Watchtower's "New Light" re Babylonish Captivity, November 2016 WT

by Room 215 25 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Has anyone noticed the WT's most recent shell-game revisionism in the November study tractazine, relating to the shifting of its "Babylonish Captivity" doctrine, from a 3 1/2-year period around the WW 1 years, to a period now spanning about 16 centuries, or from the 4th century (Constantine's legal recognition of Christianity) to 1919?

  • truth_b_known

    That's news to me. Then again, I haven't picked up a Watchtower in over a decade.

    Nothing ceases to amaze with the world class flip-flopping WTBS.

    Remember - they are self-proclaimed imperfect people who are not spirit inspired and get things wrong on a regular basis. However, you better believe what they say as Truth or you'll never see you family again.

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    Hmm? More details please....

    In the past 3 1/2 years were... dang! I can't remember! Yay! But I do remember that 3.5 times in Revelation were 3.5 literal years, and a few words later, it represented a "short time".

    What does the article say?

  • prologos

    perhaps the wt thinking is: we have to justify the no Governing Body, no F&DS, no "true christians" to speak of for nearly 2 millennia? How can you have rule in jerusalem if you are in exile (spiritually speaking) so:, see:--it all had to wait, restored kingdom, restored governing Body, new Faithful & d-slave, all now, 1914-1919

  • schnell

    I'd love it if they did, but this kind of change will go barely noticed by the average JW. They don't care about the details, so any study of history or prophecy gets a bit quieter than a study of, say, seeing our dead family again.

  • blondie

    Can you post the info here you are referring to?

    When were God’s people held captive by Babylon the Great?

    That spiritual captivity lasted from the second century C.E. to 1919. Why is this adjusted view warranted?

    All the evidence indicates that this captivity ended in 1919 when anointed Christians were gathered into the restored congregation. Consider: God’s people were tested and refined during the years following the establishment of God’s Kingdom in the heavens in 1914.* (Mal. 3:1-4) Then, in 1919, Jesus appointed “the faithful and discreet slave” over God’s cleansed people to give them spiritual “food at the proper time.” (Matt. 24:45-47) This was the year that God’s people started to return to their God-given spiritual estate. It was also the time when they were released from symbolic captivity to Babylon the Great. (Rev. 18:4) But when did that captivity actually begin?

    For a number of years, we explained that this captivity began in 1918 and involved a brief period of time when God’s people came under the control of Babylon the Great. For example, The Watchtower of March 15, 1992, stated: “Yet, as God’s ancient people were taken into Babylonian captivity for a time, in 1918 Jehovah’s servants came into a measure of bondage to Babylon the Great.” However, further research has shown that this captivity began much earlier than 1918.

    For example, let us consider one of the prophecies that foretold this captivity and release of God’s people. It is recorded at Ezekiel 37:1-14. In a vision, Ezekiel sees a valley filled with bones. Jehovah explains to Ezekiel that these bones represent “the whole house of Israel.” In its larger fulfillment, this restoration prophecy applies to “the Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:16; Acts 3:21) Next, Ezekiel sees the bones come to life and become a large army. What a fitting way to describe the spiritual resurrection of God’s people that culminated in the events of 1919! But what does this vision reveal to us concerning the length of time involved?

    First, we note that the bones are described as either “dry” or “very dry.” (Ezek. 37:2, 11) This indicates that those to whom the bones belonged had been dead for a very long time. Second, the restoration is described as a gradual process, not something that happens suddenly. Initially, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and “the bones began to come together, bone to bone.” Then, “sinews and flesh” were added. Next, the bones, sinews, and flesh were covered with skin. Eventually, “breath came into them, and they began to live.” Finally, Jehovah settled the revived people on their land. All of this would take time.—Ezek. 37:7-10, 14.

    The captivity of the ancient nation of Israel lasted a long time. It began in 740 B.C.E. with the fall and exile of many from the ten-tribe northern kingdom. Then, in 607 B.C.E., Jerusalem was destroyed and people of the southern kingdom of Judah were also taken into exile. This period of captivity ended in 537 B.C.E. when a remnant of the Jews returned to rebuild the temple and reestablished pure worship in Jerusalem.

    With these Scriptural details in mind, it becomes clear that the captivity of God’s people to Babylon the Great must have been much longer than the events of 1918-1919. The captivity parallels the time when the symbolic weeds would grow together with the wheatlike “sons of the Kingdom.” (Matt. 13:36-43) That growing season refers to the period during which genuine Christians were greatly outnumbered by apostates. The Christian congregation, in effect, was held captive by Babylon the Great. That captivity began sometime in the second century C.E. and continued until the cleansing of the spiritual temple in the time of the end.—Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thess. 2:3, 6; 1 John 2:18, 19.

    During that extended period of spiritual captivity, the clergy and their political associates, who were desirous of maintaining their power, kept the Word of God from the people under their control. At times, it was a crime to read the Bible in a common language. Some people who did so were even burned at the stake. Any who expressed an opinion contrary to what the clergy taught were dealt with harshly, thus stifling any attempts to spread the light of the truth.

    What about the second development, the restoration? When and how did that occur? This spiritual restoration work was a gradual process. It was accompanied by “a rattling sound” during the centuries leading up to the time of the end. Although false religious teachings held sway for the most part, some faithful individuals stood up in behalf of true worship to the extent that they were able to do so. Some of them endeavored to produce Bibles in the languages of the common people. Others declared the truths that they had discovered in the pages of God’s Word.

    Then, in the late 1800’s, Charles Taze Russell and his associates worked zealously to restore Bible truths. It was as if symbolic flesh and skin were starting to be put on spiritual skeletons. Zion’s Watch Tower and other publications helped honesthearted ones to discover spiritual truths. Later, such tools as the “Photo-Drama of Creation” in 1914 and the book The Finished Mystery in 1917 also strengthened God’s people. Finally, in 1919, God’s people were given life, spiritually speaking, and were settled in their new spiritual land. As time has progressed, this remnant of anointed ones has been joined by those with an earthly hope, and together they have become “an extremely large army.”—Ezek. 37:10; Zech. 8:20-23.*

    Given these facts, it becomes clear that God’s people went into captivity to Babylon the Great with the growth of the apostasy in the second century C.E. This was a dark period of time, similar to what the ancient Israelites experienced while in exile. How happy we can be, though, that after God’s people experienced centuries of spiritual oppression, we are living in the time when “those having insight will shine . . . brightly” and “many will cleanse themselves” and they “will be refined”!—Dan. 12:3, 10.

  • blondie

    Why the change? It started with Rutherford's time.

    17 Was Babylon the Great ever forced to acknowledge Jehovah’s powerful works? Yes. During the first world war, Jehovah’s anointed servants preached under tribulation. In 1918 they went into spiritual captivity when leading officers of the Watch Tower Society were imprisoned. The organized preaching work virtually ceased. Then, in 1919, Jehovah restored them and reinvigorated them with his spirit, whereupon they set out to fulfill the commission to preach the good news in all the inhabited earth. (Mark 13:10) All of this was prophesied in the book of Revelation, as was the effect upon their opponents. These “became frightened and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Revelation 11:3, 7, 11-13) Not that they all were converted, but they were forced to recognize the powerful work of Jehovah on this occasion, just as Isaiah had foretold.

  • blondie

    Why was the WTS using that timeframe to support in the past?


    Thanks Blondie!

  • _Morpheus

    Ver interesting.... this is a big blow to everything in the revelation book. Changes are a comin

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