Kindgom – Online Discussions – Pt 1 of 2

The following is a discussion evidently between a JW elder identifying himself as “Rotherham” and another person identifying himself as Bill W.   It’s primarily on the subject of whether Jesus began his kingdom around 33 CE or 1914 CE.

It is of interest that the discussion of the any meaning of the Kingdom is always with a purpose of showing that almost all references to Kingdom, at least all the ones that matter, are for the purposes of showing that 1914 is a correct doctrine, and all the other points that JWs make to support 1914 are made integral to any discussion of the Kingdom. This is in spite of the fact that the Watchtower also speaks of a Kingdom in 33CE, but its importance is minimized.

For now the saved portions of the discussion are in a raw form copied directly from a discussion site a couple of years ago. It is not known whether either Bill or Rotherham still hold to the same points they made during the discussion, or whether either may have changed the mind of the other person. Although it appears likely, we also cannot say for sure whether all portions of the discussion reflect the actual positions held by the person presenting their side of the discussion. Evidently, as this came from a few years ago, some specific doctrines held by JWs have changed, and the elder has most likely changed his own position to match the current position presented by the Watchtower.

Also some links may be obsolete. References to the NWT will not be the NWTR2013. The JW.ORG site may not have existed.

Some additional editing, formatting and organization will be required to help make more sense of the discussion.
Sections marked off by letters or numbers may not be in the right order. This might be adjusted where the order becomes clearer.


Hello Rotherham,

<quote=”Rotherham”>What does Ephesians 1:19,20 explicitly tell us concerning the same?

Again of course we need the context to see its relationship to Jesus’ Kingship. And, of course, just as in Acts, all references to Christ and Lord are also references to Jesus’ Kingship. In the NT context, Christ means Messiah which means Anointed One, which means King.

(1 Samuel 10) Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?

(2 Samuel 23) These are the last words of David:“The oracle of David son of Jesse,the oracle of the man exalted by the Most High,the man anointed by the God of Jacob,Israel’s singer of songs:
(Note that “exalted” is the same term used by Peter in Acts 2.)

(1 Kings 5) When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David.

Of course, a priest or prophet could be anointed, too. But there is a special precedent for the term Messiah (Anointed One/Christ) to mean “King” when it is referring to the “Coming One” the promised, future “Messiah”.

Messiah is interchangeable in these cases with King/Ruler, note:

(Daniel) “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens.’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’

(Isaiah 9) 6 For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule {government} will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 To the abundance of the princely rule {government} and to peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom in order to establish it firmly and to sustain it by means of justice and by means of righteousness, from now on and to time indefinite.

(Luke 19) 38 saying: “Blessed is the One coming as the King in Jehovah’s name! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest places!” 39 … 40 …{Jesus} said: “I tell YOU, If these remained silent, the stones would cry out.”
(Matthew) “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee.”
(John 12) “Blessed the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

Mark 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross
Luke 23:2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this … saying that he himself is Christ a King.

I say this, because to get the real context of Kingship, we could replace every mention of “Christ” and translate with the terms “Messiah,” “King,” or “Messiah-King” and still be perfectly accurate.

Ephesians 1:1-23

1 Paul, an apostle of King Jesus through God’s will, to the holy ones who are and faithful ones in union with King Jesus:

I won’t do that all the way through, of course, because it would affect almost every verse. But you should get the point.

9 …he purposed in himself 10 for an administration {government} at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth. <Yes,> in him, 11 in union with whom we were also assigned as heirs, …18 …, what the glorious riches are which he holds as an inheritance for the holy ones, 19 and what the surpassing greatness of his power is toward us believers. It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, 20 with which he has operated in the case of the Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come. 22 He also subjected all things under his feet, and made him head over all things to the congregation, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.

Explicitly, we see that (the King) Jesus, when he was raised up from the dead, was seated at God’s right hand, and was ALREADY AT THAT TIME:
* FAR ABOVE every government
* FAR ABOVE every authority
* FAR ABOVE every power
* FAR ABOVE every lordship
* FAR ABOVE every title given in this age
* FAR ABOVE every title given in the age to come.

With this kind of authority over every current King, every Governor, every magistrate, every Caesar, every Emperor – and every future King, Emperor, etc, this means that the congregation, Christs’ own “body” has nothing to worry about in terms of the great treasure awaiting them as they are also heirs to this same kingdom.

We also see explicitly that “He also subjected all things under his feet.” So we know that Jesus does not need to sit around waiting for all things to be made subject to him. What Jesus is waiting for (and the entire body of Christ, too) is the time when he will take final action according to God’s purpose/plan. But the Congregation can already see that this is working out because they are the current beneficiaries of the power and spirit that has already been poured out on their behalf. Other actions by this existing kingdom, even toward the congregation will continue to unfold. Even though MOST of what will happen with the Congregation/Body is still future, the Kingship is currently in full power, and a token has already been given in advance of that future inheritance that Christians will share in that kingdom as it unfolds its purpose more fully over heaven and earth.



Hello Rotherham,

In your latest response to my “3-part posting” you make some good points on some peripheral issues, but have still made no progress against the clear Bible teaching about the status of Jesus kingship and kingdom in 33 CE.

Your characterization of my reliance only on Rev 1:5 is also quite wrong.

In fact, you have attempted to subvert almost the entire set of Scriptures that mentions Christ’s Kingship and Kingdom. You are hardly attacking only one verse, you are attacking the entire theme of the Christian Greek Scriptures.

Except for when a supposed rule of exegesis or grammar appears to help you, you have shown time and again that you are not willing to rely on Biblical precedent and pattern to guide your interpretations. This is why you end up defending subjective views and preferences. You need to look more closely at the entire pattern of healthful words provided in the Bible. You get hung up on a claim that you look at precedent and pattern, but merely dismiss it when it doesn’t go your way.

(You also seem to prefer taking a “final” position on these major issues instead of taking an open-minded position.)

Let’s look at a couple of examples, which you claim to follow.
True, Biblical context or Biblical explicit statements elsewhere to the contrary, can alter the meaning of a word or phrase that might every where else be used differently, but the context or statement would have to be explicit and unmistakable in doing so. Without that, Biblical precedent and pattern should rule the day. I am not sure you agree with that, but frankly, you should, as should anyone who desires to get God’s thoughts when it comes to anything that is written in scripture, in prophecy.
You seem to have forgotten that the very basis of this entire discussion is that you want King and Kingdom to mean something different whenever the Bible verse, phrase, or passage gets in the way of your preferred doctrine. You want King to mean King-Designate when it doesn’t suit you. You want Kingdom to mean “Kingdom ONLY over the congregation” at one point, and you want it to mean “Kingdom Governmental Rule over the Nations” at another time. You ignore Biblical precedent and pattern. And in this case you have much more than that – you have parables about the kingdom. Your explanations fly in the face of a natural understanding of scripture.

God’s word very often gives us the hints and clues and even direct explanations across various passages when comparing verse with verse and passage with passage. This is as expected when similar subjects come up.

Biblical precedent for the expression: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”

With respect to whether “on the Lord’s Day” refers to “on the first day of the week”, it is not necessary to discuss it further. I never claimed it had to mean the first day of the week. But I think there is a very good chance that it does, especially when we KNOW that this is exactly what that specific phrase meant to Christians of that same time period when Revelation was written. And we also know that some of the most important Christian meetings and activities were held on “Sunday”:

Acts 20:7: On the first day of the week , when we were gathered together to break bread
1 Cor 16:2: …just as I gave orders to the congregations of Ga·la´ti·a, do that way also yourselves. 2 Every first day of the week let each of YOU at his own house set something aside…
John 20:19 Therefore, when it was late on that day, the first of the week, and, although the doors were locked where the disciples were…Jesus came and stood in their midst….”
John 20:26 26 Well, eight days later his disciples were again indoors, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst and said: “May YOU have peace.”
Acts 2:1: Now while the day of the Pentecost was in progress they were all together at the same place,

(Of course the Ascension may have been on a Thursday, but this was not stated as an exact date. Instead, it’s based on the wording in Acts about Jesus “being seen by them throughout forty days.” And Luke 24:51 may even refer to an earlier ascension after one of the previously mentioned Sunday meetings.)

Although “being in the spirit on the Lord’s Day” can have other meanings besides receiving the vision on the first day of the week, it still does not in any way require or even imply that John was ever transferred INTO the future. This doesn’t mean your hypothesis here is impossible, but even if it means he was transported in time, it doesn’t mean that we can suddenly understand his exact point in time during all of the visions. It also wouldn’t make it necessary to claim that all John’s time references are now going to be worded from his new point of time reference. We could make no assumptions about whether he meant a “1000-year day” or a specific point in time during that day, or the day of judgment itself which could be a literal day or something like it. You want it to be something like a 100-year long Parousia. But if you are right about a 100 year Parousia, with or without Biblical precedent, there is no way to know that this 100-year Parousia doesn’t go on for another 50 or 100 or 200 years. So we wouldn’t know at what point along this 100 year Parousia – or 300 year parousia John’s new point of reference was. Nor would it mean that he would now have to start shifting the wording about time such that his phrases are now. Let’s say JWs were right about the Parousia starting in 1874. The Lord’s Day could have been anywhere from, was John finding himself in that entire time period. What about when he saw the New Jerusalem descend?

Regarding Revelation being written pre or post 70 CE

As far as the time of writing being before or after 70 CE, again there is no explicit evidence either way. I have always believed that the external extra-Biblical evidence pointed more towards a later date, such as 96 – 99 CE. I still believe that much of the internal textual evidence points to an early date, but I no longer think this is as important. Some of this is based on arguments you have made but the was intended to create a new understanding of Jerusalem’s destruction as the harbinger of the new age “times of thI accept that many of the points you made are good and I know that many of the scholars who make the case for the early date have made good points. I have put a lot of weight on what I consider to be internal textual evidence, but it is hardly conclusive, and I am willing to accept the later date by giving more weight to external, extra-Biblical evidence. Again, neither date has anything to do with the question at hand. Scriptures both inside and outside Revelation make it clear have also concluded that the weight of external evidence is stronger

In your first posted response I did not see anything that you offered to prove your position except Rev. 1:5 . It appears you are simply trying to neutralize the evidence I have presented rather than try and prove your view to be accurate, other than the Rev. 1:5 and a couple of other things which I will specifically address again below.

What I will focus upon then is evidence which I believe proves my points, at least beyond a reasonable doubt, at least in harmony with Biblical precedent and pattern, evidence that I think you are missing. I believe, as I have shared before, that we should always and primarily rely upon Biblical precedent and pattern as a guide in our interpretations. Otherwise, we are simply prone to follow our own subjective views and preferences. The best way to allow God’s spirit to guide us is by allowing God’s spirit to guide us, and we both agree that the Bible is like congealed holy spirit in written form. What better guide for interpretation can there be? True, Biblical context or Biblical explicit statements elsewhere to the contrary, can alter the meaning of a word or phrase that might every where else be used differently, but the context or statement would have to be explicit and unmistakable in doing so. Without that, Biblical precedent and pattern should rule the day. I am not sure you agree with that, but frankly, you should, as should anyone who desires to get God’s thoughts when it comes to anything that is written in scripture, in prophecy.

As far as the “Lord’s day” referring to the first day of the week, to Sunday, there is no Biblical precedent or pattern to establish that and the context is far from explicit otherwise, in fact, the surrounding context surely lends itself to the application of it being the Lord’s Day in connection with the revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven. For this reason, I reject your explanation as having any precedent or pattern for acceptance. Scripture should rule here, not extra-biblical references.

As far as there being no reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, it is far more natural for there to be no mention of the destroyed Jerusalem if it was already past than if it was imminent and looming immediately in the future. The very fact that your view does not seem to include any reference to this imminent destruction, even when the prophecy is willing to talk about the supposed current courtyard, is highly inordinate and unnatural. There would be every reason to include the mention of this coming destruction.

In fact, it is the description of and the final outcome of Babylon the Great that stands against your own timing of the book and squarely against the preterist timing of the book. There is no way, except in the most strained manner, and even then it fails,to apply the description and the final outcome of Babylon to pre 70CE Jerusalem. The preterist explanation can not stand the test of logic or history when compared to the words used to describe Babylon.

You try to take the position that Babylon doesn’t apply to Jerusalem. That’s smart, but then you close the door on your own interpretation because if it was really written pre 70 CE, it would be highly inordinate for that prophecy not to mention the imminent destruction of Jerusalem. In fact, if your explanation of who the seven headed wild beast is, is to be taken seriously, it makes no sense at all that the imminent destruction of Jerusalem is not mentioned, yet the destruction of Babylon, who RIDES the seven headed wild beast, IS explained.

Think about this as well, you claim that many things of Revelation is directly at Jews and directed at many things in direct connection with Jerusalem, yet there is no message to the church at Jerusalem? How odd is that?

Both positions do not line up with logic. The most logical view is it wasn’t mentioned because it already happened and nothing in the prophetic signs that were presented had anything to do with the past. And the very fact that the Jerusalem that is mentioned is called NEW Jerusalem, bespeaks the fact that something had happened to the OLD Jerusalem.

Therefore, the most logical view is that Revelation was written POST 70 CE and that the signs mentioned in verse 1, were to take place in the future, just as it says in that verse and reiterated in 4:1. Therefore, based upon the above, I reject your interpretation that Revelation was written before the destruction of Jerusalem. It just doesn’t add up with the nature of the prophecies.

You seem to think that John could not have been time shifted in the opening verses of Revelation because he doesn’t mention being in the Lord’s Day until verse 9. Surely you must know that just because he doesn’t mention this time transfer until verse 9, in no way means that he could not have already experienced it in the preceding verses, especially when there is nothing in the preceding verse to nullify the idea but rather actually supports the idea beginning with verse 7. Verse 7 is an explicit parallel to the revelation of Jesus Christ and the subsequent result, mentioned in the Olivet Sermon, which is clearly referencing things far into the future, far past 70CE. It is an explicit reference to the parousia of Christ which you do not believe has happened yet. So it is clearly a futuristic reference. So even though this time transfer is not mentioned until verse 9, it in no way removes him from being there, even in verse 1. Regardless, verse 7 puts us in the time of the parousia, which is the Lord’s Day. Every contextual indicator in this introduction establishes the Lord’s Day as in connection with the parousia of Christ.

Who are the 24 elders

I believe your treatment of the 24 elders and who they ar3 1e is a glaringly wrong. You should know that according to every ancient manuscript, except ONE, verse 9 of chapter five, which is quoting the 24 elders, says “with your blood you redeemed US”. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to not view the 24 elders as those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, which explicitly establishes them as “former humans” who are now in heaven, and since there are NO humans in heaven prior to the parousia, the point I am making in regard to these 24 elders is irrevocably established. If they are being shown in the vision, then the vision is clearly after the commencement of the parousia, no matter how long you think it lasts.


Ephesians: `It is according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself 10 for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth. <Yes,> in him, 11 in union with whom we were also assigned as heirs, in that we were foreordained according to the purpose of him who operates all things according to the way his will counsels, 12 that we should serve for the praise of his glory, we who have been first to hope in the Christ. 13 But YOU also hoped in him after YOU heard the word of truth, the good news about YOUR salvation. By means of him also, after YOU believed, YOU were sealed with the promised holy spirit, 14which is a token in advance of our inheritance, for the purpose of releasing by a ransom <God’s> own possession, to his glorious praise.

15 That is why I also, since I have heard of the faith YOU have in the Lord Jesus and toward all the holy ones, 16 do not cease giving thanks for YOU. I continue mentioning YOU in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give YOU a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him; 18 the eyes of YOUR heart having been enlightened, that YOU may know what is the hope to which he called YOU, what the glorious riches are which he holds as an inheritance for the holy ones, 19 and what the surpassing greatness of his power is toward us believers. It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, 20 with which he has operated in the case of the Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come. 22 He also subjected all things under his feet, and made him head over all things to the congregation, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.

As mentioned above, only Michael is named as an archangel in the canonical Bible. In the Apocrypha, Jeremiel (Uriel?) is also named as an archangel (2 Esdras 4:36).
So, how many archangels are there? One? Two? Another argument could be made for four, as this passage in 1 Enoch shows – these four angels stand on the “four sides” of God:
“The first is the merciful, the patient, the holy Michael. The second is he who presides over every suffer-ing and every wound of the sons of men, the holy Raphael. The third who presides over all that is power-ful, is Gabriel. And the fourth, who presides over repentance, and the hope of those who will inherit eternal life, is Phanuel. These are the four angels of the most high God, and their four voices which at that time I heard.” (1 Enoch 40:8-9, Laurence)
Another passage in 1 Enoch singles out 6 angels:
“These are the names of the angels who watch:
· Uriel, one of the holy angels, he it is who is over clamor and terror
· Rapahel, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men
· Raguel, one of the holy angels, who inflicts punishment on the world and the luminaries
· Michael, one of the holy angels, who presiding over human virtue, commands the nations
· Sarakiel, one of the holy angels, who presides over the spirits of the children of men that transgress
· Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Iskisat, over paradise, and over the Cherubim” (1 Enoch 20:1-7, Laurence translation)
Tobit, in the Apocrypha, suggests that there are seven angels of note:
“I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before the glory of God” (Tobit 12:15, NRSV)
The Dead Sea Scrolls War of the Sons of Light with the Sons of Darkness list the names of four angels on the shields of the sons of light as they go into battle – however, there are gaps in the manuscript:
“They shall write on all the shields of the towers: on the first, Michael, *on the second, Gabriel, on the third> Sariel, and on the fourth, Raphael. Michael and Gabriel 52 His disciples said to him,

“Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you.”
He said to them, “You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead.”
Who Are the Twenty-four Elders (Revelation 4:4)?


The Ministry of Angels
Announcing . . . Christ’s Birth!
The Great White Throne
Revelation 4 and 5 describe the throne room of God in heaven and its activities. Prominent among them are the twenty-four elders:

Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I say twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. . . . he twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:4, 10-11).

Some falsely teach that the twenty-four elders are taken from among saved mortals. This assumption is primarily based on a mistranslation of Revelation 5:8-10 in many versions, even the respected King James version. According to the Greek text, the last half of verse 9 and all of verse 10 should read: “For You were slain, and have redeemed them

to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation; and have made them kings and priests to our God; and they shall reign on the earth.”

Notice the translation of these verses in the English Standard Version: “. . . for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and You have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

From this correct text, we see that these “elders” are not changed mortals but powerful spirit beings who assist God at His throne in heaven. Verse 10 explicitly says that the resurrected saints will reign on earth! See Revelation 20:4 where this idea is repeated and expanded.

We know that the twenty-four elders are not redeemed human beings because no man except Jesus Christ (John 3:13) has ascended to heaven where God’s throne is. All saved human beings—those who are Christ’s true servants—will be given immortality at Christ’s coming—when He returns to the earth to rule and reign (I Corinthians 15:22-23).

The twenty-four elders, then, are a part of the created heavenly host, that is, angels of high rank and honor. They are created spirit beings and have been given positions of responsibility in the government of God, through which He rules the universe.Revelation 5:8 says the elders each have a harp and golden bowls full of incense, symbolic of the prayers of the saints. From these symbols we can perhaps see a little of their function before God.

The harp is a musical instrument, and biblically, it was used a great deal in accompanying the Psalms and in the worship of God (see II Samuel 6:5; I Chronicles 15:16; 25:1, 3, 6; II Chronicles 5:11-14; Nehemiah 12:27; Psalm 33:2; 98:5; etc.). Similarly, the twenty-four elders are responsible for praising God in song, possibly in conducting vast choirs of angels (seeRevelation 5:11-12).

The golden bowls full of incense representing the prayers of God’s people hint at a second responsibility: that of carrying out God’s answers to prayer. Perhaps, once God determines how a situation should be handled, He leaves its accomplishment in the hands of these trusted servants, who, Paul says, are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Though this function is speculative, it is not inconsistent with the function of angels elsewhere in the Bible (see Daniel 9:20-23; 10:10-21).
Note 4:4
Who are the elders?
After seeing the magnificent One on the throne, what next came to the apostle’s attention?
Elders are representatives and leaders of the people nu1116f. White represents purity or being forgiven is0118. And white robes? See is6110. The 24 elders had white robes and also golden crowns. The Greek word for crown here is stephanoswhich is a garland wreath as awarded to winners in the Greek games. I believe the elders are humans � the overcomers. These crowns of victory would be golden olive wreaths.
I also believe we are looking at the time in Chapters 4 and 5 when Christ was inaugurated as our priest in heaven shortly after He ascended. This was preparation for His role in judgment. Later we will see how this relates especially to the preadvent judgment.
Those who believe that the righteous dead go immediately to heaven at death would have no problem seeing the elders there as humans (although I’m not sure how they would explain there being only 24). But believing that the dead “sleep” in the grave and are resurrected at the coming of Christ, leads one to ask for further explanation.
We do know that Elijah went to heaven without seeing death 2ki0211 and that Moses was raised from death jude9. This is confirmed by their appearance at the transfiguration mt1701-3. We may see them as as representatives of the two classes who will be taken to heaven at the sound of the trumpet: {1} the resurrected ones who had been “dead in Christ,” and {2} the righteous who will be living (in Christ) at that time. We see the two groups in the following verses:
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ {1} shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain {2} shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:16-18)    Do we have biblical evidence for people other than Moses and Elijah now being in heaven? Read mt2750-3,ep0408. Jesus, as the victorious king of Psalm 24, brought these as His captives.  They were His prisoners of war, following imagery based on the custom of the times! They had been Satan’s captives. Now they were free trophies of the victory of the cross! The verse also says He gave “gifts.” These were associated with the Spirit given at Pentecost, which occurred seven weeks after the crucifixion ac0104-9, ac0201-4. Also see is2619.
In chapter 12, a voice from the elders speaks referring to the saints as brothers 1210c. As with other topics, we have more to learn about the elders. Someday Jesus can tell us. for the enoch version job sons of god etc.

Plus, angels are NEVER referred to as ELDERS, anywhere in the Bible. Therefore your view is unprecedented and unparalleled according to scripture and that is ample reason alone to reject it. That, along with the fact that your view is out of harmony with every ancient manuscript but one is also enough to reject it. To discredit the reading of “US” simply and only because it does not appear in the one single Codex of Alexandria, is most unreasonable and unjust to the weight of authority that it exhibits everywhere else.



Your worst argument –so far– is about the word “parousia”

Your comments on the “Parousia” strike me as perfectly ridiculous. By that I mean “completely worthy of ridicule.” This subject is one area where I have seen you and other JWs and the Watchtower publishers use the most specious and disingenuous arguments — arguments that are often devoid of logic and reason. What’s worse, is that — for “parousia” — you make arguments that you must not really believe in. If you do believe in them, then you betray a truly outstanding level of logical distortion and dissonance. Here’s why. You said:

<quote=”Rotherham”>As far as the meaning of parousia, there is no Biblical precedent or pattern except the one that establishes it as meaning “presence”. And it is not a word that just appears a couple of times. There are a number of occurrences that are not in connection to the coming of Christ and they all mean presence. And advent is entirely in harmony with the idea of presence because you can’t have an advent unless you’re present.

First of all you speak out of both sides of your mouth when we you say it is established as meaning only “presence” when you also argue at other times that a “presence” always involves an “arrival” and vice versa.

If this were a discussion of almost any other word with theological-doctrinal implications, you would be quick to disagree with this type of premise. In fact, you often have disagreed with this type of premise. I’ve seen you do it. If the subject were one of the Hebrew or Greek Biblical words for “god” “spirit” “worship” “lord” “angel” “soul” “temple” and many other words, you’d be arguing for a full understanding of dual meanings, multiple meanings or a range of meanings.

Yet, evidently with a perfectly straight face, you can write: “As far as the meaning of parousia, there is no Biblical precedent or pattern except the one that establishes it as meaning “presence”.


‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings

Let’s see what you really think of the Biblical precedent when it comes to words that can have multiple meanings. Let’s take one of the most widely-known examples of a Biblical word that can have multiple meanings. This example is so widely known that it often gets juxtaposed with its own cliche. I’m referring to the word “KNOW” — in the Biblical sense of the word, as the cliche goes.

Now you will likely still claim that Matthew is probably the first written book of the Greek New Testament. The very first time that Matthew uses this Greek word “ginosko” (“know”) he says: “He KNEW her not until she gave birth to a son…” The NWT translates: “But he had no intercourse with her until she gave birth to a son.”

So Matthew’s “Biblical precedent” here says that “ginosko” (“know”) means sexual intercourse. Yet, I don’t see you arguing that this word must only have only the one meaning due to Biblical precedent! What would that do to Matthew’s next uses of the word?
<quote=”Matthew and ginosko”>
Matthew 6:3 Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing…
Matthew 7:23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU!
Matthew 13:11 …know the mysteries of the kingdom.
16:3 …know the face of the sky.
Or later…
Matthew 24:39 and they knew not until the flood came.
Matthew 25:2 Master, I knew you…an exacting man, …gathering where you did not winnow.

This is so obviously a ridiculous notion!

You can go an online Bible Dictionary using Google Books, such as “Expository dictionary of Bible words: word studies for key English Bible … By Stephen D. Renn” A couple hundred of its 800-some pages are available to search. Do a search inside this book for the word “meanings” (in the plural) and you’ll see that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of examples. A words can mean something in one context and another thing in a different context: Oracle/burden. Shout/sing. Know/intercourse. Delight/paste-over. Raised/fed. Confess/praise. Create/cut down. Person/soul/life/mind. Oath/curse. Eat/choose. Tribes/darts.

You don’t translate Isaiah 6:10. Let their eyes be “delighted” so they can’t see. Instead, you translate “pasted over” “shut out” or “blinded” And the word in Psalm 119:70 means taking “delight” in God’s law — not being blinded or pasted over by God’s law.

Or how about various uses of the word for “to raise/to feed” in the NT?
Luke 4:16 And he came to Naz´a·reth, where he had been reared; and, according to his custom on the sabbath day, he entered into the synagogue, and he stood up to read.(NWT)
Rev 12:14 there is where she is fed for a time and times and half a time away from the face of the serpent. (NWT)
James 5:5 YOU have fattened YOUR hearts on the day of slaughter.(NWT)

Or what about a word that can be translated variously as heaven/skies/clouds/dust:
Isaiah 40:15 He lifts the islands themselves as mere fine . (NWT)
Deuteronomy 33:26 Who rides upon heaven in help of you And upon cloudy skies in his eminence.(NWT)

Or look at how the NWT handles the same word for tribes/shafts/darts:
2 Samuel 18:14 With that he took three shafts in his palm and proceeded to drive them through the heart of Ab´sa·lom(NWT)
2 Samuel 19:9 9 And all the people came to be involved in dispute in all the tribes of Israel(NWT)

It’s the same word for the 3 “darts” (“shafts”) that killed Absalom and every reference to the 12 “tribes” of Israel. But you can’t argue for 12 “darts” of Israel, nor did Joab stab Absalom with 3 “tribes”.

This exercise could obviously go on and on and on. You’ll notice that in many cases the multiple definitions have very similar meanings and sometimes the meanings seem nearly opposite. Yet, even in the “near opposite” cases, there is still usually a common root that links them.

Looking at these and many other examples from the NWT and other Bibles, you should be able to see the danger in trying to derive a SINGLE definition of a word from its basic root meaning. Yet, this is exactly what you do with “parousia”.

Do meanings of words really come from Bible precedent and pattern?

This is actually another fallacy, yet it seems to be critical to your argument. Where do you think meanings of words come from in the first place? Very few Bible words and their definitions really come from Bible precedent and pattern. Almost every word used in the Bible would have to come first from OUTSIDE the Bible. Otherwise the Bible would make no sense to its audiences. It would be akin to Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”.

There are many words used only once in the Bible. So we cannot get the full sense or meanings from other places in the Bible? Do we use the first thing that makes sense to us in the context of the verse? No, we get the definition choices from scholars and studies that cover a lot of different perspectives. This is not a definitive list below, but off the top of my head, I’d say that the word definition could come from information gleaned from any of the following overlapping perspectives.  would include the following (major overlapping elements of comparative philology):
* Accounting for how the word has historically been translated into other languages.
* Clues from immediate literary context, especially when paralleled in poetically or synoptically, or apparently defined or explained in synonym-like words or phrases.
* The literary context of the word – subject matter, the surrounding arguments, modifying adjectives, adverbs, etc.
* The known structure and grammar of the entire language, including its changes over time.
* All related written source material, in any language, from both inside and outside the Bible.
* The roots that make up a word in question (or similar words) and the meanings and usage of all words derived from the root.
* Potentially related words from related languages.
* Clues (both written and archaeological) from historical, geographical and sociological contexts, including knowledge of tools, foods, customs, habits, activities, culture.

But what if a word is used 100 times in the Bible, and for some arbitrary reason, we think it should have only ONE specific meaning in all 100 cases? Where do we get that ONE meaning from? It’s still the same answer as a word used only once. Even if we have the advantage of double-checking our “one-meaning” theory against each Bible example, we still do NOT derive that meaning from the Bible. We learn more about the word from the Bible, but we derive its meaning, again, from ALL the sources of information available — knowing that, in most cases, it had to be a word used outside the Bible BEFORE it was ever used inside the Bible.

So, when you wish to translate “parousia” in only one way, you still need to find your authority in a valid NT Greek Bible Dictionary. In this case, you will always have to choose from among several possible meanings, because no modern and thorough Bible dictionary will offer only the single, simple meaning you are looking for. Of course, if it’s a definition that you prefer –or require– from a doctrinal perspective, then you have to admit that there is a danger that your prejudice and bias may cloud your judgment so that you end up forcing that single definition even if various other meanings might have been intended in some, several, or even most of the instances where the word is used. As we’ve seen, not just two different Bible writers, but even the same Bible writer, can use the same word with a different meanings in two different places from one chapter to the next.

What was wrong with the Watchtower’s choice for defining Parousia?

It wasn’t completely the fault of those early Watchtower writers. They didn’t have all the information in the 1870’s when they chose the “final,” “single” definition of the word. But even then they should have known better. When you look closely at the history of the religion, however, it becomes very easy to understand why they would choose to close their minds to the new evidence that came out just a few years later.

The Watchtower publishers — more than 130 years ago, back in the 1870’s — settled upon their preferred definition of this word based on the simplest meaning of the the root word it comes from.

But the Watchtower publishers did this in spite of the fact that they could see that the first translators of this word into other languages (from Greek to Syriac/Aramaic, Old Latin, Coptic, Ethiopian) all believed it had a meaning that went well beyond the simplest meaning of the root. Somehow all the first translators of NT Greek — many of whom likely SPOKE it — must not have known Greek as well as The Watchtower publishers who admitted to not knowing Greek.

A bigger problem was that Bible dictionaries were now quickly gaining from great new sources of material. Greek papyri and manuscripts and inscriptions of many kinds were being discovered all over the Middle East and Roman world, especially in the 1870’s, 80’s and 90’s. For “parousia” specifically, Nelson Barbour, probably by 1875 and Charles Russell in 1876, had already settled on the definition, but the greatest published discoveries about the entire NT Greek language, including the word Parousia came out in between 1895 and 1908 by Adolph Diessmann.  His most definitive work wasn’t translated into English until 1910. That work was called “Light from the ancient East; the New Testament illustrated by recently discovered texts of the Graeco-Roman world”. For additional context about Diessmann, here is what “The International standard Bible encyclopaedia, Volume 3” edited by James Orr, said in the 1915 edition: It was Adolph Deissmann, then of Heidelberg, now of Berlin, who opened the new era in the knowledge of the language of the NT. His Bibelstudien (zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften zur Geschichte der Sprache, des Schrifttums und der Religion des hellenistischen Judentums und des Urchristentums) appeared in 1895. In this epoch-making volume he proved conclusively from the papyri and the inscriptions that many of the seeming Hebraisms in the LXX and the NT were common idioms in the vernacular koine. …. In 1897 he produced Neue Bibelstudien, sprachgeschichtliche Beiträge zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften zur Erklärung des Neuen Testaments.
In 1901 (2d ed in 1903) these two volumes were trd as one by A. Grieve under the title Bible Studies. Deissmann’s other volumes have confirmed his thesis. The most important are New Light on the NT (1907), The Philology of the Gr Bible (1908), Licht vom Osten (1908), Light from the Ancient East (tr by Strachan, 1910), St. Paul in the Lightof Social and Religious History (1912). In Light from the Ancient East, Deissmann illustrates the NT language with much detail from the papyri, ostraka and inscriptions. He is now at work on a new lexicon of the NT which will make use of the fresh knowledge from these sources.

The NT Greek “authorities” had actually misunderstood the very nature of the NT Greek language, not realizing that
NT Greek was not a special Biblical language, but the very lingua franca of the Roman Empire. This idea had limited the resources used to help define NT Greek words. This limitation applied to all the standard works before 1900, which would include the works of Thayer, Liddell/Scott, etc, the very authorities that the Watchtower had relied upon.

This was only twenty years ago and fairly represented the opinion of that day..1889…A turn toward the truth comes with H. A. A. Kennedy’s Sources of the NT Gr (1895)….The able article in vol III of HDB on the “Language of the NT” by Dr. J. H. Thayer appeared in 1900, and illustrates how quickly an encyclopaedia article may become out of date. There is a wealth of knowledge here displayed, as one would expect, but Thayer still speaks of “this species of Greek, “this peculiar idiom,” “Jewish Greek,” though he sees that its basis is “the common or spoken Greek.” The last topic discussed by him is “Problems.” He little thought that the biggest “problem” so near solution was the character of the language itself. It was Adolph Deissmann, then of Heidelberg, now of Berlin, who opened the new era in the knowledge of the language of the NT.

So the Watchtower just barely missed the real “revolution” as this dictionary calls it, in the better understanding of NT Greek that “exploded” between 1895 and 1910.

Of course, The Watchtower publishers had absolutely no basis for saying that there should be only ONE single, consistent meaning for parousia, in the first place. No more basis for this idea than there is to trying to promote a single consistent meaning for the Bible words translated: “know” or “tribe”. All the Watchtower was looking for was a way to dismiss the idea that “Parousia” more likely referred to the great single “Event” of Christ’s Judgment Visitation. This idea did not fit the Watchtower understanding of an “invisible parousia”. A simple meaning of “presence” could support their doctrinal needs.

What was the evidence about the word Parousia that the Watchtower publishers missed?

Diessmann had said: “From the Ptolemaic period down into the 2nd cent. A.D. we are able to trace the word in the East as a technical expression for the arrival or the visit of the king or the emperor.” Diessmann provided additional evidence that it referred to a special occasion, often with trumpets, music, fanfare, showy display, crowds, special dress, special cleanliness, and might even include a time of judgments and rewards. It meant a “red-carpet” welcoming parade for a high-level king, emperor or dignitary.

There was plenty of evidence, and it helps explain why the word was overwhelmingly used in association with Jesus’ arrival for judgment. It explained why people who understood NT Greek — while it was a living language — had translated this word in a different manner than one might expect, if they only knew of its basic root meaning of “presence”. They had translated it with the idea of a great single event – an “advent”, a “coming”. That is much stronger than “presence” but the new evidence showed that the implications of this particular TYPE of advent were even greater than the word “advent” would normally convey.

Someone quotes from a good source that summarizes the idea at
Carter (Matthew and the Margins) writes more about Matthew’s use of this word “parousia” (Latin adventus):

The term denotes presence (Jdt 10:18; Josephus JW 4.345), but more importantly it has military (2 Macc 8:12; 15:21), political, and religious significance. It denotes the arrival of a king (Polybius, His 18.48.4), or emperor, governor, military commander (Josephus, Vita, 90-91), or other important official in a city or town (3 Macc 3:17; the adventus coins of Nero and Hadrian; see 21:1-11). The arrival was often preceded by a special payment in tax or goods to cover expenses. The welcoming ceremony indicated submission to the official’s power. In religious traditions, it refers to the appearing of a god or of God (to Elisha, Josephus, Ant9.55), including God’s “coming” to establish God’s reign at the end of the age (Dan 7:13). With this term, the gospel establishes Jesus’ future coming as an event that asserts God’s supreme authority (cf. 28:18), an event of life and blessing for those who welcome him but of condemnation and death for those who do not. Again the gospel employs imperial images to present the final establishment of God’s empire.
Another fair summary of the current evidence for the definition is found at, as, e .), presence, coming, advent

It is the use of the word in the Ptolemaic period that shaped its meaning and made it a synonym for the arrival or the visit of a king, or an emperor, or some other person in authority. For example, in 2 Maccabees chapter 8 verse 12, the word implies the advent or arrival of an army rather than simply it’s coming. DEISSMANN shows how thoroughly established the word was by the fact that it is used, for shortness, to denote the expenses usual in connection with the parousia of high officials. It was customary on these occasions to mark the coming of the official by minting coins to celebrate the beginning of a new era, and erecting monuments to commemorate the event. JOSEPHUS records the parousia of Vespasian to Rome, and how its citizens came out to meet him. CHRYSOSTOM also had this idea in mind when he states that when a king drives into a city, those who are honourable go out to meet him. Thusparousia signifies far more than the English word ‘coming’. Generally it meant that the person had literally arrived and was present, not that he was still coming. But it was also an established technical term for the arrival or advent of a very important person. Consequently, when the New Testament writers used parousia technically, they in effect challenged the cult of emperor worship, and as DONFRIED suggests ‘could easily be understood as violating the decrees of Caesar in the most blatant manner’.

We turn then to the New Testament, and find that the word parousia is used twenty-four times, principally, but not exclusively, by the apostle Paul. He uses it both generally and technically as illustrated by the following groupings (displayed on picture).

Barclay, William, New Testament Words.

Deissmann, Adolf, Light from the Ancient East.
Kubo, Sakae, A Reader’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.

1 Ptolemy controlled Egypt and Judea circa 305-198 BC.
2 This book is part of the literature of the Inter-Testament period.
Light From the Ancient East, N4 p.368.
4 War 7.4.1 (68-74).
5 Hom. 1 Thess. 8.
The Imperial Cults of Thessalonica and Political Conflict in 1 Thessalonians, p. 217.

Why the Watchtower publishers needed to hang on to the simpler definition

The meaning of Parousia in koine Greek when referring to royalty gives the impression of a great special event that could be seen for miles around and heard for miles around. Every eye would want to see it – unless of course you were out of favor with the arriving king or dignitary, in which case you would be “shamed away” from the Parousia. But, in any case, in koine Greek, it referred not just to a simple “presence” or a simple “coming/arrival” but to a royal parade with fanfare. Therefore, if the word was ever associated with a royal personage or authoritative dignitary, this would be the natural implication of the word. There would be a huge difference in the implication of an expression “the parousia of a man named Titus” and “the parousia of Emperor Titus”. So anyone reading the NT in Greek would naturally think of a royal parousia if the term was used of Jesus. If a royal parousia was not the meaning intended, then the NT wording could be misleading. If the intention were to speak of Jesus on-going presence in any other sense, one might expect it more likely that the Bible writer would use terms that did NOT include “parousia”. This is in fact exactly what we find in the case where Jesus spoke of his invisible presence: “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst”.

Why exactly does the Watchtower shy away from even speaking about this possible meaning of “Parousia”?

Obviously, because they teach that there has been an invisible Parousia for about the last 100 years. “Invisible” doesn’t quite fit the idea of a loud and highly visible parade.

How is Watchtower history the key to dismissing a second possible meaning of Parousia

The key to the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses, doctrinally, must start with the one that the Watchtower originally considered to be the “Father” of their religion. This man that the Watchtower calls “Father Miller” refers to William Miller, the man behind what U.S. history calls, the “Great Disappointment” in 1843 and 1844.<quote=”Watch Tower, May 1883″> Father Miller, upon whom so much reproach has fallen (but who was a devoted Christian man of irreproachable Christian character), saw that there was an important, prophetic point in about 1843, and supposed that Christ was to personally and visibly appear to the world at that time, and that it would be the closing up of earthly affairs; but, when disappointment came, unlike many of his followers, he was not despondent, but believed that the Lord would lead his people to a further understanding of his word and designs, and that in the fullness of time he would come….and it is now convincingly known that the first step toward the second advent did take place at or about that time, but not in the manner that Father Millerhad expected.

Originally, “Father Miller” had predicted Jesus’ return in 1843. A great and vibrant religious movement in this country had led to well over 100,000 from many religious backgrounds to openly admit their faith in Jesus’ return in 1843, then in 1844 when the first date failed. When Jesus didn’t arrive, they either had to humbly admit they were wrong or try to find some loop-hole to show that they were at least partially right. Some Second Adventists, including those founders of Seventh Day Adventists who had been directly associated with Miller, had quickly begun promoting the idea that Miller’s time calculations were right, but that Jesus arrived in 1844 to a heavenly sanctuary, still invisible to earth, but coming in due time. Later, Nelson H Barbour would teach that 1844 was correct, but Jesus visible return would be 1873, then 1874. After Barbour’s expectations were proven false, between 1874 and 1875, Barbour would become convinced that 1874 was still the actual time of Jesus’ “Parousia” but that it was still invisible to men because he had returned as a spirit being. After a brief period combining resources with Russell, Barbour and Russell split. Russell continued teaching that Jesus began a “Presence” (parousia) that would NOT include highly visible effects on the world until just a few years before the visible culmination of the destruction of the nations in 1914.

The way Pastor Charles Russell explained it, he came to understand “the object and manner of the Lord’s return” between 1870 and 1875. By 1876 he had printed a short work by that same title. But he had not yet mixed much with the Millerite and Second Adventists to understand their methods and reasoning regarding the chronology that led to Jesus’ arrival in 1844.

Russell says that in January 1876 he chanced upon the preaching of Nelson Barbour who had already worked out his support and corroboration of Miller’s 1844 date and who also had believed that Jesus’ physical return would be in 1873, then 1874. Russell says he had previously scorned the chronology and was not happy about how those additional disappointments of the Second Adventists had further embarrassed Christians like himself. But Russell says he was now (in 1876) ready to look into the chronological aspects of the matter. He says that back in 1873/4 Barbour had been dumbfounded by the disappointment, but that someone had already found the clue and sent it to Barbour (publisher of “Herald of the Morning”). This happened well before Russell and Barbour combined resources in the summer 1876 to help Barbour publish “The Three Worlds”.

The clue, was from B W Keith. From Keith’s own contributions to various magazines, including some of the very first issues of The Watch Tower, we know that he had noticed that Benjamin Wilson had consistently used the word “presence” in the interlinear Greek-to-literal-English portion of his recent “Emphatic Diaglott”. From other sources we know that B W Keith had met Benjamin Wilson at the famous Seventh-Day-Adventist “Water Cure” in his town of Dansville, NY. (Benjamin Wilson became Christadelphian and was influenced by Adventism, Campbellism, and John Thomas.) B W Keith began to work more with Russell after Russell’s breakup with Barbour, but then, evidently, with Paton after Paton broke up with Russell. (Ellen G White made the “Water Cure” at Dansville one of the most famous places for health and healing — as promoted in her writings.)

B W Keith had contributed articles that went back to the very first few issues of the Watch Tower in 1879 and he consistently translated parousia as presence. He explained this in the May 1881 Watchtower. Parousia, signifies presence, invariably. Liddell and Scott, standard authority, give it that signification; and Young’s Analytical Concordance renders it the same. Whedon’s Commentary, page 277 says: “The word Parousia, never in the whole New Testament, signifies anything else.” It never means the act of coming, but presence. It is twenty times improperly translated coming, in the common version; in fourteen cases, at least, when referring to the presence of Christ at the end of the age. We give the passages in which it occurs. Matt. 24:3,27,37,39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1,8,9; James 5:7,8; 2 Pet. 1:16; 3:4; 1 John 1:28. The question, Matt. 24:3, is: What will be the sign of thy Parousia (presence) and the Suntelia (end) of the aion (age)? ….

Notice that Keith may not have been totally honest when he said “invariably” and offers Liddell and Scott for support.
The work mentions presence as one of the definitions, but the version of Liddell and Scott I am using also includes:
*  arrival, ἡμῶν κοινόπουν π. S.El.1104, cf. E.Alc.209, Th.1.128 ; “εἰς Ἰταλίαν” D.H.1.45 ; esp. visit of a royal or official personage, βασιλέως, etc., PTeb.48.14 (ii B. C.), IPE12.32A85 (Olbia, iii B.C.), etc.; of a god, IG42(1).122.34(Epid.).

*  occasion, v.l. in S. El.1251.

*  π. τισὶ ποιεῖσθαι entertain them on their official visits, OGI139.9 (Philae, ii B.C.).

*  in NT, the Advent, Ev.Matt.24.27, al.

*  Astrol., situation of a planet at a point on the zodiac, “ἤτοι κατὰ παρουσίαν ἢ κατὰ συμμαρτυρίαν” Vett.Val.49.26.


He is correct about Young’s Concordance, I think, but there’s something about the Whedon reference that I can’t figure out. I don’t have time to look it up in a library any time soon, but I see that this quote appears to be the same from an online source: Daniel D. Whedon, Whedon’s Commentary, 14 Vols. (New York: Carlton & Porter, Hunt & Eaton, 1866) p. 277.
The word parousia, never in the whole New Testament, signifies anything else than presence.

This quote is just like the one from B W Keith’s article in a May 1881 Watch Tower. But  by 1880, Daniel D Whedon had produced updates to his commentaries. I can no longer find the 1866 commentary that was evidently the source of the quote. But his 1880 commentary, (“A popular commentary on the New Testament,” Daniel Denison Whedon) says this about 2 Peter 3:4 (Where is this promised coming?) on page 240:His coming—The word here is parousia, and when predicated of Christ, always denotes his literal bodily presence. The verb come, and noun coming, are often used of spiritual interpositions, but this parousia never. Note on 1 Cor. xv, 23. The wordparousia occurs in the following passages: Matt, xxiv, 3, 37, 39; 1 Cor. xv, 23: 1 Thess. ii, 19; iii, 13; iv, 15; 2 Thess. ii, 1, 8, 9; James v, 7, 8; 2 Pet. i, 16; iii, 4, 12; 1 John ii, 28. This quote apparently conveys the same idea as Keith’s source for Whedon, but when I look up the other “parousia” references in the same 1880 commentary I find the following:

<quote=”page 183″>See supplementary note to Matt, xxv, and note on 2 Pet. iii, 8. Coming—The Parousia; the second advent, the day when the human race, in resurrection state, stands in the presence of its final Judge. Observe, again, that, unlike last days, in verse 3, and day of slaughter, in verse 5, this Parousia has the Greek article. This indicates that the two former were indefinite events, and the last a definite. That is, the latter indicates the one well known and universally expected event, while the former are a special era for these rich men and their contemporaries.

This one page 354 says, almost the opposite of Keith’s quote: We have elsewhere remarked, (1 Cor. xv, 23,) that while the Greek word parousia always designated, unequivocally and solely, Christ’s second advent, yet the words comeand coming often refer to other interpositions and spiritual presences. The hour of death is never spoken of as such acoming. (See our note, John xiv, 3.) Yet perseverance to the end of our probation is perseverance even to the judgment day.

Page 275: Day of judgment. His parousia, or coming. See notes on ii, 28; 2 Thess. ii, 2, 8.

Page 342: I will come—Greek present tense, I come, or, am coming; but remove is in the future, showing that the present of come implies vividness of conception. The come does not designate the second advent, for which parousiais the unequivocal word, as noted in 2 Pet. iii, 4.

I see no indication that Keith’s point is ever found in Whedon. Whedon may have just been saying that there will be a BODILY presence of Jesus even where “parousia” refers to Jesus “COMING” for the “Day of Judgment”. Yet the quote by Keith in 1881 is used to give the impression that Whedon had said that “presence” was the only correct translation as opposed to “arrival, advent, coming.” Based on the other quotes from Whedon, I suspect he hadn’t said this in 1866, and he definitely was not saying it in 1880.

Will the Watchtower update their arguments to account for the new evidence?

At any rate, it’s pretty clear that the Watch Tower has never updated their arguments after Diessmann or any commentaries after 1910 to account for the new evidence about the word parousia. I have seen one article where the Watchtower opens up the possibility of seriously considering the differences between “coming” and “presence”, but it is written with an obvious bias. The bias shows up in the form of scholastic dishonesty when making a claim about the use of the word “parousia” in Josephus but then they only cherry-pick the cases they decide to quote from him.

Here is the Watchtower quote from August 15, 1996, page 11 (“Jesus’ Coming or Jesus’ Presence–Which?):
Examples from Josephus: At Mount Sinai lightning and thunder “declared God to be there present <pa·rou·si´a>.” The miraculous manifestation in the tabernacle “showed the presence <pa·rou·si´a> of God.” By showing Elisha’s servant the encircling chariots, God made “manifest to his servant his power and presence <pa·rou·si´a>.” When Roman official Petronius tried to appease the Jews, Josephus claimed that ‘God did show his presence <pa·rou·si´a> to Petronius’ by sending rain.Josephus did not apply pa·rou·si´a to a mere approach or momentary arrival. It meant an ongoing, even invisible, presence. (Exodus 20:18-21; 25:22; Leviticus 16:2; 2 Kings 6:15-17)—Compare Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, chapter 5, paragraph 2 ; chapter 8, paragraph 5 ; Book 9, chapter 4, paragraph 3 ; Book 18, chapter 8, paragraph 6 .

The dishonest scholarship is clearly obvious when you note that the real issue is that “parousia” can often mean a simple presence, and we would expect that to also be reflected in Josephus’ writing. But it was also a word that could be translated “coming” just as appropriately as “presence.” And in many cases, the translation of “coming” is obviously better than “presence.” Those quotations could not be allowed to show up in the Watchtower, just as the evidence from Diessmann could never show up.

For the word “parousia” to have gained a specialized meaning for a “royal visitation” one might naturally assume that the word had already come to be used as a term for coming/arrival/advent/visitation. This would then put the word usage on the natural path to become a candidate for the special sense when associated with a dignitary.

I found the unquoted examples from Josephus on a “JW site”, but which really appears to be primarily an “ex-JW site”, so I won’t quote the exact source, but anyone should be able to find it, or request it from me privately, if necessary. Certain words are highlighted and the koine Greek is included when it is clear that the focus is on the condition which would be true at the time of arrival, and therefore the time of subsequent presence after that arrival is NOT the focus of the word:

“Then Jacob gave him an account of the whole reason for his flight (pasan … aitian diégeito) , and told him that … Esau sought to kill him, as deprived of the kingdom which was to be given to him by God, and of the blessings for which their father prayed, and that this was the reason (aitian) for his coming there (enthadeparousias) as his mother had commanded him to do” (Josephus, Antiquities 1.19.6).

“So the Hebrews were full of courage, as supposing that, by the arrival of the ark (tén aphixin tés kibótou), they should be too hard for their enemies; their enemies also were greatly concerned, and were afraid of the coming of the ark (tén parousian tés kibótou) to the Israelites” (Josephus, Antiquities 5.11.2)

“When he roused from his sleep he greatly rejoiced and declared to all the warning he received from God according to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited (exedekheto) for the coming of the king (tén tou basileós parousian)” (Josephus, Antiquities 11.8.4).

“He promised however that he would make this day on which they came to him (élthon pros auton) remarkable and eminent every year through the whole course of his life, for their coming to him (parousias autoi) and the victory which he gained over Antigonus by sea proved to be on the very same day” (Josephus, Antiquities 12.2.11).

“There was now one Joseph, young in age, but of great reputation among the people of Jerusalem… His mother was the sister of Onias the high priest, who informed him of the coming (parousian) of the ambassador; for he was then sojourning at a village named Phicol, where he was born. Not long after that, he came (elthón) to the city and reproved Onias for not taking care of the preservation of his countrymen” (Josephus, Antiquities 12.4.2).

“And this misfortune befell them by their disobedience to what injunctions Judas had given them, not to fight with anyone before (pro) his return (parousias)” (Josephus, Antiquities 12.8.6).

“They exhorted her at least to keep them in bonds until (mekhri) he should come (tés ekeinou parousias), and that for their own security” (Josephus, Antiquities 20.2.2).

“He exhorted him to administer the affairs of the kingdom until (mekhri) his brother should come (tés tou adelphou parousias), who came suddenly (héke … takheós) upon hearing that his father was dead, and succeeded his brother Monobazus who resigned up the government to him” (Josephus, Antiquities 20.2.2).

“Upon the receipt of this letter of Silas, I took two hundred men along with me, and traveled (poreian epoioumén) all night, having sent before a messenger to let the people of Tiberias know that I was coming (parousian)” (Josephus,Vita 90).

Some other examples of how the word was used in Greek include the following: “When news reached Judas concerning Nicanor’s invasion, he warned his men of the enemy’s approach (parousian), whereupon the fainthearted and those who lacked confidence in the justice of God took to their heels and ran away” (2 Maccabees 8:12-13).
“My rule shall be terminated (suntelesthésetai) by men of alien race, until (heós) the salvation of Israel comes (elthein), until the coming (heós parousias) of the God of righteousness” (Testament of Judah 22:2)

I’ve taken up enough space on these sources, but there are more. The most important sources, I’m sure you’ll agree, are in the Bible itself. There is where you will find very similar parallels, some also associating the word “parousia” as a near parallel to “erchomai”. Russell himself evidently hadn’t realized that “elthon” was a past tense of “erchomai” when he apparently (mistakenly) tried to distinguish “elthon” from the idea of “to come” in a passage where he is promoting the difference between the two words. I’ll get to that later.

But whether that’s true or not, the most damaging evidence against your “parousia” theory is still the passages as they are used in the Bible itself.


Charles RussellRegards explains in the Watchtower how this man, Miller, was actually the “Father” of the Watchtower’s religion. This is the man that the Watchtower calls “Father Miller”.

The Watchtower says of this man: <quote=”Watch Tower”> Father Miller, upon whom so much reproach has fallen (but who was a devoted Christian man of irreproachable Christian character), saw that there was an important, prophetic point in about 1843, and supposed that Christ was to personally and visibly appear to the world at that time, and that it would be the
closing up of earthly affairs; but, when disappointment came, unlike many of his followers, he was not despondent, but
believed that the Lord would lead his people to a further understanding of his word and designs, and that in the fullness
of time he would come….and it is now convincingly known that the first step toward the second advent did take place at or about that time, but not in the manner that Father Miller had expected.

You will claim of course that you are being perfectly logical. Parousia means presence and we need no other meaning.

If this really reflects your thinking, then you have just betrayed the level of logical distortion and psychological dissonance necessary to hold to your doctrinal beliefs. I actually doubt that this stance you have just  really reflects your thinking, however. I’m pretty sure you are just able, as many people are, to stop thinking about things that you know make no sense when it is more important to parrot a “company line” or in your case a “corporate doctrine”.

Advent does not refer to PRE-advent, but refers to the event. The disciples asked for signs of his ADVENT, not his PRE-advent, so the signs were signs not of the PRE-advent stage, but of the advent itself.,%20Semantics

By Stephen D. Renn
(two meanings)found

page 562 says dominion equals kingdom in Hebrew.

We know that the word “parousia” has at least two meanings. What gives you the right to state which one(s) are mandated by Biblical precedent or pattern. And why would you limit it to only one meaning. To repeat your own words: Remember that this is not a word that just appears a couple of times. There are a number of occurrences that are not in connection to the coming of Christ, and they all mean presence. And there are a number of occurrences that are in connection to the coming of Christ, and these ones would fit the meaning of a coming of a King, Emperor or person of honorary station.

Anyway, this is how you dismiss a meaning of a word? It’s perfectly ridiculous! I’ll give you another ridiculous example and you’ll see what I mean.

Matthew 1:25 says “Joseph οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν This surely means that Joseph didn’t have sexual intercourse with his wife Mary before Jesus was born. So eginosko means sexual intercourse. This is now a precedent so that we can be sure that Jesus means.

So when Matthew next uses the phrase in Matthew 6:3 Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing…well…
Or the next time when Jesus says: 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU!

Matthew 13:11 Know the mysteries of the kingdom.

16:3 know the face of the sky.

Matthew 24:39 and they knew not until the flood came.
Matthew 25:24: I knew thee that you were a difficult man.
Master, I knew you to be an exacting man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not winnow.

So obviously, to KNOW something or someone means to have sexual intercourse with that person or thing.

This particular example will be too uncomfortable if I quote all the examples where Paul or others speak of how they knew Christ. But this is how silly your example really is. You know good and well that words have multiple meanings.

Go to a book in Google books, Expository … Spells out common meanings of words in Hebrew and Greek in a rather simple manner. now search for “Meanings” plural and most of the occurrences will be referring to areas in the Bible where a single word has multiple meanings or a range of meanings and sometimes a specialized or technical meaning.

If you’re interested parousia there is ….


Nor do I think your handling of the word “sunteleia” is accurate. You claim that it is used interchangeably with telos, but I fail to see any evidence of that whatsoever.

times of the ends ends of the ages.>

There is a reference that is of particular value here and it is Hebrews 9:26 which says:
26 Otherwise, he would have to suffer often from the founding of the world. But now he has manifested himself once for all time at the conclusion of the systems of things to put sin away through the sacrifice of himself.


Hebrews here tells us that Jesus manifested himself at the conclusion of the system of things, which means it could have been as early as his birth but certainly no later than his baptism, and we know that the conclusion of the systems of things was STILL continuing and would continue to finalize until the destruction of Jerusalem. This tells us that the sunteleia is a time period LEADING to an end, just as Thayer’s describe it as.
You claim you don’t believe that the Granville Sharp rule has any bearing at Matthew 24:3, so show me a Biblical example otherwise and I will drop it. If not, then Biblical pattern and precedent stands explicitly against your non-acceptance.

You may have different preferences for the best manuscripts, but exceptional manuscripts may be purposeful corrections.>

When it comes to the sign that was asked for, Jesus clearly corrected the idea that it would not be a single thing that would be the sign, but it would be numerous things. He did not try and demonstrate that it was just one thing for the language throughout the Olivet Sermon denies such and idea. The very words of Jesus that says “When you see ALL these things occur” then you should know that his revelation from heaven is near which was described as the sign of the Son of Man that all nations would beat themselves in lamentations over. When Jesus said that when you see ALL these things, what were the ALL things he was talking about?

<That’s one way to look at it. But there never

You can’t take one account over the other and discard what is said in one account and treat it as inconsequential. You must take all the accounts of the same thing and include everything that was said to have the complete picture, not one or the other. Matthew clearly uses the preaching of the good news to all the nations as a sign for the end because he states THEN the end will come. Therefore, that was clearly one of the things included in ALL the things that would tell them the revelation of Jesus from heaven was about to happen. Luke mentions that Jesus said, after mentioned the great tribulation that when you see these THINGS, not this ONE THING, but THESE THING occur, lift your heads up because your deliverance is getting near. Since Matthew makes it clear that the composite included things BEFORE the mentioning of the great tribulation, there is no reason to discard the other things he spoke of in the very same breath.


The very fact that those signs were called the “beginning of pangs of distress” makes no sense in the overall historic view because they wouldn’t be the beginning of anything unless they were somehow different in nature then the all the other historic earthquakes, famines, pestilences and wars. The fact that they are referred to as a BEGINNING of something shows they had to be different in nature or they would not be the beginning of anything, just more of the same. Frankly, there would have been no need to even mention those things if they were not significant to the sign, if they were not part of ALL those things which would tell them the revelation was near.


Jesus’ warning was against the ones who would personally claim to be Christ and say the due time is near in the sense that they would know the day and the hour. The reason we know that to be true is because later Bible writers specifically said that the “due time has approached” or the “end of all things is near”. Should we not listen to them because they said this? There is clearly a difference then between what his inspired writers were doing and what he said would be going on in that verse.


He surely couldn’t mean that it would be wrong for all time for his followers to ever say, “the end is near” or the “time has approached” or both John and Peter should no longer be listened to.

(Revelation 22:10) He also tells me: “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the appointed time is near.

(1 Peter 4:7) 7 But the end of all things has drawn close. . . .

33 Likewise also YOU, when YOU see all these things, know that he is near at the doors.

Wouldn’t it be pretty stupid for Christians to know he was NEAR at the doors and not say anything? Of course it would and would be remiss if we didn’t. That is obviously not what Jesus was talking about in that verse in Luke.

There is no indication whatsoever that the signs he gave them, once he assured that them that it would not be singular event, like a war, were FALSE signs. there is absolutely nothing in the context that indicates that in the least. In fact, in Revelation, when Jesus takes his crown, it is immediately followed by global war and famine, in direct harmony with his words at the Olivet Sermon.

You continue to rant on about the wrongness of the identification of the 24 elders but the scriptures are as clear on that as they are anything else. They are REDEEMED by the BLOOD of CHRIST, so there is NO QUESTION as to who they are and there is NO QUESTION as to when they end up in heaven, AT his PAROUSIA. Therefore the visions of Revelation, which ALL take place passing in front of the backdrop of what was introduced in the 4th chapter, are ALL in the time of the PAROUSIA, no other time fits historically with the REDEEMED in heaven.

I am sure you know that just because some of the commentators I gave you agree with us about the identity of the man child, that in no way means I have to endorse everything else they believe. The point was singular. It was certainly not some far-fetched, JW spawned invention to fit their agenda. Far from it.

There is no reason to belabor the point about why God just doesn’t come out and specifically spell things out in prophecy. As I said, just like parables, prophecy is generally full of symbolic language, and God uses symbolic language for a reason and the reason is consistent with the same reason why he used it in parables. I don’t think you should have an issue with that.

I also think it quite obvious that God does not create prophecy for the purpose of private interpretation as I think we agree, but yes, there have been different interpretations of the same prophecy. That really isn’t the point that there should have never been but one prophetic interpretation. The point is that the individual members of God’s “ecclesia” should not be promoting private and numerous interpretations at the same time but should obviously agree upon a view until such time as they see the need to change it. What else could it mean except that God’s ecclesia should present harmonious views of prophecy? But the whole point is, prophecy and parable are most often NOT explained and is therefore up to the ecclesia to interpret. That does not mean that the ecclesia would never adjust the interpretation as they come to understand things in a better light.

You claim that it could have been explained just like it was to his disciples but you will note that this was only for his disciples and they are rarely spelled out in detail in the scriptures. The ecclesia is left to the determination of those which are not spelled out. Otherwise, it would produce private interpretations from one person to the next, which is not what God wants. Actually, the way prophecy should be handled bespeaks the unity of God’s ecclesia, not the disunity.

Prophetic interpretation and parabolic understanding then does become somewhat a matter of trust. It becomes a matter of trust in those you regard to be the ecclesia of God. As long as the constituents of a prophecy or parable do not contradict known logic, history or other scriptures, then the ecclesia should promote a singular view to the best of their ability and the individuals members should concur to that view rather than go around preaching and teaching different private views of prophecy. Otherwise there would be no reason why God would even care to assure us that prophecy was not born from private interpretation.

True, you and I would be considered as having different private interpretations compared to just ourselves, as could many others who take different views, but that again is not the point. Who do you think I trust as the ecclesia of God? Is it you or someone else? No, it isn’t. In fact, do you even claim to be representing the ecclesia of God in some fashion? I can certainly see far more consistency with logic, history and Biblical pattern and precedent in their interpretations then the ones you and others have presented.

I believe I have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that the prophecies of Revelation are all parousiac prophecies because they are all back dropped by the presence of the 24 elders. I also believe I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that the Olivet sermon was not a singular sign but was clearly composite with many aspects. I also believe that I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that the little horn in question could not be Antiochus Epiphanes and could not have manifested itself until far after 33 CE. I do not believe that your explanations and interpretations fit with Biblical precedent, nor do they fit logically with the actual words of the prophecy when compared to history.

I also believe that I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that a person, such as king David, could be called king by God himself long before he actually became king, because he was anointed to BECOME the king, he was the king-designate. There is absolutely no reason that the same could not happen to Jesus. In fact, as is often the case, David’s journey to the throne in Jerusalem parallels Jesus journey to the same. David was called king by God when Samuel anointed him to be king in front of his father and brothers, but he was not the true king yet. Later, he became king JUST over the tribe of Judah and for the first seven years of being king he did not reign in Jerusalem. It wasn’t until after the death of Mephibosheth that David actually became king over all Israel. Just like Jesus, who was anointed early on to be the king of God’s kingdom, and could be called king because of that anointing, became the king first over just the Christian congregation, then later, he became king of the world.

You claim that our Danielic interpretation breaks down once we get to Rome, but frankly, I have not seen that demonstrated at all. The ten horns as ten kings from the Roman Empire and the fact that the little horn uproots three of them while they are still kings is a perfect fit with history. Even our view of the dream image in the second chapter of Daniel is a perfect fit with history and it parallels the prophecy in Daniel 7 without a flaw. Frankly, after that, it makes no difference when one would claim that the kingdom by Christ was established in those following verses of Daniel 7 because what it clearly establishes, from THAT context, is it could not happen in 33 CE, and that is the current main purpose of our discussion.

I was just wondering, is there any one who sees Jesus as King before his ascension to heaven? Or is that your idea alone? I think the most natural reading of Luke’s parable is that he was not the king until he went to heaven. If he was already king at the time of the parable it would be odd to simply refer to him as a man of noble birth.

However, in other places, could he be referred to as a king in the same sense that David was, as king-designate? Yes, he could. That way, all the prophecies and parables make historic, logical and scriptural sense.

I can see from your responses that you miss the point of the difference between something being spoken of as under the feet of a king and something being presented as a footstool for the feet.

Even you have to admit that even though Jesus had all power and authority, his enemies had not yet been set under his feet as a stool for his feet. You also have to admit that not everything was UNDER his feet because he rules UNTIL all enemies are UNDER his feet, and that STILL hasn’t happened. These are not synonymous references and not recognizing that is part of the problem.

The EARTH is spoken of as God’s footstool because it is part of his domain, but that has no comparison to the things which are said to be UNDER his feet or to be put under his feet. Being brought under the feet of a king is a description of their destruction, not a description of mere domain over them. Something being placed as a stool for the king could sometimes even be a place of honor, but it clearly was different than destruction, it was an indication of domain as a king.

When it says that God invited Jesus to sit at his RIGHT HAND UNTIL he placed his enemies as a stool for his feet was not a reference to their destruction but was reference to his domain over them. Only later is their destruction referred to as being put UNDER his feet. They are placed under the kings domain and he can begin to subdue in the midst of those enemies, bringing them one by one UNDER his feet, to their destruction.

Look at the references and the manner in which they refer to the expressions “UNDER his feet” as opposed to something presented as a footstool.

First of all we can see that the phrase which speaks of enemies being UNDER someone’s feet is a phrase denoting their destruction:

(Psalm 18:38) . . .I shall break them in pieces so that they will not be able to rise up; They will fall under my feet.
(2 Samuel 22:39) . . .And they will fall under my feet.

(1 Kings 5:3) 3 “You yourself well know that David my father was not able to build a house to the name of Jehovah his God because of the warfare with which they surrounded him, until Jehovah put them under the soles of his feet.

(Psalm 47:3) 3 He will subdue peoples under us And national groups under our feet.

(Malachi 4:3) 3 “And YOU people will certainly tread down

wicked ones, for they will become as powder under the soles of YOUR feet in the day on which I am acting,” Jehovah of armies has said.

(Matthew 7:6) 6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw YOUR pearls before swine, that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip YOU open.

(Romans 16:20) 20 For his part, the God who gives peace will crush Satan under YOUR feet shortly. . . .

(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) 24 Next, the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he must rule as king until has put all enemies under his feet.

Whenever we see “enemies” under the feet, it is a clear indication of their defeat, or defeet if you prefer.
That clearly reminds us of the first prophecy in the Bible where Satan is crushed in the head, likely under the foot of Jesus.

However, such is not the case when something is referred to as being one’s footstool.

(1 Chronicles 28:2) . . .“Hear me, my brothers and my people. As for me, it was close to my heart to build a resting house for the ark of the covenant of Jehovah and as the footstool of our God, and I had made preparation to build.

Psalm 99:5) 5 Exalt Jehovah our God and bow down yourselves at his footstool; He is holy.

(Acts 7:49) 49 ‘The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. . . .

(Matthew 5:34-35) 34 However, I say to YOU: Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, because it is God’s throne; 35 nor by earth, because it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King.

(Psalm 132:7) 7 Let us come into his grand tabernacle; Let us bow down at his footstool.

(Isaiah 66:1) 66 This is what Jehovah has said: “The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool. . . .

Being one’s footstool did not signify destruction, but signified domain.

So what about the different references to Christ then and what exactly he was awaiting? When he went to heaven he was told to sit at God’s right hand UNTIL his enemies were placed as a STOOL for his feet, not being an indication of their destruction but being part of his domain as KING. He was not told to sit at his right hand until they were put UNDER his feet as enemies. There is a difference. In fact, when Jesus is shown to be ruling as king in heaven in the book of Revelation, he is NO LONGER at God’s RIGHT HAND but is sitting on the throne WITH his Father, or is spoken of as being in the “midst” of the throne, not at the right hand.

So while he is awaiting the enemies to be placed as a footstool, not destroyed, he is sitting at God’s right hand. Never is the waiting said to be in reference to his enemies being brought UNDER his feet, but always in reference to them being placed as a footstool. This tells us that if he has to WAIT to have those enemies as a footstool, they are NOT YET under his domain to where he can start to go subduing in the midst of them. It is only after they become part of his domain does he go subduing and placing them UNDER his feet as destroyed.

This is clearly reflected in Revelation 6 when Jesus takes his throne and starts riding in conquest of his enemies, and I have already demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt, that these visions are parousiac as to their timing.

Something had to happen to where Jesus was no longer at God’s right hand but would be upon his throne with him, in the midst of his throne or God would BE his throne. Since there is a clear difference between something being one’s footstool and someone being brought under foot as an enemy, there is a difference between the time referred to as when he would put all enemies under his feet and the time when he would be awaiting to have those enemies placed as his footstool. Yes, his authority over everything was established at his resurrection from heaven, but this is not the same thing as being king over the world. This is clearly pointed out from the scripture in Hebrews where it says all things have been subjected under his feet yet we do NOT YET SEE all things subjected to him. This subjection, including that of his enemies was PROGRESSIVE and not until all his enemies were under his feet as a footstool could he go conquering them. He may have had authority over the demons but he certainly was not destroying them under his feet. Until the point that all of his enemies were placed as a footstool, being under his domain, he was to sit at God’s right hand. Once he would become king, he clearly sits upon God’s throne WITH him to do so, but that would take time, it was not immediate for all the above reasons.

Satan was clearly under God’s domain but he was not UNDER his FEET, not according to the way that phrase is used in reference to enemies. Jesus enemies would be placed as a footstool for his feet, they were being gathered as his DOMAIN, but this was not the same as being UNDER his feet as enemies, again, not according to the way the phrase is used.

When Jesus was shown to become king in Revelation six, immediately following that enthronement, the war horse was said to take peace away from the earth with a GREAT sword. World War I fits that description to a T. There was no significant war or wars after 33 CE that took place to the extent that it could be called a GREAT sword and that peace was taken away from the EARTH, which is a clear reference to GLOBAL warfare, not just a localized war between countries. World War I dwarfed any war before it in history in intensity and the deaths that it caused. That war horse was clearly not just a reference to “more of the same kind of wars that had always happened”. A great sword that took away peace from the earth began riding when Jesus did. Death from democide through the last nearly 100 years looks like an aneurysm in time.

In the book of Daniel, not EVERYWHERE in scripture, but Daniel, when in reference to rulers, when they are said to “stand up” it most often means they begin to exercise kingly authority, generally in the sense of against something else. That’s not Watchtower my friend, that’s just scripture. The Watchtower merely repeated the truth. You’ll note that I rarely quote Watchtower. My presentations are primarily about Biblical precedent and patterns. The Watchtower comes after the Bible. So you would be better off to remain dealing with the scriptures instead of cheap shots at the Watchtower.

For instance:

(Daniel 7:17) 17 “‘As for these huge beasts, because they are four, there are four kings that will stand up from the earth.

(Daniel 8:21-22) . . .. 22 And that one having been broken, so that there were four that finally stood up instead of it, there are four kingdoms from nation that will stand up, but not with his power.

(Daniel 8:23-24) 23 “And in the final part of their kingdom, as the transgressors act to a completion, there will stand up a king fierce in countenance and understanding ambiguous sayings. 24 And his power must become mighty, but not by his own power. . . .

(Daniel 11:3) 3 “And a mighty king will certainly stand up and rule with extensive dominion and do according to his will.

So in Daniel 12, during the time of the end, Jesus stands up against something as king. That would be his enemies that have been made a footstool for his feet. When he begins his rule he is no pictured at God’s right hand, but on his throne with him. If he was ruling fully as king when he was at his right hand, then what does it mean when he ends up on the throne with his Father? What’s the difference?

And how you say that the closing verses of chapter 11 of Daniel could apply before 33 CE is truly beyond me. Would love to see an attempt at that, that doesn’t deny history or logic. Right after this action as king, which is the first time in Daniel that Jesus is spoken as taking action as king in the closing prophecies about the king of the north and the south, the great tribulation follows and the resurrection of the dead commences. These are all events associated with the parousia.

Once again, Acts 2 or Peter says nothing about actually being placed on the throne, the “therefore” and the “because” merely identified the one who David referred to as the one who would. In fact, Gods’ kings are NEVER spoken of as sitting on the right hand of someone else’s throne. Even Solomon was said to sit ON Jehovah’s throne, not at it’s right hand. The right hand is a position of favor, not an indication of rulership. Rulership in relation to thrones is either spoken of as being ON the throne WITH God or Jesus, or actually sitting ON God’s throne as was Solomon, not at the right hand. Peter knew what he was saying and what he was not saying, I am sure, and the exaltation was explicitly in reference to Lord and Savior and Christ. In fact, one could argue that it could be just as significant that KING was NOT mentioned at that time because Peter knew that Jesus was not sitting on God’s throne, as was king Solomon at one time. The Davidic throne was “God’s throne” according to scripture, not at the right hand of God’s throne.

I didn’t see anything else in your last response that I felt needed a specific comment that wasn’t touched on in the above coverage. If you see something glaringly ignored, please mention it and I will address it immediately.

But as a recap I would like to list the following.

1. Daniel 7 most naturally reads that the Son of Man received his kingship of the world sometime after the little horn which naturally falls in line with sometime after the Roman empire fell apart into ten sub kingdoms. Applications to Antiochus Epiphanus are most unnatural and destroy the natural sequence of events as they appear in the prophecy and history.

2. David was referred to as God’s king long before he ever was on the throne at Jerusalem, Jehovah’s throne. He first became king over one tribe and then later the entire nation. This parallels the kingship progression of Jesus Christ, whom David is a strong antitype. Jesus first became king over the ecclesia and then the world at a late time.

3. Revelation, where Christ is often spoken as receiving his kingship, is most naturally understood as a collection of prophecies which transpire during the parousia of Christ because the 24 elders are shown to be in heaven and they are those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ. We are also explicitly told that none of the holy ones are in heaven until the parousia.

4. God’s kings are never spoken of as sitting at his right hand, but are shown to be ON God’s throne.

5. There is a marked difference between something serving as a footstool and something being put under the feet as an enemy. One is domain, the other is destruction.

6. Revelation 6 where Jesus is said to begin his rule (receive his crown) is said to be followed by great warfare which takes away peace from the EARTH. That fits extremely well with the events of warfare starting circa the year 1914 and onward. No other century comes close to the amount of democide which has occured in this last 100 years, or nearly so. It far exceeds the ratio of populace as well when compared to the war/population ratios of the past. It is an aneurysm in history.

I believe the arguments presented are the strongest arguments available when logic, history and scriptural precedent and pattern serve as our guide.


Who are the 24 elders?

<quote=Rotherham>I believe your treatment of the 24 elders and who they are is a glaringly wrong. You should know that according to every ancient manuscript, except ONE, verse 9 of chapter five, which is quoting the 24 elders, says “with your blood you redeemed US”. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to not view the 24 elders as those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, which explicitly establishes them as “former humans” who are now in heaven, and since there are NO humans in heaven prior to the parousia, the point I am making in regard to these 24 elders is irrevocably established. If they are being shown in the vision, then the vision is clearly after the commencement of the parousia, no matter how long you think it lasts.

So, you disagree with my treatment of the 24 elders and who they are. Fine. But then you claim it is “glaringly” wrong. Your own position was shown to have truly glaring issues from a Scriptural standpoint. Mine is just a position that some people accept and some disagree with. So what makes my position “Glaringly wrong”?

I believe that you used the word “glaringly” to deflect the fact that there are NO glaring problems with my view. I also believe you used the word “glaringly” because you know very well that there is something “glaringly” wrong with your own (Watchtower) view. (The Watchtower teaching is that the 24 is a symbolic number referring to the 144,000 and the 144,000 is a literal number of the same group “seen from two different perspectives.)

When I say I believe your position is “glaringly” unsupported, but I don’t just use the word “glaringly” for propaganda effect as some might do when they realize their own argument sounds weak. I use it because, in this case, specific Biblical support is glaringly against your position.

Here’s some of what’s “glaringly” wrong with your view.

2. The 24 elders are depicted as separate from the 144,000. In Revelation 14 especially: “1 And I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a 144,000…3 And they are singing as if a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one was able to master that song but the 144,000, who have been bought from the earth.”

1. In the Bible’s context, the 24 elders are first depicted in heaven at a time well before the 144,000 are seen in heaven (Chapter 7:1 “AFTER this I saw four angels…and…144,000”).

The 24 elders are identified in their relation to God’s throne as if they belonged to an “inner circle” of God near His throne. Rev 5:6: “And I saw standing in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders.”
The 24 elders are most closely associated with the throne and the 4 living creatures. Rev 5:11: “And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,” …14 And the four living creatures went saying: “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
The 24 elders are identified at God’s throne BEFORE the “Lamb” is ever seen in heaven.
The 24 elders are identified as bringing the prayers of the “holy ones” directly to God’ throne in bowls of incense. This is more in line with services elsewhere associated with angelic creatures, not “former humans.”

Logically, when Revelation 4 opens up, there is first and foremost mentioned a THRONE and the ONE seated upon it, obviously God Almighty (v2). Then the perspective changes to what is around the throne, evidently from the outside “circle” and moving again towards the center throne.

First “circle” mentioned “AROUND” the throne are the 24 THRONES with 24 ELDERS seated on them.(v4) Then we move closer to the central throne where lightnings, voices and thunders are proceeding OUT of the throne and SEVEN Spirits of God (as if lamps) are BEFORE the throne.(v5)

Then we move even closer to “in the MIDST AND AROUND the throne” where there are “FOUR Living Creatures”(v6)

Whenever the “4 Living Creatures” offer praise to God the “24 Elders” follow. (v9)

Remember that all of this is mentioned at a time when the LAMB is nowhere to be seen. The passage explicitly goes on to say “Neither in heaven nor upon earth nor underneath the earth was there a single one able to open the scroll” (5:3). There was therefore a time when Jesus was NOT yet the Lamb UNTIL (5:5) explains: “One of the ELDERS says to me: ‘Stop weeping. Look! The LION has conquered…And I saw standing in the MIDST of the throne and of the FOUR Living Creatures and in the MIDST of the ELDERS, a LAMB as though…slaughtered. (Also now identified with the SEVEN Spirits of God we had just seen in 4:5.)

So there was a time when no one was worthy but NOW there is a NEW song about the LAMB being worthy because he was slaughtered and conquered. Note, too, the order of the praise. The 4 Living Creatures and the 24 Elders worship (mentioned again in that order) and then the Angels follow suit and worship. So there is always a sense of the throne and it’s “inner circles” of creatures, and the 24 Elders belong to one of these inner circles – even before the Lamb is seen and long before the 144,000 are ever seen.

Your reason for identifying the 24 elders as former humans

Before we look specifically at what are supposed to be “glaring” problems with my view on Revelation we need to take note your own primary reason for claiming that the 24 elders are redeemed “former humans”. Your reason, as you’ve already admitted, is that you need to move the “writing perspective” of Revelation from around 99 CE to sometime between late 1914 and Armageddon. If you can do that, then you think you have gotten rid of your problem with John’s reference to Jesus as the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth.” You can’t have John calling Jesus him that in Revelation 1:5 –back in 99 CE– because it interferes with your doctrine about such a kingship being inaugurated only around 1914.

What about the manuscripts that indicate the 24 elders were redeemed by Christ’s blood?

As you pointed out, in every ancient manuscript except ONE, Rev 5:9 says: “with your blood you redeemed US”, rather than “with your blood you redeemed THEM.”

To you, this means the 24 elders were redeemed humans and therefore not in heaven until the Parousia. (Which I say is future and you say is on-going for about 100 years, so far.)

Your are claiming that the reading of the King James Bible is accurate and the reading found in the main text of the New World Translation is incorrect. Of course, you have to admit that this “ONE manuscript” you are rejecting here is the Alexandrian tree of manuscripts, from arguably the most important complete NT mss available. And one that the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses have many times taken as the only “correct” choice when it differs from the others (especially when a doctrinal issue is at stake). This would be one of the rare cases where you would choose to go in the opposite direction.

The meaning of the 24 Elders seems very clear to me and would allow either reading to work. Here’s why:

First of all the Ellen G White and other Bible Students/Adventists/JWs have already summarized the universal importance of “sovereignty question.” This is a pretty good way of conceptualizing the issue. In other words the entire universe of God’s creatures was “bought back” with Christ’s blood. Issues of ransom and sin atonement apply to humans, of course, but all God’s heavenly creatures are praising Jesus in this context as the “Lamb,” an obvious reference to the importance of his death to put ALL THINGS aright again.

After all, Ephesians 1:9 says (NWT):  It is according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself 10 for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth…. By means of him also, after YOU believed, YOU were sealed with the promised holy spirit, 14 which is a token in advance of our inheritance, for the purpose of releasing by a ransom <God’s> own possession, to his glorious praise. 

You could also note that the song is not necessarily about words originating with the 24 Elders, but a representation of the “prayers of the holy ones”. The song relays the praises from humans to God’s throne.The 24 Elders are responsible to deliver those prayers of praise here represented as if the epitome of God’s sense of hearing and sense of smell. (Song and bowls of incense).

An even bigger hole in your theory

You summarized: “Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to not view the 24 elders as those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, which explicitly establishes them as “former humans” who are now in heaven, and since there are NO humans in heaven prior to the parousia, the point I am making in regard to these 24 elders is irrevocably established.”

I’m not impressed by your overstated claims that they are “explicitly established” as former humans now in heaven. Your point is not “irrevocably established.” When propaganda-like words need to be invoked, it shouldn’t surprise me that there is, of course, a big hole in your theory. It’s not just the 24 Elders who speak as if they are themselves redeemed by Christ’s blood, it’s also the 4 living creatures singing this same song and stating these same words. How do you understand that the 4 Living Creatures were bought with Christ’s blood? Are you consistent in arguing that they, too, must be former humans?

Your hypothesis is glaringly unlikely, unless you have also identified your 144,000 with the 4 Living Creatures.

But whether you agree with the NWT or not, the real sense is clear when you read it all in context. The context is about a new Entity in heaven who is worthy of worship. If there were Jewish concepts of heaven that included inner circles and outer circles of creatures, close to the throne or on and even underneath the earth, then it would be appropriate to show that all entities serving God are in agreement about this, whether all these symbols are literal or not. There is a repeated sense that it is about all of God’s creatures and the appropriateness of offering worship to Jesus the Lamb: 8 And when he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp and golden bowls that were full of incense, and the means the prayers of the holy ones. 9 And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”

11 And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “The Lamb that was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”

13 And every creature that is in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying: “To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures went saying: “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.


The whole idea is that Jesus, the slaughtered Lamb, is worthy of his position. It is acknowledged by ALL the persons around God’s throne that the Lamb is also worthy of worship. Look in verse 11 where thousands of angels around God’s throne – along with the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders praise the Lamb as now worthy of worship – meaning the worthiness to receive honor glory and blessing. In verse 13, ALL creatures in the entire universe worship both the One on the throne and the Lamb. ALL creatures produce this prayer of praise. And in verse 14 – even the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders say “Amen” to this prayer to God and Jesus and also fall down and worship.

So it’s really about the extent of worship and how EVEN the 24 elders agree that Jesus is not only worthy of worship (by others) but that they themselves also fall down in worship.

How the Bible context and precedent help to give a more likely identification to the 24 elders

The idea that EVEN the 4 creatures and the 24 elders worship the Lamb makes much more sense if these 24 were of very HIGH station with respect to God’s throne.

If the Jewish “shadows” in the OT were reflective of greater realities in heaven, then we might look to both the shadows and other hints of Biblical precedent to identify the 24 elders.

First of all, we need to discuss the word ELDERS. Each city had a Court of elders who were leaders, counselors and judges. The word elder can therefore refer to a position of judicial authority. Even God is identified with the concept of an “Elder” in Daniel, especially when the context is a about a Court (or Council of Judgment).

Note Daniel 7:10 and it’s similarities to Revelation 4 and 5: “There was a stream of fire flowing and going out from before him. There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him. The Court took its seat, and there were books that were opened…. someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One. 14 And to him there were given rulership and dignity and kingdom,… it was prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment itself was given in favor of the holy ones of the Supreme One, and the definite time arrived that the holy ones took possession of the kingdom itself…. 26 And the Court itself proceeded to sit, and his own rulership they finally took away, in order to annihilate and to destroy totally.

So the Biblical precedent from Daniel and from the Courts of Israel in general, is a Court was seated in heaven. There are many other possible references to a “Court” or “Council of God” in heaven. There are several references to the “Sons of God” who might appear in this court. All the angels may be included in some of these references to the “Sons of God”, or perhaps a more elite group of them represented as a Court of Elders.

Note a few possible references:

“Gen 1:26 And God went on to say: “Let us make man in our image.”

Gen 3:22 And Jehovah God went on to say: “Here the man has become like one of us…”

Gen 11:7 “Come now! Let us go down and there confuse their language that they may not listen to one another’s language.” 8Accordingly Jehovah scattered them”

Job 1: 6 Now it came to be the day when the sons of the God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and even Satan proceeded to enter right among them.

Psalm 82:1 “God is stationing himself in the assembly of the Divine One;
In the middle of the gods he judges:”

Deut 32:8 When the Most High gave the nations an inheritance,
When he parted the sons of Adam from one another,
He proceeded to fix the boundary of the peoples
With regard for the number of the sons of God. (LXX, DSS)

I do not use the following as evidence, but it is of interest historically, to provide a possible understanding of why the plural pronoun can be used with reference to something that only “Jehovah” is named as doing in Genesis 11, for example.

The Masoretes would not change that expression “sons of God” to “sons of Israel” for another thousand years in Deuteronomy 32, and this is what informs our current translations. But many Christians would no doubt have understood it originally as many Jews evidently did: that God had divided up the world into 70 nations (Genesis 10) because there was a council of 70 gods (Elohim) who sat as a council to “El” who was “The Most High”. When God did something with his Council, God was known as Elohim (plural). Historically the word for God became plural, probably because a parallel understanding of “God” affected the Semitic vocabulary used for “God” among neighboring nations of Israel.

The Canaanites wrote about the Most High God as “El” who also had a Council of 70 called “Elohim”. Among the Elohim were: Baal, the one in charge of Canaan, and another one of them was, Jehovah, one of the Elohim in charge of Israel. Of course, the Bible identifies Jehovah as both El and the Most High (Psalms). This is similar to the idea that each nation had a Prince or Archangel. (see Daniel: Prince of Persia, Michael the Prince of Israel).

A little more appropriate to the discussion might be the Sanhedrin, called the Council of Elders, or sometimes just “the elders”. The choice of 70 elders was supposedly as a “shadow” of the heavenly realities of God’s council of 70. There was also a sub-counsel of 23 elders. Odd numbers worked better for voting, to the 70 became 71, with a tie-breaking president of the Sanhedrin.

I know there are also claims in some Revelation commentaries that the 24 elders refer to humans taken from earth over the years. But these arguments are not necessary and don’t fit the Biblical precedent about a “Court” or Council of God.

Still, the idea that redeemable humans could already be in a heavenly state (prior to 99 CE) did not prove to be a problem for many early Christians. This may be why there is so little commentary on the 24 elders from early Church sources. There is evidence that many early Christians, just like many Jews in late Second- Temple Judaism, took it for granted that God had already translated several humans to angelic or reserved positions of authority. Moses and Elijah were still supposed to be alive. So was Enoch. Perhaps even Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Perhaps even the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel. (Jesus seems to have promised those 12 throne positions to his apostles.)

For possible reasons why early Christians believed such things, see: “Assumption of Moses (as referenced by Church Fathers),” “Jude” regarding body of Moses , “Jude” regarding his direct quotation from the book “First Enoch”, various excerpts from Dead Sea Scrolls-especially “Melchizedek Document” and other sectarian works, “Testimony of the 12 Patriarchs”, also Elijah’s and Moses’ appearance at Jesus’ Transfiguration (NT Gospels), beliefs about John the Baptist, Jesus Parable of Rich Man/Lazarus/Abraham, Jesus’ argument about the parallel meaning of “God of the Living” and “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. Jesus was also said to have gone to Hades and carried away captives (those captive to death). A resurrection of many holy ones at the time of Jesus death is also mentioned at Matthew 27:53.

The idea that the Parousia had to come before any former humans could be in heaven heaven, still doesn’t really help you. You use it to support the idea that Jesus gained the title “King of Kings” in 1914. But, Biblically, the Parousia really only happens at the time of the manifestation against the wicked. Therefore, since that manifestation hasn’t happened yet, your version of the 24 elders wouldn’t be there in heaven yet, even if John “wrote” after 1914 instead of 99 CE.

There is much evidence in the Bible that these two events refer to about the same thing, about the same time, so this evidence is more closely related to your question to me about why I believe the SYNTELEIA and TELOS refer to the same thing. It’s really about why the SYNTELEIA and REVELATION and PRESENCE and TELOS are all pretty much a reference to the same simultaneous events. So I’ll provide more of this evidence when responding to your additional questions on that subject in a later post.



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