The Watchtower Letters, part 2

by NeonMadman 11 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • NeonMadman

    Here's the next entry in the series of examples of correspondence I had with the WTS back during the 1970's (mostly). This letter concerns the establishment of the year 1918 as being the time for the "first resurrection," i.e., the resurrection to spirit life of the anointed ones who had died previous to that time.

    What I find interesting about this letter is that no attempt was made to address the question I actually asked. I wanted to know why the Society insisted that the time between the beginning of Christ's invisible parousia (in 1914) and the "first resurrection" should be exactly parallel to the length of Jesus' ministry. The Society had asserted that this was the case, but had never established a reason for the parallel that I could find. In this letter, they did not even attempt to offer evidence for the parallel, but simply asserted the likelihood that the "first resurrection" had happened around that time.

    Interestingly, they appeared to be backing away from the 1918 date a bit in the body of the letter. The P.S. hints strongly that "new light" might be forthcoming on the subject, and, indeed, a few months after this correspondence, the Watchtower did carry study articles on the "first resurrection." However, these articles also failed to answer my basic question, but merely reiterated the previous teaching on the subject.

  • badwillie

    Thanks Neon. They manage to say absolutely NOTHING for a whole page!

    Incredible that I used to lap this crap right up. Damn!

  • Gamaliel


    Have you identified whom the initials indicate is the author of this letter?

    The response you got was likely from someone who didn't himself believe in 1918. Rumors were strong in 1979 that 1918/1919, perhaps even 1914 would be dropped in favor of new dates. Very few people knew of Albert Schroeder's 1957 (Sputnik) recommendation, so 33 CE and 36 CE were the best known candidates. Even if the writer did believe, he still may have had to take his "clues" from the recent publications. Those recent publications and Wt articles culminated in books like "Commentary on the Letter of James," and "Choosing the Best Way of Life" which, if read carefully, showed that a truly Christian religion had no need for dates outside the important events around 33 CE.

    The inability of anyone to respond to Carl Olaf Johnsson's manuscript might also have been interpreted as a hint to stop pushing 1914 based chronology.

    I haven't done it yet, but I bet that a search of 1914 on the Wt CD would show the least number of Wt magazine references to 1914 between 1977 and 1979 and the highest between 1981-1982, when the pendulum swung back.


  • NeonMadman
    Have you identified whom the initials indicate is the author of this letter?

    No, I have no idea how to find that out. Does anyone here know how to interpret those codes?

    The response you got was likely from someone who didn't himself believe in 1918. Rumors were strong in 1979 that 1918/1919, perhaps even 1914 would be dropped in favor of new dates.
    Yes, that occurred to me. The tone of the P.S. definitely seemed to indicate that the writer was expecting some "new light" on the subject. The article on the subject in the 1979 WT came out within a couple of months of the letter, so it was almost certainly in preparation at the time of this correspondence. It wouldn't surprise me if the writer of the letter to me was aware that this material was upcoming, but unaware of the content. When the article was actually published, however, there was no change from the previous viewpoint. It may have simply represented an internal struggle over this particular teachings, and the conservative wing (read: Freddy) won out in favor of the status quo.
  • greven

    There are certain indications that...

    It is logical that...

    It does appear that...

    Typical JW talk: All wool, no sheep. You ask for facts and get unnamed 'indications', dysfunctional logic, and speculations. Way to go Watchtower!


  • sf

    "Does anyone here know how to interpret those codes?"

    Neon, what 'codes'? I only see 'WTBTS' signature and no signature to the p.s.

    Thanks, sKally

  • betweenworlds

    Ray speaks of the codes to determine who wrote which letters in one of his books. The code is in the upper left corner on the first page. In Neons case it is EV:ESE I will have to go through my COC and ISOCF book to see if I can find where he mentions this.

  • NeonMadman

    If you look at the top of the letter, you will see the code EV:ESE. As I understand it, this is a desk code used in the Service Dept. at Bethel, and it indicates who the writer of the letter is. I have also heard that the letters are simply an assigned code, and not necessarily the initials of the person who wrote the letter.

    However, I have known of some former Bethelites who were familiar with some of the desk codes, and in some cases could identify the writer from them. I was hoping that someone here might be in that position.

  • sf

    Doktor Arama Sayfasi
    ... Fax:0 242 227 44 90. E-Mail: ÇAKIR , Nuri Prof. Dr. Ev:ESE 9. Sok. C-9 Blk. 22/3
    06580 Yücetepe / ANKARA. Is:Gazi Üniv. Iç hast. ABD Besevler / ANKARA. ... - 101k - Cached - Similar pages :

    ÇAKIR , Nuri Prof. Dr.
    Ev: E.S.E. 9. Sok. C-9 Blk. 22/3 06580 Yücetepe / ANKARA
    Ýþ: Gazi Üniv. Ýç hast. A.B.D. Beþevler / ANKARA
    Telefon: (0312) 2141010 / 5809 - : (0312) 468 96 98
    Fax: (0312) 2154204
  • NeonMadman

    Somehow, I don't think you've hit upon the solution, there, skally...

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