“…always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you, …”—1 Pet. 3:15.
The purpose of this site is to provide the most fair and comprehensive presentation with respect to the doctrine and teachings related to the date, 1914, as defined and promoted by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Note: Jehovah’s Witnesses will also be referred to as JWs, JW’s, Witnesses or “Bible Students” (before 1931). The publications Jehovah’s Witnesses distribute are often described as publications of the Watch Tower Society, also referred to as WTS, WT, WTBTS, WBTS, the Society, or the Watchtower. The most widely distributed and quoted source for Watch Tower teachings is the magazine, The Watchtower, also referred to as just Watchtower, and sometimes abbreviated as: w or WT (some older issues are referred to by the original name: Zion’s Watch Tower or ZWT). Other terms that are common to Jehovah’s Witnesses but may not be common to non-Witnesses are found in the Glossary.
In the interests of truth and fairness, we also attempt to present a fair and comprehensive defense for the evidence against the 1914 doctrine. In some cases, this is done by pointing to existing resources.
In so doing, we are convinced that the 1914 teaching does not prevail against the overwhelming Biblical and logical evidence that detracts from it and contradicts it. However, we believe that this is not only a good thing, it is something to celebrate.
We celebrate for many reasons:
- Primarily we celebrate the truth. Truth frees us from error and its consequences, which is always a good thing.
- We also celebrate the people who have done so much to help others understand the truth about the issue. While some might complain that this is a kind of “hero worship,” we mean it in the same sense that the Watch Tower publications, primarily through the Watchtower magazine, has often highlighted the lives of those who stood up for truth in the face of opposition, and often at a serious cost to themselves and their loved ones. (In 2014 alone, there have been four persons that The Watchtower has celebrated in this way.) We celebrate those who have stood up for the truth on this matter, and provide the experiences of several of them on these pages.
- We also celebrate the fact that it is now 2014 and this is such an opportune time to highlight the evidence about 1914 due to the additional focus and attention that so many Jehovah’s Witnesses will give the doctrine — especially in the months following October 2014. The very existence of this doctrine for 100 years is self-incriminating. This centennial also comes at a time when the technology that facilitates information sharing has advanced to the point where anyone who wishes may easily find and verify all sides of such issues. And we celebrate that especially in 2014, such information sharing is now widely embraced by Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves.
In this site, we hope to cover as many issues, questions and concerns as possible, and always hope to allow the evidence to be highlighted. Our purpose is not to cover all the possible alternatives to the current Watch Tower interpretation, even if we happen hold to a particular one. In some cases, we may present resources that hold out a particular alternative view that is not held by persons responsible for presenting these pages. There are many different views held on these subjects, and our primary criteria is the value of the evidence for or against the Watch Tower’s view, not for any particular alternative view that may have been preferred by the persons who have contributed.
In preparing and collecting this material, it has become even clearer that the 1914 teaching has had a far-reaching effect on many other doctrines that Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. These other doctrines are not the focus of this site, however, in some cases other doctrines will also be discussed in so far as the relationship to the 1914 teaching is clear.
Some persons will no doubt wonder how such a site as this one can be considered fair, if so much material is offered against the 1914 teaching. Some will also point out that the site maintained by Jehovah’s Witnesses, JW.ORG, is considered an authoritative site to explain all the doctrinal positions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and that jw.org is also geared toward defending the Watch Tower’s teachings against all objections.
So why this site? Because, here, we will go into much more depth on this particular subject, while also allowing interaction from visitors, along with questions and discussion from anyone. In addition, jw.org will be linked wherever it seems appropriate to provide the references to original publications. This site will provide a place for ongoing conversation and continued discussion of any new materials and evidence that becomes available.
Please note, too, that this site intends to address any and all issues related to the doctrine in a respectful manner as we hope and expect that the site will continue to have great value for both Jehovah’s Witnesses and non-Witnesses and other interested persons who are looking for both a comprehensive reference and a discussion of the issues. We allow discussions to include questions, responses and comments that any visitors may submit in various places on the site.
“…but doing so with a mild temper and deep respect.”—1 Pet. 3:15.
While we want the site to be a place for civil and respectful discussion, we also realize that it might be necessary to edit or even delete posts for excessive use of disrespectful language. This will not be done to discourage debate, or favor any one particular side on a debated issue.
Also note that this site will often reference other sites where discussions of various subjects have already taken place. There is no need to “reinvent the wheel.” There are many people over the years who have put a lot of effort into researching and discussing the issues presented here. It would be both dishonest and disrespectful not to acknowledge that much of what appears here is based on the work of others.
In order to do this properly, we do not wish to plagiarize from these other sites, but we also hope to provide a comprehensive source that acknowledges those sites. Some of them, admittedly, are sites that many Jehovah’s Witnesses would not visit, yet some of the discussions on those other sites are valuable precisely because Witnesses have engaged non-Witnesses and ex-Witnesses in detailed discussions.
Where we get permission from other site owners (or at least one of the parties to the discussion) we may include content from those other sites, along with a link to the original. If we are asked not to copy the content we will provide a link and only a summary on this site. We will work with the assumption that parties to a public discussion are OK with including it here, as long as we acknowledge where it came from. If anyone is uncomfortable with material on this site that involves their own conversations with others, we will take it down if we are asked. (We may still provide reviews and “fair-use” excerpts along with links to to such discussions.)
The reason for this pro-active position on our part, where we may include at least small portions of discussions, along with current links, is partly because of the difficulty contacting others who have posted anonymously and the possibility that linked locations change or disappear altogether over time.
We hope you feel free to comment about anything you like or recommend changes where anything seems wrong or out of place.
Enjoy the site!