Important Question about Bible Examiner Vol. XXI No. 1 (whole No. 313), October 1876, pages 27, 28

by Saename 12 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Saename

    So I was just comparing several quotes from different Watchtower publications related to 1914. In my experience, pre–1914 publications point to this year as the end, and post–1914 publications point to this year as the start of the last days. So I was reading Awake! from 1973 January 22 p. 8 where it claims that Jehovah's Witnesses have always pointed to year 1914 as the beginning of the last days. The evidence that I've been able to find falsifies that statement—with possibly one exception, and I'd like someone to explain this to me.

    In this quote from Awake!, there's a footnote, on the same page, saying that Bible Examiner (see issue in title) supports their claim that Jehovah's Witnesses have always believed 1914 to be the start of the last days.

    So I read a portion of this issue of Bible Examiner(, and I think I noticed something strange about this... Bible Examiner does indeed point to 1914 as the end of the Gentile Times (as do Jehovah's Witnesses today), but it seems like Russell used this expression "the end of the Gentile Times" differently than modern JWs use it today? Today, JWs claim that the end of the Gentile Times is when Jesus takes his throne in heaven and when Satan is hurled down to earth. According to modern JWs, the end of the Gentile Times isn't the end of the last days but its beginning.

    However, when you read Bible Examiner by Russell, he seems to be implying that, while the end of the Gentile Times does take place in 1914, this expression is synonymous, to him, with the expression "the end of the last days." I conclude this because of what Russell says in this issue. After pointing to 1914 as the end of the Gentile Times (like modern JWs), he then, unlike modern JWs, claims that this same year is also "[w]hen Gentile Governments shall have been dashed to pieces; when God shall have poured out of his fury upon the nation, and they acknowledge, him King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Here, Russell seems to be implying that the end of the Gentile Times is also when the Armageddon occurs.

    So... My question is this. Can someone, with more knowledge about Russell, clarify this for me? If I'm correct, it seems like this is just one more example of Watchtower's dishonesty. Relying on the fact that today Jehovah's Witnesses use the expression "the end of the Gentile Times" differently than Russell, they point to this issue of Bible Examiner to support their claim. However, what they don't admit is that Russell thought the end of the Gentile Times was also when the Armageddon would occur. If I'm correct, then what this means is not only that the Watchtower is being dishonest, but that they're also committing a logical fallacy called the fallacy of equivocation.

  • wifibandit
  • MrRoboto

    Absolutely - and the bORG knows this so yes this is dishonesty although usually it it put in the format of "..have always pointed to 1914 as an important year" or some such vagueness so Im surprised to see the one you pointed out (i havent looked yet but Im sure you're right about it's blatantness)

    Also, yes, the bORG uses equivocation almost every time it discusses the past beliefs or teachings.

    One last point though, the statement in question may actually be true - "Jehovah's Witnesses" have always pointed to year 1914 as the beginning of the last days - if you dont count the IBSA and whatever other names they went by in pre "J.W." times. When was it, 1935 I think, that they took the J.W. name so by then (I could be mistaken..?) they would have already revised the 1914 teaching... (?)

    cant look it up now but seems that way to me. That would still be equivocation though.

  • Sylas23

    i'm confused why Russel determined 1914 as the end when it clearly states, "concerning that day and hour no one knows.". like why were they trying to quote specific times

  • vienne

    A partial rough draft of the introductory essay to volume 2 of Separate Identity is up on our blog.

    In it Dr. Schulz, my coauthor, discusses the manipulation of Watch Tower history, including this issue. It's about ten pages long but worth a read I think.

    People always ask about publication date. To forestall that: We don't know yet. Still work to do.

  • Crazyguy

    Like I stated over at reddit , I own , went out and bought the oldest printed versions of the first 3 books that Russel wrote. His first was The Time at Hand, 1889 , and he’ wrote in several places that Armageddon was to happen in 1914. His second book was confirmation that the great pyramid proved that his prophecy of Armageddon in 1914 was indeed correct.

  • vienne

    Russell's first book was the 160 page [aprox] Food for Thinking Christians, 1881. It's a small paper back book. The second was Tabernacle teachings. Then he published Millennial Dawn: Plan of the Ages. Time is at Hand is volume 2 in the Millennial Dawn, later Studies in the Scriptures, series. Russell did not teach about Armageddon as do Jehovah's Witnesses. He expected different things.He never taught end of the world doctrine. He was an age to come believer, which meant he did not believe in Adventist world-burning doctrine.

    The text of all his books is online.

  • Crazyguy

    Ok maybe I’m wrong that the book Time at hand published in 1889 was his first book but I do believe it was his first in the study in the scripture series. I’ll have to go check the published dates of the other books I have.

    I will say this , he may have not believed that all people not of his sect would die at Armageddon but he did write that Armageddon was to take place in 1914. I think both he and Rutherford (for awhile) believed that all their followers would go to heaven and the rest of mankind would be on the earth having issues or suffering or something to that effect.

  • vienne

    I would like to see the actual quotation. First in Studies in Plan of the Ages, later called The Divine Plan of the Ages.

  • smiddy3

    I`m sure you will find a quote either from IBSA /WT publications in a previous post about" Watchtower Society Embarrassments" in their publications originally posted about 13 years ago by vinny and just recently bumped.

    Russell definetly taught that he and his faithful followers would be taken to heaven in 1914 while the rest of mankind would be punished by the wrath of God .

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