Watchtower Comments THE GENERATION CHANGE Featuring LEOLAIA

by V 221 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    You employ the tactics of most politicians, that is NNPP

    Neutralize the negative, promote the positive.

    The WT society has recently changed their policy and now it is in line with that of the current policy of the catholic church and most secular organizations. FACT.

    I have been in many congregations where abuse was covered over by elders acting on instruction and whilst in BETHEL witnessed the way it was handled in the legal department.

    I have seen elders encourage others to say nothing to protect the reputation of the WT.

    This is not apostate propaganda, it is fact.

    Oh excellent post LT....thank you.So nice to have newbies here who have seen the light and speak the truth!

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    You have made a fundamental error here Scholar. Even the Society admit that the disciples were not considering an invisible presence when they asked the question at Matt 24 v 3.

    "They wanted to be sure they recognized him then. But not yet having received holy spirit, they did not appreciate that he would not sit on an earthly throne; they had no idea that he would rule as a glorious spirit from the heavens and therefore did not know that his second presence would be invisible." WT 64 9/15 QFR

    If this is the case, then the context of Matt 24 leads us to ask why were the disciples asking for a sign if they thought Jesus was going to be visible? They'd be able to literally see him, no need for a sign.

    But if they were asking "what would be the sign of your COMING, (ARRIVAL, ADVENT)?" Then you can see the need for a sign.

    Jesus then gives the sign at Matt 24 v 30

    Oh excellent post Boyzone....thank you.Wow! Welcome! Another great newbie here at JWD! Like 'scholar' says there's valuable information here!

  • JoyNichols

    My parents really bought into this stuff and converted in the early 1970's.

    I'm truly astonished to see that they continue to believe they have "the truth," as they age and still think maybe they won't have to die.

    All these years, predicting "the end times," and there they are, growing old . . . and they thought they never would.

  • boyzone


    Scholar makes no mistakes on this matter

    Please don't refer to yourself in the third person, its smacks of arrogance.

    The necessity of a sign would indicate that the presence could escape their notice and if it required special insight and was over a long period of time then the presence must logically be invisible. So, in short, I have provided three basic facts that prove the invisibility of the presence.

    OK, lets look lets have a closer look at your proofs.

    1. Request for a Sign

    This request of the disciples does in no way proof they were thinking of an invisible presence. You yourself said we don't know what the disciples were actually thinking, so how can you offer this as proof? The scripture in Act 1 v 6 gives us a very good indication as to whether the disciples were thinking of a visible or invisible presence. After Jesus' resurrection and appearance to them visibly, they asked him "Lord, are you restoring the kingdom of Israel at this time?"

    This shows that the disciples clearly had a VISIBLE presence in mind when they asked the question at Matt 24 v 3.

    2. Presence over a long period of time shown by comparison with the Days of Noah

    Again wrong. Jesus didn't compare the parousia with the days before the flood, implying a protracted length of time. The parousia of Jesus is compared with the surprising arrival of the flood itself. A sudden, shocking event. People are in the midst of their daily routines when it takes them by surprise.

    The NASV says at Matt 24 v 37-39

    "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be."

    This scripture shows the normalcy of life before the sudden, cataclysmic event of the flood. This is what is being compared, the normalcy of life before the sudden, cataclysmic arrival of Jesus will be the same. That is why Jesus warns us to keep awake and be on the watch, precisely because of the sudden unexpectedness of his arrival.

    This is borne out by Jesus other comparisons like 2 men in a field, one taken along, the other left behind. 2 women grinding, one taken along, the other left. A master arriving unexpectedly.

    3. Presence required discernment by the disciples.

    No. The Parousia is consistantly rendered in scripture as a sudden obvious event to every eye. It is compared to lightening being visible from east to west. It is compared to a thief in the night, unexpected. It is heralded by celestial phenomena and trumpets. It wil not need discerning but it will need watching for!

    You ask an interesting question here

    Why did the disciples use parousia rather than coming.? If 'coming' was meant then Why was that word not used for it is there in Greek? These are questions that Reason demands of an explanation. So your argument is nonsensical.

    So before deciding that my answer is nonsensical, how about hearing it first?

    It is generally accepted by scholars that the primary meaning of parousia is presence. But it also has secondary meanings and a technical meaning. The secondary we have already mentioned as being advent, arrival, The technical meaning is when the context refers to the arrival of a king. In this context the word parousia is translated as coming.

    Prof Adolf Deissmann 1908 "Light from the East" says of parousia

    "Yet another of the central ideas of the oldest Christian worshep receives light from the new texts, viz parousia, advent, coming, a word expressive of the most ardent hopes of St Paul. We now may say that the best interpretation of the primitive christian hope of the parousia is the old Advent text "Behold, thy King cometh unto thee" Matt 21 v 5. From the Ptolemaic period down into the 2nd cent AD we are able to trace the word in the east as a technical expression for the arrival or the visit of the king or the emperor"

    The context of Matt 24 is definately concerning the arrival of a king, Jesus Christ. Therefore the correct translation of parousia from the greek at Matt 24 v 3, 37, 39 is coming, not presence. Also note that the Society claim to use the translation "presence" because they say the context dictates it. (see Kingdom Interlinear Translation). Unfortunately they do not give any examples of why they say this and have just let the argument rest. They have again left the reader to accept what they say without proof.

    Not a very good way for "celebrated WT scholars" to act, wouldn't you agree?

  • Leolaia

    slimboyfat....I appreciate your constructive comments and I agree that the approach I took may not have been the best possible approach; if I had the time and space to give a broader discussion of all other views apart from the one in the WT and my own (as I would have in one of my monster research threads, which typically take weeks to write), then I probably would have done it this way....what you outlined would have probably have had the best effect overall. But I think there was also value in the simpler point-counterpoint approach that contrasted my own analysis of the text with the one provided by the Society. That was in accord with all other pieces in the "Comments You Will Not Hear" series, each of which presented a JWD member's own take on an study article and how it developed its arguments. I did indicate instances where there was doubt on how the text could be interpreted (such as some of my comments on Revelation), and in sticking to the Society's use of the Olivet discourse, I only mentioned aspects of it relevant to the Society's interpretation. You are right that there are many areas of disagreement in its interpretation (such as the discourse's precise rhetorical structure, the identity of the vultures/eagles in the illustration, whether the author saw the coming of the Son of Man as an event in the past or as an event in the future, whether the material on the coming of the Son of Man was a parenthetical digression, etc.), but the Society's view that the parousia is only a "presence" (with the concept of arrival being absent) that is inclusive of the "beginning of the pangs" from v. 4ff is not an opinion that I have ever seen shared by other exegetes. What I presented (that the parousia pertains to the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24:30-31 and 25:31-36, that the parousia was construed as a sudden and obvious event, that sunteleia is shaped by earlier apocalyptic usage and refers to the "close of the age", that Jesus was already believed to have been exalted and ruling from heaven as Lord, etc.) is pretty representative of what you find in the critical literature. I could have addressed other claims or arguments not raised by the Society (as I would in a research thread devoted to the subject), but I mainly stuck to a criticism of what was written in the article itself. I could have discussed the problems with preterism or other arguments and issues involving a futurist or historicist interpretation of the Olivet discourse, but that again wasn't so germaine to what I was trying to do. What I wished I had done in retrospect was to preface my entire discussion with a paragraph making clear that what follows is my own analysis based on what I have learned and studied of the NT over the years, and that I do not present it as the only possible way of looking at the text. In fact, I think V may be willing to edit the original article to allow me to add such a statement.

    On the issue of dogmatism, I think there is no better example of it than in this statement by pseudo-scholar:

    Scholar makes no mistakes on this matter and niether does the FDS and its 'celebrated' WT scholars.

    To respond to other statements make by pseudo-scholar on the matter:

    The context of the narrative and the vocabulary are all part of the understanding of the nature of the Parousia and the Generation. If the Parousia was momentary or the last event as alleged by Leolaia then Why did the disciples use parousia rather than coming.? If 'coming' was meant then Why was that word not used for it is there in Greek?

    Another unbelievably misleading statement that is already debunked by what I presented in my original essay. If you do look that the context of the narrative and the vocabulary used in it, you can easily see that the word for "come" (erkhomai) is indeed used in parallel with parousia throughout the narrative: v. 3: sémion + parousia of "you" (= Jesus); v. 27: parousia of the "Son of Man; v. 30: sémion + erkhomai of the "Son of Man"; v. 36-37: hémera + hóra +parousia of the "Son of Man"; v. 38-39: hémera + parousia + erkhomai of the "Son of Man"; v. 42: hémera + erkhomai of "your Lord"; v. 43-44: hóra + erkhomai of "Son of Man"; v. 46: erkhomai of "the Lord"; v. 50: hémera + hóra + hekó "come, arrive" of "the Lord"; 25:10: erkhomai of bridegroom/Lord; v. 19: erkhomai of "the Lord"; v. 31: erkhomai of "Son of Man". See also 10:23 and 16:27-28 for other references to the erkhomai of the "Son of Man". The words for "come" are used 11 times in the passage dealing with the parousia! The parousia is directly compared to the "coming" (erkhomai) of lightning in 24:27 and the "coming" (erkhomai) of the Flood in 24:39, and even though the word is not used henceforth, the parallelism between the parables shows that the parousia is also compared to the "coming" (erkhomai) of a thief in 24:39-40, and the "coming" (erkhomai, hekó) of the "Lord" in 24:46, 24:50, 25:10, 25:19.

    From the time of her earliest posts Leolaia has always showed a preference for extrabiblical and extracanonical sources and she repeats this same methodology in her critique of the Parousia and Generation. My preference on the other hand is to regard the Bible as the primary source and all others that may be used as simply secondary sources.

    To understand what words meant in a dead language, you have to look at their usage -- not just their etymology. One cannot claim that parousia ONLY meant "presence" without bothering to look at how the word is used throughout classical and koine Greek. These sources show (i.e. confirm) what is apparent from the usage of the term in the NT itself. Same thing with concepts that have a pre-NT history in early Jewish literature. It's all about the broader linguistic and conceptual context. And this is basic exegetical methodology -- look at any commentary in the Hermeneia, Word, International Critical and Exegetical Commentary, Anchor, etc. series.

    The necessity of a sign would indicate that the presence could escape their notice and if it required special insight and was over a long period of time then the presence must logically be invisible.

    Such a statement is made without any reference to my arguments to the contrary. The parousia is directly compared to the "coming" of the Flood and a bolt of lightning -- both unexpected and supremely visible events. The "sign" (sémion) itself accompanies the "coming" (erkhomai) of the Son of Man in v. 30; it comes after all the other non-signs mentioned (earthquakes, famines, war, etc., the "beginning of the birth pangs") earlier which Jesus explicitly mentioned as NOT indicating that the end was here (v. 6). Jesus repeatedly tells his disciples that the coming (erkhomai) of the Son of Man in v. 30 is an event that would happen suddenly and without notice; the "sign" in v. 30 is thus not something that gives advance warning, it is rather like the midnight cry in ch. 25 that announces the arrival of the Son of Man. In fact, the Society's argument of "special insight" is not consistent with the actual passage itself, if you pay attention to parallelism in phraseology:

    Matthew 24:36-42: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming (parousia) of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day (hémera) Noah entered the ark; and they did not know (ouk egnósan) until the flood came (élthen) and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming (parousia) of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know (ouk oidate) on what day (hémera) your Lord will come (erkhetai)".

    Here it is plain that the lack of knowledge of those on earth on the "day" (hémera) Noah went into the ark and the Flood came (erkhomai) is paralleled by the lack of knowledge of the disciples on the "day" (hémera) that the Son of Man comes (erkhomai). It is true that the analogy is not perfect, for the parallel is between the disciples and those who perished in the Flood, but the comparison is still there. But presumably not even Noah would have known when the Flood would come until on the day itself when God instructed him to enter the ark, and he was also among those who ate, drank, and married. The point is clearly that the disciples would not have any more advance knowledge of what day the parousia would happen than those who perished in the Flood. Indeed, the disciples are described as being alongside the wicked doing everyday tasks like farming and grinding grain just as those "in the days of Noah" are described as doing everyday things. The parousia comes so suddenly that it occurs in the midst of people doing these tasks -- even in the moment when two women are grinding grain, one perishes while the other is saved. It is impossible to miss the fact that the parousia is here described as a sudden event that intervenes into everyday life -- and is not a lengthy period of time that occurs during the present circumstance of everyday life. Such is exactly how the "coming" (erkhomai) of the thief, and that of the Lord of the household, and that of the bridegroom are depicted in the parables that follow.

    You are quite mistaken when you foolishly claim that "It is not this prior state that is compared to the parousia but the cataclysm that brings it to its consummation". The pericope clearly states otherwise, the Flood simply concluded or ended that Noachin Parousia.

    And the absurdity of the Society's position is best witnessed in this curious statement. If we understand the parousia as the cataclysmic event that brings the present age to a close, then naturally the "Noachian Parousia" is certainly that of the Flood itself -- which is stated as such in the passage itself -- the Flood "came" (élthen, a form of erkhomai) in the same way that the Lord "will come" (erkhetai, a form of erkhomai). But if you view the "Noachian Parousia" as the situation in the lengthy period leading up to the Flood, then I have to ask: Who or what was mentioned in this passage as being (invisibly) present???

    My supply of spiritual food is well met by the meetings and literature published by FDS. If I need extra sustenance then I consuly my theological library or a local theological library for that extra spice or nutrient. Information provided by apostates has limited value being full of poison so one needs to treat that as a chemist would in handling a poisonous or dangerous product. Handle with care.

    I can't think of a more "unscholarly" statement than this.

  • hamilcarr


    post 1560

    Scholars should be self-critical, carefully inspecting their own work from a skeptical point of view, to find weaknesses and possible ways of overcoming them. In this task, scholars find it useful to imagine that they were an advocate of a rival point of view, and see how their ideas would be treated under this view. Scholars also give lectures presenting their work to other scholars, in order to get useful feedback and criticism. This often occurs at meetings of scholarly societies.

    Have you ever done this?


  • Mary
    pseudo-scholar said: The context of the narrative and the vocabulary are all part of the understanding of the nature of the Parousia and the Generation. If the Parousia was momentary or the last event as alleged by Leolaia then Why did the disciples use parousia rather than coming.? If 'coming' was meant then Why was that word not used for it is there in Greek? These are questions that Reason demands of an explanation. So your argument is nonsensical.

    As it's been explained to you countless times already on this thread, the Greek word 'parousia' means: presence, coming, arrival, advent. As with the ancient Hebrew language, you cannot claim that one of their words has only one possible translation into the English language, because that would be a false assertion and completely without any basis. Yet this is exactly what you are attempting to do: You ignore every valid explanation that's been presented to you, you attempt to twist the meaning of the scriptures around to suit your own agenda, and you continue to repeat parrot-like: 'parousia only means "presence".

    Ah well, I guess we shouldn't expect anything rational from your mind......your posts prove that.

  • scholar


    Post 9272

    I am not resposnsible fo how the word parousia is treated in the Lexica. Indeed other secondary meanings are given and examples are presented in accordance with this in the Lexicons for that is what Lexicons do. However, the primary focus of the celebrated WT scholars is the use of this word in the Christian Greek Scriptures and there is sufficient eveidence therein to conclusively prove that parousia means ;presence' and 'presence' alone. The noun occurs 24 times in the NT and the verbal form also occurs 24 times so there is sufficient usuage for deteremining its meaning.How it is used in other sources such as the LXX and extrabiblical sources is important and interesting but not essential in determings its use by Matthew. The context of Matthew, use in the rest of the NT, its literal meaning and that of the lexica are quite sufficient. Thank you.

    scholar JW

  • scholar


    Post 53

    My response:

    Request for a Sign; The fact that a Sign was asked could show that the disciples understood that the Parousia would be invisible because it was a state of affairs that could not be observed. Earlier, Jesus had told the them the the coming of the Kingdom of God would not be with striking observablenesss. Luke 17:20 Therefore having this statement in the back of their minds they used parousia instead of coming as the question. Jesus' reply indicates that that presence would need to be discerned and was likened to the Days of Noah. You cite Acts 1:6 but this was to do with another completely different question as to whether Jesus would restore the kingdom to Israel which has nothing at all to do with His parousia.

    Presence over a period of time. Jesus did in fact compare His parousia to the Days of Noah leading right up to and including the Deluge. This confirmation is in the beginning and end of that pericoipe on the Flood. Just slowly ever so slowly read the text out aloud. He does not compare it to the Flood alone for that is simply false. The next verse opens with tote'then' so his mention of the two men and women pertain to an event at the conclusion of the parousia.

    Preseence required discernment. Jesus provides clear markers that indicate that the parousia was something that had to be discerned. First, he likened to the flashings of lightnings from East to West that indicate the comprehensiveness of the parousia and second that it was compared to the Days of Noah. Finally, the exhortation to his disciplles to Keep on the watch. Further, contextual proofs could be provided but these three facts should be sufficient.

    The quotation of Adolf Deismann's comment on Parousia or Parusia does not help your argument in fact the opposite is true for there is no evidence anywhere in the literature both Ancient and Modern that would any other meaning for parousia than 'presence'.

    scholar JW

  • hamsterbait

    scholar JW

    Do you believe Christ will slaughter you along with us at the "manifestation of his presence?"

    After all, doesn't Jehovah say "I want obedience". You are not obeying the directives written by WT scholars printed in the Watchtower and the other publications they produce.

    I think you don't really believe a word the Watchtower society says, any more than JCanon, otherwise you would have stopped posting here long ago. You would be too frightened of being killed with no hope of a resurrection.

    If you walk under a bus tomorrow, do you think you would get a resurrection?


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