Doubt 1914 will be changed anytime soon. They just dedicated an entire summer to celebrating it.
The big lie in the 2nd results:
"1914, the year the Bible Students had been proclaiming had finally arrived."
They only switched to saying 1914 was significant sometime around 1925. Prior to that they were still talking about 18-something.
They make it sound like that had been foretelling 1914 when actually, they had been making up some "invisible event" and then declared it happened in that year. So they make it sound like their prophesy came true when in reality they didn't say the actual year until the year itself was long gone.
Actually that is not true. I have a pdf file of a 1913 WT where it clearly says that they were expecting something big to happen in 1914. (Also in other WT prior to 1914, but I am not sure which ones).
Strange - some of the books printed in the 1920's still say that Jesus returned in the late 1800's (74?)
But still, if I say "2016 is going to come" then one day I can say "2016 - the year Simon proclaimed!". It's hardly an achievement.
Nitty-Gritty, I'm not referring necessarily to the number of times 1914 is mentioned; I'm referring mainly to the feel I have for the situation and the way the date was viewed, mentioned, and emphasized when I first became a JW versus the way it has been mentioned and referred to in the last few years.
However, I did a search for the date on The Watchtower Library CD (2011ed) and found the following occurrences in the Watchtower magazine. Notice how the occurrences trended downwards.
1960- 69 895
So I still believe that 1914 is not going as strong as it used to be.
"I have a pdf file of a 1913 WT where it clearly says that they were expecting something big to happen in 1914."
It was around 1905 that Russell started losing faith in his complicated 40 year social Armageddon and started saying that there would be a "final windup" where everything that he said would happen would finally happen shortly before or shortly after 1914.
Keep in mind that he had a lot of secondary prophecies within that 40 year period whose dates he kept changing as the years kept proving him wrong. The fall of Babylon the Great was supposed to happen on several different years according to the predictions of succeeding editions of his books and he would even remeasure the sacred pyramid in order to keep all his prophecies in tact.
What happened in 1914 was the opposite of what he predicted in the 1880s where he stated that there would be no outbreak of war especially in Europe. Such a war would contradict his social Armageddon where anarchy and fratricide between people in the world would bring about the dissolution of the world.
A world war would have interrupted his complex predictions since war would require a cohesive society (no anarchy) and would result in a victor. Russell did not believe that there would be any victors in his Armageddon. No nation would have the organization to wage a war if they all are disintegrating into chaos.
As for 1914, that was supposed to be the beginning of the Millennium.
@ Nitty-Gritty: I suggest that you get a copy of the book The Gentile Times Reconsidered. Unfortunately they are out of print and Amazon has them for crazy prices (cheapest 38.59) but if you can get a copy you'll learn a lot and be able to see Russell's predictions in full historical context.
@ Simon. Sure, to say a date was coming is nothing special, but Russell didn’t do just that he said he believed the Gentile times were ending that year, what happened on the world scene, especially as regards the Bible Students, was not what was expected of course, but the belief that the Gentile times ended evidently never changed since then.
@ Magnum. Love your avatar by the way. Yes, when looking at your statistics 1914 is not mentioned as frequently maybe that might be something to do with the fact that it is an established belief and does not need to be “taught” over and over again. Somewhere at the beginning of the thread someone predicted that 1914 was going to be slowly phased out completely and this is clearly not true. If you google the beliefs of JWs one of the things mentioned is 1914 as Christ’s second coming. It looks like it is a core belief.
@Village idiot I think the main mistake people make is calling it predictions. Those prophesies are Biblical predictions and they obviously cannot change. It is the interpretation of them which by default can change if after they happen they have not happened in the way it was thought they would. In any case, Russell always placed a disclaimer on his interpretation of Biblical prophecy and always admitted he may be wrong. Indeed he was wrong many times in his lifetime but he kept searching. If you keep searching you may get it right one day, if you don’t search you will never find....my thought anyway.
"If you keep searching you may get it right one day, if you don’t search you will never find....my thought anyway."
Like the broken clock that's right twice a day? Anyone can get anything right by simply talking up a storm. One out of a thousand things he might say could come out to be semi-correct. No need for chronological voodoo.
As I pointed out above Russell had an atypical view of things in which 1914 would be the end of the end not the beginning of the end. The most embarrassing thing was his prediction that no war would occur in Europe or - hedging his bet - it would be a minor war before 1905. It was in 1905 that he once more changed his predictions.
As for Russell "always" placing a disclaimer on his predictions I remember reading his book The Time is at Hand where it emphatically said:
"True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved; but we are living in a special and peculiar time, the "Day of Jehovah," in which matters culminate quickly..."