was Nebuchadnezzar based on the 37th year language in that secular evidence rather than the Bible, it suggests that the conflicts in the region were more extensive. This clearly demonstrates that no single conflict can be definitively determined or pinpointed solely by relying on that tablet designated to the year 568, regardless of how convincing it may appear. Making an absolute claim would be dishonest if the information contradicts itself. The same can be said if someone uses the date designation of 587/586 or 588/587. Only people who are desperate would argue that.
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