New! Important CHANGES in March 15th, 2015 Watchtower, Explained & Clarified

Articles in this series:

If you are one of those few people who REALLY keeps up with the recent changes to current doctrines among JWs, then you should appreciate the upcoming series of articles we are about to post on the subject. If you are one who does NOT always keep up with the recent changes to current doctrines among the JWs then you should REALLY appreciate these articles even more.

There are a some specific doctrinal changes spelled out in the March 15, 2015 Watchtower (the “Study Edition” available on the JW.ORG website).  But the biggest, most important change is about a method for explaining Scripture that will affect many more doctrines than the specific examples mentioned in the magazine.

With this issue, literally thousands of pages of previously printed doctrinal material are rendered obsolete. It also sets a new direction for Bible commentary in The Watchtower that has the potential to completely “reset” SEVERAL of the unique doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and MOST of the prophetic interpretations. Even the chronological interpretations are at risk of becoming obsolete.  (For example, until the last decade, “1918” was taught as a prophetically significant date that was once mentioned just about as often as 1919 was mentioned. Yet, many JWs are not even aware that 1918 has already been quietly dropped as a prophetically significant date, for reasons that are aligned with the changes set forth in this March 15, 2015 issue.)

To get an idea of how sweeping the general change already is, you would have to know just how much prior doctrine is affected by these sentences from the March 15th Watchtower:

“In times past, it was more common for our literature to take what might be called a type-antitype approach to Scriptural accounts.” (p.3) “Humans cannot know which Bible accounts are shadows of things to come and which are not. The clearest course is this: Where the Scriptures teach that an individual, an event, or an object is typical of something else, we accept it as such. Otherwise, we ought to be reluctant to assign an antitypical application to a certain person or account if there is no specific Scriptural basis for doing so.” (p.18)

The following is a list of 42 of these “prophecies” or “prophetic dramas” found in one of the Watchtower publications that we (JWs) actively taught and studied when I was a younger Witness. Most of these have never been dismissed and they still represented accurate doctrine until now. Learning these teachings took up a large portion of the curriculum for the students of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead while I was at Bethel from 1976 to 1980. One of the weekly meetings, the “Congregation Book Study,” was often devoted entirely to discussions of this type.


Also note that the 42 examples listed only include those that specified the “great crowd” who would have an earthly hope instead of the “anointed” with the heavenly hope. Because these “prophetic dramas” have been emphasized less, especially in the last couple of decades, many Witnesses didn’t realize that most of these explanations were still “on the books.” In other words they were still considered valid, correct doctrines. At least until now.


It probably sounds like hyperbole to attach such a potential significance to these new changes. However, we have an excellent reason to believe that these changes are indicative of more changes underway. What’s that reason? Simple. We saw what happened when they tried this before. The Watch Tower Society didn’t try it officially, because not everyone was on board with it. Nevertheless, beginning in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, several members of the Writing Department were already reading Bible narratives and writing and teaching about their meaning in the exact way described in this new issue of the Watchtower.

In fact, the idea of changing this teaching method already came up during the research and writing of the Watch Tower’s first Bible dictionary, Aid to Bible Understanding, completed in 1971. This “Aid Book” as we called it (now slightly revised as Insight on the Scriptures) is nearly devoid of types and antitypes. By 1972, the research behind the Aid Book had already resulted in major changes to the Watch Tower organizational structure, including a re-definition of what the governing body would soon become, and the new “elder arrangement,” which was just being put into place. The following is from an article in the August 15, 1972 Watchtower that reflects some of the thinking on this subject at the time:

*** w72 8/15 p. 502 God Readjusts the Thinking of His People ***
Another thing that has given rise to questions is the use by Jehovah’s witnesses of parallels or prophetic types, applying these to circumstances and to groups or classes of people today. Many people who read the Bible view its accounts all as simply history, but when they begin to study with Jehovah’s witnesses a readjustment of viewpoint takes place as they see that there is more to the accounts than history.

The question that is sometimes asked is, Did Jehovah stage that ‘dramatic’ event, so that we would have a warning now? Well, would he cause such bad things to happen? Would he maneuver them himself? No. …

It helps us to understand more fully when we keep in mind that the people in ancient times were real, living their daily lives in association with their families and fellowmen, having hopes and desires as we do today, the same general problems with sin working in their members, and many of them faithfully waging a fine fight to serve God.

The article just quoted actually tried to play both sides of the issue in order to introduce the change but also dismiss the need to make too many changes at once. (The 1972 article tended to favor the “type-antitype” status quo.) During the late 1970’s, the brothers in Writing who were the most productive and who were the most capable of Biblical research included the brothers who had worked on the Aid Book, and by that point in time had already been getting assignments to write Watchtower articles on many Bible topics. These articles tended to minimize the “type-antitype” pattern.

Not all Watchtower writers agreed with this change. However, many letters were received that thanked the Watchtower Society for producing these “refreshing and clear” articles that “make it easier to apply the Bible in our daily lives as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses.” (Editor’s note: I have a copy of one of these letters, which was sent to Brother Lyman Swingle, a member of the Governing Body when he was overseeing the Writing Department.)

The brothers in Writing who had helped with the Aid Book had become especially involved in those new articles with the “refreshing” style, as some called it. One of these brothers had an excellent knowledge of the Biblical languages, including not just Hebrew but also Aramaic and Syriac. Another other one could write an article in minutes on almost any Bible topic, pretty much from memory, and those articles could usually be used in the Watchtower without any edits or changes. Their work was approved through the appropriate review committee(s), including Governing Body members, and resulted in dozens of Watchtower articles, and several books, which are still easily identifiable by their style when looking through the bound volumes of the Watchtower from those years, or the Watchtower Library CD. Two books were written in this same “refreshing” style in a Bible commentary format. Those two books, Commentary on the Letter of James and Choosing the Best Way of Life (which was a commentary on 1st and 2nd Peter) were released at the summer District Assemblies in 1979. They became the first major examples of books that scrupulously avoided “type-antitype” patterns, even when touching upon subjects that had previously required it. This includes an “untypical” reference to the “faithful and discreet slave” that called upon all Christians to be this sort of person. A recently deceased brother who had been at Bethel during the period described it to Randall Watters like this:

 “There were a couple new books published that were nothing like the typical FWFranzesque prophetic calculus manuals. These books were not typical fare, and you could see the puzzled looks when they reached the book study groups and meetings. Biblical commentary within scriptural context…”

Unfortunately, the Watch Tower Society in general was not yet ready for this type of reading and writing about the Bible narratives. “Heads rolled” when the significance of those changes was noticed by “old school” supporters of these now obsolete doctrinal methods. This included the two mentioned above, and a few others, too, who were not disfellowshipped, but who were dismissed from Bethel. However, this March 15, 2015 issue of The Watchtower now renders that “old school” doctrinal pattern obsolete. The pattern utilized in the Aid Book and in subsequent Watchtower articles and books for the next 7 years, especially from 1976 through 1980 is now considered ‘the way Jehovah approved.’ (Watchtower 3/15/2015 p.7,8)

While we cannot vouch for the exact numerical claims in the quote below, one person has put it this way, on a site where JWs often discuss issues with other JWs:

Now, with this article, nearly half the Watchtower articles that Rutherford wrote (since about 1931) and about a quarter of the Watchtower study articles that Fred Franz wrote (since 1942 – under Knorr) have been downgraded. When I worked with the Gilead students we were still spending about half their time going over these old Bible stories to make sure they understood when the anointed class was meant and when the great crowd was meant. (Anyone who has a copy of the Gilead Notes from up to about 1980 will know what I mean.)

Historically, I find that very interesting, but from a progressive perspective, it was bound to happen now that there is less concern about distinguishing anointed from other sheep, I find it quite refreshing that we no longer need to be worried that we draw the right application to the various people in so many of these Bible accounts.

If you do not have the magazine in printed format, it is available at the following location on

That link (on the site) displays a page that has the following articles listed. Over the next few weeks we will provide a commentary on each of them and link the titles to our commented versions of these articles.


“This Is the Way You Approved”

Why have our publications in recent years often given simpler, clearer explanations of some Bible accounts?

Will You “Keep on the Watch”? 

Read this clarified understanding of Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, which focuses on the parable’s simple, urgent message. 

Questions From Readers

In the past, our publications often mentioned types and antitypes, but in recent years they have seldom done so. Why is that? 

Learn From the Illustration of the Talents 

This article refines our understanding of the parable of the talents.

Loyally Supporting Christ’s Brothers 

How do those whom Christ judges to be sheep support his brothers?

In attempting to comment on those Watchtower articles listed above, this site will attempt to cover each of the articles listed above that cover the updated doctrines.

Watch for the following subjects to be covered across the five articles:

  • The Prior Importance of the “Type Anti-Type” Approach
  • The Good Samaritan – Type-Antitype method reviewed
  • Naboth, Ahab, Jezebel – Type-Antitype method reviewed
  • The Prodigal Son – Type-Antitype method reviewed
  • Elijah and Elisha – Type-Antitype method reviewed
  • The Ten Virgins – Type-Antitype method reviewed
  • The Talents – Type-Antitype method reviewed
  • What happened at Bethel when this same approach was used as an aid to Bible understanding?
  • How can this approach potentially change the explanation of the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”?
  • What will this approach do to the method of explaining all prophecies in Isaiah, Jeremiah and other prophetic books with a formula linking any mention of faithful kings, priests and prophets to the faithful anointed in our day, or linking unfaithful ones to Christendom, or linking any mention of captivity to the imprisonment of Rutherford and others in 1918/1919, etc.?
  • What can this approach do to the “anti-type” fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the 1914 teaching?
  • Will this ultimately make 1919 go the way of 1918? (As mentioned, 1918 was once a large part of Watch Tower doctrine and it has been gradually but effectively dismissed over the last several years.)
  • Will this ultimately make the current distinction between Great Crowd and Anointed less important?

RESOURCES: Books, Web Sites, Blogs, Forums, Videos – NEW! UPDATED!







(Books/Booklets/Tracts/Brochures/Newsletters link)

The link takes you to a long list of books. Not all are recommended for purposes of studying chronology, but will give an idea of the many types of books out there about JWs. Some of the ones most well known for studying the chronology doctrines are highlighted in that list. In addition we list some of the best ones here, in no particular order:

The Gentile Times Reconsidered

The Gentile Times Reconsidered

Carl Olof Jonsson

Available online:
Jehovah's Witnesses: Their Claims, Doctrinal Changes, and Prophetic Speculation. What Does the Record Show?

Jehovah’s Witnesses:…Prophetic Speculation

Edmond C. Gruss

Available online: (Preview)
Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses

Apocalypse Delayed

M. James Penton

Available online: (Preview)

Judgment Day Must Wait: Jehovah's Witnesses- A Sect Between Idealism and Deceit

Judgment Day Must Wait

Poul Bregninge

Available online: (No preview)
Crisis of Conscience

Crisis of Conscience

Raymond Franz

Available online:
In Search of Christian Freedom

In Search of Christian Freedom

Raymond Franz

 Avaiable online:
The Four Presidents of the Watch Tower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses)

The Four Presidents of the Watch Tower Society

Edmond C. Gruss

 Available online: (Preview)

Sign of the Last Days – When

Carl O. Jonsson, Rud Persson

 Available online: No

Of course, this is far from a complete list.



It’s easy to go to Google and search on the keywords: “1914, Watchtower” or “JW 607” or “overlapping generation” and find hundreds of links to try out. Many of the sites you will also do an excellent job covering  issues related to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower-related doctrines. We won’t try to list all of them, but we will try to cover all of the best ones known for their excellent coverage of the 1914 doctrine.

For good lists of JW-related sites in general, try the links at:   There is also a good list of links that focus on JW outreach ministries at Make Sure Ministries. We reproduce those lists on this site, here: .

The following are some of the best ones that cover the Watch Tower chronology teachings:

Excellent site for coverage of most major JW issues, not just the chronology issues, of course. The site owner and creator, Paul Grundy, has generously allowed us to use several of his articles on this site. For the complete and most up-to-date articles, they should be viewed on his own site.

This site is owned and created by Carl Olof Jonsson, and reflects the most in-depth work on all the Watch Tower’s chronology-related subjects, and several others, too.

Excellent coverage of the related issues surrounding the 1914 doctrine. (Not 607 only) One if the highlights of this site is the excellent response to a slickly produced, but academically dishonest site that is popular among many online JWs. (The dishonest site is at: but portions of it have also been copied elsewhere. Some will find this approach as a quicker approach when asked to respond to sites such as the above or or

 Many of the articles on this site, especially those from Alan Feuerbacher, present unique and extremely well-researched information. (Alan was one of the persons, along with Rud Persson and others, who worked with Carl Olof Jonsson on his research.)
 Jehovah's Witnesses

This site, from Doug Mason, contains much more detailed research than one might guess at first sight. He covers many subjects, and is excellent on the 1914 doctrine. Also, his interactions with the Watch Tower Society on the subject reach back to the early 1960’s.

This is a blog by someone who claims to be a prophet. Whatever one thinks of such a claim, several of his pages on the 1914 teaching are very well-written, Scripturally sound, and thought-provoking. The link opens up several related posts on a single page.

The site is about many Christian doctrines, and contains at least 40  excellent articles on Jehovah’s Witnesses ( ). The link provided in the middle column returns 18 good articles about the 1914 teaching.

The site is refreshingly straightforward, and well-written. About 9 excellent pages on 607 and 1914 from the main menu.

The link to the left will return about a half a dozen excellent articles written with the insight about the Watch Tower doctrine-makers themselves. Barbara Anderson’s combination of experience, intelligence and accuracy is what makes these articles so valuable. Additionally, the gigabytes of collected and archived documents found in the site’s library ( ) provide a wealth of often unexplored information for the researcher.

Randy Watters’ site is an amazing collection of information. Too big to organize. The list of articles that appear when clicking the link to the left gives some idea of the scope.

We could never expect to cover the many excellent stand-alone pages that are often part of larger sites, or even great articles on the subject that one can find on wikipedia or publications found on, etc. Here are just a few more examples, however, that you won’t want to miss:


There are many types of forums online where beliefs of all kinds are discussed, and there are gems of information in many of these.This includes,, (read only as of October 31, and many others.


The largest of these forums is called “Jehovah’s Witnesses Discussion” (JWD) and often also called “Jehovah’s Witnesses Net” (JWN). It’s at (recently moved from .net). It’s huge, but well managed. It has been around many years, and a lot of excellent, intelligent comments have been collected. Unfortunately, they are often difficult to find again, even with an adequate search tool on the site. Over time we may try to extract some of the more interesting ideas posted there, and make them more accessible by organizing some of the links and getting permission from posters to through some organization There is also the common forum-specific problem of those high level of argumentation that often end in the dramatic removal of accounts. This has affected even the best of commenters.


The best of these are usually already associated with a website or blog, but the best way to take advantage of them is to do a search on Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., using a combination of keywords including, 1914, JW, and Watchtower. The advantage of these tools is based on the fact that most JWs do not care about the problems with 1914. Sites like this one and many like it are too confusing. Once something gets complex, the Watch Tower doctrine wins by default, because it’s the one that can’t be seriously questioned.

Most JWs won’t give more than a few seconds of serious thought to such controversies. That gives the upper hand to the quick, pithy statement in a Twitter feed, or the title and image of a shared Facebook item or a “meme” that gets a message across in 5 seconds or less, but with an image that makes the message stick for at least a few more seconds. (Just a few Internet seconds are hard to get, and therefore very valuable.)

I’ve seen evidence of at least a quarter-million JWs who have Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for example, and at least half of them also belong to forums or follow accounts where the 1914 controversy has come up.

Keeping track of some of the available video resources is especially worthwhile because video has the ability to draw JWs into serious thought about their teachings, when many of those same persons would have studiously avoided reading anything that promoted serious thought about their teachings. Also, JWs are trained to learn passively from talks, and trained to interact with rational-sounding argument in their house-to-house or Bible study ministries when a non-JW confronts them about their beliefs. Besides a message can be conveyed before a Witness even figures out if it was from a pro-JW site or not. More video resources should be created for these reasons.

Some good videos also make use of humor, sometimes to a ridiculous extent. We don’t see this as a problem and include them below.  Some of the more serious ones have a different problem to watch out for. We’ve noticed that a much higher percentage of videos get their facts wrong when compared with persons who create written documentation and evidence. Still, these are quite useful for sharing with others who need some extra background about the problems and controversies, but won’t read about it.

JW’s- Your New Tool to Explain 1914

JW.ORG ~ 1914 Is A Lie Covering Up A Huge Mistake!

1914 and the Elders Wife []


The Gentile Times Reconsidered – Carl Olof Jonsson (390 pages) with bonuses

This book proved to be one of most important single sources of research on the subject of chronology that anyone had ever asked the Watch Tower Society to evaluate. The book consolidates the most salient arguments about the pivotal year, 607 BCE, and produces insurmountable evidence against the claims made for it. But the book goes much further. Many have found it to be an important work because it opens up readers to a very tangible world of facts and evidence that most of us, as Witnesses, would have thought nebulous and unreachable.

This most recent edition includes a discussion of several of the the letters between Carl and various “anonymous” members of the Watch Tower staff including members of the Governing Body.

The book is available on the site managed by Carl at the following link: .


Fourth Edition (Revised and Expanded)

4th Edition: A Contextual Examination of Luke 21:24

To avoid overloading his site we are also making it available as a full pdf here: THE GENTILE TIMES RECONSIDERED.PDF

BONUSES   (from Carl Olof Jonsson; links are to his website)

Some additional articles about chronology

(For even more materials and more recent updates, please visit the site directly.)

Those who have read works by Rolf Furuli may also be interested in several articles on Jonsson’s site that expose the failures and contradictions of Rolf Furuli’s  attempts to propose a chronology that would defend the Watch Tower’s chronology claims.


A critique of the two-part article published in the public editions of The Watchtower of October 1, 2011, pages 26-31 and The Watchtower of November 1, 2011, pages 22-28. Carl Olof Jonsson, Göteborg, Sweden, 2011

The amount of work and energy that Carl Olof Jonsson has expended in this research has culminated in works that are unparalleled in their ability to help Jehovah’s Witnesses understand the linchpins of their chronology doctrines. Those who know Carl and have spoken to him will know he is a modest man who desires no notoriety or commendation. No one can doubt the value of his work, however.



JWINSIDER #022: ALL aspects of 1914 doctrine are now problematic from a Scriptural point of view


The original context is found on page 4 of a discussion forum here:

[Responses or questions from other forum participants are removed, unless brief]

*** w14 10/1 p. 13 ” When Did God’s Kingdom Begin Ruling?—Part 1 ***
In his prophecy concerning the last days, Jesus said: “Jerusalem [which represented God’s rulership] will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) So the interruption of God’s rulership was still in effect in Jesus’ time and would continue until the last days.”

The reason this doesn’t make sense to all readers of Luke 21:24 is that Jesus clearly says Jerusalem WILL BE TRAMPLED on. Therefore it was future, and not even in effect yet during Jesus’ time on earth. Also Luke 21:24 is referenced in Revelation 11:2,3 and it says nothing there about 7 times, only 3.5 times.

“(Daniel 12:9) Then he said: “Go, Daniel, because the words are to be kept secret and sealed up until the time of the end.”

This goes to the same question that Anna just asked about the “last days.” Daniel’s words were sealed up until the time of the end. Revelation quotes quite a bit from Daniel, but says it’s now time that the words of the scroll are opened. As you have shown before, much of Revelation is parallel to Daniel, but this is a consistent exception: It is now time to open and unseal the sealed scrolls.

(Revelation 5:1-5) . . .And I saw in the right hand of the One seated on the throne a scroll written on both sides, sealed tight with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or underneath the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4 I gave way to a great deal of weeping because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 But one of the elders said to me: “Stop weeping. Look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered so as to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

The time for Shiloh (the one who has the legal right to David’s throne,Jesus Christ) to  resume rule of God’s Kingdom  towards the earth would be AFTER the Gentiles Times would have ended

Actually, Jesus is to rule in the midst of his enemies, so there is no Biblical reason that the times of the Gentile nations could not go on while Jesus is king. At any rate, the time of the Gentile nations continue to go on anyway in spite of the fact that Jesus is said to rule from 1914.

God’s rulership towards the earth was interrupted when the last King, Zedekiah, was dethroned and taken to Babylon.

From a Biblical viewpoint, God’s rulership toward the earth has never been interrupted. Jehovah is the one who can interrupt the rule of others at his will. That was the entire point that Nebuchadnezzar needed to learn in Daniel chapter 4.  So it seems all the more disrespectful to say that Nebuchadnezzar interrupted God’s rulership by dethroning Zedekiah.

But when did men start to rove about? Thought it was after the Reformation? What about all he study groups in the 1800s?

I think the emphasis lately has been on starting this expression after 1914 especially, not so much before 1914:

  • *** w00 5/15 p. 11 par. 6 Pay Attention to God’s Prophetic Word for Our Day ***
    6 In this time of the end, many faithful Christians have ‘roved about’ in the pages of God’s Word, the Bible. The result? With Jehovah’s blessing on their efforts, true knowledge has become abundant. For instance, anointed Witnesses of Jehovah have been blessed with insight, enabling them to understand that Jesus Christ became heavenly King in the year 1914. In keeping with the apostle’s words recorded at 2 Peter 1:19-21, such anointed ones and their loyal companions are ‘paying attention to the prophetic word’ and are absolutely certain that this is the time of the end.


  • *** bhs chap. 9 p. 99 par. 13 Is the End of the World Near? *** [2015]
  • 13 Understanding the Bible. The prophet Daniel wrote about the last days. He said: “The true knowledge will become abundant.” (Daniel 12:4) God would give his people the ability to understand the Bible more clearly than ever before. Jehovah has done this especially since 1914. For example, he has taught us the importance of his name and his purpose for the earth as well as the truth about the ransom, what happens when we die, and the resurrection. We have learned that only God’s Kingdom can solve all our problems. We have also learned how to be happy and how to live in a way that pleases God. But what do God’s servants do with what they’ve learned? Another prophecy gives us the answer.—See Endnotes 21 and 25.

In 2009, 2012 and 2014 we temporarily moved it back to include Russell’s group in 1870.

But I also think that we have a Scriptural answer that fits:

  • (1 Peter 1:10-12) 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for you made a diligent inquiry and a careful search. 11 They kept on investigating what particular time or what season the spirit within them was indicating concerning Christ as it testified beforehand about the sufferings meant for Christ and about the glory that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were ministering, not to themselves, but to you, regarding what has now been announced to you by those who declared the good news to you with holy spirit sent from heaven. Into these very things, angels are desiring to peer.

Note that the NWT indicates that the literal words are more likely used in a metaphorical manner here, so that the NWT footnote in Daniel 12:4 says:

  • Or “examine it [that is, the book] thoroughly.”

So 1 Peter is likely a more exact “fulfillment” of Daniel 12:4 than it might look like, at first.

  • *** w12 8/15 p. 3 par. 2 “I Am With You” ***
  • Viewed metaphorically and in harmony with the facts of our day, the Hebrew verb here translated “rove about” conveys the idea of a careful examination.