The sad fact is that until a person is questioning for themselves, they won't want to hear any "evidence" that what they believe is a bunch of crap. The WTS is all about suppressing, denying and ignoring inconvenient little things like facts and reality. It becomes and exercise in frustration.
Notes to give someone on new generation...fact check and advice...
Hey NVL, that's a good start. I agree with Black Sheep--the best way to reason with a JW is to ask questions. That being said, I'm sure there are times when a direct approach works. When you're dealing with JWs, you have to make sure all your facts are bullet-proof. If they find one fact that's wrong, they'll discount your whole line of reasoning.
Russell and group first said end would come in 1871, then 1874, then 1912, then 1914. The year 1914 is calculated using day for a year calculation and 7 times meaning 7 years, so 2520, 607 B.C. to 1914 A.D. is 2520 years. However, this only works if you use years that are 360 days in length. Insight book says "In Prophecy. In prophecy the word “year” is often used in a special sense as the equivalent of 360 days (12 months of 30 days each). (Re 11:2, 3)." If a real year is used, this gets us to 1949 A.D.
Russell didn't say the end would come in 1871 or 1874. Barbour and other Adventists who associated with / influenced Russell pointed to 1874, but Russell didn't. Russell did point to 1874 as the start of the last days (exactly how the JWs now 1914).
Russell and the WTS absolutely did point to 1914 as the end, then 1918, and 1925. These are well-documented. For helpful quotes and cites to WT literature, see http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/1800s.php. If you're gonna use dates, use those dates. Google Books has scanned copies of a lot of the older publications, including the Studies in the Scriptures series and the "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" booklet. So, if a JW gives you heat about where you got your info (and this is a common diversionary tactic), it's helpful to be familiar with Google Books. Here are a couple of helpful links:
- Millions Now Living Will Never Die: http://books.google.com/books?id=V0gMAAAAYAAJ (see pages 88-89 for discussion of 1925)
- The Finished Mystery: http://books.google.com/books?id=dDQSOQV2RBIC (page 485 talks about God destroying church members by the millions in 1918)
Regarding the 360-day year, it's interesting that the Society uses 360-day years to calculate the # of years, but then 365/6-day years to count down to 1914. So, here are the logical leaps that you have to make to get to 1914:
- You have to agree that, despite what every single historian says, Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BC.
- You have to agree that Daniel's 7 times prophecy had to be fulfilled twice--even though not one single scripture says so.
- You have to agree that the 7 times, which meant 7 years in the first fulfillment, mean something else in the second fulfillment.
- You have to agree that the 7 times in the second fulfillment mean 7 years of 360 days each, where each "day" means a year of 365 or 366 days each.
Isn't it all completely clear and "Bible-based"? Do you ever feel STUPID for having believed this nonsense in the first place? Sometimes I do...
Olin, so...I am pretty decent at mat, but I might need a little clarification on that last part about switching between the 360/365.
So they use the 7 times as 360 day, day for a year, etc., to get to the number of years to countdown, but then switch to literal years when doing doing the actual countdown?
Sure. They have to do this, because we don't use 360-day years.
They use 360-day "prophetic years" to get to the 2520 days. Then they use "a day for a year" to turn the 2520 days into 2520 years. But instead of using 360-day years to arrive at 1914, they switch to 365/6 day years (the Gregorian calendar that we use today) to count down to 1914.
Think about it this way. If the WTS was consistent, they would say that there were 2520 years of 360 days each. This would have caused the end of the seven times to come earlier than 1914.
Farkel has a classic post explaining this in his typical deadpan humor. I'll try to find it and post a link.
Check out the post by Farkel on that thread...I'm copying it below (hope he doesn't mind):
This explains it all. It is an except from my "Handy JW Apostate Glossary":
"1914" A.D. - the single most important date in JW doctrine, and is the result of using 607 B.C as an "anchor date", using the book of Daniel, Chapter 4, as proof.
This is based upon the following, simple reasoning:
7 "times" doesn't mean "7 times". It means "7 years".
But,"7 years" doesn't really mean 7 "years", either. It means "7 years of days".
But, the "days" in "years of days" doesn't really mean "years of days, in which the days actually mean "days", but means "years of days, in which the "days" actually mean "years".
Therefore, it is easy for even a fool to see that "7 times" REALLY means "7 years" but which really means "7 years of days", but which then really means "7 years of days which aren't really days, but years", or simply stated "7 years of days of which days are really years". To put it even so a child can understand it, it means that the "times" aren't "times" at all, but are "years", which aren't "years" at all, but are "years of days", which aren't "days" at all, but are "years" AFTER all, even though they were originally CALLED "times"!
Got all that? There's more.
Strangely, however, for all of this to work, this fulfillment, based upon an ANCIENT text, still requires the use of the ANCIENT calendar for the MODERN fulfillment to work out to 1914. Therefore, ancient text + ancient calendar = modern date in modern calendar.
When doing your calculations, don't forget that there is no "zero year" from B.C to A.D. C.T. Russell forgot that and was quite embarrassed about it. The official WTBS explanation in later, revised, editions of his books was that "the battery was very low in his calculator at that time" and he wasn't aware of it until after the material was printed.
Lastly, the book of Daniel was prophesied to remain "sealed" until the "last days", which, as we know, began in 1914, according to the simple reasoning just presented. So, Russell had to figure out a way to, somehow "unseal" Daniel before it was prophesied that Daniel WOULD be "unsealed" so he could then put forth a prophecy which pointed to exactly when Daniel WAS to be "unsealed", namely at the start of the "last days", in 1914.
Russell, therefore, successfully used a "sealed" book to calculate the exact date it was to be "unsealed", which at that time it was officially, "unsealed", but Russell "unsealed" it before that, because he wanted to know beforehand when it WOULD be "unsealed", because only THEN would he know when the "last days" were to start, which was, of course, when Daniel actually WAS to be "unsealed". Got all that?
I apologize to the reader for using so many words, but, this stuff is so, well, "DEEP"! (See "607" B.C" and "Reasoning".)
Perhaps someone can confirm, but to my memory they have never explained why a"prophetic year" was 360 days long have they ?
There is nothing in scripture to back that up is there ?