This site now has permission to reprint various postings and articles from JWFacts, JWStudies, JWInsider, and several others. We are still working on getting more content from more posters, bloggers, and site creators, and are especially looking for JWs who have taken up the same studies about chronology that we focus on here.
JWINSIDER #007 on 1914: From posts in the topic ALL aspects of 1914 doctrine are now problematic from a Scriptural point of view.
The original context is found here: https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/39516-all-aspects-of-1914-doctrine-are-now-problematic-from-a-scriptural-point-of-view/
[Responses or questions from other forum participants are removed, unless brief]
Saw something interesting on this scripture related to the Bible reading (Ezekiel 12) for next week:
(2 Peter 3:3,4) 3 First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.”
The first thing was the cross reference from the NWT. The pre-2013 NWT cross-referenced 2 Pet 3:4 to Ezekiel 12:27 and I think I might have misunderstood the value of the cross-reference:
(Ezekiel 12:27) “Son of man, look! those of the house of Israel are saying, ‘The vision that he is visioning is many days off, and respecting times far off he is prophesying.’
Without the context, this verse alone looks like a discussion about patience in waiting for the fulfillment of the promised prophecy. After all, Peter will go on to say that in Jehovah’s timetable something could go on for a 1,000 years in our time, but could still be like a day in Jehovah’s eyes. Of course, the verse in 2 Peter (and also the verse in Ezekiel 12) is not about fact that something might be fulfilled in a far off time, but about the ridicule.
In the rNWT this is made easier to see by adding another verse from the context of this one in Ezekiel 12. Now, the 2013 Revised NWT includes the following verse in the cross-references:
(Ezekiel 12:22) 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb that you have in Israel that says, ‘The days go by, and every vision comes to nothing’?
Now it makes sense, that Israel had seen so many prophets and visionaries declare things that didn’t come true so often that it had become like the fable of “the boy who cried wolf.” (Also, btw, I found this verse to be much more readily understandable in the new rNWT. [A forum participant] reminded me of this verse when he spoke about how we have plenty of precedent for handling error. We need not be discouraged overmuch, as if this is something that should never be expected to happen. Imagine being in a congregation where some of them were saying there was no resurrection!
Another verse that has been added to the cross-references to the passage in 2 Peter 3:3 is the first verse in the passage below:
(Jeremiah 17:15, 16) 15 Look! There are those saying to me: “Where is the word of Jehovah? Let it come, please!” 16 But as for me, I did not run away from following you as a shepherd, Nor did I long for the day of disaster. You well know everything my lips have spoken; It all took place before your face!
It’s interesting that 2 Peter is about “ridiculers” but this verse is about a person who does not want to be a ridiculer, but is anxiously looking for the promised prophecy to come true. I added the next verse because it provides another interesting point that the person is not going to leave Jehovah just because of a perceived delay, but also he is not longing for the day of disaster. Perhaps it refers to the right attitude toward God’s judgments.
One last point is that those who read both 2 Peter 3 and the parallels in the book of Jude might be surprised to see that both of these books together make a very consistent point that they were already in the “last days.” It is both now and all the way back through to the first centuries that Christians would expect to hear persons ridicule them by saying “Where is this promised parousia?” and they would make the point that things are going on pretty much as they always were.
In Jude it’s also easy to see that he was speaking about the “last days” or “last time” having already started in Jude’s day:
(Jude 16-20) 16 These men are murmurers, complainers about their lot in life, following their own desires, and their mouths make grandiose boasts, while they are flattering others for their own benefit. 17 As for you, beloved ones, call to mind the sayings that have been previously spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 how they used to say to you: “In the last time there will be ridiculers, following their own desires for ungodly things.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, animalistic men, not having spirituality. 20 But you, beloved ones, build yourselves up on your most holy faith, and pray with holy spirit,
Of course, if it were about our own day, and if the parousia was going to be a long period of time, such as 103-plus years, for example, then the real response would be: “Don’t you know that things are NOT going on as they always were? Didn’t you notice the big wars and earthquakes that started the parousia? Are you blind to the sign?”
The “parousia” of course is a “visitation” and it came on Jerusalem 37 years after Jesus prophesied such a visitation. We can see that the visitation (parousia) wasn’t the entire period of the generation with its great wars and great earthquakes in one place after another and pestilences and food shortages. It was the final visitation event when judgment was visited upon Jerusalem:
(Matthew 23:35-38) . . .there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent to her—how often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you did not want it. 38 Look! Your house is abandoned to you.
It must have been especially important when speaking of the final visitation of judgment (parousia) to remind the ridiculers that there was a good reason that things were going on just as they had been since the days of their forefathers. It’s because, if there was not going to be a sign in advance, that it (the visitation – parousia) would come quickly and suddenly and without warning as a thief. Just as in Noah’s day, when the world was apart from the water, then suddenly in the midst of water:
(2 Peter 3:5, 6) 5 For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with waters.
Jesus was the one who had said that things WOULD go on just as they had been going on in the days of their forefathers.
(Matthew 24:37-41) 37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. 41 Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned.
This is just like when Paul said that it would also be a time when they were calling out peace and security! (Wars would occur but they would not be a defining sign of his parousia.) The ridicule is not about claiming that the parousia wasn’t really there, it was ridiculing the delay of the parousia, just as they were ridiculing the delay of the judgment visitation in Ezekiel 12. The only advance warning we have is the reminder that it will come as a thief and we should therefore watch what sort of persons we should be at all times:
(2 Peter 3:11-18) 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, 12 as you await and keep close in mind the presence [visitation] of the day of Jehovah,. . . 14 Therefore, beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace. 15 Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation,. . . 17 You, therefore, beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on your guard so that you may not be led astray with them by the error of the lawless people and fall from your own steadfastness. 18 No, but go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. . . .