When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed (Part I)

by garyneal 12 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • garyneal

    An elder, a dear old man who my wife and I had studied with for years, stops me as I was leaving the Kingdom Hall this past Sunday and shows me this article in the October 1, 2011 Watchtower. Obviously he was quite excited to show it to me as he and I broached this subject two years ago as I was learning some things about the Watchtower that I never knew of before.

    A bit of history:

    My wife was on the verge of getting baptized and the night before the Assembly where she was getting baptized she and I visited their house. I basically explained to them two reasons why I could not become a Jehovah’s Witness. One of them was their blood doctrine and the other was their 1914 doctrine. I explained to them how another elder (scholar) failed to explain this doctrine adequately without resorting to Watchtower materials (the Insite book and the Kingdom Ministry). This appeared to squelch his attempt to do the same with me that night as I had noticed that he had those laying next to his seat because my wife pre-warned them of what she thought I was going to say. Needless to say, he was impressed with my knowledge of the history concerning those dates and admitted to actually learning something that night. Keep in mind, this man has been in the ‘truth’ for over 50 years.

    A couple of weeks later when my wife and I was visiting their house so that they could wrap up their ‘studying’ of the Bible, he approached me alone and asked me how did I interpret Jeremiah 25:11 and the seventy years. He indicated that if the 607 date is wrong then it would have a lot of repercussions on the validity of his faith. My explanation consisted of Jerusalem and the surrounding nations to serve the king of Babylon for 70 years and not just Jerusalem being desolated for that time frame. I explained that this was how the scripture was to be interpreted in light of the evidence that overwhelmingly supported 587 in lieu of 607.

    Anyway, back to the present, as I was leaving the Kingdom Hall Sunday, he approached me with this Watchtower article and asked me to read it. My initial response, “Yes, I heard of that article,” which I guess surprised him a little bit though it shouldn’t have as my wife has already told him that I come to this board. Never-the-less, I promised him that I would read the article and offer my reply. I am planning to write a reply to this article on a point by point basis. I will post it here first for your review before I give it to him. My intention is not to try make him believe that 607 is false, instead my intent is to show him with facts, reasoning, and evidence why that date isn’t supported by anyone outside of the Watchtower. I will leave it to him to draw his own conclusions concerning whether or not he wishes to continue to believe in that date.

    Has anyone else had this type of encounter yet? If so, how did you respond? How do you think I should respond? Any suggestions will be taken into consideration as I read this article and work on my reply.

    Thanks in advance.

  • wannabefree
  • garyneal

    Thanks, I must have missed that one. This will be helpful in my response.

    When I have one ready, I will post it here first.

  • Black Sheep
  • thetrueone

    The WTS of course will only use selective information to support their date of 607, for this makes up a part of the fictitious fraud

    which made this publishing organization expand its circulation of its own published works. Doing so otherwise would fracture their self

    established notoriety of being god's special chosen earthly organization that channels information directly from him through his holy spirit.

    Saying that Christ had returned in around 1914 by their own speculative dating system created a huge amount of public interest for the WTS's literature

    and the organization itself.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Before you write an epistle attacking every point, think about just asking a few questions for him to explain to you, perhaps targeting deception, dishonesty, poor research, misleading quotes.

    Pick subjects you think will be important to him. Not you. Him.

    E.g. How many of the experts quoted in the article recognise 587? How many of the experts quoted in the article recognise 607? Why do you think that is? Let him answer the questions.

    Why would the WT quote Josephus as believing blah, blah, when in Against Apion Book 1:20, written later, he says this? ***hand him a copy and get him to read it out loud to you***

    Why would they quote Josephus' saying 40 years, when a quick check of the index finds that the 40 years is considered to be a transcription error, not what Josepus wrote, and believed, at all? If writing, I have put scans of the pages on the thread linked above that you could attach, but you should have a dog eared copy with you when discussing this subject with Dubs.

    What does that say about the quality of the research, (or honesty) in this magazine? This type of question can be used a lot when discussing this article.

    Good luck


  • thetrueone

    One thing I particular picked upon is that the WTS stated that it was in the fall of 537 BCE when the Israelites had actually returned to Jerusalem

    and the surrounding areas, two years after the decree was put forth by Cyrus making that 537 BCE. This has to be looked upon as some

    valuable importance in calculated the 70 years back to 607. If the decree was put forth in 539 BCE, why did it take 2 years to return to Jerusalem ?

    And where is this information that it took 2 years as stated by the WTS. ? Never read that in the bible !

    It really all comes down to when you perceive the destruction of ancient Jerusalem occurred.

    The WTS says the destruction occurred in 607 not at the time of the actual destruction of the temple itself in 586.

    The WTS has used the approximation of the start of the captivity, which by using the bible itself and other archaeological means started in around 605.

  • thetrueone

    Ezra 3:8 says

    In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work, appointing Levites twenty years of age and older to supervise the building of the house of the LORD.

    So then the returning exiles were back in their home land a full 2 years before they were to rebuild their temple.

    The WTS had used this two years span to include in their total of 70 years of captivity. Marking 537 as the last year of captivity.

    When in truthful reality it was in 539 the year of the decree which was to set them free.

    Any comments ?

  • thetrueone

    Concerning this topic the WTS has shown once again their intellectual dishonesty, for they state directly quoting from their article

    " Thus, by the fall of 537 BCE the Jews had returned to Jerusalem to restore true worship. "

    And as they usually do, they state which Scriptures they use to come to that conclusion.

    At the very end of that statement they quote Ezra 1:1-5 ; 2:1 and 3:1-5

    In all of those Scriptures not a single bit of this date is mentioned, in other words they super imposed their own date

    and then quoted Scriptures to substantiate themselves. What the WTS is trying to deliberately dodge here is that

    the exiles most likely returned in the year they were decreed free and after living back in their homeland for 2 years

    they started to rebuild the temple. ..and that is verified by Scripture.

    The WTS leaders today are pressed to substantiate and vilify the corrupt and false doctrines of the previous leaders of the WTS.,

    all in an effort to sustain their own power and position within the organization.

    So by the WTS kooky doctrine the 70 years of captivity really ended in 539 and started therefore back 70 years in 609 BCE.

    Power bleeds corruption does it not ?

    If " The Truth " cant keep you in power then assertively you should lie to do so.

  • jwfacts

    The latest Watchtower articles are very much smoke and mirrors. They do nothing to dispell 587. They simply try to create doubt about 587, but by doing so undermine the same historical sources that they use to arrive at 607, creating an unresolved paradox. If your friend seriously wants to know the truth about 587, then he should read one of the text books that provide large amounts of evidence. If all he wants to do is find an answer in a couple of pages of a biased periodical, then he probably doesn't really want to know the answer.

    I have a summary at http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/607-7-times.php that presents in simple terms a number of angles that can be used to show why Daniel 4 does not point to 1914. It includes a link to Doug Masons critque of the October 2011 magazine, and I will include his second article on the November article when it is finalised.

Share this