The Gentiles Times Reconsidered--Again but this Time By Using the Bible

by thirdwitness 1380 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AlanF

    My response to thirdwitless' post # 305 on page 37 of this thread will be in two parts. First I will deal with his typical nonsense, then with his arguments about Luke 17 and Matthew 24.

    In his post # 305 on page 37 of this thread, thirdwitless wrote:

    : Look He's off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz. AlanF just keeps on making the same old tired, boring, and strawman arguments that have already been shown to be ridiculous. Another embarrassing display by AlanF.

    LOL! The only people who agree with you are the little groupies that tell you how wonderful you are on your own website. I remember one moron's comment about "AlanFs retarted website." That pretty much says it all. Do you really enjoy being a big fish in a pond of people whose intellect is on a par with jellyfish?

    Readers will note that, once again, thirdwitless completely ignored most of my post that he's giving a few comments on, including the devastating information from Adolph Deissmann that proves conclusively that "presence" is a wrong translation for parousia in Matthew 24:3.

    : So much so that your friends have begin to totally ignore the subject and write about other things.

    Really. Have you forgotten how many posts have been written on this subject already? The fact is that you simply ignore most arguments, and so they must be repeated.

    : But I will give him this: He is the master at ignoring the guidelines of this DB and coming forth with all sorts of name calling. Oh, but its justified because he is so patient with the posters who disagree with him until finally it comes to the point where the only thing to do is name call.

    Calling a demonstrated liar a liar is not name calling.

    On to the real stuff.

    :: thirdwitless continues to ignore 95% of the arguments in my posts, which he knows he cannot refute. Instead, he keeps repeating the same old nonsense

    : No, I just posted a rather substantial post comparing Matt 24 to Luke 17 showing that the days of Noah is like the days of the Son of man and the presence of the Son of man clearly showing just exactly what was meant by the use of the word parousia.

    I haven't tackled that, because several posters had already refuted your arguments. You, of course, ignored most of what they said.

    : But AlanF continues to ignore 100% of the arguments in my posts, which he knows he cannot refute. Instead, he keeps repeating the same old nonsense.

    Bullshit. I give excruciatingly detailed line by line refutations of your nonsense. I cite many source references and the Bible, and you ignore almost all of it. Indeed, there is another thread -- which I'm sure you've read -- that details a few of the many arguments from various posters that you've ignored in all threads. It would be tedious, but possible, to demonstrate just how many arguments, questions and challenges you've ignored in this thread alone.

    Let's take one example of your claim that I ignore 100% of the arguments in your posts. Even one exception proves that you're a liar. Here are several exceptions:

    In your post # 284 on page 28 you stated:

    "Jesus becomes the newly established king of God's kingdom in 1914 as testified by the world events and the 7 times."

    In my post # 4702 on page 33 of this thread, I replied (exception number 1):

    "Dead wrong. The Society claims that earthquakes, famine, pestilence and war suddenly became much worse problems for mankind in 1914. The facts say otherwise:"

    I then listed six points that refute your claim. In the next several posts, you completely ignored almost everything in my post, including the six points.

    I then reminded you about these points in my post # 4712 on page 39 of this thread.

    You soon responded to these points in your post # 310 on page 39 of this thread.

    As usual, I responded to each and every line of your post, in my post # 4716 on page 46 of this thread. I made 22 direct responses to your questions and challenges, not leaving even one out. All readers on this thread know very well that this is my normal posting style, and I normally respond to almost everything that you've claimed, and I dispove it.

    So when I call you a liar, it is not name calling -- it is a demonstrable fact.

    : The reason he cannot refute it is because he only relies on the Bible when it does not contradict him or what he believes the secular chronologists or secular sources are saying. The Bible plays 2nd or 3rd fiddle with AlanF.

    Indeed it does when it touches on secular facts, and for good reason -- it is demonstrably at odds with certain scientific facts.

    But you're a hypocrite when you claim this, because you also reject the Bible when it is at odds with scientific facts. I've given a number of examples in various threads in the last several months.

    For example, you completely ignore the fact that Exodus 20:11 and 31:17, in conjunction with Genesis 1:1-5, clearly state that in six days God made the heavens, the earth, the sea and everything that is in them. Therefore, according to the Bible itself, the entire universe was created on the first creative day. But this conflicts with scientific fact, and so you and the Society reject the Bible.

    The reason you refuse to deal with this is that the Society itself has never dealt with the fact that Exodus forces a specific interpretation upon Genesis 1. It has ignored this problem all the way back to Russell's day.

    Russell first published something about this in the December, 1881 issue of Zion's Watch Tower (pp. 1-2; pp. 299-300 Reprints). After dismissing the ideas that the creative days were literal 24-hour ones, or spanned millions of years, he spoke of the idea that they were 1,000 years long. He argued against this idea by invoking his gut feel for science:

    While we do not see evidence to warrant the need of such enormous periods as some geologists claim, yet we do think that six thousand years (a thousand years to each day) are altogether too short for the amount of change, development, &c., accomplished in the preparation of the earth for man. . .

    We have no knowledge of the time occupied in creating or evolving the untold myriads of Suns with their satellites; some of them so far away that light (moving 191,000 miles per second) takes millions of years to come to us; thus proving that they were flaming suns millions of years ago. . .

    Russell described his vision of some of events of "creation week", and with regard to the creation of coal beds on the 4th day, stated:

    This would seem to have taken a long time, and so we think it did, (In Nova Scotia no less than seventy-six successive forests have grown after and above each other,) . . .

    Russell then argued that the 7th creative day could be calculated to be 7,000 years long, and thus the other creative days were also 7,000 years each.

    The Watchtower Society has taught all these things, unchanged with but one exception, ever since. That exception began in the mid-1980s, when certain publications no longer argued that the creative days were 7,000 years long, but were some unspecified number of "millenniums" long. The last mention of 7,000-year creative days was in a 1987 Watchtower.

    The bottom line here is that if someone claims to rely exclusively on the Bible for his theology, yet rejects the Bible when solid science demands it, and then castigates others for making different reasonable choices about what to accept or reject in the Bible based on solid science, he is a hypocrite. And you and your Pharisaic religious leaders, thirdwitless, are such hyppcrites.

    :: You continue to ignore the simple fact that context determines the meaning in a given instance.

    : No, I gave scriptural and undeniable proof showing that the presence of Christ in Matt 24 is the same as the days of the Son of man in Luke 17 and that both are many years just like the days of Noah.

    As I said, other posters have already refuted your arguments, but since you insist that I do it, so be it.

    :: What you're doing is saying, "Lookie here! Parousia means presence. Therefore the NWT's translation as presence is right." But this ignores the fact that parousia has a variety of meanings. How do you choose which one is right in a given instance? You have no answer.

    : Wrong again, I compared Luke 17 with Matt 24 and gave a scriptural answer that cannot be refuted.

    You're so wrong it isn't even funny. You're so steeped in nonsensical Watchtower tradition that you can't read the Bible without your bent brain distorting the information before it even reaches what passes for your conscious mind.

    : What you're doing is saying, "Lookie here! Parousia can mean coming. Therefore the NWT's translation as presence is wrong."

    Yet another misrepresentation of my arguments. Don't you ever get tired of lying and trying to keep track of your lies? No, of course not. You forget what you've lied about -- via Orwellian doublethink -- and then think that you're in the clear. What a moron!

    I've carefully explained numerous times that when one takes into consideration all of the uses of parousia in the NT, and all of the parallel uses of words like epiphnaiea, hemera, eleusis and so on, as well as various passages like Mark 13:4 and Luke 21:7 that define what parousia means in Matthew 24;3, this overall context shows that parousia means "coming" in Matthew 24:3 and a number of other passages. Why do you fail to acknowledge this? Is it due to sheer stupidity? Or sheer stubborness?

    : But this ignores the fact that parousia of the Son of man has the same meaning as the days of the Son of man and are connected to the many years that covered the days of Noah. That is the true context. You have no answer.

    Of course I have an answer, and of course, you're completely wrong. You're wrong on one level because you don't think for yourself, but blindly apply Watchtower tradition that Russell came up with around 1880. See my second post for the proofs.

    :: You continue to ignore the fact that the NWT's slavishly and dumbly rendering parousia as "presence" in every instance results in nonsensical translations.

    : Sorry but I haven't yet seen the nonsensicalness of translating parousia as presence.

    Of course not. You're heavy into Orwellian crimestop. Let me remind you what that is:

    Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.

    In line with this crimestop mentality, you continue to avoid even acknowledging the fact that 1 John 2:28 in the NWT is simply nonsensical: "at his presence". Whereas it makes complete sense in normal translations: "at his coming". Until you deal with this, you're going to continue to be lying to yourself and others.

    : You continue to ignore the fact that the NWT's rendering parousia as "presence" in every instance and especially in Matt 24 is an honest thing to do so that the reader can use his own judgment

    Yet another lie. I have explicitly explained why blindly rendering parousia as "presence" every time results in nonsensical renderings at times, and misleading renderings at other times.

    Just because you ignore my postings on these subjects does not mean that I ignore yours. Do you really want me to go back and find the specific post numbers where I've done this? Naah. In any case it would be a waste of time because just as you do with everything you've had your nose rubbed in, you ignore it.

    : just as they translate soul, sheol, and hades each time they are found in the scriptures so that the reader can use his discernment.

    You're comparing apples and oranges. Need I explain?

    : You continue to ignore the fact that your insistance on rendering parousia as "coming" in Matt 24 ignores the context as shown by the parallel account in Luke 17 and you merely base your insistance on your obsession to discredit JWs and support the belief of Christendom of a 2nd Coming of Christ only at the time of Armageddon.

    Again, we will see about these passages in my next post. But my goal to discredit JWs has nothing to do with wanting to support that imaginary beast JWs call "Christendom". It has everything to do with the fact that JWs are a dangerous and destructive cult that has killed thousands of people and destroyed tens of thousands of lives and had an adverse impact on millions of lives.

    : By the way, you are failing miserably in discrediting JWs on everything you embark upon.

    LOL! Frank75 is a witness against you on that. He was once a rabid JW defender, but I made him think, and that, in conjunction with an ongoing sense that something was very wrong with the JW culture, made him come to his senses.

    I will comment that your moronic groupies on your website can be discounted. "Your retarted!" LOL!

    :: Does this mean that it can have the primary meaning of presence? Yes.Of course, you twit. I have never said different.

    : Thanks for that admission. AGAIN!

    There's no "admission" about this, you moron. It's a simple fact, which I have pointed out again and again.

    : Now when will you start believing it

    Yet another deliberate misrepresentation. I ought to start keeping tabs on the number of lies you put in your posts.

    : and stop this foolish notion of yours that the NWT committee has translated parousia as presence because the translators were evil and sinisterly dishonest.

    They were relying on the fact that Nelson Barbour's prediction of "the end" for 1873/74 failed, and that his followers came up with the "invisible parousia" notion to salvage that failure by making Jesus' coming in 1874 invisible. Russell adopted it and that was that.

    : Since I refuted your claim in that post, your repeating it shows one of two things (so what else is new?): You're stupid, you're a liar, or both.

    : You refuted nothing about my comparison of Matt 24 with Luke 17.

    I never said I did. I haven't tackled that issue until this set of posts. So here again we find you lying.

    : You refuted nothing about parousia being translated as presence.

    Of course I did. See the above comments about Orwellian crimestop.

    : You only supported the fact that parousia could rightly be translated as presence with all the scholars you used.

    Yet another lie. I showed clearly that certain authorities in Greek translation specifically gave Matthew 24:3 as an example where parousia is properly rendered "coming", e.g., Bauer's Lexicon.

    : Dare I throw this comment back at you for fear I might have my posting priviledges limited for disobeying the guidelines of the board:

    : Since I refuted your claim in that post, your repeating it shows one of two things (so what else is new?): You're stupid, you're a liar, or both? No I want do that. I will refrain from calling you stupid or liar or both.

    Since you haven't refuted anything, your hypocritical comments are moot.

    :: Suppose we use the thirdwitless rule that root meanings of words can always be properly used in rendering Bible passages, and apply it to 2 Peter 1:12.

    : Strawman.

    Not at all. A strawman argument is one that does not represent what the opponent claims. You claim that it is proper to render parousia as "presence" in all instances in the NT, even when the immediate context shows that it makes the rendering nonsensical. I showed a counterexample with the word mellw, where the NWT made a proper translation rather than rendering it "consistently" by the single English verb "be about to" wherever it occurs in the NT.

    : Thirdwitless, as you say, has never made such a rule nor has the WTS nor did the NWT follow such a rule.

    Yet another lie! You yourself have made a big deal out of the NWT's consistently rendering parousia as "presence", claiming that this is what ought to be done to "let the reader decide". Such reasoning is stupid on its face, but the point is that both you and the Society have adhered to this rule selectively, whether it's stated as a rule or not.

    : It was only in the case of certain words that the NWT consistently translated the words literally so all could see and use their own discernment.

    Exactly the point! And in every one of these cases, doctrinal considerations -- not grammatical or contextual -- were the deciding factor in how Freddie Franz handled it.

    But one thing you're ignoring: Suppose some JW decided that Freddie was wrong about the translation "presence" and presented his arguments to the Society. What would he be told? You know perfectly well: "Shut up and 'wait on Jehovah' or we'll disfellowship you." So your argument is a red herring.

    : Such words as soul, sheol, hades, and presence to name a few. Rather than showing dishonesy as you try to say, this shows honesty and allows the reader to reach the correct conclusions on the meaning of the text.

    Like I said, a fine red herring.

    :: when immediate context is of no help, global understanding of the context of the Bible book in question, or of several Bible books, can help decide.

    : By 'global understanding of the context of the Bible' do you mean the beliefs of Christendom should come into play when translating parousia?

    I mean that everything that can possibly be brought to bear on the subject should be considered.

    : Should we apply the same rule to the Trinity and hellfire doctrine?

    Of course.

    : When comparing Matt 24 to Luke 17 and all the other points that I have previously made, the context is quite apparent and presence is the correct translation.

    Once again, I will show that you're completely wrong, in my next post.

    :: Josephus states:

    : Another straw man. How do you come up with these ridiculous arguments?

    You seem to like this term, but as with most JW defenders, you have no idea what it really means. A better term, given what you appear to be trying to say, is "red herring". I could give you the definitions, but you're real good at looking up words in online dictionaries, aren't you.

    For the record, I showed that Josephus states:

    "My narrative will proceed to tell of the second invasion of our country by Titus -- the condition to which civil war had reduced the city on his arrival [pareimi]."

    Suppose we dance the Watchtower sidestep and just stick in the root meaning of parousia. We get nonsense:

    "My narrative will proceed to tell of the second invasion of our country by Titus -- the condition to which civil war had reduced the city on his presence [pareimi]."

    This proves that trying to be "consistent" by using "presence" for parousia or its cousin pareimi in all instances results in nonsense in some renderings.

    : As the WT points out:

    Examples from Josephus: At Mount Sinai lightning and thunder "declared God to be there present [pa·rou·si´a]." The miraculous manifestation in the tabernacle "showed the presence [pa·rou·si´a] of God." By showing Elisha’s servant the encircling chariots, God made "manifest to his servant his power and presence [pa·rou·si´a]." When Roman official Petronius tried to appease the Jews, Josephus claimed that ‘God did show his presence [pa·rou·si´a] to Petronius’ by sending rain. Josephus did not apply pa·rou·si´a to a mere approach or momentary arrival. It meant an ongoing, even invisible, presence. (Exodus 20:18-21; 25:22; Leviticus 16:2; 2 Kings 6:15-17) -- Compare Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, chapter 5, paragraph 2 [80]; chapter 8, paragraph 5 [203]; Book 9, chapter 4, paragraph 3 [55]; Book 18, chapter 8, paragraph 6 [284].

    Good job! I'm glad you finally managed to sort of answer the question I've asked you about half a dozen times now:

    "Do you believe that the Society's reference to Josephus' use of parousia in the footnote for paragraph 11 on page 11 of the August 15, 1996 Watchtower fairly represents Josephus' actual use of the word? If so, why? If not, why not?"

    Because you're citing the Watchtower reference, you obviously believe that it's a fair representation of Josephus' use of parousia, because you'd never cite something that really didn't show what you claimed, right? Well, right? But I'm disappointed that you didn't answer my questions "Why?"

    However, the facts prove that the Society's citations of Josephus are a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. The fact is that Josephus used parousia 32 times in his writings, out of which he used it to mean strictly "presence" 5 times, strictly "arrival" or "coming" or the like 9 times, and "arrival with subsequent presence" 18 times. Since the Society's writer deliberately selected four of the five instances where parousia means strictly "presence", and failed to inform readers about the 27 instances that would have defeated his argument, it is clear what his intent was: to deceive readers about this source reference. This is a good example of the Watchtower Society's scholastic dishonesty.

    In the following material, I present the context of every instance in which Josephus uses parousia to mean strictly "arrival", based on the listing in Rengstorf’s Concordance to Josephus. The first part of each instance is an English translation from the Loeb Classical Library. The second part is from William Whiston's translation. The works of Josephus we are concerned with here are: The Life of Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews and The Wars of the Jews.

    Each instance is marked with the name of the work in which Josephus used parousia, the number of the book (e.g., Antiquities contains ‘books’ numbered from 1 through 20), and the section number used in the Loeb Library. Modern printings of Whiston's translation, which are widely available, include these section numbers, so it is easy for readers not having access to the Loeb collection to follow along.

    Instances in Josephus Where Parousia Means Arrival Only

    This section contains quotations where parousia takes on the meaning of "arrival" only. In these, note that the words translated from parousia cannot sensibly be rendered in English by words having only the meaning of "presence" or "arrival with a subsequent presence." In some cases there is a parallel phrase showing clearly that the focus of parousia is on "arrival," "coming" or "advent."

    Antiquities 6, 102

    Saul waited awhile as the prophet had enjoined upon him; then, however, he would observe his command no longer, but when he saw that the prophet tarried and that his own soldiers were deserting him he took the victims and performed the sacrifice himself. Then, hearing that Samuel was approaching, he went out to meet him. But the prophet told him that he had not done rightly in disobeying his injunctions and anticipating his advent [parousian]: he was paying that visit in accordance with the will of the Deity. . .

    He waited, as the prophet sent to him to do; yet did not he, however, observe the command that was given him, but when he saw that the prophet tarried longer than he expected, and that he was deserted by the soldiers, he took the sacrifices and offered them; and when he heard that Samuel was come, he went out to meet him. But the prophet said he had not done well in disobeying the injunctions he had sent to him, and had not staid till his coming [parousian], which being appointed according to the will of God. . .

    Note the phrase where Saul "went out to meet" Samuel. It means that Samuel was not yet present, but was on his way -- he was coming and about to arrive.

    Antiquities 8, 325

    She reproached the prophet for having come [parousias] to her to convict her of sin.

    [She] complained to him that he had come [parousias] to her to reproach her for her sins.

    Antiquities 11, 328: The setting is that Alexander the Great is approaching Jerusalem:

    When the high priest Jaddus heard this, he was in an agony of fear. . . He therefore ordered the people to make supplication, and offering sacrifice to God together with them, besought Him to shield the nation and deliver them. . . But, when he had gone to sleep after the sacrifice, God spoke oracularly to him in his sleep, telling him to take courage and adorn the city with wreaths and open the gates. . . and that they should not look to suffer any harm, for God was watching over them. Thereupon he rose from his sleep, greatly rejoicing to himself, and announced to all the revelation that had been made to him, and, after doing all the things that he had been told to do, awaited the coming [parousian] of the king.

    Jaddua the high priest, when he heard that, was in an agony, and under terror. . . He therefore ordained that the people should make supplications, and should join with him in offering sacrifices to God, whom he besought to protect that nation, and to deliver them. . . whereupon God warned him in a dream, which came upon him after he had offered sacrifice, that he should take courage, and adorn the city, and open the gates. . . without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent. Upon which, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced; and declared to all the warning he had received from God according to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming [parousian] of the king.

    Since the king was not yet present, parousia must mean "coming."

    Antiquities 12, 86

    Eleazar, the high priest, after dedicating [the gifts] to God and honouring the bearers, gave them gifts to take to the king, and sent them back to the king. And when they came [paragenomenon; paraginomai] to Alexandria, and Ptolemy heard of their arrival [parousian] and of the coming [eleluthotas; erkhomai] of the seventy elders. . .

    When Eleazar the high priest had devoted [the gifts] to God, and had paid due respect to those that brought them, and had given them presents to be carried to the king, he dismissed them. And when they were come to Alexandria, and Ptolemy heard that they were come [parousian], and that the seventy elders were come also. . .

    The word paraginomai means "to be by the side of, to come, approach, arrive" (Matt. 2:1: "astrologers from eastern parts came to Jerusalem), or "appear, make a public appearance" (Matt. 3:1: "John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness"); Josephus went or came (paraginomai) to Tiberias; he arrived and became present (parousia), and the deserters became aware of his being there. The word erkhomai means "to come or go, arrive" (Matt. 24:30: "they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds"; Matt. 25:10: "the bridegroom arrived"). Here we find three parallel uses of words that illustrate their use as synonyms: the gift bearers came (paraginomai) to Alexandria; Ptolemy heard of their arrival (parousia); the seventy elders came (erkhomai) at the same time. Note that while parousia and paraginomai by themselves could conceivably mean "presence" here, the parallel use of erkhomai with respect to the seventy elders forces the meaning of "arrival."

    Antiquities 12, 93

    [The king] promised, moreover, that he would make a special occasion of the day on which they had come [epiphane; epiphaino] to him and would celebrate it every year so long as he lived, for, he said, the day of their coming [parousias] happened to be same as that of the victory which he had gained over Antigonus in a naval battle.

    [The king} promised, however, that he would make this day on which they came to him remarkable and eminent every year through the whole course of his life; for their coming [parousias] to him, and the victory which he gained over Antigonus by sea, proved to be on the very same day.

    Again note the virtually synonymous use of epiphaino (epiphaneia) and parousia. Again we note the parallel use of a word which cannot mean "presence" along with parousia, forcing the latter to mean "coming." The parousia of the visitors was their epiphaneia.

    Antiquities 12, 352

    This reverse befell them because they disobeyed the instructions of Judas not to engage anyone in battle before his arrival [parousias].

    This misfortune befell them by their disobedience to what injunctions Judas had given them, not to fight with anyone before his return [parousias].

    Using something like "before his presence" would be awkward and inconsistent with the overall context.

    Antiquities 13, 266

    The praetor Fannius should give them money from the public treasury for their return [epanelthoien; epanerkhomai] home. Accordingly Fannius dismissed the Jewish envoys in this manner, giving them money from the public treasury and a decree of the Senate to those who were to conduct them on their way and furnish them a safe return [parousian] home.

    Their praetor Fanius should give them money out of the public treasury to bear their expenses home. And thus did Fanius dismiss the Jewish ambassadors, and gave them money out of the public treasury; and gave the decree of the senate to those that were to conduct them, and to take care that they should return [parousian] home in safety.

    The word epanerkhomai means "to come back, return" (Luke 10:35: "I will repay you when I come back here"; Luke 19:15 "when he got back after having secured the kingly power"). Here again we find the parallel use of an unambiguous word determining the precise meaning of parousia -- which is here "return."

    Antiquities 20, 30-32

    [Helena entreated the nobles] to defer their decision about putting the brothers to death until after Izates had arrived [paragenomenos; paraginomai] and given his approval. Failing to persuade her to put the brothers to death as they advised, they, for their own safety, admonished her at least to keep them in custody until his arrival [paraousias]. . . Helena . . . set up Monobazus, her eldest son, as king . . . she exhorted him to administer the kingdom until his brother's arrival [parousias]. The latter, on hearing of his father's death, quickly arrived [heke; heko] and succeeded his brother.

    Helena replied to this . . . [that the nobles] would however defer the execution of this slaughter of Izates's brethren till he should be there himself, and give his approbation to it. So since these men had not prevailed with her when they advised her to slay them, they exhorted her at least to keep them in bonds till he should come [parousias], and that for their own security. . . Helena . . . set up Monobazus, the eldest son, to be king . . . and exhorted him to administer the affairs of the kingdom till his brother should come [parousias]; who came suddenly upon hearing that his father was dead, and succeeded his brother.

    We have already seen that paraginomai can mean "be by the side of, come, approach, arrive." The context alone shows that it and the two instances of parousia mean "arrival." The meaning is paralleled by another word, heko, which means "to be come, have arrived." Vine’s Expository Dictionary comments on the difference between erkhomai and heko: "erchomai . . . signifies the act, in contrast with heko . . . which stresses the arrival, as, e.g., ‘I am come [exerkhomai; "to come out"] and am here [heko],’ John 8:42 and Heb. 10:9." ("I am come (heko) to do your will"). Again we find an unambiguous word, heko, determining the sense of two others, so that parousia here means "arrival."

    Life, 90

    I mustered two hundred men and marched all night long, sending a courier in advance to inform the people of Tiberias that I was coming [parousian].

    I took two hundred men along with me, and traveled all night, having sent before a messenger to let the people of Tiberias know that I was coming [parousian] to them.

    Since he had not yet arrived, he could not yet be present. This is an extremely clear example.

    At this point it is evident that the Watchtower writer has selected an unrepresentative set of examples from Josephus to support his implication that parousia means mainly "presence." Josephus’ use of parousia is varied, and consistent with its use in other ancient Greek literature including the New Testament. Liddell and Scott’s Lexicon (p. 1343) gives a number of instances in secular literature where strictly "arrival" is meant, and Bauer’s Lexicon gives many instances where the meaning is "coming, advent as in the first stage of presence."

    Other points:

    The Greek Septuagint version’s only use of parousia is in a way that does not allow the meaning of "presence." Neh 2:6 reads, "for how long will thy journey be, and when wilt thou return [poreia: form of parousia]?" Bauer’s Lexicon lists four instances in the Apocrypha, all under the meaning "coming, advent." These read:

    News of her coming [parousia] had already spread through the tents. (Judith 10:18; New Jerusalem Bible)

    Judas . . . imparted unto those that were with him that the army was at hand [parousia]. (2 Maccabees 8:12; Brenton)

    Maccabeus seeing the coming [parousia] of the multitude. . . (2 Maccabees 15:21; Brenton)

    To outward appearance [parousia] they received us willingly; but belied that appearance by their deeds. (3 Maccabees 3:17; Brenton)

    So we find that a variety of ancient Greek literature shows that parousia can be used in many ways, and is certainly not restricted only to "presence." It is therefore astonishing that the Watchtower writer continues his exposition thus, in paragraph 12:

    The meaning "presence" is clearly borne out by ancient literature,

    By now the reader can see that this is a gross misrepresentation of the ancient literature. The word has many meanings, from "arrival" to "presence", with a focus on every state in between.

    Clearly then, the examples that the Watchtower writer used are selectively chosen to exclude any that show the flavor of "arrival." This is gross scholastic dishonesty.

    Continuing with this post:

    :: You're simply too stupid to understand what I've said, or too dishonest to admit that you understand it. I think that even a medium-sized child could understand what I've written above.

    : The argument you keep bringing up essentially saying, "Parousia can too be translated as coming." is quite childish and embarrassing for those who hold you in such high esteem.

    Once again we find you misrepresenting my argument.

    : Especially when so many scholars have said that parousia primarily means presence and is like a visit from a king. Here is another scholar in your long list of scholars who agree.

    : A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament by E. W. Bullinger shows that pa·rou·si´a means ‘the being or becoming present, hence, presence, arrival; a coming which includes the idea of a permanent dwelling from that coming onwards.’

    Oh, please! Bullinger simply agrees with everything I've cited.

    : And just in case you missed it here is
    :The final nail in the coffin of AlanF's and other opposition to JWs interpretation of parousia.

    : Luke 17 offers a parallel of Matthew 24. An examination of it will reveal the true meaning of parousia.

    End of Part I

    I will continue this response in another post.


  • belbab
    Post 1149:
    Well, just for starters the one in 1737 INDIA: CALCUTTA 300,000 was most likely not an earthquakes but rather a typhoon, so says the US Geological survery.
    Sounds like a good reason to me to eliminate it from the list. Any others?

    TD: Put this one back in on your list. Why? Look up the Greek word for tempest in :

    Mat 8:24 And behold , there arose a great tempest (#4578) in the sea , insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves : but he was asleep.

    The Greek word , seismos , (Strongs # 4579,) used in the above text and translated as tempest is the same word used for earthquakes in the Greek scriptures. In the NWT this word in this text is translated as great agitation.
    Strongs gives the meaning of seismos as:
    1) a shaking, a commotion
    2) a tempest
    3) an earthquake

    Returning to the discussion about the composite sign, why is the word seismos
    limited to earthquakes in Math 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21? Why are other natural disasters not used as signs, such as forest fires, blizzards, volcanoes, tsunamis?

    In these references Jesus speaks of wars and hearsay of wars, famines and pestilences. These are all caused by human agencies. In Jeremiah, a number of texts show that calamities commence with the sword, that is war, which leads to famine, and ends with pestilences caused by famines. Why would earthquakes, a non-human event, be included with calamities brought about by man? Would it not be more likely that Jesus was using this word metaphorically, to indicate the tempestuous agitation, commotion, turbulence and trembling in the affairs of humanity.

    In Haggai, chap 2, it is prophecied that Jah would shake the nations and the desirable things would come out. The word for shake is the verb form of the same word that is translated by the WT for earthquakes. The WT says the desirables ones are those who become the great crowd of JWs. So according to W Tites earthquakes are shaking populous nations so the good ones flop like fishes into the JW fish net.

    Jesus used words and quotations from the Hebrew scriptures. He told his disciples that they were not to be disturbed by catastophic war, famine, disease and commotions and agitations of society. The Hebrew scriptures announced in advance that there would be a way of escape for the faithful ones. When they saw Jerusalem, the city of peace, surrounded by warring encamped armies they were instructed to flee beforehand.

    The Hebrew word used seventeen times in the OT is ru’ah
    Strong’s #07494 means,
    1) quaking, rattling, shaking
    a) earthquake
    b) quaking, trembling (of person)
    c) shaking, quivering (of dart)

    The translations of the words are as follows:
    AV - earthquake 6, rushing 3, shake 3, fierceness 1, confused noise 1,
    commotion 1, rattling 1, quaking 1; 17
    Out of seventeen times, it is only translated as earthquakes only six times.

    Much of the vocabulary that Jesus used in his teachings were directly sourced, word for word, from the Hebrew scriptures.

    Somewhere in the WT literature, probably decades ago, the question was discussed as to why the term seismos is translated literally as earthquakes and not metaphorically as a commotion within the affairs of humanity. I do not have access to old WT literature. Perhaps someone can come up with it.

    belbab, just siftin out the mouse turds in the grain.

  • smellsgood

    3w wrote: Up until that time wars were mostly civil wars or little skirmishes between a few countries over borders and colonies ;etc.>>>

    smellsgood: I haven't time to read if anyone has responded to THIS jem, but just have to say that I am stunned by your ignorance.

    It's very very sad to see how ignorant and thoroughly dogmatized you are. You make it abundandtly and repeatedly clear that you have never actually ventured your study past the safety and security of the societies information funnel.


  • Fisherman


    It would be dishonest for anyone to claim that they have come to conclusions on what the Bible means on their own without any outside influence because it is impossible for some one to read the Bible and make heads or tails of it. Because of my exposure to christainity, I have a christian perspective on things, but I have also tried to consider Jewish thinking. I have been very influenced by AlanF's thinking on the ransom and on God's Justice. But I make up my own mind as anyone reading my comments can see.

    The great thing about this board is that one can express views whether his own or not without fear of being disfellowshipped. I encourage that people click on the sponsors links on this site. ( I am not encouraging jws to go against what they are told to do.)

    But getting back to what you say about rejecting wts arguments and presents and arguments of others and presents and to read the Bible pretending that your thinking and conclusions are purely yours without being affected by other considerations is a pretense. Comming to any conclusions using your method is still linked to what you have been taught to understand as a basis for your analysis.So, realistilcally and actually it cannot be done even though you may say to yourself otherwise.

    I have posted schepticism on the year 1914. I dont want to give the wrong impression that I would bet my life on 1914. The wts can change the doctrine but this is not relevant. MY argument is that it cannot be conclusively established that the kingdom was established back in the 1st century and that it seems that the event would occur in the future for the reasons that I posted.

    The Bible verses that you posted is not proof or evidence, they are only verses that you are trying to use to support your view. I am not convinced 100 percent that the kingdom was to be established after the 1st century either, I have an open mind, but I lean towards future persuasion. One reason is the book of REvelation and its phrophetic visionary style when refering to the kingdom indicating future.

    Also regarding your suggestion: I cannot in all fairness ignore wts arguments or COJ arguments or RF's arguments or any present that is relevant. I seem to think that instead of not considering relevant information I would rather form an opinion after taking into consideration any relevant info. There is something in that COJ highlights that I would have overlooked if not for the book which supports 1st century kingdom.

    It would be great if believers in 1914 would be saved and others from earthquakes and the other disaters but nope Jesus enthronement brings more human suffering as if the bloodshed and carnage and human suffering that Christianity true or false has caused for 2000 years is not enough and if the ransom was not enough as AF says. But justifying all of this, still seems to me that the kingdom did not happen in 1st century.

  • AuldSoul


    ...because it is impossible for some one to read the Bible and make heads or tails of it.

    Well then, we're in luck. I never said I did so without outside influence. I said that on this subject of rulership and authority I did not have any influence except (1) my personal opinion about the concept of rulership and the concept of authority and (2) the assistance of holy spirit as I studied the Bible.

    I encouraged you to do the same. As I said, whether or not you choose to is entirely your own affair. But I had already posted extensive supports and proofs of my stated viewpoint, and you stated that I did not. I brought them all together in one post for your convenience, not to convince you I am right, I do not require your agreement, but rather to convince you that my view has direct Scriptural merit superior to the opinions espoused by thirdwitness and very compelling weight in favor of the conclusion that Christians in the First Century thought Jesus was already king. They were not waiting for 1914.

    I would rather form an opinion after taking into consideration any relevant info

    I respectfully submit that the only "relevant info" on what the Bible says about a specific subject is found in the Bible. Everything else you consider is opinion about the Bible. Including my opinions.


  • AuldSoul


    It has not escaped my notice that you answered zero questions regarding the Scriptures I posted.

    But justifying all of this, still seems to me that the kingdom did not happen in 1st century.

    And you still haven't researched the one and only source that will tell you the Bible's view.


  • Fisherman

    Assumption. You do not know what I have done. You have not responded to my arguments and to the scriptures that I cited about authority and kingdom but also what do you have to say about the comments that I posted on REv .

  • Fisherman


    You claim that you came to your conclusions specially on the kingdom on your own without any influence but not so with other parts of the Bible. But you were already influenced when you considered the kingdom because you admit that you had help with other parts.

  • Fisherman


    How do you know that when I said Bible I was not refering only to the many verses about the kingdom in the context of our discussion?

  • AuldSoul

    I didn't realize that you were expecting replies to posts that did not have any questions in them.

    Assumption. You do not know what I have done.

    It isn't an assumption. Your arguments gave it away. No one could have done what I suggested and still reason the way you reasoned. No one.

    There is no question that the First Century Christians believed they were in the Last Days, from the speech Peter gave at the pouring out of the spirit to Paul's declaration that now is the especially acceptable time. It isn't a matter of requiring interpretation, it is simply a matter of reading what the Bible says instead of reading into the Bible. You expressed your continual reluctance to do so as well as your conviction that it is impossible to gain meaning from the Bible that way in your last post.

    I wasn't assuming. You haven't done what I suggested, unless you lied. It isn't assuming to trust that someone has been honest in their representation of their actions.

    Your arguments have been stressing technological advances. I responded to ALL of those arguments in one post. Technological advances do not prove that 1914 was significant. Especially given that by your own admission the technology boom predates 1914.

    Rev 12 relating to the birth of the kingdom is realted in seeming prophetic visionary style. Things that occurred in the past need only to be explained. Rev 12 does not explain, it is a vision. What is the point of having a vision about the past?

    Well, if we add one more factor there could be quite a lot of benefit from such a vision. What is the point of having a vision about a past event that was invisible to human eyes? For that matter, what is the point of having a vision about a future event that is invisible to human eyes?

    The answer is, the same benefits apply to both. But I disagree with your WTS assertion that Revelation 12 applies to the birth of a kingdom. Nothing in Revelation 12 equates the birth of the child to a kingdom. Nothing in Revelation indicates that there was no rulership of Jesus prior to that event.

    Although John says in Rev "..he made us to be a kingdom..." , John'.s role on earth at that time was not a king priest.. That was to occur in the future.

    The contract was signed with the blood of Jesus. John did not say he was a king. He said collectly they had been made a kingdom. A kingdom is "a political or territorial unit ruled by a sovereign." John's role was as a subject of his king. You have supported my point. John's role was also a priestly one, along with all members of the Body of Christ. They constituted a priesthood of believers. (1 Peter 2:4-10; Hebrews 13:15-16; Romans 12:1-2)

    So, as I said, you are welcome to believe whatever you like from whichever source you choose. But if you aren't developing your opinions from what the Bible says, your opinions are based on the opinions of others. To credit the WTS explanation of Revelation 12:10, you first have to rule out contradictions in the Scriptures that the explanation might create. You cannot do that without studying the Bible for yourself, which you said you haven't done.

    If this missed any unasked questions that you still had, please frame them as questions. When can I expect your answers to the questions I asked that were phrased as questions?


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