1914 - "A Turning Point In History"?

by Bobcat 54 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Bobcat

    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).

    Take Care

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    BOBCAT - I think you might be putting a little too much emphasis on Christ ;-)

    What I found interesting about the article (and my wife did too) wasn't what it said, but what was omitted.

    Here we have a magazine dedicated to this 'turning point in history' and yet, the articles never mention the date the war started.

    Hmmmm...... Wonder why......



    You have just become the person that all JWs are warned about. We can no longer associate.

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    WT claims 1914 and WW1 took the world by suprise. Not true. Otto Von Bismarck, et al, saw it coming decades ahead of time--it was a question of "when", not "if""

    "If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans" -Otto von Bismarck

    "Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal ... A single spark will set off an explosion that will consume us all ... I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where ... Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off." OVB, 1878

    true to the predictions, a singular event in the Balkans did indeed spark WW 1


    In 1879, Bismarck made this prediction:

    Bismarck made this prediction:

    "Jena came twenty years after the death of Frederick The Great; the crash will come twenty years after my departure if things go on like this" ― a prophecy fulfilled a little late when, twenty four years after his resignation as Chancellor, World War 1 began in August 1914.


    Considering how WT itself had to employ massive amounts of revisionist history to its own publications when everything WT predicted would occur in 1914 failed, WT, without admitting it openly, had to concede 1914 was not the "turning point" it had hoped for and falsely prophecied about for so many years prior.

  • designs

    BC- If you buy into the ABC story line what makes you think you haven't swallowed the pill.

  • Bobcat


    The beauty of the argument above is that it is the Bible itself that contradicts the '1914 turning point' idea.

    And I do hold to Paul's viewpoint, by the way.

    Take Care



    Were you ever a JW? If you were, then your comments make no sense and are not helpful. You are putting the cart before the horse. The whole goal of using the scriptures to wake up a JW, is to show them that the scriptures themselves contradict WTBTS dogma. Yours and my personal beliefs are irrelevant, at least initially. Would you try to sell Google Fiber to someone who never saw a television? That's what you seem to by trying to do, time and time again. The JW mind will go into the fetal position if we "persecute" them.


  • steve2

    From an historical view point there have been several turning points. In terms of human discoveries, events and so on, why has the Watchtower trumpeted but one? The French Revolution heralded a new dawn for countries well beyond France (initially, Rutherford taught the end of this system started during the French Revolution). In terms of casualties and devastation, World War 2 was far more significant a turning point than WW1. And the American Civil War did far, far more to change "American" society than the later First World War did. Moving forward, 9/11 also represented a turning point in human history. Among many other things, 9/11 was a game changer: It was possible to undermine a nation's security by using against it its own non-military forces (I.e., commercial planes).

    It is a truism that each generation believes the current one is the worst - or most significant or a real turning point. But whether that is objectively correct is a matter of historical perspective.


    Steve2 said, " It is a truism that each generation believes the current one is the worst - or most significant or a real turning point. But whether that is objectively correct is a matter of historical perspective."

    So true. Remember the Millerites??? Remember CTR wondering if humanity could last until 1914 because things were so bad?!?

    My grandma would chide us for saying that we wished we could go back in time to " the good old days." She liked having a refrigerator and plumbing, and air conditioning. She was born circa 1914. She remembered one of the last real Cowboys riding through on horseback, and staying at thier farm. She remember the Depression. Life was hard, much harder than most of us will experience. Still what could the WTBTS do if they stopped focusing on all the bad? What else do they have? They have no message. They would have to do something positive, like real charity work.


  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    "Our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say that they do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain." ---Watchtower 1894 Jul 15 p.227

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