Watchtower Comments THE GENERATION CHANGE Featuring LEOLAIA

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  • OnTheWayOut
    2) To take the second expression first, consider the term "conclusion," the translation of the Greek word syn-te'lei-a. In the New World Translation, this word is consistently rendered "conclusion," whereas a related Greek word, te'los, is translated "end."

    You make excellent points about WT's logical and interpretive fallacies and misleading analogy here.
    I wanted to add that they don't even offer a scholarly opinion on why other translations use
    different terminology. They just sat the New World Translation uses this term and go on to explain
    the difference in the ENGLISH meanings today. We are just supposed to accept that the New
    World Translation is correct, and be thrilled that they addressed the issue.

    the idea of pa-rou-si'a indicating a “period” of Jesus being invisibly present (need I add that “invisibility” has nothing to do with the word?) is entirely foreign to the passage being interpreted.

    Very good. Also, the disciple asking has no idea of an "invisible" presence, so his asking
    "What will be the sign that you are invisibly present?" would be ridiculous.
    His question meaning, "What will be a sign that you are about to arrive?" would make more

  • OnTheWayOut

    5) ....

    These prophetically represent war, food shortages, and pestilence, all of which have occurred over the extended period of time that is referred to as "the last days." We are seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy in our lifetime.

    Eisegesis alert! It is simply asserted rather than shown that this vision pertains to “our lifetime” specifically, and that this latter period of time is the same as the “last days” mentioned in the NT, and the pa-rou-si'a of Matthew. Also, how many people alive today saw the events of 1914 in “their lifetime”? How many lifetimes is the “extended period of time” supposed to encompass?

    Excellent commentary.

    There is a sense of logic overload in their statements. "We presented a logical argument with so
    many twisted facts that you cannot argue back at us. Since you cannot keep up with us, you
    give up and say that we must know what we are talking about."

    Q 8, 9) Who would recognize the sign of Christ's presence and understand its meaning?

    Q 10, 11) (a) What explanation was previously given concerning the "generation" mentioned at Matthew 24:34? (b) Who would Jesus' disciples have no doubt understood to be included in that "generation"?

    I cannot believe I used to fall for these traps. They are clearly setting up questions that
    can only lead to the answers in their paragraphs which lead to their doctrines.
    Q 8,9 is irrelevant to the context.
    Q 10, 11 shows with the A and B portion that it wasn't so clear that there would be
    "no doubt" to Jesus' disciples. The FDS didn't have "no doubt" and we cannot assume
    that someone else would have been much clearer in understanding than we or the FDS

    I would love for a member to give the long answer to the A question.
    "Oh, there were several previous explanations. Russell said.... Rutherford taught...
    Up until 1995, it was said that.... but it was modified XXX times to stretch the
    age of understanding to the birth of infants."

    I am sure they would have to cut the microphone on such an answer as it started to
    unfold. As your excellent comments bring out, "Yet, in spite of this certitude in years past,
    only the 1995 article is offered as the previous explanation given by the Watchtower.
    Anything before that is ancient history."

    10) .....That explanation seemed reasonable because all other recorded uses that Jesus
    made of the term "generation" had a negative connotation, and in most cases, Jesus used a
    negative adjective, such as "wicked," to describe the generation. (Matt. 12:39; 17: 17; Mark 8:38)

    Even though that explanation seemed reasonable and is not the only previous understanding,
    the disciples would have "no doubt" understanding who is in the Generation. What a load of

    11) .....Since Jesus did not use negative qualifiers when speaking to them about "this generation," the apostles would no doubt have understood that they and their fellow disciples were to be part of the "generation" that would not pass away "until all these things [would] occur."

    This is quite an interesting statement. It correctly notes that the discourse posits Jesus as addressing his disciples directly in his response. If full weight is given to this fact, then there is no other later generation in view here. But also the fact that the disciples were part of the generation does not negate the fact that the generation was characterized as particularly wicked and perverse.

    Good call on para. 11. They stop short of saying their whole belief system is flawed here, but you
    point out that the next logic step would be that "there is no other later generation" according to
    the latest "clear/no doubt" understanding.

    On what basis may we draw that conclusion? By carefully considering the context. As recorded at Matthew 24:32, 33, Jesus said: "Now learn from the fig tree as an illustration this point: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors."

    So Summer is NEAR, or Jesus is NEAR at the door. Is his arrival near or is Armageddon near?
    If you make the logic leaps of WTS, you would still say that the sign revealed since 1914 would
    mean his arrival is near.

  • OnTheWayOut

    15) Those without spiritual understanding today have felt that there has been no "striking observableness" with regard to the sign of Jesus' presence. They reason that everything is continuing on as it did in the past. (2 Pet. 3:4) On the other hand, Christ's faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class, have recognized this sign as if it were a flash of lightning and have understood its true meaning.

    There is no offered evidence that the scriptures were intended to be applied in such
    a way. "Those without spiritual understanding" simply means "Anyone who doesn't
    agree with WTS."

    I also love (in the sarcastic sense) how Christ's faithful anointed brothers have recognized
    the sign in direct contrast to anyone who disagrees with them. They understood the
    true meaning- only them- after getting it wrong so many times for so many years. But that's
    ancient history.

    I like your summation of what WTS does here:

    (in other words, “we know what we’re talking about, so don’t question our logic”).
    Yet they did not have this insight in 1962, nor did they have it in 1995.
  • Mary
    So Summer is NEAR, or Jesus is NEAR at the door. Is his arrival near or is Armageddon near?

    Exactly. Matthew 24:32 says:

    "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.

    So when we see the twigs and leaves starting to sprout, does that mean that summer arrived months earlier?? No, it means that summer is NEAR, not that it is here. So when we "see all these things", does it mean that Jesus arrived decades ago (and invisibly to boot?) No----it means that His Coming is near. Hmmmm......funny, but that's exactly what the scripture says as well. Only at Crooklyn can they take something that's fairly easy to understand and twist it into something completely unrecognizable.


    *sticky note* Leolaia - you are awesome!!!

  • OnTheWayOut
    [Box on page 25]

    The word "generation" usually refers to people of various ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period or event. For example, Exodus 1:6 tells us: "Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers and all that generation." Joseph and his brothers varied in age, but they shared a common experience during the same time period. Included in "that generation" were some of Joseph's brothers who were born before him. Some of these outlived Joseph. (Gen. 50:24) Others of "that generation," such as Benjamin, were born after Joseph was born and may have lived on after he died.

    So when the term "generation" is used with reference to people living at a particular time, the exact length of that time cannot be stated except that it does have an end and would not be excessively long.

    So they use a correct way to view "generation" to reach an incorrect understanding.
    Once again, they must know what they are talking about, so don't argue.

    Regardless of when Joseph's brothers were born (before or after him), they were of
    the same generation because they were born of the same father and their lives overlapped
    physically. WTS says that "the exact length" of the generation cannot be stated. Well,
    I could state that it was no more than the lifetime of people alive at one specific time. Even
    their example shows that a generation was all born of the previous generation.

    If you want to be vague and say "the baby-boomer" generation ended around 1964 because
    another generation was being born, and someone says "the baby-boomer" generation doesn't
    end until all of the baby-boomers born in the 40's, 50's, and 60's have passed away, we are
    still setting a clear limit, although the exact length of that time is vague. We are just arguing
    semantics. It is better to look at the intent of the statement.

  • Ruth Eeker
    Ruth Eeker

    I second everything that Mary said on the previous. Thank you both.


    Just as there are various types of the end of the world the same may apply to Christ's presence and the meaning of the end-time generation.

    The year 70 AD was the end of the world for the Old Jewish religious system of things. When the communist system fell in the Soviet Union you could hear about the new world order !

    Now you can realize that we can speak also about various types of Christ's presence . Read the Bible and know that Christ promised not to leave his disciples alone and would come back and he came back by sending his Spirit to his disciples.

    Whenever a group of servants from the class of 144000 is present there the Presence of Christ is !

    The date 150 AD was the last date for the ancient true christianity and it was to be revived and that had to be done by those servants who are a part of the class of 144000 specially chosen servants.

    The revival of the christianity can be traced to the timeline : 1878 AD -1879 AD - 1914 AD and these dates are related with 7 BC,2 BC, 29 AD .

    So ,we see a replica of the ancient times when Christ lived . If so ,we can say Christ's presence was restored ! The first person through whom this phenomenon took place was Taze Russell . We can say that Christ's presence was in him and if he claimed the year 1914 AD as Christ's presence year this can be taken as a great sign indicative of the end-times.

    Christ's 144000 servants as his bride are the manifestation of Christ- his presence.

    If we take all dates I have come up by calculations based on the Bible the whole period 1878 AD to 1991 AD can be considered as Christ's presence. All the remnant of the class of 144000 servants that appeares at the end-times is representing the presence of Jesus Christ.

    That one independent servant as per Luke 9.49-50 in our times is linked to the dates: 1950 AD - 1984 AD - 1988 AD - 1991 AD.

    The period 1950 AD - 1984 AD is 34-years long and it covers the age of Jesus Christ when he lived in the ancient times. Then we have extra 1984 AD - 1988 AD - 1991 AD which represents the period 29 AD-33 AD- 36 AD and again we can talk about the presence of Jesus Christ.

    The Generation Jesus Christ was speaking in Matthew 24.34 was the evil generation he saw and that evil generation began long time before Jesus lived on this earth.

    Simply he was speaking that evil people shall not just pass away but they will pass after the promised signs are first fulfilled. Since the Bible is the reflection of the infinite mind of God the same word may have various applications- meanings .

    And every meaning may have sense.

    Matthew 24. 3- 31 had been fulfilled also in the ancient times : 36 AD - 70 AD .

    If we read the Book of Revelation it can be established that there was a 10-year period back then : 96 AD + 10 years for 10 days as per Revelation 2.10 about 10 days . These things were going to happen soon - Revelation 1.1 and they came to pass in that period !

    So , we can speak about various forms of the end of the world and various types of the end-time generation.

    If you read Matthew 24.29-30 you can see that the actual coming of Jesus Christ in person will take place at the very end and it is yet to come !That is the second coming of Jesus Christ in glory.

  • bennyk
    Christ's faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class, have recognized this sign as if it were a flash of lightning and have understood its true meaning.

    Christ's faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class in 1876: "Hey, did we just see a big bright light two years ago?" "I guess so."

    Christ's faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class in 1900: "We'll see something REALLY BIG, VERY SOON !!!!!!!"

    Christ's faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class in 1914: "Did you see anything?" "No, not me." "Me, neither."

    Christ's faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class in 1920: (silence)

    Christ's faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class in 1930: (silence)

    Christ's faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class in 1943: "Hey, that big bright light we thought we saw in 1874 wasn't really a big bright light at all. Or even anything -- because there wasn't anything to see in 1874. But I'm absolutely CERTAIN I saw something in 1914." "Me, too!!! It was a UFO!!! And if other people claim they didn't see it, or that we saw something in 1874, they deserve to be dead for all eternity!!!"

  • JCanon

    Wow, thanks Leolaia! That is always a lot of work and your formatting is wonderful!

    My brief comments are:

    1. GENERATION. The WTS and you speak of various references regarding generation, rather than one clear concept of a generation that all the Jews certainly would have known of, and that is the famous "generation" that was said to have died in the wilderness. A specific generation of 40 years? When Christ said "This generation would not pass away until these things occur", would not they have reflected on that generation of 40 years who saw the great signs in Egypt who passed away in the wilderness? Why wouldn't that specific Jewish context of a "generation" not be considered among the other references of a generation? Furthermore, it should seem clear by his mentioning "this generation" would not pass away that a generation is a specific time rather than a general one. That is, in conjunction with these events and the "end of the system of things" he is limiting it to one "generation", the generic reference of which would parallel the generation of the Exodus that died in the wilderness, and thus 40 years, specifically.

    2. 'END OF THE SYSTEM OF THINGS" Amazingly, again, this detailed discussion does not address the connected reference from Luke of the "APPOINTMENT TIMES OF THE NATIONS." The appointed times of the nations is a specific time period the Jews were aware of that the nations would be trampling Jerusalem. Daniel assigns some specific chronology to this, that is, the end of the trampling of Jerusalem is at the specific appointed time of 1290 days. "System of things" to the Jews were thus the current state of affairs that their nation was in politically. So when they were asking about the "end of the system things" they were asking about the end of the gentile times, the end of the appointed times of the nations. Why? Because when the Jewish state was reestablished again, that is when the messiah would soon arrive. That's the reference in context that Jesus is saying when he is speaking of the fig tree growing tender. The fig tree represents the state of Israel. So when the State of Israel is reestablished then the messiah would arrive soon after. So you have perfect continuity for the "end of the system of things" and the birth of the state of Israel as the fig tree in relation to when the messiah would arrive, with all these things happening within a generation of 40 years from the first sign. The first sign is a world war: "nation vs nation, kingdom vs kingdom." Luke predicts that Jerusalem would be destroyed and the Jews led into exile "until the appointed times of the nations is fulfilled." That was part of this speech. Thus the "appointed times of the nations" is relevant to both the "end of the system of things" and when one sees the Jews returning to their homeland and reestablishing their self rule. THAT is what the Jews were asking about. When will the gentile times end. The "end of the system of things" is synonymous with the end of the "appointed times of the nations." The messiah does not arrive until the fig tree starts to blossom again, meaning when the nation of Israel is established. Thus the second "coming" of the messiah does not occur until the end of the gentile times. That didn't happen until 1947 and thus "this generation" would be associated with that event. There is no problem having the context of "this generation" defined by the actual events that would happen during "this" generation in the context with the second coming, these signs, and the establishment of the independent state of Israel.

    3. PAROUSIA. Interesting. "Para" means "around" or close to the presence or arrival of someone. But in ancient times and per the nice references given by Leolaia, these are very much in the context of ARRIVING at a certain place. When a dignitary arrived at a certain place, it was like a long procession where the dignitary is the last one in the procession that preceeds before him. So it was more than simply arriving in the city, but a public event with attending fanfare. So, for lack of better modern reference, a parousia is like a parade. That is the concept of what would be specifically attendant when the dignitary arrives in the city. You know, what other planned events would be happening? So they were asking, basically, "What will be in your arrival parade and procession?" What will accompany your arrival? It is often translated as "presence" but the root of the word is PARA + ARRIVAL/PRESENCE. That is, around-presence. In other words, what signs will SURROUND your presence/arrival?

    When they combine that with "and the conclusion of the system of things" it is clear they understand that the end of the gentile times would be closely connected with the second coming. But since the chronology of the second coming is also provided in Daniel, they are not in doubt about WHEN the second coming will take place, only what OTHER signs "around" his arrival will be? The "conclusion of the system of things" is a specifically timed event in the scriptures and in Luke it specifies it as the end of the "appointed times of the nations."

    So in general, the disciples knew that the state of Israel had to be set up first before the messiah arrives. Jesus confirmed this, that when they saw the fig tree starting to come alive again, they should know that the messiah was near at the doors. He simply gave them more details about what ELSE specifically would be happening leading up to the "end of the gentile times" beginning with a world war, food shortages, etc. But also a "great tribulation" prophesied by Daniel that would be TOTALLY OVER before the messiah arrives. "Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days..." The "great tribulation" that was so bad the "days would be cut short" was the Holocaust.

    4. LIGHTENING is discussed, and it's brightness. But not its temporariness. Lightening is indeed bright but it's just a flash. It's not a continuing light. So when referencing the "appearance" of the messiah being like lightening, it would require both a "bright" appearance but a short and momentary one. Lightening is MOMENTARY, not just bright.

    CONCLUSION: This is a nicely done academic reference but it doesn't address CHRONOLOGY. Daniel uses chronology to specifically date the year of the second coming. Period. Theree prophecies specific to the same year: The "7 Times prophecy", the "70 weeks prophecy" and the "1335 days prophecy." The fact that Jesus in Luke mentions the "APPOINTED TIMES OF THE NATIONS" confirms they would have been aware of a specific chronology in connection with when the Jews would regain their homeland and understood generally, especially after Jesus notes it, that the messiah would arrive shortly after the state of Israel is established. In fact, when he mentions "this generation" it is sort of an assurance that the messiah would arrive very shortly after the state of Israel is set up, adding that this "generation" would not end until that happened. That is the generation that would see all these signs would not pass away until the messiah arrived, a generation of no more than 40 years. So it was a reassurance. That once you see the nation of Israel set up, then expect to see the messiah, he would be "near at the doors" and within 40 years from the first sign, which was a world war. In other words, after the state of Israel is finally set up and the "end of the system of things"/end of the gentile times occur, but not beyond a generation after the world war that is the first sign. In other words, the messiah would arrive sometime after 1948 but not beyond 1954, which is a "generation" after 1914, which marked WWI.

    Leolaia doesn't address anything about the APPOINTED times of the nations or any of the CHRONOLOGY in Daniel which is attendant to these events and the "conclusion of the system of things", a specifically appointed-timed event in the minds of the Jews. So neither Leolaia or the WTS fully understand this passage. The KEY to understanding it, is understanding that the "conclusion of the system of things" in the minds of the Jews Jesus was talking to, was synonymous with the "end of the appointed times of the nations." The "system of things" in place that would end for them was the "gentiles times." The messiah would arrive very shortly after the gentile times ends and the state of Israel is set up, and all this would happen within a generation of 40 years from the first sign. Of course the state of Israel was indeed set up within 40 years of the generation of 1914-1954. The reference to a "generation" should thus be considered in the context of the generation of the Exodus who were to die first without seeing the promised land and that "generation" was specifically 40 years.

    Thanks, Leolaia, for sharing your views on this.

    There is one extra caveat here though, that I might add for you. And that is the SUBJECTIVE interpretation of Jesus' words who said that "some standing here would not see death"until the second coming. That is generally thought to mean that Christ would arrive before some alive in his day would not have died of normal old age. However, other scriptures confirm that there were two groups of Christians during that time, those who were expected to live down into the time of the second coming while others would die have to be resurrected, indicating clearly a time in the distant future. Paul uses the term "SURVIVE until the Lord's day" at 1 Thess 4:15. SURVIVE is appropriate for 1900 years. So it is a presumption that Jesus was limiting the time of his second coming by the natural generation of some who were with him when, in fact, some would be chosen to live down to our modern time is the alternative understanding. This is required, however, if the second coming is specifically linked with a specific chronology, which it is, that transcends 2520 years from the fall of Jerusalem. So there is no choice here as far as when the second coming will occur. But to harmonize this reference you have to extend the life of some of those with Jesus to over 1900 years into the future. Of course, that is precisely what happened in the case of John and Paul per the Bible.


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