In Part 1 of this article, we discussed why outside research is helpful if we are to arrive at a balanced, unbiased understanding of Scripture. We also addressed the conundrum of how a now-apostate teaching (“old light”) could not logically have been conceived at the direction of God’s holy spirit. On the one hand, the GB/FDS (Governing Body/Faithful and Discreet Slave) present the publications it produces as uninspired, even admitting that its members are imperfect men who make mistakes. On the other hand, it seems quite contradictory to make the claim that truth is made clear exclusively in the publications they write. How is truth made clear? This could be compared to the weatherman saying there is absolutely, positively, zero chance of rain tomorrow. Then he tells us his instruments are not calibrated, and that history shows he is often mistaken. I don’t know about you, but I’m carrying an umbrella just in case.
We now continue the article, sharing the account of what happened when some of the most scholarly within our ranks removed their blindfolds and conducted research in the “main library.”
A Difficult Lesson Learned
In the late 1960’s, research for the Aid To Bible Understanding book (1971) was underway. The subject “Chronology” was assigned to one of the most scholarly among leadership at the time, Raymond Franz. On an assignment to substantiate 607 B.C.E as the correct date for the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, he and his secretary Charles Ploeger were authorized to remove their blindfolds and search the major libraries of New York. Though the mission was to find historic support for the 607 date, the opposite occurred. Brother Franz later commented on the results of the research: (Crisis of Conscience pp 30-31):
“We found absolutely nothing in support of 607 B.C.E. All historians pointed to a date twenty years earlier.”
In a diligent effort to leave no stone unturned, he and Brother Ploeger visited Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island) to consult with Professor Abraham Sachs, a specialist in ancient cuneiform texts, particularly those containing astronomical data. The result was both enlightening and unsettling to these brothers. Brother Franz continues:
“In the end, it became evident that it would have taken a virtual conspiracy on the part of the ancient scribes, with no conceivable motive for doing so, to misrepresent the facts if, indeed our figure was to be the right one. Again, like an attorney faced with evidence he cannot overcome, my effort was to discredit or weaken confidence in the witnesses from ancient times who presented such evidence, the evidence of historical texts relating to the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In themselves, the arguments I presented were honest ones, but I know that their intent was to uphold a date for which there was no historical support.”
As compelling as the evidence against the 607 B.C.E date is, imagine yourself alongside the brothers doing the research. Imagine your frustration and disbelief upon learning that the anchor date of the 1914 doctrine had no secular nor historical support? Can we not imagine ourselves wondering, what else might we discover if we were to research other teachings of the Governing Body, who claims to be the Faithful and Discreet Slave?
A few years had passed when in 1977 the Governing Body in Brooklyn received a treatise from a scholarly elder in Sweden named Carl Olof Jonsson. The treatise examined the subject of the “Gentile Times.” His comprehensive and exhaustive research only served to corroborate the earlier findings of the Aid book research team.
A number of prominent elders, in addition to the Governing Body, became aware of the treatise, including Ed Dunlap and Reinhard Lengtat. These scholarly brothers were also involved with the writing of the Aid book. The treatise was also shared with prominent elders in Sweden, including circuit and district overseers. This dramatic situation can be attributed to one thing and one thing only: The teaching was tested using research material other than what is produced by the GB/FDS.
607 B.C.E Is Officially Challenged — What Now?
To challenge the date of 607 B.C.E. was to challenge the anchor of the most treasured and publicized doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses, namely, that 1914 marked the end of the “Gentile Times” and the beginning of the invisible rule of God’s Kingdom in the heavens. The stakes were incredibly high. If the true historical date of Jerusalem’s destruction is 587 B.C.E., this places the end of the seven times (2,520 years) of Daniel chapter 4 in the year 1934, not 1914. Ray Franz was a member of the Governing Body, so he shared his research findings with other members. They now had even more evidence, both from a historical and biblical perspective, that the 607 B.C.E. date could not be correct. Would the “guardians of doctrine” abandon a date which is wholly unsupportable? Or would they dig themselves a deeper hole?
By 1980, the chronology of C.T. Russell (that relied on 607 B.C.E to affix 1914) was over a century old. Moreover, the 2520 year chronology (7 times of Daniel chapter 4) fixing 607 B.C.E. as the year of Jerusalem’s destruction was actually the brainstorm of Nelson Barbour, not Charles Russell.[i] Barbour originally claimed that 606 B.C.E was the date, but changed it to 607 B.C.E when he realized there was no year Zero. So here we have a date which originated not with Russell, but with a Second Adventist; a man Russell parted with soon after over theological differences. This is the date that the Governing Body continues to defend tooth and nail. Why did they not abandon it, when they had the chance? For certain, it would have required courage and strength of character to have done so, but just think of the credibility they would have gained. But that time has passed.
At the same time there were other decades-old teachings under scrutiny by some scholarly brothers within the organization. Why not examine all the “old school” teachings in the light of modern-day knowledge and understanding? One teaching in particular desperately needing reform was the No-Blood doctrine. Another was the teaching that the “other sheep” of John 10:16 are not anointed by holy spirit, are not children of God. Sweeping reform could have occurred within the organization in one fell swoop. The rank and file would have accepted all the changes as just more “new light” under the direction of God’s holy spirit. Sadly, although clearly aware that secular, historical, astronomical, and biblical evidence convicts the 607 B.C.E. anchor date as specious, the majority on the Governing Body voted to leave the 1914 teaching as the status quo, deciding as a body to kick that can down the road. They must have felt Armageddon was so near that they would never have to answer for this egregious decision.
Those who could not conscientiously continue to teach the 1914 doctrine were attacked. Of the three aforementioned brothers (Franz, Dunlap, Lengtat) only the latter remained in good standing so long as he agreed to remain silent. Brother Dunlap was immediately disfellowshipped as a “diseased” apostate. Brother Franz resigned as GB member and was disfellowshipped the very next year. Any who would speak with them were subject to being shunned. Most of Ed Dunlap’s extended family in Oklahoma were sought out (as if in a witch hunt) and shunned. This was pure damage control.
Their decision to “bet the farm” may have seemed like a safe choice back in 1980, but now, 35 years later and counting, it is a ticking time bomb counting down its last seconds. The ready availability of information via the internet—a development they could never have anticipated—is proving disasterous to their plans. Brothers and sisters are not only examining the validity of 1914, but every peculiar teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
There can be no denying that the so-called “guardians of doctrine” are aware that the preponderance of Scriptural and secular evidence disproves 607 B.C.E. as relevant to Bible prophecy. It was given life by William Miller and other Adventists down through the 19th century, but they had the good sense to abandon it before it became an albatross around their neck.
So how can men who claim to be guided by God’s holy spirit continue to teach this doctrine as truth? How many have been misguided by this teaching? How many have been mistreated and judged because they spoke out against a teaching of man? God can have no share in falsehood. (Heb 6:18; Tit 1:2)
Diligent Research Prevents Us From Spreading Falsehood
Does our Heavenly Father fear that our gaining deep knowledge of his Word will somehow draw us away from the Christian faith? Does he fear that if we share our research in forums that encourage honest and open scriptural discussion, that we will stumble ourselves or others? Or is it to the contrary, that our Father is well pleased when we diligently search his Word for truth? If the Beroeans were alive today, how do you suppose they would receive a “new light” teaching? How would they react to being told they are not to question the teaching? What would be their reaction at being discouraged from even using the Scriptures by themselves to test a teaching’s merit? Is God’s Word not good enough? (1Th 5:21) [ii]
By claiming that the truth of God’s Word is revealed only through its publications, the Governing Body is telling us that God’s Word itself is insufficient. They are saying that we cannot come to know the truth without reading Watchtower literature. This is circular reasoning. They only teach what is true and we know this because they tell us so.
We honor Jesus and our Father, Jehovah, by teaching truth. Conversely, we dishonor them by teaching falsehood in their name. Truth is revealed to us through researching the scriptures and through Jehovah’s holy spirit. (John 4:24; 1 Cor 2:10-13) If we represent that we (Jehovah’s Witnesses) teach only truth to our neighbors, while history proves our claim untrue, does that not make us hypocrites? It is therefore prudent that we personally examine any teaching that we are representing as truth.
Take a walk with me down Memory Lane. Those of us of the boomer generation remember well the following featured teachings of the 1960s-1970s. The question is, where are these teachings found in God’s Word?
- The 7,000 year creative day (49,000 year creative week)
- The 6,000 year chronology pinpointing 1975
- The generation of 1914 not passing away before Armageddon arrives
For any unfamiliar with these teachings, simply research the WT CD Library. You will not, however, find access to a particular publication produced in 1966 by the Organization that was pivotal to the 1975 teaching. It would appear this is by design. The book is entitled Life Everlasting In Freedom Of The Sons Of God. I happen to have a hard copy. The GB (and well meaning zealots) would have us believe the 1975 teaching was never actually in print. They (and those who came in after 1975) will tell you it was just “anxious” brothers and sisters who were getting carried away with their own interpretation. Note two quotes from this publication and you decide:
“According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man’s creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975. So six thousand years of man’s existence on earth will soon be up, yes within this generation.” (p.29)
“It would not be by mere chance or accident but would be according to the loving purpose of Jehovah God for the reign of Jesus Christ, the ‘Lord of the sabbath,’ to run parallel with the seventh millennium of man’s existence (p. 30)
A chart is provided on pages 31-35. (Although you won’t be able to access the book, you can access this chart using the WT Library program by going to page 272 of the May 1, 1968 Watchtower.) The last two entries on the chart are noteworthy:
- 1975 6000 End of 6th 1,000-year day of man’s existence (in early autumn)
- 2975 7000 End of 7th 1,000-year day of man’s existence (in early autumn)
Note the phrasing in the above quote: “it would not be by mere chance or accident but according to Jehovah’s purpose for the reign of Jesus….. to run parallel with the seventh millennium of man’s existence.” So in 1966 we see that the Organization predicted in print that it would be according to the loving purpose of Jehovah God for Christ’s millennial reign to begin in 1975. What is this saying? What occurs before Christ’s millennial reign? Was not an attempt to pinpoint the “day and hour” (or year) completely contrary to Jesus words at Matt 24:36? And yet we were compelled not only to embrace these teachings as truth, but to preach them to our neighbors.
Imagine that the Beroeans had been alive during the Boomer generation. Would they not have asked: But where are these teachings found in God’s Word? Jehovah would have been well pleased with us for asking that question back then. Had we done so, we would not have taken speculation, conjecture and false expectation to family, friends and neighbors. These teachings dishonored God. Yet if we are to believe the claim of the Governing Body that God’s spirit directs them at all times, these erroneous teachings must have been conceived under the direction of his holy spirit. Is that even possible?
So Why Have Things Not Changed?
The Guardians of Doctrine admit to being imperfect men. It is a also a fact that many of the doctrines they guard are inherited teachings of former generations of leadership. We have demonstrated on this site over and over the unscriptural nature of the doctrines peculiar to Jehovah’s Witnesses. What is disappointing is that the men taking the lead in the Organization have a very comprehensive library at Bethel with aisles of theological material, including numerous Bible translations and versions, original language dictionaries, lexicons, concordances and commentaries. The library also contains books on history, culture, archaeology, geology and medical topics. I am given to believe the library also contains so-called “apostate” material. One could fairly say that many of the books they would discourage the rank and file from reading are available to them anytime they choose. Given that these men have access to such a fine research source, why is it they cling to decades-old false doctrine? Do they not realize their refusal to abandon these teachings undermines their credibility and claim that God has appointed them to dispense food to the domestics? Why have they dug their heels in?
- Pride. It takes humility to admit error (Prov 11:2)
- Presumptuousness. They claim God’s holy spirit directs their steps, so admitting error would disprove this claim.
- Fear. Losing credibility among members would undermine their authority and ability to maintain absolute control.
- Organizational loyalty. The good of the organization takes priority over truth.
- Fear of legal ramifications (e.g. the No Blood doctrine and admitting error in misinterpreting the two- witness rule in reporting child abuse). To rescind the former would be to subject the organization to huge wrongful death liability. To settle the abuse cover-up will necessarily involve releasing the confidential abuse files. One need only look at the many Catholic dioceses in the USA which have released their abuse files to see where this will inevitably lead. (Such an outcome may now be inevitable.)
So what is the problem with research, specifically, research that involves studying the scriptures without the aid of WT publications? There is no problem. Such research provides knowledge. Knowledge (when combined with God’s holy spirit) becomes wisdom. There is certainly nothing to fear in researching the Bible without the librarian (GB) looking over our shoulder. So put the WT volumes aside and let’s get to studying God’s Word itself.
Such research is, however, a major concern for those who would have us accept something that is not provable using only God’s Word. Ironically, the one Book the GB fears that we study the most is the Bible. They give lip service to studying it, but only if done through the lens of WT publications.
In conclusion, allow me to share a comment made by Anthony Morris in a talk at a recent convention. On the subject of doing deep research he said: “For those of you out there who want to do deep research and learn about Greek, forget about it, go out in service.” I found his statement to be both condescending and self serving.
The message he was conveying is clear. I believe he correctly represents the position of the GB. If we do research, we will arrive at conclusions other than those taught in the pages of the publications produced by the alleged Faithful and Discreet Slave. His solution? Leave it to us. You just go out and preach what we hand to you.
Nevertheless, how do we maintain a clear conscience in our ministry if we are not personally convinced that what we are teaching is truth?
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (Proverbs 18:15)
[i] Herald Of The Morning September 1875 p.52
[ii] Brothers who have sought support from Paul’s praise of the Beroeans have been told that the Beroeans only acted that way at the beginning, but once they knew Paul taught the truth, they stopped their research.
Carl Olof Jonson’s book on the Gentile times is a masterpiece.
Join the discussion
To all contributors and participants of the Beroean Pickets web site: I am deeply disturbed by the tone this site has recently taken. And, I do not appreciate being attacked for defending the rights of another poster to ask questions. The fact that many readers have chosen to “vote down” my defense of asking questions shows this issue is not limited to the contributors and hosts of this site, and so it is not an isolated issue. In a community dedicated to investigating matters of the deepest moral, spiritual and personal importance, which speak to the very motivations of our… Read more »
TRA, if you read this, I would only ask that you meditate on the following: I am deeply disturbed by the tone this site has recently taken. And, I do not appreciate being attacked for defending the rights of another poster to ask questions. When I first read “the exchange”, I made the comment that with the written medium it’s easy to misread someone’s tone. If you’ll notice the above quote from your “final” comment, it is precisely this highly subjective element of the exchange that you find most disturbing, and it leads you to the conclusion that you are… Read more »
I believe Andere makes a good point and I concur with him that I’m sorry to see you go as you have made valuable contributions to the site’s fund of knowledge.
I’m very sorry my brother. I do hope you’ll reconsider. If not, know that we will miss your spiritual contribution.
I join Andere and Meleti in wishing you peace and joy in your spiritual journey.
TRA pity that mate ive really enjoyed your comments .
TRA, I hate to see you go, for I am in the middle of a huge rebuilding my faith process, and I enjoyed your comments and you are a wonderful teacher. Kind regards
I agree with Willy… I am new at this having recently began a leaving process so am very raw and hurting still. I am unaware of any negative comments made towards you, as I said I am new and not as totally ‘informed’ as the some many commenters out there. You are absolutely correct when you say the asking of questions has been a potential death sentence in the past, we must be free to question and discuss without fear of penalty … … I am a grand mother and so I ask please kids … Say sorry and play… Read more »
Meleti excellent article. I was 13 years old in 1975. My family were getting ready for Armageddon and the entire congregation truly believed that the year 1975 was the end of the system of things. I used to cried at nights because I was really afraid that I wouldn’t survive Armageddon because I wasn’t good enough. On those years in Lima Peru there were many American missionaries and my family were very closed to them and all of them believed the end was coming on 1975. We used to believe that we’ll never get old or die.
Actually, this article series is written by SopaterOfBeroea, or Sopater for short. My own life experience mirrors yours however. Double your age and change the South American country and you have me. I remember sitting in an English class we gave to the employees of a large American multinational on Christmas Eve. There was no one in the class as they all took the day off to prepare for Christmas, 1970, so we got paid for the hour for just being there. I remarked to him, “Just think, four more years and it’s all over.” So stupid. So blind. So… Read more »
Oops ! Thank you for the clarification Meleti.
Thank you Anon,
My story is very similar. I recall thinking how all the kids I knew in HS were going to die very soon, so why get to know any of them? They were just faces.
And of course we had it all figured out.
I recall a brother that was counting the days to Oct 1, 1975 and had them listed in his daily text. At the meetings he’d go around saying “we only have 3 years and XXXX days left.” Are you ready?
How could we have bought into such nonsense hook, line and sinker?
I just learned that you were the author of this excellent article. Sorry for the confusion. I would like to add that it took me many many years to found that I wasn’t in the truth. In the 70s in a Spanish country with not any other resource but the books of the organization it was very difficult to realized that we weren’t in the truth, plus I was raised as JW. Nowadays, with the internet there is access to websites such this one that helps us to realize that we are adoctrinated with false teachings. I left the organization… Read more »
It was the same for most all of us, Did you read Part 1 of the article? It discusses having only limited resources for research at length.
Glad you have joined us and look forward to your comments. . .
I will look for part one.
Thank you : )
If you want to make a CO squirm, ask him the following question: If the publications are not inspired, are we obligated to believe everything in them?
Is there a youtube video where I can see Tony Morris deliver the memorable ‘forget about it and go out in service’ line? I’d love to see/hear it for myself.
I can’t believe how much Miller was considered to be mostly right in his calculations by Russell. Reading Millenial Dawn books like “Thy Kingdom Come” Russell says that the bridegroom tarried in 1843 and that the Miller movement had a sifting effect, sorting out the true believers from those who gave it away in disgust. William Millers dream is not only mentioned in “The Three Worlds” (the jewels of truth were scattered but then restored), but it was also reproduced word for word in “The Finished Mystery”. Since when did we start believing that people’s dreams have any relevance to… Read more »
These may be long quotes, but I believe they will give you elation and you will mark them for future reference. They are taken from the 1889 Watchtower, pages 1136-1140. “But as for a clerical class, God does not recognize it as his elect teachers; nor has he chosen many of his teachers from its ranks. The mere claim of any man to be a teacher is no proof that he is one by divine appointment. That false teachers would arise in the church, who would pervert the truth, was foretold. The church, therefore, is not to blindly accept whatever… Read more »
I’m a Bible Student and many of us don’t believe in 607 as when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem. We believe 587 BC. But we believe that Nebuchadnezzar entered Jerusalem in 610-607. It wasn’t until 587 that it was destroyed. I like the quote. Russell’s Bible Students are a far cry from the JWs.
The start of the 70 years of Babylonian domination of the nations was in 609 BCE, as they finished in 539 BCE, when the King of Babylon was called to account (Jere 25:12)
Here is a quote from a 1966 Awake that also proves that they said Armageddon was coming in 1975!! “In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man’s existence and also the first 6,000 years of God’s rest day come to an end? The year 1975.” This is worthy of notice, particularly in view of the fact that the “last days” began in 1914, and that the physical facts of our day in fulfillment of prophecy mark this as the last generation of this wicked world. So we can expect the immediate future to be filled with thrilling… Read more »
(“Signs of the Times relating to the Second Coming of Christ”- Volume 1 April 15, 1840) EIGHT FUNDAMENTAL ERRORS IN MILLER’S THEORY OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. For the benefit of those who have not studied Miller’s theory, we point out the following fundamental errors. 1. He dates the vision of the oppression of the Church of God, Jewish and Christian, from the edict of Artaxerxes, given B. C. 457, to Ezra, to build Jerusalem, and restore the Jewish State; which was so effectual, that Jerusalem and its temple flourished, with slight interruptions, for about 500 years, until destroyed… Read more »
w68 8/15 “Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?”
607 is referenced in this article as well. Seems laughable reading it now
Thank you for the rational article. The reasoning presented is irrefutable. Those of us who have spent more than 40 years as a Jehovah’s Witness have certainly seen a great deal of “new light” and the associated confusion, and if you should doubt or question anything, watch out. 2 Timothy 3:12,13 comes to mind where we are reminded that “….all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted. But wicked men and imposters will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled.” Therefore, if you know that you are misleading others,… Read more »
Excellent article. I have often wondered why the GB simply dont make the necessary changes that are so clear to so many people after having carried out some simple research. Your reasons why the GB stubbornly dig their heels answers that question!
See here for pictures of the relevant pages in the book Life Everlasting
Thanks Menrov. I “borrowed” the hard copy I now claim ownership to from our KH library several years ago. No one had touched the old relic in years. I have given it a nice cozy place where it will be forever appreciated. I have asked Jehovah for forgiveness for borrowing it indefinitely :<)) I love to watch the expression on friends faces when I show them these pages and then ask if they still consider the 1975 doctrine was just folklore, an urban legend, the idea of anxious zealots who ran ahead of the organization? I consider it a wonderful… Read more »
Great article, excellent for the newcomers and those already awake. I didn’t know about the “Life Everlasting…” book and that it was removed from the WT Library.
Thank you for your service. I pray that especially my wife and all my friends and family would start to love truth and do some research outside the walled garden approved by Tight Pants Tony and the Governing Body.
Thank you. And that is our prayer also, and what motivates us to devote much of our personal life to preparing and sharing helpful information.
Great write up on this, thank you for your hard work! I lived next door to Charles Ploeger’s brother Stan a missionary CO and a very good knowledgable brother for many years. (Was also my PO at the time) I met Charlie a couple of times just prior to the 80-81 purge over this issue he seemed to be a troubled brother and was disfellowshipped shortly there after. His brother always told me “he just lost his mind” and that his privilege of being Raymond’s right hand man went to his head, of course now I understand why. I have… Read more »
Interesting story, thanks for sharing. I’m sure he was troubled.
Who of us aren’t troubled when we begin our awakening?
Just curious Sopater.
Were you one of those who “taken (took) speculation, conjecture and false expectation to family, friends and neighbors.”
Or where you back in the early 70’s a Beroean asking “But where are these teachings found in God’s Word? “ and refused to teach this speculation?
If you refused, I commend you.
Although well researched and put together, I think your argument may be over simplifying the issues raised.
I wonder if anyone agrees with me?
Your question regarding Sopater’s view in the past is impertinent, especially on a public forum. Best to avoid this type of question.
Hi Meleti Vivilon
I disagree with your assessment of my question. I would like to defend myself because I think your censuring of me was rough and unfair. My question was well meant and pertinent to me. True it may have been revealing but my intent was not to expose hypocrisy rather open up the subject to a more subjective analysis. I will say no more though. You should start a section were people can vent without consequences. I don’t feel I can respond freely or even contribute unless it’s backslapping.
Jesusjeffrey: If you wish to “vent without consequences” there are many forums on the web that would welcome you with open arms. By all means, avail yourself of them. Those who frequent this forum do so in part because they wish to avoid the climate created by such venting. As to your question: what you meant to convey may well have been something other than what came across to your readers. When commenting, please bear in mind this inspired counsel: “Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person.”… Read more »
Hello Meleti, I have been reading this exchange between you and Jesusjeffrey. With all due respect to both of you and to Sopater, Meleti, you need some counsel on this matter. I will do my utmost to offer it in a kindly and respectful way, but you need to listen. OK? First things first. When you tell Jesusjeffrey that questioning Sopater’s view in the past is impertinent, you are wrong. The Beroean Pickets web site is filled with impertinent people asking impertinent questions about impertinent subjects. Why, you yourself are impertinent for even hosting this web site. The questions raised… Read more »
TRA, I do not personally feel that counsel is warranted for Meleti’s response to JJ’s question to me. As the founder and moderator of this site (for years), Meleti (and the other brothers involved) have gained experience and discernment in commenting etiquette. I have no problem respecting the guidelines provided for commenting. I feel they are reasonable and designed to prevent a spirit from developing that threatens the peaceful interchange and “worthwhile” fellowship we enjoy here at BP. I personally received JJ’s comment and question as interrogating and judgmental. It bothered me throughout the night. If I misunderstood the point… Read more »
I am sorry. I in no way condone insulting or disrespectful behavior. However, if I can summarize my long answer above, I want to ask you something. This forum exists to discuss matters of deep importance, that affect the conscience of everyone who reads and who contributes to its content. This is no idle matter, but is extremely important, affecting the very lives of the people who associate here – indeed, affecting even the most intimate aspects of our lives. Are you saying that, in spite of the enormous stakes involved herein, you and those involved in hosting this site… Read more »
TRA, What I have written about is the results of research. I’ve tried to present facts that speak for themselves. I pray the “facts” themselves move a person to use their own conscience. To accept or reject that the information is truthful and fairly presented is the readers choice. I certainly feel that anyone has the right to ask a question about anything. With asking comes the responsibility of accepting the effect it that it may have on the person receiving the question. I had absolutely no problem with answering JJ’s question. My conscience is totally clear. I was troubled… Read more »
I would just like to add that this sort of things is often a side effect of the written medium since, to a great extent, the tone is supplied by the reader. I have a close friend with whom I can discuss these topics in person without it becoming an argument, but when we try to discuss it by email it quickly becomes a heated interchange. So it’s worth taking care, where tone is concerned, not to give our brothers’ comments the least charitable reading.
Never mind brothers you know we are all different and see things from different perspectives . Im not sure its about what we say that proves what we are but how we react to what others say . We should all be humble enough to take counsel or even criticism sometimes paul even took delight in insults . Its always good to see ourselves through the eyes of others . Its loving one another is the important thing 2 john
Just reading the exchange if any . I think my question would have been if any , are we still teaching things that we know to be wrong . ? Do we teach one thing from the platform at the KH and in the ministry , and then another online here . This question is not directed at any individual but just one for all to consider
Father Jack, Your question is a good one. First may I say I don’t think there is a black/white answer. The phrase “we know to be wrong” is subjective to each. While one person may view a teaching as “wrong”, another may view it as doubtful, but still within the realm of Biblical possibilities. Secondly, defining what “we know to be wrong” depends upon the stage of awakening. Early in the journey, there may be only a few things “we know to be wrong.” Later in our journey, through deep study, research and prayer we discover more and more. As… Read more »
FJ, May I add that I certainly struggle with “teaching” something I personally disagree with. I’m able to side step many things. For one, I can not give the memorial talk. And there are several PT outlines that I no longer give. I can refrain from commenting on something that I disagree with. But overall, I view it just as was the case with these brothers who for over a decade (after doing Aid book research) had to continue to conform to teachings they disagreed with, even teaching them in schools. As they were able to balance this, so can… Read more »
Yeah thanks for the explanation sopater i can see where you are coming from . Its great to understand one another . The question was one for personal reflection . Im so sorry if you felt you had to provide an answer. You did not . You mentioned your conscience is clear and that is the key i feel . What you do is your buisness . As far as i can see the only person we have to answer to is jesus himself . I think one of the major problems that J W s have is the religion… Read more »
I think our disagreement may be based on a misunderstanding of the word “impertinence”. My use of it was in line with the dictionary definition shown below: 1. lack of respect, rudeness, insolence, impoliteness, bad manners, discourtesy, disrespect, incivility Your statement, “Don’t get me wrong. I don’t disapprove of impertinence. Quite the reverse: I believe it’s absolutely vital if one is to maintain a good conscience”, makes no sense given this definition. Lack of respect, rudeness, insolence, impoliteness, bad manners, discourtesy, disrespect, incivility have nothing to do with maintaining a good conscience. This leads me to believe that you understand… Read more »
Dignity and respect are crucial qualities to operate by when involved in discussions. I have seen this to be a problem on other discussion groups I commend you meleti for upholding high Christian standards
And what if he was one that (“took)speculation, conjecture and false expectation to family, friends and neighbors”? It seems apparent that you personally were not fully indoctrinated and under mind control. Having been the “Jehu of the Watchtower” myself since I was five, I personally taught many things I knew that were not quite right, or I disagreed with totally. (144,000, the generation, explanation of celestial phenomena, and others)You did that because Jehovah would “fix” it in his “due time”. It was “God’ Organization”. A persons desire to stay with the organization and teach falsehood has little to do with… Read more »
Hi Vincent Gomez
I agree, “A persons desire to stay with the organization and teach falsehood has little to do with wanting to be a “Borean”.”
The author made the connection not me.
You may have been a cultist but I was not. I’m “Awake to that”
At lest you don’t seem to be blaming them for your time furthering the interest of a cult by preaching known (to you) falsehoods. Taking responsibility for our own mistakes in life is an absolute necessity. Well done!
I agree that we need to take responsibility for our mistakes. But this is not a “mistake”. Especially when you are born in. I suggest you read Steve Hassen’s latest book about mind control. It truly is mind control. YOU were not as indoctrinated. I know many people like yourself in the organization. Even if you have read the book, your words clearly show you don’t understand the whole picture. As Steve Hassan said, you don’t choose a cult, they choose you. It is like a family. Do you blame a child when he has been molded by bad parents?… Read more »
Brother Sopater, Thank You for your effort and research and time that You put in THE above article. Kind regards.
Willy, thank you for your kind words. We all share a kindred spirit and build each other up (Heb 10:24;Matt 18:20)
JJ My answer is yes, I was one who did such. I was a teen completely dedicated to a religious movement I was born into, that my parents believed to be the “truth”. From your comment are we to assume you separated from JW’s during the 1975 campaign? That you are one that asked: “Where is this teaching in the Bible?” If you did, good for you. But why belittle those of us who didn’t, for whatever reasons? Why judge a brother (or sister) who may just be beginning their awakening journey now? Do you feel you should be elevated… Read more »
I ‘m also curious about Reinhard Lengtat and Charles Ploeger .
I had a contact at Bethel in 1980 who knew him and told me Reinhard was sent to Washington state as a special pioneer. I have heard that he remained active over the years, that being said, he obviously didn’t push the envelope.
I was in the Utica Congregation in Brooklyn until 1974. Charlie Ploeger was my absolute favorite speaker. Now I know better. I too was “waking up” to Jesus.
Welcome Andrea. Good to have you with us!
No doubt by Divine Providence, we have an abundant of research tools we can use independently of WT. I personally find e-Sword extremely useful. It is available for free download at http://www.e-sword.net. Once installed, open the menu tab ‘Download’ and select whichever commentary, bible translation, dictionary etc etc you want to add.
Thanks for the tip. I had never heard of e-Sword before your post above. It looks like it has a long history, about 15 years, and is quite a mature piece of software. They have had the program downloaded millions of times, so evidently it is well-liked. It looks like it could be very useful and helpful.
Hi, Bible Discovery is good as well. It allows for free bible downloads but also some shareware bibles. Basic tool is free but I purchase the full tool. I like it very much.
setting dates is a very tricky house of cards the only way to continue is to keep bringing out new dates in the hope that the failed dates are forgoten very soon new calculations will start being made as to the age and life expectancy of the younger ones within the overlapping generation
Great follow up, like the quotes from” freedom of the sons”book, yes I’ve heard old recording of talks, we’re prominent brothers almost give their right hand that 1975 was the year of the great tribulation. If only brother Macmillan was around, he would of warned the brothers of being fixated on dates, as he himself learnt the hard way, that’s its none of their business. Just recently a humble bro who was appointed, sent me a text, asking if I could help him understand, and explain in a simplified way how we get to 1914. I remember at school when… Read more »
Even more serious than the flawed teaching about 607 BC is what it stands for, which is that it’s the first link in a chain of reasoning that ends with the claim that 1914 began the last days. A large part of that “chain” is the interpretation of Daniel. Each link in that piece of the chain is flawed. They have been completely mistaken about Daniel. (A number of other commentators have detailed why this is so.) They then point to 1914, with their “prize” piece of evidence being the outbreak of WWI. Yet, a clear analysis of ALL the… Read more »
Hello brother TRA, you write: they have been completely mistaken about Daniel. Can you tell me where I can find more about the right explanation, I like to read about Daniël.
Very good article, it expose the lies that have been told to us for years and the effort made to cover it up, it is no wonder why they try to silence those that try to ask the right questionside to get to the truth, I thought this was what they were about , discovering and teaching truth but I guess we have some issue to face…………..
Just thinking about your comments about ed dunlap getting shunned was that about the time when new light came through about those verses in 2 john must of been quite handy that at the time . I would love to know how jehovah communicates these messages to them .
The problem is when the entire authority structure balances on a belief, and the belief is questioned. This challenges authority. And authority will always win and crush out of existence anything which stands in it’s way. When you believe you have the authority to judge the sheep, and take disfellowshipping action against them over a difference in understanding, how is this not beating the sheep into submission? It really is “unity at all costs” as bought out in the Walsh trial. The sad results of all of this are starting to surface. Pride is most certainly before a fall. The… Read more »
Thanks for the research on the article . The only thing that used to make me think that perhaps they were correct was that in 1914 the first world war started and it seemed to tie in with matthew 24 . I used to present the talk IS IT TIME FOR GOD TO RULE THE WORLD but in the end refused to give it even if requested . Besides the fact that the 607 date was wrong when we look at the formula for arriving at the date its an obvious fabrication . Come on its like a patchwork quilt… Read more »
What really used to get me though about that talk . That i had just “proved ” that 1914 was the date of jesus return and then applied that to revelation 11 v 15 the kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of his lord and christ and he will rule forever . Come on that date is over 100 years ago jesus rule is supposed to usher in a new world in which righteousness is to dwell . Its obviously wrong
As I Witness, I would have answered with: “We know Jesus is ruling as he is overseeing the preaching work and gathering righthearted ones for salvation”. Now that I have learned to think a bit more critically, it has occurred to me that it is obviously impossible as so many have already died due to the long delay in bringing kingdom rule to the earth. I used to think that even though the first ones have died off already, the greater numbers gathered would boost the preaching work to gather in the final vast multitude, but that is also being… Read more »
The irony of this is that WT knew back in 1922 that all historical evidence pointed to 587 BC, not 607 BC, but they chose even back then to disparage the messengers rather than accepting the message.
The WT can be read on this web site:
and click on “PDF” to read it.