Need a little help on 607 586/587....

by undercover 44 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Gamaliel


    Thanks for keeping this conversation civil, and thanks for staying around to answer questions. I didn't know anything about Furuli's plans on writing a treatise on 607. You probably know that he's up against a mountain of evidence. I would love to see how he handles it.

    The subject has been covered in some journals but a comprehensive overview is in my opinion long overdue.

    I don't know what journals you mean. But I agree; it's high time there was a valid JW response.

    Jonsson's GTR is as you say an exposure of WT chronology but it also is an hypothesis as it presents an interpretation of both biblical and secular evidence and presents some radical views in support of his hypothesis.

    He tries to harmonize the Bible as best he can with the secular evidence. What specifically did you think was radical?

    There is no way that the view that 586/587 and 607 can be viewed as Absolute Dates and no reputable scholar would make such a claim.

    Do you remember why the WTS considered why 539 was an absolute date? What's the difference between 539 and 587?

    If you believe that Fred Franz had misgivings about 607 then that is your right as you claim to have conversed with him. I cannot imagine for a moment how or why he would have had such doubts. Methinks your imagination has overtaken your excitement and privilige with having such a dialoque with a distinguished Bible scholar.

    I admit that I was quite impressed when I first came to Bethel, and some of my public talks back home were little more than playing tapes of interviews with some old-timers. Fred had the entire Bible memorized without any mnemonic tricks evidently. (And I asked him.)

    I have a lot to say about what passed for scholarship at Bethel, but as JW scholarship goes, I think he may have ranked highest on knowing the text so well, although Napolitano definitely had him beat at Hebrew and Aramaic (even Syriac!). There was one other person I would have to call a scholar, who was called on by the Writing Department for a few projects. He lives in New York, but never worked at Bethel. His expertise ran through the range of classical and Biblical languages. I wrote him after Bethel, but he never wrote back.

    Yes I obtained my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Religious studies long after my baptism as a Witness in fact exactly 30 years. I was caused to do so becuse of a series of radio programs on the ABC hosted by the late Professor Eric.J. Sharpe at the University of Sydney.

    I'll tell about as much as I've mentioned previously on the board. I'll try not to sound like I'm just dropping names, but you'll understand my opinion of Fred Franz a little better if I explain myself. For most of my time at Bethel I was a graphic artist. I did a lot of art for handbills, small articles, typography, book covers and charts, but only a couple major Wt and g articles. I can still do a good paradise landscape, but wasn't terribly good at drawing people. Still, the job brought me in contact with the Writing Dept a lot, and I made a couple of great friends there. Also, I would get to know who wrote most of the articles and who worked on most of the books. I admit that I took an interest in the personalities writing certain types of articles, even though we weren't supposed to talk about it.

    Brother Schroeder and his wife befriended me almost from day one. They invited me to a surprisingly large gathering in his room on my second weekend there which even included live musical entertainment. Within a few weeks Brother Schroeder caught me reading a book in the 124 library by FFBruce and warned me that FFBruce was not very favorable to the JWs. I showed him that it was just a Gk study aid, no "harmful teachings." He made a lot over that incident, and as good as called me a scholar in public only a few days later. He gave me full access to the library in his office, so I could borrow "Vines," Gilead notes, and his Bible commentaries. Within weeks he had given me a couple of research assignments. (things like finding support for "from house to house" Acts 20:20) At the time, I thought the world of him, and of course it was great for my own ego. I was hardly 20 years old.

    Out of friendship for some of these people, I have loyally not told my story for 20 years. But I witnessed first-hand that the scholarly abilities of those I had once trusted as scholars was actually quite weak. I was obviously only an amateur, and yet was being called -- and being treated as -- a scholar myself. At best, I was merely capable of reading commentaries and noticing which points could support and strengthen our existing viewpoints. In truth, for many months I was too enamored with the experience to notice a problem with this situation. But I finally realized that the people around me were not scholars. I found that one person who loved his commentaries, was quite capable of reading a commentary and completely missing the point. He was prone to see something he liked and take it "violently" out of context. And he authored more than one Wt study article! This is still amazing to me.

    I did finally find friendships with some whom I could consider scholars -- and yet they were humble. Even if they didn't have the Bible memorized, they were much more knowledgable of the Bible than any member of the GB, including Fred Franz.


  • cynicus
    Please be assured that I am well familiar with the publications of Jack Finegan as I have both his latest edition and his earliest edition in my library ot reference works on chronology. Nevertheless, his research is important to any chronologist but the Society's viewpoint is the more accurate as it places a greater priority on the biblical record.

    You make a profound mistake here: the biblical record as it stands on its own doesn't prove anything, and it can not do that and you are very well aware of it. The biblical record needs to be aligned to or synchronized with secular history, at what the WBTS has been calling 'absolute dates' in the past, yet now they prefer to call them 'pivotal dates'. Once the WBTS liked to call these dates 'astronomically confirmed', but they have abandoned that terminology since it has backfired upon them.

    At the same time you completely fail (and have failed in other threads) to show how "the Society's viewpoint" can be "more accurate". You know as well as I do that their whole old testament chronology now hinges on one single tablet, Strassmeiers Kambyses 400, to prove the validity of -539, even though they still obscure the exact way of how and why it proves the validity of their 'pivotal date'. The comfortably ignore and discredit all other evidence that doesn't fit their "viewpoint" let alone improve its "accuracy".

    As to Finegan, you are equally dishonest as the WBTS: you don't dare to challenge his scholarship directly and describe his work as "nonsense", yet you do want to use his works when it fits your viewpoints. You know very well that Finegan's views are in harmony with what you described earlier as "nonsense", but you don't spend a single syllable on the contentual aspect, and instead are quick to boast about the extents of your personal library. You remind me of the many JWs that had to have an encyclopaedia in their house, preferably in full view for any visitor, and yet they used it everytime when they celebrated their birthday.

    Since Finegan is in conflict with your, or better "the Society's viewpoint", you all of a sudden also have "greater priorities" for an alleged higher authority, "the biblical record". It is interesting to observe how puffed up ego's can lead to blindness for simple fallacies such as the ad verecundiam that both you and your puppetmasters need to resort to when they have painted themselves into a corner.


  • Shemittah

    I read COJ's book some time ago, and in fact found his reasoning was the best I have heard put forward that would both support the Bible's reference to "seventy years" while at the same time being compatible with the 539 date. Here are some observations based on that book's treatment of the subject.

    Jeremiah 25:11

    "VEHAYETHAH {and-she-will-become} KAL- {whole-of} HA'ARETS {the-land} HAZZO'TH {the-this} LECHAREKAH {as-wasteland} LESHAMMAH {as-desolation} VE'AVEDU {and-they-will-serve} HAGOYIM {the-nations} HA'ELLEH {the-these} 'ETH- {[object pointer]} MELEKH {king-of} BAVEL {Babylon} SHIV'IM {seventy} SHANAH {year}" - Hebrew Masoretic Text (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia).

    "This whole land shall be a desolate ruin. And those nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." - English translation by The Jewish Publication Society (Tanakh - The Holy Scriptures).

    At Jeremiah 29:10, we have the Hebrew words "KI {when} LEPHI {by-mouth-of-me} MELO'TH {to-be-completed} LEVAVEL {for-Babylon} SHIV'IM {seventy} SHANAH {year} 'EPHQOD {I-will-come} 'ETHKHEM {to-you} ", with a modern-day English translation of "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come" (JPS).

    COJ's book stresses that the "seventy years" were not years of complete exile, but of servitude, and that this period of time (as expressed in Jeremiah 29:10) was and appointed period where Babylon was allowed dominion not only of Israel but of surrounding nations. In his article entitled "The Babylonians", which appears in the "Lion Handbook to the Bible" (pages 456 & 457), Alan Millard writes: "In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 BC) defeated the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho at Carchemish and he and his successors maintained their rule with a few campaigns to suppress rebels and secure their frontiers. ... Judah became subject to Babylon after Carchemish, but a few years later King Jehoiakim rebelled. Nebuchadnezzars's army marched to Judah and besieged Jerusalem. The new king, Jehoiachin, was taken prisoner to Babylon with many leading citizens. Cuneiform tablets record rations issued to him and his family there. The siege with its date (15/16 March 597 BC) is entered in the Babylonian Chronicle: 'The king of Babylon...marched to the westland, besieged the city of Judah, capturing it on the second day of Adar. He captured its king, appointed a ruler of his own choice...' Ten years later Nebuchadnezzar returned because Zedekiah, the king he had appointed, revolted. This time the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple and took most of the people to Babylonia (587/6 BC)."
    It is interesting that the text of the Greek Septuagint (Bagster) at Jeremiah 25:11 has the words "KAI {and} DOULEUSOUSIN {they-shall-serve} EN {in} TOIS {to/for-the} ETHNESIN {nations} HEBDOMEKONTA {seventy} ETE {year}", with a modern-day English translation of "and they shall serve among the Gentiles seventy years" (Brenton). 2 Kings 23:31-33 tells us that after Judean King Jehoahaz had reigned for three months "Pharaoh Necho put him in chains at Riblah in Hamath, to prevent his reigning any longer in Jerusalem" (according to The New Jerusalem Bible). Necho then took control of the Judean throne by appointing Eliakim the son of Josiah, while levying a tax on the people of the country (verses 34 & 35). If this action, which occurred in 609 BC, was the start of Judah's "serving among the nations" then Cyrus' liberation date of 539 would certainly give us "seventy years".


  • drawcad_1


    You said that I could interpret Jeremiah in either Johnson’s ‘hypothesis’ or the Societies. Which might also be said that I could interpret it in to allow for 587/586BCE and agree with all other evidence or I could interpret by the Societies ‘hypothesis’ . I think that I will go along with the known facts. You still haven’t given me any scripture to show me the length that the destruction was. Please post these with the book and verse.


    A very good post with some good points. When he says that this issue has been covered in some journals, I wonder if they weren’t printed by the watchtower.

    I think I see what you mean when you say that he knows there is no evidence to support 607BCE, but it sure is hard supporting your faith on a site full of apostates….

    …..that as logansrun keeps pointing out, is not the place that a good witness is supposed to be. I wonder if he can report these hours. How long he stays logged in, or just the time it takes to reply. Maybe, if he can show that his Internet connection is for the sole reason of preaching, then he can write off the expenses as a religious contribution.

    Scholar likes to think of non-scholars as below him and therefore unable to understand the more important issues. It is his way of projecting his insecurities on his attackers.

    This has turned into a very good debate. Thank you everyone.

  • logansrun


    I know, you're not really a JW. You're really in the US Senate, because you sure can fillibuster.


    PS -- Either answer the fucking question or just tell me you're not going to answer it; don't give me the run around.

  • joe_from_kokomo

    Undercover: The book by Carl Olof Jonsson, "Gentile Times Reconsidered" is very well-written and easy to understand. It is certainly the definitive resource on this topic, in spite of what some "so-called scholars" may say otherwise.

    More to the point, it sells on Amazon for only $8.76 plus shipping. See ( Just about anyone can afford $10 to find out how badly the Society has lied to us about 607 to prop up 1914 and their alleged authority. Once you read this for yourself, you will find that the 607 BCE date is a cornerstone date of vital importance. Why?

    Without it, the society's prophecies are a sham. 1914 has no significance. Think about it. They use this date in almost every chapter of the Isaiah book and almost every lesson in the Watchtower. If it has no real significance, what does that tell you?

    For me, this date was the litmus test. And the Society's teachings failed the test. Again, I stress that you should visit the British Museum Web site and see what date they believe is accurate. As COJ pointed out in this book, the Babylonians kept tens of thousands of records on clay tablets and cylinders.

    Last but not least, I haven't seen where any "so-called scholars" have provided any real proof that 607 is a valid date.

  • AlanF

    Readers can easily see that this "scholar" -- despite his claims to have degrees in religious studies -- is a sham of a scholar. This is because his loyalty is not to truth but to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses. Just as we all know that a typical JW can declare a black book white if the GB demands it, so can this "scholar" do similar things with Bible chronology and any other area that JW doctrine touches on.

    For the record, I'm an ex-JW and am not disfellowshipped or disassociated. I was threatened with this once, but took appropriate steps that forced the Society to back off.

    "Scholar's" inability and/or unwilligness to reason on the Bible -- and thus his lack of scholarship -- is easily proved:

    This is for you, "scholar": 2 Chronicles 36:20 states that the Jews captured by Nebuchadnezzar "came to be servants to him and his sons until the royalty of Persia began to reign." The royalty of Persia began to reign in 539 B.C., and so according to this scripture, combined with secular history, the Jews were captive to Babylon only until 539 B.C. Jeremiah 25:11-12 clearly states that the Jews "will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years" and "that when seventy years have been fulfilled I shall call to account against the king of Babylon". Thus, according to the Bible itself, the 70 years of servitude predicted by Jeremiah ran out in 539 B.C. when the Jews no longer served the king of Babylon and when the king Belshazzar was "called to account" by being killed. Yet the Watchtower Society claims that the 70 years ended two years later, not when the royalty of Persia began to reign, but when the royalty of Persia allowed the Jews to return to Judah. Why is it, "scholar", that both you and your precious Governing Body hold to a Bible chronology that disagrees with the Bible?

    Readers will note that, if "scholar" replies to this at all, it will contain no answers, but only excuses. Such is the lot in life of a Jehovah's Witness who would be a scholar.


  • AlanF

    Gamaliel, please email me at . I'd like to discuss certain personalities at Bethel with you.


  • Farkel


    : You certainly are presumptuous in ridiculing Furuli's forthcoming book when it has not yet been published. You cannot and should not make any comment until those books are published.

    Why did you do so, then?


  • Gamaliel


    Of course you are quite welcome to write me ( but you already know who I am (and you even have my phone number). You and JF been here at the house before with Tom C, Richard L, with several others for a NY Apostofest in 97?, 98?. We've also spoken on the phone and in person a couple times since then, as recently as a couple months ago.

    I've decided to stop holding back any of my remaining "ammunition." Not that I have much more left to tell, but it seemed "the appropriate time to act" against these illusions and pretensions about FWF.

    PS: I'm still trying to keep at least some modicum of anonymity.


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