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1914 (and 607) - Where did the WTS get the idea?


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Why another topic about 1914 and 607?

Because we could use a topic where we can all agree a little more easily. Seriously. In this topic, we don't need to worry about whether 607 is correct, or 1914 is correct. No one needs to say why it does or doesn't make sense to them. Let's just see if we can review the possible and probable sources that were influential, and ultimately resulted in 607 and 1914 being accepted as a Bible-based fulfillment of prophecy.

No one needs to jump from another thread about 607 and Biblical evidence over to this one. In fact, I just read a couple of books last night for the first time, and I had some questions that I couldn't find an answer to, and hoped that someone from that other thread, or anyone really, might have run across the resources that might have answered the questions. I'm reading one more book first, and don't think I'll finish it tonight, so consider this topic to be kind of a placeholder for a couple days.

So this is the purpose of the three current threads:

One place to start is with a couple sentences in the "Proclaimers" book (next post). I personally intend to avoid a certain book by COJ for this topic, to avoid unnecessary controversy, although anyone should feel free to use any resources from anywhere they wish, as long as it appears to be a statement of fact. Again, this is not about questioning the correctness of the doctrine.

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Why another topic about 1914 and 607? Because we could use a topic where we can all agree a little more easily. Seriously. In this topic, we don't need to worry about whether 607 is correct, or 1

If anyone is looking for good links (mostly Google Books) to the Joseph Seiss books I mentioned, the following is a link with about a dozen of his books on it. He wrote even more than those listed. He

So what did the "Prophetic Times" of December 1870, published by Seiss, actually say? It mentioned several dates because one of the points was that the 2520 years as a punishment for Israel could

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So I'll start with the paragraph in the "Proclaimers" book, highlighting a sentence I just looked into last night:

*** jv chap. 10 p. 134 Growing in Accurate Knowledge of the Truth ***

  • As early as 1823, John A. Brown, whose work was published in London, England, calculated the “seven times” of Daniel chapter 4 to be 2,520 years in length. But he did not clearly discern the date with which the prophetic time period began or when it would end. He did, however, connect these “seven times” with the Gentile Times of Luke 21:24. In 1844, E. B. Elliott, a British clergyman, drew attention to 1914 as a possible date for the end of the “seven times” of Daniel, but he also set out an alternate view that pointed to the time of the French Revolution. Robert Seeley, of London, in 1849, handled the matter in a similar manner. At least by 1870, a publication edited by Joseph Seiss and associates and printed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was setting out calculations that pointed to 1914 as a significant date, even though the reasoning it contained was based on chronology that C. T. Russell later rejected.

The surrounding paragraphs will offer additional details we can get to later, and we've already discussed a small portion of this quote about John Aquila Brown elsewhere. In reading a book by Joseph Seiss last night, I thought this was the book that the paragraph intended. ("A Miracle in Stone") I realized it wasn't, when that book didn't mention 1914 (but the book still could have been hinting at it, or a date very close to it). So I went back and read portions of his "Lectures on the Apocalypse," and another very strange book that ties Astrology (Zodiac) to the Gospel.  I got closer, I thought, with "The Last Times" and "Parable of the Ten Virgins" but still no 1914. (The "Proclaimers" book didn't include the resource, just the hints.) Through Google searches with his name and "Philadelphia" I found a few more items. I wasted some time with a book called: "Luis Napoleon the Destined Monarch of the World and...the Battle of Armageddon" which I saved for quoting a couple points in this topic. Next, Google pointed me to a very racist book from the early 1870's on the status of the "Negro" by "Ariel." That book proved valuable, however, in pointing me to "The Prophetic Times." You can find it here: https://books.googleusercontent.com/books/content?req=AKW5QafJbQ6pCmDNcBvzoMYqXTueLwyuFnEGGCrD6NdXl9F4iVgY1ECNIypPpMkQGVhioTyZqn_BiCKv3P_aGj2SvJyCCH2k_WrZob3PZMpiOr96QhjrIuWh-eBBfW53xAmWPXa1FWHEsemWxZEm9fd2S6ULix_ETXqIMVIv6uSAtfhKdTWxct7YHmpsP7LefUhQj8PK-y_CbsI4GRE32SWs5JPoaQyzXwC8nOgpvP6wr1CK9bgFMRA4YDtQep0FPBJBapGIozDM

The December 1870 issue had it. I'll discuss later.

In the meantime, I decided that it was actually Seiss who seems to have had the most influence on Russell from the perspective of all the multiple angles on the chronology doctrines.

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If anyone is looking for good links (mostly Google Books) to the Joseph Seiss books I mentioned, the following is a link with about a dozen of his books on it. He wrote even more than those listed. He even contributed articles in the Watch Tower magazine, including two printed in 1905. His book "The Last Times" (1856) is quoted with the very first issue of the Watch Tower, July 1, 1879 (supplement) .

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Seiss%2C Joseph A. (Joseph Augustus)%2C 1823-1904

The book on Napolean is not included in the list because it wasn't written by Seiss, and only references works by Seiss: https://books.google.com/books?id=33Za05MXtpQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

I won't link to the racist book because it is merely a response to Seiss, (Seiss was not the racist.) But it does have some useful info about the monthly periodical "The Prophetic Times" attached below. I have also attached an ad from the Napolean book:

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We already spoke of John Aquila Brown, and his dates in 584 AD, 622 AD, 1453 AD, 1844 AD, 1873 AD, 1917 AD. Five of the key time spans in Brown's chronology were:

  • 457 BC to 1843 AD (2300 days)
  • 584 AD to 1844 AD, (1260 days)
  • 622 AD to 1873 AD, (1290 days)
  • 622 AD to 1917 AD, (1335 days)
  • 604 BC to 1917 AD, (2520 days)

Brown promoted pieces of this particular chronology starting around 1810 to 1827, including 604-1917 in "Even-Tide" (1823). Of course, days were always turned into years, a longstanding practice with a Biblical precedent already stated for periods of 40 days and 390 days.

Charles Taze Russell. Starting in the 1870's and throughout his lifetime,  Russell promoted a similar set of dates. These were the same dates, of course, that N. H. Barbour promoted. Also note that several of these dates sometimes varied by about a year: 1799/1798 AD, 1914/1915 AD. These dates were promoted through the Watch Tower's wide distribution of Russell's books which continued until the early 1930's:

  • 454 BC to 1846 AD (2300 days) - Russell is 3 years different from Brown
  • 539 AD to 1799 AD, (1260 days) - 539 AD*, not a BC date; unrelated to Cyrus)
  • 539 AD to 1829 AD, (1290 days) - Russell says 1829 was the prophesied start of "Millerites"**
  • 539 AD to 1874 AD, (1335 days) - when Jesus returned; start of "parousia"
  • 606 BC to 1914 AD, (2520 days) - Russell is 3 years different from Brown

* 539 AD was considered the beginning of Roman Catholic papal rule. From "Thy Kingdom Come" [Millennial Dawn, Studies in the Scriptures], Vol 3, page 81, 82:

  • It proves that the fall of the Ostrogothic kingdom in A.D. 539 was, as clearly indicated by the prophetic measure (1260 years), the exact point of time when this desolating and, in the sight of God, abominable system was "set up." . . . in the short space of fifty years from its small beginning, A.D. 539. We may therefore feel assured that the 1260 years, or three and a half times, of papal dominion, are well and clearly marked at both ends.

** From "Thy Kingdom Come" [Millennial Dawn, Studies in the Scriptures], Vol 3, page 86, 87:

  • But the "Miller movement" was more than this: it was the beginning of the right understanding of Daniel's visions, and at the right time to fit the prophecy. Mr. Miller's application of the three and a half times (1260 years) was practically the same as that we have just given, but he made the mistake of not starting the 1290 and 1335 periods at the same point. Had he done so he would have been right. On the contrary, he started them thirty years sooner--about 509 instead of 539, which ended the 1335 days in 1844, instead of 1874. It was, nevertheless, the beginning of the right understanding of the prophecy; for, after all, the 1260 period, which he saw correctly, was the key; and the preaching of this truth . . . 
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So what did the "Prophetic Times" of December 1870, published by Seiss, actually say?

It mentioned several dates because one of the points was that the 2520 years as a punishment for Israel could be thought of as having many different start dates, due to the fact that there are several important times mentioned in the books of Kings and Chronicles when Jehovah spoke of a time of special punishment relative to the kings of Israel or Judah. But of all these dates in the 1700's through the 1900's, the others were mentioned only an average of about 1.5 times each. But 1914 is mentioned SIX times in the article. The two columns in the first image represent 606 as the time when Nebuchadnezzar takes Daniel, in approximately his accession year, which was usually considered to be 605, not 606:

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Notice that he is generally a year off from the commonly accepted secular dates:

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The following are more copy-and-paste excerpts where 1914 was under discussions.

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46 minutes ago, Nana Fofana said:

I neer heard of "the Syriac Little Horn" , or "the same Pachalic(SP?) that imperiled the Sultan in 1839, in the opening of the Suez Canal", or any of this, really.

I guess this publication must have thought that ownership of the Suez Canal was more directly related to the future political prospects of a Jewish nation in Palestine. I don't remember that this particular application was anything that the Watch Tower ever bought into. However, Russell was also very interested in how developments in the world during the 1800's would help to settle the question of Jews going back to Jerusalem in Palestine and setting up the nation of Israel as the foundation for the time in 1914 when they would be the only remaining government on earth after the smashing to bits of all other [Gentile] governments.

But Russell spent a bit more time on internal and external religious influences that laid the foundation for Zionism. In "Thy Kingdom Come" Russell says:

  • As the time for the promised restoration of God's favor to Israel draws on, we see a preparation being made for it.

In the September 1906 Watch Tower, Russell said it was 30 years earlier when he first began championing the return of the Jews to Israel, meaning around 1876, of course. Russell says, on page 291 of this issue:

  • " . . . natural Israel is yet to play an important part in the world's affairs, naturally watch keenly everything transpiring throughout the world affecting the Jews. Noting that the favor to Spiritual Israel meant the disfavor of natural Israel, and that the completion of Spiritual Israel would mean the return of natural Israel to divine favor, we more than others were prepared to look for and to apply the prophetic promises which belong to fleshly Israel. Thus it was that thirty years ago we were preaching the regathering of natural Israel to Palestine before A.D., 1914. Others mocked, and even orthodox Jews assured us that they did not expect such things for several centuries. Not for fifteen years after that did Dr. Herzl and Dr. Nordau and others dream of and organize the Zionist movement for the reoccupation of Palestine by the natural descendants of Abraham, who, the Apostle says, are still "beloved for the fathers' sakes."

That same article said this about the Canal. (The article was called: "The Jew! The Jew! The Jew!")

  • England, alarmed at the situation in Egypt, and by the efforts of the Sultan to encourage a "Holy War" by the Mohammedans, has viewed with alarm the building of a railway from the Sinaitic Peninsula into Palestine, lest it should give the Sultan a military advantage and endanger the interests and political value of the Suez canal. It is easy to believe that England therefore would be pleased to see the Jews, a friendly race, enter Palestine in considerable numbers.

I lived in a state where the Mississippi flowed backwards (February 7, 1812) a bit before my time. Hurricane Isaac (2012?) made the surface waters, at least, flow backwards for quite a while even more recently, but that was further downstream.

 

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On 1/23/2018 at 10:47 AM, JW Insider said:

We already spoke of John Aquila Brown,  . . .

  • 457 BC to 1843 AD (2300 days)
  • 584 AD to 1844 AD, (1260 days)
  • 622 AD to 1873 AD, (1290 days)
  • 622 AD to 1917 AD, (1335 days)
  • 604 BC to 1917 AD, (2520 days)

. . . Charles Taze Russell. . . .

  • 454 BC to 1846 AD (2300 days) - Russell is 3 years different from Brown
  • 539 AD to 1799 AD, (1260 days) - 539 AD*, not a BC date; unrelated to Cyrus)
  • 539 AD to 1829 AD, (1290 days) - Russell says 1829 was the prophesied start of "Millerites"**
  • 539 AD to 1874 AD, (1335 days) - when Jesus returned; start of "parousia"
  • 606 BC to 1914 AD, (2520 days) - Russell is 3 years different from Brown

We can now quickly compare the variations of these dates among Millerites themselves, other Second Adventists, Seventh Day Adventists, and even non-Adventists (like Seiss).

Miller says he formulated his dates in 1818, and began preaching about them in the 1820's, shortly after John Aquila Brown had been publishing the dates shown above (Brown actually began publishing as early as 1810; see Froom, V3.)

William Miller  Based, for example, on his own words from 1845 here: http://centrowhite.org.br/files/ebooks/apl/all/Miller/William Miller's Apology and Defence, August 1.pdf

  • 457 BC to 1843 AD (2300 days)
  • 538 AD to 1798 AD, (1260 days) The years of Papal supremacy, as with Russell, etc. *
  • 508 AD to 1798 AD, (1290 days) * [less explicit after the "Disappointment"]
  • 508 AD to 1843 AD, (1335 days)
  • 677 BC to 1843 (2520 days) - Starts with loss of independent kingdom under Manasseh

Even after the "Great Disappointment" of 1843 (and re-tried in 1844), Miller still finds general support for large parts of his chronology in the prior respected works of Bush, Hinton, Jarvis, Morris and others. But in his 1845 "apology" he apparently already realizes what some later Second Adventists will pick up on, that it appears rather contrived to make either the 1260 and 1290 start on different dates just so that they can end on the same date, especially if the 1335 and 1290 start on the same date. In restating his beliefs in 1845, he explains everything else, but carefully avoids explicit mention of the start and end dates of the most contrived-looking pieces.

Seventh-Day Adventists, who derived from Millers closest supporters had already tied themselves to this original set of dates through writings, direct promotion of Miller, and even some personal visions and prophecies of their own that tied it all up to 1844. For them, all they had to do was re-explain 1844 as expecting the wrong thing, but at the right time. They re-explained that something prophetically important actually did happen in 1844, but invisible and in heaven. Therefore, one of the famous Seventh Day Adventist books, by Uriah Smith, 1897, that is still popular today, still promotes the old Miller dates:

  • 457 BC to 1844 AD (2300 days) p.223,233 (no-zero-year explains 1844, otherwise 1843)
  • 538 AD to 1798 AD, (1260 days) p.533
  • 508 AD to 1798 AD, (1290 days) p.342
  • 508 AD to 1844 AD, (1335 days) p.342
  • nothing applicable, (2520 days) p.785

In fact, on page 785, the author (Uriah Smith) makes it clear he has seen charts of the type that Barbour and Russell presented, and that these almost always include the "seven times." He says this about Leviticus 26, then Daniel 4:

  • Almost every scheme of the "Plan of the Ages,"** "Age-to-come," etc., makes use of a supposed prophetic period called the "Seven Times;" and the attempt is made to figure out a remarkable fulfilment by events in Jewish and Gentile history. All such speculators might as well spare their pains; for there is no such prophetic period in the Bible.
  • But we need borrow no trouble on this score; for the expression "seven times" [Leviticus 26] does not denote a period of duration, but is simply an adverb expressing degree, and setting forth the severity of the judgments to be brought upon Israel.
  • The expression in Dan.4:16 is not prophetic, for it is used in plain, literal narration. (See verse 25.)

** Russell's first volume was called "Plan of the Ages" before the name was changed to "Divine Plan of the Ages."

A big difference between Seventh Day Adventists and other chronology-laden groups like Second Adventists, Russellite-styled Bible Students, or Jehovah's Witnesses is that SDAs do not have any prophetic dates going past 1844. It's one of the reasons that the discussion of the history of all Adventist prophetic dates by L.E.Froom displays a seeming irritation that J A Brown, the first person to evidently point to 1843/4, didn't stop there but created a prophetic continuation of dates by allowing the 1260, 1290, and 1335 to all begin at the same time. Starting them all at the same time (when Papal power began to dominate as political power) forced his dates beyond 1844. Later SDA commentators, after Miller, apparently found it impossible to agree that a 2,520 year period would start with Manasseh to end in 1844, but starting any time after that would force a date beyond 1844.

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Rather than spending all the time in the small details, we should get a higher level view of what was going on, too. There's more speculation in any high-level view, but here's an attempt, hopefully not too controversial:

Protestants were not well-known until the mid-1500's. Almost by definition, Protestantism involved an immediate reflex to begin openly speaking of the Pope and Papal authority as the Antichrist. It was pretty easy then to go to the next step and realize that Biblical eschatology predicts some movement or maneuvering of the Antichrist in the final days -- the last days before the Judgment. The success of Protestant groups must have seemed enormously important in the historical scheme of things. Something very important must be brewing, and it made sense that these Protestants had escaped "Babylon" just in time to barely escape Babylon's destruction. It just had to be true that the "end of the world" had drawn near. So the more educated among Protestants would have been looking immediately at Bible prophecy, end-times prophecy (eschatology) to give more credibility to these claims that the end was upon them, and the Antichrist (related to some Papal authority, no doubt) was about to show herself, etc. etc.

Today, scholars see the success of Protestantism as the result of several social, economic, industrial, political, educational and religious factors. Some were driven by the recent invention of the printing press so that both Bibles and more secular books were bought and shared by common people. Other inventions helped expand the horizons of Europeans by extending navigation and exploration. Europeans discovered they were not alone in the world. The Catholic church itself, through its own teachings and its universities, had been exposing people to the philosophy of classical Greek thinking. Options were available, including optional doctrines.

In the 1600's, Protestantism in the American colony was especially ripe for theories about Bible prophecy and the significance of the Protestant escape from the Roman Papacy, or even the "French" or "Anglican" Papacy. This made sense because the very existence of the American colony was seen as a kind escape from "Egypt" to the "Promised Land" where the most famous of early settlers claimed that Jehovah's blessing could be seen in how easily the Native American "Indians" were being wiped out through disease. It was as they often didn't even have to fight, when smallpox and other diseases were killing whole villages of "Indians" while the White "pilgrims" and "pioneers" were blessed with relative immunity. Europeans, of course, had already built up much of this immunity through their own plagues of the 13th through the 15th centuries. 

Looking at the historical sweep of a Catholic Church, with its ancient books and buildings, it seemed to tie itself all the way back to the first century -- to the apostles themselves. But the American Protestant universities (Harvard, Princeton, etc.), were becoming hotbeds of even more prophetic speculation, discussing the latest books on Bible prophecy, hosting lectures on prophecy.  Famous early American names including John Harvard, Roger Williams, Mathers, Cotton, Jonathan Edwards were all involved.

Perfectly timed to all of this was Bishop Ussher's chronology in the mid 1600's. Catholic and Jewish Bible commentators had already seen the possibility that the time periods of the bible 390, 490, 1260, 1290, 1335, 2300, even 2520, could be translated to years and reach from Biblical times into their own era. Bishop Ussher had developed a chronology that tied secular dates to the events in the Bible.

Bishop Ussher completed a chronology between 1648 and 1650 that had Jesus born exactly 4000 years after Adam was created, and had Solomon's temple exactly 1000 years before Jesus. This fed into another common idea that the thousand-year reign at the END of the 6000 years would make a perfect "Grand Week" of 7,000 years. This idea had been out there well before Ussher. But there was a problem in that Ussher's dates that pushed the end of 6,000 years all the way out to 1996/7. Adventists (and C.T.Russell) were quick to correct this by finding ways to push creation back another 120 -150+ years, so that the millennium could start closer to 1843 or 1873.

Ussher himself had evidently begun to use Revelation 11:1-4 to predict a great persecution by the Papists in England, Ireland and Scotland, and a book about it was written very soon after he died: "The Prophecy of Bishop Usher." (available on Google Books. Also see a Cotton/Laud connection in the same book).

The late 1600's finally cemented the reasons why John Aquila Brown, Miller, Barbour, Russell and so many others were still so concerned with keeping key pieces of their chronologies in sync, and why many groups continued with almost identical chronologies into the 1900's and some even until today (Bible Students, Seventh Day Adventists). It explained the reason that all these chronologies had been so closely tied to the political domination of the Papists. It may have started here with Ussher himself, but the most salient reason they became "set in stone" actually started with others in the mid-1600's and then an amazing prediction came true based on these prophecies.

In 1633, a Cambridge-educated preacher named John Cotton had emigrated to America in 1633 because of religious persecution by William Laud back in England. Preaching especially in 1639-1640, and then publishing between 1642 and 1655 or so, he had already tied the 1,260 days to the Papacy from the first use of the term "Pontifex Maximus" in about the year 395 up until the end of the Papacy's power that he thus predicted for about 1655 since 395+1260=1655. This basic idea had already been put forward much earlier by Walter Brute and especially John Napier in 1593. But before the 1600's were out, some were already predicting (nearly 100 years in advance) that the end of the Papacy would be centered on uprisings in France at the end of the 1700's. The French Revolution played out from about 1789 to 1798, resulting in a surprisingly "correct" fulfillment of the prophecy, especially the one spelled out in 1701 by Robert Fleming in "The Rise and Fall of the Papacy" which pointed especially to France and the fall of the Papacy in 1794.

That would explain why every one of the prophetic chronologies above, including the one that Russell and Rutherford promoted (through Watch Tower publications) until the 1930's included dates for the rise and fall of the Papacy. The Watch Tower claimed that the last days had begun in 1799, and that the 1,260 days/years referred to the Papacy, too. And it also could explain why the Roman Catholic Church remained a special target of Rutherford throughout his entire lifetime.

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3 hours ago, Nana Fofana said:

Russell, C. T. (Charles Taze), 1852-1916

Wow- He was quick wasn't he?

Perhaps too quick for his own good. The bulk of the 124 years he needed to change were resolved by claiming there was a copyist error in the Bible that accounted for 100 of those years. But after about 60 years, the Watchtower changed back to Ussher's view on that point. Another place to adjust, of course, was the 18-year to 20-year "gap" that we still deal with today.

Here's is Russell's explanation from "The Time is at Hand" Vol 2 of Studies in the Scriptures, page 51-54. It's curious how he so simply resolves a piece of the problem by claiming that he relies completely on the Bible, and then shows why the Bible is very likely in error at the point where Ussher used a Bible passage and Russell claimed it was a copyist's error in that part of the Bible:

 

---------------quote from "The Time is at Hand" page 51-54 ----------------------

This and Usher's Chronology Compared

It will be interesting to some to know wherein the above chronology differs from that inserted in the margin of the common version of the Bible, known as Usher's Chronology. The difference between the two, down to the time of the seventy years of desolation, is one hundred and twenty-four (124) years. This difference is made up of four periods of 18,4,2 and 100 years--as follows:

Usher dates the seventy years desolation eighteen years earlier than shown above--i.e., before the dethronement of Zedekiah, Judah's last king--because he figured the king of Babylon took many of the people captive at that time.* (2 Chron. 36:9,10,17; 2 Kings 24:8-16) He evidently makes the not uncommon mistake of regarding those seventy years as the period of captivity, whereas the Lord expressly declares them to be seventy years of desolation of the land, that the land should lie "desolate, without an inhabitant." Such was not the case prior to Zedekiah's dethronement. (2 Kings 24:14) But the desolation which followed Zedekiah's overthrow was complete; for, though some of the poor of the land were left to be vine-dressers and husbandmen (2 Kings 25:12), shortly even these--"all people, both small and great"--fled to Egypt for fear of the Chaldees. (Verse 26) There can be no doubt here: and therefore in reckoning the time to the desolation of the land, all periods up to the close of Zedekiah's reign should be counted in, as we have done.


*Note, however, this partial captivity occurred eleven, not eighteen, years before the dethronement of King Zedekiah.


The four years difference is in the reign of Jehoram. Usher gives it as a reign of four years, while the Bible says it was eight years. 2 Chron. 21:5; 2 Kings 8:17

Of the two years difference, one year is found in the term of the reign of Ahaz, which Usher gives as fifteen, while the Bible says it was sixteen years. (2 Chron. 28:1; 2 Kings 16:2) And the other is in the term of Jehoash, which Usher reckons as thirty-nine, while the Bible gives it as forty years. 2 Kings 12:1; 2 Chron. 24:1

These differences can be accounted for only by supposing that Usher followed, or attempted to follow, Josephus, a Jewish historian whose chronological dates are now generally recognized as reckless and faulty. We rely on the Bible alone, believing that God is his own interpreter.

Aside from these twenty-four years difference in the period of the Kings, there is another variance between the above Bible chronology and that of Usher, namely, one hundred years in the period of the Judges. Here Usher is misled by the evident error of 1 Kings 6:1, which says that the fourth year of Solomon's reign was the four-hundred-and-eightieth year from the coming out of Egypt. It evidently should read the five-hundred-and-eightieth year, and was possibly an error in transcribing; for if to Solomon's four years we add David's forty, and Saul's space of forty, and the forty-six years from leaving Egypt to the division of the land, we have one hundred and thirty years, which deducted from four hundred and eighty would leave only three hundred and fifty years for the period of the Judges, instead of the four hundred and fifty years mentioned in the Book of Judges, and by Paul, as heretofore shown. The Hebrew character "daleth" (4) very much resembles the character "hay" (5), and it is supposed that in this way the error has occurred, possibly the mistake of a transcriber. 1 Kings 6:1, then, should read five hundred and eighty, and thus be in perfect harmony with the other statements.

Thus the Word of God corrects the few slight errors which have crept into it by any means.* And remember that those breaks occur in the period bridged effectually by the inspired testimony of the New Testament.


*A similar discrepancy will be noticed in comparing 2 Chron. 36:9 with 2 Kings 24:8, the one giving eighteen years and the other, evidently incorrect, giving eight years as the age of Jehoiachin, who reigned three months, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, and was punished by captivity, etc. Such a mistake could easily occur, but God has so guarded his Word that the few trivial errors of copyists are made very manifest, and the full harmony of his Word gives ample foundation for faith.


So, then, whereas Usher dates A.D. 1 as the year 4005 from the creation of Adam, it really was, as we have shown, the year 4129, according to the Bible record, thus showing the year 1872 A.D. to be the year of the world 6000, and 1873 A.D. the commencement of the seventh thousand-year period, the seventh millennium, or thousand-year day of earth's history.

-------------end of quote----------------

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3 hours ago, Nana Fofana said:

As far as I know, he was very right about the inerrancy of the Bible,  but now so many seem to stake everything on the 'inerrancy' of the "King James Bible" alone, helping to account for their error-prone chronologies?

That's a good point, and it applies to a couple other issues with the chronology. But not the issue of the 100 years that Russell argued should be added to the rendering of 1 Kings 6:1 which reads 480 in both the KJV and the NWT.

The NWT does resolve several issues where Bible texts differ, such as the 8 vs. 18 years of Jehoiachin.

Another place, that can effect a reading of chronology, where the NWT and KJV agree is the use of the term "at Babylon" in Jeremiah 29:10 instead of "for Babylon." This has been used by some as evidence for equating the captivity with the desolation, something that Russell did not want to do intentionally. As Russell says in the same article (about Ussher): "He evidently makes the not uncommon mistake of regarding those seventy years as the period of captivity, whereas the Lord expressly declares them to be seventy years of desolation of the land, that the land should lie "desolate, without an inhabitant."" Apparently, people better understand why Ussher understood it as he did when this apparent error in the KJV is corrected, as it has been in almost all modern translations. (I say "apparent" error because the Watch Tower Society still publishes most --but not all-- of its translations in the same way the KJV does here. The WTS is in the minority here, but they would argue that both the KJV and the NWT can be properly translated this way in Jeremiah 29:10.)

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      merci pour ton travail très utile. tu es une aide qui fortifie
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