Why shouldn't I be a JW?
AirDuster, you seem quite lazy. There's so much "proof" here and on the internet that I suggest YOU do your own research and "make the truth your own". If you can't see the obvious without having it consolidated in just one thread, you need to get some glasses.
Can't speak for anyone else, but, maybe, you should be a JW. For me, that was the point. You have the freedom to choose, until you become a JW, and then you lose that freedom. You do not trade freedoms, as you gain nothing by becomming a JW, because the "truth" does NOT set you free of anything, in fact, you will only gain (if "gain" is the correct word to use here) guilt and fear which will be used to chain you to someone else's choices. If you like studying the Bible, thinking on spiritual things, and generally trying to understand the universe around you then you must have the freedom to explore all things in all ways. If you don't believe me, then ask Copernicus, or Gallileo, or even Martin Luther. If that is the case, then the WTS is not for you.
I think Cosmic and UncleBruce are on to something. The freedom from "the truth" isn`t necessarily for everyone. In my family, I am pretty sure that the JWs would feel very lost if the "truth" was taken away from them. In the "truth" they have structure, meaning, and purpose in lifem even though it is all a big, fat Lie. The purpose and meaning is to behave properly, follow society guidelines, do the door2door-thing, attend meetings and have faith, and voilà, you have your ticket into the "new system". To some (many?) this is a kind of "freedom". The alternative, breaking out and studying, researching and discovering that the "truth" never was anything but a big Lie, can to many be very devastating. After all, if the "truth" is not in the JW-religion, then where is it? What is "truth" anyway? Is there truth in the Bible at all? If so, which version of christianity got it right? Or maybe the Bible wasn`t supposed to be read that way at all? Perhaps its "truths" are just a story about mans hope, dreams and beliefs? And if so, how do we read it? Maybe there`s no "truth" in it at all? And if so, what then? Is there no afterlife? No ressurection? No judgement? What then, about the evil-doers? Will they never be punished? Will I never be rewarded for behaving properly? Are we all just going to end up as dust, good as bad?
To many, these thoughts are to overwhelming. To some, the freedom from the cult can be a prison. If you have endless possibilites/alternative paths, you might just become stuck in that one place, to overwhelmed to know where to go. That one place can be like a prison. Read Baruch Spinoza, and pull your hair out:
I think airduster is too busy printing out this thread to post on it lol!
LOL Buttlight and Happy Hundredth.
I really need as much help as possible, and unless someone offeres me some compelling reasons, who knows how long I'll stay n limbo.
think i'm with uncle bruce....stay in , they need you.
Welcome to the board,
I appreciate your sincere desire to find the FACTS. That is infact a sign of a TRUE TRUTHSEEKER! Thought you may benefit from a portion of a letter I wrote to my family explaining the CRUCIAL 607 issue. For with out this as a foundation, everything else crumbles. PLEASE examine this and double check the literature to make sure what I have posted is accurate.
(Here is a portion of my letter...)
You have asked me to show you from the Bible without any outside references. Unfortunately, you cannot prove 607, 586/587, or any other date without using secular history!
So.. You have to be willing to acknowledge that using archeological evidence IS acceptable. After all, the society uses it! For example, the society agrees with the Absolute date of 539 B.C. as being the date when Babylon fell. Please see reference: si pp. 335-336 paragraph 12, 14, 15. Daniel 5:30,31. Now, we should both be in agreement, right?? (There is far more evidence for 586/587 than there is even for 539.)
O.K. Now, I am sure you will agree also, that there are no dates given in the Bible. However, what IS given is the length of reign of the kings. So.. Start backwards using 539 B.C. I sent this to you in my e-mail before, but it was at the end, and I am wondering if you didn’t see it. So, I will write it out again.
539 - Babylon’s fall
17 - years Nabonidus reign
1 - just under a year Labashi-Marduk
4 - years Neriglissar 2 - years Evil-Merodiach 43 - years Nebuchadnezzar
606 B.C. -19 years (Jerusalem destroyed in Nebuchadnezzar’s 18 th /19 th year)
587 B.C. for the year that Jerusalem was destroyed.
The society supports ALL of these lengths of reigns, as I am about to give you references. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, the BIBLE supports the length of reigns. Please look up the references to see I have my facts straight.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR- 43 Years
Watchtower 2000 5/15 pg. 12 Pay Attention To God’s Prophetic Word of Our Day ,"During his 43- year reign…."
Watchtower 1986 11/1 pg. 5 A Dream Reveals How Late It Is, "Since Nebuchadnezzar reigned for 43 years……
Pay Attention To Daniel’s Prophecy Chapter 7 pg. 99 Four Words That Changed the World, "King Nebuchadnezzar’s 43- year reign ….."
Pay Attention To Daniel’s Prophecy 4 pg. 50-61 The Rise and Fall of An Immense Image, " Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned for 43 years…."
Insight book 1 pg. 238-239 Babylon, "Finally, after a 43 year reign,…."
Watchtower 1965 1/1 pg. The Rejoicing of the Wicked Is Short Lived, "Evil-Merodach reigned two years.."
Insight 1 pg. 453 Chronology, "(Evil-Merodach, 2 Kings 25:27, 28), tablets dated up to his second year rule have been found."
Kingdom Come pg. 186 Appendix to Chapter 14, (acknowledges that both the Nabonidus Harran Stele and the Ptolemy’s Canon show Evil-Merdach ruling just 2 years.)
NERIGLISSAR- 4 YEARS
Watchtower 1965 1/1 pg. 29 The Rejoicing of the Wicked is Short Lived, "….murdered by his brother-in-law Neriglissar, who reigned for four years,…."
LABASHI-MARDUK- LESS THAN A YEAR
Watchtower 1965 1/1 pg. 29 The Rejoicing of the Wicked is Short Lived, "…son Labashi-Marduk, a vicious boy, succeeded him, and was assassinated within nine months."
NABONIDUS- 17 YEARS
Insight 2 pg. 457 Nabonidus , "…is believed to have ruled for some 17 years (556-539 B.C.E.)
Watchtower 1968 8/15 pg. 491 The Book of Truthful Historical Dates, "Nabunaid (Nabonidus) shared the kingship with his own oldest son Belshazzar……the seventeenth year of King Nabunaid, Babylon fell to Cyrus the Persian."
There are the references I have found, from the society, that confirm the length of reigns of the kings listed in the Bible. Now put it all together:
Babylon falls to Cyrus the Persia-539 B.C.
Labashi-Marduk-less than nine months
Nebuchadnezzar- 43 years
Year 17 = 539 B.C.E.
16 = 540
15 = 541
14 = 542
13 = 543
12 = 544
11 = 545
10 = 546
9 = 547
8 = 548
7 = 549
5 = 551
4 = 552
3 = 553
2 = 554
1 = 555
0 = accession year
Labashi-Marduk- less than a year
3 months in 556
Neriglissar- 4 years
4 = 556
3 = 557
2 = 558
1 = 559
0 = accession year = 560
Evil-Merodach- 2 years
2 = 560
1 = 561
0 = accession year = 562
Nebuchadnezzar- 43 years
43 = 562 B.C.E.
42 = 563
41 = 564
40 = 565
39 = 566
38 = 567
37 = 568
36 = 569
35 = 570
34 = 571
33 = 572
32 = 573
31 = 574
30 = 575
29 = 576
28 = 577
27 = 578
26 = 579
25 = 580
24 = 581
23 = 582
22 = 583
21 = 584
20 = 585
19 = 586 B.C.E.
18 = 587 B.C.E.
There you have it. You said you didn’t understand my math. Using the BIBLE, you do the math. You see, as I stated in my last letter to you, we DID analyze the Kingdom Come Appendix, extensively! What you are doing is simply going back 70 years from 539 to get to 607. Seems all very neat and simple. Except one VERY important fact. If you are using that math, it discredits our standard, Gods word! As I stated earlier, the bible only gives kings reigns and length of those reigns. Using that data, from the BIBLE, go backwards. You will see the dilemma.
So.. How does the 70 years fit in?? It does!! It HAS to! The first thing I did, was to read the ENTIRE account. Not just a few passages here and there. Read what was really going on there. Read the context of the scriptures. It tells not of only Judah’s fate, but the surrounding nations as well. Jeremiah 25:8 –26.
If you read through verse 26 it shows 24 other kings that were to taste the cup of Jehovah’s rage. There were three things predicted in Jeremiah’s prophecy.
- The land of Judah would become a "devastated place" although no time limit is put upon this.
- These nations would have to serve the King of Babylon for 70 years.
- When the seventy years has been fulfilled, then Jehovah would call to account the king of Babylon.
The Bible says that Judah was going to be devastated and ravaged by an enemy army. The time period is not stated. The time period of seventy years applies to the Babylonian reign, as verse 26 shows it applying to all the other kings as well. If we are to believe that the 70 years is 70 years of complete desolation without any inhabitant only for Judah, then this is in direct conflict with the prophecy. The servitude does not mean exile and desolation, it means subjection or servitude. Please read Jeremiah 27: 8 and 11. These scriptures are telling the nations to serve the King of Babylon. So, to "serve" the Kingdom of Babylon, and be a subject kingdom to them they would be rewarded for obeying and could therefore stay in their land. Verse 12 shows a direct command from Jehovah to Zedekiah to serve the King of Babylon, if they did not, he was going to punish them. And the same was for any king that did not obey; they would taste the cup of Jehovah’s anger.
Please also read Jeremiah 42. It tells of the Jews left in the land of Judah. They were to cultivate the land and stay in submission to the King of Babylon. The nations that accepted Babylonian "yoke" would serve the King of Babylon seventy years as subject kingdoms. The nations that refused would become devastated. It could not have meant seventy years of being uninhabited, as Jehovah in chapter 42 tells the remnant to stay.
O.K. The Kingdom Come book says that though Berossus claims that "….Nebuchadnezzar took Jewish captives in his accession year, there are no cuneiform documents supporting this." But the BIBLE itself backs these deportations up. Please read, Daniel 1:1-2. The first verse says that in the third year of Jehoiakim (See Jer. 25:1) Nebuchadnezzar took tribute from Judah which included Jehovah’s utensils from the temple and "some of the sons of Isreal and of the Royal offspring and of the nobles".
So.. this clearly points to a beginning of "servitude"early in the reign of Jehoiakim. Please read, Daniel 2:1. Daniel was interpreting the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, in his second year reigning. He was one of those deported, and an eyewitness to these events.
There are so.. many other proofs that support the bible. One huge one is the Egyptian chronology. Babylon & Egypt were direct enemies. If you look at archeology, you will find the list of Pharaohs.
Their chronology runs perfectly with Babylon’s. Even though they hated each other. They still recorded their wars. One very famous one was the battle of Carchemish. There certainly was no conspiracy between them to alter the date of their battle, in 605 B.C.E. What is VERY interesting is that the very 20 years that is in question, causes another key date in history to be altered. Placing the battle of Carchemish at 625 B.C.E.
Note: pg. 46 of the Daniel book even states "….he had effectively (Nebuchadnezzar) became ruler in 607 B.C.E.", then on pg 63 it says, " Nebuchadnezzer thus accended the throne of Babylon in the year 624 B.C.E." How do you explain that??
You see, we MUST use the BIBLE as our standard. The bible is in perfect harmony with 586/587. All the archeological artifacts that do give dates ARE in HARMONY with the bible. They uphold and confirm biblical statements. Not to mention all the lunar eclipses that have been recorded by the Babylonians that have been confirmed by science. Confirming dates with astronomical calculations based on lunar eclipses, are so accurate that they are off only by minutes. Also, thousands of business tablets, etc. that record simple business transactions, stating the year of the Babylonian king when the transaction occurred. Tablets like this, have been found for all the years of the reign for the kings of Babylon. It would be pretty hard to alter all of those tablets, even if you could unearth them all. Its not like they had whitout! There is just far too much evidence to be ignored. But again, I emphasize that if the date 586/587 conflicted with the bible, I would never accept those dates. Because the bible is and will ALWAYS be our standard. The Kingdom Come Appendix states, "Or, even if the discovered evidence is accurate, it might be misinterpreted by modern scholars or be incomplete so that yet undiscovered material could drastically alter the chronology of the period." You have to admit that a chronology that has to be based on "yet undiscovered material", because it is demolished by the discovered material, is resting on a weak foundation.
P.S. Just the other day I made a post from a IMAX program on Cable about the Solarsystem. They made the comment regarding the astronomical data recorded by the Babylonians are so accurate that they use those records today, to correct computer programs!! So, with that in mind, how could they possibly be 20 years off?? Thought that point went well with what I just posted above.
Hi airduster, welcome to the forum!
One of the most glaring problems in my mind is the lack of love. Sure there is 'love' at a macro level, when disaster strikes the WTS will rebuild JW's homes, and since JWs are conscientious objectors, they don't kill people. At the cong. level, there isn't love shown to those that are weak or vulnerable or sick. You can talk to the old widows in the cong, or the single parents or the people with health problems. Ask them how much 'love' they're shown.
I am a single parent and have been part of three congs, and have received no special help or even offers of assistance. My extended family are mostly JWs and they're too busy working, engaged in cong activities and regional building commitees to help me.
Then there are all the incidents of sexual abuse of children and the coverup in the congs.
The Bible says that Christians should have love among them. I don't see that.