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special leadership. Does the Bible really teach that Jehovah chose the Governing Body of Jehovah’s
Witnesses to be His only mouthpiece on earth today?
We understand that Jehovah Witnesses find it difficult to question the appointment of the
Governing Body because of what the Society teaches happened in the early church. The argument
runs – if there was only one Governing Body then, surely there is only one now; but what did happen
in the early church?
According to an article in The Watchtower, 1 November 1984, Paul and other Christians did not
make their own decisions on doctrinal matters but received ‘authoritative answers’ from the elders
in Jerusalem. However, we read in another article:
“Was the apostle Paul part of the Christian governing body? It is reasonable to conclude that Paul
was a part of the Christian governing body in the first century.” – The Watchtower, 1 December
The first article tells us that Paul went to Jerusalem to ‘explain’ the good news he was preaching.
However, if as the second article states, Paul was part of the governing body, surely it would know!
Why Did Paul Go To Jerusalem?
A careful look at Galatians chapter 2 helps to show what actually happened:
– Paul went to those of reputation in Jerusalem because of the revelation given to him by the Lord.
– The men of reputation in Jerusalem contributed nothing to Paul which is a very strange way of
giving an authoritative answer! (Gal. 2:6)
– The elders simply made a request to Paul and Barnabas that they should remember the poor. (Gal.
– Later, Paul had to oppose Peter, one of the elders from Jerusalem, because he was not living the
Christian life in a full and open way. (Gal. 2:11-14)
Do these Scriptures support the Watchtower Society’s interpretation of these events? We would
suggest not. There was not just one organisation in the New Testament church and, if this true,
there is no ground for one organisation today.
Translation. It is the title given to the good slave, who, while waiting for his master to return,
gives “food in due season” to his fellow slaves. Does the Bible support the Society’s claim that the
Governing Body of the Watchtower Society is this slave?
An article in The Watchtower, March 1 2004, makes an interesting point:
“‘The faithful and discreet slave’ cannot be one person” – p.8.
However, if we check other statements made by the Society we find contradictions:
“THE WATCH TOWER unhesitatingly proclaims Brother Russell as ‘that faithful and wise servant.'” –
The Watchtower Reprints, March 1, 1917, p. 6049
“The Lord Jesus, in his great prophetic statement in Matthew 24:45-47, made known the fact that
at the end of the age he would be present and would have a special servant whom he would ‘make
ruler over all his house to give meat in due season to the household.’ “For several years some
have recognized and now many more are recognizing, that Pastor Russell is that servant.” – The
Watchtower Reprints, November 1, 1917, p. 6159
“Well, might the term ‘faithful and discreet slave’ apply in a general sense to each individual
Christian? It is true that all Christians must be faithful and discreet; however, Jesus clearly had
something more in mind when he spoke of ‘the faithful and discreet slave.’ How do we know that?
Because he said that the ‘master on arriving’ would appoint the slave ‘over all his belongings.’
How could each individual Christian be placed over everything – over ‘all’ of the Lord’s belongings?
Impossible! The only reasonable conclusion, then, is that Jesus was referring to a group of Christians
as ‘the faithful and discreet slave.’ Can there be such a thing as a composite slave? Yes. Seven
hundred years before Christ, Jehovah referred to the entire nation of Israel as ‘my witnesses’
and ‘my servant whom I have chosen.'” – The Watchtower, March 1 2004, p.9.
But does this really refer to the Watchtower Society. Doesn’t the context of Matthew 24:42-25:30
make it much more likely to be an individual? It is in the context of being ready for the return of the
Master and we cannot do that as a group, it is as an individual that must determine whether he/she
is ready or not.
termed as a servant. However they then go on to show that this servant was dismissed;
“A ‘Servant’ Is Dismissed. Since Israel was God’s ‘servant’ centuries ago, was it also the slave that
Jesus spoke about? No, for ancient Israel sadly turned out to be neither faithful nor discreet… Israel
climaxed a long history of rebellion by rejecting Jesus, at which point Jehovah rejected them… This
unfaithfulness on the part of the ‘servant,’ Israel, did not mean that faithful worshipers would be
forever cut off from a spiritual food supply. At Pentecost 33 C.E., 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection,
holy spirit was poured out upon about 120 of his disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem. At that
moment, a new nation was born. Appropriately, its birth was publicized when its members boldly
began telling the inhabitants of Jerusalem about “the magnificent things of God.” (Acts 2:11) Thus,
that new nation, a spiritual nation, became the ‘servant’ that would declare Jehovah’s glory to the
nations and supply food at the proper time.” – p.8.
Having introduced Israel as ‘the servant,’ the article goes on to show that Jehovah totally rejected
the Jews and they were substituted. But, is this not, bad Biblical exegeses, because as Romans 11
shows, although rejected for a time they will be brought back. Thus, we would suggest, that the
Bible shows that the Society cannot be the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ because they are not giving
proper food in due time.
slave’. But, there appears to be a problem because to be the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ that group
must be giving out good spiritual food. But was the food being given out in 1919, good? We would
like to look at this next.
The year of 1919 is very important to the Watchtower Society as this was the year that they claim
Jehovah chose them to be His “faithful and discreet slave”.
“TIME OF INSPECTION BY THE SLAVE’S MASTER. Without a question of doubt, it was a real time for
inspection of the Master’s “slave” class. All the facts of the case argue that the Master came for
the work of inspection at the time. Such a thing was to be expected according to the prophecy of
Malachi 3:1-5. Of course, the sectarian churches of Christendom had made a wartime record for
themselves, an open record that had a heavy bearing on their claim to be disciples and slaves of
Jesus Christ. Could they, by even their latest record down till 1919, prove that they themselves were
the composite “faithful and discreet slave” class of the heavenly Lord and Master, Jesus Christ? He
as Judge would indicate what his findings were by the way he thereafter dealt with the hundreds of
religious sects of Christendom.” – God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached, 1973, p. 349.
But, to be the ‘faithful and discreet slave’, at that time, the Society must have been giving out good
spiritual food. Was the food being given out in 1919, good?
& 386, 1917 Edition), today it is 1914.
In 1919 the Society taught that celebrating Christmas was good and acceptable to Jehovah (see The
Watchtower, 1 December 1904 p364), today it is pagan.
In 1919 the Society taught that Jesus died on a cross (see Zion’s Watch Tower Reprints, 15 April
1913, p.5221), today it is pagan.
In 1919 the Society taught that all true Christians had a heavenly reward (see The Watchtower,
August 1, 1935, p. 233, 234, 236), today it is pagan.
Clearly the Watchtower Society were not giving out good food in 1919 and so, we would suggest,
they could not have been chosen by Jehovah to be His ‘faithful and discreet slave’.
In the light of this discovery we think it would be helpful to look at two key teachings of the Society
and see how they differ from evangelical Christianity. Does the Bible show one or the other to be
1. Jesus is a created Being
2. He is the same person as the Archangel Michael
3. He is ‘a god’ but not Almighty God
Evangelical Christians Teach:
1. Jesus is eternal
2. Jesus cannot be an angel
3. Jesus is God
Is Jesus A Created Being?
In Revelation 3:14, the New World Translation reads that Jesus is “the beginning of the creation by God” which seems to confirm the Watchtower belief that Jesus is the first one to be created by Jehovah. But does this verse actually say that?
The Kingdom Interlinear Translation shows that the Greek word translated ‘beginning’ is arche. In some versions this word is translated ‘source’ or ‘origin’, which one is right? Think of the English word ‘architect’ and you see that they are all right; it means beginning in the sense of source. The architect is the source and designer of the whole building.
Put these two things together and we discover that Rev.3:14 says that Jesus is the source of all God’s creation, not the first one to be created.
The Watchtower Society also teach that the phrase ‘firstborn’ means, ‘the first to be created.’
In Colossians 1:15, the Greek word translated ‘firstborn’ is prototokos, which means the first-begotten and is never translated the first one to be born. Its meaning is ‘priority to’ or ‘pre-eminence over’; therefore surely this Scripture is saying that Jesus is the pre-eminent one over all creation and not a created being Himself.
Whichever English word is used we must discover what the Greek means. For instance, does Col. 1:18 mean that Jesus was the first one to be born from the dead? That would not be true but is the Scripture wrong? No, because the Greek word has the meaning of position, place, or ranking. This is seen in the Old Testament, where on two occasions the first to be born lost the position of firstborn to the second to be born.
Firstborn has always, in the Hebrew tradition, had to do with place and pre-eminence over. The context of Colossians makes it clear that the word is used in the same way. That ‘He might come to have first place in everything’. (v. 18)
It would therefore appear that Scripture does not teach that Jesus is a created being.
Is Jesus An Angel?
Hebrews 1:7 & 8 shows, beyond doubt, that Jesus is not an angel. Verse 7 has Jehovah speaking, ‘to the angels’ The ‘but’ at the beginning of verse 8 shows He is talking to someone different, ‘to the Son’. The angels are on one side and the Son on the other, with a dividing line down the middle. The Son, Jesus, cannot be an angel, not even an archangel because He would still be by nature an angel.
The Bible therefore does not teach that Jesus is Michael the Archangel.
Is Jesus God?
John 5:16-23 is a very interesting passage. Verse 16 shows that Jesus was being persecuted for healing on the Sabbath. In verse 17 Jesus makes a simple statement – ‘My Father.’ From this the Jews understood that Jesus was claiming to be equal with God (v.18).
Jesus could teach so that no one could understand Him (e.g. the parable of the Sower – Matt. 13). But here He spoke plainly so that the people understood. Jesus was a Jew and understood how the Jewish mind worked. He knew that when He said, ‘My Father’ the Jews would understand that He was claiming to be, of the same substance as Jehovah, God.
If Jesus is not equal with God who is at fault – Jesus for misleading them or the Jews for believing what Jesus said? Of course in these circumstances, Jesus would be at fault and would be a liar and a fraud. This is not true; therefore, the statement must be correct. It is also clear that the Jews were not unbelieving, they believed what Jesus said but rejected it.
John 20:28 records the second time that Jesus appeared to the disciples, but the first time that Thomas saw Him. His immediate response is to acknowledge Jesus as “my Lord and my God”
Scripture clearly says that ‘Thomas said to Him’ (Jesus) both statements – my Lord and my God. He also used the Greek, ho theos, the phrase that the Society uses exclusively of Jehovah God. Jesus is called not just ‘a god’ but ‘the God.’ Thomas literally says, “the God of me.’ If this were not true, Jesus would have rebuked Thomas. However, in verse 29, He commends all those who will believe the same as Thomas believed.
In the midst of those who would go out to teach the early church, Jesus accepts the acclamation of God. What would the apostles believe and what should we believe?
It would appear that Scripture agrees with the evangelical Christian belief and not with those of the Watchtower Society.
The person of Jesus is of course very important but so also is how we can be saved which we will look at next.
1. There is a two-tier salvation.
2. Salvation is a reward not a gift.
Evangelical Christians Teach:
1. Salvation is the same basis for all and all the redeemed will be ‘with the Lord’.
2. Salvation is a free gift to be received.
The Watchtower Society defines salvation as follows:
“Preservation or deliverance from danger or destruction. That deliverance may be from the hands of oppressors or persecutors. For all true Christians, Jehovah provides through his Son deliverance from the present wicked system of things as well as salvation from bondage to sin and death. For a great crowd of faithful servants of Jehovah living during ‘the last days’, salvation will include preservation through the great tribulation. ” – Reasoning from the Scriptures, p.356.
But adds to this in the following quotes:
“Remember, though, that you must work hard to receive these blessings. It will cost you time and effort … We therefore urge one and all to lay hold on God’s promises and to trust him fully. By continued diligent study of the Bible and by application of its wise counsel you MAY attain to the grandest of blessings, including everlasting life in a paradise earth! – ” – The Watchtower, 1 July 1984, p.6. (emphasis added)
“Salvation cannot be earned by attendance at meetings or in any other way. It is free, a gift from God. Yet, Jehovah God does require efforts on our part if we are to receive his gift of everlasting life.” – The Watchtower, 15 January 1986, p.10.
Surely, this is like winning a ‘free’ holiday but having to pay £200 for insurance! The gift is free but we must pay before we receive it.
We would also like to note that the Society agrees that their message is different to that of Christians:
“But the Kingdom witnessing of Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1914 has been something far different from what Christendom’s missionaries have published both before and since 1914.” – The Watchtower, 1 October 1980, p.28.
According to the Watchtower Society it is only after taking six distinct steps that we will gain salvation and as, taking in knowledge and exercising faith are ongoing steps, surely, we can never know if we have attained to the standard.
“What about these anointed footstep followers of Jesus Christ? When are they ‘born again’? What steps must they take before Jehovah acts on their behalf, bringing them forth as spiritual sons? … There are six distinct steps that these must take. But let it be noted that God requires these same things of all who would become true christians and gain salvation … to begin with, such persons must take in accurate knowledge about Jehovah God, their creator and life-giver, and about his son, Jesus Christ, their savior and redeemer … a person must exercise faith … the very first work that is required as proof of a person’s faith is that of repentance… A person must take the step of conversion … Then just as Jesus presented himself at the Jordan … the next step required… is to present themselves to God. Today, this includes making a dedication to Jehovah God, after which they must follow in the footsteps of his Son, Jesus … Further, as a sixth step they must symbolize this dedication and make an open confession of it by undergoing baptism…” – The Watchtower, 1 February 1982, pp.25-26.
But surely the definition of salvation in the Scriptures is clear and final:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith: and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of god; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9.
The Society also defines what they believe a Christian is, on pp.440-441 of Insight on the Scriptures, Vol.1.
“More is required of true Christians than a mere confession of faith. It is necessary that belief be demonstrated by works… They must keep themselves clean… They strip off old personalities… They provide care for their own… True Christians… ‘Go… make disciples…’ In carrying it out, Christians ‘witness publicly and from house to house’…”
A Christian is recognised by what they do not who they are. This is living your Christian life like an outwardly decorated tree rather than an apple tree and this is not sufficient. Everything is placed on the outside of the tree and has nothing to do with the tree itself and indeed as the tree dries out, all that is on the outside will fall out. The apple tree on the other hand produces life from within because its roots go into the soil and draw up goodness and so produces fruit. The Christian life is like the apple tree because we are in Christ and drawing from His life and thus producing His fruit – this is what makes us a CHRISTian. If I live my life that outwardly decorated tree then sooner or later I am going to be found wanting and realise that all the things I have put on the outside do not come from the life of Christ within.
“Entrance into the body of Christ is not made on the basis of logic or philosophy, but is made on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ and whole hearted devotion to him. We think by far the better way, the scriptural way, is for the one who conducts the baptismal service, or the one who gives the Scriptural talk on such an occasion, to ask merely the simple questions: (1) Do you believe in Christ Jesus as your Redeemer, and your personal Saviour from sin and death? (2) Have you presented your heart and life to God, to follow the indications of his will under the headship of Jesus his Son?” – The Watchtower, 1 February 1921, pp.42-3.
Thirty-seven years later the questions had evolved away from Jesus and trust solely in Him.
“It is essential that with the mouth public declaration of faith be made. Two questions are therefore asked the candidates: (1) Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ? (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit? ” – The Watchtower, 1 August 1958, p.478.
Further changes took place over the next fifteen years and for the first time repentance is mentioned.
“… we suggest that you consider the following two questions, which are asked of candidates for baptism: (1) Have you repented of your sins and turned around, recognizing yourself before Jehovah God as a condemned sinner who needs salvation, and have acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ? (2) On the basis of this faith in God and his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening power of the holy spirit?” – The Watchtower, 1 May 1973, p.280.
Over the years not only were the questions evolving but also the fact as to whether you needed to answer questions at all.
“Decision Based on Knowledge… Before reaching this point of baptism, all candidates have carefully reviewed with congregational elders the Bible’s principal doctrines… to make sure they really qualify for baptism… the… candidates will be in a position to answer with depth of understanding… two simple questions… On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?… Do you understand that your dedicating and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?” – The Watchtower, 1 June 1985, p.30.
With baptism so vital to the salvation plan of a Witness we should note the questions they are asked today compared with the ones in the past. Note that today:
– There is no mention of Jesus being your personal saviour – now it is a corporate salvation.
– There is no mention of being a condemned sinner.
– There is no mention that salvation proceeds from the Father through Jesus; now it’s the organisation that is the means of salvation.
– There is no mention of the word salvation at all.
– There is no mention of dedication to do God’s will but only to serve the organisation.
Biblically, Jesus is the mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) but the Society teaches that Jesus is not the mediator of the ‘great crowd.’ What must they do?
“Your attitude towards the wheatlike anointed ‘brothers’ of Christ and the treatment you accord them will be the determining factor as to whether you go into ‘everlasting cutting-off’ or receive ‘everlasting life’.” – The Watchtower, 1 August 1981, p.26.
“This pastoral King tells us how a person may be considered fit to be separated to the side of divine favor in contrast to the goatlike people. It is by doing good to those yet remaining on earth of the spiritual ‘brothers’ of the reigning King…” – The Watchtower, 1 January 1983, p.13.
The majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses alive today are not in the new covenant mediated by Jesus Christ, therefore Jesus Christ cannot be their mediator. So, who is the mediator of the ‘great crowd?’ The answer from Watchtower material is the 144,000! The ‘great crowd’ need not worry about their relationship with Jesus Christ but with the 8,000 or so remnant still alive on the earth today. Men and women of the Society have replaced the Son of God!
How important it is to know the way to true salvation. Does the Watchtower Society teach the true way? Again, it appears that theirs is not the Biblical way. What do you think?
“The Watchtower will continue to be published semi-monthly, but it will have two different editions. In the issue dated the 1st of each month, all the material will be directed to the public. It will have no study articles. This issue will be known as the public edition. The Watchtower that is dated the 15th of each month will be solely for the Christian brotherhood. It will not be offered to the public. It will contain all the study articles for one month and secondary articles that are appropriate for dedicated servants of Jehovah. That will be known as the study edition.”
“The advantages of this change will be quickly evident… in the study articles, we have to explain terms like ‘pioneer’ in ways the public understand. After this new arrangement goes into effect, everything in the study edition will be expressly for dedicated individuals and Bible students who are making spiritual progress. Hence, the information can be more pointed and more beneficial.”
Whereas the explanation seems reasonable one cannot help feeling that they want to hide the changes and alterations in policy and Biblical teaching.
It could be like this article, “Truthfulness – Expected Only of Others?” that strikes me as almost inappropriate to have been written by the Society. It appears on page 3 of The Watchtower 1 February 2007, and says:
“‘I hate lies…’… Most of us feel the same way. We like to think that information given to us – whether by word of mouth or in written form – is truthful. But do we tell the truth when we pass information on to others”
Note the inference that the information written down is true but are we careful how we pass it on. Later in the article, they go on to say:
“Consider the damage that untruth can do. Falsehood breeds distrust… Fabrications by researchers ruin promising careers and tarnish the reputation of respected institutions… Widespread lying can cause damage both to individuals and to society as a whole. Few would dispute that fact. Why, then, do people deliberately tell what is untrue? And is every untruth a lie? We will consider the answers to these and other questions in the next article.”
Clearly falsehoods are a problem as is, wait for it, fabrications by researchers! Surely they are shooting themselves in the foot; why do people do it, surely they know, but why are they directing people to their own faults? This becomes clear in the next article where one of the questions that they answer is, “Is every untruth a lie”! I had to read that a few times before I believed they actually said it. Take a look in your dictionary and see that one of the definitions for untruth is, “lie”. No wonder they don’t want the public to be aware of their teaching!
The next article which starts on page 4 is entitled, “Why Be Truthful?” It starts off fine with the teaching that at the beginning of mankind’s history everything was based on truth and it was not until the Devil came onto the scene that lies began. They then give some interesting reasons as to why people lie; “Greed and selfish ambitions” and “Fear of the consequences” are two which are very relevant to each one of us but also to the Watchtower Society on their past history. Then on page 6 we have this amazing statement:
“Every lie is an untruth, but not every untruth is a lie. Why not? A dictionary defines a lie as “an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive.” Yes, lying includes the intention to deceive someone. Hence, to speak an untruth unwittingly – such as giving someone incorrect facts and figure by mistake – is not the same as to tell a lie”
That seems fair enough on the surface but I cannot help but feel that they are going to use this at some time in the future to change some facts they have given ‘unwittingly’. However, they then go on to a statement that is in their ‘Bible Dictionary’:
“Moreover, we need to consider whether the person asking for information is entitled to a comprehensive answer.”
However, that is something totally different; to hold back information is one thing but to deliberately misquote is another; not to tell all you know is your choice but to use what you know in a deceptive way is not. This thought was raised in their article on “Lie” in Insight on the Scriptures Vol.2, p.244:
“While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it. Jesus Christ counseled: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine, that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip you open.” (Mt 7:6)
That is why Jesus on certain occasions refrained from giving full information or direct answers to certain questions when doing so could have brought unnecessary harm. (Mt 15:1-6; 21:23-27; Joh 7:3-10) Evidently the course of Abraham, Isaac, Rahab, and Elisha in misdirecting or in withholding full facts from nonworshipers of Jehovah must be viewed in the same light.-Ge 12:10-19; chap 20; 26:1-10; Jos 2:1-6; Jas 2:25; 2Ki 6:11-23.
“Jehovah God allows “an operation of error” to go to persons who prefer falsehood “that they may get to believing the lie” rather than the good news about Jesus Christ. (2Th 2:9-12) This principle is illustrated by what happened centuries earlier in the case of Israelite King Ahab. Lying prophets assured Ahab of success in war against Ramoth-gilead, while Jehovah’s prophet Micaiah foretold disaster. As revealed in vision to Micaiah, Jehovah allowed a spirit creature to become “a deceptive spirit” in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets. That is to say, this spirit creature exercised his power upon them so that they spoke, not truth, but what they themselves wanted to say and what Ahab wanted to hear from them. Though forewarned, Ahab preferred to be fooled by their lies and paid for it with his life.-1Ki 22:1-38; 2Ch 18.”
Notice in this article you are allowed to exercise an “operation of error” to anyone you consider prefers falsehood – quite a wide choice and something that can so easily be misused. However, they don’t go as far in The Watchtower article and end with these sobering words:
“Lies… cannot stand the test of time… Jehovah, the God of truth, has set a time limit for the toleration of untruth and of those who promote lies… Jehovah will soon put an end to all lies and liars… What a relief it will be when at last ‘the lip of truth’ will be firmly established forever.”
In the light of this article and the obvious claim that they are ‘the truth’, I thought it would be helpful to list again some of the clear lies and deceptions of the Watchtower Society – please check them out and ask the next Witness that calls to also check them out, especially in the light of this Watchtower article. Please also remember that this information is not for those who don’t want to accept truth but it is for Jehovah’s Witnesses who obviously should be given all the truth.
The Truth of Rule 1
“How is a modern translator to know or determine when to render the Greek words kyrios and theos into the divine name in his version? By determining where the inspired Christian writers have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures. Then he must refer back to the original to locate whether the divine name appears there. This way he can determine the identity to give to kyrios and theos and he can then clothe them.” – Kingdom Interlinear Translation, WB&TS, 1969, p.18.
The Lie told
On page 885 of the same publication we find Philippians 2:11 where kyrios is translated Lord. But applying the above rule of translation, and realising that Philippians 2:11 is a direct quotation from Isaiah 45:23 [it was even cross-referenced in the original 1950 edition of the New World Translation]. It should read, “and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus is Christ is Jehovah to the glory of God the Father”.
The Truth of Rule 2
“Isaiah 1:24 – ‘the [true] Lord’. This is the translation of the Hebrew expression ha-A’don, this being the title A’don (“Lord; Master”) preceded by the Hebrew definite article ha. Although there are many lords or masters, this prefixing of the definite article before the title a’don limits the application of the title to Jehovah God.” – Kingdom Interlinear Translation, WB&TS, 1985
The Lie told
In the same publication the footnote to Romans 10:9 tells us that the Greek word kyrios is ha-A’don in several Hebrew translations. Thus applying the above rule we should read , “For if you publicly declare that ‘word in your mouth,’ that Jesus is Jehovah, and…” However, that is not the case.
The Truth of Rule 3
“Consequently, religious traditions, hoary with age, have been taken for granted and gone unchallenged and uninvestigated. These have been interwoven into the translations to color the thought. In support of a preferred religious view, an inconstancy and unreasonableness have been insinuated into the teachings of the inspired writings… To each major word we have assigned one meaning and have held that meaning as far as the context permitted. This, we know, has imposed a restriction upon our diction, but it makes for good cross-reference work and for a more reliable comparison of related texts or verses.” – The New World Translation, WB&TS, 1951, pp.6 & 9.
The Lie told
Using their Kingdom Interlinear Translation we see that they have not kept this rule. For instance, in 1 Peter 1:17 we find that we can call upon the Father but the same Greek word in Acts 7:59 has Stephen making an appeal to Jesus.
A further example can be found in comparing the same Greek word in Revelation 7:11 where, older persons worship God, but in Matthew 2:11 the magi do obeisance to Jesus. Is there anything in the context that demands that these major words are translated in different ways? No! It is simply a “preferred religious view”. The very thing they have condemned as changing the meaning of the inspired writings.
“A careful review of all the information available goes to show that until the time of Marcus Aurelis, no Christian became a soldier; and no soldier after becoming a Christian, remained in military service. Against this conclusion it can be argued that, according to Acts (x 1-48), Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian band, was baptised, together with others… that according to Acts (xii 12), Sergius Paulus, the proconsul of Cyprus, ‘believed’… and finally that the jailer at Philippi (Acts xvi 23-34) was baptised… Stories in which such miraculous embellishments occur cannot be regarded as sober history: we have in fact, seen reason to hold that, in the first part of Acts, fact and fancy are blended so as to make a record which is sometimes allegory and sometimes literal truth.” – The Rise of Christianity, E.W.Barnes, 1947, p.333.
“The Christians stood aloof and distinct from the state, as a priestly and spiritual race, and Christianity seemed able to influence civil life only in that manner which, it must be confessed, is the purest, by practically endeavouring to instil more and more feeling into the citizens of the state… Those on the contrary, who determined that it was allowable for a Christian to accept civil and military offices… when they appealed to the case of the centurion, whose faith Christ himself had praised (Luke vii) and of the believing Cornelius… even Tertullian himself, the warm opponent of arms among Christians, did not feel himself authorised altogether to condemn those who, having become Christians while they were soldiers, continued in their old profession, provided it was unattended with any thing which caused them to violate their fidelity as Christians.” – History of the Christian Religion and Church During the First Three Centuries, Augustus Neander, 1848, p.168.
“Banners, standards and ensigns are frequently mentioned in the Bible. “Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his standard, with the ensign of their father’s house.” (Num 2:2)… Early flags were almost purely of a religious character… The national banner of England for centuries – the red cross of St George – was a religious one; in fact the aid of religion seems ever to have been sought to give sanctity to national flags, and the origin can be traced to a sacred banner.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1949, Vol.9, p.343.
These final three quotes are again taken from Reasoning from the Scriptures, this time from pages 69-70 and 179-182 which deal with various festivals.
“The later Hebrews looked on the celebration of birthdays as part of idolatrous worship, a view which would be abundantly confirmed by what they saw of the common observances associated with those days. Yet the language of Jeremiah, taken in connection with that of Job, does furnish some ground for thinking that birthdays in general were joyfully remembered, Job 3:3 &c; Jer 20:14 &c.” – The Imperial Bible Dictionary, P.Fairburn, 1874, Vo1.1, p.225.
“The reason for establishing December 25 as Christmas is somewhat obscure, but it is usually held that the day was chosen to correspond to pagan festivals that took place around the time of the winter solstice, when the days began to lengthen, to celebrate the “rebirth of the sun”… The Roman Saturnalia (a festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture, and to the renewed power of the sun) also took place at this time, and some Christian customs are thought to be rooted in this ancient pagan celebration… It is held by some scholars that the birth of Christ as “light of the World” was made analogous to the rebirth of the sun in order to make Christianity meaningful to pagan converts… but almost from the first, Christians have generally regarded Christmas as both a holy day and a holiday. For Christ’s birth brought a new spirit of joy into the world…” Encyclopaedia Americana, 1977, Vol. VI, p.666.
“There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians… The first Christians continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemoration of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover with a new conception added to it of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb and the first fruits from the dead, continued to be observed, and became the Christian Easter. Although the observance of Easter was at a very early period the practice of the Christian church…” – Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, Vol. 8, p.828.
There is no question in my mind that in these two areas the Society is condemned by its own article. Indeed these lies and distortions cannot stand the test of time. I wonder what time limit Jehovah has then set on the Society. May it be that many at present in the Society truly find the One who said, “I am Truth” before that day comes that ‘the lip of truth’ will be firmly established forever.
“But we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us intellectual capacity that we may gain the knowledge of the true one. And we are in union with the true one, by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life everlasting.”
However in the article they only quote part of it:
“We are in union with the true one, by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life everlasting.”
Please note the part they have left out and the fact that they have left out the ‘And’ and given the ‘we’ a capital ‘W’, which it does not have in the NWT. The New American Standard rendering of this verse is:
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
First we summarise the article and what it sets out to achieve.
It highlights the word ‘This’ which is the Greek word hou’tos. The crux of their argument is:
“Believers in the Trinity doctrine hold that the demonstrative pronoun “this” (hou’tos) refers to its immediate antecedent, Jesus Christ. They assert that Jesus is “the true God and life everlasting.” This interpretation, however, is in conflict with the rest of the Scriptures.” – p.30.
They then cite two quotes from scholars and follow it up by a number of Scriptures that ‘prove’ their point that the ‘this’ is referring to a subject earlier in the sentence and not immediately after where it comes. There is of course no problem with that because as they say:
“In his Gospel, the apostle John wrote: “Andrew the brother of Simon Peter was one of the two that heard what John said and followed Jesus. First this one [hou’tos] found his own brother, Simon.” (John 1:40, 41) It is evident that “this one” refers, not to the last person mentioned, but to Andrew.” – p.30.
As they say – ‘it is evident’ – in other words the context is clear and we know who the writer was talking about. However, we also need to realise, that there are other times in Scripture where ‘this’ is used to refer to what it has just been mentioning. Here are two examples from John’s same first letter.
“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” – 1 John 2:18
‘This’ refers to the subject immediately before – ‘many antichrists’.
“Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood…” 1 John 5:5, 6
‘This’ refers to the subject immediately before -‘ Jesus’.
It is the context we need to look at because it is sentence structure and grammar that we are investigating, not a theological principle. This point is not made throughout the article and anyone reading it without checking even the full verse quoted – and that would be the majority of Witnesses – would be convinced by the argument.
As already stated the full verse in the NWT is:
“But we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us intellectual capacity that we may gain the knowledge of the true one. And we are in union with the true one, by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life everlasting.”
The subject of the verse is Jesus, the Son of God – this is then carried through into the next sentence AND where the subject changes to Jehovah before reverting back to Jesus and then we have the ‘this’.
But ‘this’ is the NWT English, what does the Greek really say?
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
It is nothing to do with ‘intellectual capacity’, so that we through our God-given ability can gain some knowledge of Him. It is that Jesus gives us understanding – whatever our mental ability – to know Christ not just to have knowledge of Him.
The deception in the translation gets worse ,because we are led to believe from the NWT that we are in union with Jehovah by means of Jesus. Why deception? Because the Greek has neither ‘union with’ or ‘by means of’. We are told that we are in Jehovah and in Jesus.
Matthew Henry’s commentary tells us:
“The Son leads us to the Father, and we are in both, in the love and favour of both, in covenant and federal alliance with both, in spiritual conjunction with both by the inhabitation and operation of their Spirit: and, that you may know how great a dignity and felicity this is…”
We will finish that sentence in a minute when we have highlighted again what is being said. The subject of this verse is not Jehovah nor is it Jesus it is both Jehovah and Jesus. Therefore when we have the ‘this’ it is referring to the relationship that has just been mentioned. Matthew Henry ends the sentence above:
“… you must remember that this true one is the true God and eternal life” or rather (as it should seem a more natural construction), ‘This same Son of God is himself also the true God and eternal life’.”
John Gill’s exposition of the whole Bible comment on this verse makes an ideal conclusion to this article:
“This is the true God and eternal life; that is, the Son of God, who is the immediate antecedent to the relative “this”; he is the true God, with his Father and the Spirit, in distinction from all false, fictitious, or nominal deities; and such as are only by office, or in an improper and figurative sense: Christ is truly and really God, as appears from all the perfections of deity, the fulness of the Godhead being in him; from the divine works of creation and providence being ascribed to him; and from the divine worship that is given him; as well as from the names and titles he goes by, and particularly that of Jehovah, which is incommunicable to a creature; and he is called “eternal life”, because it is in him; and he is the giver of it to his people; and that itself will chiefly consist in the enjoyment and vision of him, and in conformity to him.”
“Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament makes this honest admission: ‘The word God is not in the original, and should not have been in the translation. It is in none of the ancient [manuscripts] or versions.'”
True, but not the whole truth, because the full quote from Barnes is as follows:
“The word God is not in the original, and should not have been in the translation. It is in none of the ancient mss. or versions. It should have been rendered, “They stoned Stephen, invoking, or calling upon, and saying, Lord Jesus,” etc. That is, he was engaged “in prayer” to the Lord Jesus. The word is used to express “prayer” in the following, among other places: 2Co_1:23, “I call God to witness”; 1Pe_1:17, “And if ye call on the Father,” etc.; Act_2:21, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord,” etc.; Act_9:14; Act_22:16; Rom_10:12-14. This was, therefore, an act of worship; a solemn invocation of the Lord Jesus, in the most interesting circumstances in which a man can be placed – in his dying moments. And this shows that it is right to worship the Lord Jesus, and to pray to him.”
If they accept Barnes on the fact that God should not be in the text they should also accept Barnes when he informs us that he is praying to the Lord Jesus and that Scripture indicates we can do it too. But no, they simply take the first part and ignore the rest. They then talk about the Greek word used:
“Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words explains that in this setting the original Greek word, epikaleo, means: ‘To call upon, invoke; … to appeal to a authority.”
Again words have been missed out from the Vine’s quote which put a different light on the issue:
“in the Middle Voice, to call upon for oneself (i.e., on one’s behalf), “Acts 7:59
Clearly Stephen called upon, invoked, prayed to the Lord Jesus. The Society, albeit seemingly reluctantly admit this was happening but want to show that we cannot do it today.
“Does Stephen’s brief utterance set a precedent for praying to Jesus? Not at all. For one thing, Stephen clearly distinguished Jesus from Jehovah, for the account says that he saw Jesus “standing at God’s right hand.'”
What this has to do with praying to Jesus I am not sure. We make a distinction between Jesus – God the Son – and Jehovah – God the Father – but we can still pray to Jesus in His own right.
Next they say:
“Also, these circumstances were exceptional. The only other case of such an utterance being directed to Jesus is that of the apostle John, who similarly addressed Jesus directly when he saw Him in vision.” – Revelation 22:16,20
No clear reason is given as to why, if Stephen prayed to Jesus and it was accepted, and John prayed to Jesus and it was accepted, I cannot pray to Jesus and it will be accepted!
They end the article with this:
“Although Christians today direct, all their prayers to Jehovah God, they too have unshakable faith that Jesus is “the resurrection and the life.”
This refers back to an earlier paragraph where they stated:
“He therefore asked Jesus to safeguard his spirit, or life force, until the day when Jesus would raise him to immortal life in the heavens.”
Not according to other parts of the New Testament where the same Greek word, dechomai, is used.
Acts 3:21 – whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
Heaven actually received Him and Jesus was in heaven.
John 4:45 – So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast.
The Galileans actually received Jesus and He was in Galilee.
Matthew 10:14 – Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.
They were literally received into the home and stayed there.
Hebrews 11:31 – By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed (literally received) the spies in peace.
Rahab actually received the spies into her home.
Acts 7:59 – They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”
Stephen was asking Jesus to actually receive his spirit and so he would be with Jesus in heaven; nothing to do with safeguarding for a future day.
There is nothing to stop us praying to Jesus, indeed the teaching is that we should be praying the same prayer as Stephen – Lord receive my spirit so that I might be with you for all eternity.
This is the first article for some time that sums up their belief and shows that despite persistent rumours they are not yet ready to give up this doctrine.
We will cite a number of paragraphs and show how this belief is inconsistent with the evangelical Christian Biblical understanding.
“The first occurrence of the name is in the tenth chapter of Daniel, where Michael is described as ‘one of the foremost princes'”
In this first sentence they show that Michael could not be Jesus.
Daniel 10:13 says, “Michael, one of the chief princes” but Daniel 8:25 speaking of the work of the evil one says that, “He will even oppose the Prince of princes…”, and in Daniel 9:25 we read, “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince”.
Michael is simply one of the princes but Jesus is the Prince of princes. Jesus is seen in Daniel not just as one of the crowd but the leader.
This makes nonsense of the next paragraph:
“Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God’s Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return.”
Not deterred the Society brings in further circumstantial evidence:
“Michael is the only one said to be ‘the archangel,’ meaning ‘chief angel,’ or ‘principal angel.’ The term occurs in the Bible only in the singular. This seems to imply that there is but one whom God has designated chief, or head, of the angelic host.”
True there is only one named Archangel, but the Society seek to ignore the position that Scripture gives to Gabriel. He too is mentioned in Daniel and it is interesting to compare the Scriptures with the ones naming Michael.
The first mention is in Daniel 8:16. Daniel had a vision which he could not understand and so he seeks God for wisdom. Gabriel – whose name means “man of God” is the one who gives the understanding of the vision. In chapter 9 when Daniel seeks the Lord about the fulfilment of prophecy it is Gabriel again, v.21, who brings the answer. This angel obviously has a very special place and by the description of what he does, brings revelation from God, he is every bit as important as Michael.
There is one further piece of evidence in Daniel which is very important. In chapter 10, Daniel has a terrifying vision of a great angel or maybe even the pre-incarnate Jesus. However, what is clear, by the description given in verses 5-6, this one was great. What is so important? Verse 13 tells us that Michael comes to help this great one. The one that Michael helps is by very definition greater and more resplendent than Michael himself; there is someone greater than Michael in God’s Kingdom; he is not the one great archangel!
“At 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as being that of an archangel, suggesting that he is, in fact, himself the archangel. This text depicts him as descending from heaven with “a commanding call.” It is only logical, therefore, that the voice expressing this commanding call be described by a word that would not diminish or detract from the great authority that Christ Jesus now has as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Matthew 28:18; Revelation 17:14) If the designation “archangel” applied, not to Jesus Christ, but to other angels, then the reference to “an archangel’s voice” would not be appropriate. In that case it would be describing a voice of lesser authority than that of the Son of God.”
The Society teaches that because of what 1 Thess.4:16 says about the voice of the archangel, it is “suggesting” that he is an archangel. The trouble is they miss out half of verse 16 to make such an assumption. Certainly it says that Jesus will descend with the voice of an archangel but it goes on to say also, with the trumpet of God! Using the same logic as the Society, if the voice of an archangel makes Him an archangel then the trumpet of God makes Him, God!!!!
Of course that is not good exegesis but it shows just how impossible it is to take half a verse and build a vital doctrine on it.
This verse is explained at Matthew 16:27 & 25:31, Jesus comes with the angels. Amongst them would be Michael and here we have the voice of the archangel. Matthew 24:31 also informs us that Jesus sends His angels with the trumpet.
The last paragraph of the article reads:
“In his prehuman existence Jesus was called ‘the Word.’ (John 1:1) He also had the personal name Michael. By retaining the name Jesus after his resurrection, ‘the Word’ shows that he is identical with the Son of God on earth. (Acts 9:5) His resuming his heavenly name Michael and his title (or name) ‘The Word of God’ ties him in with his prehuman existence. (Revelation 19:13) The very name Michael, asking as it does, “Who Is Like God?” points to the fact that Jehovah God is without like, or equal, and that Michael his archangel is his great Champion or Vindicator.”
Nowhere does Scripture say that Jesus was Michael before He left heaven and resumes that same name when He returns. Indeed if that were the case, Stephen and John would have to pray to Michael not Jesus. This also ignores the fact that Scripture actually teaches the opposite – Jesus is in heaven and so is Michael and the two can never be the same person.
Hebrews 1:7 & 8 are the key verses because they put angels in one category and the Son – who the Society accepts refers to Jesus – in another. Verse 7 has Jehovah speaking “to the angels” who are all together in one group. This would have had to include Michael because all the title archangel indicates is that he is a chief angel but by nature, he is still an angel.
The ‘but’ at the beginning of verse 8 indicates that Jehovah then goes on to speak to another group, or in this case to someone different and that someone is “the Son.” The angels are on one side, the Son is on the other and there is a dividing line down the middle.
These verses show that Jesus can never be an angel, not even an archangel because He would still be by nature an angel. If Jesus is an angel as Society want to say then we would suggest that these Scriptures appear to be deliberately misleading us and, as any dedicated Bible reader would agree, that is not the case.
From the beginning the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society has been fascinated with dates. Although the dates may have changed, and, indeed what was supposed to have happened on those dates, one has remained constant – 1914. This becomes the pivotal point of their belief covering both the ‘return’ of Jesus Christ and the starting point to date the ‘end of the world’. But there are no dates in the Bible and so how do the Society arrive at this number? The answer is chronology, and an understanding of it is helpful when talking with a Witness about these things.
In summary the Watchtower chronology goes like this:
An absolute date – an event in the Bible and in secular history – is decided upon. The Watchtower chose the fall of Babylon in 539 BC.
Now, using the Bible alone, they say two years later, 537 BC, Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return to Jerusalem. Thus, 537 is the end of Jerusalem’s seventy years of desolation, which therefore began, at its fall, in 607 BC.
Daniel’s dream in chapter 4 and the ‘Bible rule’ that a day equals a year, show that the Gentile Times, which began at Jerusalem’s fall in 607 BC, would be 2,520 years long, ending in 1914.
We’ll look at each step in detail.
If these authorities are reliable over 539, surely they are reliable over 586? In any case, why choose 539 as the starting point when we could equally use 586 as the absolute date and miss out the first two calculations? Sound scholarship means that we must either accept both 539 and 586 as reliable or reject both. This is further shown by the basis for fixing 539. The Watchtower article mentioned above explains:
“… a stone document… (which) gives precise details… This, in turn, enables modern scholars, with their knowledge of astronomy, to translate these dates into terms of the Julian or Gregorian calendars.” – p. 490.
Similarly, we can fix the absolute date for the fall of Jerusalem as 586 BC, based on a clay tablet with precise details that can be translated into terms of our modern-day calendar by the same accurate astronomical tables used for 539.
The Witnesses must have realised they were skating on thin ice because a few years after the article in The Watchtower they changed their mind:
“… the co-relation of astronomical data with human events in the past is subject to various factors and human interpretation, allowing for error.” Insight on the Scriptures, Vol.1, p.454.
This means that 539 is not an absolute date and there is no reliable Watchtower chronology!
“From 607 BCE to return from exile. The length of this period is fixed by God’s own decree concerning Judah, that ‘all this land must become a devastated place, an object of astonishment, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years’ – Jer 25:8-11. The Bible prophecy does not allow for the application of this 70-year period to any time other than between the desolation of Judah… and the return of the Jewish exiles to their homeland… 2 Chronicles 36:20,21 states: ‘Furthermore, he carried off those remaining from the sword captive to Babylon… to fulfil Jehovah’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had paid off its sabbaths’… Jerusalem… fell in… Nebuchadnezzar’s 19th year of actual rule (counting from his accession year in 625 BC)… However, ‘some of the lowly people of the land’ were allowed to remain… they fled into Egypt, finally leaving Judah completely desolate (2 Kings 25:9-12,22-26). This was in the seventh month… Hence the count of the 70 years of desolation must have begun about October 1, 607 BCE ending in 537 BCE.” – Insight on the Scriptures, Vol.1, p.463.
The term ’70 years’ appears 6 times in Scripture. 3 times in Jeremiah; once in Daniel; once in Zechariah and once in 2 Chronicles 36:21. The key to this period is the prophecy of Jeremiah. First, what did he say?
Jeremiah 25:11, 12
This message came in the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar (25:1). For 23 years, the Lord had spoken against the inhabitants of Jerusalem and His patience had run its course (v. 3). Now the Lord says, “I will bring the King of Babylon against you” (v. 9). After preaching the same message for 23 years without response and now telling the people what would happen, do you think the Lord would wait another 18 years (till Nebuchadnezzar’s 19th year) to fulfil the judgement? Probably not. However, this is not conclusive by itself.
Verse 1 says that Jeremiah spoke these words while he was still in Jerusalem but some had already been taken captive to Babylon. For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfil My good word to you, to bring you back to this place’ (29:10). Jeremiah was talking about the 70 years having already started, before the final destruction of Jerusalem; proof that the 70 years cannot start from that event. Do other Scriptures support this?
Daniel mentions the desolations of Jerusalem. In the Watchtower’s chronology article they mention one group being taken captive at the destruction of Jerusalem, but Daniel mentions at least two devastations. The Society’s article on Nebuchadnezzar (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p.480), mentions that Nebuchadnezzar comes to Jerusalem earlier, when quoting from the Babylonian Chronicles.
“In this his ascension year he returned to Hattu and… he took the vast booty of Hattu to Babylon.”
Hattu is Judah and this becomes clear when the Chronicles mention the destruction of Jerusalem, [Hattu]. Nebuchadnezzar, on the Society’s own admission, had been to Jerusalem before and taken away booty in his first or ascension year, the very year in which Jeremiah made the prophecy. Daniel expected the 70 years to be tied in with the devastations of Jerusalem, that is the period would start from its first devastation, but from where did he draw this conclusion? Jeremiah the prophet. We therefore need to go back to Jeremiah 25:11,12 to see what led Daniel to that conclusion:
“These nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
Jeremiah did not prophesy, and therefore Daniel could not deduce, that the 70 years would start when Jerusalem fell. He said, and Daniel correctly understood, that the 70 years would begin when Jerusalem first came under the servitude of the King of Babylon. History and the Bible tells us that this was in the first year of his reign not his nineteenth. It is only by ignoring historical evidence, and even worse by ignoring God’s Word, that the Society can conclude that the 70 years ran between 607 and 537.
Unlike other dreams recorded in Daniel, the fulfilment is also recorded. It is not for the ‘end times’ as others are. The word used for ‘fulfilled’ in verse 33 means ‘to have an end of’. The tree represents Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, which is difficult to equate with the understanding of the Society that it represents divine rulership.
“What was really meant was… domination exercised by the kingdom of God.” – Babylon the Great has Fallen, 1963, p.177.
It is a foolish man who seeks to correct God.
Luke 21:24 mentions the ‘Time of the Gentiles’ and it explains that during this time Jerusalem will be trampled down. That could not possibly have ended in 1914, but the Jehovah’s Witness will try to wriggle out of this by saying it is the heavenly Jerusalem that was trampled down until 1914. However, the trampling started on earth and therefore must finish there. Is it scriptural to say that the heavens were trampled down until 1914? See Ephesians 1:20-23 (past tense in AD 60!).
According to the dating of the Society, Daniel was taken to Babylon in 617 and the fall of Jerusalem was ten years later in 607 BC. In addition, this dream is a prophecy concerning the fall of Jerusalem. However, these two statements cannot be reconciled. The dream indicated a future event, to take place at least one year later (Dan 4:29). If that event is the fall of Jerusalem, then the dream must have been received at the latest in 608. That is impossible because the dream in Daniel 4 comes after the dream in Daniel 2 (compare 2:48 with 4:9); and the Watchtower date Daniel 2 (albeit falsely) as 605, two years after the fall of Jerusalem.
The word for ‘time’ here is only found eleven times in the Old Testament and all are in the Book of Daniel. It is against sound biblical exegesis to isolate this one instance and compare it with Scriptures in Revelation. Daniel speaks of seven ‘times’, these were times when there was no king of Israel ruling. Instead, God’s people were dominated by a foreign power that did not recognise the God of the Jews. Rev.12:6,14 shows another time of testing for the people of God where three and a half ‘times’ equals 1,260 days. This translates into the fact that seven ‘times’ equals 2,520 days. Revelation is talking about a specific period of trouble for God’s people that lasts seven years. This, of course, is not enough and therefore has to be linked with the next step.
There is no historical or biblical evidence to use a calculation of 2,520 years as the period of the Gentile Times. In addition, both Scriptures called on to turn days into years speak of the same matter, the guilt of God’s people. The rule is not general but specific. In any case, the verses do not say the same thing: Numbers 14:34 is a year for a day but Ezekiel 4:6 is a day for a year.
The date of 586 BC for the fall of Jerusalem is established both by scientific and biblical chronology.
Starting from an absolute date of 539 BC it is impossible, solely using the biblical record, to show that Jerusalem fell in 607 BC.
The way the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society use Scripture is not sound interpretation but a taking of individual passages at random to prove a point that has been determined beforehand.
The result of these conclusions is that 1914 is not proven as the significant date of Christ’s invisible return. And the claim that since 1914 Christ has had authority over God’s newly established Kingdom has no justification whatsoever.