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.