The latest Oct. Watchtower has an article that seems to be controversial amongst us "apostates." It's a long complicated article with tons of confusing names and dates, but in the end it sums it up and says:
"To sum up: The Bible clearly states that there was an exile of 70 years. There is strong evidence—and most scholars agree—that the Jewish exiles were back in their homeland by 537 B.C.E. Counting back from that year would place Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. Though the classical historians and the canon of Ptolemy disagree with this date, valid questions can be raised about the accuracy of their writings. Really, those two lines of evidence hardly provide enough proof to overturn the Bible’s chronology."
My question is: Is there any way to debunk their "strong evidence" of Jewish exiles being back in their homeland by 537 B.C.E? According to JWs the Jewish were to be in exile for 70 years, so by saying they were back home in 537, they say the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of their exile had to be in 607 B.C.E. So what proves they were home in 537? And is there any evidence against that claim?
I want to know cause if I ever bring this up in conversation with my hardcore JW family, all they'll do is throw the Oct. 2011 issue in my face and say "shut up and read that".