Carl Olof Jonsson
Carl Olof Jonsson was born on December 8, 1937 in the village Borgvattnet in the province of Jämtland in the middle of Sweden. He married a fellow Witness in 1967 and remained one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for twenty-six years.
In 1968, Carl Olof was a full-time evangelist who, for the most part, put great trust in the doctrinal teachings of the Watch Tower Society, which also was the corporate voice of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It was during that year when Carl Olof was challenged by an acquaintance “to prove the date the Watch Tower Society had chosen for the desolation of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.” Upon that date lay the key foundation teaching of the Witnesses
That challenge in 1968 resulted for Carl Olof years of personal research that continued on and off until the end of 1975. It was during this year when he realized that Watch Tower leaders had perpetuated a deception on millions of their members by suppressing information that would give members an opportunity to examine evidence and come to their own conclusions about the doctrine.
In August of 1977, Carl Olof sent a carefully researched treatise examining the subject of the “Gentile times,” to the Watch Tower at the international headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York. For the Witnesses, the year of the ending of the Gentile Times had to be a fundamental truth because they believed it was when God’s kingdom was established. And the year of the desolation of Jerusalem by the Babylonians was tied up in determining when the ending of the Gentile Times was.
Those who were part of the writing and editorial staff including Raymond Franz remembered the rather stunning effect that treatise had on them when they read it. Franz said, “Not only the volume of the documentation, but even more so the weight of the evidence left us feeling somewhat disconcerted. We were, in effect, at a loss as to what to do with the material. That treatise later formed the basis for Carl Olof Jonsson’s 1983 book, The Gentile Times Reconsidered.”
Ray Franz pointed out in the Foreword of The Gentile Times Reconsidered that numerous interpretations of the phrase, the “Gentile times,” which Christ employed, had been around for centuries. However, he said that Carl Olof explained in his book that the interpretation of the subject “Gentile times,” which the Witnesses espoused, was not their own but originated nearly a half century before the beginning of their own organization. This interpretation focused on the date of 1914 that was based on another date, 607 B.C.E. which bolstered it.
That prominent interpretation defined for Jehovah’s Witnesses the time in which they lived, a means to judge what made up “the good news of the Kingdom” that Christ said would be preached, and measured the legitimacy of any religion that claimed to represent the concerns of Christ and his Kingdom.
“Rarely has a single date  played such a pervasive and defining role in a religion’s theology as has the date focused on by this interpretation,” Franz pointed out.
Following the publication of “The Gentile Times Reconsidered,” Carl Olof became involved in a public dispute with Watchtower apologist Rolf Furuli in Oslo, Norway. In response to Furuli´s papers, books and articles, he has written several lengthy articles published in English and now shown on the site “Kristen Frihet.” Professor Hermann Hunger in Vienna, the foremost scholar on the cuneiform Neo-Babylonian texts of our day, publicly sided with Jonsson.
Carl Olof has continued to thoroughly and carefully research this subject for almost forty years now. His investigation reached back some two and a half millennia into the writings of ancient peoples that revealed evidence against the 607 B.C.E. date that supported the 1914 teaching that Carl Olof said “constitutes the very foundation for the claims and message of this movement.”
The Watch Tower Society asserted “that the kingdom of God was established in heaven in 1914,” and that the “last days” began that year and Christ returned invisibly then. Upon these assumptions lay the claim “that the generation of 1914 would positively not pass away until the final end came at the “battle of Armageddon.”
The chronology of 1914, upon which the Watch Tower’s major message rested, was dismantled by Carl Olof and when they read his treatise, they rejected it. Watch Tower leaders warned him not to spread the information he had gathered and told him that they “did not need or want individual Witnesses to become involved in research of this kind.”
Because of this, Carl Olof resigned as an elder and from all his assignments in the congregation. It was spread throughout the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses that he was rebellious and called a presumptuous heretic, blasphemer, evil slave and even intimated that he was “demon-possessed.” He was branded as an “apostate,” a dissident, who was described as an “enemy of God” to be shunned by all Jehovah’s Witnesses including family and friends after he was disfellowshipped on June 9, 1982, although his wife did not abandon him, nor did his parents-in-law, who were Witnesses.
In 1987 Carl Olof published with Rud Persson the book, The Sign of the Last Days- When? dealing largely with wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilences and crime in history, challenging the Witness tenet that ours is the worst time ever.
In 2004 the fourth, much expanded, edition of The Gentile Times Reconsidered was published.
Being a studious person Carl Olof knows Biblical Hebrew and Greek. He writes and speaks English very well. He speaks German fluently and has a working knowledge of French. In recent years his health has failed him but he is still following closely what is going on in Biblical Studies. He always emphasizes that he has remained a Christian.
Carl Olof Jonsson has written extensively in his research on the beliefs and doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Much of that information is available on his website. He has also contributed research to this site. We have featured one of his books on this site, Gentile Times Reconsidered, which is also referenced below.
(The following is copied from Amazon.com)