The February 2014 public WT has a cover series of articles dealing with World War I, and by inference 1914. The articles describe WWI as 'causing the world to be changed' and as "a turning point in history."
Setting the WT's defective 1914 chronology aside for a minute, how do these statements about WWI coincide with the view of the NT?
Certainly WWI was a big war. And it has affected peoples lives and the political structure of the earth since that time. But from the viewpoint of the NT, is WWI (and hence, 1914) "a turning point in history"?
Consider this text:
- (Acts 17:30, 31 NWT) . . .True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance, yet now he is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent. 31 Because he has set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has furnished a guarantee to all men in that he has resurrected him from the dead.”
The setting is of Paul speaking to Athenians sometime in the middle of the first century A.D. Notice how Paul neatly breaks human history into three periods: (A) "The times of such ignorance" - the past, from Paul's viewpoint. (B) "Now," during which "[God] is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent" - the present, from Paul's viewpoint. And (C) "A day in which [God] purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness" - sometime in the future from Paul's viewpoint.
Notice that period (B) represents a change from period (A). Thus, a "turning point" occurred. God held one position towards mankind during period (A), and then 'turned' to holding a different position during period (B). Paul indicates the change had already occurred (by saying "yet now"), so the "turning point" had to be sometime prior to when Paul was then speaking. By referring to the 'resurrection' of Jesus as the "guarantee" in all this, Paul makes it clear that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the major "turning point" that this change in God's view of mankind, and of what he expects of them is hinged upon.
So where does WWI and 1914 fit into this depiction of human history?
I've mentioned to several JWs (elders, ms, pioneers, others) that I have found a "turning point in history" far greater than WWI. Curiosity has caused everyone so far to ask. I simply show them Acts 17:30, 31 and ask them to identify the turning point based on what the verses say.
What becomes apparent is how deeply indoctrinated JWs are with WT dogma. Everyone has had difficulty identifying the "turning point" referred to at the Acts 17:30, 31. And that despite the fact that Paul is expressing basic Christian doctrine to pagans, not to people versed in the Scriptures.
Even more interesting is the fact that once they do begin to grasp the significance of Acts 17:30, 31, it begins to become apparent that WWI and 1914 are no "turning point" at all, but simply a continuation of the (B) period described above.
I've been having some fun so far with this, always letting them come to the conclusions, with a little nudging to help them over their cognitive difficulties.
Incidentally, for additional reference concerning when Jesus began to rule (and whether it happened in 1914):
- Compare here (various verses concerning when Jesus began his rule), and here ( for how parousia or "presense" is spoken of in relation to Jesus), here (regarding the phrase "The Kingdom of God/Heaven has drawn near"), and here (regarding Ps 2:7 and its application to Jesus).