How do Jehovah's Witnesses get from 1914 to 1919?

by God_Delusion 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • God_Delusion

    Hi guys and gals,

    I have written an article that explains how the Watchtower Society gets from 607 BCE to 1914 ( but I need some input so that I can write an article on how they get from 1914 to (via 1918) 1919.

    Are we talking about Ezra, 1:2-4 when the Persian King Cyrus allows the Israelites to go and rebuild the temple 3 and a half years after exiling them? If so, how has the Watchtower used this passage to get to 1919??

    October 1914 + 3.5 years = April 1918.

    Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated :-)

  • Crazyguy

    Don't they use some of the nubers in the book of revelation.

  • God_Delusion

    Not sure. If anyone has the info, please let me know.


  • AnnOMaly

    It was to do with the parallel with Jesus' life and ministry. It's an old idea even though the quote below is recent.

    Revelation Climax (revised version) chap. 6 p. 32 [Box] Unlocking a Sacred Secret

    A Time of Testing and Judging

    Jesus was baptized and anointed as King-Designate at the Jordan River about October 29 C.E. Three and a half years later, in 33 C.E., he came to Jerusalem’s temple and threw out those who were making it a cave of robbers. There appears to be a parallel to this in the three-and-a-half-year period from Jesus’ enthronement in the heavens in October 1914 until his coming to inspect professed Christians as judgment began with the house of God. (Matthew 21:12, 13; 1 Peter 4:17)

  • God_Delusion

    @AnnOMaly - You must be joking! So that's it? That's how the Watchtower gets to 1918? How do they get to 1919 though?

  • Vanderhoven7


  • redvip2000

    I do't think it has to do with Jesus.

    From i recall it has to do with Nebuchadneezar and the time he spent as a wild beast and insane, although that was seven years.

  • bohm

    • You take 1914
    • you add 5
    • you get the elders on your ass if you ask why.
  • trujw

    from jwfacts

    1260 days

    At Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 11:3-6 it discusses a period of 3 ½ years, or 1260 days. During the 1800's the Watchtower claimed this was prophetic of 1260 years. Now it is said to be a period of days that roughly correspond to 1260 literal days. There have been at least 11 changes, spanning 9 different periods of time.

    1260 Days Source Begins Ends
    1 Zion’s Watch Tower Apr 1880 538 AD 1798 AD
    2 Zion’s Watch Tower 1898 Sep 1 and 15 539 AD 1799 AD
    3 Zion’s Watch Tower 1915 Aug 1 325 AD or 539 AD 1585 AD or 1799 AD
    4 Watchtower 1929 Dec 15 1 Oct 1914 1 Apr 1918
    5 Light 1 (1930) 7 Nov 1914 7 May 1918
    6 Watchtower 1951 1 Oct 1914 1 Apr 1918
    7 Finished Mystery (1969) 4 Oct 1914 26 Mar 1918
    8 Incoming World Government (1977) 28 Dec 1914 21 Jun 1918
    9 Revelation Climax (1988) 28 Jul 1914 Early 1918
    10 Watchtower 1993 Nov 1 pp.9-10 Dec 1914 21 June 1918
    11 Kingdom Ministry Sep 2006 Dec 1914 Jun 1918

    As the 1260 days do not line up exactly with any relevant, literal time period of importance to the Watchtower, numerous adjustments have been made; none compelling, most not even 1260 days. These have related to:

    • Papal Rule
    • World War One
    • The End of the Gentile Times
    • The arrest of Rutherford
    • The sentencing of Rutherford

    Originally, the Watchtower used the principal of "a day for a year" to conclude the 1260 dayswere representative of 1260 years. The 1260 days were explained to be a 1260 year period of power for the Papal Church. At first this was 538 A.D. - 1798 A.D. states:

    "If a prophecy clearly belongs to a certain power, and its measure is given in "days," and yet it required just that many years to fulfill it, we are clearly justified in understanding a "day" in that case, to symbolize a year. And that the people of Rome and Italy acknowledged and submitted to the supremacy of the papal church, from A. D. 538 to 1798, is clearly supported by the facts of history." Three Worlds (1877) p.112

    "The prophecy, both in Daniel and Revelation, demands that this power should continue to hold, "times and laws," 1260 days, or a "time, times, and half a time," or "forty-two months;" all of which are used in Rev. 12: and 13:, as one and the same. In 1798 the time expired, the 1260 years were ended." Ibid p.114

    "The exact day on which that 1260 year period ended, was February 15th, 1798. That was the day the papal civil power ended, and the republic was declared from the capitol in Rome." Ibid p.117

    (See also Zion's Watch Tower 1881 Dec p.7)

    When Russell realised that papal rule started in 539 A.D., he adjusted the period to 539 A.D. - 1799 A.D., despite this conflicting with his previous statements that Papal rule ended in 1798.

    "Literally in the three and one half years in Elijah's day in which there was no rain (James 5:17) and spiritually in the three and one half times, or 1260 years, from A. D. 539 to 1799 in which the showers of blessing were withheld from the world" Studies in the Scriptures VII - Finished Mystery p.173

    In the 1900's, the 1260 days were changed from prophetic years to literal days.

    In 1930, Light I explained the 1260 days extended from the November 7 1914 release of a specific Watch Tower article, to the May 7th 1918 date of issue of an arrest order on Rutherford and the Watchtower board members. This is a period of 1277 days.

    "The article published in the November 1 issue of The Watch Tower would be in the hands of its readers by the end of the first week or about the seventh day of November, 1914. Forty-two months of thirty days each, or 1260 days, which is equivalent to three and one-half years solar time, beginning the first week in November, to wit, November 7, 1914, would end on the 7th day of May, 1918. Exactly forty-two months after the publication of the forementioned "sackcloth" article in The Watch Tower, to wit, on the 7th day of May, 1918, all the officers of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and who were then the publishers of The Watch Tower, were "overcome", in this, that they were arrested under warrant charging a violation of the espionage law and trading with the enemy, and their work stopped." Light I pp.198,199

    In 1969, the start of the 1260 days was changed to extend from the end of Gentile Times (October 4th 1914) to the memorial of March 26th 1918. (See Then is Finished the Mystery of God, pp.261-263) This is a period of 1269 days.

    In 1977, the start of the 1260 days was changed to Dec 28th 1914, ending June 21st 1918. December 28th was an arbitrary date, supposedly representing the period from when the Bible Students expected to be persecuted, until Rutherford's prison sentencing. This is a period of 1271 days.

    "The "finishing of the dashing of the power of the holy people to pieces" evidently occurred on June 21, 1918. On that day the American federal court sentenced the president and the secretary-treasurer of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and five of their headquarters associates to long prison terms, amounting to a total of 140 years. Well, June 21, 1918, fell, according to the Biblical lunar calendar, on Tammuz 11, 1918. Three lunar years back from that, or Tammuz 11, 1915, fell on June 23, 1915. Then the half of a lunar year, or six lunar months, back from that would be Tebeth 11, 1914, which coincided with December 28, 1914. That date, December 28, 1914, was very appropriate. During the year from early in January the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society had been showing the famous Photo-Drama of Creation." Our Incoming World Government - God's Kingdom pp.128-129

    In 1988, the Revelation book went back to the 1969 interpretation.

    "Additionally, at the beginning of the Lord's day, there was a marked period of three and a half years when the hard experiences of God's people matched the events prophesied here-starting from the outbreak of the first world war in the latter part of 1914 and continuing to the early part of 1918." Revelation - It's Great Climax is at Hand! p.164

    In 1993, the Watchtower returned to the 1977 interpretation.

    "Since January 1914 they had been showing the Photo-Drama of Creation, a Biblical presentation that drew attention to Daniel's prophecies. In the summer of that year in the Northern Hemisphere, war broke out. In October, the appointed times ended. By the end of the year, the anointed remnant were expecting persecution, as seen from the fact that the year text chosen for 1915 was Jesus' question to his disciples, "Are ye able to drink of my cup?" based on Matthew 20:22, King James Version. Hence, from December 1914, this small band of witnesses 'preached in sackcloth,' humbly enduring as they announced Jehovah's judgments. Finally, on June 21, 1918, J. F. Rutherford, the new president, together with the directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, was sentenced on false charges to a long term in prison. Thus, at the end of the prophetic period, the "little horn" killed the organized public preaching work." Watchtower 1993 Nov 1 pp.9-10

    In 2007, Jehovah's Witnesses once more reviewed the 1993 Revelation book at their Book Study. The September 2006 Kingdom Ministry insert made the following change regarding the 1260 days. The period of December 1914 to Jun 21st 1918 could be anywhere between 1268 and 1298 days.

    Amusingly, a Witness will consider this "new light", when in actual fact it was old light from 1977, re-replacing incorrect new light.

    It is interesting that from December 28th to June 21st is not 1260 days, but 1271 days. Additionally, why start December 1914? World War 1 started in August and the Gentile times apparently ended in October. The Watchtower simply decided the event of June 21st 1918 to have been an auspicious date, worthy of prophecy, and then counted back roughly 1260 solar days to a non-eventful month in 1914. In fact, counting back 1260 days from June 21 1918 arrives at January 8th 1915 . However, the Watchtower has no interest in 1915 and a significant amount in 1914. If the 1260 days are to be taken as a literal prophecy, it would make sense that they relate exactly to a 1260 day period. Each of the Watchtower interpretations are irrelevant and poorly contrived.

    Note: The 1260 days of Revelation 11:3 are not to be confused with the 1260 days of Revelation12:6. This second period is described as "extending in the Northern Hemisphere from the spring of 1919 to the autumn of 1922. This was a period of refreshing recuperation and reorganization for the restored John class." Revelation - It's Great Climax is at Hand! p.18

  • Zordino

    They just pulled nonesense out of their ass as they normally do with the rest of their Wacky beliefs..

    You can make the scriptures say just about anything you want.

  • Finkelstein

    The WTS. spins the bullshit before offering it to the public and its devoted members.


    J Rutherford announced in 1919 that God had chosen his publishing house and its following devoted sales representatives

    just to create a semblance of viability to the organization and the literature he produced..


    This was just a start of the many false doctrines by this religious publishing house as many more were to follow but

    were devised with the same core intent which was to attract people to the literature the WTS. published.

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    In addition to the point about Jesus ministry being 3.5 years (October 1914 + 3.5 years = 1918), the release of Ratherfraud and the gang from prison 1919 supposedly constitutes indisputable proof that Jesus appointed them in 1919. Talk about eisegesis and self-serving interpretations of events and scripture!

  • DesirousOfChange

    They just pulled nonesense out of their ass as they normally do with the rest of their Wacky beliefs..

    Yep, I think that's about it. They get from Oct 1914 to Spring of 1918 based on the 3.5 years of JC ministry (as said above). As far as I know, there is no such computation for arriving at 1919. I do believe it is supposed to coincide with the bones that come back to life (Ezek or Rev) and 1919 is when Rutherford & the other cronies were released from prison (came back to life).


  • Oubliette

    Because we said so:

    "At that time, the direction that you receive from Jehovah’s organization may seem strange or unusual. But all of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether we agree with them or not , because obeying these instructions will save our lives. " - w2014, 11/15, p. 20 paragraph 17, Simplified version.

  • Oubliette

    Here's how:

    Time Warp

    It's just a jump to the left.

    And then a step to the right.

    Put your hands on your hips.

    You bring your knees in tight.
    But it's the pelvic thrust
    That really drives you insane.
    Let's do the time-warp again.
    Let's do the time-warp again.

  • Apognophos

    trujw and others: Here is the reasoning for using December 1914 as the starting point, from an old post of mine:

    December 1914 is when "the Society warned that there might be persecution and announced the 1915 yeartext to be "Are ye able to drink of My cup?". Yes, that's the basis for the start date: counting backwards to the announcement of a yeartext. This reasoning is given in the WT of Aug. 1, 1994 in the Questions from Readers.

  • Dis-Member

    There appears to be a parallel to this in the three-and-a-half-year period from Jesus’ enthronement in the heavens in October 1914 until his coming to inspect professed Christians as judgment began with the house of God.

    What a complete load of bollox..

  • Emery

    Don't they also use Malachi chapter 3 to arrive at 1919?

  • wannabefree

    They also use the "two witnesses" of Revelation 11 as evidence of 1919. See Chapter 25 of Revelation Grand Climax book.

  • Bobcat

    I posted a brief, general explanation here.

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