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ANOTHER Difficult Doctrine. With a less complex explanation.

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A previous similar topic ran on for too many pages without getting back to the original point. But several points were brought up there for further consideration. Perhaps we can pick up some of them here, too.

The original point was supposed to be about a certain interpretation of Revelation 11 from some comments about the Bible reading last week. Caution: my own commentary will likely seem critical of the interpretation given by the Watchtower publications, for reasons that I will try to make clear.

So here's the basic topic this time, based on the Revelation 10-12 and the Midweek meeting material:

*** Text for Tuesday, December 10, 2019 ***
December 9-15
REVELATION 10-12
Song 26 and Prayer
• Opening Comments (3 min. or less)
TREASURES FROM GOD’S WORD
• “‘Two Witnesses’ Are Killed and Brought Back to Life”: (10 min.)
Re 11:3—“Two witnesses” prophesy for 1,260 days (w14 11/15 30)
Re 11:7—They are killed by “the wild beast”
Re 11:11—The “two witnesses” are brought back to life after “the three and a half days”

Song 26 was chosen, a song with the following theme: all things that the "other sheep" do for the "comfort and aid" of the anointed are what Christ accepts as being done directly for himself. The song then includes all comfort, aid, labor, and loyalty shown by the other sheep to the anointed. And then it mentions that the fine works shown to the anointed is actually the preaching work which is done alongside Christ's brothers, the anointed.

I think we'll end up coming back to that song, but for now we'll start with the linked commentary by clicking the links in the Watchtower Library. (from the mwb and the information that was linked to the 2014 Watchtower):

*** mwb19 December p. 3 “Two Witnesses” Are Killed and Brought Back to Life ***
• “Two witnesses”: The small group of anointed brothers who were taking the lead when God’s Kingdom was established in 1914
• Killed: After preaching for three and a half years “in sackcloth,” they were “killed” when they were imprisoned and forced into inactivity
• Returned to life: At the end of the symbolic three and a half days, they returned to life when they were released from prison and resumed taking the lead in the preaching work
[Timeline on page 3]
image.png

 

*** w14 11/15 p. 30 Questions From Readers ***
Who are the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation chapter 11?
▪ Revelation 11:3 speaks of two witnesses who would prophesy for 1,260 days. The account then says that the wild beast would “conquer them and kill them.” But after “three and a half days,” these two witnesses would be brought back to life, much to the amazement of all onlookers.—Rev. 11:7, 11.
Who are these two witnesses? The details of the account help us to identify them. First, we are told that they “are symbolized by the two olive trees and the two lampstands.” (Rev. 11:4) This reminds us of the lampstand and two olive trees described in the prophecy of Zechariah. Those olive trees were said to picture “the two anointed ones,” that is, Governor Zerubbabel and High Priest Joshua, “standing alongside the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zech. 4:1-3, 14) Second, the two witnesses are described as performing signs similar to those performed by Moses and Elijah.—Compare Revelation 11:5, 6 with Numbers 16:1-7, 28-35 and 1 Kings 17:1; 18:41-45.
What is the common denominator that links these references? In each case, the account refers to God’s anointed ones who took the lead during a difficult time of testing. So in the fulfillment of Revelation chapter 11, the anointed brothers who took the lead at the time of the establishment of God’s Kingdom in heaven in 1914 preached “in sackcloth” for three and a half years.
At the end of their preaching in sackcloth, these anointed ones were symbolically killed when they were thrown into prison for a comparatively shorter period of time, a symbolic three and a half days. In the eyes of the enemies of God’s people, their work had been killed, causing those opponents much joy.—Rev. 11:8-10.
However, true to the words of the prophecy, at the end of the three and a half days, the two witnesses were brought back to life. Not only were these anointed ones released from prison but those who remained faithful received a special appointment from God through their Lord, Jesus Christ. In 1919 they were among those who were appointed to serve as a “faithful and discreet slave” to care for the spiritual needs of God’s people during the last days.—Matt. 24:45-47; Rev. 11:11, 12.
Interestingly, Revelation 11:1, 2 links these events to a time when the spiritual temple would be measured, or evaluated. Malachi chapter 3 mentions a similar inspection of the spiritual temple, followed by a time of cleansing. (Mal. 3:1-4) How long did this inspection and cleansing work take? It extended from 1914 to the early part of 1919. This period of time includes both the 1,260 days (42 months) and the symbolic three and a half days referred to in Revelation chapter 11.
How happy we are that Jehovah arranged for this spiritual refining work to cleanse a special people for fine works! (Titus 2:14) Additionally, we appreciate the example set by the faithful anointed ones who took the lead during that time of testing and thereby served as the symbolic two witnesses.

image.png

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Caution: my own commentary will likely seem critical of the interpretation given by the Watchtower publications, for reasons that I will try to make clear. Not because the WT interpretations are necessarily wrong, but because they are so often presented as fact in so many publications, when overall, it is just an interpretation. The following was said in the "Revelation - Grand Climax" book, which explains why no interpretation, except that given in the Bible itself, should be treated as a fact.

*** re chap. 2 p. 9 The Grand Theme of the Bible ***
Interpreting the Scriptures The mysteries locked up in the book of Revelation have for long baffled sincere students of the Bible. In God’s due time, those secrets had to be unlocked, but how, when, and to whom? Only God’s spirit could make known the meaning as the appointed time drew near. (Revelation 1:3) Those sacred secrets would be revealed to God’s zealous slaves on earth so that they would be strengthened to make known his judgments. (Matthew 13:10, 11) It is not claimed that the explanations in this publication are infallible. Like Joseph of old, we say: “Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Genesis 40:8) At the same time, however, we firmly believe that the explanations set forth herein harmonize with the Bible in its entirety, showing how remarkably divine prophecy has been fulfilled in the world events of our catastrophic times.

A couple of the ideas found in this same book have already undergone some changes. TTH commented on the underlined part of the above quotation saying:

9 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Since the writers plainly state up front that they could be wrong, I take everything in that spirit. I strive to get my head around whatever they are saying & and discern how they came to think as they do because I do not want to be like Diotrophes, who “receives nothing from us with respect.” But it is all tentative—it represents to me the best thinking out there. It doesn’t mean that nobody else can think.

That's the spirit in which I would like to share a possibly "simpler" reading of this portion of Revelation. Some might not think the current explanation is complex, but I think when we look into it carefully, we can see that our current explanation produces some complexities that aren't seen until we reflect and meditate on the scriptures involved. And, of course, some might think that a supposedly "simpler" reading is wrong. That's quite alright, because I'm not 100 percent happy with it either.

So here's hoping that others can defend what's right with the current definition, and what's wrong with the alternatives, or vice versa.

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You can't see the exact dates from either of the two charts, but if you can read a timeline closely, you can see that the intent is to show a date from what looks like about December 1, 1914, up until a date that's about 45 percent into 1918. That would map to around mid-June 1918.

These positions in the chart are on purpose. The intended dates start in December 1914 and end in June 1918. To keep it simple, 1918 is never shown in the chart, nor in the text of the explanation in the 2014 Watchtower. This is because the previous year, 2013, the Watchtower dropped the second of two major prophetic fulfillments that were supposed to have happened in 1918, and so 1918 has barely been mentioned since 2013.

But the 1988 Revelation book gave the intended dates:

*** re chap. 25 p. 164 par. 12 Reviving the Two Witnesses ***
Additionally, at the beginning of the Lord’s day, there was a marked period of three and a half years when the hard experiences of God’s people matched the events prophesied here—starting in December 1914 and continuing to June 1918. (Revelation 1:10)

Most of us surely know what happened in June 1918. But since we are supposedly counting out a LITERAL 1260 days, we might wish to see if we can get this a little closer. So here are the 1918 dates as reported in the 1975 Yearbook (among other places):

*** yb75 p. 105 Part 1—United States of America ***
They were released on bail and appeared in court on May 15, 1918. The trial was set for June 3, 1918 . . . Finally, after the lengthy trial [15 days], the awaited day of decision arrived. June 20, 1918, at about 5:00 p.m., the case went to the jury. . . .Sentencing took place on June 21. The courtroom was full. . . .The trial had lasted for fifteen days. . . . While their case was on appeal,. . . they first were held in Brooklyn’s Raymond Street jail . . . .  That unpleasant week-long stay was followed by another week spent in the Long Island City prison. Finally, on the fourth of July, United States Independence Day, the unjustly condemned men were sent on their way by train to the Atlanta, Georgia, penitentiary. . .  

*** yb75 p. 117 Part 2—United States of America ***
On March 21, 1919, United States Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis ordered bail for the eight imprisoned brothers and directed that they should be given the right to an appeal on April 14 of that year. They were released promptly and on Tuesday, March 25, they left Atlanta penitentiary by train. Back in Brooklyn on March 26, 1919, federal authorities released the brothers on bail of $10,000 each, pending further trial. . . On the evening of April 1, 1919, another banquet was held for the released brothers by the Watch Tower office force at Hotel Chatham in Pittsburgh. . . . The case of the eight Bible Students was due to be heard on appeal on April 14, 1919. They then had a hearing before the Federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals at New York city. On May 14, 1919, their erroneous convictions were reversed.

Evidently the June 1918 date refers to the trial that took up most of that month up until June 20/21, or perhaps the entire month since they remained in jail without bail and therefore in custody of prison guards from July 4, 1918 through March 26, 1919.

*** dp chap. 9 p. 143 par. 31 Who Will Rule the World? ***
Harassment of God’s anointed ones climaxed on June 21, 1918, when the president, J. F. Rutherford, and prominent members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society were sentenced on false charges to long prison terms. Intending “to change times and law,” the “small” horn had effectively killed the organized preaching work. (Revelation 11:7) So the foretold period of “a time, and times and half a time” ended in June 1918.

So what's the problem?

  • Going back 1260 days from June 21, 1918 brings you to January 8, 1915.
  • So you can't reach from June 21, 1918 back to 1914 with just 1,260 days.

Try Excel functions or even online date calculators like this

    Hello guest!

You can't even get even one day of 1914 into the prophecy if you start at the climax of the trial.

  • December 31, 1914 to June 21, 1918 is 1268 days.

But it is clearly very important to start this prophecy in 1914 into this prophecy. And by showing a date of about December 1, 1914 on each of the charts to bury the beginning of the days even a little deeper into 1914 it implies an end date of about May 15, 1918 to be an actual literal 1,260 days. (Which happens to land on the day they were first released on bail and went to court but free until the trial that lasted from June 3 to June 21, 1918)

It's true that from somewhere near the very end of December 1914, to somewhere near the early part of June 1918 is a literal 1,260 days. No specific event is given for December 1914. December just happens to be how far back the dates allow you to land if don't go past the middle of June 1918, somewhere in the middle of the trial.

So why not go from the trial or the even the July 4, 1918 date when they were off to Federal Prison as the end date, and then be forced to start the period in early 1915? Why is it so important to at last catch the tail end of 1914 into this prophecy, when no specific event or turning point happened in December 1914? In fact the only turning point ever given so far regarding December is that this is when the new year text motto was announced!

It's pretty easy to spot when the change to this period began. For years the time was started on October 4/5, 1914 for obvious reasons, and it therefore had to end on between March 17 and March 26, 1918. That's how it appeared in 1975:

*** yb75 pp. 103-104 Part 1—United States of America ***
After early October 1914, Christ’s anointed followers proclaimed that the Gentile Times had ended and that the nations were approaching their destruction at Armageddon. (Luke 21:24; Rev. 16:14-16) These figurative “two witnesses” declared this mournful message for the nations for 1,260 days, or three and a half years (October 4/5, 1914, to March 26/27, 1918). Then the Devil’s beastly political system warred against God’s “two witnesses,” eventually ‘killing’ them as far as their tormenting work of prophesying “in sackcloth” was concerned, to the great relief of their religious, political, military and judicial foes. (Rev. 11:3-7; 13:1) That was the prophecy, and it was fulfilled. But how?

This period from October 4/5, 1914 to March 26/27, 1918 is also not 1260, but it's 1,269 days, only 9 days off, and with a fairly acceptable reason for making it 9 days off with some adjustments based on the Jewish lunar calendar. Yet, even very minor adjustments have been treated very differently when discussing the 2,520 days of Daniel 4.

The change happened in 1977 with a book written by F W Franz, One World Government (the "go" book). This book focused on the time period from Daniel which has almost always been linked to the same events. 

*** go chap. 8 p. 131 par. 23 Marked Days During the “Time of the End” ***
This they accomplished by the end of the foretold three and a half years on June 21, 1918. Thus this period began on December 28, 1914,

That's 1,271 days! Franz realized that this was an extremely late date in 1914, so he was the one who also spoke of the announcement of the new year text as somehow significant.  It was "Are ye able to drink of my cup?" --Mt 20:22. He had tied it to the pressure the Bible Students would be under in European countries to compromise and go to war in 1915.

That original time period seemed OK, so why was it so important to adjust it forward by about 2 to 3 months?

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

In the eyes of the enemies of God’s people, their work had been killed, causing those opponents much joy.—Rev. 11:8-10.

I have always wondered if there is any actual evidence for this statement. Are there any recorded quotes made by such opponents? I am not doubting that there is, I was just wondering if you had any. I do know that religious oponents were behind the series of brutal attacks on Witnesses during the 30's and 40's. But I can't seem to find anything about who was behind the arrest and conviction of Rutherford and the others...

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10 hours ago, Anna said:

But I can't seem to find anything about who was behind the arrest and conviction of Rutherford and the others...

It was always blamed mostly on the Catholics, but mostly through innuendo. Judge Howe, the primary judge, would not give them bail in 1918. But a Judge Mantey made a bigger deal out of it. If they had gotten bail, they may have been able to stay out of jail until the appeals process was finished, which could easily have lasted the number of months they were in prison. In other words, there probably would never have been any prison, if they got bail. And when the case went to appeal Judge Mantey still dissented on the bail issue, even after a year, but it didn't override the other two judges (including Howe) who allowed the appeal on $10,000 bail apiece. Judge Mantey was a Catholic, with high respect by the church, and even had an unrelated commendation from the Vatican. And he also got in legal trouble for taking bribes later in his career.

Also, the book "Finished Mystery" was first banned in Canada before the USA followed suit. In Canada, where many Catholics live, preachers had spoken out against the book on religious grounds, too, not just political grounds.

But during these times, several anti-war preachers and religious leaders and political activists went to prison under exactly the same charges. Some of these others spent much longer in jail than the brothers in the Society.

10 hours ago, Anna said:

Are there any recorded quotes made by such opponents? I am not doubting that there is, I was just wondering if you had any.

Nothing specific. The Brooklyn Eagle never liked the Bible Students and often exposed legal issues that Russell had gone through. It's hard to read some of their reporting of the trial without detecting just a bit of "gloating."

Adding: I read about 1,000 pages of FBI files from the time they were still putting together the evidence for a case. This was mostly starting around late-February 1918, and I see nothing even in the earliest correspondence that was religious in nature. It was very political in nature. The FBI (and Justice Dept lawyers) and War Department were writing back and forth in some of the earliest correspondence, and they obviously didn't like anyone who might discourage the draft or who might promote ideas for how to avoid the draft.

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13 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Killed: After preaching for three and a half years “in sackcloth,” they were “killed” when they were imprisoned and forced into inactivity
• Returned to life: At the end of the symbolic three and a half days, they returned to life when they were released from prison and resumed taking the lead in the preaching work

Associated comments state: "Notice that in examining the experiences of God's people at this time, it appears that while the 42 months represent a literal three and a half years, the three and a half days do not represent a literal period of 84 hours. LIKELY, the specific period of three and a half days is mentioned twice (in verses 9 and 11) to highlight that it would be only a short period compared with the actual three and a half years of activity that precede it."

So it may well be that a contrast is being made regarding the time periods mentioned. But, on the other hand, I also see that one time period (three and a half days) is not consistently rendered as a literal time period whereas the three and a half years is understood to be literal - both time periods within the span of a few verses in the same chapter of Revelation 11. While I understand their reasoning for that - there was nothing to suggest anything of significance happened on the three and a half days, it does seem arbitrary - to make things fit. But for now, until they come up with more details, I'll roll with it. 

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11 hours ago, Anna said:

I have always wondered if there is any actual evidence for this statement. Are there any recorded quotes made by such opponents?

Do someone a favor on eBay. (not me)—buy the book Preachers Present Arms:

    Hello guest!

“Years later, in the book Preachers Present Arms, Dr. Ray Abrams observed: “It is significant that so many clergymen took an aggressive part in trying to get rid of the Russellites [as the Bible Students were derogatorily labeled]. Long-lived religious quarrels and hatreds, which did not receive any consideration in the courts in time of peace, now found their way into the courtroom under the spell of war-time hysteria.” He also stated: “An analysis of the whole case leads to the conclusion that the churches and the clergy were originally behind the movement to stamp out the Russellites.”—Pp. 183-5.

        “And the Revelation book states :   In his book Preachers Present Arms, published in 1933, Ray H. Abrams refers to the clergy’s bitter opposition to the Bible Students’ book The Finished Mystery. He reviews the clergy’s endeavors to rid themselves of the Bible Students and their “pestilential persuasion.” This led to the court case that resulted in sentencing of J. F. Rutherford and seven companions to long years of imprisonment. Dr. Abrams adds: “An analysis of the whole case leads to the conclusion that the churches and the clergy were originally behind the movement to stamp out the Russellites. In Canada, in February, 1918, the ministers began a systematic campaign against them and their publications, particularly The Finished Mystery. According to the Winnipeg Tribune, . . . the suppression of their book was believed to have been directly brought about by the ‘representations of the clergy.’”

11 hours ago, JW Insider said:

t was always blamed mostly on the Catholics, but mostly through innuendo. Judge Howe, the primary judge, ..Judge Mantey was a Catholic, with high respect by the church, and even had an unrelated commendation from the Vatican. And he also got in legal trouble for taking bribes later in his career.

One thing I find frustrating is that, while church leaders were instigators of trouble against us back then, this is not true today, and yet we carry on as though it were. Enemies are mostly irreligious now, yet we carry on as if it can only be religion behind our opposition. It is a living in the past and can be seen even in the sample silhouette presentation in which the householder says that he prefers his Bible—the King James Version. Nobody uses the KJV today but the reddist of the rednecks. 

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36 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

church leaders were instigators of trouble against us back then, this is not true today,

I do believe though that the church is behind the persecution in Russia, indirectly.

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Do someone a favor on eBay. (not me)—buy the book Preachers Present Arms:

I'm doing that right now. I've always meant to, but hoped the previews would be enough to get a full sense of the author's purposes and possibly any biases. (The 2009 version has quite a bit of preview available on Google Books.)

I believe the case in Canada against the Bible Students and "The Finished Mystery" started out as religious backlash against Rutherford's vilification of the churches, especially the "attacks" on Roman Catholicism. And some of the quotes that tie religion to the case against Rutherford actually appear to be about the situation in Canada, not the United States.

I notice quite a bit of exaggeration in the claim that "everyone rejoiced" when they were locked up (and that there was silence when they were released). I'm told that one of the ways in which the couple thousand Bible Students obtained those 700,000 signatures in 1918 to allow bail when on appeal, was due to Catholic organizations that sided with the Watchtower. This was only a months after the imprisonment. I don't think you will see any information about that reported in our publications, nor in Preachers Present Arms, but I'll look for it.

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1 minute ago, Anna said:

I do believe though that the church is behind the persecution in Russia, indirectly.

They have said that they were not behind the ban, and I tend to take them at their word. That is not to say that they did not jump up and down like kids on Christmas morning. They did. But with a certain amount of reserve, because in an irreligious world, the target will eventually be them.

I believe it is an anti-cult movement, primarily irreligious, that spearheads the persecution of us, and then the ROC jumps onboard with a MeToo endorsement. I wrote about it a lot in Dear Mr. Putin, and stories such as these were a prime source:

    Hello guest!

    Hello guest!

I also think that we don’t see it primarily because we put blinders on ourselves by fleeing from whatever is “apostate.” Apostates embrace much of this. They don’t go back to the Church. They go in for “anti-cultism.” The present stand may be scriptural—and as scriptural, it will carry the day—but a downside is that it deprives us of seeing just who the enemy is. 

This departs from JWI’s thread and I don’t want to derail it. He’s “earned” his right to float the ideas that he does, and I sometimes wonder what I would be doing if I had the Bethel background that he does. Everyone brings a different gift. Chronology is not my gig, and I have written that all those dates circa 1900 are like that time you missed the nail with the hammer, and in frustration, swung several times more, again missing each time. That’s flippant, of course, but it just represents my tip of the hat to let others haggle it out. I’ve no problem with him doing it. He’s put the work into it and  is not like 95% of those who carry on about 607–who wouldn’t know a Babylonian conquest from a pin cushion were it not for an opportunity they sense to make it hot for JWs and who get their heads around it only enough to satisfy that purpose. 

Maybe he can branch this thread off into a separate topic. He has the power and the spirit to do it, granted him by the Great Antitypical Librarian.

8 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

I notice quite a bit of exaggeration in the claim that "everyone rejoiced" when they were locked up (and that there was silence when they were released).

The excerpt I quoted do not include Abrams most telling words—that (this is not an exact quote, but hopefully close) ‘when news of the verdict was announced, the clergy rejoiced. I have been unable to find any words of sympathy in any newsletters of the churches expressing any sympathy,’ and an observation that the Witnesses had made themselves “prophets of Baal” to them.

And to think that I once just checked the book out of the library, avoiding the $50 cost. It was the 2009 edition, which Abrams expanded to include the Vietnam War, and possibly not all the quotes regarding the Atlanta doings are there. 

    Hello guest!

Rats. This post has quotes from PPA but not the ones regarding the trial. It is back there somewhere in the archives.

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37 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

to allow bail when on appeal, was due to Catholic organizations that sided with the Watchtower. 

We kicked religion around mightily in those days because they would try to run us off the road. Place a tract in a Catholic neighborhood and the priest would follow-up on the householder and demand he relinquish it! Frankly, if Babylon the Great has “fallen,” I think we had a lot to do with it.

Yet we continue to do all we can to diss the church. It is not inappropriate, but it works to the exclusion of recognizing that our enemies today come from somewhere else. Why kick the old lady while she is down? We kicked her while she was up, and now she becomes just one of several detractors and I think not the most powerful one.

On the anti-JW websites, there are occasionally small areas like that where Witness hails from that are still religious. But by far the pattern is to go and discover a complete lack respect whatsoever of God on these sites, much less a fear of him. Atheism is all the rage today, or an agnosticism that so closely resembles it that not all can tell the difference—belief in God is okay so long as it doesn’t cause any significant deviation from the thinking and goals of today’s secular world. Anything that does cause deviation is a “cult.”

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@JW Insider  Most of this is beyond me but I've noticed that you are working from the year 1914 (the setting up of the Heavenly Kingdom), and I had thought that 1914 itself was in question on here somewhere ?  Is the date 1914 firmly established as TRUTH in your eyes, or is it the case that 'if you say it enough, people will believe it'. 

@TrueTomHarley Does the JW Org really have 'enemies' now ? I mean real opposition ? Obviously on the door to door work you expect to encounter some form of opposition against the beliefs and teachings of the GB and the Org. But are you suggesting there are groups of people deliberately causing problems for the Org right now ?  That would be religious persecution. 

Of course the CSA accusations earthwide give some people real reasons to turn against the JW Org, but that is not opposition to the beliefs or teachings, it is opposition to Child Sexual Abuse. That is NOT religious persecution. It is genuine hate of child abuse. 

 

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4 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

Does the JW Org really have 'enemies' now ?

No, they are banned and prosecuted in Russia on account of their friends.

6 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

It is genuine hate of child abuse. 

Even that is largely a straw man issue. Child sexual abuse is the premiere export of the planet, No group is unaffected. The lists that you carry on about began as efforts to snuff it out in the congregation and make sure that molesters could not simply slip undetected from one congregation to another, as they could (and still can) anywhere else. Nobody else has faces charges of not reporting it of members because nobody else has ever endeavored to keep track of it.

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9 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

But, on the other hand, I also see that one time period (three and a half days) is not consistently rendered as a literal time period whereas the three and a half years is understood to be literal - both time periods within the span of a few verses in the same chapter of Revelation 11.

Yes. I agree that this is inconsistent:

  • Based on the last time the actual dates were specified, the 1,260 days means a period of 1,271 days. (12/28/1914-6/21/1918)
  • Based on the unspecified date in 1919 (sometimes called "early 1919") that appears to be in the spring of that year according to the charts, the "three and a half days" means a period of about 300 days. (304 days from June 21, 1918 to April 21, 1919)
  • 1,260 = 1,271
  • 3.5 = 300+

But we've got several more inconsistencies.

I'll start with the mention of the olive trees, lampstands, and the "two witnesses."

The two witnesses are explained like this:

“Two witnesses”: The small group of anointed brothers who were taking the lead when God’s Kingdom was established in 1914

There is an implication in the Pure Worship book that the two witnesses primarily BEGAN with Russell/Rutherford in 1914 but that it merges into more modern times, with mid-20th century briefcases and then late 20th to 21st century microphones. I don't know how much instruction (or license) the artist was given, but the first in the forefront appears to be an exact merge of a picture of Russell mixed with Rutherford. But the background is mixed. Just for fun, these silhouette-like pictures remind me of existing photos of the following persons, from left to right: Fred Franz (far left), Tony Morris next, then the Russell Russell/Rutherford amalgam facing forward, then Raymond Franz behind him with nearly a phonograph-size briefcase (artists inside joke, if true), then a later Rutherford or Milton Henschel, then Milton Henschel again, then an unknown person at the podium.

    Hello guest!

In 1914 itself, there were only probably very few who might have been considered qualified for taking the lead in the United States, based on the criteria by which the 1919 GB has been defined. Including the Watch Tower Editorial Committee, and the Watch Tower Society Officers, there were probably 7 or 8. Yet Russell was the only one whose name was well-known, and Rutherford, the attorney, hadn't started that much public speaking until he published an "attorney's" defense about Russell's supposed "scandals" in 1915 (Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens).

But all that is just an aside. The definition is those men who were taking the lead in 1914, and those of that group who remained faithful would be appointed in 1919 as the "faithful and discreet slave." When this is mentioned, we usually find the expression "those who remained faithful" because of the fact that majority of those who were already in the position to be considered the "Governing Body" were dismissed and replaced with new persons to make room for Rutherford's election to the presidency in 1917.

But here is a place where we may have ignored a Biblical explanation of the "two witnesses." And this gets back to the "type-antitype" talk by Brother Splane. Not that this particular Biblical explanation (below) is the only one or the correct one, but it should still be important to explain why we dismiss a plausible Biblical explanation in favor of a modern-day interpretation.

A POSSIBLE BIBLICAL EXPLANATION FOR THE TWO WITNESSES

We should remember that the chapter starts out like this:

(Revelation 11:1-4) And a reed like a rod was given to me as he said: “Get up and measure the temple sanctuary of God and the altar and those worshipping in it. 2 But as for the courtyard that is outside the temple sanctuary, leave it out and do not measure it, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months. 3 I will cause my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days dressed in sackcloth.” 4 These are symbolized by the two olive trees and the two lampstands and are standing before the Lord of the earth.

So the subject of Revelation 11 is something about the temple, the nations, and two witnesses symbolized by two olive trees and two lampstands.

The only current explanation of the olive trees and lampstands is very tenuous, and never attempts to explain the imagery, except to say it reminds us of Zechariah's prophecy, where they represented two anointed ones, and who perform signs like Moses and Elijah.

*** w14 11/15 p. 30 Questions From Readers ***
First, we are told that they “are symbolized by the two olive trees and the two lampstands.” (Rev. 11:4) This reminds us of the lampstand and two olive trees described in the prophecy of Zechariah. Those olive trees were said to picture “the two anointed ones,” that is, Governor Zerubbabel and High Priest Joshua, “standing alongside the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zech. 4:1-3, 14) Second, the two witnesses are described as performing signs similar to those performed by Moses and Elijah.

If the Bible actually gives us a plausible explanation of these two Witnesses, then why are we looking to match them to perhaps 8 or more persons in modern times? One reason is because we try to explain anything already fulfilled in Revelation in terms of the events surrounding 1914 through 1925. Anything else is unfulfilled future events surrounding the great tribulation, Armageddon and the 1,000 year reign. (Except for a little bit of 1935, and the League appearing as the UN in 1945, we go on for about 80 years with no more fulfillments.)

But in the Bible a "Revelation" is often a revealing of what is going on behind the scenes in heaven to help explain what has happened, or is happening on earth. Much of it, but not all of it is supposed to be about the future. Think of the revealing of what was going on in heaven behind the scenes in the book of Job, or in the case of Micaiah, or in Stephen's case when he sees the vision of Christ standing at God's right hand.

So what if we were to look for any two witnesses that might be associated with lampstands?

(Acts 26:22, 23) . . .I continue to this day bearing witness to both small and great, but saying nothing except things the Prophets as well as Moses stated were going to take place, 23 that the Christ was to suffer and, as the first to be resurrected from the dead, he was going to publish light both to this people and to the nations.”

(Acts 13:46, 47) . . .“It was necessary for the word of God to be spoken first to you [Israelites]. Since you are rejecting it and do not judge yourselves worthy of everlasting life, look! we turn to the nations. 47 For Jehovah has commanded us in these words: ‘I have appointed you [Paul] as a light of nations, for you to be a salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

(Galatians 2:2-8) 2 I went up as a result of a revelation, and I presented to them the good news that I am preaching among the nations.. . . 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I [Paul] had been entrusted with the good news for those who are uncircumcised, just as Peter had been for those who are circumcised— 8 for the one who empowered Peter for an apostleship to those who are circumcised also empowered me [Paul] for those who are of the nations—

So we already have two witnesses who represent those who were taking the lead in bringing LIGHT to the Jews and a LIGHT to the NATIONS.

I also find it odd that there is already a chapter in the Greek Scriptures about two olive trees, and it turns out that they are representative of the same thing. The BIBLE's explanation for the two olive trees also associates them with the witness to the same two different groups, the Jews and the Gentiles. There was the garden olive tree and the wild olive tree:

(Romans 11:24) 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree that is wild by nature and were grafted contrary to nature into the garden olive tree, how much more will these who are natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree!

Paul gave the explanation in the same context:

(Romans 10:19-11:13) . . .First Moses says: “I will incite you to jealousy through that which is not a nation; I will incite you to violent anger through a foolish nation.” . . .  Do you not know what the scripture says in connection with E·liʹjah, as he pleads with God against Israel? . . . 7 What, then? The very thing Israel is earnestly seeking he did not obtain, but the ones chosen obtained it. The rest had their senses dulled, . . . But by their false step, there is salvation to people of the nations, to incite them to jealousy. 12 Now if their false step means riches to the world and their decrease means riches to people of the nations, how much more will their full number mean! 13 Now I speak to you who are people of the nations. Seeing that I am an apostle to the nations, I glorify my ministry

I also highlighted Paul's contextual references to Moses and Elijah because of the references to Moses and Elijah in Revelation 11:6.

Another problem with the 1918 - 1919 explanation is that we have changed the view on the captivity to Babylon the Great which effectively removes 1918 from the picture, where it had once played a large part in the interpretation of the cleansing of the Temple. So that we now have TWO visions of the "anointed" being killed, this time around the year 100 CE, not 1918 CE.

*** w16 March p. 29 par. 3-p. 31 par. 1 Questions From Readers ***
For a number of years, we explained that this captivity began in 1918 and involved a brief period of time when God’s people came under the control of Babylon the Great. For example, The Watchtower of March 15, 1992, stated: “Yet, as God’s ancient people were taken into Babylonian captivity for a time, in 1918 Jehovah’s servants came into a measure of bondage to Babylon the Great.” However, further research has shown that this captivity began much earlier than 1918.
.  . . What a fitting way to describe the spiritual resurrection of God’s people that culminated in the events of 1919! But what does this vision reveal to us concerning the length of time involved?
. . .
With these Scriptural details in mind, it becomes clear that the captivity of God’s people to Babylon the Great must have been much longer than the events of 1918-1919. The captivity parallels the time when the symbolic weeds would grow together with the wheatlike “sons of the Kingdom.” (Matt. 13:36-43) That growing season refers to the period during which genuine Christians were greatly outnumbered by apostates. The Christian congregation, in effect, was held captive by Babylon the Great. That captivity began sometime in the second century C.E. and continued until the cleansing of the spiritual temple in the time of the end.—Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thess. 2:3, 6; 1 John 2:18, 19.
  .  Later, such tools as the “Photo-Drama of Creation” in 1914 and the book The Finished Mystery in 1917 also strengthened God’s people. Finally, in 1919, God’s people were given life, spiritually speaking, and were settled in their new spiritual land. As time has progressed, this remnant of anointed ones has been joined by those with an earthly hope, and together they have become “an extremely large army.”—Ezek. 37:10; Zech. 8:20-23.

*** rr p. 118 10B “Dry Bones” and “Two Witnesses”—How Do They Relate? *** (2018, Pure Worship)

TEACHING BOX 10B
“Dry Bones” and “Two Witnesses”—How Do They Relate?
THE year 1919 saw the fulfillment of two related prophecies: one regarding “dry bones,” the other about “two witnesses.” The vision of “dry bones” foretells a very long period (which turned out to be many centuries) that ends with the coming to life of a large group of God’s people. (Ezek. 37:2-4; Rev. 11:1-3, 7-13) The prophecy about the “two witnesses” describes a short period (fulfilled from late 1914 to early 1919) that ends with the coming to life of a small group of God’s servants. Both prophecies depicted a symbolic resurrection, and both prophecies saw a modern-day fulfillment in 1919 when Jehovah caused his anointed servants “to stand on their feet,” leave their captivity to Babylon the Great, and be gathered in the restored congregation.—Ezek. 37:10.
Note, though, that the fulfillment of these two prophecies differs in an important way. The prophecy of the “dry bones” foretells the coming to life of all members of the anointed remnant. However, the prophecy of the “two witnesses” foretells the coming to life of some members of God’s anointed remnant—those who were taking the lead in the organization and who were appointed as “the faithful and discreet slave.”—Matt. 24:45; Rev. 11:6.
“The Valley Plain . . . Full of Bones”—Ezek. 37:1
AFTER 100 C.E.
From the second century C.E. onward when the anointed Christian congregation was killed symbolically, “the valley plain” was filled with “bones”
EARLY 1919
1919: The “dry bones” came to life when Jehovah caused all anointed ones to leave Babylon the Great and be gathered in the restored congregation
“Two Witnesses”—Rev. 11:3
LATE 1914
preaching “in sackcloth”
1914: The “two witnesses” preached “in sackcloth” for three and a half years. At the end of that period, they were symbolically killed symbolic death
EARLY 1919
1919: The “two witnesses” came to life when a small group of anointed brothers who were taking the lead in the organization were appointed to serve as “the faithful and discreet slave”

There are a few other potential inconsistencies with these explanations, including the idea that there has been no planting of seeds since 1919. As the  The captivity parallels the time when the symbolic weeds would grow together with the wheatlike “sons of the Kingdom.”

Perhaps I'll comment on that in another post as this is too long.


[Except that all these posts are getting merged, and are much too long now anyway . . .]

It is stated that all planting/sowing happened prior to 1919 and started in 33CE. Is no one doing any planting or sowing today?

And if the harvest is done by angels, did it really start in 1914? And if the gathering into storehouses started in 1919, then why do the weeds not get burned until the Great Tribulation/Armageddon? 

*** mwb18 February p. 3 The Illustration of the Wheat and the Weeds ***
[Chart on page 3]
33 C.E. SOWING BEGINS
1914 HARVEST SEASON BEGINS
1919 GATHERING INTO THE STOREHOUSE

This makes little sense in light of the verses in Matthew 13, which could all be explained very simply and completely by taking 1914 and 1919 out of the picture. There we would have wheat and weeds growing together from 33 on to today and harvested at the time of the harvest, a time of judgment, when the Son of man will send his angels and they will collect and burn with fire. In fact, the Bible has the weeds collected and burned BEFORE the wheat, yet our explanation REVERSES this:

(Matthew 13:28-30) . . .He said to them, ‘An enemy, a man, did this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and collect them?’ 29 He said, ‘No, for fear that while collecting the weeds, you uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest season, I will tell the reapers: First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; then gather the wheat into my storehouse.’”

(Matthew 13:37-43) . . .In response he said: “The sower of the fine seed is the Son of man; 38 the field is the world. As for the fine seed, these are the sons of the Kingdom, but the weeds are the sons of the wicked one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion of the system of things. 41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, 42 and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace. There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be. 43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Let the one who has ears listen.

Our current explanation breaks this up into long time periods.

*** w13 7/15 p. 9 “Look! I Am With You All the Days” ***
Why can we conclude that from the first century C.E. until today, there have always been anointed Christians on earth?

*** w13 7/15 pp. 9-10 par. 3 “Look! I Am With You All the Days” ***
At the dawn of the second century C.E., “the weeds appeared” when imitation Christians became visible in the world field.

** w13 7/15 p. 12 par. 10 “Look! I Am With You All the Days” ***
First, collecting the weeds. Jesus says: “In the harvest season I will tell the reapers, First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles.” After 1914, the angels began to “collect” weedlike Christians by separating them from the anointed “sons of the kingdom.”—Matt. 13:30, 38, 41.

*** w13 7/15 p. 12 par. 12 “Look! I Am With You All the Days” ***
Second, gathering the wheat. Jesus commands his angels: “Go to gathering the wheat into my storehouse.” (Matt. 13:30) Since 1919, anointed ones have been gathered into the restored Christian congregation. For those anointed Christians who will be alive at the end of this system of things, the final gathering will take place when they receive their heavenly reward.

With reference to the weeping and gnashing and being pitched into the fiery furnace and the shining brightly, the Watchtower says:

*** w13 7/15 p. 13 par. 16 “Look! I Am With You All the Days” ***
The fulfillment of these words still lies ahead.

The full explanation involves breaking up the first messenger in Malachi 3:1 into 2 messengers (plus Jesus, the messenger of the covenant) so that one messenger can have a modern day fulfillment just prior to 1919, whereas the Bible already explained that the messenger was John the Baptist paving the way for Jesus. Now we also think it means, in effect, persons like Russell and those associated with him as they paved the way for the Governing Body.

There is another complexity that seems even more obvious, but I'll hold off for now.

All these extra complexities go away when we remove 1914, 1918 and 1919 from the picture and read Matthew and Malachi and Revelation again.

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1 hour ago, 4Jah2me said:

Most of this is beyond me but I've noticed that you are working from the year 1914 (the setting up of the Heavenly Kingdom), and I had thought that 1914 itself was in question on here somewhere ?  Is the date 1914 firmly established as TRUTH in your eyes, or is it the case that 'if you say it enough, people will believe it'. 

It's probably confusing because I am reviewing the details of the current interpretations that include 1914, but I can't currently agree with all of them.

The date 1914 is true in some ways, as there was a fulfillment of prophecy in that year. During several points in the last days, we should expect critical times hard to deal with. We should expect to see wars and reports of wars. 1914 was one of the dates where such fulfillments were definitely experienced. So was the effect these critical times had on the Watchtower Society leaders and Bible students. Recall that Jesus said "they will persecute you and put some of you in prison."

The only problem I have with putting too much emphasis on 1914 is that Jesus warned us NOT to look to wars and pestilence and earthquakes as part of any SIGN that could be used to inform us about the parousia. Recall that Jesus said, there would be a great judgment upon the Jerusalem Temple where it would be completely destroyed. So the disciples asked if they could learn if there would be any signs so that they would know WHEN this parousia might happen. So Jesus said, don't be misled, you will see lots of things that are bad, the kinds of things that fool people into thinking they are seeing a sign, but that this particular judgment will come like a thief in the night, by surprise, as if with no warning. But that was their warning - so they would be prepared for the right reasons at all times. It was enough to know that it MIGHT come in their own lifetime. Same with us. It MIGHT come in our own lifetime, but for all of us it is a short period of time, our own lifespan, or perhaps shorter than that if we live to see it.

No I don't believe 1914 is the time of the establishment of the heavenly kingdom, because the Bible says that it was established in the first century. We might see things in history that prove to us that it is "more and more" established, and this would be like when the Jews could celebrate an event with a phrase like "Jehovah has become king." It didn't mean he wasn't always "king" but that there was some new manifestation or appreciation of that kingship due to some exciting and significant event.

But from a technical perspective, the Bible already calls Jesus the king of kings in the first century, but we can still expect future significant events when we might say again "Jesus has become king!" It depends on how much prophetic significance we give to those events, as we believe we are seeing Bible prophecy fulfilled. I don't think anyone should blame Russell and Rutherford for thinking that Jesus became king in 1878. They were excited to believe they lived in the time when Jesus had returned to be present again in 1874, and thought they were seeing prophecy being fulfilled. I don't think Rutherford should be blamed for changing it to 1914 several years after thinking about the probable prophetic significance of that year. But I think that part of this was a way to save face, since a lot of significant things happened in 1914, but none of them were related to the things they had once predicted for 1914.

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@JW Insider  Thank you for your in depth reply.

I quote  "No I don't believe 1914 is the time of the establishment of the heavenly kingdom, because the Bible says that it was established in the first century.... " 

Can you please help me further. 

What is the teaching / belief of the Watchtower / JW Org in that respect. Do they believe / teach that the Heavenly Kingdom was set up in 1914 ?

And, if the Kingdom was not set up in 1914, but was established in the first century, then presumably Jesus was reigning as King in heaven at that time. If so, were the apostles / disciples resurrected to heaven immediately on their dying as humans ?  

This would all be new thoughts to me. I don't tend to dig deep enough.  And once again knowing who to believe is difficult. 

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Something that has been said here for over 7 years. No conflicted witness will understand what is before them. They have already made up their minds, not to view prophecy as indicated in scripture by staying alert and keeping on the watch.

The good thing, God knows, and will continue to reject those witnesses from seeing prophecy out of sight out of mind.

They are too hard on themselves by racking their minds in an attempt to convince others, prophecy doesn’t matter or is none existent. This means, God doesn’t agree with them.

No amount of AlanF evidence will amount to the truth.

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4 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

What is the teaching / belief of the Watchtower / JW Org in that respect. Do they believe / teach that the Heavenly Kingdom was set up in 1914 ?

Yes. Basically. I'm not trying to get too technical here, but the Heavenly Kingdom has been a part of Jehovah's heavenly organization from "time indefinite." This is why you will more often see the idea worded like this:

*** w09 4/15 p. 30 par. 10 Appreciating Jesus—The Greater David and the Greater Solomon ***
. . . in 1914 when he was enthroned as King in the heavenly Kingdom.

*** w05 5/1 p. 11 par. 14 The Resurrection—A Teaching That Affects You ***
In 1914, Jehovah enthroned Jesus as Messianic King of the heavenly Kingdom and commanded him to rule in the midst of his enemies

*** w00 5/15 p. 17 par. 10 Have Faith in God’s Prophetic Word! ***
When “the appointed times of the nations” ended in 1914, God established the heavenly Kingdom under Christ.

So, technically, Jesus became the King of a Heavenly Kingdom that had been there all along. It was now set up or established under Christ. This is why he is said to hand it back to the his God and Father when the "mission" is accomplished. (1 Cor 15:24, below)

(1 Corinthians 15:23-27) 23 But each one in his own proper order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ during his presence. [literally, at his parousia] 24 Next, the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. 26 And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing. 27 For God “subjected all things under his feet.”. .

But the expressions "the Messianic/Davidic Kingdom" and the "Heavenly Kingdom" have at times, especially in the past, been carefully distinguished, but it is now simpler, and we often say "the heavenly kingdom was 'established' in 1914" which is the same as saying it was "set up" then. In fact, it was really only supposed to be "set up" in a new and different way starting in 1914, where Jehovah entrusted Christ to rule from his right hand, and go on conquering, first by proving his power over the Devil by casting him out of heaven, gathering a congregation of loyal subjects, commanding those subjects to go preaching, declaring that the "lease" of power that had been given to the nations had now run out, etc

4 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

And, if the Kingdom was not set up in 1914, but was established in the first century, then presumably Jesus was reigning as King in heaven at that time. If so, were the apostles / disciples resurrected to heaven immediately on their dying as humans ?  

That's a good question. But it appears that they must wait until the resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous.

(Revelation 6:9-11) . . .When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness they had given. 10 They shouted with a loud voice, saying: “Until when, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been.

As for the resurrection of the righteous:

(Matthew 13:41-43) 41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, 42 and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace. There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be. 43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. . .

The Watchtower used to say that this resurrection started in 1918, but inconsistently, the words "at that time" are now applied to a future time associated with the "great tribulation." The Watchtower still allows that this first resurrection of those anointed already sleeping in death would likely have happened between 1914 and 1935, with 1918 still being "an interesting possibility" 

*** w07 1/1 p. 28 par. 12 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! ***
Jesus Christ was anointed as the future King of God’s Kingdom in the fall of 29 C.E. Three and a half years later, in the spring of 33 C.E., he was resurrected as a mighty spirit person. Could it, then, be reasoned that since Jesus was enthroned in the fall of 1914, the resurrection of his faithful anointed followers began three and a half years later, in the spring of 1918? That is an interesting possibility. Although this cannot be directly confirmed in the Bible, it is not out of harmony with other scriptures that indicate that the first resurrection got under way soon after Christ’s presence began.

This 1918 date had been taught as a definite thing, for many years, but it was really just a leftover piece of the tradition about "parallel dispensations." In the earlier version of this parallel dispensation, there were 3.5 year segments from Oct 1844 to Passover/Spring 1878 to October 1881. (Jesus had been raised in the spring of 33, 3.5 years after he became Christ in 29 C.E.) This had been updated to October 1914 +3.5= Spring 1918, a parallel time for a resurrection. Since there is no Biblical basis for parallel dispensations, this had to be dropped to only "an interesting possibility."

*** w98 2/1 p. 17 pars. 18-19 Greater Blessings Through the New Covenant ***
Then Daniel saw that “the holy ones took possession of the kingdom itself.” Jesus is the one “like a son of man” who, in 1914, received the heavenly Kingdom from Jehovah God. His spirit-anointed disciples are “the holy ones” who share with him in that Kingdom. (1 Thessalonians 2:12) How?
19 After their death, these anointed ones are like Jesus raised from the dead as immortal spirit creatures to serve with him as kings and priests in heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:50-53; Revelation 20:4, 6)

(1 Corinthians 15:50-52) . . .. 51 Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not all fall asleep in death, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed.

I think if we look closely at these arguments presented in the Watchtower, we'll see at least 5 problems where the Watchtower is inconsistent with the Scriptures. Otherwise I would not bring up the problems with the doctrine.

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@JW Insider Thank you once again.

In my 60's English I would say ' That is heavy vibes man'   Meaning deep thinking.

But, let's go back to this :-

Revelation 6:9-11. ...... 11 And a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been.

So, ' until the number was filled' would be in our time now. And even if one of the Anointed now should 'turn bad' and have to be replaced, then it could even be in the future. (As I suspect there will be another 'ten years' before Judgement time). 

So, are the Apostles / disciples to 'rest a little while longer' even now ? In fact right up until the last of the Anointed has proven faithful. And if so is the Watchtower / GB / Org, going against the things written by suggesting that the Apostles have already been resurrected in the spirit form and are now in heaven with Christ ? 

I suppose I'm asking you here to talk in opposition to the GB etc, but I'm not looking to find fault at this time, I'm looking for better understanding of scripture. 

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26 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

So, are the Apostles / disciples to 'rest a little while longer' even now ? In fact right up until the last of the Anointed has proven faithful. And if so is the Watchtower / GB / Org, going against the things written by suggesting that the Apostles have already been resurrected in the spirit form and are now in heaven with Christ ?

This is exactly the point made in Revelation, but it also matches what Paul says in 1 Cor 15 and 1 & 2 Thess, which matches Matthew 13. This is the explanation that causes no inconsistencies. Unfortunately the 1914 doctrine causes many inconsistencies in my opinion. Perhaps I'll write up a longer answer later, but I think your question could be further answered by just reviewing a couple of those other Bible passages that are related:

Some people in Paul's day were getting over-anxious about the timing of the parousia, and he had to remind them that this could be a ways off. If the Watchtower is right, Paul could have said, it can't happen yet, because Jesus is not even ruling as King yet!

But instead,

(2 Thessalonians 2:1-8) . . .However, brothers, concerning the presence [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you 2 not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be alarmed either by an inspired statement or by a spoken message or by a letter appearing to be from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here. 3 Let no one lead you astray in any way, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. 4 He stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, publicly showing himself to be a god. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is acting as a restraint, so that he will be revealed in his own due time. 7 True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who is right now acting as a restraint is out of the way. 8 Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.

(1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:2) . . .Moreover, brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who are sleeping in death, so that you may not sorrow as the rest do who have no hope. 14 For if we have faith that Jesus died and rose again, so too God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in death through Jesus. 15 For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; 16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. 18 So keep comforting one another with these words. 5 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.

First of all notice that the parousia is the same as the day of the Lord (Jehovah) in the 2 Thess 2. But also note that at the trumpet's call they all go together at the same time. This trumpet call is associated with a time that the Watchtower now admits to be future when it is mentioned here:

(Matthew 24:30, 31) . . ., and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.

(Matthew 13:39-41,44) . . .The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion of the system of things. 41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom . . . At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.

Notice too the verses already quoted above from 1 Cor 15:23-27;50-52. We can already see problems with 1914. Notice that Paul writing in the first century gives an overview of the major events of the kingdom, that include those expected in the future.  

  1. Christ is resurrected.
  2. Then those belong to Christ (anointed) are resurrected "at the parousia."
  3. Then the "end" when he hands the Kingdom back to his Father (Jehovah), after he has completely brought to nothing all governments and power and even Death, the last enemy, has also been brought to nothing. (In Revelation this is the same as saying that Death has been completely destroyed, "tossed into the lake of fire.")

Notice anything missing in this sequence? Even if it were OK to translate "at the parousia" as "during his presence" we notice that this taking the reins of the Kingship is NOT considered an important event in the sequence.

And it's pretty obvious why. It's because Paul assumes that Jesus Christ is already reigning, (1 Cor 15:25) and already reigning in the midst of his enemies, and already beginning to show his power over those enemies by accepting "subjects" into the Kingdom who are already under his command, accepting that Jesus has already been given ALL AUTHORITY. So why would Jesus need to be declared King at some later point if he was already given all authority, and was already commanding his subjects?

(Matthew 28:18-20) . . .Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

(Jesus also declared that his "presence" had already begun: "I am with you." Also, if the conclusion began in 1914, Jesus would only be with them until 1914.)

There's another instance of this idea that showed up in one of the Watchtower quotes above:

*** w98 2/1 p. 17 pars. 18-19 Greater Blessings Through the New Covenant ***
Then Daniel saw that “the holy ones took possession of the kingdom itself.” Jesus is the one “like a son of man” who, in 1914, received the heavenly Kingdom from Jehovah God. His spirit-anointed disciples are “the holy ones” who share with him in that Kingdom. (1 Thessalonians 2:12)

The Watchtower quoted 1 Thess 2:12 to indicate that this starts in 1914, but Paul wrote 1 Thess in the first century and indicated that it was ALREADY begun.

(1 Thessalonians 2:12) 12 so that you would go on walking worthily of God, who is calling you to his Kingdom and glory.

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@JW Insider thank you again. But i will probably need to re-read that six times to understands it all. 

It would seem to me right now that the Watchtower writers were making it more difficult in the past for anyone to understand the Truth of God's word. Other religions were always criticized for their teachings being wrong, but it would seem here that the Soc / Org / W/t  should have known better. 

It looks to me as if, from the very beginning of the Bible Students right through to the JW Org now, they have had to pretend that things were 'happening' right then and there.  It's as if they have to maintain some excitement by hyping up everything.  

I'm still very confused by many spiritual things, but it does not seem that the GB /W/t / JW Org, can be of much help to me if they cannot even get it right themselves. I am sincere in my hope that God will soon inspire the true Anointed to lead God's people, whomever they may be, in the right direction. And I am even more sure in my heart now that Judgement time will be quite a long way off yet. There does not seem to be one humble organisation that is getting it right with scripture or service to God. The preaching work would of course only be good if what was preached was faithful and true.  

 

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Yes it would be evident to those that are not conflicted, that 1914 plays a prominent role in prophecy. The fact that misinterpretation continues to play a role to argue against 1914 when, others have agreed with 1914 along with their own narratives of the 2520 calculation to further their studies only shows the unwillingness of those not understanding prophecy will go to great lengths to discredit a sound calculation.

Therefore, the WT does know better, and others should get on with their lives and get over it! By not using a Carl Olof Jonsson defense.

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12 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Something that has been said here for over 7 years. No conflicted witness will understand what is before them. They have already made up their minds, not to view prophecy as indicated in scripture by staying alert and keeping on the watch.

6 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Yes it would be evident to those that are not conflicted, that 1914 plays a prominent role in prophecy.

Whenever we see conflicts and contradictions, there is no need to feel conflicted. We can merely accept that the Bible makes sense a certain way that might be true, and that other explanations might also be true. For example, we can accept a new Watchtower doctrine when it changes, without needing to feel conflicted, just because we are now aware that we have held two different interpretations for the same verse. The Writing Department uses Bible commentaries like Matthew Henry, Barnes Notes, Keil and Delitzsch, etc., and these commentaries offer various possible explanations for difficult verses. But they are rarely dogmatic and each of them may offer various potential explanations. This is how a Bible commentary published about 314 years ago (Matthew Henry) has been able to remain relevant and valuable for these three centuries.

Most Witnesses have found no outlet to safely discuss these conflicts and contradictions between the Bible statements and the Watchtower doctrines. So it is difficult to tell if they actually feel conflicted. But with a less dogmatic attitude toward certain types of conjectural doctrines, there is no reason that they MUST feel conflicted. As you say, perhaps, "conflicted Witnesses" have already made up their minds, not to view prophecy as indicated in scripture by staying alert and keeping on the watch. If so, that's too bad, because it was the whole purpose of Jesus telling us not to be misled by wars and reports of wars, for example. If people think there will be various "signs" that show when the Great Tribulation is near, they will be less likely to truly keep on the watch, and less likely to watch their own conduct and attitude and what sort of persons they ought to be.

This is one of the problems with 1914 playing a prominent role in prophecy. The very role it most likely plays, in my opinion, is that it became a primary instance of proving Jesus right. He said not to be fooled by wars into thinking that the parousia was imminent. I believe that this prophecy has come true, not just in 1914, but in many wars over the past hundreds of years. People hear about wars, earthquakes, pestilence, famine, persecution, imprisonments, etc., and are easily misled into thinking they are seeing a sign of the parousia.

6 hours ago, César Chávez said:

The fact that misinterpretation continues to play a role to argue against 1914 when, others have agreed with 1914 along with their own narratives of the 2520 calculation to further their studies only shows the unwillingness of those not understanding prophecy will go to great lengths to discredit a sound calculation.

Misinterpretation and miscalculation and a need to rely on SECULAR dates have ALWAYS played a large role in the 1914 doctrine. When the doctrine was originally formulated, Barbour and Russell incorrectly thought Cyrus released the Jews in 536 BCE. This idea had forced the theory that the destruction of Jerusalem had to be moved to 606 BCE, and this left no room to build in much time for the Jews to pack and travel. Barbour had based this 536 date on "Ptolemy's Canon" -- he thought. When Russell published Three Worlds with Barbour, that publication stated that Ptolemy was accepted as accurate by all the scientific and literary world. But when Russell discovered that Ptolemy's Canon actually gives 538 for the first year of Cyrus and 587 for the destruction of Jerusalem using the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar, then Russell began attacking this king list. He attacked Ptolemy too, because he also incorrectly thought that Ptolemy was the originator of Ptolemy's Canon (king list).

Then Russell, apparently not being completely honest, or at least being very sloppy, claimed that "ALL" students of chronology may be said to be agreed that the first year of Cyrus was 536. He had misunderstood that Bible chronologists like Isaac Newton and Bishop Ussher were not using Ptolemy's Canon here, but just using a Bible interpretation to try to fit Jeremiah's 70 years from Nebuchadnezzar's first year to Cyrus 1st year. The Canon had given 604 to 538 for the period, which is really only 66 years, shy by 4 years. But the Bible seemed to put Darius the Mede in there for a year or two before Cyrus first year. So that's why Ussher (and some others) guessed that it couldn't really be 538 but two years later, 536, adjusting the Canon by two years to allow for the book of Daniel. Since that only got them 2 of the extra 4 years, they also moved Nebuchadnezzar's first year back from 604 to 606. Unfortunately for Russell and Barbour, and for others who had relied on works by Ussher, thousands of tablets had been discovered that showed that Ptolemy's Canon was exactly correct all along. This meant that sooner or later they would recognize that the real date was 587 for Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year (destruction of Jerusalem) and 538 for Cyrus 1st year. There was no admission by Barbour and Russell in their early publications that they had slipped Nebuchadnezzar's 18/19th year (destruction of Jerusalem) into the date that had actually been intended in the scholarly literature as the year Nebuchadnezzar first came to power (0th year to 1st regnal year).

Of course, Russell did discuss in a Watch Tower whether there had been a zero year, and dismissed the correct answer because it would have moved the 1914 date to 1915. Russell began using the 1915 date in place of 1914, especially when he surmised that it was not likely that everything he had expected still had enough time to happen. For a few months from late 1913 to early 1914 Russell twice discussed the possibility that the entire chronology had been wrong and that people might look back with interest on it 100 years from now (which would have been 2014).

When 1914 coincided with WWI, however, Russell never had to think about the zero year question again, and 1914 was used consistently rather than 1915 for the end of the Gentile Times. And so Russell never had to admit he had been wrong. Later, the Watchtower went back again to speaking of 1915 being the end of the Gentile Times, realizing that 1914 had failed to result in anything yet predicted for that year. But that didn't last long.

When Watchtower publications finally admitted they had been wrong about the zero year, it was 1943/1944, and the solution was to move back the destruction of Jerusalem from 606 to 607. By 1944 it was too late to move 1914 to 1915, and there was never any evidence for either 606 or 607, anyway. It was 587/586 all along, so sticking with 606 was neither here nor there.

But P.S.L.Johnson, who worked with Russell, had already noticed during Russell's lifetime that Cyrus' first year was actually 538, something we know today, but Russell still didn't want to accept. P.S.L.Johnson said he checked a dozen encyclopedias, and all of them said 538. (So much for Russell's claim that ALL students of chronology had said 536!)

In 1944, the Watchtower finally compromised by one of those two years towards Ptolemy's Canon, and used 537. Then finally in 1949, the Watchtower admitted that Cyrus first year was actually 538, the date that Ptolemy's Canon had indicated all along. This meant that we now had to explain a two year adjustment. The solution was to speculate that Cyrus decree had been near the end of his first year, and that it took well into the next year for the Jews to pack and travel and resettle.

That fixed one of the two adjusted years, and this was the actual time when the zero year problem was admitted, that provided the other adjusted year, when 606 was changed to 607. This way 1914 could remain intact, no matter what mistakes had to be readjusted from previous history.

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@JW Insider  Sorry but I'm laughing. You lost me half way through. But i do wonder how much time was spent looking at dates / years. And I'm still lost as to whether the year 1914 should have any serious meaning to a true Christian. 

I'm also confused as to what one should be 'on the watch for' if all the 'happenings' around the earth mean nothing anyway. 

Quote "This is one of the problems with 1914 playing a prominent role in prophecy. The very role it most likely plays, in my opinion, is that it became a primary instance of proving Jesus right. He said not to be fooled by wars into thinking that the parousia was imminent. I believe that this prophecy has come true, not just in 1914, but in many wars over the past hundreds of years. People hear about wars, earthquakes, pestilence, famine, persecution, imprisonments, etc., and are easily misled into thinking they are seeing a sign of the parousia. "

So what does one look for when keeping 'on the watch' ? 

One important point i did take from your comment was :-

 "Most Witnesses have found no outlet to safely discuss these conflicts and contradictions between the Bible statements and the Watchtower doctrines. "

This is of very serious concern. 

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1 hour ago, 4Jah2me said:

So what does one look for when keeping 'on the watch' ?

(2 Peter 3:11, 12, 17) 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought YOU to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, 12 awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah,.  . . .YOU, therefore, beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on YOUR guard [i.e., watch] that YOU may not be led away with them by the error of the law-defying people and fall from YOUR own steadfastness.

We don't watch for signs. We watch out for ourselves, we watch out for false teachings, we watch out for our brothers and sisters in case they need help or encouragement -- because the days are wicked, because the Devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking to devour someone.

(Matthew 12:38, 39) 38 Then as an answer to him, some of the scribes and the Pharisees said: “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39 In reply he said to them: “A wicked and adulterous generation keeps on seeking a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Joʹnah the prophet.

(Matthew 16:3-6) . . .’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but the signs of the times you cannot interpret. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation keeps seeking a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Joʹnah.” With that he went away, leaving them behind. 5 Now the disciples crossed to the other side and forgot to take bread along. 6 Jesus said to them: “Keep your eyes open and watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

(Matthew 24:42-44) 42 Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 “But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it.

We keep on the watch, not to figure out when the Lord is coming, because we'll never know. But if we watch ourselves (our conduct) then we will be ready at all times and the "night" won't overtake us.

Just like when Jesus told the disciples that they would not get an advance sign of the parousia (so that they should not be fooled by wars and earthquakes) he said something very similar to the Pharisees.

(Luke 17:20-24) . . .On being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was coming, he answered them: “The Kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness; 21 nor will people say, ‘See here!’ or, ‘There!’ For look! the Kingdom of God is in your midst.” 22 Then he said to the disciples: “Days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, but you will not see it. 23 And people will say to you, ‘See there!’ or, ‘See here!’ Do not go out or chase after them. 24 For just as lightning flashes from one part of heaven to another part of heaven, so the Son of man will be in his day.

The NWT makes it a bit difficult to get the sense of "striking observableness." This is because the Greek is better translated just "observableness." (μετά παρατηρήσεως, in such a manner that it can be watched with the eyes). Jesus said, the Kingdom of God is not coming with things you can observe. In other words, the Kingdom is not coming with visible signs. Other translations get the sense of the Greek a little better like this:

(Revised Standard) he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; (Luke 17:20)

(NASB) He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; (Luke 17:20)

(New English Translation) so he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, (Luke 17:20)

(New Living Translation) Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. (Luke 17:20)

So when Jesus' disciples also asked him for a sign, he said do not to be misled. No one would be able to say "see here" or "see there" because when the parousia did come it would be be like lightning flashing from one part of the heaven to another. No sign would appear in the heaven when it was too late. No signs could help them prepare for the Son of man in his day.

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When outsiders now understand the significance of 1914 more so than a handful of conflicted witnesses that continue to inspire a false narrative, then it’s true, the Watchtower is being a good shepherd sent, accepted, and chosen by God.

It then becomes meaningless what the outside world and conflicted witnesses think of the Watchtower. What matters, what kind of “faith” the people within the Watchtower have on God he made the right choice.

(Jude 3, 4). ... 4 My reason is that certain men have slipped in who have long ago been appointed by the Scriptures to this judgment, ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

How can any Christian believe to be approved by God if their heart is conflicted?

(2 Timothy 2:15) 15 Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.

They might think they are doing God’s work, the mere “fact” they remain conflicted and continue to inspire that conflict by their own words, begs to defer by their actions.

This is why, I have yet to see the Watchtower subvert the word of God in purpose, like conflicted witnesses, opposers and Christendom.

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I believe that most Witnesses will seem frustrated that they are not able to defend the Watchtower's chronology on either secular grounds or scriptural grounds. I was surprised at this situation, but didn't have to go through a frustration phase, because my expectations were managed when Brother Dan Sydlik said that we ought to just get rid of all this chronology stuff and start from scratch. (He was specifically referring to the 1918/1919/1922 stuff at the time.) From a human perspective, a fleshly perspective, the Watchtower's chronology makes us feel good. As Brother Splane said, it might even send chills up and down our spine. But he admitted that this does not always mean that that such teachings (and I include this chronology) have been right. He indicated in his 2014 talk on types and antitypes that the Watchtower had been steeped in the traditions common to Catholicism, Protestantism, and especially those religions from whom the Bible Students had been recently associated. He spoke of how some of these traditions had been used by other religions to make the Bible appear to be talking about themselves and their own groups. He spoke of how the pyramidology that Russell promoted had become a strongly entrenched thing, with a strong emotional attachment to at least one brother (A. Smith, was the name he used in his example.)

Yet, over time, the Watchtower has dropped almost every date that Russell promoted, literally about a dozen such dates, with the exception of 1914. Since then the Watchtower has dropped another half-dozen prophetic instances that had been tied to the 1914 through 1935 era. Obviously, we had been steeped in long-standing traditions, some of which the Watchtower held for 120 years or more before dropping them. Some, like pyramidology, held for only about half a century, was finally identified as something raised up against the knowledge of God:

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5) . . .For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage warfare according to what we are in the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, 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, . . .

(Mark 7:7). . .they teach commands of men as doctrines.’ 8 You let go of the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men.”

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I'm laughing again but not at you, just at situations, such as, " Other translations get the sense of the Greek a little better like this: "   is not coming with signs to be observed; (Luke 17:20). Isn't that just so much easier to understand...  Why didn't the NWT just say that ? 

OK, moving on, Matt 24 v 11 & 12 Many false prophets will arise and mislead many and because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of the greater number will grow cold.  

Now, an important question which I will couple up to what we've already spoken about. 

Dos this scripture relate to inside the JW Org ? (I think the translation used to say 'cool off' but now says 'grow cold').  

My thinking here is that if the GB / JW Org are not getting things quite right, and if we need to keep on the watch about ourselves, then do we truly need to be a JW ?  Is there any scripture that relates to saying, we must be one of Jehovah's Witnesses to gain either spiritual blessings and/or salvation ? 

I'll repeat one comment from you from above.

"Most Witnesses have found no outlet to safely discuss these conflicts and contradictions between the Bible statements and the Watchtower doctrines. "

Quote below from JW Org website.  Matt 24 v 10 

Then, too, many will be stumbled ...... 

Matthew 24:10

will be stumbled: In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Greek word skan·da·liʹzo refers to stumbling in a figurative sense, which may include falling into sin or causing someone to fall into sin. As the term is used in the Bible, the sin may involve breaking one of God’s laws on morals or losing faith or accepting false teachings. In this context, the term could also be rendered “will be led into sin; will fall away from the faith.” The Greek word can also be used in the sense of “to take offense.”—See 

    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
.

If GB / W/t / JW Org are giving false teachings as 'food at the proper time', then would they be the 'cause for stumbling' ?  Repeating that :-

"Most Witnesses have found no outlet to safely discuss these conflicts and contradictions between the Bible statements and the Watchtower doctrines. "  That seems to show that there are conflicts and contradictions between the Bible statements and the Watchtower doctrines

My point relates to your comment where you say  "We don't watch for signs. We watch out for ourselves, we watch out for false teachings, ... " 

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2 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

My thinking here is that if the GB / JW Org are not getting things quite right, and if we need to keep on the watch about ourselves, then do we truly need to be a JW ?  Is there any scripture that relates to saying, we must be one of Jehovah's Witnesses to gain either spiritual blessings and/or salvation ?

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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25 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

 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,

I would not call it “dumb” if I were you.

The four windows reminds us of the four angels on the four corners of the earth holding tight the four winds of the earth. The carpet covering the dirt of the floor reminds up of the love that is to cover the sins of others. The blue reminds us of heaven where those 4 angels hang out on a nice day.

”You were running well. Who hindered you from keeping on obeying the truth?”

 

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Quote "No matter who we associated with, we would have to watch out for ourselves, and pay attention to our teaching, too." 

It's easier to pay attention to ourselves than it is, it seems, to pay attention to our teachings.

Where do 'our teachings' come from ?  If we can get direct instruction from God via the Bible and Holy Spirit, that would be great. The only one problem is, getting a true translation of God's word. Now if God is not inspiring anyone to translate His word properly, there lies the pit into which we can fall. And if the 'religion' we choose, chooses to misrepresent God's word, then it creates more problems. 

Quote "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, "

The 'boots on the ground' congregants can be easily swayed to love or to shun. They do not even need to be given a reason, they accept being given an 'order'.  You yourself have given an example of this. They can be very quick to jump to conclusions too. If a person is 'no longer a JW' the rest of the congregation will presume that the person was dis/fed for committing sin/s. I also found that if i enquired about someone that no longer attended meetings, I was met with a silence. If I suggested visiting someone that had not be seen in the hall for a long time, I was discouraged. Even the ministry here in southern England, i found that congregants were not even keen to go out. So, i haven't seen this love you talk of. But unfortunately I have seen the shunning of people, and the looking down on people when they re-enter the hall. 

The teachings on the Trinity and Hell etc, are from God's word, not from the Soc / W/t / GB / JW Org. I see no reason to pat the Org on the back for believing what God tells us in His written word. 

Unfortunately @JW Insider you round off that paragraph with the sort of rubbish that Mr Harley writes. 

There is a massive difference between teaching lies, and,  deciding how many windows to have in a hall. I do find that you and others, in one way seem to agree with my comments, but you seem to need to stay in the JW Org because it is your life. I know my comments are blunt / direct. But Jesus was so when speaking to those that pretended to serve God properly. Have a good evening. 

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31 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I would not call it “dumb” if I were you.

The four windows reminds us of the four angels on the four corners of the earth holding tight the four winds of the earth. The carpet covering the dirt of the floor reminds up of the love that is to cover the sins of others. The blue reminds us of heaven where those 4 angels hang out on a nice day.

”You were running well. Who hindered you from keeping on obeying the truth?”

 

Um, Idol worship me thinks :) 

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49 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

The teachings on the Trinity and Hell etc, are from God's word, not from the Soc / W/t / GB / JW Org. I see no reason to pat the Org on the back for believing what God tells us in His written word. 

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.

49 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

But unfortunately I have seen the shunning of people, and the looking down on people when they re-enter the hall. 

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.

49 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

So, i haven't seen this love you talk of.

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.

49 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

Even the ministry here in southern England, i found that congregants were not even keen to go out.

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. 😉

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The bigger picture is outsiders understand the 2520 concept to be a real understanding of scripture. It doesn’t matter if people here believe it or not. It doesn’t matter that people that support people here out of their own misconceptions in agreeing with people that don’t understand, becomes inconsequential.

Again, this number of three times, (or years) and a half, is always commenced in Scripture, not at the commencement of the present vision of the great image, but about the middle of its history. The conclusion is therefore very natural and probable, that the period of the continuance of the present vision, from its rise to its termination, containing within It, as it does, the entire history of the four great empires, is seven times, or 2520 years, being twice the three times and a half, or 1260 years.

This period of seven times, or "2520 years, Mr. Faber considers to be that period which our Saviour refers to, under the denomination of the times of the Gentiles. And, in calculating the duration of these limes, or of ' the allegorical life of the great image,' he commences from the birth of Nebuchadnezzar II. Which he supposes to have occurred about the year B.C. 657, that monarch being declared by the prophet to be the head of gold;—and he consequently expects the termination of the 2520 years, and of their latter moiety, the 1260 years, in 1864.

What matters, how God made it known to humanity. Therefore, it doesn’t matter who calculated what for what time period. The period that God provided by physical evidence becomes the prevailing evidence for humanity. Therefore, John can play his silly down vote games. People can continue to reject the other 1260. That is the evidence provided here. The rejection of 1260 by one single person.

Nothing else matters. Opinions don’t matter. Approval of disingenuous people toward each other doesn’t matter. What matters, who is faithful to God, and who will heed his signs.

What is indisputable, everyone that has calculated the “gentile times” has started with Nebuchadnezzar’s time period. They either, use his birth, his command, his reign or enthronement as a starting point. But the use the same time period.

To some of us, it is very simple to explain. Only, those conflicted find it hard to see what is evident.

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3 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

The four windows reminds us of the four angels on the four corners of the earth holding tight the four winds of the earth. The carpet covering the dirt of the floor reminds up of the love that is to cover the sins of others. The blue reminds us of heaven where those 4 angels hang out on a nice day.

The burning question on MOST peoples' minds is:

If all four windows in the house face South .... what color is the Bear ?

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26 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

The bigger picture is outsiders understand the 2520 concept to be a real understanding of scripture. It doesn’t matter if people here believe it or not.

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.

1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

It doesn’t matter that people that support people here out of their own misconceptions in agreeing with people that don’t understand, becomes inconsequential.

At least I can inconsequentially agree with you there.

1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Again, this number of three times, (or years) and a half, is always commenced in Scripture, not at the commencement of the present vision of the great image, but about the middle of its history. The conclusion is therefore very natural and probable, that the period of the continuance of the present vision, from its rise to its termination, containing within It, as it does, the entire history of the four great empires, is seven times, or 2520 years, being twice the three times and a half, or 1260 years.

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.

    Hello guest!
  (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.

2 hours ago, César Chávez said:

What matters, how God made it known to humanity.

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.

2 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Therefore, it doesn’t matter who calculated what for what time period. The period that God provided by physical evidence becomes the prevailing evidence for humanity.

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.

2 hours ago, César Chávez said:

People can continue to reject the other 1260. That is the evidence provided here.

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.

2 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Opinions don’t matter. Approval of disingenuous people toward each other doesn’t matter. What matters, who is faithful to God, and who will heed his signs.

Good! Something else I can agree with completely.

2 hours ago, César Chávez said:

What is indisputable, everyone that has calculated the “gentile times” has started with Nebuchadnezzar’s time period. They either, use his birth, his command, his reign or enthronement as a starting point. But the use the same time period.

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.

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15 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

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)

The good thing, this is one man's opinion. Something that is not looked as much with COJ mentality. I always agree with what God has put before us. If scripture stipulates 2 instances of 1260 and can be proven overwhelmingly, then one opinion doesn't matter. It never will.

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I propose that they change from 1914 on April 1, primarily to get Allen’s reaction. The next day they change it back. April Fool.

5 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

if God is not inspiring anyone to translate His word properly, there lies the pit into which we can fall. And if the 'religion' we choose, chooses to misrepresent God's word, then it creates more problems. 

Who cares, if the word is not translated properly? It seems to me that you have fallen a long ways. A) you don’t trust JW’s, but B) you don’t trust anyone else, either, since Holy Spirit hasn’t gotten around to inspiring a true translation that can be trusted.

You have a very strange view of Holy Spirit and what it is supposed to do. It sometimes seems to me that the day you stopped believing in Santa you started to believe in Holy Spirit as a one-on-one substitute.

5 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

There is a massive difference between teaching lies and deciding how many windows to have in a hall. ...you seem to need to stay in the JW Org because it is your life.

Throw another window in his Kingdom Hall, and the spiritual wuss will be stumbled and out by the evening.

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3 hours ago, César Chávez said:

If scripture stipulates 2 instances of 1260 and can be proven overwhelmingly, then one opinion doesn't matter.

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:

  1. The Bible indicates that the Gentile Times are 1,260 days in Revelation 11.
  2. 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.
  3. But if we multiply that number by 2 we find we could get from an event in Nebuchadnezzar's lifetime to 1864.
  4. Now we can even make an assumption about something that might have happened at the midpoint of those two periods of 1260 years.
  5. 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.

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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:

Now you're just being you with word play. I believe I made it clear, that was just to show others concurring with the 2520 prophecy, not the erred timing. That's a sad play that you keep indulging yourself with. I'll use JTR's expression. You're choking!!!

What part of perceived timing didn't you understand? I believe, the one that has a problem with the Watchtower implementation of 1914 is you here. I don't find the watchtowers' explanation difficult nor does it have an erred understanding. The fact you listened to your friend COJ when you did, doesn't disprove 607-606BC. Everyone starts with Nebuchadnezzar ii. 3 deportation's that are "fact" not 2 that history tries so hard to align the nation of Israel as a pivotal player in prophecy by insisting on 587BC. Some scholars have updated their chronology, just like some scholars noticed the errors in "Wiseman" and "Grayson's" linguist interpretation. Even Grayson corrected his works. Why haven't you updated yours. Some of Wiseman's tablets were "reconstructed" but to what end? Meaning, having to add your own notches to complete an interpretation. To some, doing that is called guessing.

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11 hours ago, César Chávez said:

I believe I made it clear, that was just to show others concurring with the 2520 prophecy, not the erred timing.

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.

20 hours ago, César Chávez said:

What is indisputable, everyone that has calculated the “gentile times” has started with Nebuchadnezzar’s time period. They either, use his birth, his command, his reign or enthronement as a starting point. But the use the same time period.

11 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Everyone starts with Nebuchadnezzar ii.

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.

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I didn’t understand how conflicted some people are here to try to use disingenuous calculations to subvert the Watchtower understanding about the 2520 years and the 1914 completion of the gentile times. Especially when 11 years are added to 1260 when the Watchtower doesn’t subvert that calculation.

I am not sure by making an illustration of the 2520 prophecy now becomes contentious to those bent on using an erred calculation to demonstrate their own falsehood. That means, people are grasping at straws to substantiate their own conflicts with a well-established and recognized prophecy which is my point about these examples of the 2520 prophecy.

How sad, people need to go to great lengths as to continue a 70s phobia so close to the end of 2019.

 

In other words Israel will have been restored unconverted, the apostasies of the East and West, Greece and Rome, with Mohammedanism, the representative remains of the mad empires, and of the territories they swayed, will have been destroyed, and all Israel converted and in gathered, between A.D. 1864 and A.D. 1914; limits fixing for such events, we may say, in round numbers, fifty years from the date (1860)

of this volume.

It is no part of my business to inquire in what manner the various dates included in, or subordinate to, this great prophetical period of seven times, or 25%) years, e.g., the dates of the rise of the Papacy or of the Mohammedan apostasy, may be made to agree with the computation of such seven times from Nebuchadnezzar’s kingship, instead of his birth; or whether they can be made to agree at all. 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. In a thick pamphlet, which appears to me to deserve great attention, published under the name Anatolia, he has treated with singular brevity, and considerable skill, the various subjects affecting the future state of- the East, in connexion with the prophecies of Daniel; and he reckons the 2520 years, or seven times, from the first year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, which he puts at me. 608, and places their end at A.D. 1911. Thus, in effect, taking (within one year) the very limits I have proposed.

 

Am I saying older calculation are correct as indicated by JWinsider? No! He is using word manipulation and is misrepresenting my post as he does with the Watchtower articles.

My post simply demonstrate that the 2520 years has been around for a long time. It was not an Adventist calculation made by “Miller” that JWinsider contends. Russell didn’t use a “former” Adventist member, Barbour when Russell meet him as basis for Russell’s own calculation but used them as a historical fact.

Ex-witnesses and opposers alike accuse Russell of being and Adventist. There are some Bible Students within the association agree that he was. He was NOT.

If he was, then, there would have been no need for “Redding” to be accused of getting the information from Russell since Redding was an Adventist instead of adhering to Barbour. This is wishful thinking coming from opposers, regardless if that opposer is a conflicted witness.

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19 hours ago, César Chávez said:

I didn’t understand how conflicted some people are here to try to use disingenuous calculations to subvert the Watchtower understanding about the 2520 years and the 1914 completion of the gentile times.

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.

19 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Especially when 11 years are added to 1260 when the Watchtower doesn’t subvert that calculation.

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.

19 hours ago, César Chávez said:

I am not sure by making an illustration of the 2520 prophecy now becomes contentious to those bent on using an erred calculation to demonstrate their own falsehood.

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.

19 hours ago, César Chávez said:

That means, people are grasping at straws to substantiate their own conflicts with a well-established and recognized prophecy which is my point about these examples of the 2520 prophecy.

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. (

    Hello guest!
😞

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 "

    Hello guest!
" 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:

    Hello guest!
  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."

 

 

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On 12/20/2019 at 12:10 AM, César Chávez said:

I believe, the one that has a problem with the Watchtower implementation of 1914 is you here. I don't find the watchtowers' explanation difficult nor does it have an erred understanding.

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.

20 hours ago, César Chávez said:

My post simply demonstrate that the 2520 years has been around for a long time.

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. . .

20 hours ago, César Chávez said:

It was not an Adventist calculation made by “Miller” that JWinsider contends.

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:

    Hello guest!

"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).

    Hello guest!
 

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 site

    Hello guest!
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.

20 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Russell didn’t use a “former” Adventist member, Barbour when Russell meet him as basis for Russell’s own calculation but used them as a historical fact.

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."

20 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Ex-witnesses and opposers alike accuse Russell of being and Adventist.

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.

 

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22 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Some scholars have updated their chronology, just like some scholars noticed the errors in "Wiseman" and "Grayson's" linguist interpretation. Even Grayson corrected his works. Why haven't you updated yours. Some of Wiseman's tablets were "reconstructed" but to what end? Meaning, having to add your own notches to complete an interpretation. To some, doing that is called guessing.

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.

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It seems you are now trying to distance yourself from false claims you started with exactly those people mentioned.

However, I don’t expect you to agree with the Watchtower as a conflicted witness. You haven’t for over seven years. Why start now. The best you have ever offered is “cherry-picking” with your own claims. Trying desperately to dismiss structured historical facts will never be discredited by one single person. People give themselves too much credit if they think they can.

Intellect. Reasoning with historical facts the proper way is intellect. Carl Olof Jonsson is NOT intellectual or a scholar. He is a, disgruntle ex-witness that used the Babylonian chronicles deciphered by “Wiseman” and Grayson” to criticize the Watchtower’s chronology that you criticize and continue to accept as fact. I recommend you divert your attention away from your friend COJ and do proper research. Right now, I can only see what TTH claims!

1.2 Exile and Return:

Historical Context of the Neirab Archive

As argued by I. Eph’al, deportation is the most likely hypothesis to explain the presence of a community of Syrian natives from Neirab in Babylonia.23 Their deportation could have taken place sometime towards the end of Nabopolassar’s (626–605 B.C.E.) or the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign (605–562 B.C.E.).

Passage 5 : from an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon 605 562 bc). The passage is reproduced from H. C. Rawlinson and E. Norris, The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, vol. 1

(London, 1861), plates 53 (Fig. 5a) and 59 (Fig. 5b). Fig. 5a shows the original inscription, in archaic (monumental Old Babylonian) script; note the similarity with Hammurapi ’ s sign forms, above. Fig. 5b shows what the same inscription would have looked like in contemporary Neo-Babylonian script.

Note how, in their efforts to use second-millennium grammar, the authors of the inscription put mimation on masculine plural nouns, where it does not belong (e.g. in line 14).

ma.da.ma.da ru-qa-a-ti-ša-di-im ne-su-u-ti

‘ “ ... you should keep me alive (lit. ’You should do the thing of my living’). ” That one, the honoured foremost one, wise(st) among the gods, Marduk the noble, heard my entreaty and accepted my prayer. He made his exalted lordliness pleasant for me, he made reverence for his divinity reside in my heart.

He incited my heart to drag his carrying pole, and I was reverential to his lordliness. With his great encouragement I marched across distant lands, faraway mountains from the upper sea to the lower sea, across difficult paths, closed tracks, where my footfall was impossible (lit. ‘Cut off’), and my foot could not be, a most difficult route, a way of thirst – and I killed the insubmissive, I bound the foes. I led the land aright, and made the people flourish. I kept the villain and the evil one far from the people. ’

This dispels that notion that Nebuchadnezzar ran around the land of Hatti with superman speed.

 

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9 hours ago, César Chávez said:

It seems you are now trying to distance yourself from false claims you started with exactly those people mentioned.

No, not at all. The claims I made so far have been shown to be correct, not false.

9 hours ago, César Chávez said:

However, I don’t expect you to agree with the Watchtower as a conflicted witness. You haven’t for over seven years. Why start now.

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.

9 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Trying desperately to dismiss structured historical facts will never be discredited by one single person. People give themselves too much credit if they think they can.

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.

9 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Reasoning with historical facts the proper way is intellect. Carl Olof Jonsson is NOT intellectual or a scholar. He is a, disgruntle ex-witness that used the Babylonian chronicles deciphered by “Wiseman” and Grayson” to criticize the Watchtower’s chronology

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.

9 hours ago, César Chávez said:

I recommend you divert your attention away from your friend COJ and do proper research. Right now, I can only see what TTH claims!

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.

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On 12/17/2019 at 7:27 PM, TrueTomHarley said:

Child sexual abuse is the premiere export of the planet, No group is unaffected.

Then, it would be correct to notice how JW organization is not enough separated themself from this old world wicked system. Because evil thing founded its way how to spread spirit of this world into congregations and to win over spirit of Organization (whatever name to spirit you would give to be behind Organization) . 

So much about self praise WT Society making as the only true organization (religion) that is not "dirty" as rest of the world. For sure, JW's want to be as much is possible approved by God. But this individual intention not making Organization to be "clean".... or to be the cleanest organization in the world.

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7 hours ago, JW Insider said:

[CC]: Right now, I can only see what TTH claims!

Well, he DOES raise an excellent point here.

On 12/20/2019 at 11:41 PM, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

How about " Pi are round ... cornbread are square". ?

How about “Math is a subject as easy as pi”

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21 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Historical Context of the Neirab Archive

As argued by I. Eph’al, deportation is the most likely hypothesis to explain the presence of a community of Syrian natives from Neirab in Babylonia.23 Their deportation could have taken place sometime towards the end of Nabopolassar’s (626–605 B.C.E.) or the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign (605–562 B.C.E.).

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

    Hello guest!
edited by Jonathan Stökl, Caroline Waerzeggers. p.63.

21 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Passage 5 : from an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon 605 562 bc). The passage is reproduced from H. C. Rawlinson and E. Norris, The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, vol. 1

Here, again without referencing your sources, you jump in this very next sentence to a completely different book and context:

    Hello guest!
: A Comprehensive Guide to Reading and Understanding ... by Martin Worthington.

Without saying why, you have highlighted the following by underlining it.

21 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Note how, in their efforts to use second-millennium grammar, the authors of the inscription put mimation on masculine plural nouns, where it does not belong (e.g. in line 14).

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

    Hello guest!
(word-final -m) - along with
    Hello guest!
(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
    Hello guest!
throughout this period was
    Hello guest!
, which itself lacks case distinctions, it is possible that Akkadian's loss of cases was an areal as well as
    Hello guest!
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.

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4 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

“Math is a subject as easy as pi”

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. 🙄

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I know we are diverging from the tangent to  transition spiral, so just for yuks, I typed into Google "minus 8 pi alpha", and looky what I found!

 

2019-12-22_130615.jpg

It looked VERY familiar, so I followed the link and VIOLA! ( pronounced WA-LAH!), and here is what popped up.

The whole thing is a .jpg, so you can click on it to either download and frame for your wall, or enlarge to read it better, and wallow in it's intrinsic wisdom, like a pig in mud.

2019-12-22_131459.jpg

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

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

    Hello guest!
edited by Jonathan Stökl, Caroline Waerzeggers. p.63.

Who is cherry-picking now. You seem to avoid how one deportation is included in or around 607BC, while historians and scholars only include 597BC and 587BC, by a lack of biblical understanding. This is why Bible scholars do better to compare history with bible events.

Therefore, if you don't post your source, why should I. I know your source, COJ's book, mine come from established scholars and historians. However, Nebuchadnezzar didn't need to take control of Palestine. Now you're trying to muddy the waters as usual. All he needed in his military campaign is to be in control of the land of Judah, Israel, and Syria.

Keep trying. I'm sure Aruana aka ComfortMyPeople find your explanation compelling.

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42 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

You seem to avoid how one deportation is included in or around 607BC,

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.

42 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

Therefore, if you don't post your source, why should I. I know your source, COJ's book,

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.

42 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

mine come from established scholars and historians.

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:

42 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

However, Nebuchadnezzar didn't need to take control of Palestine. Now you're trying to muddy the waters as usual.

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.

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43 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

Keep trying. I'm sure Aruana aka ComfortMyPeople find your explanation compelling.

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.

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Typical. However, if there is a little Joe that thinks your falsehoods are not acceptable, then let little Joe know, and stop trying to pin everything on Allen Smith whomever that is.

 

Just because people haven’t come into this forum until recently, doesn’t mean some of us haven’t been onlookers. Since you brought up the COJ book as your source, and the Babylonian chronicles in the past that people tend to misrepresent about the military campaigns found in them that you are now trying so hard to disown your application of them.

 

Another disingenuous observation that there is no scholar to agree with 607BC. Therefore, she mentions OCD a lot, perhaps a deeper study of true witnesses need to take precedence.

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

 I was pretty sure that we would soon see @Little Joe come over to this thread and start downvoting several of my posts

If it wasn’t so much work, Hoss would come around and do that for him

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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]

This reminds me of the court musician in Amadeus who presents to Mozart a clunky little ditty and Mozart instantly transforms it into a masterpiece.

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4 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Since you brought up the COJ book as your source

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.

4 hours ago, César Chávez said:

However, if there is a little Joe that thinks your falsehoods are not acceptable, then let little Joe know, . . .

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.

4 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Another disingenuous observation that there is no scholar to agree with 607BC

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.

7 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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.

7 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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: 

 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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.

Sock puppet. I like that. I’ll keep that in mind when I see alanF and O’maly pop up. But since you have nothing better to offer than your bluster and writing wit, I’ll leave those word games to you, since you enjoy misapplying my evidence. You are correct in one respect. People see through your deceptions.

Especially when it comes to tongue twisting of words. You have actually gotten good at that.

However, you are correct. I have proven by scholarly works that many scholars understand the time of Nebuchadnezzar better than COJ and his puppet 2 professionals he duped by manipulating the Watchtower articles in order to receive a disingenuous response.

 

Here's another view that you can project as me somehow showing the Watchtower is incorrect when the Watchtower has been correct all along.

 

EXILE AND RESTORATION REVISITED 2009

In many ways he was prescient in thinking about the entire age that not only he but others have labelled ‘exile and restoration’. In Israel under Babylon and Persia, he reflects on the artificiality of the designation since only a portion of the population was exiled, and he called for scholars to carefully reassess the role played by those who stayed behind. 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 in538–537 BCE.

 

The archaeological sources at his disposal were few and among them Lachish Letter III and Kenyon’s work in Jerusalem in the 1960’s were foremost in his mind along with the old standbys of Persian material culture, such as the Behistun sculptures and inscriptions. His impressions about the destruction in Jerusalem were mostly taken from Dame Kenyon’s work supplemented by key texts such as 2Kgs25.3-8 and Jer.39.1-7. Pp.166-167

 

My first proof was that of the time period where Nabopolassar reign and the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. 607BC, now we go to the other-side with Lester Gabbe 538/537BC. A total of 607BC-537BC 70 years with the difference in calendar months and years. You already know this. Therefore, the only deception that you keep bringing up is yours.

I will await to see some good research comeback instead of just opinions.

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15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

I’ll leave those word games to you,

More "projection." I enjoy puns, but you are the one playing word games to dodge questions, repeat false claims, use innuendo, avoid explanations, etc.

15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

But since you have nothing better to offer than your bluster

Actually I offered several items of evidence, which you have ignored and distracted from, so far. Calling that my bluster is "Projection 101."

15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

since you enjoy misapplying my evidence

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.

15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

People see through your deceptions. . . .Especially when it comes to tongue twisting of words.

Are you going to point out where I have done this, or should I just expect more bluster?

15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

I have proven by scholarly works that many scholars understand the time of Nebuchadnezzar better than COJ and his puppet 2 professionals he duped by manipulating the Watchtower articles in order to receive a disingenuous response.

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.

15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Here's another view that you can project as me somehow showing the Watchtower is incorrect when the Watchtower has been correct all along.

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.)

15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

In Israel under Babylon and Persia, he reflects on the artificiality of the designation since only a portion of the population was exiled, and he called for scholars to carefully reassess the role played by those who stayed behind. 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 in538–537 BCE.

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.

15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

My first proof was that of the time period where Nabopolassar reign and the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. 607BC, now we go to the other-side with Lester Gabbe 538/537BC.

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:

18 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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.

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.

15 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Therefore, the only deception that you keep bringing up is yours.

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.

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On 12/20/2019 at 10:44 PM, JW Insider said:

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.

Well said. The sooner we stop "going beyond the things written" and stick to our Christian mandates the better. The fact that we have been totally wrong about numerous other dates (every other date?) should give anyone legitimate pause for concern and to be skeptical that not only might the hallowed date of 1914 be wrong (including the fact that certain expectations regarding that date never materialized) but whether Jehovah even blesses that presumptuousness. We have lots of more important things to accomplish than to pin our hopes on the prognostications of well-meaning, but uninspired, imperfect men who sometimes go beyond what they have been authorized to do. Making predictions is not part of our mandate. Proclaiming what Jehovah and Jesus actually tell us in his Word are. Yes, I believe Jehovah is using his organization and the GB is doing an admirable job in organizing his people to accomplish many great things. But since it is (generally) forward-moving, it should not surprise us or cause us to get too excited about discarding things we may have held dear - as in the past - and may need to let go of now. Maybe 1914 is one of those things. Although we each individually may have "core" truths we adopt as proof this is the right organization, I personally don't believe 1914 should be included in those core truths - or any artificial, man-inspired date for that matter. Maybe we need to put 1914 on the "date pile" along with the others promoted as being significant. Even if per some unexpected chance the date turns out to be right, should our relationship and dedication to God be based on a date anyway - or either way? I think too much focus has been place on dates anyway. Stuff will happen when Jehovah says it should happen. We should be more concerned with whether we will be ready for it.

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I would say this way. The year 607 is real year. The year 1914 is real year. But it seems that only thing that connecting this two subjects is, numbers. They ARE numbers. And for people who lived in those times, these years meant something. To us today, meaning lies in .... discussion only. 

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23 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

If it wasn’t so much work, Hoss would come around and do that for him

As perhaps your own alter-ego's, Please! 😀

18 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

You are either certifiably insane, or a Democrat Congresswierdo.

...merely my opinion, however.

In my opinion JTR you are both!

16 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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?

Perhaps to you. Lester Gabbe is updated not like your insistence on the COJ Chronology.  The projection continues to be yours, and your supporters that don't amount to anything. However, there is much more, a skilled researcher would take into account. Neither of which I see here. Therefore, continue your AD1914 ideology.

16 hours ago, JW Insider said:

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:

Yeah, you're missing something here.

The sad thing, you’re fixated on the word “destruction”. Look at other words like “restoration and exile revisited” to give you a comprehensive new look into chronology.

 

Jonathan Stökl, Caroline Waerzeggers book was from 2015, while Knoppers, Gary N.; Ackroyd, Peter R.; Grabbe, Lester L.; Fulton, Deirdre N is from 2009. Nothing old about their new understanding.

 

What continues to be your sources, COJ, Wiseman, Grayson. Update your sources and try not to be dismissive just because scholars don’t agree with tainted or outdated, material.

exile.jpg

 

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