1914.....1919......Where did these dates come from?!?

by losthusband 11 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • losthusband

    Whilst trying to discuss the history of JWism with my family, the 1914 and 1919 dates were brought up!

    Is there a definitive topic/article which discusses these dates?

    I have heard talk of pyramids, and no scriptural basis at all. Is this true?

    I also understand that "God" chose the JWs in 1919. What was the selection criteria and how do they know?!?

    Any help or guidance on this would be appreciated. My family seem to just accept this as fact!!!



  • jwfacts

    Hi LostHusband, there are some quotes about 1914/1919 at http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/15-minute-guide-to-truth.php

    Also see http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/davinci-freemason.php for discussion on pyramids etc.

  • TD


    The 1914 date and the calculation which pointed to it was inherited lock, stock and barrel from a small Second Adventist group headed by Nelson Barbour.

    Barbour published the details of the 1914 date and its significance in the September 1875 issue of Herald of The Morning. By Russell's own testimony, this was before the two gentlemen even met.

    Measurements of passages of the great pyramid of Giza were added years later as coroborating evidence for 1914, but the date was not originally derived from those pyramid calculations.


    During the hysteria of the Great War, a number of individuals and groups were prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917. Seven of the top officials of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society were tried and given lengthy prison sentences. After the war was over, they were released in 1919.

    JW's today view this event as extremely significant spiritually. They believe that they were at that time released from "spiritual bondage" by the "Greater Cyrus," Jesus Christ. They believe it was at this point that God chose them above all other Christian religions as the true one.

    The selection criteria were almost entirely doctrinal. Ostensibly, only the JW's were teaching the truth from the Bible. But since it is the JW's themselves who are the ones deciding what is and isn't correct Bible teaching, you can see that the claim of being selected by God in 1919 is almost entirely circular.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    You don't have to know much at this point in time.

    What you need to do is question it in such a way that they feel obliged to answer you.

    Don't let them get away with anything you consider sounds shonky. Keep asking for clarification.

    Keep them on the subject. They will want to change it.

    Eventually they will come up with a calculation that incudes the date 607 BC for the fall of Jerusalem. As soon as they do that, go to Wikipedea and show them that 607 BC is wrong.

    Remember...... It is up to them to demonstrate that 607 BC is the correct date. You do not have to prove that 586/7 is correct, but if you do, go to Wikipedea and show them the Dynasty XI of Babylon (Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean)

    If they disagree with that list of kings, it is up to them to show you where it is wrong.

    They will want to show you all of the reasons why they believe 607 BC is correct, so you will have to be firm in getting them to understand that you want to know where the supposed mistake is in the king list, because......

    ...... if the king list is not wrong ...... all of the reasons why they believe 607 BC is correct....... are wrong.

    You do not have to show them where their calculation is wrong. They will want you to do that. Don't fall for it. Where it is wrong is not important. That it is wrong is what is important and if they can't fault the king list then 607 BC for the fall of Jerusalem is wrong and every doctrine that uses 607 BC in a calculation, including 1914 and 1919 is wrong, including their insistance that Jesus selected them in 1919.

    They have an extremely strong motive for wanting 607 BC to be correct and they will do anything to avoid coming to the conclusion that they are wrong. Anything. They have no scruples when it comes to defending this doctrine. Expect the unexpected.



  • bluecanary

    If you have more time to invest in the subject, I highly recommend getting a copy of Captives of a Concept. It blasts the 1919 concept out of the water.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Charles Taze Russell's older books did not have their copyright renewed, so they became public domain (or whatever the legal term for free to be published by others is). You can obtain many of them at lulu.com. Probably other places, too. I obtained the book about the pyramids, I don't have it around right now, it may have actually been written by another.

    You can also learn from outside sources. Here's a great start:

    The Great Disappointment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Disappointment

    Charles Taze Russell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Taze_Russell
    While some of the data is questionable, this is a very good article on how he arrived at his conclusions, dates, got started.

  • yknot

    It also helps to discern the points in which the dates and current associations occurred...

    For instance: 1914

    Current belief : Jesus presence and enthronement

    Back ground: Jesus enthronement was changed from 1878 to 1914 in 1922, Jesus' presence was changed from 1874 to 1914 in 1930.

    All of the suggested sites above are excellent!

    I recently posted the following on Cold Steel's "Can Someone Please Help" thread regarding temple appointment (1918-1919)... and I think it might have some bearing for your thread too:

    It (1918-1919) is a revisionist retrospective myth created by Rutherford......

    Around the 1930s Rutherford starts the current mythical claim as he continued to ditch Russell's interpretations.

    Ken Raines has got a nice little webpage devoted to this ...... http://www.seanet.com/~raines/guided.html

    Should you desire the ability to proof some of the early books & WTs he mentions...

    Books: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4214005/Watchtower_Pubs_1870-1960

    Pre-Awake magazines: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4215561/Watchtower_periodic_(Golden_Age__Consolation__Kingdom_News)

    Our own Chasson also has a very nice collection you can dl from his site.... (see thread for link) http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/bible/128918/3/Consolation-on-Demand

    ZWTs and WTs: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/3539484/Watchtower_Bible_and_Tract_Society_-_Jehovah_s_Witnesses_-_Wa

    Nothing like using actual WTS publications as proof that all they claim (well the order it is currently claimed) isn't aways factual rather it is revisional at the whim of those who lead the WTS.

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    The book Nelson Barbour: The Millennium's Forgotten Prophet traces the origin of the Watchtower gentile times doctrine and the date 1914 back to their origins. The 2520 year concept derives from the work of an American clergyman whose book was published in 1808. From him it went to John Aquila Brown. Isaac Wellcome connects Barbour to Brown.

    The 1914 date itself went to Barbour from E. B. Elliot. Barbour adopted Elliott's 1914 calculation after first believing that Gentile Times ended in 1878. Neither date was original with Barbour. Barbour and Russell started the count of the 2520 years from 606 BC. The book points out that Samuel Davies Baldwin pointed to 607 BCE as the start point back in 1867. One of William Miller's critics also pointed to 1914.

    The 1919 date was first found significant in 1930 with Rutherford's book Light, a commentary on Revelation. It is derived from his tendency to turn his life into prophetic fulfilments.

  • losthusband

    Thanks for all the help!

    Looks like I'll have some reading to do over the next few days.......


  • Borgia


    There have been many calculations around, all based on the same starting point (7 times) but all providing a different year.

    For example:

    Piere Agier (1748 - 1823) => between 1838 and 1848

    John Bacon, (1738 - 1820) => two dates: 1866 and 1926

    John Gill (1690 - 1771) => 1866 ends 6000 years of human existence on earth

    Abbrech Johan Bengel (1687 - 1752)=>1836

    David Chytraeus (1530 - 1600) => 1866 day of judgement

    (you may also want to check Newtons exposé on Daniel and perhaps his pupil James Ferguson has something to say about this.)

    But why should any of these interpretations be right? In retrospect we know these people were wrong. JW will tell you that they were right because, and here they open the bible at Revelation 6 and read you the first verses about the horses of the apocalyps. Their theory is that the moment the crowned Jesus started to ride, he was follwed by war on earth, sickness and death and hunger. They quickly point out that as of Jesus enthronement in September/ October of 1914, we had war, disease (spanish flu) and hunger.

    As a matter of fact ... the Great War started in August. Not October. This therefore on the surface seemingly nice theory false to pieces. As a matter of fact: any war is by definition followed by sickness ... thanks to the dead bodies lying all around and the mall nutrition that comes from broken down distribution and health care. Read the ilias and you will find the same spooky horsemen : Agamemnon as the king, followed by war on the Trojans (truly a great war by any definition; marvel at the numbers), the plague and death and hunger.

    1919 is completely fictitious. The JW calculate 3.5 years since 1914 for Jesus to enter the temple hence march/april 1918. That was superficially looking the time in which the board members went to prison on justified charges of sedition, no not based on the book: Finished Mystery, but private letters sent to army men. The moment they were released, because there was no need for a retrial, it was felt to be of the same order as the Israelites went of from Babylon into their homeland in approx 537 BCE. They call this: the liberation from Babylon the Great. As strange it may sound, they really think they were liberated from false babylonian teachings (babylon the great being the world empire of all other religions except JW)

    So they recon that Jesus needed 3.5 years to kick Satans butt out of heaven, and to sweap the floor of the temple for another year or so.

    The Revelation Grand Climax book, chapter 29, page 200, paragraph 7,says in part:

    In 1919 Jehovah’s people on earth began to announce “the word of the kingdom” with renewed zeal. (Matthew 13:19)

    As matter of fact, this picture is not quite truthful. Ask any witness about Cedar Point Ohio: the assembly where the call for publishers was made. That was 1922. Not 1919. They still used the cross, celebrated Christmas and birthdays and easter, and believed Jesus had been enthroned in 1874. It was not untill 1943 that the issue was put to bed and 1914 was the date to believe Jesus was invisibly present.

    What else did they teach? Well... today Jw's will say the Faithful and descrete slave was chosen by Jesus in 1919 for dispensing meat in due season. (eh... any witness that does not know this scripture by heart should be DF-ed!) What then did they dispense? Note the points right after 8:3

    Gods sole channel of communication was the WBTS and was used as such since 1879 ..... Gods sole channel of communication had no need to be chosen again, they claimed to have been functioning as such. On top they dispensed the believe that Jesus had already been enthoned in 1874. And this believe was maintained till 1943. Over a period of 60 years as Gods sole channel of cumminication they dispensed horseshit for meat in due season. I'm sure their heavenly master was glad to represented so truthfully.

    On page 845 they taught this:

    Also in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of "Christianity

    Yeah right!



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