Celebrated WT scholars? :)

by Augustin 184 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • greendawn

    Scholar always and quickly finds out whenever there is a thread on the fall of Jerusalem date and appears quite promptly to argue on the subject. How does this happen given the fact that he is not otherwise regular on this forum?

  • scholar


    Glad that you are enjoying the debate but I do not accept defeat because no evidence has been presented that refutes the plain statements of Scripture which can only support Watchtower biblical chronology. The matter of being made to appear foolish on this board by the supposed arguments of clever apostates does not faze me at all because the True Religion was made up of those who were and are considered to be foolish in the eyes of worldlings according to the writer of the New Testament.

    scholar JW

  • scholar


    There is nothing wrong with an amateur who wants to rewrite scholarship because many contributions to science have been made by amateurs. Furuli is in good company.

    Furuli states his qualifications and limitations which shows modesty and humility which are lacking with many scholars and apostates.

    Grabbe makes no explicit connection of Furuli with other gifted amateurs.

    If a literal interpretation of the seventy years is naive then perhaps Grabbe can reveal what is the 'true interpretation' of this period.

    Grabbe was not convinced but he saw fit to review it and expressed the hope that the next volume would be more convincing. Fair enough.

    scholar JW

  • Dansk

    Scholar, Thank you for your reply. However, may I respectfully ask you again to identify yourself. I ask this because I am in touch with a number of Ancient Bible History scholars who freely reveal who they are. To me this is vitally important in order for me to take them seriously. It allows me to research and review any previous writings and publications and to find out what academic institutes they belong to, if any. I can e-mail them at any time, ask them searching questions, and they always get back to me. If you are truly a scholar I should very much like to peruse any of your past university papers, or any publications in which you have articles appearing or in which your name is cited. Ian

  • Jeffro
    There is nothing wrong with an amateur who wants to rewrite scholarship because many contributions to science have been made by amateurs. Furuli is in good company.

    There is nothing wrong with an amateur trying. What is wrong is the amateur putting across views that are clearly incorrect, which is the point Grabbe highlights in his review. It is a simple error in logic to infer that Furuli is a skilled amateur simply because some amateurs are skilled.

    Furuli states his qualifications and limitations which shows modesty and humility which are lacking with many scholars and apostates.

    Furuli is a pawn of the Society. Making an appearance of modesty and humility are irrelevent in regard to whether his work is of scholastic merit.

    Grabbe makes no explicit connection of Furuli with other gifted amateurs.

    Well you are correct in that Grabbe does not imply that Furuli is a "gifted amateur" at all, so the word "other" doesn't really apply. He does make an explicit comparison though. You may need to look up the English word "whereas".

    If a literal interpretation of the seventy years is naive then perhaps Grabbe can reveal what is the 'true interpretation' of this period.

    There you go with flawed logic again. If someone says the moon is made of cheese, the exact composition of the moon does not need to be known to refute the flawed statement. You already know that there is no literal "true interpretation" for Tyre's 70 years, yet you insist that Jerusalem's 70 years were literal. There is no basis for your flawed dogma. I have provided an interpretation that is completely consistent with all of the scriptures and you reject it. Jesus spoke of irrational and implacable people like you at Luke 7:32.

    Grabbe was not convinced but he saw fit to review it and expressed the hope that the next volume would be more convincing. Fair enough.

    You boast that Furuli has had a review, yet the one review he has had makes a mockery of him, but you have decided that 'any publicity is good publicity'. It is clear from Grabbe's comments that he found Furuli's work tiresome and unprofessional.

    You make the comparison that Jonsson has had no reviews whereas Furuli has, but the distinction is that Jonsson is not trying to "rewrite scholarship". He simply presents existing information. It's not groundbreaking stuff, it's just a collection of relevent information compiled together. He is not trying to assert rediculous views like Furuli does, so he doesn't warrant the scathing review that Furuli deserves.

  • wozadummy

    I certainly agree with posters saying that scholars responses have opened up illuminating debate.

    From this type of post it inspired me to find out more and I purchased the Jonnson book and studied it objectively. Just because I left the organisation does not mean I can not look at things critically, like many i guess ,I've been burned by putting my life and TRUST into the GB teachings and found dissillusionment after much study within the Org and it's teachings.

    Now i have been put in contact with another viewpoint through Jonnson and the properly trained scholars of this world . It has led me to a greater understanding of actual history and not the narrow thinking of the GB on this 607 business.

    If it were not for forums like this and books that others write I could not come to a proper viewpoint on this topic, which when I was a JW, was a non issue as I trusted blindly the GB even after reading the appendix in the back of the Kingdom book.

    I guess even after researching (to find out if you as a bible student should trust the JW Org and get baptised ) ,one can only have so much time to do this and when you are pressured to advance spiritually by your study conductor , the average person tends to just rely on what they have learnt and give into it.

    But now with freer access to information through the internet we all can quickly check up on things whereas when I studied the JW way it was difficult to get info to test what the witnesses say.I am just so thankful for the debate on this topic as I would not have known the ramifications of not accepting the 607 date ,for this argument as to the correctness of that date and the alternative of 587/586 historically proving 607 to be false just crumbles all of the Watchtowers teachings .

    Scholar - you seem very determined to put aside others thinking ,much like some Elders I've questioned doctine with who get irritated very quickly when asked to prove from the societies books .To me it seemed this came from an insecurity to deal with and answer properly a question about something they deep down felt was wrong but cannot break away from the official stance however ludicrous. I guess it is wrong when people here call you names but his may be bourne out of people having in the past faced dogmatic Elders who are teaching things that are borrowed from the "Mother" and don't really understand matters themselves ,that is the Elders ,by not being educated fully in specialist fields. When someone comes up to them with more knowlege they feel threatened and I guess this maybe what Franz is talking about when he seems to indicate that the Society is so "HUMAN" and lacking true holy spirit direction.

    Please keep commenting Scholar as I believe you really are doing people a service here.(no sarcasm intended) as it is hard for us to get to our former associates and tell them a different angle to the "TRUTH" ,but you are opening up the JW doubters/lurkers a world of info.

  • Jeffro
    Glad that you are enjoying the debate but I do not accept defeat because no evidence has been presented that refutes the plain statements of Scripture which can only support Watchtower biblical chronology.

    This kind of statement typifies the arrogance of the Watchtower Society and its devotees. Note that the claim is not the Watchtower Society is supportive of the scriptures, but the other way around. Apparently the bible is there just to lend support to Watchtower dogma.

    Of course in actuality, the bible is compatible with the known history of the period when all of the information is considered in context, which proves 'scholar' completely wrong.

  • wozadummy

    Jeffro I was in QLD for a few years what part are you from, we lived near Caboolture?

  • AlanF

    scholar pretendus goatus buggerus wrote:

    : So where and why not has Jonsson's muddle been reviewed as a Book Review which is the case with Furuli's latest tome.? Please no excuses just get the job done if you have any intellectual spine.

    Already answered.

    : A score of one out of twenty is a vast improvement over Jonsson who scores a zero.

    I'd bet good money that the scholars who refused to give reviews did so for obvious reasons: they didn't want to deal with a crackpot, they didn't want to lend credence to the crackpot's ideas by writing about them, they didn't want to take time away from their real research by dealing with a crackpot.

    : What the prominent SDA scholar had to say will be revealed when I receive further in formation from Furuli

    In other words, Furuli has told you that he received a positive review from one SDA scholar, but you have no idea what is in the review. Given your and Furuli's track record, I suspect that the review is largely negative, and Furuli has, like you've done with Grabbe's short review, managed to glean out what is not there.

    : but if you cannot get Jonsson moving then I do not see why I have to reveal other opinions of Furuli's momentous contribution.

    Already dealt with. Let me repeat: (1) good scholars do not solicit favorable reviews; (2) Book reviews of works for laymen that merely summarize technical literature are unnecessary for the evaluation of the technical literature; (3) Your demand for a review is a smokescreen designed to focus attention on Jonsson rather than the data; (4) Even if 100 scholars positively reviewed Jonsson's book, you'd still reject their conclusions.

    : When you say Jonsson's work does not need a review then what you are admitting that his work is simply amateurish with no scholarly merit, a piece of worthless 'cult bashing'.

    Utter nonsense. Jonsson's work has a very specific purpose: to bring together in one place information about the history of the Watchtower Society's ridiculous claims that buttress the foundation of its most important doctrine, i.e., the Fundamental Doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses (what essentially amounts to worship of the Governing Body), and to use solid technical data to refute it. Isaac Asimov wrote hundreds of popular books on science and other subjects, and these generally needed no reviews because they were popularized summaries of the technical literature.

    : Grabbe's review of Furuli was hardly sarcastic

    LOL! How can anyone be this stupid?

    : but simply expressed a different opinion in fact he paid Furuli a compliment in stating that Furuli's thesis was a rewriting of scholarship.

    Jeffro pointed out the correct interpretation: "Oh dear... not another one!"

    : You pay Furuli a giant compliment when you compare Furuli's thesis with that of the gravitation theory.

    I did no such thing, you moron. In fact, I implied the opposite. What I said is "that what Furuli is doing is like trying to rewrite gravitational theory." I directly compared modern Neo-Babylonian chronology with gravitational theory.

    Again, how can anyone possibly be this stupid?

    : The so called masses of data supporting the Neo-Babylonian chronology is yet to be fully tested

    Translation: "My Mommy the Society doesn't go along and so I don't either."

    : and Furuli unlike Jonsson has the academic credentials to subject current thinking to the blowtorch.

    I think not. Furuli is much like that very model of a crank, Immanuel Velikovsky. Velikovsky attempted to rewrite history based on his theory that Jupiter forcibly ejected the planet Venus, which then whizzed around the sun and passed the earth, producing all sorts of havoc including the Plagues of Egypt. Although his ideas have been thoroughly trashed by all manner of scientists and historians, today he has quite a following among people who, for whatever reason, like to question all standard scholarship on any subject. Velikovsky had some very good credentials, but that didn't stop him from writing utter nonsense or from, like Furuli, being extremely selective in his sources, often misrepresenting them, and ignoring the masses of evidence against this theories.

    : There must be something drastically wrong with such secular chronology because the Bible proves there is a twenty year gap between the sacred and secular chronologies.

    Nonsense. The "gap" exists only in the minds of JW apologists.

    Good lord! You can't explain away the fact that Josephus clobbers your claim that the Jews returned to Judah in 537 B.C. That alone kills the whole corpus of Watchtower chronology. Nor can you explain away the simple fact that 2 Chronicles 36:20 clearly and unambiguously states that the Jews were no longer servants to the Babylonians after Cyrus the Persian conquered Babylon, which fact removes all ambiguity from some of the biblical passages that vaguely refer to Jeremiah's 70 years, namely, that these years were ones of servitude to the then world power Babylon.

    : Regardless of how many lines of evidence used to support current Neo-Babylonian chronology it still conflicts with the biblical 'seventy years' of Jeremiah

    Translation: "Regardless of how much evidence exists against the Watchtower's interpretation, I will still go with my Mommy."

    : and the reference work that you have cited endorses 586 rather than Jonsson's 587 date

    Wrong. Here are some references from the Dictionary of the Old Testament Historical Books:

    p.554, article "Jerusalem" by C. Meyers:
    . . . Jerusalem . . . reached its zenith and probably remained that way until the Babylonian conquest of 587 BCE.

    p. 623, article "Kings, Books of", by J. G. McConville:
    The books of Kings tell the history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah from the accession of Solomon (970 BCE) to the fall of Judah (587 BCE).

    p. 481-82, article "History of Israel 6: Babylonian Period" by P.-A. Beaulieu:
    [In 597 BCE,] the new king appinted by Nebuchadnezzar was Zedekiah (Mattaniah), Jehoiakin's uncle. . . At first, Zedekiah remained subservient to Nebuchadnezzar, but soon Egypt began maneuvering to regain a foothold in the Levant. Zedekiah tried to gather a coalition of neighboring states under his aegis around the year 594 BCE, and open rebellion finally broke out in the year 589/588 BCE. At this point the Babylonian Chronicle is no longer extant. The second conquest of of Jerusalem is known mainly from 2 Kings 25, parts of which are repeated with a number of modifications in Jeremiah 39 and 52. The siege extended over a period of one or two years (588 to 587 or 586 BCE, the year of Jerusalem's capture being uncertain) and resulted in a second deportation of the Judean population and the plunder of the remaining vessels and furnishings of the temple of Jerusalem.

    p. 285, article "Ezra and Nehemiah, Books of" by E. M. Yamauchi:
    Although we have no extrabiblical evidence for Nebuchadnezzar's assault against Jerusalem in 605 BCE (Dan 1:1), we do have confirmation of his attack upon Jerusalem in 597 BCE from the Babylonian Chronicles. After the Jews rebelled again, Nebuchadnezzar attacked in 587 or 586 BCE, destroying the Solomonic temple.

    p. 802, article "Postexilic Temple" by P. R. Bedford:
    The first temple (see Solomon's Temple), proposed by David (2 Sam 7:1-3) and constructed by Solomon (1 Kings 5-6), was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE at the demise of the kingdom of Judah.

    What you seem to forget is that this book is a compendium of articles by various authors, and unlike the uniformity imposed upon Watchtower writers by the JW Governing Body, these authors are free to express their own views and their reasons for them.

    I will also point out that your constant harping on the fact that the Bible is ambiguous about the date of Jerusalem's destruction, and that this somehow brings into question the whole of standard Neo-Babylonian dating, ignores the fact that truly key dates in that chronology are confirmed both by secular evidence and the Bible. Such dates include Nebuchadnezzar's accession in 605 and the capture of Jerusalem in 597 B.C.

    : and does not endorse ant precise ending of the Assyrian World Power


    p. 478, article "History of Israel 6: Babylonian Period", by P.-A. Beaulieu:
    The Babylonian period in the history of Israel covers the year 609 to 539 BCE. . . In 539 BCE the Persian ruler Cyrus II (the Great) put an end to the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

    p. 458, article "History of Israel 5: Assyrian Period", by B. E. Kelle and B. A. Strawn:
    The Assyrian period of Israelite history extends from the mid-ninth century BCE to the late-seventh century BCE. In terms of Assyrian political history, this period extends from the reign of Shalmaneser III 858-824 BCE) to that of Ashur-uballit II (612-609 BCE).

    : which is pivotal to the Jonsson hypothesis.

    Obviously, Jonsson has his pivots right.

    : So your qoutation from DOTHB simply illustrates current thinking on chronology

    Precisely the point. And Jonsson's works are entirely consistent with the best of that current thinking.

    : but methinks Furuli 's research will shake such thinking to its core.

    Not likely. Grabbe's sarcasm is but a tiny taste of what Furuli will experience if he manages to get some good scholars to carefully analyze his crackpot claims.

    : Your quotation from the article by Depuydt indicates apart from sourcing Jonsson's work that there is now a need to prove Ptolemy's canon and that a "shift in the foundations of ancient chronology is to be expected in the years ahead".

    As usual, you've completely missed the point. Go to the Dictionary and read the background material. Perhaps then you'll see the error of your ways.

    : Such a paradigm shift has already begun with the researching of Babylonian and Egyptian chronology in Furuli's forthcoming second volume.


    Here comes another gibberish English sentence:

    : In regard to your support of Cagni that he himself is not cited in the article ASSYRIA, ASSYRIANS in the same reference and of course neither is Jonsson.

    I gave no support of Cagni. Indeed, I explicitly stated, "I know nothing of Cagni."

    Again, how can anyone be this stupid?

    : Your claim that Neo-Babylonian chronology solidly nails down the coffin lid on Watchtower chronology is simply wishful thinking because such chronology cannot account for the bib lical seventy years

    In reality, it is Watchtower chronology that has invented a particular notion of the 70 years that is entirely at odds with all other data. Nor can it explain away this data. All it can do is hope that new data will come along that will somehow blow away all that has come before. Ain't gonna happen.

    : and falls short of some twenty years without mentioning the other problems of incomplete Babylonian and Egyptian history.

    The only other "problems" are extremely minor ones. As Furuli points them out, various scholars will solve them, and Furuli will have to go back to the drawing board.

    : Bible Students from the time of Russell have been well served by a carefully crafted biblical chronology that with some fine tuning

    I love it. Russell's claim about "Gods dates" that he merely discovered lying within the Bible turns out to need "fine tuning". God's dates don't need fine tuning, you moron. Russell's dates did, which proved him wrong.

    : over many decades has contributed in somme small to the faith in the prophetic word.

    LOL! Sure, faith by those already awestruck by the awesome record of prediction by the "celebrated Watchtower scholars"!

    : This contrasts well with secular chronologies base upon the theories of higher critics and poztates who have lost their faith in the truths and beauty of God's Word.

    Again, scholar pretendus, you show yourself to be a complete idiot. Jonsson is an extremely dedicated Christian who views the Bible as God's directly dictated Word. Various people on this board are also dedicated Christians. Jeffro has shown that it is quite possible to come to a good harmony between Scripture and standard Neo-Babylonian chronology. Your argument is deliberately false and shows that you're no Christian.


  • Dansk

    Just Googled and found this about Rolf Furuli:

    Furuli, Rolf Rolf Furuli is considered one of today's foremost apologists for the Jehovah's Witnesses (see cult apologists).

    His area of expertise is linguistics. However, reviving a century-old, refuted concept, Furuli believes that words are the essence of meaning. This concept has been shown to be a fallacy (see James Barr, The Semantics of Biblical LanguageOff-site Link. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961 - out of print, but Amazon.com will search for it if you ask them).

    Author of "The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation: With a special look at the New World Translation of Jehovah's Witnesses." Naturally, the book is heavily biased in favor of the New World Translation - a Bible version produced by Jehovah's Witnesses to support their false doctrines.

    This is also worth looking at: http://user.tninet.se/~oof408u/fkf/english/furuli.htm Also: http://www.xs4all.nl/~ahein/f01.html
    "The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation"

    A Review of Rolf Furuli's Book

    Back to A-Z Apologetics Index About The Color Key Reviewed by James Stewart

    A book on translation?

    If you are looking for a book on The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation, (in my opinion) you won't find it here. This book claims to be, "...a philological and linguistic approach to the issues, rather than a theological one."(Page xvii) On page 155, Mr. Furuli states,

    As we proceed with our discussion, we should keep in mind that the following section of this chapter (or any other part in this book) is not written to defend the renditions of the NWT or the arguments behind them.

    Again on page 292 he states,

    There is therefore, a need for literal Bible translations with extensive footnotes and appendices, so as to inform the reader of the different choices that have been made on his or her behalf. Because the NWT is just such a translation, it was chosen as the object of our study.

    Mr. Furuli does state in note 8 on page xvii, "Any work will, to a certain extent, be colored by the author's theology, this is of course also the case with this book." This is too weak of an admission. What you find is a book that should have been entitled 'New World Translation Defended.' This book is just a Jehovah's Witness apologetic. In the description of the author, it does not state that he is one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    This book picks out three books critical of the New World Translation to refute. These three books are Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and The Gospel of John by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.; The Jehovah's Witnesses' New Testament [Out of print] by R.H. Countess; and So Many Versions [Out of print] by S. Kubo and W.F. Specht.

    Considering the author's claims of providing an objective analysis, it is surprising that he attempts to refute books that are critical of the New World Translation.

    On pages XV and 45, he states that translation is interpretation. On page 27, he criticizes the TEV for some of its translations of SARX stating,

    ...thus, the interpreting is done for the reader, when it should be done by the reader.

    But didn't he say that translation is interpretation (rhetorical question)? Again on page 31, he states,

    Idiomatic translations convey words that represent the interpretations of the translators. Literal translations convey concepts that the readers can interpret.

    But didn't he say that translation is interpretation (rhetorical question)?

    On page 42, he states that Nida & Taber's translation (interpretation) of Eph. 1:4 is forced upon the reader. But this is a two-edged sword. The New World Translation of Eph. 1:4 is forced upon the reader. The largest problem with all of this is that he is contradicting his organization! In The Watchtower, 7/1/73, page 402, it stated,

    Only this organization functions for Jehovah's purpose and to his praise. To it alone God's Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book.

    And, in The Watchtower, 10/1/67, page 587, it stated,

    Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason, the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah's visible organization in mind.

    One glaring deficiency in this book is no discussion of the concepts of 'marked' and 'unmarked' meanings of words. This is fundamental to any book on translation. If you want to read a real book on Bible translation, Mr. Furuli references two books I would highly recommend. They are "The Theory and Practice of Translation by" E.A. Nida & C.R. Taber published by Leiden: Brill, 1974 and From One Language to Another by J. de Waard & E.A. Nida published by Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1986.

    This review was written by James Stewart ([email protected]), and posted to Amazon.com on July 9, 1999. It is used here by permission. And: http://www.channelc.org/cgi-bin/eboard30/index2.cgi?frames=no&board=Main&mode=Archived&message=6419

    "Hi everyone,

    I have read two earlier attempts of Rolf Furuli to deal with Carl Olof Jonsson´s book on chronolgy. These were written in Furuli´s native
    Norwegian. The compositions were distributed to some extent in Norway and eventually reached Carl Olof, who copied them for me, too. Having read these two earlier attempts and Carl Olof´s thorough refutation of them, I don´t expect that Rolf´s forthcoming books will help the Watchtower chronology much. It is strange that Furuli obviously doesn´t want to mention Carl´s work. For knowing about his earlier attempts to deal with it there is no doubt in my mind that Rolf is trying to counter Carl´s book.

    Having been in close contact with Carl for decades I know that he is sitting on much unused material and that he is ready to deal thoroughly
    with whatever is offered in favor of the "Oslo chronology", a misnomer for the Brooklyn chronology.

    Rud Persson

    Ian (who can't get rid of the green type).

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