1904 and Russell taken to task for 606 BCE...calling you brainiacs!

by Aussie Oz 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    While cruising through the Oct 1 1904 Watctower i found this interesting challenge to Russells 606 date. His response in part is also pasted from the WT, but goes on to a very lengthy argument that seems to avoid all the known facts. Not being very good at understaning the issue at all, i wonder what those here more scholarly than i might make of his full reply. It is far too long to post so i hope someone will be able to look it up and make comment...



    Dear Sir,--Since you have changed your views respecting Gentile Times let me suggest the possibility of still another error. You count the seventy years Babylonian captivity of the Jews as beginning with the overthrow of Zedekiah, Judah's last king, but I notice that "Bishop Usher's Chronology," given in the margins of our Common Version Bibles and based on "Ptolemy's Canon," begins that seventy-year period nineteen years earlier--namely, in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, when he took captive Daniel and other prominent Jews and laid the Jews' country under tribute. Now if this, the common reckoning, be correct, it would make the Times of the Gentiles to begin nineteen years later than you estimate, namely, in B.C. 587, instead of B.C. 606;--and this in turn would make those times end nineteen years later than you have reckoned,--in October, A.D. 1933, instead of October, 1914. What do you say to this? Are you humble enough to acknowledge that I have struck some new light, and that you and all DAWN readers have been "all wrong," walking in darkness?

    We reply that there are too many ifs in the proposition, and that they are all abundantly contradicted by facts and Scripture, and are therefore not worthy the slightest consideration.

  • wobble

    Russell's arrogant attitude, I am right regardless of evidence to the contrary, has always been a primary part of WT charcteristics.

    They are the same today, with the slight difference that Russell may have sincerely believed his own B.S

  • J. Hofer
    J. Hofer

    too many ifs... i counted one. and one that wasn't really meant as "if".

  • Diest

    Called out on BS in 1904....still sticking to the party line 107 years latter. One thing about the WTS....they are not quiters LOL

  • AnnOMaly

    1. Russell trashes Ptolemy's Canon for years up to 536 BC (the 1st year of Cyrus, as was thought then - years after 536 BC are OK) because he thinks it doesn't harmonize with 'Bible chronology' (i.e. Barbour/Russell chronology).

    2. He trashes Usher's chronology and claims he's made a fundamental error in counting the 70 years as a period of captivity (i.e servitude) beginning 18 years PRIOR to Jerusalem's destruction when it should be counted from Zedekiah's dethronement and Jerusalem's destruction (i.e. 606 BC when counting 70 years back from 536 BC).

    3. Russell asserts that the 70 years weren't a period of 'captivity' anyway, but of 'desolation, without an inhabitant.'

    4. Ptolemy's Canon and Usher's chronology cannot be right because if they were, it'd totally screw up his Jubilee cycles, dispensations and the whole Divine Plan caboodle.

    That's pretty much it. The arguments haven't really changed in all this time.

    Check out the 1922 WTs on the Gentile Times as well (the first one, I think, was May 1). After Russell died, there was more unrest on this issue and Ratherflawed stomped on it with a couple of eyebrow raising articles.

  • Ding

    It would have taken a lot of humility for Russell to admit he was wrong about his date system.

    His date system was his whole claim to fame.

    Without it, he was nobody special...

    ... so it had to be right even if it was wrong...

  • elder-schmelder

    Anyone have a pdf of this issue?


  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    The only pdf i know of is one that covers 1879 to 1916 in one giant file.

    so it takes alot of trawling thru!


    it appears that arrogance must be a pre requisite for the Wt leadership then.

    In the may1 1922 WT rutherford basically attempts to quell the unrest by stating that those who doubt, think to much of themselves. And that the reason for the 'delay' was to manifedt the agitators and test the rest.

    nice to see the tactic remains the same today...the sure don't cahnge their spots!

  • cedars

    Great find Aussie Oz - I think the really beauty of this extract is NOT how well-reasoned or correct the correspondent's query/observation was, but the way that Russell so freely exposed his arrogance in the reply that was given. He arguably did more harm to his reputation than good by posting the question (along with his remarkable response) in the first place, because little did he know that 107 years later people like you and I would be reading his words and gasping in incredulity at the disdain with which he treated any readers who dared to question his ideas. The amount of time that has passed since 1914 is increasingly proving that it was HE who was in contradiction of both facts and scripture more than anyone else, and this article proves that, quite apart from his ignorance, he reserved the utmost contempt for anyone who dared to offer an alternative opinion. Are these the traits of a "faithful and wise servant"?

    I'm pretty sure the modern Society wouldn't be as stupid as Russell was by betraying their own arrogance so freely. They conceal their collective arrogance behind closed doors, and smiling portraits for the magazines. They certainly wouldn't be silly enough to give reasoned arguments against the folly of their teachings any column inches in the modern Watchtower magazine.

    A brilliant find.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    Further to this, when the realisation hit that there was no "year zero", the date for Jerusalem's destruction was put back a year, from 606 to 607 BCE :

    - but the date for the end of "The Times of the Gentiles" was still left fixed at 1914 CE, regardless.

    Talk about creative accounting!


Share this