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A "Conversation" about 1914 as it appeared in the Watchtower's "1914-2014 Anniversary Celebration" issues.


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1 hour ago, Ann O'Maly said:

It's also important to note that Brown put the beginning of the time period to Nebuchadnezzar's first regnal year in 604 BCE.

Perhaps it was mentioned before in another topic, but i am fascinated how WTJWorg authors of their book "Let your Kingdom come" use common terminology to discredit others who have opposing views. They said: 

From a secular viewpoint, such lines of evidence might seem to establish the Neo-Babylonian chronology with Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th year (and the destruction of Jerusalem) in 587/6 B.C.E. However, no historian can deny the possibility that the present picture of Babylonian history might be misleading or in error. It is known, for example, that ancient priests and kings sometimes altered records for their own purposes. Or, even if the discovered evidence is accurate, it might be misinterpreted by modern scholars or be incomplete so that yet undiscovered material could drastically alter the chronology of the period.

If we want to do this, we can very easily use all these specific terms to describe the way many biblical scholars in WTJWorg work when interpreting Biblical history and the alleged "prophecies" that have "second fulfillment".

 

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The glitch I am speaking of is the following: (But first some doctrinal history because I know how much certain people here just love doctrinal history.) Russell left the "1914" doctrine in disarray by predicting so many things for it that failed. And even changing the "End of the Gentile Times" to 1915, and at least once also implying that the "Jewish Year 1915" could run from October 1915 to October 1916. But even Rutherford had continued to create a mess around the 1914 problem by w

I was harsh, because the more I study it, the more I believe that one MUST use deception to keep any kind of "prophetic chronology" going. I see the way that F.W.Franz toyed with language to keep people hyped up about 1975. I see the way that Rutherford was using deceptive language to keep people hyped up about 1925. And then looking back at Miller and Barbour I see the same thing. I just read some of Harold Camping's predictions for May 21, 2011 and I see the same exact style. And, as I started

I changed my mind about creating a table of the Jon/Cameron comments and then commenting on various portions. It seemed that it was just a repetition of what we have already gone over, and are still going over elsewhere. Although this is mostly true, I think a lot of Witnesses don't realize that almost all Bible commentators and scholars count 70 years back from around 537 (plus or minus two years) and end up believing that 607 BCE is acceptable (plus or minus two years). Because of the "

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Anna said:

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Outta Here said:

starting in 607BCE ending 1914CE

 

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I think this happens to be the most disputable assumption in the whole discussion between Cameron and Jon.

Actually, both dates are not only disputable, but flat out wrong. See below.

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I actually had a study where the lady, a science teacher, wondered about that date, since no one else except the Witnesses recognized it.....at the time I was not familiar with the topic at all, since like everyone else I assumed that was the date. We had other topics to discuss first, so we never really got into it. She moved, and I lost touch with her. (Although I did pass her onto someone in the area she moved to). Evidently, Jon was not knowledgeable about any other dates and of course we cannot blame him since ancient history, especially something as specific as the razing of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, is not common knowledge.

How times have changed. When I was a teenager in the 1960s, the whole "Gentile times" doctrine was put constantly to the fore. Even as a young teen, I knew the basis for the entire doctrine front to back. I arrogantly thought that this was part of why we JWs were a religion so superior to all others -- we knew the Truth!

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I know we arrive at that date by counting 70 years back from 537, (Cyrus' 'restoration of the Jews to their homeland and the start of the rebuilding of the temple (I think)).

Correct. And of course, both the 70 year figure and 537 are purely Watchtower interpretations of the underlying Bible verses and secular history. Those interpretations are demonstrably wrong.

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For some reason this does not seem good enough, and I am sure we will find out why in this thread. Stay tuned 😁

Indeed. You might start with my essay "Biblical Evidence Against Watchtower Society Chronology" (

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). It's about as simplified as I know how to make a subject that the Watchtower Society has so badly convoluted. Look up the Scriptural passages, and make your own judgments. If you find something you disagree with, by all means bring it up in this thread.

To date, not one JW apologist has published a refutation of my essay on any forum I'm aware of. Incompetent fakes like ScholarJW object to its conclusions, but only with a circular 'argument': "it's wrong because 607 is right." You'll probably see that here with ScholarJW.

As for anything in 1914 being 'predicted' by C. T. Russell, he got nothing right. Everything he predicted that was supposed to be observable failed. Note his predictions (See 

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for more 😞

The Time Is At Hand, (originally published in 1889), said concerning the Times of the Gentiles, on pages 76-77 (early 1912 Edition):

<<
God's Kingdom, the Kingdom of Jehovah's Anointed... will be established gradually, during a great time of trouble with which the Gospel age will close, and in the midst of which present dominions shall be utterly consumed, passing away amid great confusion.

In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove: --

Firstly, That at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom come," will have obtained full, universal control, and that it will then be "set up," or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions.

Secondly, It will prove that he whose right it is thus to take the dominion will then be present as earth's new Ruler; and not only so, but it will also prove that he will be present for a considerable period before that date; because the overthrow of these Gentile governments is directly caused by his dashing them to pieces as a potter's vessel (Psa. 2:9; Rev. 2:27), and establishing in their stead his own righteous government.

Thirdly, It will prove that some time before the end of A.D. 1914 the last member of the divinely recognized Church of Christ, the "royal priesthood," "the body of Christ," will be glorified with the Head; because every member is to reign with Christ, being a joint-heir with him of the Kingdom, and it cannot be fully "set up" without every member.

Fourthly, It will prove that from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but shall arise from the dust of divine disfavor, to honor; because the "Times of the Gentiles" will be fulfilled or completed.

Fifthly, It will prove that by that date, or sooner, Israel's blindness will begin to be turned away; because their "blindness in part" was to continue only "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11:25), or, in other words, until the full number from among the Gentiles, who are to be members of the body or bride of Christ, would be fully selected.

Sixthly, It will prove that the great "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation," will reach its culmination in a world-wide reign of anarchy; and then men will learn to be still, and to know that Jehovah is God and that he will be exalted in the earth.

Seventhly, It will prove that before that date God's Kingdom, organized in power, will be in the earth and then smite and crush the Gentile image (Dan. 2:34) -- and fully consume the power of these kings. Its own power and dominion will be established as fast as by its varied influences and agencies it crushes and scatters the "powers that be" -- civil and ecclesiastical -- iron and clay.
>>

Note that the above is from a pre-1912 edition. Late 1912 and subsequent editions edited some of the statements thus:

<<
In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that date will see the disintegration of the rule of imperfect men.

Firstly, That at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom come," will begin to assume control, and that it will then shortly be "set up," or firmly established....

Thirdly, It will prove that some time before the end of the overthrow the last member of the divinely recognized Church of Christ....
>>

On pages 98-99 The Time Is At Hand said:

<<
True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved; but we are living in a special and peculiar time, the "Day of Jehovah," in which matters culminate quickly; and it is written, "A short work will the Lord make upon the earth....

In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914.
>>

The post-1912 editions edited the second paragraph to read:

<<
In view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished near the end of A.D. 1915.
>>

The Society tends to minimize the certainty with which Russell published statements like these, but his express statement that "we consider it an established truth" clearly shows his intent. On page 101 the 1908 edition of The Time Is At Hand said:

<<
Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 [Later editions of The Time Is At Hand changed this to 1915] with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's Word.

If our vision be unobstructed by prejudice, when we get the telescope of God's Word rightly adjusted we may see with clearness the character of many of the events due to take place in the "Day of the Lord" -- that we are in the very midst of those events, and that "the Great Day of His Wrath is come."
>>

I challenge any JW apologist to show how anything observable in Russell's predictions came to pass in the sense his writings obviously meant. And I mean "meant", not with the hindsight of more than a hundred years of rationalizations by Russell's successors, but in the obvious sense that the Bible Students understood those predictions.

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10 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Jehovah was also bringing him low

The point really is that whatever Jehovah allows to happen can be said to be "done" by him. He knew exactly what his son would experience by coming to earth. Jehovah knew he would not be valued for who he was but would be treated as worthless. Jehovah's matchless superiority in strategy enabled Him to use the debasement of the Christ by ungodly men to achieve victory by what unspiritual men would see as defeat.

Isaiah worded it well at Chapter 53. Particularly v10. I don't think Daniels words clash with this verse at all. And I don't think Daniel's contextual understanding of the prophecy he wrote excludes a later expanded view either. Daniel wrote as he was "moved, (borne along)  by holy spirit". That means his personal comprehension, even intention behind, what he wrote is not of primary relevance. He even stated elsewhere that he wrote down things that he admittedly"heard, but...could not understand".

The wording of what Daniel said allows for a dual application, especially if we remember the primary purpose of the account is to establish the "unthwartableness" 😉 of Jehovah's will, not to focus on a singular historical event. 

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12 minutes ago, Outta Here said:

The point really is that whatever Jehovah allows to happen can be said to be "done" by him.

Nonsense. Did Jehovah cause the 9/11 deaths in New York?

By the same token, Jehovah is responsible for the horrible deaths of every prey animal on earth for half a billion years.

And of course, Jehovah is responsible for all of the Watchtower Society's false predictions and false teachings.

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1 hour ago, AlanF said:

As for anything in 1914 being 'predicted' by C. T. Russell, he got nothing right. Everything he predicted that was supposed to be observable failed.

Yes, I know.

But there was talk of 1914, and the gentile times ending, even though nothing like what he expected happened. I also know that since all expectations about it failed, 1914 got swept under the carpet for a long time, to be "resurrected" some time in the 1940's. JW history is not quite honest about that, and gives the impression that although Russell was disappointed, 1914 was always believed to be the year Jesus was enthroned, which as we know is not true. Nevertheless, it doesn't bother me too much (the dishonesty does) because I expect understanding to progress over time. It's like that in every sphere of life, medicine, science, technology etc....

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I know we arrive at that date by counting 70 years back from 537, (Cyrus' 'restoration of the Jews to their homeland and the start of the rebuilding of the temple (I think)).

2 hours ago, AlanF said:

Correct. And of course, both the 70 year figure and 537 are purely Watchtower interpretations of the underlying Bible verses and secular history. Those interpretations are demonstrably wrong.

Doesn't Isaiah mention 70 years of captivity to the Babylonians and the desolation of the land? And didn't the rebuilding of the temple start in 537? 

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37 minutes ago, Anna said:

Yes, I know.

But there was talk of 1914, and the gentile times ending, even though nothing like what he expected happened.

Because nothing happened that Russell predicted based on his interpretations of the Bible and secular history, it should be obvious that the underlying chronological calculations were bogus.

37 minutes ago, Anna said:

I also know that since all expectations about it failed, 1914 got swept under the carpet for a long time, to be "resurrected" some time in the 1940's.

Not really. What happened is a lot more complicated. Rutherford used 1874 rather than 1914 until the early 1930s. Then over the next decade, Rutherford and Franz gradually migrated everything about 1874 to 1914. I cover some of this in a recent essay, if you're interested.

37 minutes ago, Anna said:

JW history is not quite honest about that, and gives the impression that although Russell was disappointed, 1914 was always believed to be the year Jesus was enthroned, which as we know is not true. Nevertheless, it doesn't bother me too much (the dishonesty does) because I expect understanding to progress over time. It's like that in every sphere of life, medicine, science, technology etc....

But when a group of religious leaders claim to speak for God, and to be guided by him, and to be God's mouthpiece, and to receive angelic direction, that's a lot more significant than in other spheres of life. After all, scientists won't disfellowship you from some organization merely because you contradict the ideas of prominent scientists. And they don't claim to speak for God, but for themselves, by writing papers that marshal evidence and try to convince other scientists by weight of evidence rather than weight of authority.

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34 minutes ago, Anna said:

I know we arrive at that date by counting 70 years back from 537, (Cyrus' 'restoration of the Jews to their homeland and the start of the rebuilding of the temple (I think)).

No. The Watchtower's claim has nothing to do with when the foundations of the temple were laid. 537 has only to do with their claimed date for when some of the Jews returned to Judah.

34 minutes ago, Anna said:

Doesn't Isaiah mention 70 years of captivity to the Babylonians and the desolation of the land?

Not that I'm aware of. See if you can find appropriate passages.

34 minutes ago, Anna said:

And didn't the rebuilding of the temple start in 537? 

Yes, but the Society claims it was 536.

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5 hours ago, AlanF said:

Thirdly, It will prove that some time before the end of A.D. 1914 the last member of the divinely recognized Church of Christ, the "royal priesthood," "the body of Christ," will be glorified with the Head; because every member is to reign with Christ, being a joint-heir with him of the Kingdom, and it cannot be fully "set up" without every member.

 

5 hours ago, AlanF said:

until the full number from among the Gentiles, who are to be members of the body or bride of Christ, would be fully selected.

According to this Bible Students understanding, Kingdom can't be established without full number of members. Sounds logic. But according to JW after Russell, Kingdom is established without Memorial Partakers Worldwide: 21,182 - 

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 Let us say how this 21,182 are not correct number because many of them are "mentally and emotionally unbalanced", but at least 8 (GB members) of them have to be "true". How ever you take, Kingdom can not be established without full number of kings and priests. From this logic or line of evidence, 1914 failed again. :))

5 hours ago, AlanF said:

it crushes and scatters the "powers that be" -- civil and ecclesiastical -- iron and clay.

"old light" :))) 

...... and now "new light"; America is iron, citizens (people) inside are clay because they want "civil rights". By this, WT Lawyers who fights for civil rights are "clay" that makes America weak. But Trump want to see America to be Great again. 

For a long time, Jehovah’s servants have wanted to understand what the feet of the image mean. Daniel 2:41 shows that the feet made of iron mixed with clay are one “kingdom,” not many. So we can understand that the clay means that something in the Anglo-American World Power makes it weaker than the Roman Empire, which was described as legs made of solid iron. Daniel’s prophecy says that the clay means “the offspring of mankind,” or the common people. (Daniel 2:43) People have weakened the Anglo-American World Power when they have fought to have civil rights, to have more rights at their workplace, and even to become independent nations. The common people make it difficult for this world power to be strong like iron. People have different political ideas. And when a leader wins an election by only a few votes, he does not have enough authority to do what he promised to do. Daniel said: “The kingdom will partly prove to be strong and will partly prove to be fragile.”—Daniel 2:42; 2 Timothy 3:1-3. - 

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5 hours ago, AlanF said:

If our vision be unobstructed by prejudice, when we get the telescope of God's Word rightly adjusted we may see with clearness

1912 edition was full of hopes ..... and vain thoughts about own future in period to 1914/1915. And also nothing similar has changed in WTJWorg since then. Same prejudice and obstructed "visions". 

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11 hours ago, AlanF said:

. The Watchtower's claim has nothing to do with when the foundations of the temple were laid. 537 has only to do with their claimed date for when some of the Jews returned to Judah.

I don't think so. 

Excerpt from WT 11/10/1

When were the Jews released? The decree ending their exile was issued in “the first year of Cyrus the king of Persia.” (See the box 

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) Thus, by the fall of 537 B.C.E., the Jews had returned to Jerusalem to restore true worship.—
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.

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3 minutes ago, Anna said:

Sorry, I meant Jeremiah, Jer 29:10

Think about that for a minute. 

Let's use the rNWT for this verse:

10 “For this is what Jehovah says, ‘When 70 years at Babylon are fulfilled, I will turn my attention to you, and I will make good my promise by bringing you back to this place.’

But who was Jeremiah talking to? V. 1, 2:

These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders among the exiled people, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon,  after King Jec·o·niʹah, the queen mother, the court officials, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen and the metalworkers had gone out of Jerusalem.

The letter was for the exiles taken in 617 (WT time). Checking the figures in 2 Kings 24 and at the end of Jer. 52, the greatest number of captives were taken then. Jehovah told these exiles that he would turn his attention to them once their 70 years 'at Babylon' was fulfilled. But if these exiles were taken in 617, when God turned his attention to them after Babylon fell, they would have actually been 'at Babylon' 80 years - not 70.

Something has gone awry with WT's translation and application here, don't you think? Or do you have a resolution for this anomaly?

 

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