listing of authorities and their date for the fall of Jerusalem

by M.J. 128 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Jeffro


    Is it possible for a large body of experts and an overwhelming prevailing view to be wrong? Yes - I was at college in London in 1981 when 364 economists wrote the letter referred to below. Every single economist was wrong.

    Your comparison is flawed. The economists were speculating on something that might happen in the future, whereas the chronologers are examining data that already existed.

  • Jeffro
    My logic is perfectly sound, it is your logic that is hopelessly flawed. The forementioned chart listing authorities dating the Fall proves that Christendom's scholars are in total disagreement concerning a definite date for Jerusalem. The current methodology for the secular chronology fails, it does not work because no scholar outside the circle of the 'celebrated ones' cannot give a precise date for this event. The reason for this is becuse they ignore, minimize or misinterpret the 'seventy years'.

    The chart indicates that there is remarkable agreement that the fall was within a year of 587, many specifically indicating 587. Your claim of 'total disagreement' is laughable. There is no-one in support of 607 at all, and again, the only reason why those you put on a pedestal (creature worship) have an 'exact date' is because they have arrived at one based on an entirely speculative date from 537. Furthermore, nothing significant happened in October of 1914, further indicating the falseness of October 607.

    Celebrated WT scholars over many centuries have got this biblical event correct and this is proven by the ending of the Gentile Times in 1914 with the momentous events on earth since that time.

    Your supposed 'scholars' haven't even existed for 'centuries'.

    If the secular chronology is sound an the method and data is sound then how is it that no date can be precisely agreed upon? Many scholars want to blame the biblical data but the celebrated ones use that same data and are still able to determine the precise year of 607 BCE.

    Anyone can come up with a 'precise' date, but that doesn't mean that date is correct. Babylon's king was called to account in 539, at which time Babylon as a nation began to be judged, and this event marked the end of the 70 years of servitude to Babylon, as clearly and irrefutably indicated by Jeremiah and Daniel. No judgement befell the king of Babylon in 537, and the available evidence strongly suggests that the Jews returned to Jerusalem in 538 anyway, so your supposed 'precise' date is just wrong. Real chronologers do not speculate on exact dates if they do not believe that there is sufficient information available and do not have a previous agenda with which to conform.

  • Jeffro
    The fact of the matter is that 607 is the only correct date for the Fall as it alone conforms to all of the biblical and secular data. The other dates are simply unworkable. The date 539 is correct as it is well attested by scholarship wheras the derived dates proposed for the Fall are not. Dates prior to 539 derived from the secular data alone are entirely suspect so it is far wiser to accept the chronology based upon the research of celebrated WT scholars.

    To suggest that secular dates going back until 539 are correct, and suddenly before that they are all wrong is just plain silly. The date of 539 is indeed correct, but the Society ignores the significance of the events and the clear connection between Daniel 5:26-31 and Jeremiah 25:11-12 that inextricably indicate the end of the 70 years.

    It is not inconsistent as you allege for WT scholars to accept 539 alone and from that date derive other dates. The date 539 is simply a pivotal date. The date for the Return is also derived from secular and biblical evidence and is well established as 537 BCE and from this date such scholars have determined 607 for the Fall. The methods hereby employed simply involve methodology which varies from one chronologist to another. Different methodolgies will yield different chronololgies.

    The Society's date for the return is not "well established" at all. It is entirely speculative, and easily shown to be incompatible with other available information. Still misusing the word "methodology" I see.

    The data from Josephus does not confirm 538 for the Return as he gives a different result for this event. The fact of the matter is that the Return occurred in 537 BCE. The Jonsson hypothesis is very silent about this matter and if the Society' s date was in total error then Jonsson would have made a big deal out of it. His silence on this matter is deafening. Your hypothesis on this matter is simply stupid and infantile and provides nothing to prove 538 for the Fall.

    What is your supposed fact of 537 based on? The Society states many times that the return was in 537 as if it were an established fact (like the Society does with many dates in their publications), but says very little to actually back it up, and gives absolutely nothing in the way of hard evidence, with absolutely no secular corroboration for its date at all. The Society ignores the logical conclusion reached even by its own statement: " Babylonian custom would place Cyrus’ first regnal year as running from Nisan of 538 to Nisan of 537 B.C.E", which makes it much more reasonable that the decree was given for the Jews to return around the summer of 538, with the Jews back home by Tishri of that year.

  • Jeffro

    'scholar' said:

    The fact of the matter is that the Society has given much data in its publications establishing 537 and scholars do not dispute this matter.

    That is an outright lie. The Society has not at all "given much data" to 'establish' 537. They simply assume that because Cyrus' first year covered most of 538 and some of 537, that he must have allowed the Jews return home at the end of that period, rather than the much more likely summer of 538.

    Adding to the problem is that the Society is forced to teach by implication that it was Cyrus who was "called to account" as Babylon's king at the alleged end of the 70 years, contradicting Ezra 1:2 which indicates that Cyrus had been specially and honourably selected to commision the rebuilding the temple.

  • AlanF

    Good scholars, as opposed to "celebrated Watchtower scholars", know how to argue a case with facts and always fully explain their reasoning to their readers. On the subject of the date of return of the Jews to Jerusalem, the Watchtower Society has only given speculation. Its argument boils down to a mere "in view of the Bible record" but it gives no actual arguments as to why that Bible record supports its claim. The clearest words the Society has written on this subject are found in the Insight book, Vol. 1, p. 568, under the subject "Cyrus". Note the complete lack of supporting evidence for the conclusion, and how the writer turns pure speculation into a supposedly solid conclusion:

    Cyrus’ Decree for the Return of the Exiles. By his decreeing the end of the Jewish exile, Cyrus fulfilled his commission as Jehovah’s ‘anointed shepherd’ for Israel. (2Ch 36:22, 23; Ezr 1:1-4) The proclamation was made "in the first year of Cyrus the king of Persia," meaning his first year as ruler toward conquered Babylon. The Bible record at Daniel 9:1 refers to "the first year of Darius," and this may have intervened between the fall of Babylon and "the first year of Cyrus" over Babylon. If it did, this would mean that the writer was perhaps viewing Cyrus’ first year as having begun late in the year 538 B.C.E. However, if Darius’ rule over Babylon were to be viewed as that of a viceroy, so that his reign ran concurrent with that of Cyrus, Babylonian custom would place Cyrus’ first regnal year as running from Nisan of 538 to Nisan of 537 B.C.E.

    In view of the Bible record, Cyrus’ decree freeing the Jews to return to Jerusalem likely was made late in the year 538 or early in 537 B.C.E.

    In contrast, note how scholar T. C. Mitchell, writing in The Cambridge Ancient History (Second Edition, Vol. III, Part 2, "The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries B.C." Ed. by John Boardman et al., Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 432 etc), clearly explains his reasoning and presents various facts to support it:

    It is a reasonable hypothesis . . . that work was begun on the Temple site under the direction of Sheshbazzar as soon as the returning exiles reached Jerusalem, probably in 538 since, though Cyrus' first year ran from spring 538 to spring 537, he had taken Babylon in October 539, and it is unlikely that he would have allowed any great time to elapse before he issued the decreee. According to the Book of Ezra, Zerubbabel, Joshua the high priest, and others assembled in Jerusalem in the seventh month. There they built an altar and re-established the giving of burnt-offerings on it, celebrating in particular the observances of the festival of Succoth (Booths or Tabernacles) (Ezra 3:1-6; I Esdras 5:46-52). In the Jewish calendar, Succoth was kept in the seventh month, Tishri, to mark the time of harvest (Lev. 23:33-6; Deut. 6:13-15). This strongly suggests that the `seventh month' in which Zerubbabel built the altar was Tishri in 538, rather than simply the seventh month after the return, and that the end of the summer, when the people had been able to collect some kind of harvest from the untended plants of many decades and perhaps from those inadequately tended by those who had remained in the land, was a time when the distractions of self-interest relaxed and thoughts could turn again to religious matters. It seems that the people also now made financial contributions towards the bringing of cedar wood from Lebanon (Ezra 3:7; I Esdras 5:53). This transaction presumably took several months, for Zerubbabel is said to have begun organizing the building operations in the spring of the following year (second month of the second year of the return), at which time the foundation of the Temple was laid to the sound of music and song (Ezra 3:8-11; I Esdras 5:54-9). This reconstruction would therefore see an initial symbolic foundation-laying by Sheshbazzar in the spring or early summer of 538, followed by a failure on his part to inspire the people to continue; then a renewal of the operation under Zerubbabel some four or five months later, with the building of the altar in the autumn; and, finally, the laying of the foundations in the spring of the following year, 537, after a winter during which arrangements were made for the supply of building materials. This event would have taken place almost fifty years after the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadrezzar, and it is recorded that many of those present wept because they had seen the first Temple (Ezra 3:12-13; I Esdras 5:60-2), a strong indication that the `second year' in question (Ezra 3:8; I Esdras 5:54) was the second year after the return in 538, and not after a second return in 520 by which time it is unlikely that `many' would have remembered the first Temple.

    The last point that Mitchell makes is telling as far as the length of the captivity is concerned. Since many Jews remembered the first temple, it is far more likely that many of them were in captivity for only 50 years rather than 70. At that time the average life span was significantly lower than the required minimum of about 80 years that would be necessary for "many" to remember the temple, but if the "many" were only about 60 years old and up, there is no problem. It is little details like this that Watchtower writer fail to account for, in addition to the bigger issues which they generally deliberately obscure and misrepresent.


  • M.J.

    Ok everyone, this is my first full exchange with Scholar and I am shocked at his pure grandstanding while totally ignoring or misrepresenting the issues brought up. I feel he's just in it to make the WTS look like they have some kind of argument to those on the sidelines who are mildly browsing these exchanges.

    I use the expression 'Jonsson hypothesis' because that is all that Carl Jonsson present in his many editions of his Gentile Times Reconsidered currently in its 4th edition. The Jonsson hypothesis is not a work of scholarship but a diatribe against Witness chronology. It also presents as its main thesis a singular interpretation of the seventy years which ignores the many contrversies surrounding this biblical event.

    Johnnson shows 14 independent lines of hard, physical evidence (actually in the current edition I think it's probably up in the twenties) that ABSOLUTELY prove when Nebuchadnezzar's rule occurred in time. Then he offers at least two (that I can remember) reasonable interpretations of the 70 years that harmonize both the biblical account AND the physical evidence. The result actually is even a more sound BIBLICAL 70 yr. interpretation than the WTS version, which has inherent problems such as Jeremiah 25:12 (the seventy years end AT the time of Babylon's fall). Of course these interpretations offered are just that: INTERPRETATIONS, and he qualifies them as such. The heart of the matter is that the undisputed evidence (outside of WTS-land) fixes Nebuchadnezzar's reign 20 years LATER than when the WTS says he reigned. So what it gets down to is this: should we adjust an interpretation to account for reality or should we adjust reality to account for our interpretation? I don't think even the WTS claims its interpretations are infallible, so...there's your answer.

    In short, because they do not have an agreed date then one can only conclude that their dates are wrong. The Bible has no ambiguities because Wt scholars use the exact same data and they have calculated the date upon all of the evidence to be 607BCE precisely. The material evidence as you put it is very much open to interpretation and only leads to faulty methodology which in turn leads to contradictory results.

    There you go grandstanding again, totally ignoring the point I made, even misrepresenting what I said, and providing much bravado with no substance. The material evidence is NOT open to interpretation. It provides perfectly consistent proof of when Nebuchadnezzar reigned. The ONLY thing in question is THE ACTUAL YEAR OF HIS REIGN that he destroyed Jerusalem, since there is contention surrounding this detail in the BIBLICAL account. But it has been nailed down to within a year.

    dozy, I encourage you to read up on the actual evidence out there on this. It is by no means shaky or contentious. It's overwhelming. Scholar is doing his best to make a smokescreen to hide this fact.

  • scholar


    For your information Jonsson in his hypothesis is rather confused about the number of lines of evidences used to destroy sacred WT chronology. He claims that there are 17 lines of evidence based on presented 18 lines of evidence. Such so-called evidence whatever the number does not absolutely destroy 607 BCE as you claim but simply present and alternative secular chronology which does determine a precise date for the Fall of Jerusalem. Further , he discusses in one chapter with releated appendices his interpreation of the seventy years which is not embraced by current scholarship because in this area as well the seventy years is as problematic as ever. Scholars do have a common interpretation of its nature, duration and chronology.

    His interpretation of the seventy years is foolish and reckless and creates more problems in its exegesis. He does not know when the period began as to whether it is 605 or 609. If he chooses 605 which has more certain evidence then if it ends in 539 then the numbers are short. If he chooses 609 then he has the numbers ending in 539 but the beginning is too fuzzy with no historical certainty. So his beginning is cointradictory.

    The end date of 539 for the the Fall of Babylon has no scriptural support for many reasons because the principal texts refer to the seventy years belonging to Judah and not to Babylon and the period was of servitude, exile and desolation which makes the Babylon date impossible, The texts clearly prove that the period ended with the Return.

    I have to go to work right now so I will send further comments to you.

    scholar JW

  • M.J.
    For your information Jonsson in his hypothesis is rather confused about the number of lines of evidences used to destroy sacred WT chronology. He claims that there are 17 lines of evidence based on presented 18 lines of evidence. Such so-called evidence whatever the number does not absolutely destroy 607 BCE as you claim but simply present and alternative secular chronology which does determine a precise date for the Fall of Jerusalem.

    ??? Ok so it's 17. These lines of evidence are the reason that the authorities listed at the beginning of this thread have determined the years that they did (586 / 587). Jonsson had nothing to do with it.

    These lines of evidence DO destroy 607. So there! You can either choose discuss the merit of the evidence itself (which you won't do) or you can choose to slap a label on it, like "alternative", "secular", "apostate" and thus make it "go away".

  • TheListener

    Dozy, I welcome you to the board.

    Your 364 economists comparison is lacking.

    For me there are two glaring reasons why you're mistaken and guilty of stretching a comparison to its breaking point. Which by the way is never a good debate tactic. When one argument fails you don't keep restating it, you move on. Always have more than one argument in your arsenal

    1 - Was this a historical review which would have solid factual conclusion or a predictive analysis which would be affected by necessary assumptions?

    2 - How many economists issued an opinion on Thatcher's reforms? If we were to look at every economist who made a prediction of how Thatcher's reforms would work out would they all agree? What about economists from other parts of the world?

    2 Continued - If you have the information, please post every historical authority who states that the date of Jerusalem's fall is either unknown or is 607BCE. If I'm correct, and I certainly may not be, Rolf Furuli doesn't put forward 607BCE as the date for Jerusalem's destruction. His work then may qualify for the date of Jerusalem's fall being unknown category.

    Anway, predicting the future can be tough so we shan't be too hard on those poor economists. If you doubt the difficulty of prediction just ask the WTS.

  • ellderwho


    The date 607 is self destructing. Ive asked you, from your own literature to make the date 607----539 work. I would be the first to point out you've failed. But on the other hand you have not attempted to make it work.

    So what do you tell a newbie witness when he himself researches the WT literature to string the kings and rules together for said timeline?

    Dont bother, because basic math principles do not apply?

    C'mon sholar, your beaten on every point of the debate.

    For your information Jonsson in his hypothesis is rather confused about the number of lines of evidences used to destroy sacred WT chronology

    Jonsson really has done a job on you. Do you ever wish he never wrote GTR. Because in most, if not all of your posts' one can tell he's gotten to you. I believe Jonnson has effected your presuppositions on the subject.

    So that brings you to your only defense a "red herring."


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