by BluesBrother 307 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • David2002


    I just what to respond to some quotes regarding WT use of the word "prophet" as applied to themselves. You made some partial quotes, which are found all over the Internet. Many Anti-Witness Websites like to include quotes of the April 1, 1972 issue of the WT article "They Shall That Prophet is Among Them". But what does the full article really say:

    IDENTIFYING THE "PROPHET"These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? The clergy of the so-called "Christian" nations hold themselves before the people as being the ones commissioned to speak for God. But, as pointed out in the previous issue of this magazine, they have failed God and failed as proclaimers of his kingdom by approving a man-made political organization, the League of Nations (now the United Nations), as "the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth."

    However, Jehovah did not let the people of Christendom, as led by the clergy, go without being warned that the League was a counterfeit substitute for the real kingdom of God. He had a "prophet" to warn them. This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. They are still proclaiming a warning, and have been joined and assisted in their commissioned work by hundreds of thousands of persons who have listened to their message with belief.

    Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a "prophet" of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. What does it show?

    During the World War I period this group, the International Bible Students, was very active in preaching the good news of God’s kingdom, as their Leader Jesus Christ had set this work before them in his prophecy at Matthew 24:14. They took literally Jesus’ words to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate: "My kingdom is no part of this world." (John 18:36) They also took to heart Jesus’ words to his followers: "You are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world." They expected to suffer for living according to that rule, just as Jesus went on to say, "on this account the world hates you." (John 15:19) Hatred toward them grew into violence during World War I.

    These Bible Students had long been concerned with Ezekiel and his prophecy. In 1917 they published a book entitled "The Finished Mystery," explaining the book of Ezekiel as well as that of Revelation. This book criticized the clergy as false to the Word of Jehovah. Within nine months a ban was put on its circulation in the United States and Canada. Then eight members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, including its president and secretary-treasurer, were sentenced to prison in the Federal penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

    Though the work of these Christians was crippled for a while, after only nine months the eight men were freed from prison, in March 1919. They accepted this as an answer from God to their prayers. Their work was revived, much to the consternation of the clergy, who had been behind the banning.

    Accordingly, their magazine The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, in its issues of August 1 and 15, 1919, encouraged vigorous resumption of the work of preaching the good news free from the fear of men. Under the subject "Blessed Are the Fearless," the following statements were made:

    "There is a fear which is very proper, and which everyone must have who is pleasing to God, and this is known as ‘Godly fear’. It means a holy reverence for Jehovah and a fear lest we should displease him and come short of the blessings he has promised us. . . . The Scriptures abound with testimony that those whom God approves do not fear man nor any other creature, but have a holy, reverential fear of Jehovah. In times of old Jehovah justified some men to friendship with him, and the record of his dealing with them was written for the benefit of the church."

    Ezekiel was one of these men so used by God, and not only his prophecies, but also Ezekiel himself and his acts were pictorial of things to come.THE "PROPHET" SPEAKS TO CHRISTENDOMA General Convention was held by the International Bible Students at Cedar Point, Ohio, September 1-8, 1919. Thousands of Jehovah’s servants were present from the United States and Canada. There the Watch Tower Society’s president urged the fearless resumption of the work, and this with the use of the outspoken magazine entitled "The Golden Age." In the public talk delivered on the subject "The Hope for Distressed Humanity," the speaker declared that the Lord’s displeasure was certain to be visited upon the League of Nations,

    "because the clergy—Catholic and Protestant—claiming to be God’s representatives, have abandoned his plan and endorsed the League of Nations, hailing it as a political expression of Christ’s kingdom on earth."

    The League of Nations came into being in 1919 and began really to function when it was ratified by the signatory powers at Paris on January 10, 1920. But Jehovah’s servants continued to proclaim the Messianic kingdom of God. When the ban on The Finished Mystery was lifted, they resumed its circulation and, with it as a textbook, they continued to study the book of Ezekiel. As time went on and further developments fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel, a three-volume set of books titled "Vindication" provided an up-to-date understanding, showing more fully the application of the prophecy.

    Thus this group of anointed followers of Jesus Christ, doing a work in Christendom paralleling Ezekiel’s work among the Jews, were manifestly the modern-day Ezekiel, the "prophet" commissioned by Jehovah to declare the good news of God’s Messianic kingdom and to give warning to Christendom. It is significant that, in 1931, after twelve years of faithful service despite the opposition of Christendom’s clergy, these followers of Christ embraced the name "Jehovah’s witnesses" at the same convention at which the book Vindication was released.—Isa. 43:10-12, American Standard Version.

    Reading from the article in full, we notice that the word "prophet" is always in quotes, indicating that is used not in the sense of a prophet that makes predictions, but in the sense of one who teaches and explains the Bible truths. Notice how the article says that the Christians continued to study the prophesy of Ezekiel, and that the multi-volume set of Vindication "provided an up-to-date understanding, show more fully the application of the prophecy." That does not sound to me like their saying they are inspired prophets that received messages directly from God. They are merely explaining the Bible prophecies and teachings, and do a work similar to when prophet Ezekiel warned the Jews. The "prophet" is not given inspired messages, but in obeying the command of Jesus, they preach the good news of God's Kingdom in the hands of Christ, which includes warning the Pseudo-Christians. The WT issue of May 15, 1947, "Manner of Inspiring the Bible: No Such Inspiration Today" (pages 157-158), explains this in detail (This is another WT article I have seen quoted in the anti-Witness Websites):

    This pouring out of God's spirit upon the flesh of all his faithful anointed witnesses does not mean those now serving as Jehovah's Witnesses are inspired. It does not mean that the writings in this magazine The Watchtower are inspired and infallible and without mistakes. It does not mean that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is inspired and infallible, although enemies falsely charge us with believing so...But we confess with the Scriptures that the day of such inspiration passed long before 1870, as the apostle Paul showed it would....Inspired speaking and writing passed away with the last of the twelve apostles, by whom the gifts of the spirit were imparted to others. Yet God is still able to teach and lead us. While confessing no inspiration for today for anyone on earth, we do have the privilege of praying to God for more of his holy spirit and for his guidance of us by the bestowal of his spirt through Jesus Christ.

    Yes, the WT does not call itself an inspired prophet, nor did it ever teach that. One has to read the full WT articles, rather that relying on the mini quotes found in the Anti-Witness Websites. Searching through several WT articles for "inspired prophet", in the WT CD-ROM, I found the term used for Daniel, Isaiah, Amos, Ezekiel, Moses and other prophets of the Bible. But it is NEVER used or applied to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society nor of today's anointed Christians.


  • AuldSoul


    Please clarify: If I (1) claim to be God's sole, spirit-directed Channel of communication and I (2) state that I am the one to whom God is revealing special knowledge ahead of time, and I (3) make a prediction about the future, is that prediction a prophecy or not?

    If not, why not?


  • David2002


    Please clarify: If I (1) claim to be God's sole, spirit-directed Channel of communication and I (2) state that I am the one to whom God is revealing special knowledge ahead of time, and I (3) make a prediction about the future, is that prediction a prophecy or not?

    I already cited several WT sources that clearly state that the WTS is not infallible, that they are prone to make mistakes, and that they are not inspired like the prophets or the apostles. Since the time of Russell it was taught that time features of the Bible cannot be read with the same degree of certainty like basic Bible doctrines. God now uses men to preach the Bible truth, but since they are imperfect humans who are prone to make mistakes. Sometimes, as events in the world occur, the understanding of Bible prophecy becomes clearer and better understand. The apostles, for instance, who were inspired, thought that Jesus was going to start the kingdom immediately after his resurrection. They did not understand that the Messiah had to die first, then resurrected, and then there would be a long period of time before he came back in his presence to eventually come and establish the Kingdom, the New Age to Come. But they understood clearly after Jesus was resurrected, and after Jesus explained it to them, and after receiving the holy spirit. But even after receiving the holy spirit, the apostle Paul had to write to some Christians the end was not immediate, that it will be after the man of lawlessness is fully revealed. The anointed Christians of today are not inspired, as they have claimed over and over again consistently throughout their publications. Russell believed that 1914 was a marked year in the Bible, although he expected it mean the full establishment of the Kingdom by, and the expected the Church to be glorified by then. Even when that did not happen, he still believed 1914 was correct. But, he was right in saying before 1914, that not everything they expect to happen might happen in that year. (see some of the WT quotes I cited in earlier posts). He nevered avered that his understanding of the prophecies were error-free. As the Bible students continued to study the Scriptures, and saw events unfold in the world, they began to understand that 1914 marked the beginning of the pangs of distressed mentioned in Matthew 24, and the last days. True, reject the 607 BCE year, used to compute the 1914 figure, but even Bible scholars before Russell came to the same conclusion. Interestingly, the book Are We Living In the End Times, by Jenkins, also alludes to 1914 as the possible date for the beginning of the last days. Many 20th century historians also agree that 1914 was a marked year, the year the age of violence, age of famine, etc, began. Those events, in my opinion, confirm, that 1914 was the beginning of the pangs of distressed based on Matt. 24, Luke 21, Mark 13, and Rev. 6.

    So even though the early Bible Students erred in what was to be expected, they turned out to be correct in pointing out to 1914 as the beginning of the last days. They never claimed to infallible, they never claimed to inspired, & no-where does the WT apply the term "inspired prophet" to the anointed class. They simply rely on the holy spirit of God to help them understand the Bible truths and prophecies and are willing to make changes when their understanding of a particular point become clearer.

  • ackack

    I'm confused. As far as I know, nothing interesting happened in October 1914.

    You said: Those events, in my opinion, confirm, that 1914 was the beginning of the pangs of distressed based on Matt. 24, Luke 21, Mark 13.

    Russell himself didn't believe in the interpretation you agree with.

    Also, what was so special about 1914 anyways? Has there been an increase in anything (war, famine, crime, disease)?


  • TD


    The willingness of individual Witnesses to drag the names and reputations of the Apostles through the mud in an effort to exculpate the JW organization from its various indiscretions is always amazing to an outsider.

    If you could establish that the Apostles forced others on pain of expulsion from the congregation to go along with their conjecture, speculations and out and out errors, then you would have a valid point. But I doubt you can do this, because I doubt if there is any basis for the assumption that there was no difference between their own private views and what they actually wrote in Scripture.

    Russell clearly understood the danger here. He believed and taught that enforced doctrinal conformity was what had precipitated the "Great apostasy" (cf. Z WT 9/1/1893 pp. 262,264) and advocated the Augustinean motto: In necessariis unitas, In dubiis libertas

    In contrast, the JW organization today demands obedience in the form of doctrinal conformity as if real inspiration was actually being offered. When the JW organization explains what a particular scripture means in a Watchtower article, the explanation is presented as the Truth without equivocation. To disagree with what is written in The Watchtower at the time it is published is considered apostasy.

    You have pointed out that the JW organization has actively denied infallibilty and true inspiration and you've even given examples. While I would agree with both propositions, this only exacerbates their hypocrisy in claiming "spirit direction" as a basis for exerting spiritual authority over others. B eing guided by anyone can take only one of two forms:

    (1) Active instruction by the one supposedly doing the guiding

    (2) Passive instruction by the one supposedly doing the guiding.

    The first requires no explanation at all. If God is the one doing the guiding then this is plenary inspiration.

    The second is fairly simple, too. Suppose a mapmaker draws a map of some area. Suppose a traveler gets hold of the map and perfectly follows it. Then it is obvious that he was guided by the mapmaker – indirectly and passively – in that the mapmaker provided instructions which allowed the traveler to reach his goal. But suppose the traveler makes a mistake and imperfectly follows the map, and gets lost. Then he did not follow the mapmaker’s passive guidance, since if he did he wouldn’t have gotten lost. Therefore it cannot be said that the traveler was guided by the mapmaker, even though he had access to the mapmaker’s written, passive guidance.

    It's the same with anyone who claims to have "Spirit Direction." Probably the biggest mistake that Jehovah’s Witnesses make is to confuse passive divine guidance with active divine guidance. Everyone who reads the Bible has passive divine guidance simply by reading it. He can follow it or not. If this is the full extent of what JW leaders claim, then they are pure unadulterated hypocrites. Every religious leader can claim this degree of "Spirit direction."

    Active divine guidance is another story. It means that God is actively and personally causing someone to do things. JW leaders engage in doublespeak by attempting to give the impression that their leaders always receive active divine guidance when that impression is convenient, but retreating to a claim of passive guidance or even no guidance at all when they’re backed into a corner by unpleasant facts.

    You said:

    So even though the early Bible Students erred in what was to be expected, they turned out to be correct in pointing out to 1914 as the beginning of the last days.
    The Bible Students decided that 1914 had marked the beginning of the last days well after the alleged fact. It was taught clear up until the late 1920's that the deposal of Pope Pious VI as ruler of the Papal states in 1799 was the beginning of this period The last such reference to this date in that context in JW literature appears in the 1927 book, Creation on page 293.
  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    David2002 said;

    Regarding, 1975: I have asked brother who were in the truth prior to 1975 about whether or not they believed the end was coming. The vast majority tell me "no." I even know one sister who told me that her mother thought it was coming, but the daughter advised her not to fall into that conclusion. The fact is most Witnesses did not think the end of world was coming in 1975 because none of the publications stated that it will come. People quote titles of WT, but when you like at the text you find clearly statement that it is not known what 1975 will bring. The only thing that is known is that humankind will completed 6,000 years of existance in that year (which appears to held today). The Truth book which was used around that time, containing the basic Bible doctrines, does not mention 1975. True, the Truth book quoted from Famine 1975, but it said nothing about the end coming that year. ( I think people are pushing it when they mention that quoted book as prove the end is coming. The book was quote along with some other to show that there would be severe hunger problems in the world in the last days.)

    I apologize for the lateness in which I answer this comment you directed at me two days back. I work an odd schedule and did not get a chance to see this until just now.

    Well, as I already stated, I did live thru the '75 fiasco, David. Every single witness I knew believed the end was coming then. And though the organization had gotten better at cloaking the prophetic utterances by then [having failed at a dozen or more dates previous to this one], the basic leading of the organization from about mid 1960's was that of great and agitated expectation. Talks at conventions were pointed and clear - they did not spell it out - but they were obviously convinced that we were on the heals of the end. The terminology was convincing to those looking to this organization to tell us how to gain life. The expression 'just a few more months', and 'we are on the brink of something significant' appeared in the pubs time and time again. One Watchtower had 1975 in huge block letters across the front.

    If you see a woman dressed in red, at midnight, standing on the corner and waving at all in passing, offering to keep one company on a lonely night, she does not have to be wearing a sign that says "I am a whore". The signs were there and obvious. Many on this board and other boards were there and saw it. IT was HUGE! I was cautioned not to pursue an education out of high school due the fact I would not be able to use it before the end came. Today my life has been adversely affected by this advise in both the pages of the Watchtower and from the lips of elders. They were proclaiming that the message was about over - the final call. Get in or die. Those repeated warnings that highlighted 1975 were the same as that hooker. If you were there you could not ignore it - or pretend it wasn't being said. You don't have to yell 'I am a hooker" for those around to know it. Even those we met in the ministry were aware of the level of anticipation we were putting on that date. They even told us sometimes that we were headed for trouble when this didn't happen - we would be labeled as false prophets. OF course we did not listen.

    Regarding the "truth' book. You have certainly been made aware of the duplicity of the organization in that regard. You are well aware of the web sites of both apologist and Watchtower critics, as you have demonstrated here numerous times. You are then aware of the quote in the "TRUTH" book that was made by Dean Achaeson? The quote in which he said that by 1975 the world would be too dangerous a place in which to live. Or to that effect? That was in the 1968 version - like the one I taught people to expect the end by 1975 from when I pioneered in those days. Then lo' and behold in the later versions - like the one you can access from your WT-CDROM - all of a sudden the mention of 1975 was removed. The part of the quote that referenced 1975 had miraculously disapeared. Why is that? By the time the book was revised, we as witnesses were no longer using it for Bible students. Why change it in the 80's? What was this organization hiding? Was this not intellectual dishonesty to do that? To erase ones mistakes of public record is the act of a guilty person - not one who has nothing to hide.

    Furthermore - if the Catholic Church or the Protestant Church or any other church had made such outrageous claims, even praising those who would sell off all thier belongings in order to pioneer till the end was here - that quote was in a Kingdom Ministry of 1974 if I recall - I can access these actual quotes if needed, but you know all too well what they said and where they are - back on thought - if those other 'false religions' had made such outrageous claims, the WTS would have had an article entitled "Will You Trust these Prophets?"- probably with a picture of Billy Graham or some other religious leader on the cover. The articles would have ripped to shredds those who made such claims and then would have directed people to God's only True Organization for life. You know that would have happened, if the shoe was on the other foot. In fact they have done just that in so many places. They have pointed out the falsehoods of religion in every issue of the Watchtower I ever saw. But when they make mistakes that are as culpable as any made by other religions they sweep it away with reprints. Or excuse it away with claims of imperfection. Is that not duplicity of the highest order?

    When I came into the 'Truth', the organisation had for a couple of decades decreed that the superior authorities of Romans 13 were Jehovah God and Jesus. They had declared this as 'truth' since Rutherford's era. Yet I challange you! Open your Bible and read that chapter - do it right now. I will wait! Tell me honestly that any 12 year old could not read that and know it was talking about the governments as the superior authorities. It is absolutely crystal clear isn't it? The churches all had it right. They were able to read God's word just fine and see what this meant. Yet the people who were supposedly being directed by the King Jesus, who before Rutherford taught that the superior authorities were the governments, had it wrong for decades, in spite of the fact that it was easy to see what the writer meant. So the "Light was Bright' for Christendom and the "light went out" for the witnesses during that period? Why did Jehova do that? Was it needed for him to change in mid stream? I don't think so. And neither do you, I suspect. Yet, if prior to 1963 - when the decision was made to accept that God had it right when he inspired them - someone stood up and stated that the organization had it wrong about what the Bible said in this matter they would be disfellowshipped. As an apostate. Yet clearly the apostates were the organization. They had rebelled against what any 12 year old could see that the Bible stated. The Bible is God's word. So in revoking His clear statements and replacing them with a wrong understanding, the organization became apostate.

    Yet some were excommunicated for agreeing with God and telling others that they should also in matters of this sort. This in spite of the fact that that person may have been of the 'annointed' - thus part of the Faithful Slave class as taught by the organization, charged with dispensing 'truth' according to WTS dogma.

    Think of the countless lives ruined when one objects - even on correct grounds - to the organizational position on a doctrine such as this. The society clearly places itself in the place of God. There might even be a scripture that applies to that kind of apostasy - I think you know where it is too, so I do not quote it here. If the shoe fits the organization should wear it though.

    David - you are clearly intelligent. You are not lacking in ablility however to fool others into accepting false reasoning. I do not believe that your God or anyone else's will bless that. It is not humble.

    The misapplication of the 'New Light' doctrine has been discussed. The scripture has been clearly taken from context, and without it the WTS is in big trouble to explain all these changes in doctrine. Some of them have caused people to die. The organ transplant issue is one of them. The refusal of vacinations as against God and His standards is another. Will you accept that it was just new light one day when they declare it now acceptable to take blood - the light just got brighter - and in it's wake of misunderstanding we are sorry for the tens of thousands of your dead children, and husbands and wives and parents and uncles and brothers?

    They are culpable on so many levels that it hard to imagine. They have played God in matters that makes them bloodguilty. They have killed just a surely as have the churches. They have not ordered young men to war, but they have taught people to die without needed treatment, then changed thier minds in the blink of an eye. This is not 'new light' - this is foolish light that kills and maims, makes widows and orphans, leaves families with no means of support, leads many to lose faith in God in fact. To mimimize the impact of these massive doctrinal moves is to make God a little paper-machet [sp] puppet in a box. It is insulting to mislead people then blame it on God being late or wrong with the information. But all is well now that we have 'new light' - oops sorry your child had to die last week before the Shekinah Light came on.

    If this is the most crucial time in man's history - if the WTS is the link we need to worship God with approval to survive the great and heartless slaughter that Jw's say is on the brink - then why did God not get it right when he issued this light? He got it right with Moses and only a few million lives were at stake. He got it right with Jeremiah and only a few million lives were at stake. Now in this most crucial period of man's existence - the time in which determining to be or not to be a JW will decide your eternal future - and for 6 Billion people eternal death apparently - why had God missed and corrected and edited and changed and wavered and hid and manipulated and played all these games?

    I am certain that the True God I worship would not do this! Jesus did not represent Him that way. Neither do I. I am positive that if God issued some new light to me He would get it right on the first try. Otherwise He did not issue it.


  • ringo5

    Watchtower's view of prophets:

    *** w92 2/1 p. 3 Beware of False Prophets! ***

    In fact, the main thought conveyed by the original Bible language words translated “prophesy” or “prophecy” is basically to tell forth God’s mind on a matter or, as the book of Acts puts it, to tell “the magnificent things of God.” (Acts 2:11) It is in this sense that many people are being robbed by false prophets.
    Who, though, are the false prophets, and what are they stealing? To answer this question, let us look back in the history of the nation of Israel to the time of Jeremiah.

    Out of their own mouths...

  • ringo5

    Also regarding David2002 assertion that the apostles made mistakes regarding what Jesus would do, again out of their own mouths:

    *** w52 7/15 p. 430 ‘Keeping Strict Watch on How We Walk’ ***
    Some, seeking to find justification for their careless conduct, point to the mistakes that faithful men of old made, such as Noah, David and others. But these overlook the fact there is nothing to indicate that those servants of God repeatedly erred in these respects.---- And these deflections were written down so that those coming after them who erred in like manner might take comfort and hope in God’s mercy, but not to excuse sinning or to justify laxity.—Rom. 15:4.

    Aren't those WT library's on CD an invaluable spiritual blessing?

  • steve2

    David2002 was not alive in 1914, so we can perhaps forgive his extremely lop-sided spin on what 1914 "meant" to the Bible Students at the time. Just to clarify: Up until at least 1930, 1799 and not 1914 was still being taught in the Watchtower publications as the begining of the time of the end. Rutherford changed all that with one stroke of a cultic pen. He may have been imperfect, but boy did he know how to exact total compliance with his erratic writings!

    To those currently backed into a corner, hindsight is a wonderfully convenient thing - something that has enabled the Watchtower's many defenders to constantly fine-tune a blatantly failed prophecy. When the organisation eventually ditches the 1914 doctrine as the beginning of the time of the end - as it surely must - there will be a fresh line-up of "Yes" men eager to defend the Watchtower's pathetic spin. Sadly, there will also be a fresh crop of newly disfellowshipped ones who must pay the price for questioning the appalling authoritarian legacy of the self-appointed spin merchants.

  • ringo5

    Here's hoping David is still reading:

    David 2002 said:

    I already cited several WT sources that clearly state that the WTS is not infallible, that they are prone to make mistakes, and that they are not inspired like the prophets or the apostles.

    You also could have used this passage:

    *** g93 3/22 4 Why So Many False Alarms? ***
    Jehovah’s Witnesses, in their eagerness for Jesus’ second coming, have suggested dates that turned out to be incorrect. Because of this, some have called them false prophets. Never in these instances, however, did they presume to originate predictions ‘in the name of Jehovah.’ Never did they say, ‘These are the words of Jehovah.

    However, even if they never preface their predictions and interpretations with this exact phrases HEAR YE, HEAR YE, THESE ARE THE WORDS OF JEHOVAH!, what is left in the readers mind after reading a quote like the following:

    *** w57 6/15 370 Overseers of Jehovah's People ***
    7 Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor. Listen to the inspired answer to the situation, in Matthew 24:45-47 (NW): “………..It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision.

    What is a reader to think! The very language being used here is meant to leave no doubt in the reader's mind, that what we say, God wanted to say himself. How could the reader not believe everything they said or wrote from that point on, as he would the very voice of God?

    And once this relationship starts, what happens when their directions turn out to be somewhat less than truthful?

    Would it be help build their faith in God?

    Would God approve of his name and reputation being dragged into these kind of representations?

    P.S. That was a great post, Jeff...

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