How 1919 is Derived (

Article contributed by (original is linked here.)

Portentous emphasis is placed on 1919, this being the year that Jesus is said to have chosen the Watchtower and its Governing Body to represent him on earth. The Scriptural backing the Watchtower uses to support this year is flimsy and illogical.

“Similarly, starting in 1919, Jehovah brought forth the seed of the woman as a spiritual nation.” Revelation – It’s Grand Climax p.184

“Jehovah has shown much compassion toward his remnant of spiritual Israel and their sheeplike companions. His eye has been upon them constantly since their spiritual deliverance in 1919.” Watchtower 1994 Mar 1 p.17

How solid is the doctrine that supports this year?

Following are the steps used to arrive at 1919, which is based largely on Revelation 11. Each step is a failure in logic, as shown by bullet point. (Note that some of this reasoning changed in 2013, which will be discussed later.)

  1. The starting point is October 1914, the year Jesus is said to have commenced ruling in heaven.
    • Neither 1914, nor specifically the month October, are Scripturally supported as the start of Jesus heavenly reign, and is a topic in its own right.
  2. In June 1918, Jesus came to inspect his earthly organisation. 3 1/2 years from 1914 to 1918 correspond with the 3 1/2 years between Jesus baptism and his throwing the money changers out of the temple. (See Revelation – It’s Grand Climax p.32) A second parallel is drawn with Revelation 11:2,3, where is speaks of the temple being trampled for 42 months or 1260 days (3 1/2 years). June 1918 corresponds to the jailing of the Watchtower board of directors. (See Revelation – It’s Grand Climax pp.164,167)
    • Jesus rulership was said to have commenced in October 1914, but the 42 months are said to have started in December. There was no explanation for the 2 month gap, other than it is required for the 42 months to end in June 1918.
  3. After 9 months, in March 1919, the Watchtower board of directors were released. The 9 month period is based on the 3 1/2 days of Revelation 11:9-11. (See Revelation – It’s Grand Climax p.169)
    • The 42 months of Revelation 11 is said to be a literal 42 months, but the 3 1/2 days from the same passage in Revelation 11 is said to be figurative of 9 months. (3 1/2 years = 3 1/2 years … 3 1/2 days = 9 months)
  4. This led to great fear amongst all other religions.”There were truly great convulsions in the realm of religion. The ground seemed to move under the leaders of the established churches as this body of revivified Christians got to work.” Revelation – It’s Grand Climax p.170
    • The release of Rutherford from jail was irrelevant to most people, and it can hardly be said that the result was that “great fear fell upon those beholding them.” (Rev 11:11)
  5. The release of the Watchtower directors from prison in 1919 is supposed to correspond with Jesus appointing the Watchtower Governing Body as his slave.”Anointed Christians who survived the testing period of 1914-19 were freed from the dominating influence of the world and from many Babylonish religious practices. The remnant went forward as a cleansed and refined people, willingly offering sacrifices of praise to God and having the assurance that they as a people were acceptable to him.” Watchtower 1998 May 15 p.17″In 1919 the cleansed slave class could look forward to ever-expanding activities.” Watchtower 1993 May 1 p.16″Similarly, starting in 1919, Jehovah brought forth the seed of the woman as a spiritual nation.” Revelation – It’s Grand Climax p.184
    • There is no Scriptural reason as to why the raising of “two witnesses” or the release from prison of the Watchtower directors in 1919 should indicate that Jesus has chosen them as his Faithful Slave.
  6. “How long did this respite for the seed of God’s woman last? Revelation 12:6 says 1,260 days. Revelation 12:14 calls the period a time, times, and half a time; in other words, three and a half times. In fact, both expressions stand for three and a half years, extending in the Northern Hemisphere from the spring of 1919 to the autumn of 1922. This was a period of refreshing recuperation and reorganization for the restored John class. … After 1922 Satan spewed out a flood of persecution against the Witnesses.” Revelation – It’s Grand Climax pp.184-185
    • Does anyone really believe that what happened to Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1922, a period no one is alive to remember, is fulfilment of Revelation prophecy?

The following table is taken from the Ministerial Training School notes conducted during the mid 2000’s.

In 2013, this teaching was simplified by removing 1918 from the equation.

“To settle that question, Jesus began to inspect the spiritual temple in 1914. That inspection and cleansing work involved a period of time—from 1914 to the early part of 1919. … Footnote to Paragraph 6: This is an adjustment in understanding. Previously, we thought that Jesus’ inspection took place in 1918.” (Watchtower 2013 Jul 15 p.11)

The article explains that since Jesus cleansed the temple twice, it shows an ongoing cleansing work between 1914 and 1919. However, this does nothing to clarify why 1919 has any Scriptural relevance, as no backing is given to support how long the cleansing would be for.

Watchtower 2014 Nov 15 conjoins the 1260 days with the 3 1/2 days to arrive at 1919.

“How long did this inspection and cleansing take place. It extended from 1914 to the early part of 1919. This period of time includes both the 1,260 days (42 months) and the symbolic three and a half days referred to in Revelation chapter 11.” Watchtower 2014 Nov 15 p.30

This becomes nonsense, as the Watchtower presents the 1260 days as literal, but the 3 1/2 days as symbolic, yet adds them together to support the period of time from 1914 to 1919. The timeline graphically highlights the discrepancy by a multiple of 75 in the time frame of the figurative 3 1/2 days and literal 1,260 days.

The timeline does not provides a specific start and end date for the 1260 days, because they do not align with any specific occurrence, as detailed at 1260 days.

It should be a matter of grave concern for each of Jehovah’s Witnesses that the underlying doctrine for 1919, the year so key to their leadership’s authoritarian claims, rests on such baseless Scriptural manipulation.

Written 2013. Latest update Mar 2014

creative commons copyright    Paul Grundy  2005 – 2014

One thought on “How 1919 is Derived (”

    Today with well-kept vital statistics (birth and death certificates) along with technology, it is possible more than ever to measure, quantify and qualify populations and generations. In order to determine the length of a generation this study will use the calendar year, Pre-World War One, the World War One generations and a single family line of decent as an example.
    The Calendar Year
    A calendar year generation expires when the last oldest living person born in that specific year dies. It’s just that simple.
    As an example; Emma Morano (2) was born November 29, 1899 and was considered to be the oldest verifiable living person in the world at 117 years 108 days old; as of March 17, 2017. She died on April 15, 2017, living 117 yrs. 137 days.
    Secondly, Emma Morano had one other distinction; she was believed to be the very last verifiable person alive who was born in 1899. Keep in mind Emma Morano was once a new born baby. On Dec. 31, 1899 the last newest born baby (ies) and the oldest living person(s) marked the parameters of the generation of 1899, with everybody else, the entire world population, in between. They all continued to die off until the last one, Emma Morano was left. When she died, the generation of 1899 died. In fact all other generations in the past years 1898, 1897, 1896 etc. have also passed away.
    Historical Events
    The second way to mark a generation is by using an historical date. It works the same way as the calendar year except a specific historical date is used. When the last oldest living person, who was born the closest to the event, or on the day of the event, dies, that generation is dead. That’s it!
    One question is: How many people left, from a given time period, amount to a generation? Is it 10,000; 1000; 100; 10 or just 1? There is no answer to this question. However, once the last living person dies, so dies the generation.
    Because Emma Morano was born in Nov. 1899, before WWI began, she is part of the pre-World War One generation. Today there are still thousands of people who were born on or before July 27, 1914, the day before WWI began. Therefore the pre-WWI generation is still alive and will be for a short time until the last oldest living person, who must have been born on or before July 27, 1914 dies.
    In other words, when the oldest living verifiable person is found to be born on or after July 28, 1914, the day World War One began, the pre-World War One generation will be dead; it’s the generation’s end.
    Therefore to determine the length of a generation, all you have to do is keep an eye on who is the oldest living person, the date of this person’s birth and the event date in question.

    Measuring a Generation-A World Population
    It should be kept in mind that because WWI was a world event, the entire world population can be used to take the measurement of a generation. WWI was declared, erupting on July 28, 1914 a historically marked time period. Therefore, anyone born on and before July 27, 1914 is part of the pre-WWI generation. Most were also alive to experience WWI at that time. (If a person wants to be accurate to the extreme, you can use the very day, hour, minute and second before WWI was declared to divide the pre-WWI generation from the WWI generation. Just find the official document of declaration of war and check for a time stamp, if one exists.)
    Statistical Data
    It is possible to know how many people are still alive from that WWI area. According to the World Almanac there were approx. 1.6 billion people on the face of the earth about that time. As always the world population age ranged from the very oldest people to the newest born babes. Today in 2017 those newest born babes are some of the oldest people on the face of the earth
    In 2014 it was estimated by the United States that there were 450,549 (1)(5) people around the world who were 100 years old or older. Statistically, of all those who live to be 100 years old, only 1 out of 1,000 will live to be 110. That means at the 110 year mark from the date of July 27, 1914, there will be at best approximately 451 people round the world who will be 110 years old and older.
    According to supercentenarian studies, (supercentenarians are people 110 years old and older)(3) once people hit the age of 110 they will die off at 2 out of every 3, until full mortality is reached at around 114 to 116 years of age, with possibly, not always, only a very few, 1 or 2 or so, going beyond that age. Very few make it to 117 or older. In fact from 1955 to the time of this writing, March 2017, only six verifiable people have lived to be 117. Only 2 lived beyond that age, one to 119 and the other, Jeanne Louise Calment who lived to 122 years, 164 days. Most of the oldest living people died at 114 years of age. (Keep in mind researchers are unable to determine whether they have all the information at hand and so use best figures at that particular time.)
    The question is how long will they live and so mark the end of the Pre-World War One generation? Only time will tell. (One point of note: the Spanish Influenza took many lives and may have cut short the length of time of the oldest living people from that pre-WWI generation, the WWI generation and the post-WWI generation. Nevertheless as always, when the last one dies, regardless of their age, the generation dies.)
    The WWI Generation
    WWI ended on November 11, 1918. Therefore the generation of WWI was composed of those people living when WWI broke out and those who were born during WWI. (July 28, 1914 to November 10, 1918.) Once the last pre-WWI generation member dies, the next generation to become the oldest living people on the face of the earth will be those who were born during WWI. They will die off a few years after the pre-WWI generation. Anyone born after Nov.10, 1918, is not of the WWI generation but they are part of the post-WWI generation.
    This being said, people live through various events in their lives. Someone who was part of the pre-WWI generation, if they lived long enough, was also part of the WWI generation and the post-WWI generation. If they lived even longer they were also part of the pre-WWII generation and the WWII generation. Some of them actually participated in WWII. (Note: the post-WWI generation can also be known as the pre-WII generation depending on how someone wants to present an idea.)
    A Step Down
    A generation can also be used to mean a step down or the next step in the line of one’s decent. As an example, a married couple who were born in the pre-WWI era has a baby born the day after WWI began. That baby cannot be part of the pre-WWI generation. But it is a part of the WWI generation as are the parents. Generations cannot perpetuate but events can go on a long time after a generation has died such as some wars which have historically lasted hundreds of years.
    Consider the seasons of the year. Summer, fall, winter and spring are specific. They each are definite marked time periods starting on a given day every year and ending on a given day every year. Spring does not and cannot perpetuate or overlap into summer regardless of the temperature or world events. So it is with a generation, it is marked either by a specific historical date or calendar year. When the last oldest living person dies, the generation dies. Generations come and go just as spring time and the other seasons come and go. Multiple events can go on within the life of a generation. Likewise the reverse is true, past wars of history have prolonged for hundreds of years, while multiple generations have been born and died within those war years.
    There may be some claims that generations are built around historical events. However, this claim brings up the question, when does the generation end? How many years after an historical event must be counted to still mean a specific generation is in existence? It becomes arguable and hazy and not worth discussing as it yields no certain answer. It is much more specific and exact to count those who were born after an event ended as the post- generation of such an event.
    Use of the Word Generation
    BEWARE: It’s important to know how the word generation is being used within the context of the speaker or writer to understand the specific meaning of the word. This report doesn’t cover every use of the word. See a dictionary for more information.
    Unverifiable Ages
    At this point take note we have been dealing with verifiable birth records and not unverifiable claims of a person claiming to be older than those whose ages are verifiable. How these unverifiable individuals should be viewed depends upon other factors or questions. Here are some examination questions to use to determine if such a person’s age can be accepted. (4)
    1) Is the person male or female? Usually women live longer than men. So the odds against male claimants being the age claimed is reduced but not out of the question.
    2) Is the person from a developed country or a third world country? In third world countries there is usually little to no health care and more lawlessness. A person’s life is cut short by these and other factors.
    3) Is the person literate? If the person is not literate, they probably can’t count. Nonetheless to be certain, ask the person if they can count? If so, ask when did they learn how to count? Was it late in life? If late in life this isn’t a valid test. But if a person claims they learned to count at an early age, use this test:
    As an example, if a person claims to be 150 years old, ask the person to count from 0 to 150. If that person misses half the numbers than its probable that person is 75 years old or close to that age. In other words, however many numbers they miss during the count, subtract that from the age they claim.
    4) Does the claimant know what a calendar is? Do they know how to use it? If they never or sporadically had a calendar, then it’s much easier to lose track of time and they may have guessed at their age now and then.
    5) Does the person smoke, chew tobacco, use drugs for recreation, over eat or engage in any habits that cut a person’s life short? In developed countries these habits, despite medical care, do indeed cut one’s life short; so it becomes very questionable if a third world claimant is the age they claim.
    6) Does the person have any health problems? As an example, a weak heart. This in itself will affect a person’s memory as a weak heart doesn’t pump enough blood to the brain and so affects the memory.
    In conclusion, anyone who can’t verify their claims to be older than those who can validate their age is probably not accurate and should be held highly questionable and probably discounted.

    (1) World Population by Age and Sex – U.S. Census Bureau › … › Data › International Data Base

    (2) List of the verified oldest people – Wikipedia

    (3) Supercentenarian – Wikipedia

    (4) Typologies of Extreme Longevity Myths – Hindawi
    (5) ( Their current estimate for world population 100+ in the year 2015 is 451000
    See Also:
    Centenarian – Wikipedia

    Guinness World Records, see oldest living person.
    ( If you have further questions on this information, you can contact Population Division directly at
    “Table C – World’s Oldest Person (WOP) Titleholders Since 1955”. Retrieved 27 July 2015.

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