Articles in this series:
- [Intro] Important CHANGES in March 15th, 2015 Watchtower Explained (below)
- [1 of 6] “This Is the Way You Approved” …The Prodigal Son
- [2 of 6] “This is the Way You Approved” …Elijah/Elisha
- [3 of 6] The New and “Approved” Type of Watchtower Explanation
- [4 of 6] “Will You Keep on the Watch?”The Ten Virgins (avail. soon)
- [5 of 6] “Learn From the Illustration of the Talents” (avail. soon)
- [6 of 6] The March 15, 2015 Watchtower and the Contexts of Jesus’ Stories in Matthew 25 (pdf)
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.
DIDN’T THEY TRY THIS BEFORE?
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.”
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 jw.org:
That link (on the JW.org 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.
THE WATCHTOWER (STUDY EDITION) MARCH 2015
“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?
15 thoughts on “New! Important CHANGES in March 15th, 2015 Watchtower, Explained & Clarified”
This is simply amazing! On this site, Poul Boegninge speculated about a time when the WBTS could possibly implode from with in itself. I shared his opinion based on the understanding Armageddon is spelled Candace Conti.This is shaping up as a ‘perfect storm’ for the WBTS, as the ‘governor’ of 1Pet.2:14-16[ court sysetem per WBTS] “inflicting punishment on evildoers” in judgements as to harboring pedophlies. $10.5 million in punitive punishment for refusal to submit to court ordered subpoenas is one hell of a lot of punishment for their attorneys being stupid and arrogant in the Gonzalo Campos case. At the same time you folks finish your series on the March15 Wt., oral arguements are scheduled before California Supreme Court 1-14-2015 9:00am for the Conti case. And I see on court calendar that there was a petition made by ABC News NY to film those oral arguements.
Your project is going to be very important to open eyes to accept that what was considered solid rock has been nothing more than sand Matt.7:24-27. But those teachings were what set ‘policy’ and it is policy that creates a ‘handle’, as in a cooking pot which can contain the liquid, slippery substance of [ how do you render the term ‘bull shit’ in a political correct form?] WBTS teachings. It is policy that has become the problem for the church;
the two witness rule applied to the rape of children.
the injection of church elders between molestation victims and police
the blood issue.
the community service in lieu of military induction being a violation of christian conscience. I deeply resent being a felon per WBTS policy during the 1960’s.
For over 25 years I have had a project of my own, that the WBTS policy on ‘informants’ of Lev.5:1 is fraudulant and a outright deception designed to create a ‘Gestapo police’ for WBTS control over the lives of its adherents. Last summer I was able to get WBTS ‘#1 thorn in their side’, to think outside of the box and see the deception. That paper will be published sometime next year. I cannot think of better timing than to have that paper follow your project here.
I truly believe that Poul Boegninge is going to see his probability that the WBTS will implode from with in become a reality. Your project of turning solid rock into sand is the removal of the last bastion of what is comprehended as being defined “truth” and is going to remove ‘scales’ from eyes. I am impressed.
Hi Bill Covert. My name is not Poul Boegninge, but Poul Bregninge, and I’m the author of Judgment Day Must Wait. Have you read it? You must! You write: “I truly believe that Poul Boegninge is going to see his probability that the WBTS will implode from within become a reality.” I’m still believing here in 2017 that this “Truth-company” will implode from within. However, it can take a lot of time. Perhaps this awful movement still exist about thousand year. Who knows? Best, Poul Bregninge
Looks like the “evil slave” is covering all possible connections in prophecy to the modern Bethel of today, imo, while also undermining the entire ministerial message of the “old school” JW Christian anointed. All under the GB dictatorship since 1976!
They can make a few more “adjustments”, flush the import of the JW ministry entirely, cancel the ministry because it is “the end”, vacate the building with billions, and JWs will be none the wiser!
What I call this is Bethel is the final apostasy, plain as day. Today’s JWs were born yesterday, one would have to be, to not see what is happening.
Siguen cayendo las vestiduras sucias,cuando se ve hacia atrás se ve a la “organización” irreconocible.Así es, si no vemos el pasado no entendemos el presente, lo que ayer fue hoy es y mañana no será.
Wait for it, wait for it…. these doctrinal changes above are nothing compared to what is coming re the significance of the year 1914. By invoking “increased light” as the authority for the latest “overlapping generation” Armageddon prophecy, the Society has started an implosion countdown clock that will reach zero the day no Witness can deny that that generation IS passing away and Armageddon is still nowhere in sight! So did the G.B. lie, or did Jehovah lie? The only way the G.B. can avoid this apocalyptic question is to claim yet more increased light that renders all previous interpretations of the year 1914 as obsolete. On the day they dare to pitch a new date for Armageddon I will have a question: If you got the overlapping generation increased light, wrong, how can we have any confidence you got the blood transfusion increased light, right?!!!
Do not let men in Brooklyn (or Warwick or the next town they seek to settle in as the JW HQ) tell you anything about how to live your life. These “men” have never worked for a living or faced any form of real life. They are little corporate christians living in a political hierarchy called the “society”. They know nothing of the real world nor of God. If you let them chart the course of your life you will live in misery.
And I ask myself: Why am I still checking to see if there are updates about the “Ten Virgins” and the “Talents?” Both were promised “soon” before 2015. Your promises are as empty as the Watchtower.
True. Sorry about that. And I wrote them, too. But when Doug Mason provided a very good article (pdf) that included a discussion of them, I didn’t do a final edit where I take out repetitive information, and fill in the actual quotations instead of just referencing them. Whenever I start filling in the actual source quotes, these articles just get embarrassingly long. I always had the feeling that they are just too long and difficult for anyone to get through. I should have either updated the “future links” or just put them up as they were. Thanks for the reminder though. I’ll do something with those articles now.
I am just curious to know, If the New World Translation is correct in its teachings then why is it then that there is whole magazine based on the reason for doctrinal changes when the Bible says it’s self that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and His Word will remain the same?
where can i email a chart that shows all true calendars and all pagan calendars unveil 1914 as year 6000 and gives birth to God’s kingdom as the British license of July 1 (applied for when the June 27 murder started world war 1), that the ambassador Russell to that global British license then ended Gentile times, and the 144,000 then became anointed on Christmas Day the way the three Persian Mede Magi priests anointed baby Jesus also on Dec 25 against their own religion which taught the Christ must be a Mede. The crossing measured by Terah and his son Abram as 205-year cycle of Mars falls on the date 1915 May 7 when German (Catholic Holy Romans) sunk Britain, but the real cross of Mars (The Son) has drifted back to Dec 24 in 1914 assembling the 144,000 at Bethel. Peleg who died on May 6 became dated as Egyptian date Kayak 24 (the both to heaven) in the next year 2029bc (leap year) when Nahor and grandson Haran killed their 68 wives and themselves with mercury to join Peleg the Christ in heaven. More accurately Noah had not yet died, and so was not labeled as Xisuthros (Christos) yet Peleg was joining Xisuthros (Christos) in heaven because that king who ascended 40 days during the Flood was not Noah in his ark (kayak boat) but the final king form heaven who had been wrong about the Flood coming. That angel spoke 40 days when Noah died on Dec 25 Christmas 2021bc. (This date is changed to claim as Nimrod’s death in year 950 at age 500 when the Flood is changed from 2370bc to be 2970bc. It is memorial to Christ Noah not to Nimrod as Christ. To shun it is to spit on a memorial just because others alter it. People alter the memorial of Jesus, so do we spit on that one too? Thus the birth of the 144,000 in 1914 on Dec 24 is prophetic. WHERE do i post the timeline chart? Six men of the GB do not have spiritual authority to rule for the 137,000 oin heaven so as to control and rule the 7000 on earth. The GB is not kings over those in heaven, nor kings over the partakers because Paul speaks for those of the 144,000 in heaven, and those of the 144,000 on earth when he says since when have you started ruling without us, those in heaven, those on earth? If the whole GB wants to be Judas, Jehovah will not reselect communion partakers. Jehovah as already planned the slaughter of those who prevent all the anointed around the world from coming to NEW YORK where British license is honored because 1763 declares it so, Jehovah crushed the Dutch ships, Jehovah motivated the Dutch to give Britain New Amsterdam, and renamed as New York then Jehovah paved his way to buy the 1914 British license that will exist until all 144,000 are in heaven the same way the church of Jesus existed until he died to return to heaven. Jesus is the one who resurrected the church during 40 days proving he was not dead. And 144,000 will do the same. Resurrect the losers the lame the scum who deserted him when the evening meal came for the wedding. He will awake them in 40 days, and of 7000 in heaven the other 7000 partakers will be proven as false, fakes, taking flight, flee, mooching the trip to New York that Jehovah forced Bethel to fund. This is not an invite for ISIL into America because these partakers have already taken communion proving to elders they are of the selected members of Jehovah’s governing body annual meeting. Be it Atonement Day or Christmas we already know Satan wants him dead and gone before the Sabbath day begins. But New Jerusalem won’t be gone nor dead, she will reborn and giving baptized ones the courage and strength and bravery to fear no one because they no their Lord Christ Queen Esther the queen of heaven has been raised and they have their warning as Lot’s family did, pushed out side to haul ass away out of this Sodom where every personal Ad on Craigslist for friendship (FWB) and FUN is married men looking for every perversion possible. The real current world could not and can not be worse than what it is right now. YOU MY WITNESSES HAVE BEEN PUNISHED 40 YEARS WITHHELD FORM THE PROMISED LAND, I NOW TURN MY ATTENTION TO YOU THAT YOU MAY SEE BILLIONS COULD LIVE BUT BILLIONS WILL DIE. THEY CHOOSE DEATH. FLEE FROM IT MY PEOPLE.
I am sorry, but after consideration of your ideas and claims, I must treat all of your several comments as spam.
Jeepers …but is this Elija feeling okay?
wow. I had vaguely heard about this when it happened, but, since I left in ’99 (and disfellowshipped) I have gradually moved away from the first obsessive needs to check in on the Borg. So, I started studying as a young girl of 14 back in 1970 and this was pretty much what they studied and discussed at the meetings. I found it interesting, but, really grandiose on the JW leaders to think that all of that biblical prophecy applied to this tiny little group of people. That doubt kept me from totally swallowing “The Truth” and I thank “God/dess” that I had a critical thinking ability. It’s been 20 years since I was DF’d and I have never doubted that I did the right thing by calling BS on it all. Yes, they DF’d me but, when I went into the committee meeting I let them all know right away that while I did appreciate their concern for me, I was ready to leave anyways. Just found this site today. Enjoying the articles, etc.