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SECULAR EVIDENCE and NEO-BABYLONIAN CHRONOLOGY (Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, etc.)


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27 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

What is of concern to me that there is the danger of circular reasoning.

That need not be a concern here, because this is just a discussion of the secular evidence. If I want to solve a jigsaw puzzle for example I only need to make use of the pieces in the box. If they can be solved into a picture, that's great. If they can't, then I wouldn't trust them to help me with any other puzzle either. And of course, there is no circular reasoning when we take the "testimony" of several independent witnesses. We are basically looking at a puzzle with about 100,000 pieces to see if they form a picture with no unresolved gaps or overlaps.

27 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

Herein lies the problem.  A failure to carefully distinguish between these two terms, 'relative' and absolute'

Good point. But it's no problem. That's why we carefully distinguished between these two terms. All one has to do to turn it into an absolute chronology, if they need to, is to attach any one year in the timeline to a date that is absolutely attached to the common era. If you think any of the dates in the timeline can be absolutely tied to the common era, then you have turned the relative chronology into an absolute chronology.

27 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

Thus if we admit to the absoluteness of the NB Period and its Chronology then we have the problem of the INTERFACE between the two- NB Period and OT period.

If someone finds it useful to tie the NB period and its chronology to the OT period, then they can do that easily. But, of course, it is not true that the absoluteness of the NB period requires this. It becomes absolute as soon as you add any absolute date to any point in the timeline. At that point all the other dates also become absolute. As you said, one needs to carefully distinguish between these two terms, "relative" and "absolute."

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Let me try to lay this out for you (although this is more for any interested readers' benefit than for yours). The stars, planets, and Moon are components in a giant sky-clock that keeps perfect time. The 'fixed' stars are like the numbers spaced out on the clock's face. The planets and Moon are like the hands on the clock. Through their cyclical alignments with each other and against the 'fixed' starry backdrop, we can tell the time - the year, the month, the day. Now, to be a 'competent'

Since love doesn't keep account of the injury and covers a multitude of sins, I will not go back and show you what you have actually said. Besides, I've never wanted to make this into a contest of who is smart or not. I've never claimed to be smarter than you or anyone else here. This just happens to be one of my strong interests -- and of course it's an interest that is recommended in the Watchtower itself. It's easy to make mistakes in this area of study. I've made quite a few while learning a

It was already answered, by AlanF, and I will go ahead and answer it again in my next post. But you need to understand why "scholar JW" will always claim that it wasn't really answered. This type of question is a kind of game with "scholar JW." He has about 4 of these types of questions from what I can see. If you have looked up his former behavior on all forums where he brings such things up, you'll see that "scholar JW" believes this must be a trick question. It's easy to answer correctly

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6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

he older the diary, the more it has been recopied, and the more likely a few errors would creep into it. This will be true of VAT 4956 for which the planetary positions in one part of the diary provide excellent evidence that Nebuchadnezzar's 37th year was 568/7 BCE.

Since this can fall under a Saros Cycle which is astronomical evidence for natural history, Your presentation is mostly of military campaigns. How would your own interpretation of those ongoing events be compared to those specific dates that, Kings weren't necessarily around for some of those military campaigns.

An example would be, was Nebuchadnezzar present when his Captain finally entered Jerusalem to set fire to the remaining buildings and Jerusalem's wall that were held by nobles after finally upsetting Nebuchadnezzar for a long period of time, that his last action was to destroy God's temple.

Scripture describes how the land of Judea would be "devastated" by which Jerusalem was a part of. How would you incorporate the destruction of Judea with that timeline you mention?

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44 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

Your presentation is mostly of military campaigns.

As you can see, almost none of this was based on any record of military campaigns. The Babylonian Chronicles include a lot of military campaigns but I barely used it at all, and the part that I did mention is not really about the campaign, only the date when the Medes destroyed a temple in Harran. I mentioned the Babylonian Chronicle 3 (B.M. 21901) because it helps to put a date on the battle won by the Medes against Harran, but the point was about the number of years that had elapsed until Nabonidus spoke about his dream to rebuild the temples that had been destroyed back then.

44 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

Since this can fall under a Saros Cycle

Any year can fall under a saros cycle. Even this year, 2020.

44 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

How would your own interpretation of those ongoing events be compared to those specific dates that, Kings weren't necessarily around for some of those military campaigns.

It doesn't matter who was at any military battle. I didn't make use of any information about a battle except for one of the dates. And I don't need to interpret anything to present the data. This is not about interpretation of evidence, it is merely about presenting some of the evidence. And, of course, this is a minimal presentation. There is a lot more, and the details of the additional evidence makes the case for this timeline even stronger. We can show this is true, if necessary, but the above is enough for a start unless someone has some specific problem with the evidence given so far. I'll correct any mistakes that anyone can show. I already corrected a couple of typos.

44 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

An example would be, was Nebuchadnezzar present when his Captain . . . [skipped]. . .  "devestated" by which Jerusalem was a part of.

I agree with what you said, but it has nothing to do with the timeline, which is not based on military campaigns.

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

As you can see, almost none of this was based on any record of military campaigns. The Babylonian Chronicles include a lot of military campaigns but I barely used it at all, and the part that I did mention is not really about the campaign, only the date when the Medes destroyed a temple in Harran. I mentioned the Babylonian Chronicle 3 (B.M. 21901) because it helps to put a date on the battle won by the Medes against Harran, but the point was about the number of years that had elapsed until Nabonidus spoke about his dream to rebuild the temples that had been destroyed back then.

Since you are leaning with the absurdity by claiming "almost none" with BM 21901 which is part of the Babylonian Chronicles that you need to defend a COJ ideology, Then give a full account for those dates of the King List, since it depends on that old history with that of new understanding of that old history which defers within 1 to 3 years.

2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Any year can fall under a saros cycle. Even this year, 2020.

Are you referring to modern times or ancient times? A cycle of course is a cycle, but when one arrives to a specific date, then why not take full advantage of it to explain how natural history can be defined by several mythologies. Ann O'Maly's latest paper give such an example.

2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It doesn't matter who was at any military battle. I didn't make use of any information about a battle except for one of the dates. And I don't need to interpret anything to present the data. This is not about interpretation of evidence, it is merely about presenting some of the evidence. And, of course, this is a minimal presentation. There is a lot more, and the details of the additional evidence makes the case for this timeline even stronger.

This is of course, the understanding you have with those timelines. Since you oppose the Watchtower chronology, because in part of the Babylonian Chronicles, then "military campaigns" need to be understood in order to see the sequence of events within those timelines.

Example, did Nebuchadnezzar need to be present in 609 BC to bring King Jehoiakim into Babylons subjection, just like he wasn't with the final blow, came to Jerusalem in 587 BC if you want to use that methodology. That doesn't matter since scripture refers to the land of Judea meeting its destruction in which Jerusalem was part of and the event came earlier than 587 BC under the same proposal by scripture.

 

2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I agree with what you said, but it has nothing to do with the timeline, which is not based on military campaigns.

Your confidant in absolutes, then display it. Which King was fighting for dominance and for which God. Who was ally to whom? Are there any Kings in the Kings List that might have been confused by another in the same list?

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Perhaps I’m not making myself clear. Here’s an example of how a Kings List works with ongoing events. Are you saying these events don’t matter to confirm the reign of Kings? If they don’t, then why bring up the Kings List, since it wouldn’t matter either. Remember you post SECULAR EVIDENCE!

 

Isaiah: A Bible Commentary

November 23, 626 B.C. This was the Eleventh (and last) Dynasty of Babylon, known as the Chaldean Empire, or the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Nabopolassar took Nippur, while also liberating Sumer and Akkad. By 617 B.C., he had cleared out of Babylonia the Assyrian garrisons south of the neck. In 616 B.C., he marched up the Euphrates to the district of Harran, to Arrapkha and Assur; he established bases in this area. In 614 B.C., Cyaxares of Media marched against Nineveh, which was too strong for him, but he took Assur and Tarbisu and inflicted great destruction. Nabopolassar met him after the battle and they established a friendship. A marriage did seal this union in which the Babylonian prince, Nebuchadnezzar, would many Amytis. In 613 B.C., the Medes were inactive; this allowed Assyria to mount a counter attack. In 612 B.C., Nabopolassar united with Cyaxares and the Ummanmanda in an attack on Nineveh. After a two or three month siege, they destroyed the famous city of Nineveh. The city was sacked and plundered; the people were enslaved.

 After the death of Nebuchadnezzar in 562 B.C., the Babylonian empire began to weaken. Twenty three years and three kings later, Babylon fell to king Cyrus of Persia in 539 B.C. Belshazzar, who was son of Nabonidus, reigned as a coregent ruler with His father from 556 B.C. until 539 B.C. It is unclear how old Belshazzar was when he started with his appointed position. If one reads in Daniel chapter 5, one can see Belshazzar had been taken by surprise by Cyrus. The Medes and the Persians were in alliance with one another and developed an even stronger empire than Babylon, but the Median/Persia Empire was not as tightly governed, because they had divided the kingdom; this would bring them a weakness that eventually would cause a fall to the Greeks and Alexander the Great.

 

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30 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

Since you are leaning with the absurdity by claiming "almost none" with BM 21901 which is part of the Babylonian Chronicles that you need to defend a COJ ideology

I should have said "none" instead of "almost none" because there is no dependence on military campaign records. The reason, as you might have noticed, is that I included the Babylonian Chronicle but did not need it, since the exact same point was also made in the Adad-Guppi' stele, as I stated. I would have been happy to have used records of military campaigns, I just happened not to relay on them to make this point about the number of years from Nabopolassar to Nabonidus. You'll notice that if you wished to remove the Babylonian Chronicle, the same point is made. You did not actually give any reason that one should not use the Babylonian Chronicles, however, so I will be glad to make use of them wherever they give evidence for the specific order and number of years of each king.

44 minutes ago, César Chávez said:

Then give a full account for those dates of the King List, since it depends on that old history with that of new understanding of that old history which defers within 1 to 3 years.

You might already be aware that the Babylonian Chronicles also support the exact same timeline of the kings, and they give us no reason to retract anything already said about the relative dates of the King List. So you may consider the above timeline to be the full account. If you think there is a place where the relative chronology differs by 1 to 3 years, please point it out and show your evidence, and I will change the timeline based on your evidence. I have not seen any evidence of this, but that could be very important.

1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Are you referring to modern times or ancient times?

Yes, both modern times and ancient times.

1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

why not take full advantage of it to explain how natural history can be defined by several mythologies.

Why not? Because I couldn't care less how "natural history" can be defined by "several mythologies." At this point I am presenting the NB evidence to see how solid the relative chronology is for these kings.

1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Since you oppose the Watchtower chronology, because in part of the Babylonian Chronicles, then "military campaigns" need to be understood in order to see the sequence of events within those timelines.

It doesn't seem like they need to be understood at all. But if you find any NB evidence from military campaigns or from anywhere else that shows a change in the relative chronology is required, I'll make the appropriate change. You can recommend exactly where the new or additional evidence fits in.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

That need not be a concern here, because this is just a discussion of the secular evidence. If I want to solve a jigsaw puzzle for example I only need to make use of the pieces in the box. If they can be solved into a picture, that's great. If they can't, then I wouldn't trust them to help me with any other puzzle either. And of course, there is no circular reasoning when we take the "testimony" of several independent witnesses. We are basically looking at a puzzle with about 100,000 pieces to see if they form a picture with no unresolved gaps or overlaps.

But there are pieces that are missing e.g. 1. the missing 7 years of Neb's madness from the throne and 2. No mention of Neb's destruction of Jerusalem in his 18th year for starters. And what are the independent witnesses that you refer?

5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Good point. But it's no problem. That's why we carefully distinguished between these two terms. All one has to do to turn it into an absolute chronology, if they need to, is to attach any one year in the timeline to a date that is absolutely attached to the common era. If you think any of the dates in the timeline can be absolutely tied to the common era, then you have turned the relative chronology into an absolute chronology

But according to COJ you already have an Absolute Chronology titled as chapter 4 in his latest 4th edn

then of course you have the problem of Rolf Furuli whose research undermines any confidence in the correctness of the present scheme of NB Chronology

scholar JW

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1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Example, did Nebuchadnezzar need to be present in 609 BC to bring King Jehoiakim into Babylons subjection, just like he wasn't with the final blow, came to Jerusalem in 587 BC if you want to use that methodology.

I'm not using any methodology that requires Nebuchadnezzar to be present in 609 or 587 or any other year. I would agree with you that he need not be personally present to bring anyone or any nation into Babylonian subjection. So I don't need that methodology one way or another. It's not relevant to any years in the timeline either.

1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Which King was fighting for dominance and for which God. Who was ally to whom?

These are not relevant questions to getting the order and length of kings reigns. They could change allegiances and gods every year and it wouldn't change the timeline.

2 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Are there any Kings in the Kings List that might have been confused by another in the same list?

This is actually a better question. It's one you have brought up before. And with this question there is a need sometimes to note if there had been a change of name based on a change in allegiance. Although apparently with few exceptions (Egypt for example) the multiplicity of gods made it unnecessary to change one's name even if their primary focus changed to another god.

Did you have a particular pair of names in mind? Remember that if two different names could refer to the same person, then an overlap of the two names would imply a shortening of the timeline by at least the length of the shortest reign in that particular pair of names.

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1 hour ago, César Chávez said:

Here’s an example of how a Kings List works with ongoing events. Are you saying these events don’t matter to confirm the reign of Kings?

Yes. I'm saying that these events do not necessarily matter at all in confirming the reign of kings. The king could have done nothing at all throughout his reign, or could have fought many major military campaigns. The king could even have lied about all his supposed accomplishments and even lied about the length of time between one event and the next. It's only when any one of the claims creates a contradiction in the order of the kings and their length of reign that it becomes relevant to the timeline.

All of the claims in that Isaiah commentary that relate to the timeline presented above are perfectly aligned with the relevant portion of the timeline. But this is not the same as offering secular evidence that the timeline is right.

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A crucial date in Neo-Babylonian chronology is the date of Nebuchadnezzar's accession to the throne of Babylon. The date has been completely established by reference to a number of ancient historical documents.

One such document is Ptolemy's Canon, also known as the Royal Canon.

Various scholars have shown or remarked how well 605 BCE for Nebuchadnezzar's accession year has been verified. For example, Edwin Thiele, writing in A Chronology of the Hebrew Kings (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1977, pp. 68-69) wrote concerning contents of a contemporary cuneiform tablet called the Babylonian Chronicle (now in the British Museum, described in D. J. Wiseman, Chronicles of the Chaldean Kings (626-556 B.C.), London, British Museum, 1956):

<<
The tablet for the year 605 is of particular interest, for according to Daniel 1:1-6, that is the year when Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem and took Daniel and his three companions hostage to Babylon, together with a number of vessels from the temple. According to the Babylonian account, Nebuchadnezzar inflicted a crushing defeat on an Egyptian army at Carchemish in 605, beat it into "nonexistence," and then "conquered the whole of the Hatti-country." Since it was in that area that Judah was located, 605 would be the year when Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem and took Daniel to Babylon. The Babylonian account for that year states further that Nabopolassar, after twenty-one years on the throne, died on the eighth day of the month of Ab, August 16, and that Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon "and on the first day of the month of Elul he sat on the royal throne in Babylon," September 17, 605.

Two [lunar] eclipses establish beyond question 605 as the year when Nebuchadnezzar began his reign. The first took place on April 22, 621, in the fifth year of Nabopolassar, which would make 605 the year of his death in his twenty-first year, and the year of Nebuchadnezzar's accession. The second eclipse was on July 4, 568, in the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, which again gives 605 as the year when Nebuchadenzzar began to reign. No date in ancient history is more firmly established than is 605 for the commencement of Nebuchadnezzar's reign. The year 605 B.C. can thus be accepted with all certainty as the year when the first attack of Nebuchadnezzar on Jerusalem was made, and as the year when Daniel was taken to Babylon and when the seventy-year captivity in Babylon began (Jer. 25:9-12).
>>

So Nebuchadnezzar's accession year 605 BCE is firmly established by two lunar eclipse texts dated some 53 years apart. The texts are independent of each other. It is widely recognized that two or more independent sources that indicate the same historical date are extremely strong evidence that the date is correct.

Another extremely important date with respect to the several captures of Jerusalem is 597 BCE, when Nebuchadnezzar's forces captured the city and took King Jehoiachin and most of the non-peasant-class Jews captive to Babylon. Concerning this date, Thiele continues (pp. 69-70):

<<
The Babylonian record for Nebuchadnezzar's seventh year, 598/97, is also of unusual interest. That record reads, "In the seventh year, the month of Kislev, the king of Akkad mustered his troops, marched to the Hatti-land, and encamped agaist [i.e., besieged] the city of Judah and on the second day of the month of Adar he seized the city and captured the king. He appointed there a king of his own choice [lit., heart], received its heavy tribute and sent [them] to Babylon."

This is a striking confirmation from a contemporary Babylonian document of the biblical record of 2 Kings 24:10-17. According to his own account, Nebuchadnezzar started against Jerusalem in the month of Kislev, the ninth month of the Babylonian and Hebrew year. That month began on December 18, 598 B.C., so Jehoiachin must have been on the throne during the last days of 598. Jerusalem was taken on the second of Adar, the last month of the Babylonian year, which was on March 16, 597. So the three-month reign of Jehoiachin can be set with complete certainty as 598-597 B.C. The king who was set on the throne of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar was Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:17, 18), Judah's last king.

That Jehoiachin was a captive in Babylon is confirmed by a Babylonian tablet dated 592, which lists him and five of his sons as receiving rations in oil, barley, etc., at that time.

In 2 Kings 25:27 is a record concerning the end of Jehoiachin's captivity: "And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison." Since Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon in 597, the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of his captivity would be March or April of 561. That, according to the biblical record in Kings, would be the last month of the accession year of Evil-merodach. According to the Babylonian records, Nebuchadnezzar ended his reign and Amel-Marduk began his reign in early October, 562, which would bring the twelfth month of his accession year at the very time indicated in the biblical account. The release of Jehoiachin on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, just before the beginning of the new year's festivities, would be a fitting time for the release of political prisoners placed in custody by the previous ruler.
>>

In The Gentile Times Reconsidered (4th edition, pp. 293-294) Carl Olof Jonsson quotes two scholars as follows:

<< the 597 date is one of the very few secure dates in our whole chronological repertoire. [Dr. Edward F. Campbell, Jr., personal letter to Jonsson dated August 9, 1981.]

[The date for] the capture of Jerusalem in 597 . . . is now fixed exactly. [Dr. David N. Freedman, personal letter to Jonsson dated August 16, 1981]

Based on the above data, Nebuchadnezzar's 1st year would be 604 BCE and his 18th 587 BCE. Therefore, the Royal Canon in conjunction with Jeremiah 52:29 show that Jerusalem fell in 587 BCE.

Far more can be said about how perfectly lunar and solar eclipses verify the above. Carl Olof Jonsson, in The Gentile Times Reconsidered, details how several dozen lunar eclipses described in various Babylonian tablets all converge on what has become the standard Neo-Babylonian chronology.

I'll leave off here for now.

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50 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

But there are pieces that are missing e.g. 1. the missing 7 years of Neb's madness from the throne and 2. No mention of Neb's destruction of Jerusalem in his 18th year for starters.

Why do you claim they are missing? There is no problem positing that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in his 18th year if you wish. There is no problem if you wish to posit that any 7 of these years were years of madness. Or if you have evidence that it changes the timeline, just show the evidence where you think the timeline should be adjusted.

Of course, trying to tie Biblical evidence into this timeline is not necessary. If one thinks the timeline is not solid, then you coudn't make any use of it anyway. We need to confirm the solidity of the relative timeline before trying to make it an absolute timeline. Also, many issues with Biblical evidence are based on interpretations. Even the claim that there must have been 7 years of madness is not found in the Bible except through a specific interpretation. It is known that the Aramaic for "times" (iddan) can refer to periods of time that are not years, perhaps even seasons, fortnights, months, weeks, etc.

50 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

And what are the independent witnesses that you refer?

Independent witnesses in this case are pieces of evidence that are not known to have been dependent on each other, or from the same person. For example, if you found a 16th birthday card addressed to Elizabeth in 2016, you have a piece of evidence that someone named Elizabeth was born in the year 2000 or at least within a matter of months. If you find another birthday card to the same address to Elizabeth for a 20th birthday in 2020, you now have two pieces of independent evidence that someone named Elizabeth at this address was born around the year 2000. But this doesn't mean the person was right. Someone might be mistaken. And if it was the same person sending both cards, the mistake might have been compounded. Or perhaps Elizabeth was actually younger and gave out a wrong birth year because she wanted to be seen as older, or vice versa. Or perhaps there are two Elizabeths at this address and the sender was mixed up about which one was born in 2000 and which one was born some other year.

Independent evidence isn't the same as absolute proof, but the more you have the more likely the conclusion is solid. That's why we are fortunate to have several independent sets of business tablets that are unrelated to each other. Thousands from one temple, thousands from another, and thousands from various business houses, and thousands of others that are unrelated to one another.

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52 minutes ago, scholar JW said:

then of course you have the problem of Rolf Furuli whose research undermines any confidence in the correctness of the present scheme of NB Chronology

Furuli does no such thing. A number of commentators have disproved every piece of his "research": Carl Jonsson, Ann O'Maly, etc. Furuli demonstrated, for example, his incompetence in interpreting the output of a simple astronomical display program.

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      An author from Finland named Pekka Mansikka has written several books and papers which, among other things, look to adjust the secular chronology to fit the Watchtower's chronology. For those who don't know, the Watchtower's chronology requires an extra 20 years of time somewhere between Nebuchadnezzar's reign and the beginning of the reign of Cyrus. This has the effect of pushing back any archaeological date in Nebuchadnezzar's reign by 20 years.
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      *** Text for Tuesday, December 10, 2019 ***
      What are the key teachings of your faith? Surely you would stress that Jehovah is the Creator and Life-Giver. You would likely mention your belief in Jesus Christ, who died as a ransom. And you would happily add that an earthly paradise is ahead, where God’s people will live forever. But would you mention the resurrection as one of your most cherished beliefs? We have good reasons to include the resurrection as a key teaching even if we personally hope to survive the great tribulation and live on earth forever. The resurrection is central to our faith. Had Christ not been resurrected, he would not be our ruling King, and our teaching about Christ’s rule would be in vain. (1 Cor. 15:12-19) However, we know that Jesus was resurrected, and we hold firm to our belief in the resurrection.
      Note that the text reminds us a few things that the great crowd, perhaps, do not get reminded of enough: We might die. The great hope is that "You May Survive Armageddon into God's New World." But since the book of that title came out, most of us who studied that book as JWs are now dead. The key teachings mentioned above are therefore:
      Jehovah is the Creator, Jesus' Ransom, Living Forever in an Earthly Paradise The Resurrection The Teaching about Christ's Kingdom I would agree that these are definitely the core teachings.
      Of course that final one might be a nod to "1914" as a key teaching, but it is worded here in such a way that no one could dismiss Christ's Kingdom as a key teaching. This is true whether one focuses on the
      Kingdom preaching beginning in 29 CE through 33 CE, or the Kingdom's beginning in 33 when Christ began to rule as king (1 Cor 15, Colossians 1, Acts 2, Revelation 1, etc.), or the historical outworking of the Kingdom with renewed emphasis on preaching since WWI, or the focus on what that Kingdom will bring to the new heavens and new earth. But the fact that 1 Cor 15 is quoted above as the context to the teaching about Christ's rule, and that Paul goes on in verse 25 to indicate that "sit at my right hand" is the equivalent of "rule as king" tells me that 1914 might have been left off on purpose. (Because Jesus sat at God's right hand in 33 CE., therefore he began ruling as king in 33 CE. --1 Cor 15:25)
      That's an easy solution to all the current difficulties and contradictions in the 1914 teaching. But it's not the "difficult teaching" I had in mind.
      If you look at the text through the Watchtower Library, you will also see that it is somewhat related to the material for the Midweek meeting (December 9-15), which starts out with a discussion of Revelation 11.
      *** Text for Tuesday, December 10, 2019 ***
      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”
      I'll explain later today.
    • By JW Insider
      A recent topic about whether the Watchtower view of 607 BCE is SCRIPTURALLY supported is linked below. This new topic should provide a better place to discuss the SECULAR evidence. I also think it would be useful to discuss the methodology that the Watch Tower Society has historically used to treat this evidence.
      I would hope that we can do this without so much side discussions of unrelated topics. To avoid another topic that goes on for 30+ pages where only half of them were on-topic, I would suggest that if we get enough off-topic posts, we merely move them to another more appropriate topic.
      The link to the most recent topic on a similar subject is here:


       
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      Everything we read about the "70-Week" prophecy reported in the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy!" (Chapter 11) is worthy of attention and demonstrates how accurate and reliable the word of God is even when pronouncing prophecies very distant in time. The historical accuracy and the numerous Scriptural references that gave weight and authority to the whole speech were also evident. Anyone who approaches the Word of God without preconceptions can not but be struck by this demonstration of power and wisdom on the part of God. The explanation of the 70 weeks is unexceptionable but can be said to be the same as other prophecies? What about those calculations on which many of us have based the hopes of a lifetime and that clashed with the criticism of the majority? We are talking about 1914. Is this also a prophecy of Daniel? Was this also treated with the same marvelous accuracy of the seventy weeks we have just read? Although it may not be easy, we try to be truly objective because understanding or not understanding the prophecy, like the rest of God's Word, can make much difference to our eternal future - John 17: 3; 2 Thessalonians 1: 8   WHAT DID OF 1914?   The book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" on pages 85 to 97 explains in detail the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the 7-time prophecy asserting that it indicates the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914. It would therefore be profitable to take the book and compare it with what will be read below. Does Nebuchadnezzar's dream really prophesy the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914?   THAT'S IT? Let's try to examine what is written in the book without prejudices. At a first reading it seems that Jehovah God wanted to give a lesson of humility to Nebuchadnezzar, which happened. The "seven times", at least for him, were seven years and this is confirmed by the whole story. Reading all this without preconceptions, it does not seem that we should look for other explanations more or less hidden. However, let us take the thesis that "the tree indicates a dominion and a sovereignty much greater than those of the king of Babylon. It symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, the King of the heavens, especially with respect to the earth ". This means, first of all, that the Kingdom of God is comparing, in a certain way, to the kingdom of Babylon and this strides with many biblical passages describing Babylon as the greatest enemy of God's people. It also means that the "vigilante" (ie an angel of Jehovah) decides to overthrow the Kingdom of God and this is, to say the least, strange. Some will object that we must not look for similarities in every aspect of the prophecy but also decide which part of the prophecy must have a second fulfillment and which one could be arbitrary enough. After all, we have no other scriptural references to show us which details to focus on and which to leave out. So it is being said that the prophecy of the tree applies entirely to Nebuchadnezzar while only a small part would apply to the Kingdom of God. For the prophecy of the "seventy weeks" we did not need to break the prophecy to try to understand who was applied or if it applied to more than one person because the subject was clear and recognizable from the beginning. On the contrary, all the 7-day prophecy is built on a single verse that is what it says ... "The tree grew and became strong, and its same height finally reached the heavens and was visible to the end of the whole earth" (Daniel 4:11). Meanwhile, the writing says that the tree "becomes visible" to the end of the earth and not that "embraces the end of the earth" and the meaning is very different. The aforementioned book says: "the great tree represents the 'domain that reaches the end of the earth', which embraces the whole realm of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 ". "Reaching the end of the earth" means that it extends the domain to the end of the earth while "being visible to the end of the earth" means that it is known, famous. AnyhowÂ… is not it a bit fragile, let's say risky, to build a series of prophecies (all linked together) on this single explanation? Note that the specification "particularly in relation to the earth" is due to the fact that the universal sovereignty of Jehovah is, indeed, universal, for which the tree should have been seen not only in the whole earth but throughout the universe. By specifying, instead, "in relation to the earth", we can exclude the skies from the vision and take the application for good. Anyway, we should ask a question. Is the fact that the tree reaches the heavens or the end of the earth itÂ’s a demonstration or even an indication of the fact that we are talking about the Kingdom of God? We always leave the Bible to enlighten us. Notice what Jehovah told Ezekiel in reference to the Pharaoh. Ezekiel 31: 1-8 says Â… “In the 11th year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of Jehovah again came to me, saying: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  “Son of man, say to Phar?aoh king of Egypt and to his hordes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ‘Whom are you like in your greatness?  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  There was an As·syr?i·an, a cedar in Leb?a·non,With beautiful branches like a shady thicket, lofty in stature;Its top was among the clouds.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  The waters made it grow big, the deep springs of water caused it to grow high. Streams were all around where it was planted;Their channels watered all the trees of the field.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  That is why it grew taller than all the other trees of the field. Its boughs multiplied, and its branches grew longBecause of the abundant water in its streams.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs,All the wild animals of the field gave birth under its branches,And all the populous nations were dwelling in its shade.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  It became majestic in beauty and in the length of its branches,For its roots went down into abundant waters.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  No other cedars in the garden of GodHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. could compare to it. None of the juniper trees had boughs like it,And none of the plane trees could match its branches. No other tree in the garden of God could rival its beauty”. Do we note some similarities with the vision of Nebuchadnezzar? Both are compared to tall and mighty trees. Both reach high heights, up to the sky in fact the expressions "reach the heavens" or "reach the clouds" are equivalent - Compare Job 22:14; Isaiah 14:14; Daniel 7:13 Of both we notice the big difference with the other trees. Of both it is said that all the flying creatures and all the wild beasts find food and shelter. Now if we apply the principle that the tree that "reaches the clouds" must represent the Kingdom of God, then even the Egyptian empire should be an antitype of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, however, in this story there is no mention of the "times" and consequently it is not possible to count anything. If you think it's ridiculous that the Egyptian empire will represent the Kingdom of God, why should it be acceptable to the Babylonian empire? Jehovah goes on to say ““Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Because itHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. became so tall, lifting its top among the clouds, and its heart became arrogant because of its height, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  I will hand it over to the mighty ruler of the nations.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. He will surely act against it, and I will reject it for its wickedness”. The Pharaoh was exalted, just as Nebuchadnezzar did, and for this reason God decided to humiliate him - Matthew 23:12 Nebuchadnezzar escaped with seven years of madness while Pharaoh's empire was besieged. Also this verse remarks the fact that God takes away and gives "the kingdom to whom he wills" (and in this case He gave the kingdom of Pharaoh to the "despot of nations"). Ezekiel 31: 12-14 continues Â… “And foreigners, the most ruthless of the nations, will cut it down, and they will abandon it on the mountains, and its foliage will fall in all the valleys, and its branches will lie broken in all the streams of the land.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. All the peoples of the earth will depart from its shade and abandon it. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  All the birds of the sky will live on its fallen trunk, and all the wild animals of the field on its branches.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  This is so that no tree near the waters should grow so tall or lift up its top among the clouds and that no well-watered tree may reach up to them in height. For they will all be given over to death, to the land down below, along with the sons of mankind, who are going down into the pit.Â’. Even this tree is cut down and humiliated (Jehovah will do this through the king of Babylon). Because of the many similarities with the kingdom of Egypt, are we really certain that the tree that "reached the heavens" refers to the Kingdom of God?   When we talk about 1914, are we really like the Bereans? Or are we "Bereans" only when we have to refute the doctrines of Christianity?   There is another interesting detail that should make us reflect. The Bible compares the heavens to governments, be they human or celestial. Applying this concept to the tree that reaches the heavens and whose other trees do not stand comparison with it, it would simply mean that this tree has the kingdom over the other (smaller) kingdoms and of Babylon the Great is said to have " the kingdom over the kings of the earth "- Revelation 17:18 The only legitimate parallel that you can do with Babylon, without fear of taking corners, is related to Babylon the Great because it is the parallelism that makes the Bible. Indeed, all the world empires mentioned in the Scriptures had, for a time, the kingdom over the other kingdoms. Cyrus, in fact, said of himself ... "I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four extremities (of the earth), son of Cambyses (Ka-am -bu-zi-ia), great king, king of Anzan, nephew of Cyrus ,. . . descendant of Teispe,. . . of a family (that) has always reigned ". (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. B. Pritchard, 1974, p.37). Undoubtedly humility was not a characteristic appreciated by the Persians as well as by the Babylonians but in fact the kingdom had power over the other known kingdoms (so to be called "king of the four ends of the earth") and so it could be said that its height had reached the heavens and was visible or known to the ends of the earth. In the story of Ezekiel and in that of Daniel there is no reference, just anyone, to the Kingdom of God, on the contrary ... both accounts mention a judgment from God on enemy nations, proud and violent. Any chronological calculation should respect the subject in being and in fact this part of the Scripture is very different from what is said about the "seventy weeks" - Daniel 9: 24-27 In the account of Daniel chapter 9, one speaks clearly of the Messiah (see Daniel 9:25) and it is not necessary to read what is not written. Anyone who wanted to be polemical could discuss the start date from which to count the "weeks" or even the adduct method * (one day for a year) but certainly we can not discuss the subject in existence (the Messiah). It could also be absurd to discuss who the Messiah really was (which Jews are still discussing) but certainly we can not argue that Daniel chapter 9 speaks of the arrival of the Messiah! Instead, Daniel chapter 4 speaks of Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom, while all the "understanding" concerning the Kingdom of God is built on four lines in the book "Pay attention to Daniel's prophecies!" That read: "But the great tree represents the domain that reaches the end of the earth, which embraces the entire kingdom of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 "(chapter 6, page 87 of the Italian edition of the book). Does not this seem like a very firm statement with a very weak base? Let us try not to tell Daniel 4:17 what he does not really say because it is enough to know the basic rules of grammar so as not to be distracted by the subject. The subject is Nebuchadnezzar and God makes him understand that, because of the fact that he is exalted, he would have taken away his kingdom and given it to whoever He had wanted (exactly as He did to Pharaoh). In practice the one who really rules is the Creator and the other kingdoms exist only because He allows it - Compare Romans 13: 1 So there is no reason to believe that the tree (that is, one of the many governments that Jehovah has permitted in the history of mankind), actually represents the Kingdom of God. If someone wants to imply that the fact that God mentions His dominion is indicative that the tree itself represents His dominion (and is an incredible semantic acrobatics) then we can take the story reported in 2 Kings 19: 14-19 and do it same reasoning. “Hez·e·ki?ah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them. Hez·e·ki?ah then went up to the house of Jehovah and spread themHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. out before Jehovah.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  And Hez·e·ki?ah began to prayHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. before Jehovah and say: “O Jehovah the God of Israel, sitting enthroned aboveHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. the cherubs,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. you alone are the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. You made the heavens and the earth. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear!Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Open your eyes,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. O Jehovah, and see! Hear the words that Sen·nach?er·ib has sent to taunt the living God. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of As·syr?i·a have devastated the nations and their lands.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  And they have thrown their gods into the fire, because they were not godsHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. but the work of human hands,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. wood and stone. That is why they could destroy them. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  But now, O Jehovah our God, please save us out of his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are God, O Jehovah.” Hezekiah knew very well that Jehovah was "the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth" and he prayed that Sennacherib would be stopped in his intent to destroy Jerusalem. We know very well what was the answer of Isaiah which last part reads Â… “Because your rage against meHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and your roaring have reached my ears.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. So I will put my hook in your nose and my bridleHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. between your lips,And I will lead you back the way you came.” - 2 Kings 19:28 If we did the same reasoning as for chapter 4 of Daniel, then we might suppose that the "reign of Sennacherib" was also an antitype of the kingdom of God because he too had to learn (at his own expense) that Jehovah is "the true God of all. the kingdoms of the earth "or, in other words, "dominates over all mankind ". Unfortunately, even in this story there are no numbers, days, weeks or months to be calculated and therefore no reason to read "the coming of the kingdom of God" even where no mention is made of it. Is it possible that the strong desire to see the prophecies fulfill has influenced the intention and therefore pushed to read what was not actually written? This means that if you really want to see a second fulfillment of the story reported in Daniel chapter 4, you should respect the subject in being and that is Babylon. It is likely that the story of Daniel is simply telling the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar and that the "seven times" mean only seven years but we can not be categorical. In this regard it is useful to reflect on the fact that even the humiliation of the Pharaoh, reported in Ezekiel, could have a second fulfillment as Jehovah says that he will "shake the nations" and this could be a reference to the Armageddon war.   So, without fixing ourselves too much with a specific date, in case the story of Daniel wanted to show us a second fulfillment of the prophecy, the report is actually saying: "Babylon will fall, will remain inactive for seven times and then rise again". This can only bring our mind back to the last mention that the Bible makes of Babylon - Revelation 17:5 The clues about Babylon the Great brought us to the nation of Israel so the question we should ask ourselves is ... "From what year we should start counting the 2520 years (ie 360 * 7) until we see the rebirth (if any) of Babylon? " From the story of Daniel the possible dates from which to count the seven times are two: 1) Since Nebuchadnezzar has had the vision or has fallen into "misfortune" (in fact, Daniel says "the tree is you" - Daniel 4: 20-22) 2) From the death of Nebuchadnezzar (if Nebuchadnezzar represents the kingdom of Babylon, his death is the moment when the tree is "knocked down" but it is to be noted that there is no reference to this in the narration of Daniel who, indeed, he says that the kingdom would be assured - Daniel 4:26) As far as the first hypothesis is concerned, it is impossible to have an accurate date because neither the Bible nor the secular history tells us in which year Nebuchadnezzar was expelled from his kingdom. This happened, obviously, after 597 a.E.V. (year in which Nebuchadnezzar brings the first Jewish prisoners to Babylon according to the secular date, there is a difference of 20 years with that of the slave who, in fact, puts 617 a.E.V.) and within 570 a.E.V. (if Nebuchadnezzar dies in 562 BCE - always according to the secular date - and the period of "captivity" lasts 7 years and the kingdom is returned to him presumed to have reigned for at least a year, 570 is the last useful year) . However in the first four chapters of Daniel we mention Daniel, Sadrac, Mesac and Abednego first as children (Daniel 1: 3, 4) and later as robust men (Daniel 3:12, 27) and all this before Nebuchadnezzar has the famous dream tree. This means that, from their deportation until the day when the king erected the image of gold, at least 15, 20 years passed. So if the Jews came to Babylon in 597 a.E.V. but they pass 20 years before the construction of the golden idol and having taken for good the secular date (562 a.E.V) it is possible to restrict the period from 577 a.E.V. up to 570 a.E.V. Obviously they are only estimates but the important date is the maximum time limit (570 a.E.V) so if from the deportation until the construction of the image had passed 15 years instead of 20, the starting date would be 582 a.E.V. but the last possible useful date would always be 570 a.E.V. The eventual rebirth of Babylon, if Daniel is talking about this, would have happened between 1943 E.V. (2520-577) and 1950 E.V. (2520-570). To reinforce this hypothesis there would also be the fact that the narration of his expulsion is the last story reported to Nebuchadnezzar. Few verses later, in fact, we no longer speak of him but of Baldassarre (Daniel chapter 5). It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Nebuchadnezzar had the vision in the last years, perhaps during the last decade of his reign.   The second hypothesis concerns the death of Nebuchadnezzar, which takes place, according to the secular sources, in 562 a.E.V. According to the slave, in 582 a.E.V. (see the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" chapter 7, page 99). Counting 2520 years we arrive at 1958 E.V. in the first case and to 1938 E.V. in the second case.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Babylon will fall, remain inactive for seven times and then rise again"   What does recent history tell us? If, as we have seen, Babylon the Great is the nation of Israel, this would corroborate the first hypothesis. The first hypothesis places the rebirth of Babylon between 1943 and 1950. Indeed, the "resurrection" of Israel took place in May 1948.   Knowing the fixation of human beings for dates and calculations, however, it is prudent to pay attention to the most important things. The secular dates can not be secure, based on findings and comparisons more or less incomplete, and certainly we can not base our faith on this - 2 Corinthians 5: 7 What would happen if the 597 a.E.V., as well as 607 or 537 or any other date on which we based much of the biblical prophecies (without there being a real reason for doing so) tomorrow proved to be completely wrong? The consequences could be very serious and not just from a human point of view - Amos 3: 1, 2 We must not take Jehovah's mercy for granted, so we must be cautious in our statements. Since we have no certainty that the "seven times" do not simply represent seven years, we should not lose ourselves in these speculations. Is not the most important thing to understand the identity of Babylon the Great? Those who have truly studied the Bible without preconceptions have understood that Babylon the Great is indeed Israel and this has understood it regardless of dates and calculations. This is a crucial aspect of prophecy because it is the clues that guide us in the subjects and times in which we are living, such as road signs, and not the calculations - Compare Matthew 24:32, 33 and 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 and do a contrast with Matthew 24:36 There is no temporal indication for the killing of the two clothed witnesses (see Revelation chapter 11) but we know that they are revealed at the end of the war. We know that the city called "Sodom and Egypt" is Babylon the Great, hence Israel, and as a result we also know which nation and events to watch carefully. That the Bible actually prophesises the year of his "resurrection" or not, is certainly interesting but not fundamental for those who believe that it is indeed the inspired Word of God. Fundamental, if anything, will be "get out of it" when the UN prepares to destroy it.   * However the Bible confirms the "one day for a year" method and also that this was the same method used by God's people - Ezekiel 4: 6; Luke 3:15 ** The Bible allows us to be "fully competent" then all the speeches made on 607 a.E.V. pro and contra, they are absolutely useless. Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as we have seen, has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God    
    • By Jack Ryan
      Watchtower has referred to Ptolemy's Canon as corroborating the accepted 539 BCE date, iirc, but otherwise pooh-pooh it as being unreliable.
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      The immense statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
      Babylon comes from the north, according to what Ezekiel 26: 7 says (see also Jeremiah 46:10).
      Comparing Jeremiah 50: 9 with Isaiah 21: 2, 9 and Daniel 5:28 it is understood that the average Persian comes from the north.
      Reading Daniel 11: 3 understands that the "mighty king" is Alexander the Great, identified as the "king of the north".
      Reading Daniel 11:16, 20-22 it is understood that Rome is the next king of the north.
      If all the kings of the statue were "king of the north" ... the last king can be the Anglo-American empire, or the king of the south?

    • By TrueTomHarley
      They may no longer do anti-types at Bethel, having had too many blow up in their face, but that doesn't mean I don't do them. Ralph Kramden, the hefty loud-mouthed bus driver of the 'Honeymooners' TV show, is the antitypical Nebuchadnezzar.
      Each show he began by blustering. Each show he was totally humiliated. Each show he was contrite at the end. And each new show he totally forgot the lessons learned from the one before. So it is with Nebuchadnezzar.
      And what is it with Nebuchadnezzar and the magic-practicing priests? He picks a fight with them right out the gate in chapter 2 of Daniel:
      "Then the king said to them: “I have had a dream, and I am agitated because I want to know what I dreamed.” The Chaldeans replied to the king in the Aramaic language: “O king, may you live on forever. Relate the dream to your servants, and we will tell the interpretation.” The king answered the Chaldeans: “This is my final word: If you do not make the dream known to me, along with its interpretation, you will be dismembered, and your houses will be turned into public latrines."
      Why? What did they do? They are yanked out of bed to learn they must tell the king what his dream IS in addition to what it means? Now they will have to sit each in his house, without any arms or legs, and watch people come in to pee on their couch and poop on their carpet. There's bad blood between the king and them, somehow. How it came about is not described, but it hardly seems fair he should pick on them.
      Or does it? If the king made such demands, it is likely because he is fed up with their claims that they can do things like that. They are always playing him for a sucker with their air of religious mystery, and he has had it up to here. That's my guess, anyway.
      We're used to quoting Daniel 1:20 to show how, after a short trial period in which the Hebrew captives did little more than eat vegetables, the king found them "ten times better than all his magic practicing priests." We're used to saying it is because of God's blessing that Daniel was elevated so high. Probably so, but I'll bet it is more a reflection of how worthless he found the priests. It was a pretty low bar they set, and Daniel leapt it without fuss.
    • By PeterR
      So if this is the basis for your belief, then probably what you'll want to do is first of all find out which bible book your foundational scripture is in. (It's Exodus by the way.)
       
      Ex 1:6 - Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers and all that generation.
       
      It's not a complicated scripture.
      Let me ask you this. If you die in 2017 and all your brothers and all your generation also die at some point, what does "generation" mean if you don't impose any weirdness on the text? Do your precise birth and death times change the fundamental meaning of the word generation?
      Of course there are overlaps in a "generation". The only possible way for there not to be overlaps would be for each generation to have a batch of children be born at the same minute of a certain year, and die at a simultanous minute of a later year.
      But does your grandfather suddenly become part of your generation just because your life overlapped with him? Does that overlap of a few years between you and your brothers give latitude to distort the language to allow for President Kennedy to be of your generation even if your life overlapped with him?
       
       
       
       
    • By ComfortMyPeople
      An unexpected visit

      Characters: Angel (A) You (Y) Narrator (N)

      N- Imagine that an angel visits you today. He wakes you up in the middle of the night and says:

      A- Jehovah granted me choose one of his servants to inform Armageddon’s date, and I’ve chosen to you.

      Y- Wonderful! What a privileged man I am! When will it be?

      A- January 1, 2025. Now, I’m going to give further information about this date of capital importance

      Y- Errr, excuse me angel, thanks for this marvelous information, but my alarm clock is set at 5 AM, and I wish to sleep. Tomorrow I will have a hard day and I need to feel awake.

      A- What a lack of appreciation! If only I had known!

      N- The angel, sorrowful and turning its back on you, is ready to depart.

      Y- Please angel, don’t feel bad. It remains 8 years. I have no savings to live without my secular work. Next month my wife has a surgery, and also I need to ponder the education of my children. You aren’t going to think I take my children off from the school all these 8 years!

       A- I think if you were more spiritual…

      Y- One moment, I’ve just applied for the pioneer next month, and with my collaboration my wife is going to start the regular next September. What’s wrong with me!

      A- And what’re your plans for next holidays? Now you know for sure the Date! Would not you rather dedicate it to preach?

      N- The angel a little bitter, you a little worried.

      Y- Well… perhaps you’re right… one moment!

      A- Yes

      Y- The brothers at Bethel, missionaries and traveling overseers, do you think they are, in general, spirituals?

      A- Of course!

      Y- And don’t have they fully conscience of the closeness of the end?

      A- Yes, I think so

      Y- And, don’t they enjoy of their holidays these years?

      A- Well, I believe this, yes.

      Y- Look. If you only had said to me this date is, let’s say, is in a few months, perhaps I could have made some arrangements. But believe me, dear angel, I love Jehovah and I’m trying make my most every day, without any date in consideration.

      N- And they both say goodbye with affection

       

      Abraham’s example

      Some emphasis added: (Genesis 12:1-4) “And Jehovah said to A′bram: “Go out from your land and away from your relatives and from the house of your father to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, and you will become a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who calls down evil on you, and all the families of the ground will certainly be blessed by means of you.” 4 So A′bram went just as Jehovah had told him, and Lot went with him. A′bram was 75 years old when he left Ha′ran.”

      What would be your reaction if someone promises YOU all these things? Would it not be logical to expect the fulfillment of these words in your own life? Let’s continue with Abraham.

      Some emphasis added: (Genesis 13:14-18) “Jehovah said to A′bram, after Lot had separated from him: “Raise your eyes, please, and look from the place where you are, to the north and south, east and west, 15 because all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring as a lasting possession. 16 And I will make your offspring like the dust particles of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust particles of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Get up, travel through the length and breadth of the land, for to you I am going to give it.” 18 So A′bram continued to live in tents”

      Again, would it not be logical to suppose for Abraham to think he will receive these rewards during the span of his life?

      Now, some years after, about ten perhaps, these words happen.

      Again, emphasis added: (Genesis 15:13-16) “Then He said to A′bram: “Know for certain that your offspring will be foreigners in a land not theirs and that the people there will enslave them and afflict them for 400 years. 14 But I will judge the nation they will serve, and after that they will go out with many goods. 15 As for you, you will go to your forefathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 But they will return here in the fourth generation…”

      “What? What does this mean? It was assumed that I was going to get your promises in my life, and now, you’re going to say me that I’m going to die, and my reward is postponed until a very distant future, for some remote descendants.” Perhaps no one between us find this hypothetic answer odd or rare, but did Abraham felt deceived? Well, the rest of his life, very known for all of us offers a clear answer.

      Conclusion

      Did Abraham need date information to serve God with all his soul? No. Why? Because he simple loved God. And here I am, like all of you. Serving to Jehovah decades after our thoughts about when the end should come.  Because our main motivation is, simply, love.

      What I’m trying to say with the little story about the angel visiting at night and the account about some passages regarding Abraham’s life is the danger of getting quickly excited with some developments, in the world or in God’s people. When I listen to some brother saying something like “look at the news today… China, Middle East, etc., the end is near” I always answer, yes, you’re right, but I also thought to myself “the same I believed when I was a child.” These recursive ideas bother me, because always lead to disappointment. I try to share the attitude of Abraham, attempting to serve Jehovah till the end of my days with all my soul.

       

    • By JW Insider
      The October 1, 2011 Watchtower says this date is important for two reasons. 
      *** w11 10/1 p. 26 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One ***
      But why be interested in the actual date when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II razed the city of Jerusalem? First, because the event marked an important turning point in the history of God’s people. . . .
      Second, because knowing the actual year when this “ultimate catastrophe” began and understanding how the restoration of true worship in Jerusalem fulfilled a precise Bible prophecy will build your confidence in the reliability of God’s Word. So why do Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to a date that differs from widely accepted chronology by 20 years? [Emphasis added]
    • By Jesus.defender
      Yes....Watchtower 7/1879 page 8
      No.....Watchtower 6/1/52 page 338
      Yes....Watchtower 8/1/65, page 479
      No.....Watchtower 6/1/88, page 31
      Yes...Live Forever (old Ed.) page 179
      No....Live Forever (new Ed.) page 179
      Yes...Insight, vol. 2., page 985
      No...Revelation book, page 273.
       
    • By The Librarian
      Part of the series on:

      See attached images
      Anyone by chance have a PDF of these images combined? 
       
       
       
      See also:

       












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