JWINSIDER #006: ALL aspects of 1914 doctrine are now problematic from a Scriptural point of view

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 #006 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/

[Most responses or questions from other forum participants, unless very brief, are removed.]

If you move the day back 20 years, does that fit with any verses? Should it be expected to?

If one were to work from the date of Jerusalem’s fall in 587 (or 586 BCE) then you could add 2,520 years to it and reach the year 1934. If you are looking hard enough for something, you can always find it and make it significant through some bit of world history or organizational history. (rise of Hitler, Roosevelt, Federal Reserve Act, Jewish immigration to Palestine begins, etc.)

Also, although the all the independent Babylonian sources are clear about when Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th and 19th year began, the Bible uses both dates for the destruction of Jerusalem.

(2 Kings 25:8, 9) 8 In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, that is, in the 19th year of King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar the king of Babylon, Neb·uʹzar·adʹan the chief of the guard, the servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 He burned down the house of Jehovah,. . .

(Jeremiah 32:1, 2) 32 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah in the 10th year of King Zed·e·kiʹah of Judah, that is, the 18th year of Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar. 2 At that time the armies of the king of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem, . . .

There is no absolutely sure way to tell if this difference referred to two different ways of counting Nebuchadnezzar’s year of reign, of if one refers perhaps only to a siege that started a year earlier. There is even a problem in deciding for sure whether the year began in the spring or the fall. Both methods are used in the Bible, and it’s sometimes difficult to figure out which is which.

(2 Chronicles 36:10) 10 At the start of the year,* King Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar sent to have him brought to Babylon,. . . [* NWT footnote: “Possibly, in the spring”]

In other words, one could stretch the 2,520 years to even reach only to 1933, or possibly as far as 1935 which was once a more significant date in our own history. It was, for nearly half a century, thought of as the end of the call to the heavenly hope, but now it is only seen as the year when the announcement clarified the earthly hope of the Jonadab class, and since which date the vast majority of new Witnesses have been “called” to an earthly hope.

Hanging on to the “1914 prediction” was considered a vestige proving that Jehovah’s spirit was truly with the early Bible Students in a more special way than just their separation from Babylon the Great. Remember that it didn’t really matter when Jerusalem was destroyed, as long as 1914 had still been predicted. (The actual initial method used was not even concerned with the destruction of Jerusalem.) When the idea of 2,520 years was added to the mix, the year for the destruction was determined, basically, by counting backwards from 1914. When Franz determined that Russell had made a one year error (due to his incorrect belief that there had been a “zero year”) the destruction of Jerusalem was merely changed to 607 so that 1914 would still work. 1914 has always been the goal, not the actual date for Jerusalem’s destruction.

Therefore, I doubt very much that a 20 year change is in the works. It would only buy the generation 20 more years, anyway, and would still require a two-lifespan generation to cover the FOUR+ biological generations that have seen “1934.” (My 103-year-old grandmother-in-law [from Long Island, NY] would have been 20 in 1934 and was just here visiting her great-granddaughter over a week ago.)

There are additional problems with revisiting the Daniel 4 and Luke 21:24 to make a change. It will receive renewed scrutiny, and having failed us in the past, will probably not seem so convincing this time. People will notice that there is no second fulfillment mentioned in Daniel 4, and a recent Watchtower (3/15/2015) has already come out to say that we no longer add second fulfillments unless the Bible explicitly tells us that one exists. As far as Daniel 4 is concerned, the entire dream was fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar. Also, people will surely question how a brutal haughty King that destroyed Jerusalem can somehow represent Jerusalem. (We once taught that Nebuchadnezzar pictured Jesus, making Jesus a kind of Greater Nebuchadnezzar.)

If allowed to scrutinize the topic, all the other questions will surely surface this time, including the supposed “rule” that a day is always a year. If this were true, then why did Daniel multiply Jeremiah’s 70 years by 7 to make 490 years? (“70 weeks of years”). Why do our publications never use a day for a year when the Bible speaks of 1,260 days, 1,290 days, or 1,335 days. Why are the 3.5 times of Revelation kept as a literal 1,260 days? Why does Revelation 11 say that the “Gentile Times” were only three and one-half times, or 42 months long?

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