Another problem for JW apologists

by Jeffro 223 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Jeffro
    Jeffro

    The 2013 edition of the New World Translation renders 2 Kings 17:1 as:

    In the 12th year of King A′haz of Judah, Hoshe′a the son of E′lah became king over Israel in Sa·mar′i·a; he ruled for nine years.

    This is in fact a better rendering than the previous NWT, which stated:

    In the twelfth year of A′haz the king of Judah, Ho·she′a the son of E′lah became king in Sa·mar′i·a over Israel for nine years.

    Despite their improved rendering, the Watch Tower Society still claims that Hoshea's reign 'really' began in 758 BCE, but that it was 'established' in the 12th year of Ahaz. From there, things get messy.

    They state that Hoshea's reign was 'established' in 748 BCE. (Insight, volume 1, page 466; New World Translation, 2013 revision, page 1747)

    They also claim that Ahaz "evidently began to rule" in 762 BCE, but that "his first regnal year counted from 761" (Insight, volume 1, page 466; New World Translation, 2013 revision, page 1746).

    The problem is, even if Ahaz' reign is counted from 761 (instead of 762), his 12th year would be 750 BCE, not 748. Once again, Watch Tower Society cannot even be harmonised with itself.

    In reality, 2 Kings 17:1 actually indicates that by the time of Ahaz' 12th year (723 BCE) Hoshea had reigned 9 years (his final year). This is consistent with 2 Kings 15:30, which states that Hoshea began to reign in the '20th' year of Jotham, which was in the late part of Ahaz' 4th year. (Israel used Nisan-based dating, whereas Judah used Tishri-based, which is confirmed by analysis of 2 Kings 18:1, 9 & 10.)

    It should be noted that most Bible translations render the verse in a manner that implies that Hoshea's reign began in Ahaz' 12th year (though there is no "became" or "began" in the original text). However, rather than take the Watch Tower Society approach of creating an earlier spurious period, some Bible commentaries suggest that Hoshea's reign 'began' 'in some sense' in his ninth (and final) year, suggesting his reign became peaceful, even though that would be during a 3-year siege by Shalmaneser V.

    Young's Literal Translation and the Douay-Rheims version translate the verse in a manner that is readily consistent with 2 Kings 15:30.

  • Laika
    Laika

    Hey Jeffro

    Is there a nefarious reason why they get this wrong, such as with 607, or is this just a basic error?

  • jookbeard
    jookbeard

    Laika you've got a PM

  • Jeffro
    Jeffro

    Laika:

    Is there a nefarious reason why they get this wrong, such as with 607, or is this just a basic error?

    Yes. They 'need' to make the period from the division of Israel and Judah until the fall of Jerusalem to be exactly 390 years. They also 'need' to adjust the reigns of Israel relative to the reigns of Judah to account for the 20-year gap they create in the Neo-Babylonian period.

    For more information, see here.

    In addition to scriptures where a difference of 1 year can only be reconciled by arbitrarily changing dating systems, JW chronology cannot be reconciled with itself for the following scriptures:

    • 2 Kings 3:1 (2- or 5-year discrepancy)
    • 2 Kings 15:1 (11-year discrepancy)
    • 2 Kings 17:1 (2- or 3-year discrepancy)
  • scholar
    scholar

    There is no fundamental difference between the NWT 2013 edition and the NWT, 1984 edition except that the latter edition states that Hoshea "he ruled" for nine years. Both editions translate the Hebrew as indicating that Hoshea began in the 12th year of Ahaz rather than ending in that year as you mistakenly allege.

    The fact of the matter is that the Chart on page 1747 of the NWT, 2013 edn shows that Hoshea became king in c.758 BCE according to 2Kings 15:30 and this in the opinion of chronologists was an Interregnum up to the establishment of his reign in c.748 BCE which was the Ahaz' 12th year of vassalage under Tilgath-Pileser or the 14th year of Ahaz' actual reign.-2Kings 17:1. cf Aid to Bible Understanding,1971,p.344-5,ftn.m

    Thus there is no inconsistency between the data of 2Kings 15:30 and 2 Kings 17:1. The nine year reign of Hoshea as the last King of Israel ended with the Fall of Samaria in 740 BCE

    The chronology for the Northern Kingdom is fraught with difficulties which has created much scholarship since the time of Thiele and that is why celebrated WT scholars have properly made a' suggested' chronology for this period. That is why ii is stated that such a scheme or outline shold not be" viewed as an absolute chronology but rather as a suggested presentation of the reigns of the two kingdoms. In examining the chart you will see that nearly all of the reigns for the Northern Kingdom are prefixed with the Latin letter 'c' which means circa-about.

    There is much divided opinion as to how the Hebrew of 2Kings 17:1 shoukd be rendered ito English. The first paper which dealt with this problem was that of Edmund Parker in his article 'A Note On The Chronology Of 2Kings 17:1' wherein he claims that Hoshea 'had reigned' rather than the' reign beginning' as NWT and most other translations adopt.

    Leslie Mc Fall in his lengthy paper 'A Translation Guide to the Chronological Data in Kings and Chronicles' discusses the problem in greater detail and states that "The syntax of the Hebrew is more flexible than the English versions allow for it permits either a terminus a quo or a terminus ad quem". So your criticism on this verse fails.

    Further, we calculate the reigns of the Judean on the Nisan to Nisan basis applying the same methodology to that of the reigns of the Kings of Israel rather than your claim and that of other scholars that Judah used the Fall system and Israel used the Spring system. Matters of such calendation are contentious. Simple is always best.

    The length of the reigns for the Northern Kingdom have little to do with the 390 year period of Ezekiel because that period is applicable to Judah and provides auseful yardstick in constructing a chronology for the OT. If memory serves me correctly I believe that in your published Chronology Charts- 2004-2009 Jeffro agreed with the WTS position on this matter with a figure for the whole period approximating our position.

    Your claim that JW Chronology cannot be reconciled with itself for the following passages in 2 Kings is simply bogus for our publications explain these anomalies for that is what chronologists seek to do to make sense out of the data. That is why for instance Thiele titled his research 'The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings'.

    scholar JW

    There

  • Jeffro
    Jeffro

    Oh goodie... psuedo-'scholar' is back.

    scholar:

    There is no fundamental difference between the NWT 2013 edition and the NWT, 1984 edition except that the latter edition states that Hoshea "he ruled" for nine years. Both editions translate the Hebrew as indicating that Hoshea began in the 12th year of Ahaz rather than ending in that year as you mistakenly allege.

    I haven't mistakenly alleged anything. The fact is, the year the Watch Tower Society gives for the 12th year of Ahaz isn't the first year of Hoshea at all. It's not the year they assign for the 'apparent' start of his 'actual' reign in 758 BCE, and it's not the year they assign to his supposed 'recognised' reign in 748 BCE. They're just wrong.

    The fact of the matter is that the Chart on page 1747 of the NWT, 2013 edn shows that Hoshea became king in c.758 BCE according to 2Kings 15:30 and this in the opinion of chronologists was an Interregnum up to the establishment of his reign in c.748 BCE which was the Ahaz' 12th year of vassalage under Tilgath-Pileser or the 14th year of Ahaz' actual reign.-2Kings 17:1. cf Aid to Bible Understanding,1971,p.344-5,ftn.m

    The pathetic excuse you've attempted in reference to Aid to Bible Understanding (which corresponds with the abandonded chronology given in The Watchtower of 1 April 1951) is so obviously baseless that it was abandoned before publication of Insight. "in the opinion of chronologists"?? Who?! There is no evidence that reigns are ever counted in the Bible or elsewhere from some arbitrary period of paying tribute. The claim about Ahaz' 14th year is fabricated nonsense. It's awfully convenient though to simply claim that any anomoly in the Watch Tower Society's false chronology is 'explained away' by some arbitrary 'vassalage', particularly when the Watch Tower Society is unable to assign any specific years to the reign of Tiglath-Pileser, or to correlate any specific year of Tiglath-Pileser with Ahaz' reign. In contrast, my chart correctly shows that Tiglath-Pileser's reign was contemporaneous with parts of the reigns of Menahem through to Hoshea - something the Watch Tower Society claims is incompatible with Tiglath-Pileser's 18-year reign.

    Thus there is no inconsistency between the data of 2Kings 15:30 and 2 Kings 17:1. The nine year reign of Hoshea as the last King of Israel ended with the Fall of Samaria in 740 BCE

    There is indeed no inconsistency between the verses. The Watch Tower Society's interpretation is just entirely wrong. Hoshea reigned from 731BCE until 723 BCE. There was no imaginary 'interregnum' period, which is inserted by the Watch Tower Society to pad out the missing 20 years when aligning the reigns of Israel with those of Judea

    The chronology for the Northern Kingdom is fraught with difficulties which has created much scholarship since the time of Thiele and that is why celebrated WT scholars have properly made a' suggested' chronology for this period. That is why ii is stated that such a scheme or outline shold not be" viewed as an absolute chronology but rather as a suggested presentation of the reigns of the two kingdoms. In examining the chart you will see that nearly all of the reigns for the Northern Kingdom are prefixed with the Latin letter 'c' which means circa-about.

    I've also examined the chart. It's quite clear why some years are given "c.", because upon analysis of the years the Watch Tower Society postulates for the kings of Israel and Judah, it is actually impossible to reconcile the years they've assigned. Notably, most of the years for Judah are not given a "c.", because the length of the period from Rehoboam to Zedekiah is 'required' in JW dogma to be 'exactly' 390 years. However, there is no more basis in the JW chronology for saying those years are any more definite than those assigned for Israel, especially when the Society claims that all other sources 'must be wrong' because they don't align with the flawed JW chronology. On the other hand, I've correctly and honestly constructed the reigns from the biblical data, and then found that the years assigned for the reigns of other kings (including Assyria) are a perfect fit without any need for unproven claims that extra-biblical sources 'must be wrong'.

    There is much divided opinion as to how the Hebrew of 2Kings 17:1 shoukd be rendered ito English. The first paper which dealt with this problem was that of Edmund Parker in his article 'A Note On The Chronology Of 2Kings 17:1' wherein he claims that Hoshea 'had reigned' rather than the' reign beginning' as NWT and most other translations adopt. Leslie Mc Fall in his lengthy paper 'A Translation Guide to the Chronological Data in Kings and Chronicles' discusses the problem in greater detail and states that "The syntax of the Hebrew is more flexible than the English versions allow for it permits either a terminus a quo or a terminus ad quem". So your criticism on this verse fails.

    Your 'conclusion' that my "criticism on this verse fails" is a non sequitur, and finds no support in the sources you've cited. Your source directly states that the Hebrew grammar can be interpreted in the manner I have stated.

    Further, we calculate the reigns of the Judean on the Nisan to Nisan basis applying the same methodology to that of the reigns of the Kings of Israel rather than your claim and that of other scholars that Judah used the Fall system and Israel used the Spring system. Matters of such calendation are contentious. Simple is always best.

    'scholar' seems to imagine that a naive simplistic approach is 'best' even if it's wrong. As indicated in my initial post, comparison of 2 Kings 18:1, 9 & 10 proves that Judea and Israel were not both using Nisan-based dating, because doing so would make it impossible for Hezekiah's and Hoshea's reigns to simultaneously have a difference of 2 (verse 1) and 3 years (verse 9-10).

    The length of the reigns for the Northern Kingdom have little to do with the 390 year period of Ezekiel because that period is applicable to Judah and provides auseful yardstick in constructing a chronology for the OT.

    The suggestion that the reigns of the Northern Kingdom "have little to do with" the length of the period assigned to reigns of the Southern Kingdom is just stupid. Anyone with the most basic understanding of the subject knows that the Bible provides many points of alignment between the two kingdoms, so extending the reigns for the Southern Kingdom by 68 years requires that the other period is also expanded.

    If memory serves me correctly I believe that in your published Chronology Charts- 2004-2009 Jeffro agreed with the WTS position on this matter with a figure for the whole period approximating our position.

    I did correct some errors after I performed a decision tables analysis of various reigns to confirm the calendation used, and this provided a more robust basis for determining some co-regencies. However, any presumed similarity to Watch Tower Society chronology in any revision of my charts is entirely coincidental.

    Your claim that JW Chronology cannot be reconciled with itself for the following passages in 2 Kings is simply bogus for our publications explain these anomalies for that is what chronologists seek to do to make sense out of the data. That is why for instance Thiele titled his research 'The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings'.

    You had to resort to the out-of-print Aid to Bible Understanding from 1971 to even attempt to 'explain' this problem in JW chronology because that attempt was subsequently abandoned. The claim is not supported by any facts - just an assertion that it 'must' have 'really' been Ahaz' 14th year. The chronology given in Aid has different starting years for Jehoshaphat (1 year difference), Jehoram (1 year difference and no co-regency), Ahaziah (4 years), Athaliah (4 years), Jehoash (5 years), Amaziah (8 years), a spurious interregnum (later entirely absent), Uzziah (3 years), Jotham (3 years), Ahaz (4 years), Hezekiah (1 year). Apart from the starting years given for Ahaziah and Athaliah, neither chronology claims the years are "circa."

    If we're to believe this desperate attempt by 'scholar' on top of the Watch Tower Society's already awkward chronology, Ahaz 'began' to reign in 762 BCE, but his reign was counted from 761 BCE, and his reign also began in 759 BCE. What a joke, especially in view of the fact that I've resolved the entire period.

  • Captain Blithering
    Captain Blithering

    Flippin eck jeffro you sure know your stuff!! Impressive rebuttal sir... Marking for later

  • Jeffro
    Jeffro

    Me:

    The chronology given in Aid has different starting years...

    It was too late to go back to edit the post. Should have said, "the chronology in the 1951 Watchtower has different starting years..." The year given for Ahaz in Aid is based on the earlier Watchtower's reckoning, but not all those reigns that I listed are given in Aid per the earlier Watchtower. Some of the years of reigns were changed in JW literature in 1966.

  • AnnOMaly
    AnnOMaly

    There is much divided opinion as to how the Hebrew of 2Kings 17:1 shoukd be rendered ito English. The first paper which dealt with this problem was that of Edmund Parker in his article 'A Note On The Chronology Of 2Kings 17:1' wherein he claims that Hoshea 'had reigned' rather than the' reign beginning' as NWT and most other translations adopt.

    Leslie Mc Fall in his lengthy paper 'A Translation Guide to the Chronological Data in Kings and Chronicles' discusses the problem in greater detail and states that "The syntax of the Hebrew is more flexible than the English versions allow for it permits either a terminus a quo or a terminus ad quem". So your criticism on this verse fails. [Bold mine.]

    Actually, both these scholars support Jeffro's initial point, that the more correct rendering of the verse suggests Hoshea had reigned 9 years by the time of Ahaz's 12th year. McFall was contradicting the assumption (made by most Bible translations and Thiele) that the synchronism was a terminus a quo. Parker, McFall and Jeffro are on the same page and therefore Jeffro's criticism on the old NWT rendering of this verse stands. I don't know what you were trying to achieve here, Neil, by concluding the opposite of what your sources were arguing.

    Parker source.

    McFall source (see p. 30-1).

    Another useful source (Young).

  • nonjwspouse
    nonjwspouse

    Just what I have been hoping to find. Some good arguments from both sides of the issue. I need both sides studied to be compelete and hopefully effective.

    Preperation is the key to providing contriductions or inconsistancies in the opponant with with is massivly confusing, complicated issue.

    In my case, the JW apologist knows next to nothing about calculating this, so I may never have the chance to show my learning or preperation, but just in case....

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