Clarification sought

by donkey 10 Replies latest social humour

  • donkey
    donkey you know Donkey's are dumb and I am no exception.

    I am thinking about 1975 and how JW's got into that mess.

    According to the calculated chronology at the time JW's thought that 1975 would be the end of the 6000th year of man's creation (also coinciding with the advent of Armageddon). Is that correct?

    Did they claim that there would be 1000 years of earthly rule to conclude the 7th creation day (God's rest day)? What did they base that on?

    When the "end" did not arrive in 1975 they made a change and said "the end of the 6th creation day coincides with the creation of Eve, not Adam" - correct? And they claimed we were now living in the differential between Adam's creation and Eve's creation - is that correct? Do they still teach or believe that?

    Did God intend to set the coinciding of Armageddon and the last 1000 years of the 7th creative day from the start?

    I never read anything about this any longer.


  • Mulan

    What you describe sounds right to me. I remember that time well. I think they abandoned the whole thing several years ago.

    In the 50's and 60's, they had a complicated way of teaching that the creative days were 7000 years long. So, if they could prove that Adam or Eve's creation was 6000 years ago, the final 1000 years would coincide with the millenial reign. It's anyone's guess how they came up with that? Just another weird doctrine.

  • Liberty

    Hi Donkey,

    Donkeys are beautiful, hardy, and intelligent animals so you needn't worry about asking a good question. First off, I'm no expert but I was around in the late 60's so I know what was generally accepted by the rank and file "Hovahs" about 1975. We were taught by the WT Society's publications right up until a couple of years before 1975 that Armageddon would most likely already be over by '75 and that we would already be in the "New World Order". I remember going to an Assymbly in 1973 where many of the attendees were saying that this would be the last one. As 1975 got closer and the Oil Crisis, Middle East, Vietnam War, and general social unrest of the late 60's early 70's started setteling down the Society started to shift from '75 already being in the "New World" to it being the start of Armageddon and as we actually got to 1975 the Society shifted it to being a "marked year" of significant change. Absolutely NOTHING happened in '75 of any importance so they didn't even get a lucky break like they did in 1914. 1975 was an absolute BUST!

    So in short, one of the Top Dogs, Fred Franz, made up and published most of the hype about 1975 and we "Hovahs" ate it up but since nothing happened the Society began to pretend that they never said 1975 was important and that the "over zealous Brothers" in "some" mythical congregations were the "date pushers" that got the Society into this embarassing mess. It is also confusing because the Society kept changing what exactly would happen in 1975. The speculation about Eve's creation date was just another in the long line of excuses for shifting back the date of the big "A". All this confusion and history revising was done to try and shield the WT Society from a blatently false prediction they themselves pushed as God inspired Truth.

  • kat_newmas

    I remember as well, and sounds right to me too.... but... I can also remember being a very young child, sitting in the Kingdom Hall, it just kept ringing in my head everytime they talked about it..... "No man may know the day or the hour" I am sure there is a scripture to that effect. Even as a kid, I knew something wasnt right about that.... strange how ya remember stuff like that. know this doesnt help..... but it sure brings back memories.

  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    Donkey. As far as I know your assessment is about right. As to how they explain it now.. (as Adam has been alone for 27 years)... Im not aware that they bother trying to explain it. They just hope everyone conveniently forgets what they said. Of course, as with all predictive date setting there is usually some foolish arbitrary element involved . Im not aware of anywhere in the bible that it is mentioned about 7000 year creative days. The Dubs just made that one up because it seemed appropriate that a creative day might be 7000 years. Often dates are set around calculations based on arbitrary start points. 2520 from 1914 does indeed equal minus 606. But who says minus 606 is a significant date??

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Donkey, it's an excellent question, and one that is also discussed here:

  • donkey

    Where I am going with this whole line (if my ASSumptions are correct based on my deliberately suppressed memories of the WT doctrines) is here:

    If the millenial reign was to coincide with the last 1000 years of the 7th creative day (ya know the 1000 years before Jesus hands back the kingdom to Jehovah - think thats spoken of somewhere 1 Corinthian chapter 15 if memory serves me) then a very important question to ask is if the start of the millenial reign coincides with the big A....when was this all decided by Jehovah? Was it always his plan? Most importantly - this would begin to point to the foreordaining of the fall of man - a very controversial view for a thinking JW.

    I am not sure if I have fully grasped this - but it seems rather significant to me. Put it all together and then step back and figure out how God planned it all this way or did he adjust the plan at the end?

    I am not disputing the differnetial between Eve's creation and Adam's as Gary has aptly pointed out on the other thread - as a nonconforming atheist I am just looking at the absurdity of the whole thing and wondering how good of a scam this is.....and how cult members can believe such nonsense. It is incredible indeed.

  • gumby

    God made man on the sixth day and on the 7th...he rested. The bible does not say there came to be evening and morning for the 7th. Each "day is 7 thousand years long. From 4026 B.C.E. to 1975 is 6000 years with the thousand year reign...running paralell to it. The end of the thousand year reign completes the 7th day.

    The question....."How is ONE day figured? They figured out from bible chronology WHEN Adam was created....and when the end of the world would be.......1914 and got close to the 6000 year mark. Where the other 60 years went slips my mind. The book to find the exact explanation is called "Freedom in the Sons of God", book. It graphs out the years and how they were arrived at.


  • anti-absolutism

    I'm not sure how much the dates concern you, but here are some facts:

    The JW's, through the chronolgy in Genesis chapter 5, (assuming that their way of figuring it out was correct) came to the conclusion that Adam was created in 4,026 BCE. And, like others have said, they believed that each creative day was 7,000 years.

    In the old green Bibles, 1961 edition of the NWT, at the end of Revelation, there is a table showing the time period covered by each book. On that page, regarding Genesis, it states that the, "In the beginning" part of the Bible, or the first part of God's creation started in 46,026 BCE. Take the first six days X 7,000 years (42,000 years), and you get to Adam's creation in 4,026 BCE. Remembering that there was no 0 year, 1975 becomes the supposed 6,000th year of man's existence. (The new Bibles are changed, not mentioning a specific date)

    So, the JW's believed (and I have heard on the net some of even Franz's explanation of this during a talk) that it 'would be entirely logical to conclude that the 1,000 year reign would coincide with the last 1,000 years of the seventh creative day'.

    The amazing thing is that even though they wrote a lot about this chronology, and gave talks on it, and so on, they have the nerve to blame the people who slightly questioned ...."WHAT HAPPENED"?

    I had an elder recently tell me that the Governing Body are such meek and humble men, especially since they are directly chosen from God!!!!!!

    Hey, if you guys give me such reverence, I will talk really nice to you for the rest of my life too.

    It amazes me that men who are so ignorant in their understanding of anything spiritual can also be so arrogant. It doesn't seem possible..


  • AlanF

    In early 1994 I wrote a letter to Governing Body member Albert Schroeder, in which I covered material about the Society's history of calculating various periods supposedly related to the "7,000-year creative days". Here is the text, which contains some items pertinent to this thread:

    [b]7,000 Year Creative Days[/b]

    I told you that one of my earliest difficulties with the Society's teachings had to do with the length of the 7th creative day. I mentioned that I had written to the Society more than 20 years ago to find an answer to my questions about this, but I was not able to remember well enough what I had written to effectively communicate to you the problem I had been concerned with. You referred me to the article "The End of 6,000 Years of Man-Rule Approaches" in the October 1, 1975 [i]Watchtower[/i]. Upon reading this article I began to remember the details, and I would like to explain them to you more properly. I think they contain an important point. Please bear with me and see if you do not agree.

    On page 579, para. 1 says that 6,000 years of human history was completed in 1975. Paragraph 2 then states:

    [quote]Does this mean, then, that mankind has now reached 6,000 years into the 7,000-year period that God `blessed and made sacred' as his great "rest day"? Does it mean that Christ's millennial Kingdom rule, as the final 1,000 years of that "rest day," is to be reckoned from September 1975?--Gen. 1:27, 31; 2:2, 3; Rev. 20:1-6.[/quote]

    Note how the paragraph has [i]assumed[/i] that God's rest day is 7,000 years long, and that the Millennium corresponds to the final 1,000 years of it. These [i]assumptions[/i] are what I was trying to communicate to you. The scriptures cited, of course, do not indicate a time period. What they do indicate, along with Heb. 4:9-11 is that God's rest day began shortly after Adam and Eve's creation, and continues in our day. However, I do not think any scriptures say that Christ's millennial rule would be the final 1,000 years of that rest day, although it is not an unreasonable assumption.

    I looked up other references to the length of the creative days, and found perhaps the clearest statement of how the 7,000 year figure is obtained in [i]Good News To Make You Happy,[/i] page 60, para. 6:

    [quote]The Bible count of time shows that it is now close to six thousand years since God began `resting' from his creative works on earth. Just ahead of us lies the thousand-year reign of Christ, by the end of which God's purpose of filling the earth with a happy human family will have been accomplished. God's `rest day' will then end. This would indicate that this `rest day' would be of seven thousand years' duration.[/quote]

    Again note that the reasoning contains unstated assumptions: our time is approximately 6,000 years from the beginning of the rest day; the 1,000 year reign is about to begin; the assumption that this 1,000 year period is at the end of God's rest day; finally the assumption that this approximate seven thousand year period is [i]precisely[/i] 7,000 years long. Therefore, 6,000 years is assumed to be a significant figure.

    In preparing my letter of 20 some years ago I looked up much material in the Society's publications. One article must have been from the February 15, 1970 [i]Watchtower,[/i] which discusses this material in more detail on pages 120-121. The first paragraphs on page 120 say this:

    [quote]Jehovah has been enjoying his sabbath or rest from physical creation almost six thousand years now... This accounts for 6,000 years. Is that the length of the seventh day? No,... the "day" must still be continuing. Actually these six thousand years have been, as it were, man's workweek, in which he labored by the sweat of his face. But he will get rest during the coming thousand-year reign of Christ, which Bible chronology and fulfillment of Bible prophecy show is to begin very soon... The seventh one thousand years of the seventh "day" will thus in itself be a sabbath... Thus we find the seventh "day" of the creative week to be seven thousand years long.[/quote]

    Another article I checked again is from the October 8, 1966 [i]Awake![/i] It too reasoned that the millennium would be the last 1,000 years of a 7,000-year rest day of God. It said on pages 19-20:

    [quote]Does God's rest day parallel the time man has been on earth since his creation? Apparently so. From the most reliable investigations of Bible chronology, harmonizing with many accepted dates of secular history, we find that Adam was created in the autumn of the year 4026 B.C.E. Sometime in that year Eve could well have been created, directly after which God's rest day commenced. In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man's existence and also the first 6,000 years of God's rest day come to an end? The year 1975.[/quote]

    Note how these two articles made the same assumptions as [i]Good News To Make You Happy[/i]. As I wrote in my letter of 20 years ago, I see no solid scriptural basis for making these assumptions. I'd like to hear your comments on this.

    Some recent publications are more conservative in their approach. For example, the [i]Creation[/i] book says that the "days" of Genesis could have embraced millenniums, but does not specify a number (p. 27). The [i]Reasoning[/i] book handles it the same way (pp. 88, 126). [i]Insight,[/i] Vol. 1, page 545, para. 2, handles it almost this way, but again implicitly assumes that God's rest day ends with the Millennium:

    [quote]The Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ, who is Scripturally identified as "Lord of the sabbath" (Mt 12:8), is evidently part of the great sabbath, God's rest day. (Re 20:1-6) This would indicate the passing of thousands of years from the commencement of God's rest day to its end.[/quote]

    The August 1, 1989 [i]Watchtower[/i] makes the same assumptions again, on page 27, para. 18.

    I think the key concept we should keep in mind is that the Bible does not state that the Millennium closes God's great rest day.

    Why do I think this material is important? I can think of four major reasons:

    (1) As I explained in our phone conversation, back in the early 1970s I had wanted to understand the basis for our expectation that 1975 might bring the end of the system of things. It is always desirable to know why one believes what one believes. To do that one must understand [i]all[/i] of one's underlying assumptions. When I found, over the years, that the assumptions you and I have been discussing were never clearly enunciated in Watchtower publications, even after the Society's reply to me clearly stated that these were just assumptions, I was naturally disappointed.

    (2) If 6,000 years has any meaning as an exact number, then Jesus, being the one through whom God created everything else, and angels, being witnesses to all that creative activity, as Job 38:7 seems to indicate, would have been able to figure out when the final end of the system would come. But Jesus said explicitly: "Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matt. 24:36) For these reasons I think the assumptions we've discussed must be incorrect.

    (3) Most Witnesses continue to believe that each creative day was literally 7,000 years long. I'm sure you are aware that this figure results in a time span for the existence of life on earth very different from the results geologists have found. You should know that many informed Witnesses are very uncomfortable with this implied dating, and would be very happy if the Society would either prove it, or else change its view. If we simply accept that the Bible does not say that the Millennium closes God's great rest day, then unlimited time is available for Jehovah's creating of life, because the length of the rest day is unknown.

    (4) The historical background of the assumption of a 7,000 year creative week along with Messiah's rule at its end shows that it is not part of scripture. The enclosed photocopies show that it is an old rabbinic tradition going back to the 2nd century B.C.E. Surely Jehovah's people need to be wary of such traditions. C. T. Russell recognized this tradition in [i]The Time Is At Hand,[/i] saying on page 39:

    [quote]And though the Bible contains no direct statement that the seventh thousand will be the epoch of Christ's reign, the great Sabbath Day of restitution to the world, yet the venerable tradition is not without reasonable foundation.[/quote]

    A publication edited by Joseph Seiss, which the new [i]JV[/i] book mentions on page 134 as having pointed to 1914 as a significant date, also referred to the ancient tradition. The January, 1870 issue of [i]The Prophetic Times,[/i] Vol. VIII No. 1, page 12, said:

    [quote]It has been a very old, and a very widely accredited theory, that the world, of which Adam was the beginning, is to continue 6000 years in its secular, ailing and toiling condition; and that the seventh thousand is to be one of glorious sabbatic rest, ushered in by the winding up of this present age or dispensation.[/quote]

    Another 19th century author mentioned by the [i]JV[/i] book, E. B. Elliott, in the 5th edition of [i] Horae Apocalypticae,[/i] Vol. 3, on page 140, said:

    [quote]... I mean the argument from the seven days of creation. "The words of the prophet Elias should be marked by every one, and inscribed upon our walls, and on the entrances of our houses. Six thousand years shall this world stand, and after that be destroyed: 2000 years without the law; 2000 years under the law of Moses; 2000 years under the Messiah ...[/quote]

    See also the references to footnote 2, in Vol. 1, pp. 231, 396.

    A third author mentioned by the [i]JV[/i] book, John A. Brown, in [i]The Even-Tide,[/i] Vol. 2, page 65, speaking of the same rabbinic tradition, added some perspective to the opinion of the Jewish scholars:

    [quote]Whether this opinion be well or ill founded, it is a point worthy of consideration, being generally received among them as little less genuine than their own sacred scriptures: but credit must be given to it only as confirmed by the sacred pages. The tradition so universally held among the Jews, no doubt influenced the minds of the first Jewish converts, and through them the successors of the Apostles; but, like many other traditions, has been rejected as fabulous by another body of Christians, equally respectable and worthy to be believed; and we may rest assured that, had there been any thing worthy of credit, or that could be considered as a Divine revelation, some one of the prophets, or of the sacred historians, would have recorded it for the instruction of future ages. I would refer, however, to Mede for more full information of the ancient opinions upon this subject, and would only give the substance of the celebrated traditions of the most learned Jewish Rabbies.[/quote]

    The tradition is referred to in Ainsworth's [i]Annotations[/i] of 1626, of which I've enclosed a copy. Interestingly, the [i]Aid[/i] book discusses this reference of Ainsworth on page 1427, under "Sabbath Day." It also makes the same assumptions I discussed above. The discussion of this topic in the [i]Insight[/i] book is more circumspect and concludes nothing definite about the length of God's rest. The idea of judgments related to 1,000 year time periods can even be found in Plato's writings [i]The Republic[/i] and [i]Phaedrus[/i], as well as in the beliefs of the ancient Persian religion Zoroastrianism.

    The tradition is explicitly stated in the "New Testament Apocryphal" book (possibly 1st century C.E.) [i]The Epistle of Barnabas,[/i] Ch. 13, which states:

    [quote]Furthermore it is written concerning the sabbath, in the Ten Commandments, which God spake in the Mount Sinai to Moses, face to face; Sanctify the sabbath of the Lord with pure hands, and with a clean heart. And elsewhere he saith; If thy children shall keep my sabbaths, then will I put my mercy upon them. And even in the beginning of the creation he makes mention of the sabbath. And God made in six days the works of his hands; and he finished them on the seventh day, and he rested the seventh day, and sanctified it.

    Consider, my children, what that signifies, he finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this; that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with him one day is a thousand years; as himself testifieth, saying, Behold this day shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished. And what is that he saith, And he rested the seventh day: he meaneth this; that when his Son shall come, and abolish the season of the Wicked One, and judge the ungodly; and shall change the sun and the moon, and the stars; then he shall gloriously rest in that seventh day. [From [i]The Lost Books of the Bible,[/i] pp. 160-2][/quote]

    I should apologize for beating this issue to death, but I really do think it is a significant one. I would certainly appreciate your specific comments.

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