Is the WT misinterpreting Newton? What does "mortal" mean?

by Open mind 16 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • civicsi00
    In a manuscript Newton wrote in 1704 in which he describes his attempts to extract scientific information from the Bible, he estimated that the world would end no earlier than 2060. In predicting this he said, "This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail."

    Me thinks Newton would not quite support the WT seeing as how all of their predictions have failed..

  • Leolaia

    Okay, I've found some more quotes. Newton saw New Jerusalem as the home of repatriated Jews from across the nations; the mortals who will reside forever on the earth are Jews.

    "This city must be understood to comprehend as well Christ and the children of the resurrection as the race of mortal Jews on earth. It signifies not a material city but the [spiritual] body politique of all those who have dominion over the nations whether they be the saints in heaven or their mortal viceregents on earth and therefore the Apostle Paul [Heb. 11] ... understands it of the saints in heaven and in Gal. 4:26 calls it Jerusalem which is above. Hence this city is not only long and broad as other cities but rises high from the earth into heaven" (p. 134).

    So the city consists of both mortal Jews living out their lives on the earth and "invisible" resurrected Christians living in heaven. But those of heaven may also appear on earth like Christ did after the resurrection:

    "We are not to conceive that Christ and the Children of the resurrection shall reign over [mortals] the nations after the manner of mortal Kings or convers with mortals as mortals do with one another; but rather as Christ after his resurrection continued for some time on earth invisible to mortals unless [when] upon certain occasions when he thought fit to appear to [mortals] his disciples; so it is to be conceived that at his second coming he and the children of the resurrection shall reign invisibly unless they shall think fit upon any extraordinary occasions to appear. And as Christ after some stay in or neare the regions of this earth ascended into heaven so after the resurrection of the dead it may be in their power [also] to leave this earth at pleasure and accompany him into any part of the heavens, that no region in the whole Universe may want its inhabitants" (pp. 135-136).

  • Borgia

    Below is a quote from heraldmag .... yes ... those JW uncles and aunts called biblestudents ...

    In Of the World to Come Newton shows a clear grasp of the heavenly salvation, the earthly salvation, and the “little season.” He dismisses eternal torment with this opening salvo: “So then the mystery of this restitution of all things is to be found in all the prophets; which makes me wonder with great admiration that so few Christians of our age can find it there. For they understand not that the final return of the Jews from captivity … and the setting up of a peaceable, righteous, and flourishing kingdom at the Day of Judgment is this mystery … First, the earth shall continue to be inhabited by mortals after the day of Judgment and not only for a 1,000 years, but even forever … And that the citizens of this city are not the saints raised from the dead, but a race of mortal men like the nations over whom they reign … [That after the judgment of Isaiah 66] the saving in these and such like places of Scripture is of mortals at the last day from both misery and death both temporal and eternal. … [for] the rest of his kingdom are the nations that have been saved; and they are mortals remaining on earth.”

    I'm sure these people will claim Newton for their own as do the JW.

    Also below you will find a link to Newtons observations as to the prophesy of Daniel, courtesey of the gutenberg project.

    I just think that he would have had a hard time with Mr Russel, Rutherford and cronies ...



  • JosephMalik

    Gal. 4:26 calls it Jerusalem which is above.


    This verse as do many others are a problem for the WT and others that look at such texts as if altitude or location is being discussed. What Paul was really discussing is their dependence on the Law covenant and how things would work out in such a Jerusalem that did not require it. He gave this illustration about it. 21Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. This promise was above such Law for this Jerusalem above would be based upon it. It would be superior to such Law that enslaved them and be like the freewoman that appeared to be barren but would bear more children than such Law keepers. This is explained like this: 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. While some verses are interpreted with height or location in mind and that people will be selected to go to such a place I have not found any text that teaches this doctrine. The real point such verses make is that the place where all men will reside is a place blessed by and authorized by God and called heaven or heavenly by Jewish writers for such reasons. Such use of words reflects their custom and in similar texts can be shown like this:

    Mt 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

    Lu 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

    What may look like location at first when we see words like heaven becomes nothing more that Jewish custom when God or a higher authority like something approved by God is being discussed.


  • WTWizard

    Newton was not afraid to think on his own, even if the ideas were wrong. But, he would do experiments. If the experiments prove his earlier thoughts wrong, he would not hesitate to admit that he had been wrong and adjust his new viewpoint. Even that might be wrong--his experiments only go so far. But he was working on it.

    Now, enter the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger. Suppose Newton finds something in a washtowel that he does not like or that blatantly contradicts the Showcase Edition. Before long, he would be making a trip to the back room, accompanied by three hounders.

  • Half a Person
    Half a Person

    Isn’t this an “appeal to authority” fallacy?

    The Society’s thought process probably went something like this:

    1. Isaac Newton wrote some words which seem to agree with our beliefs
    2. Therefore Isaac Newton supports our beliefs
    3. Isaac Newton was a clever man
    4. Therefore our beliefs (which he agrees with) must also be clever
    5. So anyone who disagrees with us is, in effect, saying that they are cleverer than Isaac Newton!
    6. This is unlikely. Consequently, anyone who disagrees with us is probably (a) arrogant, (b) delusional, and (c) just plain wrong.

    But as this thread has shown, the point Newton was making (that after Armageddon, the earth will always be inhabited by humans) is different to the point the Society is making (that after Armageddon, the earth will always be inhabited by *the same* humans), so the above list falls apart.

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Thanks to everyone for all the input.

    And a special thanks to Leolaia for providing the exact source material.

    Hmmm, I wonder why the Watchtower is so loathe to give exact sources?

    Unfortunately, my local library doesn't have the book.


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